Monday, 26 September 2016

Seen Things 2

Had a nice chat with some folks re: the last post about Vangelis' Blade Runner OST, and with that in mind I have another round of soundtrack tidbits for y'all. Starting with a little something from film and music maestro John Carpenter. The man has plenty of iconic themes to his belt and a distinctive style, here's something from '76 (that wasn't actually released until 2003 surprisingly) that caught my attention, those opening bassy stabs are a joy to listen to and a perfect fit for the flick itself.

Moving onto something a little different, I'm seeing my way through Deus Ex again as of late. A little Foxbat didn't understand much of the game back in the early 2000's and never got very far but loved the atmosphere. It wasn't until my teens I played through it proper. Here's one of the early tracks and one of my favourites, the UNATCO theme, It has the same minimal techy edge of so many other soundtracks I've posted and isn't hindered by the limitations of the UMX format it's stored in.

Michiel van den Bos - UNATCO [click to download] |HTML5|

Similarly one of my other favourites form the soundtrack does a good job of hiding it's MOD-derived roots of the era. It's actually surprisingly one of the longer songs on the actual released OST as well, though a lot of the game does happen in Hell's Kitchen so you'll hear this plenty. It does a fantastic job of setting the tone and atmosphere of universe's desolate New York of 2052.

Alexander Brandon - NYC Streets [click to download] |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday, 24 September 2016

A Touch Of Yellow Ochre

Went looking through my list of artists to check up on (which is a giant .txt that I am forever behind on), I decided to start from the bottom this time and was treated to some relics that I had noted next to them (On Grooveshark). With that I thought I was out of luck, and I almost was because trying to google 'Ochre' is an excercise in futility. Luckily I found my way with some digging, couldn't find the specific song I'd noted but found some others that hit the same notes and make me remember why it's on the list. Let's go.

It's been a while since I've touched on any IDM style stuff, for a while it was my bread 'n butter. Ochre comes out sounding a little bit like Plaid meets Autechre to my ears. As you can hear above, the usual smooth synths with the slightly off kilter beat combo is alive and well here. I've been missing this for some time and I'm happier than ever to have it back.

The album these are from in particular seems to be hitting all the things I like about Autechre, which is to say the meld of the melodic and the glitch combination. I'm actually quite surprised the album came out when it did actually, it's from 2004 and with the exception of The Flashbulb, I though the usual IDM crowd had abandoned that sound around then. It's proving difficult to get my hands on actually, so this post should serve as a reminder too.

skipping forward 10 years now, and we have a piece from a charity compilation. Not a lot has changed structure wise; the synths are still smooth as, the glitchy percussion is still there. Though I'd say not a lot really needed to, only real complaints I have is the song's half over before all the elements are introduced, which is a shame cos I could do with more of that thermemin-esque sound in my life.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday, 22 September 2016

I've Seen Things

I've go some things coming up soon but not to worry, I will still be with you thanks to the science of scheduled posts. I've been giving the Blade Runner OST a god ol listen as of late again, specifically the 'Trilogy' re-release form '07 with a heap of bonus tunes on it. As one would expect it's gorgeous ambient for the most part, and still has that futuristic feel despite coming up on 35 years old by now, bonus enjoyment to be had if you got a cyberpunk sci-fi streak like moi too.

Suppose I should kick off with the quintessential Blade Runner tune, I've posted it before but it bears repeating. It ain't hard to see the influence of this tune on folks: it's been sampled in all sorts from Aesop Rock to Blu Mar Ten, featured on Röyksopp's Late Night Tales compilation and is plain to see the effect it's had on synth-inclined folk such as Oneohtrix Point Never too. It's a fantastic piece, I'd certainly like to see more film OSTs in this vein.

Vangelis - Blade Runner Blues [click to download] |HTML5|

Gonna be focusing on the later discs for now though, I feel like enough's been said about the soundtrack over the years. There's some nice not quite ambient tucked away on these later discs, starting with the neo-noir of Dimitri's Bar, which shows off the world music part of the OST quite well with the dueling sax and eastern strings. I almost want to say with some small tweaks it wouldn't sound too out of place on Massive Attack's Protection.

Vangelis - Dimitri's Bar [click to download] |HTML5|

Speaking of trip hop, there's a fair amount of downtempo stuff on here too. Vadavarot is surprisingly sedate, but even so the electronics on display are a joy to hear, all with some more displays of the worldly aspects of both the music and the Blade Runner universe with the distinctly Eastern European vocal accompaniment (I tried to find a source for what language it's in but there's nothing, so apologies if I'm way off!)

Vangelis - Vadavarot [click to download] |HTML5|

There's no language worries on this one when it comes to the title at least, having been a bit of a film buff in past I know it's Polish. This one's certainly the most soundtrack-esque of the bunch, I really dig the overall structure, and the voicemail quality of the spoken work is taking me back to the electroclash days when that was the in thing.

Vangelis - Spotkanie Z Matka [click to download] |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Far East Jungle

That's right, I'm back with some more Soichi Terada. It irked me last time I couldn't find any of his DnB stuff to stream so I am back with a more conventional ilictronix post, for the first time in I don't know how long. Track and deets after the art.

Sumo Jungle is a gorgeous LP. After the crash course the preview intro gives you, the first proper track wastes no time laying down those mid-late 90's goodtime vibes. It's a bit of a contrast to say Goldie's work round the same time, there's strings and breaks sure, but while tunes like This Is A Bad are born of Goldie wrestling with the rougher parts of the inner city at the time, Terada is all about (as the title suggest) just kicking back and enjoying things.

Soichi Terada - Yokozuna Beach Chillin' [click to download] |HTML5|

Don't think I mentioned it before, but these may sound a little familiar to you even if you don't know much about or even who Terada is. And the reason for that is he did the soundtrack for the original Ape Escape back on the PS1. That wouldn't be for a few years after the release of Sumo Jungle, but you can definitely see peeks of what would come through the breaks. Get a load of them 90's piano stabs too.

Soichi Terada - Shiko Stepper Rumblin' [click to download] |HTML5|

Coming into one of my favourites of the whole LP here, it's gorgeously smooth DnB a la Omni Trio. The thing I find most interesting about the whole LP is something I discussed with Adam in our last recording session, is just how global Drum & Bass was at the time, you've got the obvious UK folk making it but then you can fly all the way to Japan and find stuff that (minus some small stylistic differences) is in the same vein. Admittedly it doesn't sound so amazing put like that, but in a time before the mass inter-connectivity we have today I find it fascinating.

Soichi Terada - Mt. Ambient Vs. Spasm [click to download] |HTML5|

The closing track sees the Ape Escape foreshadowing come out to play again, and it might actually be my favourite of the lot. It's not hard to see why he was picked up for it, maybe it is just my nostalgia connection to it speaking, but the kind of Drum & Bass on offer here is a perfect time capsule of the day, it's a god close to the album for sure, it's just a shame it kind of eds instead of with somekinda lovely fadeout with those smooth synths we've heard previously.

Soichi Terada - Grand Senshuuraku [click to download] |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat