Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Ilictronix Podcast: Trip Hop In Purple

"This week: Claude gives a primer into the genre of trip hop. Adam has a selections of songs that remind him of the color purple."

We carry on into the wild frontiers of 2019. This week I give what I call a vertical slice of trip-hop, nothing too obscure, but carefully skirting the big hitters such as Massive Attack's Teardrop. The opening mix of Duvet is fantastic. I adore the original too of course, but the mix is jut so deliciously 90's, it really pushes those partially nostalgic buttons of mine. It's coming up on 21 years old this year too, but that's the extent of my Benjamin Button-ing for this week. After that I dive into a bit of UNKLE, specifically the album Psyence Fiction where DJ Shadow was part of UNKLE, it's a fantastic addition to anyone whose into downtempo's collection, as well as another bit from the Sneaker Pimps remix album Becoming Remixed, which as I say in the episode is a masterclass in popular electronic genres of the time, in stark contrast to the timeless Spin Spin Sugar rework, 6 Underground maintains its moody edge with yet another slightly dated treatment from Perfecto

Rounding out the Trip Hop selections, we return to its roots in Bristol, with a back to back appearance from Tricky and the Massive Attack boys. I said pretty much my thoughts on Overcome in the episode, it's an absolutley stellar opening to an album and one that immediately springs to my mind when I think of what makes the Trip Hop sound. And of course we round out with Unfinished Sympathy, an incredibly popular record at the time circa 90-91, it's reputation is well deserved. To think that a track this well produced comes from a debut album is nothing short of sublime, the Massive Attack boys had solid tunes from the get go and it's great to see them (or rather, some of them given the line-up change between Protection and Mezzanine) still going strong today.

Adam takes us on a Synesthesia tinged tour of his listening history. The colour in question for this week is Purple. It's an interesting approach for sure, and one that I'm no stranger to if you listened to past episodes where I talk about my CMYK playlists (see the show notes!). Adam's choices this week maintain that downtempo mentality but obviously flip the genre, I was surprised at how well they fit together given how we've compltley contrasted in terms of sound in previous episodes. Once again though I am very happy to hear whatever Adam brings each week, and this week was no exception, there's some beautifully lush tunes in the second half of the show. I perhaps wouldn't tag them with purple myself but there's a definite theme going in with his choices. As always full tracklist and show notes are below!

Bôa - Duvet (Cyberia Mix)

Claude’s picks:
UNKLE - Unreak
Thievery Corporation - Until The Morning
Sneaker Pimps - 6 Underground (Perfecto Mix)
Tricky - Overcome
Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy

Adam’s Picks
Frits Wentink - Theme 5
Hot Music - Harry Romero
Feelarama - Sanasol
Armonica -Ngeke (Andhim Remix)
DJ Central - HejHej

Byron The Aquarius - Truth Is What U See

Show Notes:
Right, well first things first I didn't explicitly mention putting this in the show notes, but I have to post the video for Unfinished Sympathy, it's fantastically shot and really drives home that americana influence that the first Massive Attack album had. Get a load of that early 90's fashion too.

And finally, the other thing I mentioned, re-posting the CMYK playlists when they each hit 100. They're all pretty close actually! but in true Van Foxbat form the one to hit it first was the Key playlist, home of all things dowmtempo and otherwise slightly depressing. Not strictly elctronic this one, which probably gave it a bit of a leg up in hindsight but regardless, you can find it here and if you're interested, my profile, with the rest of my playlists

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Ilictronix Podcast: Hello 2019

"The Ilictronix Show is back in the new year! Claude and Adam share and discuss their favorite tracks of the week. Claude waxes poetic about Electropop. Adam shares his favorite tracks from his NYE sets"

We are back with our first episode of 2019! I wanted to get all nostalgic about my electropop itch that comes up every couple of months, but it soon turned into a reflection of "Holy shit how are these tracks turnign 10 this year". After Adam's on-point as always intro, I open things up with the always in my heart Broadcast. Something I say in the episode is how overlooked I feel they are but what I didn't mention is how it pains me to know that there'll be no more Broadcast records after Trish's untimely passing some years ago. Though there are some rumblings from Cargill about potential future releases, so fingers crossed eh? A detour into more of what I had in mind when I chose Electropop as a theme with Au Revoir Simone, who in similar fashion are long overdue for a new release! A little bit from Gorillaz, as I touch on my relationship with Plastic Beach and how it became a listening mainstay for me (and some brief wonder at the age of the LP).

And a little bit of nostalgia to round things out for long time readers and myself; probably my most featured artists so far on the podcast, I touch on the production values and methodology behind Röyksopp's musical goodbye to the album format, The Inevitable End. As a single Running To The Sea is fantastic, if (as mentioned in the show) a little over-produced in parts. I draw a comparison to their previous big hit What Else Is There? too, but really they're very different beasts, with Running being a much more pop-informed piece. And finally one of the standouts from Simian Mobile Disco's Temporary Pleasure. There were a couple of big singles from it but it seems largely overlooked, while it does suffer from being that difficult sophomore album for the group I think it's a little unfair, case in point with Cruel Intentions. Apologies in advance for choosing for the absolutely crushing Until We Bleed as an outro track too, I promise you the rest of Kleerup's album is much more upbeat!

Adam also takes us on a rundown of his picks for his NYE mixing shenanigans. While I'm a little disappointed we don't have any recordings of them actually being played live, I almost prefer them in this format. Something about Adam talking about them while they play in the background made for a very evocative experience, same as those satisfying videos out there of people passionately talking about their craft. Something else I'd like to appreciate going into this new year is just how different Adam's selections are from mine. I mean that in the nicest possible way too, it's great for you all as listeners to have these different curated lists, and it gives me a much needed glimpse into electronic stuff I may not have come across otherwise (mainly due to me being out of touch with what's new these days, but also as we've mentioned in the past, the sheer volume of electronic stuff out there can make it tricky to find anything). Adam also had some good points on romanticising DJ culture and nightlife in general that I think bears repeating, especially this early in the new year. We've lost a fair few performers over the last couple of years, and it goes without saying that clubs and the like can be dangerous places. It also plays into some othewr side projects I have going on too but we won't dwell on it much longer, as always Stay Safe, Enjoy the music and the Full tracklist follows as per usual.

Crackazat - Holding You Close

Claude’s picks:
Broadcast - America's Boy
Au Revoir Simone - Shadows
Gorillaz - Broken
Röyksopp - Running To The Sea
Simian Mobile Disco - Cruel Intentions

Adam’s Picks
Kettama - Body
Junktion - I'm Wishin'
S3A - Antois Benime
M.ono & Luvless - Just Like Magic
T.U.R.F. -Reggie Fox

Kleerup - Until We Bleed

Show Notes:
Adam mentioned something to go in the show notes, just reserving this space until I get a chance to listen to the EP and fill it in!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Ilictronix Podcast: The Winter One

"Claude and Adam close out the year with some festive tracks and winter themes."

We are live with our (potential) final podcast of the year! I immediately betray my 'no downtempo selections' idea I've been throwing around for the last couple of episodes. BUT in my defence, all of these are tracks that have never featured on my previous winter downtempo lists, (with the exception of The Knife) which is the reason I used them for this one. It's a real mixed bag of stuff anyway, starting off with the all time cult classic Santa Claus from Le Knight Club; one of my favourites from Crydamoure no matter the season, and all the more apt right now. After that I take you on a tour of my winter themed selections, starting with an actual factual Christmas song from Röyksopp, then I wax lyrical about the old 'chillout' records I used to pick up in a bit of a roundabout way: by first sharing yet another piece from my all time top soundtrack provider Yoko Kanno that wouldn't sound out of place on those kinds of albums, before revisiting one of the few pieces from Alpinestars' White Noise that I think has still held up all those years later. This episode marks the first appearance of The Flashbulb from me as well, one of my favourite not-mainstream producers of the already non-mainstream experimental electronic in that Aphex Twin and the like vein. Like I say in the episode, there's an intimidating amount of work in his back-catalogue, but the album that the tune I chose is from Soundtrack To A Vacant Life is a good starting point if a little on the long side. I round things out with The Knife's absolutely stellar opening track from their equally stellar album Silent Shout which I've already talked about at length in previous posts. It's good stuff.

Adam also shares his selections in this style. They're predictably more upbeat than mine as you might expect, it's a fantastic cross-section of Adam's listening and certainly one to have on as we approach the 31st. There's a whole host of stuff to get yourself stuck into; from vintage and slightly sleazy house from Paul Johnson, to the brilliantly modernised filter house of the outro track Harry Parsons' We Can Only. I'm kinda kicking myself for not adopting Adam's end-of-year theme as well, it would have been nice to do one of the old-style NYE track dumps I used to do in podcast form, but hey there's always next year! Tracklist and the rest follows.

Le Knight Club - Santa Claus

Claude’s picks:
Röyksopp - Le Cantique de Noel
Yoko Kanno - Strangers
Alpinestars - Snow Patrol (Part 2)
The Flashbulb - Warm Hands In Cold Fog
The Knife - Silent Shout

Adam’s Picks
Stash Magnetic - Things Fall Apart
Paul Johnson - Suck My Candy Cane
Rimbaudian - Drop It On EmM
The Higher - The Core
V.I.C.A.R.I. - Pascia

Harry Parsons - We Can Only

Show Notes:
There are none for this week as far as I know! I'll give the show a listen once I'm done with work for the year and update if need be though.

And that may very well be the final podcast of the year, Adam may be throwing up some NYE stuff closer to the time or maybe in early '19 tho. I'll wrap up by thanking y'all for sticking with us for another year, especially during the latter half. We had a real spanner thrown in the works around August time which meant I had to take the site offline for about a month I think. That's all behind us now, and I appreciate those that have stuck with us during the format change from posts to podcasts as well. It hasn't been easy for us and I imagine the same goes for all you as well. But it's keeping us to a schedule, myself and Adam have had some really good talks and shared some really interesting songs along the way, there are still some growing pains and issues to iron out for sure, but overall I think it's been very successful. Here's to more podcasts to come in 2019! I'll close out with what's fast becoming my line: Stay safe, and enjoy the music out there all of you. We'll leave the light on for you.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Spotify (And Bonus Soundcloud) Selections December

As I was prepping this December's playlist, I almost fell into the trap I set for myself every year of going down a downtempo rabbit hole. So, this year I decided nah let's swap hemispheres for a change and inject a little bit of warmth into our end of year selections. Starting with a little something I've had sitting in my inbox for a long time now (apologies to the artist!), it unfortunately came to us during the time where I had to take the site down for a little while to sort some stuff out. Regardless it stayed on my radar and I've been trying to find a spot for it and now seems as good a time as any to deploy it and now seems as good a time as any.

Jean Sean is someone we've covered before here a couple times in the past, and the remix fiend didn't disappoint this time. As much as I like to abuse this analogy, this rework took me straight back to the blog house days, more specifically to the like of Crookers (crikey, remember when Fidget House was a thing?) and of course more specifically Major Lazer, who thanks to this remix I found out are still active and making stuff too so I owe Jean Sean thanks for that too. It's not all going to be this bombastically dancehall-esque sound unfortunately, but I think it sets up the anti-downtempo selections I have n mind quite nicely indeed.

Starting off, we're keeping the "They're still around?" theme going, with a two-for-one from Mylo AND Louis La Roche. Mylo was a big deal in the mid 00's, he did a real good house album called Destroy Rock & Roll that had some quality singles on it; Paris Four Hundred, In My Arms and Doctor Pressure and then just kinda dropped off the face of the earth. Only on checking out Spotify was I informed that he'd done another EP this year! and with former 'French Touch' blog house darling Louis La Roche to boot. To be fair to Louis, I don't think he ever went away or stopped making tunes, I just didn't keep up with anything he did post 2010 or so. and it seems that he's left the side-chaining sample laden production of his past behind, at least the blatantly late 90's french house type. There's some samples and the like on here that make me questio nwhether they're chasing the 'tropical house' trend but still, it's nice to hear from 'em.

Naturally, I couldn't just leave it at that, so for the next couple tunes I went back into my memories and dug out some house from days gone by. Starting withprobably my first non-Talking Heads exposure to David Byrne in the gorgeously smooth Lazy from X-Press 2 (that's only a little bit depressing with it's lyrical content). Followed that up with the delightfully funky bonus track Fit Your Heart from Benjamin Diamond. I had to restrain myself from going all out with the funky stuff at this point, so I limited myself to just a couple more in this style. Modjo was a natural choice here, and hipster me wasn't just going to go with the shoo-in of Lady, instead I opted for Music Takes You Back, which I've had several people confuse for Jamiroquai when it's appeared on playlists. The last quarter when it all comes together is where it really shines. What would a dive into funky stuff be without a dash of Chromeo? I thought about putting on a bit from Business Casual here as I recently talked about it on the Podcast, but man Fancy Footwork is just so damn good, here we are 11 years after release, and I'm still madly in love with all the little synth hits and twinkles on the title track.

Ok, so I might've lied about keeping it totally upbeat, but we managed halfway! Besides, it's fast becoming winter at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere. We're keeping things a little bit funky tho, with the original Electric Counterpoint from Steve Reich. I talked about the Royksopp edits of this one that they did as freebies some time ago, and as much as I like them I've grown a real fondness for the original. It's a funny clash of electronic style composition with more traditional instrumentation. I'd hesitate to call it drone but if you swapped out the guitar for some lush synth pads it'd probably fit right in. Speaking of, when I was throwing around ideas in my head for this playlist I was running some errands in the rain when my shuffle decided to serve this one up to me. I do't think any of these playlists has had Tangerine Dream on as of yet, they've enjoyed a recent bump in popularity after working on the OST for Grand Theft Auto V of all things, (I'd love to get my hands on the limited edition CD they made from the OST, songs like Mission Possible are just gorgeous). Some questionable album art choices aside, I firmly believe they're a must have in any electronic fan's lists.

On a similar vein, Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack should be familiar to any electronic music fan, if only for Blade Runner Blues alone (though again I am biased because I absolutley could listen to that brassy analogue synth sound all day). Spotify doesn't have the expanded re-release of the Blade Runner OST, and I didn't feel like dropping the 8-minute synth Jam of Blade Runner Blues on you so I went with Wait For Me instead. Though a little more dated in terms of sound than Blues, especially with those MIDI horns, Wait For Me remains an evocative piece and one of my favourites from the OST. Rounding out my suddenly vintage selections is Kraftwerk, of course. They hold a special place in my heart as I've mentioned several times in the past, partly nostalgia and partly my weakness for techy sounds in general. Computer World 2 is a tune I've been meaning to talk about for a while now, I think its by far and away the most obvious tune to point to when it comes to the evolution of electro, and eventually techno. It's almost too easy to draw the line between the Underground Resistance and similar productions myself and Adam have been talking about and Computer Love 2.

And finishing this week, I've included Koshkina from Dispak that I included on last week but one's podcast. I've been doing some menial file management on-and-off all week and the lush sounds of the EP have been making it not as much of a slog as it could have been. Coming hot off the heels of me finding new appreciation for songs like Akira Takemoto's Island In Video Casset as well, it's been an interesting change up of sounds for me. I've just realised that the code to link to their bandcamp was broken in the original post too so I've not only fixed that, but will be including it again here. If you likewhat you hear you can stream it on Spotify (obviously), but if you like what you hear and want to pick it up, head on over to Their Bandcamp, the page has a full description of the process behind th eEP#s recording as well which makes for an interesting read and an insight into the inner workings of the EP. If you enjoyed the sounds of Koshkina I highly recommend the full thing out.

-Claude Van Foxbat