Saturday, 30 April 2011

Interview with Morgan Kibby [M83 / White Sea]


Earlier this week, I got an email from a man promoting an artist. Nothing new here, until I saw that it was the newest project from Morgan Kibby, best known for her work with M83.
I kept reading and then I saw that I could interview her. Then I read that bit again to make sure my eyes read that properly, which they did. A couple of emails and an anxious wait and here it is!

Hello Morgan. Thank you so much for doing this interview. So, tell us a bit more about yourself.
Thank you for having me! More about me....hm... I was born in Alaska, I love analog synths, I could live on cheese and wine, I used to restore art, currently reading A Lover's Discourse (it's THICK. Dying.)


When did you start to gain an interest in music and what were the first things you listened to as a kid?
I studied classical piano until the age of 14, and growing up my parents never really listened to the radio aside from public radio.
Jazz and classical comprise my first musical memories. It wasn't until about 12 that I started listening to other genres, particularly hip hop.


What instruments do you play? Were you taught how to play them, or is it all self-taught?
I studied classical piano and cello with a teacher, and have self taught on guitar, synths, a little autoharp (though i can't pick very well) and I'm currently trying to learn drums


Tell us a bit more about White Sea. How did it start and who's a part of it?
After finishing tour with M83, I was pretty clear that I needed an outlet when not working with Anthony, hence White Sea.
I met some incredible musicians on the road and ended up working with two of them: Ray Suen, who played with the Killers, Mariachi El Bronx and the Flaming Lips, and Jonathan Bates who played guitar with M83 for a leg of our tour and had/has his own projects, Mellowdrone and Big Black Delta.
I also play with Amy Wood and Jonathan Leahy of the band The Broken Remotes. All of them are fantastic musicians and friends, I feel very blessed to have found them.





I know it's been out for a while, but explain to us your EP, This Frontier.
I'm influenced by so many genres, that when I first set out to try and define the White Sea sound, I got stuck. I finally gave in to my love of electronic, pop, 80s, western soundtracks... and just set out to write 5 good songs.
I hoped that the common thread that would keep people listening would be my voice and production style.


White Sea - Ladykiller








What is the process of creating a new song? Is it something planned out for a long time or is it a trial and error process?
Sometimes it's the most daunting drawn out process, other times it's easy as pie. I suppose it's just hap-hazard in terms of experience.
With the Ep i started songs by programming drums, lots of toms and 808 sounds, and then built vocal loops and melodies on top.
For the next record I'm setting out to write songs first and then produce the track around its core. I live in constant fear that i'll never write a good song again.


What equipment are you using right now?
I have two main synths in my studio, a Juno-60 and an MS-2000. I work on a protools rig through a Digi003 and have a really wonderful Pacifica pre-amp.
Not to mention the countless instruments i seem to have collected... 6 guitars, a twelve string, basket full of precussion, bass, cello, auto harp, Horner pianet, harmonium...the list goes on and on. I'm constantly experimenting. My next purchase are the Arturia soft synths.


You have a fantastic singing voice. Do you take care of your it often and prepare it before studio sessions or shows?
Honestly...yes and no. Which is terrible, because I know that by not practicing I'm just limiting myself.
I do warm up throughout the day before important shows and sessions however, but I'm not consistent which is nothing to brag about.


M83. Saturdays = Youth is a brilliant album. When did you meet Anthony Gonzalez and how is it like to work with him?
Anthony is one of the most visionary and incredible musicians I've had the pleasure of working with. I met him through a french director friend who I've known for many years. She played him my music and he asked me to participate on Saturdays=Youth.


M83 - Skin Of The Night (Live @ KCRW) [click to download]








What are your plans for the future?
White Sea is in the midst of writing a full length album, and personally I want to continue remixing and producing for other bands. I've scored a couple films in the past and I plan on trying to do more.


Finally, describe your sound in three words.
Hopefully. Not. Sucky.


It was a fantastic privilege to be able to interview her and I actually quite like this interviewing business.

Massive thanks to Kenny Choe from EchoForward that helped me set up this interview.


Yay,
Alex.

Random bangers

Hey there

I saw Boba asking for a banger post in the shoutbox, so here it is ! Beware, if you're in a calm mood, it'll change.



First, one from our mates : TEAM BANZAI. This remix is in a Tron Legacy remix competition, vote for them here !

Daft Punk - End Of Line (TEAM BANZAI Remix) by TEAM BANZAI

Something that's not too old either, a remix of Justice's Civilization by DJ DLG.

Justice - Civilization (DJ DLG Lazor remix) [click to download]








Skream at his best, on a really good Jack Beats track.

Jack Beats - All Night (Skream remix) [click to download]








CEPI made some really good remixes, including this one, which I love.

Trashing Teenagers - Corruption (CEPI remix) [click to download]








A song from an EP I totally forgot to talk about... and it's a damn shame. The Red Kiss is a ridiculously good. The Magician's remixes are, well, magic indeed. And Palmbomen gave a very melancholic touch on his. But today is banger day, so here is Brodinski's !

The Aikiu - The Red Kiss (Brodinski remix) [click to download]








A bit of DnB now. That one's for you, Thomas !

Noisia - Shellshock ft. Foreign Beggars [click to download]










And because there's no better way to end a post than ending it with The Glitch Mob...

The Glitch Mob - We Swarm [click to download]








The Glitch Mob - Drive It Like You Stole It (Mirko Kosmos remix) [click to download]








Enjoy
-Here

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A Very Warped History 9: 2001 (1 Of 2)

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2001. Aphex Twin releases the long awaited sequel to the cult classic Richard D. James Album. Press reaction was somewhat mixed upon release, something tells me they were expecting RDJ Album 2.0 (and rule #1 of Aphex Twin is never expect anything). So when it came to picking up this album about a year ago I had the press were telling me it was a letdown, and a friend of mine actually said not to bother with it. But my mind was saying "hey, it's Aphex it can't be THAT bad right? Besides, I've bought a few albums that the press didn't much care for that weren't all that bad". And with that, I dove straight in without even listening to any of the tracks.



Drukqs, while not his "best" album (certainly his longest, clocking in at 30 tracks) it does have it's moments and is also arguably his most personal album, with the skittering beats and everything that makes that sound so uniqley his turned up to 11 (His reasoning being that he wanted to push the new software of 2001 to it's limits.) and the track titles being in Cornish. However these tracks that we've come to know the Twin by are intersected with some lovely poignant piano pieces, (actually programmed to be played by sequencers rather than actually "played") These pieces contrast so much with the tracks proceeding them that it shouldn't flow well at all. But it does. In fact the album OPENS with one of them.

Aphex Twin - Jynweythek Ylow








I quite liked the atmosphere the first track gave, this was my first time listening to the album so I had no idea what was coming next. And then it hit me. the first time I listened to the album I was on a very long road trip back from the middle of the English countryside and I had to actually stop myself from grinning like a madman. All the press complaints suddenly made no sense. The mangled and cut up beats, the soft melodic synths, this was still undoubtedly Aphex Twin.

Aphex Twin - Vordhosbn








This juxtaposition of sounds continues on later tracks, for example on this one the synths lines introduced at 1:08 just sound fantastic to my ears even more so when it joins the rest of the mix. This is followed by a change in styles around 2:44 where for once Aphex adopts an almost conventional drumbeat, interjected by a brilliantly executed sample after which Aphex resumes his regular beat carving techniques, all leading up to that crescendo of noise at 3:54. A favourite of mine for sure.

Aphex Twin - Cock Ver. 10








Probably the most known piano based track on here, odds are you've heard Avril 14th somewhere before. But that doesn't take away any of the beauty from it, to think that something like this could come from the same guy who made Ventolin is a real testament to his musical flexibility. Oh, and be sure to listen through headphones, for this one and a few others Aphex put microphones inside the piano, so if you listen carefully, you can hear the internal mechanisms working away.

Aphex Twin - Avril 14th








This next one... This next one. I can't even begin to describe it, it's just an eight minute journey though the mindset of Drukqs and perhaps the best track here. filled with ups downs and twists and turns. Just immerse yourself in it.

Aphex Twin - Mt. Saint Michel + Saint Michael's Mount










Another piano piece and the most obviously Cornish titled song on the LP there's not a real lot to say about this one, it's like the others we've heard so far, though this one is a bit more dreamy compared to the sounds on Avril 14th and Jynweythek.

Aphex Twin - Hy A Scullyas Lyf A Dhagrow








QKThr (Or Penty Harmonium, as it's called on the vinyl) bucks the trend with the piano bits, as the vinyl title suggests it's played on a harmonium instead, leading to that rustic seaside shanty sound that plays into the album's "personal" feel

Aphex Twin - QKThr








Afx237 v.7 is another tune you might recognise, Chris Cunningham used it in his now infamous short film Rubber Johnny. It also breaks the trend set by other Aphex style tracks so far on the album, moving away from the tried and tested light synths and beat barrages of Vordhosbn and the like, and instead bringing a much more experimental feel to the sounds.

Aphex Twin - Afx237 v.7








And topping it all off is the final track and yet another piano solo, Nanou 2. the (presumably) sequel to Nannou from the Windowlicker EP ends the LP on the same not it began on, only this is a lot more melancholic, with some sparse keys punctuating the otherwise silent track. In my mind is a perfect closing track for Drukqs, especially since it's the last we've heard from AFX in ten years (Analords excluded).

Aphex Twin - Nanou 2








You'll notice that as we progress through the years a lot less of these releases will be tarred with the "Classic" label. Perhaps they haven't been out long enough to be considered Classic, perhaps that label was thrown around too much in the early 90's, I don't know. The latest record I saw described as a classic from Warp was Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma and while it's a good album, I don't think it's worthy of that title; It just didn't have that same connection with me like the older stuff from Warp, I don't know what it was but it was lacking that something to make it extra special. And I leave you with that thought.

Sounds Of The Post-Millenium,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 25 April 2011

Public Holiday

Oh hi, again.

Enjoying my 3 days weekend, I thought I'll share with you some new stuff.



So, let's begin by taking sneak peek at the forthcoming Beastie Boys' album : Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 that will be released on May 3rd. If the 30mins film wasn't enough to convince you that they're back, this will.

Beastie Boys - Too Many Rappers [new reactionaries version] (featuring NAS) [click to download]








Beastie Boys - Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament [click to download]










Because I'm a nerd, obviously.

Mortal Kombat - Songs Inspired By The Warriors.

The soon to be overplayed Skrillex song. I don't know how to feel about this track, but I really REALLY like it, in a weird way, is it a guilty pleasure, or simply great ? You tell me, but it might be the best song to listen to while beating up people, honestly.

Skrillex - Reptile's Theme [click to download]








Another massive track, from Bird Peterson.

Bird Peterson - Goro's Theme [click to download]








Too bad all the songs are not as good as those two, the Sound Of Stereo, Congorok and 9th Wonders are pretty good aswell, the others are pretty average, sadly.

U turn. A new track from Monsieur Adi, I'll make a whole post about this guy, because he diserves it.

Monsieur Adi - Chariot [click to download]








And I'll end this post with two way smoother songs, by Digitalism and Destronics.

Digitalism - Two Hearts [click to download]








Bright Spark Destroyer - The Shortest Distance (Destronics Remix) by destronics

Enjoy
-Here

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Alecks Awklr

Hello there.



About a week ago a guy named Awklr informed me that he just released an album, so I checked his bandcamp page, and what an amazing surprise.

Alecks Awklr (previously YOTO), aka Alex Auclair, fuses chillout, downtempo, ambient and a bit of dubstep, like Wisp for those who know him (Minus the dubstep, Wisp's more into DnB).

So, what to expect from such an experimental genre of music ? Something both calm and energetic, that makes you fall asleep but also wakes you up.

I am not affraid of saying that this WILL be in my top 5 albums of 2011, the whole album just makes sense; unlike some, where it just seems like a bunch of songs put one after another, here, there is a synergy.

Alright, here comes the review, but I won't review the whole album, it's 20 tracks long, and I don't like those wall of text kind of posts. I'll try to show you how verstatile Awklr is, because every songs are different but they also have a lot in common.

-1 Alecks Awklr - Breathless [click to download]








I believe that the first song of an album must be the one that makes you want to listen to the whole album, even if it is just randomly played when your winamp's shuffling.

Breathless is near to perfection, really powerful on the instrumental part, with a very well built progression and those distorted and jolting voices are addictive and emotional at the same time.

-2 Vizzerdrix

-3 Alecks Awklr - Temple Runner [click to download]








Temple Runner is what you can call an epic song, epic being used in its original meaning. The songs feels like an adventure, a trip, the strings and drums are very medieval but used in a modern way at the same time.

-4 Aether Shore

-5 Alecks Awklr - Reckoner by Radiohead (remix) [click to download]








First, out of two, remix on the album. The unstructured structure of the instrumental part fits so well with Thom Yorke's voice, it feels like a radiohead B-side, more than just a remix.

-6 Harps at Ease
-7 Snake Way
-8 Flowr

-9 Alecks Awklr - Travel Lightly [click to download]








The most relaxing yet energizing song on the album to me. Nine minutes of refreshing melody but Awklr still keeps that exciting and motivating touch on the drums. It is the song that made me think of Wisp's Honor Beats album, it has that same energy, that same little feeling I like, but I'm not able to describe it.

-10 Konoha Jam
-11 Rotta

-12 Alecks Awklr - Heartless by Kanye West (remix) [click to download]








Alright so, Kanye West is one of my few guilty pleasures, he is a talented producer despite his shitty arrogant "I'm the new king of pop blah blah" attitude. Heartless is not my favorite song by him, by far.

Anyway, Awklr achieved something with it, if mainstream songs were that good I would reconsider listening to the radio.

-13 Alecks Awklr - ESC Rope [click to download]








On ESC Rope you can feel the dubstep influence, but I'm not talking Skrillex's kind of dubstep, here it is used in the background, to give an atmosphere to the song.

-14 Chandeliers
-15 Archepeligo

-16 Alecks Awklr - Murkrow [click to download]








Again, a dubstep song, but we are still far far away from the woob woob abuse, it's simply here to pretiffy the other instruments.

-17 Alecks Awklr - Null Directive [click to download]








One word: trumpets ! He used them perfectly in this darker than usual song. The song might lack of his usual freshness, but still, it's enjoyable.

-18 The Hermit

-19 Alecks Awklr - Taotaomone (Strings Version) [click to download]








A "back to basics" song. Very simple yet subtle track, I don't know what to add.

-20 Constellations Above & Below

I'm not that good at giving grades but that album is definitely a 9/10, it's not perfect, because nothing is in it's entirety but it's really over the top. Very well mastered, subtly produced, this is what elaborated electronic music is, it's not just 2 vocal samples and a synth.

The album is available here, and it's free, so there is no reason not to go for it.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Claude Perdu

Hi guys



Today, I present you Claude Perdu, stage name of Sebastian De Deyne. I don't have much to say about the guy, mainly because the "about" section of his blog is coming soon, and we all know what that means...

All I know is he's from Belgium and I like his sounds, a lot. Some of his tracks are Moombahton, something between Raggaeton and Dutch House, at least that's what wikipedia told me.

So far he released only two original tracks, but a quantity of quality remixes and edits, so here are the ones that particularly caught my attention.

Claude Perdu - Wendigo [click to download]








Sinden & WAFA - Afrodizzier (Claude Perdu's Indian Moombahton remix) [click to download]








Screendeath - Packback (Claude Perdu's Moombahton Edit) [click to download]








The Chemical Brothers - Swoon (Claude Perdu remix) [click to download]








Sebastien Leger - Talisman (Claude Perdu's Tiger Edit) [click to download]








Attack Yourself! - Apricity (Claude Perdu remix) [click to download]








Enjoy !
-Here, trying to discovere new things.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Not My Cup of Tea


Hey guys It's Nite again, and Today I'm going to just post a quick one on request of a Mr. Earl Grey. Long story short, I was talking with him one day and he requested me to put up some of his new music on the blog, and I agreed. Unfortunately, he did not grant me permission for downloads for most of them as he is planning to release them on a future EP/LP (not sure yet.) So, the best I can do atm is post up his soundcloud links for you to indulge in. Enjoy!

Earl Da Grey & NiteShade-Dive (Original Mix) by niteshade


Kick It by Earl Da Grey


Heavenly Motion by Earl Da Grey



Taboo by Earl Da Grey

Millionaire Radio by Earl Da Grey

Next Post coming up: Gorillaz-The Fall album review.

Peace,
Nite

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Day Of Anger

Hey people !

About a month ago Mondkopf announced that he will release Day Of Anger, a 1000 copies only EP, featuring 4 unreleased tracks (only one of them will be in his forthcoming LP : Rising Doom, out 04/18/2011).

So, Friday (friday, friday, gettin' down on friday...) was a normal day, after I got back from work I saw a letter on my chair, with an unknown handwriting... There it was !



The CD comes with a 16 pages fanzine made of old newspaper articles and photos mashups that keep you in the mood while listening to the tracks. The whole thing is handmade, I think I could even remove the black sticker that covers the CD, and in a way, that's what I like about it, you can do quality things without a lot of money, a major company or 24/7 radio/tv promo, just your soul and hands.

Edit: By request of Mondkopf's label, Fool House, the downloads and streams have been removed, but you can listen to a preview of the tracks via Soundcloud. - Alex.



Mondkopf - Day Of Anger [removed by request of the label]


Day Of Anger starts with a quiet piano melody, that slowly gets wiped off by a buzzy noise, I remember that sound... that's the track I remember the most from his live @ La Gaîté Lyrique (That you can still watch here). One word is enough to describe this song, oppressive.

Mondkopf - Eastern Revolt (Feat. Oomiaq) [removed by request of the label]


Same mood here, very deep. It has that "Mondkopf style progression" I love. The only downside is that it's not long enough, it seemed to last way longer live, but maybe not.

Mondkopf - New-York [removed by request of the label]


New-York is really short, I see it as how you would think of New-York if you've never heard of it, a little british colony far far away. That song made me remember Wisp's cover of Greensleeve, and when you compare something to Wisp, it's that it's good !

Mondkopf - Euphoria [removed by request of the label]


Finally, Euphoria, my favorite track. Incredibly exciting, I guess it'll be the ending song for his lives now, the few times I've seen him it was his remix of Nil - Ma Disconica which is really powerful played live, better than the "original version" that came out a year after he first played it during a set.

Overall, a very good, but a bit too short EP that you can still buy here, but hurry up, I don't know how many copies are left.


Cover of Rising Doom


Nil - Ma Disconica (Mondkopf remix) [click to download]








Yeah I said the live version was better, but the original's still good, so listen to it !

Enjoy!
-Here

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Stop. Listen. Think.

My last post on Locust Toybox got me listening to similar sounding stuff. the kind of tracks that get labelled "IDM" (And as much as I hate calling that I'm going to have to for now) Anyway, as I was browsing through my collection I queued up some of my favourites I had an idea: "I could make a post out of this!" I thought. And I did. So sit back and enjoy a few of my favourite tunes from that ever enigmatic genre known as IDM.



I know I said way back when that I only really liked Autechre's first and second albums. Turns out I lied, I picked up Tri Repetae a few weeks ago, and I was completely taken with the second track. to quote a friend of mine "It sounds like space condensed into music form"

Autechre - Clipper [click to download]








A track from Squarepusher's debut on Richard D. James' Rephlex label. It's more like conventional Drum 'N Bass, well as conventional as you get from Squarepusher at least what with it being nearly 8 minutes long and all. Excellently titled, nice breaks, great sounds. And that's all you need to know.

Squarepusher - Theme From Ernest Borgnine [click to download]








Another record I picked up recently from Clark. Body Riddle flows from track to track amazingly well and is basically a good album all round. The final track is what sealed the deal for me, not only does it drop TWICE but it eventually descends into a wave of full on abrasive noise. And like the rest of the album, it flows into it so smoothly that I didn't even notice the first time.

Clark - The Autumnal Crush [click to download]










μ-Ziq (or Mike Paradinas) has always been a friend of RDJ, exchanging tracks and creating the collaboration album Mike & Rich: Expert Knob Twiddlers with him. μ-Ziq always seems to be overshadowed by Aphex, which is a shame really because he has some amazing tracks of his own. take this one for example, if the synths at about 2 minutes in don't grab you I don't know what will.

μ-Ziq - Hasty Boom Alert [click to download]








And of course what post would be complete without a dab of Aphex Twin eh? or better yet, AFX. Taken from his Hangable Auto Bulb EP (the EP title and this track's name are also anagrams of Analogue Bubblebath, AFX's first EP) HAB is pretty much the precursor to the compositions and sounds we'd hear a few years later on Richard D. James Album And seeing as that is one of my favourite albums of all time, this track goes down a treat.

AFX - Laughable Butane Bob [click to download]








And to top it off, one of Boards Of Canada's earlier releases on Skam Records, the Hi Scores EP. The release is a lot more Techno based than the stuff BoC are known for, but is still quite similar to their later works most obviously during the intro, which could pass for one of their shorter interludes. When the intro fades however, this track becomes a different beast, unleashing some thundering beats and menacing sounding synths. The little riff introduced at 3:43 gets me every time.

Boards Of Canada - Everything You Do Is A Balloon [click to download]








So there you have it, a few of my favourite slices from this unique niche in the world of electronic music. Some of the production in these tracks astounds me, especially the longer ones, they're the kind of tracks you just get lost in.

And I Still Miss You,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Locust Toybox


David Firth, Internet animator best known for his infamous Salad Fingers series, also has a number of music based side projects including I'm The Manager and The Grape Digging Sharon Fruits. Locust Toybox is another one of these projects, and unlike the others is a purely electronic affair. If you've ever seen any of Firth's flash cartoons you can hazard a guess at what his tracks sound like. For those who haven't everything ranging from 8-bit chiptunes to full on ambient is covered on his 8 albums. it's quite hard to sum up in words due to the constant change in styles, instead check out my choice cuts below:

Locust Toybox - Arisa [click to download]








Locust Toybox - Cardboard Morning [click to download]








Locust Toybox - His Most Famous Act [click to download]








Locust Toybox - Raspberry Ripple [click to download]










Locust Toybox - Hyper Darts Challenge [click to download]








Locust Toybox - Oatmen [click to download]









Gingerbread Patriots - A Story Of Peeple (Locust Toybox 8-Bit Remix) [click to download]








Locust Toybox - So 2005 [click to download]









Oh, and since Firth is a really nice bloke, You can download ALL EIGHT of Locust Toybox's albums for free (and legally) HERE that's over 100 tracks for nothing. Enjoy

Find Locust Toybox on:
Myspace
Soundcloud
Last.fm

There's Trouble A-Brewin',
-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Reach'n Out

Hi everyone



Yesterday a compilation was released, featuring some of my favorite artists, The Phantom's Revenge, Magna, Quinten 909, Galactik Knights...

But that compilation is no usual compilation, it came out for a reason, raising money for Japan. You like good music ? You like to do good things ? Then you know what to do !



Music Compilation for the benefit of Japan All proceeds will go to the Red Cross toward Japan Relief.
Buy the entire album for $5 minimum donation


Enjoy !
-Here

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Z.E.L.D.A

Those of us from the 8bit era are jizzing their pants right now...

Zedd - The Legend Of Zelda (Original Mix) [click to download]








Zedd - The Legend Of Zelda (Electrixx Remix) [click to download]








Nuf said,

Monday, 4 April 2011

Shuffle post 2.0

Hi guys



I don't have that much time to post, or even listen to new things, so here are a few good tracks I'm listening to on my way to work.

In no particular order, obviously !

In It Together (Cassian Remix) - Human Life by cassian

N'Joy, remember that name !

N'Joy - Spring Mixtape (April 2011) by N'Joy

Trashing Teenagers - Wrath Of God (F.O.O.L. remix) [click to download]








Modeselektor Ft. Nazizi & Abbas - Monkeyflip [click to download]








The Virgins - Rich Girls (Le Castle Vania remix) [click to download]








Siriusmo - Einmal In Der Woche Schreien [click to download]








Bare - Gryllz [click to download]








High Powered Boys - Udon [click to download]








Venice - Roll (CEPI remix) [click to download]








Enjoy!
-Here

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Mind Bokeh (Review)

So Bibio's new album Mind Bokeh is meant to be released on the 4th. wait, what's this in my post today? A package from Warp? No, it couldn't be... surely not...



Oh. A full two days early? Yup, and since the US has had it since the 29th I'm gonna review it real quick. Mind Bokeh is UK Based electronic musician Stephen Wilkinson A.K.A Bibio's sixth studio album, and his first after 2009's Ambivalence Avenue, though fans of that record's "Folktronica" sound will find little to pique their interest here, to quote the man himself: "I'm looking to move away from that, I don't simply want to be repeating myself". In fact, as well as having little connection to the sound of Ambivalence the tracks on this LP have almost no connection to each other, either. A few reviews have complained about this lack of cohesion, I personally don't mind it but I can see why it's been criticised. If you approach it with an open mind it shouldn't be too bad, to quote Bibio again: "I called the album Mind Bokeh because I'm interested in the effect of defocussing your mind"

Onto the tracks, the only single so far and the first track: Excuses, a tune that's less like Bibio and more like one from James Blake's recent self titled debut. Well, that is after the 2 minute melodic intro. after that though is fantastic, establishing the experimental nature of the album. Stay tuned for the sonic onslaught at 4:21.

Bibio - Excuses [click to download]








Another dive into the experimental, with Bibio expanding upon his known style, with some discordant keys and off kilter beats thrown in, which I wasn't a fan of a first but I grew to like them the more I listened to it. It gives the whole thing a hazy 60's psychedelic vibe that he does oh so well.

Bibio - Pretentious








One of my favourites from the album, I knew from the first 30 seconds or so that Anything New had all the workings to be my spring/summer jam for this year, lighthearted and catchy with smidgens of the "Folktronica" stylings, it's definitely an early highlight and one of the standouts on the album.

Bibio - Anything New











Wake Up! sounds like it would be an excellent track to do just that to, if the intro is anything to go by. The main focus here is on his own vocals which fans will know he does very well, not much goes on in the background until about 1:50 where there's a sort of psuedo-breakdown with some synths. This part doesn't really do it for me, in my opinion the track works better with his vocals than without.

Bibio - Wake Up!








Light Seep could pass as a B-side from Bibio's past with the heavy use of that ever so funky wah-wah guitar, but like so many other tracks on this album it deviates from that style with some synth hits here and there and even a solo about halfway through. Another one of my favourites.

Bibio - Light Seep








This track has been compared to French rockers Phoenix, and is destined to appear in some flashy advertisement some day. Coming in exactly halfway through the album, it's another example of him trying to cover as much ground as it can within it's 12 tracks. In a lot of reviews this track is critiqued for not sounding like anything before or after it, and while that's true, I like it. It's nice to see him try something outside of his known style, same could be said for the whole album really.

Bibio - Take Off Your Shirt








Artists' Valley treads familiar Hip Hop ground, reminiscent of earlier tracks like Excuses and Anything New. The majority of this track is instrumental, and a damn fine one at that, everything flows so well I can't think of any particular elements to pick out. Clocking in at six minutes, it's quite lengthy, but true to the album's concept I've found myself surprised by it ending, feeling like it had only been on for about 3 minutes instead of 6.

Bibio - Artists' Valley











I was unsure of this next track for a long time, the sampler video didn't really give a lot of insight into what it sounded like, and I was divided while actually listening to the track. It was good, but it needed that extra something to push it over the edge. I wasn't disappointed, the excellently executed squelchy synth solo at 1:51 pushed this track from good to amazing in a heartbeat. Absolutely brilliant stuff.

Bibio - K Is For Kelson









Bibio lists one of his major influences as Boards Of Canada, and his favourite album the classic Music Has The Right To Children. And it's particularly evident on the title track of the album, a brief soundscape similar to the ones BoC are famed for. This is sort of an opposite though, not because it's bad, but because while BoC's soundscapes feel (and are) short, this one is short but feels like it lasts forever and that isn't a bad thing at all.

Bibio - Mind Bokeh








More Excuses is well... More of Excuses. albeit with different lyrics and backing, this time sounding less like James Blake and more like the Bibio we know. Like it's bigger brother, it also has an amazing ending section, from 2:40 onwards a storm of breakbeats is unleashed along with the now mandatory synthesizer accompaniment.

Bibio - More Excuses








Another track that the press didn't really like, Feminine Eye is the shortest track here, just shy of two minutes. Because of that there's not a real lot to say about it, it's got that lovely 60's feel we've heard earlier and even some sax towards the end. It's not amazing, but it's not objectively awful either, I'd call it decent.

Bibio - Feminine Eye








The final track is another ambient-ish piece, the main guitar riff that forms the melodic backbone of the song gets cut up, distorted and more over the six minutes. While the track is fantastic as a whole, I wouldn't recommend it for repeat listening, I really dug it the first time and I still do, but around 5 minutes or so I always find myself looking for other tracks to put on.

Bibio - Saint Christopher








It's a brave move to release something so varied, with no real reference point. Bibio pulls it off, if only just. While I like the album, I feel it would have been better to have more hip hop based stuff thrown in to break up the more experimental stuff, à la Aphex Twin's Drukqs. That said, there are some real gold tracks in here, and you should definitely check it out. Though if you're new to Bibio I'd highly recommend you start with Ambivalence Avenue and then move onto this, if you're already a fan just dive right in.

Final Verdict: Overall decent album, a bit ropey in places. Enjoyable though incoherent. 8/10 Love it? Hate it? tell me what you think in the comments :)

How Was I Supposed To Know?,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Alex's Easter Eggs 2011



I think it's safe to say that the Easter Eggs post has become a tradition, although Easter is still a bit distant from now.

Anyway, i give you a selection of brilliant tracks that i've been loving lately and all of them are worth giving a listen.

M83 - By The Kiss [click to download]








Crystal Castles - Year Of Silence [click to download]








Cut Copy - So Haunted [click to download]








M83 - Couleurs (Live @ KCRW) [click to download]








The Kills - Cheap and Cheerful (SebastiAn Remix) [click to download]








Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love (Erol Alkan Rework) [click to download]








Little Jinder - Youth Blood [click to download]








Lady Gaga - Born This Way (Grum Remix) [click to download]








Adele - Rolling In The Deep (Villa Remix) [click to download]








Passion Pit - Tonight, Tonight [click to download]








Bag Raiders - Nil By Mouth [click to download]








Xinobi - Day Off (Anoraak Remix) [click to download]








Ipsodisco - La Pause [click to download]








Enjoy!

Now a man,
Alex.