Thursday, 8 August 2019

Plus One

It's been a little while since I wrote a proper post, but I thought I should this time. It's that time of year where both me and the blog tick over one more year. It's not philosophical or anything, me and the blog just happen to share the same birthday.

2018-19 has been a fuckin' hell of a year for me and the site. It's resulted in a drastic overhaul of every post ever made (which is why so many are missing, I'm working on it) and to be frank I'm amazed we made it this far in the previous state. Still, we made it to the big 10 year mark before everything caught fire so I can be content with that.

Though we are still dealing with some bullshit too, like a nonsensical DMCA for the St. Patrick's day episode of the podcast which shouldn't even apply as it's hosted on mixcloud and we don't even offer downloads of the episodes but sticking my neck out is what got me in this situation in the first place, and given the stories you hear about a certain video hosting site being especially incompetent at dealing with them I'm not going to bother. the show along with all the other episodes we've done is still up on mixcloud or what it's worth Silver linings though, the first ever proper on-depth series I did here; A Very Warped History is now once again complete with all broken images (that 17 year old me thought was a good idea to hotlink) and the next/previous links fixed too so you can navigate the whole series from that first post there. Pleas excuse some of my teenage attempts at writing, but overall I'm still very proud of it.

In the meantime, I thought I'd throw up some birthday selections for the first time in forever. Starting with a bit of euroebeat I was saving for the podcast one day. I think I did mention on a previous show that I don't use the term 'guilty pleasure' anymore re: music. You shouldn't be ashamed of what you like, but that doesn't mean you can't view it objectively. Which is what my collection of late 90's Trance and Eurobeat are to me. Both of them hit the same buttons for me, sometimes it's nice to cut loose to some frankly unashamedly obnoxious synths and downright cheesy vocals and the occasional euphoric break. Eurobeat is also interesting if you approach it from a electronic music history angle, the genre is very heavily Italian producer biased and you can certainly hear the Disco, Italo and Hi-NRG influence on some tracks, especially with them MIDI piano hits. Enter Burning Up For You, which I think covers all the bases I mentioned above.

Another tune I mentioned and played on the podcast if finally on Spotify. Essentially what I said on the show is my usual spiel about not shaming folk for how they discover music they like, especially when it comes to soundtracks: I personally have seen Peace & Tranquility introduce multiple people to House, even if it as as inconsequential as a comment asking "what genres is this?", and I am always happy to see more people come into the broad and exciting world of electronic music. Even if the song does get memed to death in the process, which is a bit of a shame because it's one of my most favourite recent house tunes.

Speaking of euphoria, I've been revisiting HEALTH's Death Magic recently and it's still a solid listen. Don't be put off by the dark artwork and ALL THE CAPS, some of these tracks are surprisingly light, certainly not like Carpenter Brut and other Synthwave that I put it next to in the podcast episode. Dark Enough being my most recent looper, I love what they do with the electronics and how the twin with the vocals to make this dreamy feel despite the heavy kicks.

And after overlooking him last time I covered hip-hop stuff in the podcast, here's a little bit from Nujabes. I still think it's a shame that his works overshadow the other contributors to the OST for Samurai Champloo, because eoff of the mare very much quality but I cannot deny that Nujabes was good at what he did. I speak a lot about tunes that from the get-go just grab me and I think that he and the rest of the OST cew have the highest rate of that in my collection, all of these instrumentals are a treat for the ears, as are the brief excursions into more R&B territory. Even if you have no interest in the series, stream the rest of this album and seek out the other OSTs, they are incredible hip-hop albums on their own.

I think that's enough variety, reminds me of the old end of year roundups I used to do. I don't know how active I'll be with *new* posts, but I will keep re-publishing old posts as and when I can, some of the older ones are an absolute mess to detangle but I'll get it done. Until next time, enjoy.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday, 29 June 2019

An Update

Hello. You might have noticed new podcasts have been absent for a few weeks now, and you may be wondering why that is. Truth be told I don't know myself, me and Adam ended our call after the last recording session and I haven't heard anything since. I shot him a message asking if we were swapping over to Wednesdays for the rest of the month but got no reply, and he hasn't updated the google doc we keep for the podcast notes either. That's pretty much it, I know as little as you, while I wouldn't be against continuing the show solo, I think it is much stronger with Adam and myself so I won't be doing that. I don't have access to the mixcloud account either.

In the meantime though, I'm finally getting around to re-publishing my first proper series I ever did on this blog, the slickly titled A Very Warped History. I've not got them all done yet but it's a start. I'm changing very little about them, there are some dead image links and some typos I'm correcting but they are otherwise as-is, as such please forgive some of my ham-fisted writing, I was around 15 at the time of the first posts and they'll be 10 years old next year!

While I'm fixing those however, I thought I'd at least post something. So have this playlist I cooked up that is a quick rundown of what I think is the quintessential introduction to what Warp does; it features bits and pieces from the entire history of the label including some of my all time favourites and even features some albums I didn't write about for the Very Warped History series. Enjoy.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Ilictronix Podcast: The Legacy

"In this episode: Claude brings some Kraftwerk flavors. Adam goes Balearic.

We are live again for this week! As the strap-line says, this week I try something new by bringing an adaption and expansion of a post I did a while back called "A Model's Legacy". In it, we see how Kratwerk (specifically their early 1980's hit The Model) has, and continues to influences electronic music worldwide in its many forms. Not to discount the other non-electronic things its influenced, but we are an electronic music show mind, we take a trip from its home Germany to the UK, Japan and back again, and I hope you find it as interesting as I did to talk about and compile!

Adam treats us to some yet again more summery selections, though I was disappointed that his choices weren't all literally Balearic Beat, the precursor to Tropical House. Joking aside it's a cool rundown, I really dig Adam's ability to merge new and old stuff in his selections in a way that is so smooth (even if that Jai Paul track is technically both new and old at the same time). I'm aiming for a return to the strictly upbeat myself come next week, which I think will be Thursdays from now on due to Adam mentioning his slight schedule change in the episode. Nothing should change though, we are going up a little late today but that's because I got side tracked at home. Anyway, tracklist follows as per usual! Tracklist:
Otik - Actress

Claude’s Picks:
Kraftwerk - The Model
Ladytron - He Took Her To A Movie
Hajime Hyakkoku - Virtual Love
808 State - One In Ten
Doug Lazy - H.O.U.S.E (The Remodelled Remix)

Adam’s Mix
Jai Paul - He
Kapote - Delirio Italiano
Don Carlos - Alone
Ian Pooley - Coração Tambor (Needs Remix)
Hoover1 - 2B2 (Mr. Speaker Mix)

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Ilictronix Podcast: The Instrumental Edition

"In this episode: Claude brings some bump worthy beats. Adam brings a rainy day ambient mix."

We are live again for this week! Another mixed bag but not the complete whiplash of atmosphere that was last week. It's been a hectic week for me and I've taken the opportunity to unwind with one of my musical dalliances that I dig up every now and then, I went all in on instrumental hip hop. I've expanded a little from last time's 'bump-worthy' selections, this time focusing (unintentionally) on killer samples, which means I get to flex my opinions once again on the subject, though I assure you that my take isn't very hot in the grand scheme of things. I drop some weapons I've been holding onto for a while, tarting off with a couple pieces from the Samurai Champloo OST from Force Of Nature and Tsutchie. As mentioned in the episode I deliberately avoided Nujabes' productions for the OST, not that they're bad or anything but he does tend to steal the limelight when it comes to discussing that soundtrack. That said, if you liked this episodes sounds you should absolutely jump into Nujabes' back catalogue for more of the style

Adam also brings something new to the table with a mix instead of our usual tunes 'n talk combo. Truth be told it's an idea I've played with before but never really thought too much about until now. Like we say in the Ep I think it could be really good to use in cases like this where we'd interrupt the flow with our usual routine. That and it'd give me a chance to crate and play with my 'mixtapes' I used to make one again. Full tracklist follows as usual:

Force Of Nature - Just Forget

Claude’s Picks:
DJ Krush - Song 1
Tsutchie - Sincerely
MF Doom - Arrow Root
Akira Yamaoka - Alone In The Town
El Huervo - Rust

Adam’s Mix
Tim Hecker - Step Away From Konoyo
Kara-Lis Coverdale - Moments In Love
Karel Goeyvaerts - Pour Que Les Fruits Mûrissent Cet été
Mark Pritchard - Untitled
Talk Talk - Myrrhman