Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Gone Tubin'

I like it when I find a musician's personal YouTube account they put up some neat stuff on there from time to time. Today is my day off and I got to snoopin arund on YT again, so I thought I'd share a couple of my favouries I've found, starting with Bibio's; simply called mrbibio. The first video I have from his is him toying around with some typically Bibio sounding cut up sampling bizness.



The second surprised me a little, Bibio's channel is filled with Guitar jams and whatnot that you'd expect from him, but while browsing his videos I found this. He actually does a really, really good job of it,especially considering his usual territory. I'd love to get my hands on an MP3 of this!



Speaking of house, here we have my other favourite YouTube with Rex The Dog's. (rexthedog1980) I've mentioned it before, but he does some cool stuff too, first off is another live jam session like the ones in those Bibio vids which shows off a fair amount of the lovely analogue tech that he has lying around in his studio.



But the highlight of it all for me is Rex covering his own song I Look Into Mid-Air on a circuit bent Casio VL Tone. Most Circuit bending videos are all about glitchy sounds which is fun for a while but I never see much actual music being put down, which is what made this video so special. The end result sounds like something you'd hear coming out of a cartridge titled N64 or something, it's brilliant definitely check it out!



- Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 19 November 2012

Melodic Grit

Hey guys, know it's been quiet lately and I'm sorry about that, I have to write blogs for university and it's kinda hectic. To make up for it have some bits from a Clark EP I got with my fancy new reissue of his Clarence Park LP!



It's a shorty but it's got some good stuff on it, it came bundled with the reissue 'cos originally you could only get it with pre-orders Body Riddle and Clark thought it deserved to be heard by more peeps. CC himself calls it the "Faster, Ravier brother of Body Riddle" and I have to agree with him there. Check it out for yourself on early highlight Lady Palindrome.



Movin' on, we have a slightly more heavy track in Friday Bread. Aside from the drums it doesn't really sound like anything Clark's put out before, and it's only about a minute and a half long which is a bit of a shame I'd like to have seen what he made of it if it were full length. Regardless, he covers a lot of ground here in a short time frame and it's pretty much all good.



Proper Lo-Fi is one of my choice cuts from Clarence Park, so I imagined this to be a re-tooled version of that. And it is sort of, its the "ravier brother" all right, chopped up from here to London and back. It's a pretty good track to start off with, but like so many others before it the break sealed the deal. From there on it only gets better, the last minute or so is pure synthesized heaven to me.



In the middle we have the perplexingly titled 820689. It's another short one, but in the vein of the interludes from Clarence Park. It has some very interesting sounds and while it's not the floor rattlers from earlier on the EP it is still certainly an interesting listen to go with that interesting title.



I can't go posting the whole EP, so instead I'll let it show itself out with the final track; Mother McKnight. It's another little ambient bit with little growls and clatterings in the background to keep you on your toes. Aside from a couple pure ambient bits on Clarence Park I haven't heard Clark do much of it. And if this track is anything to go by he certainly should do more, because this is lovely.



Knight Night,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Friday, 9 November 2012

Eccojams

So I'm apparently late to this whole 'Vaporwave' thing. It's a 'micro-genre' that's already in decline. It's a shame really cos I dig the vibes and visuals for the scene. So I thought I'd share probably my favourite example of it. A little cassette tape called Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. I. Now, Chuck Person is really just an alias for Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never fame, you may recognise some of the cuts on here from his youtube channel SunsetCorp.

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now unfortunately because it's a half hour mix on both sides A & B, and because I've run out of soundcloud time I'm having to upload it to YouTube of all places. Butbefore that I'll leave you once again with a couple of bits I've posted before from OPN's Memory Vague that just so happen to be on this mix too! Enjoy.





In Red,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Deadbeat's Beats [Soundcloud Players broken as of 2020)

Hello again! I'm making more of an effort to not let there be big periods of downtime in between posts (and when unis not kicking my arse), and after having the weekend away I needed something quick and easy to share with y'all, so I thought why not my partner in rhyme Deadbeat Demon AKA Earl Grey. Tracks after my reworked version of his soundcloud av.



Kicking things off is a tasty number that reminds me of both Modeselektor's Green Light Go & Kavinsky's The Crash/Flashback combo in equal measure.I had forgotten about this one actually, s it was a nice surpise to run into it again.

Fortune. by The Deadbeat Demon

And just as I've reworked his av, he's been doing some reworking of his own take for example his re-fix of Björk's Play Dead.

Play Dead by The Deadbeat Demon

And topping it all off is a mix of other tracks he's done that I dig. Can't really say much more about them than that, so I'll let the tunes talk and leave you all to enjoy the sounds! don't forget to check out all the demon's tracks over on his soundcloud for more hippity hop goodness

Sweet & Sour by The Deadbeat Demon

Park by The Deadbeat Demon

Fist of death by The Deadbeat Demon

Like Last Time,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 28 October 2012

I'm So Spooked

Hey guys, I'm not dead! after a brief break from University and returning from a fantastic night out on the toon in Newcastle, I not only have time to post, but have things to post too! today's offering is bits from a mixtape I knocked up for a friend relating to a certain holiday approaching, Enjoy!


I already had the perfect opener lined up in the offering from the Cornelius EP that is unlike anything else put out there by the usually electric-centric duo The Bloody Beetroots. I thought it served well as an introduction to what I called rather unimaginatively The Spooky Tape.



I of course followed that up with their church based banger from their debut LP Romborama, it would have been rude not to. listening back to it with that in mind reveals all kindsa spooky goings on in the track right down to the thermin-esque whining bits in the background, and of course a healthy dose of the organ. As one person so nicely commented on my Youtube upload of this track "No more Castlevania remixes for me!".



I can't go around dropping videogames into the mix without including everyone's favourite 1980's inspired electro dealer (alongside the 'Vinsky of course) Danger. The intro just nails that old school feel and wouldn't sound too out of place in a low budget slasher horror from about 30 years ago. Do yourself a favour and see if you can ffind that video on youtube where someone synced this tune up to bits from The Terminator it's class.



I desperately needed a slightly more downtempo number to spice up the tape's structure, but it still had to be electronic. I found the answer in an underrated bit from Teenage Bad Girl. This track has always been a favourite of mine from Cocotte, it was a nice break from their usual repertoire, and I as moe than happy to see them carry the slower paced break tradition on to Backwash.




This gap allowed me to get a bit creative; see this friend is wanting to expand her music horizons and explore more electronic stuff. I ended up playing the safe choice on the actual mixtape and put Röyksopp's The Fear in. However for you fine people I'm going to treat you to my original choice in The Knife's The Captain, a beautifully haunting song that Olof from the duo describes as "What I imagine the Alps to sound like".



Saying that I did choose to put on one of Broadcast's weirder sounding tracks afterwards. Coming back to Pendulum was an experience all right, that off kilter sound, the unrelenting beat during the chorus and of course the lovely tones of Trish Keenan. Between all that it had certainly earned its place on the mix. That and to bring it back around to less electronic oriented stuff to finish it off.



Rounding off my selection is Ghosts from Ladytron. After listening almost exclusively to their debut 604, which is a record infused with the vibes of the 80's mixed with contemporary house, jumping to 2008's Velocifero was quite a shock. The electrics may not be as pronounced (minus that droney intro & outro), but the quality is still there and I'm kicking myself for not checking the rest of their discography sooner.



That'll do for now, but how about you make your own halloween mixtapes and share them with friends? it's a fun little distraction, and I've already given you a few tracks to get started with so get to it!

HALLOWEEN EDIT: One of our lovely readers by the name of Sulphites dropped by with their own spooky tape to share, you can find it over on their blog.

Boo,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A Very Warped Epilogue Five: The End

    Previous Part                                                                                                       The End   

So, this is it. One year and a bit, and with a boatload of posts behind me, It's finally time to close the door on Warped. Can't think of a better tribute to a label that's a legendary icon in the electronic world than that. There's still a bunch of stuff I haven't covered (Like Squarepusher's 1998 Jazz record Music Is Rotted One Note) so feel free to check the depths of Warp's back catalogue for yourselves! But before I go, I thought I'd give out one last smattering of tracks, just for old times sake.

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A couple more from the Warp20 (Unheard) Compilation now, starting with Boards Of Canada's stellar contribution: Seven Forty Seven. That absolutely sublime opening is just unreal, and not long after I got my hands on this comp I found out that that same opening had been used previously by the Boards on a rare compilation tape floating around the the internet. It's simply titled Audiotrack 6A, and is vital listening, both as a compliment to the finished Seven Forty Seven and just to see how far Boards Of Canada have evolved in time.



Imagine my surprise when I look up the tracklist for (Unheard) and find a Broadcast track that had slipped under my radar. I had heard demo tapes from their last LP put out by James Cargill not long after vocalist Trish Keenan's death, but this would be the first new material I had heard from them since. The chance to hear something new from one of my favourite voices in music was just amazing. It comes in the form of a cover of Nico's Sixty Forty, judging by the sound it's from the Tender Buttons era, with Keenan on top form as usual. There's a couple hisses on her vocal track like the pop filter was missing from the mic when they recorded, normally that would put me off slightly, but in this case I actually think it really compliments the track. A fitting finale for the band.



Long before Clark became my de facto supplier of melodic noise, he was already releasing LPs with warp under his full name, Chris Clark. His debut from 2001 has some real gems on it,including one of mine and fellow writer Here's favourites; Lord Of The Dance. I just love every little thing about this track: the beats, the melodies, and even that flute that just drops into the mix about a minute in. It shouldn't fit with the sounds there, but it just settles on down and makes it work.



There's a much earlier highlight for me on the LP, and it's the unassumingly titled Bricks. Like Lord Of The Dance before it, it wastes no time cutting to the meat of the track. there's no intro, no steadily paced bulidup with eventual payoff, it's just there. It helps that the track itself is pretty great throughout, showing off plenty of that unique style that Clark is known for. That is to say, pure abrasive sounding noise waves that have a melodic streak in them, lovely stuff throughout.




Another LP I missed was Squarepusher's Hard Normal Daddy which he dedicated to the Chelmsford rave scene, simply 'cos by the time I'd got it, we'd long since passed it in the dates for Warped. It gets a lot of mixed reactions, I'll admit there are a few track I don't necessarily care for, a lot that are really long (6-8 mins mostly). Regardless there is still quality on here, as demonstrated by the opening two tracks, Pusher's Jazzy vibes are much more pronounced on these two compared to his previous releases, starting off with Coopers World.



Rounding off the LP is the one track from it that is in constant rotation by me, Beep Street. The album may have it's less than amazing moments, parts of it may be too long, but what it did give us in Beep Street is quite possibly one of the finest Squarepusher tracks ever made. The track serves as a nice introduction to new listeners as it introduces all the things that make that iconic 'pusher sound.



Drawing things to a close for the final time now, I thought I'd end it with a track I've had sat around for a while, also from the Warp20 series, Leila's sublime and beautiful cover of Aphex Twin's Vorhosbn. True to the style of Drukqs, Leila has recreated the main melody lines from Vordhosbn, a typically AFX experiment in drum programming, on a piano. It's amazing how simply taking the bats away and slowing the tempo slightly can have such a massive effect on the track's feel. Leila more than did justice to the original here, and I can think of no better note or track to end on than this one. So, for the last time, Enjoy.



Warp ∞,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Very Warped Epilogue: Part Four

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The end isn't too far away now, but I couldn't just let these last couple of AFX releases go unmentioned. Join me now as we take a slight step back to 1995 in this penultimate edition of Warped, and look at the work of the Aphex Twin towards the end of his first analogue period, before going fully digital for 1996's Richard D. James Album.


Heading the attack have an EP released under RDJ's often used AFX moniker; originally released as a two part vinyl release in 1995, it was given a lovely CD re-issue by the folks at Warp. It sounds entirely unlike the stuff he was making under Aphex Twin at the time, and in fact I think it's closer to Richard D. James Album than ...I Care Because You Do in terms of sounds.



This next one I loved for a long time, it has a lot of sweet melodies in it alongside the now expected beat butchery we know the Twin for. It caps off this EP in impressive fashion with another anagram-ed title no less; my absolute favourite moments being the peak in sound round about halfway through where it sounds like the synths are being pushed to their limits and might just explode at any minute.




Unfortunately I didn't pick up Donkey Rhubarb in time for the first round of Warped, my reasoning being that it was a short EP. In hindsight though, I do recommended you check it out, the Phillip Glass remix/orchestration of Icct Hedral is something a bit out of leftfield but is most definitely worth your time. Amway, onto the stark raving mental title track: the opening is like condensed happiness, and then the acid style beats and bass roll in and it's a whole 'nother track.



Of course, it wouldn't be an Aphex Twin EP without the token downtempo number. This is Donkey Rhubarb's (which is also another animal + food combo), and it's among my favourites. It has a real lo-fi sound to it that I don't think is present on any other AFX tracks from around this time, normally I'd hate that kind of thing being all about quality an all, but it really does work in this tracks favour.




Finally, we end with the Ventolin Remixes EP. And true to AFX's signature way of taking the piss, all but one of the tracks sound absolutely nothing like the original, abrasive monster that is Ventolin. These practically original tracks are actually quite good, an early favourite of mine being the 'remix' by Cylob: a nice number with a lot of contrast between the rolling beat and the light sounding synth that is introduced later.



Playing us out is the Probus mix, which isn't actually the name of the remixer (there's no credit for it, I'd assume it was RDJ himself), a slice similar to the more downtempo bits on ...I Care Because You Do. It plays out similar to Cylob's mix, albeit with a more distinct AFX touch to it throughout.



Right, bloody hell that was a fairly long one wasn't it? Only fitting considering there's only one or two more posts to go before I'm done with Warped forever. It's been a long time coming, but join me next time where we may close the book!

Armadillo Risotto,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Another Late Night

Actually having a schedule again has mad a big difference for me. No more am I going to bed at 3AM, and I kinda miss the late night aesthetics. But that doesn't mean I can't hit you up with some of my favourite accompaniment for the wee hours!


A bit of a wildcard this one, BoC don't often do remixes but when they do it's the same standard of quality you'll find on their LPs. Boom Bip is given the whole Campfire Headphase treatment on this one, unfortunately as good as it is, and given the sheer popularity of BoC, it is actually quite hard to come by in any quality above 192kbps so apologies in advance.



Apparat's Walls lends itself well to late night endeavours, this track in particular was especially memorable as even though I could barely hear it with the volume turned low, most of it was still perfectly listenable, especially after that cacophony of sound is released around 2 minutes in.




I've long since fallen out of the dubstep scene, but I still love the older styled stuff, especially when it comes to remixes. Like Skream's brilliant rework of La Roux's In For The Kill, this one is one of my favourite dub remixes. I haven't heard of Various before, probably because they have a really vague name, but this remix is class; chilled out vibes with smatterings of vocals from the original dropped throughout, works even better on a low volume.



Autechre made a surprise return to my collection when I checked out the Warp20 (Unheard) Compilation. I thought their techno experiments ended not long after Incunabula, but apparently not according to this unreleased gem. It shares a lot of melodic and structural qualities with Incunabula, and that album is one of my favourite examples of ambient techno so this new addition goes down a treat.



That'll be all for now, I'll be dropping more quick selections when I can, I'm trying to spice things up in terms of variety so stay tuned. Until then just have a gander at these fine music pieces.

New York, Lower East Side,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Friday, 14 September 2012

A Very Warped Epilogue: Part Three

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I don't even know how I managed to miss this one out of the main coverage, but at least I'm giving it the go-over now. Along with Richard D. James Album, this EP ranks high in my list of all time favourites by the Twin, once again, like with WIndowlicker with a lot of credit going to Chis Cunningham for his legendary video for the title track.


So what is there to be had here? well quite a lot actually, to the point where it's officially labelled as a 'mini-album' to fit within UK chart criteria for EPs (30 mins and under). It wastes no time in kicking things off with the spectacular bombardment that is the title track, which I'm sure needs no introduction, but I'll give it a go anyway. Like Windowlicker, there's not really a lot of insane beat tampering going on as you'd expect, but at the same time it's the complete opposite of Windowlicker in terms of sound. That was morelaidback and smooth, this is straight up in your face abraision.



The EP turns things 180 for the second track (frequently mislabeled as Film), introducing us to probably one of the lightest tracks outside of the Selected Ambient Works volumes that AFX has ever done. There's no introduction it just dives right in with all the elements already there, but each is just fantastically executed, that drum work and the light 'n airy keys just sound so right together.



I have an interesting story with this one, whenever I heard it I always thought "that's a neat idea" and then skipped it, thinking the entire track was based around the titular bouncing ball-esque sounds. It wasn't until I listened to a live bootleg that I heard the track in full, and that break at around 1:30 just absolutely blindsided me. On the strength of that I gave it a full listen and the rest of it is just quality, I'm still not a huge fan of that intro though.




Something unusual for an AFX EP next, it's a reworking of To Cure A Weakling Child from Richard D. James Album by RDJ himself. I have a similar taste for it as Bucephalus Bouncing Ball, the intro is OK, but the break and everything after 1:20 is downright spectacular, thanks to that updated rendition of the original's melody.



And finally, playing us out is another chilled number in the vein of Flim. Unlike its earlier counterpart, most of IZ-US is based around one melody rather than the back and forth exploration on Flim, but it's short enough and structured nicely so that it works. The ending of it, and with it the EP is a bit abrupt, but like a lot of AFX material released around this time, it's not about flashy endings.



Of course, I couldn't just have all that build up and then leave you hanging without the video could I? no, unlike the EP itself, we're going out with a bang with the infamous visual compliment to the main mix of Come To Daddy. Enjoy.


Stop Making That Big Face!,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday, 6 September 2012

You Can Ignore My Techno?

So I've posted some Orbital tracks a couple times over the past few weeks, and I've noticed a curious trend: Every time I've posted a track of theirs, our lovely Hype Machine page that's meant to archive everything we post for the fine people there to listen to, has completely missed them out every time! So today I'm going to do a little experiment, to see whether the old Hype Machine just doesn't like Orbital.


Starting much like every week does with Monday as we trek through Orbital's classic Brown Album. Now I love me some contrasts in my tunes, and they're on this album in spades; opening with that organ-esque synth before the unrelenting rolling beats come in is just fantastic, especially when it all falls away for that magnificent bass filled break at around 1:20.



Similarly, remind is another favourite of mine, as just like in Monday, you're greeted by a lovely 'n light intro, but it's not long until that fades, leaving you with straight up techno. The lightness returns in a break around the three and a half minute mark, but doesn't last long before it's swept away among that sea of spectacular squelchy 303s.




Bringing things back a little bit to their debut, the Green Album, we have a few more prime examples, my favourite two being the live tracks packed in. The first, Chime is an Orbital staple I'm sure I don't need to introduce. True to it's reputation, it is pretty sweet indeed, there's some fine basslines throughout and of course the usual 303 affair we've come to expect. Classic.



Immediately after you're treated to another slice of techno goodness, and the mixing together of the two tracks is pretty special. What follows is a slightly more laid back approach to the usual tech sounds. That is until about 2 minutes in when some more drums come into the mix as does a crunchy guitar-esque synth. but then it's gone just as soon as it appeared, and we're back to laidback territory, they act almost as extended breaks because they just make that eventual explosion of sound that much sweeter.



Right, let's see if the HM picks any of that up! I've given them plenty of opportunities in this one, so I'm looking forward to what gets archived, keep F5ing that page for any signs of Orbital.

Sine Off,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

[PREVIEW] The New ilictronix.com

Hey guys!

I've been slaving away for the past two weeks to rewrite ilictronix from scratch, and I'm now at the point where I can have you guys test it out! Nothing is final, and I'm not sure how I'm going to go about the migration process.

Click here to check it out.

If you're curious why I've decided to rewrite ilictronix, there are many reasons (and this calls for a separate conversation). I'll keep you all posted, but be sure to check out the new grounds. I think you'll like it :)

All the best, thanks for being awesome,
Jordan

PS - If you're a nerd like me, ilictronix is totally open source. Check it out here.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Very Warped Epilogue: Part Two

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Now we come to a whole bunch of stuff I picked up long after I covered them in the main series. There's some real gold stuff here; the beginnings of what would be the 'golden age of Warp. Except this time we're going to start with a release that wasn't on Warp, but leads nicely into the history of the Label itself.


Twoism is the LP that brought BoC to the attention of Warp, and they were signed on shortly thereafter. Despite this they released one final EP on their previous label; Skam Records. I snagged a copy from Discogs, it comes in a paper-thin card case, with only the words "Boards Of Canada" on it, as you can see above. However the picture doesn't let you see the embossed braille on the case (which also just says Boards Of Canada), foreshadowing future weirdness like on the Geoggaddi vinyl. Like Twoism, it serves as a precursor to the trademark BoC sound, with bits of more techno-styled tracks inbetween, give it a listen.



After this EP, the Boards also released an album on their own label Music70, Boc Maxima, but all 50 copies were only distributed to family and friends. However like the Old Tunes tapes it isn't that hard to find online, and a lot of the songs appear on other, later BoC releases, namely Music Has The Right To Children. But there are a few that are exclusive to this release, including one that is among of my favourites of theirs. Whitewater starts off fairly unassuming but at around a minute in, the main melody hits and in that moment it became an instant favourite.



Another exclusive that errs more on the techno side of things is Red Moss, that opening sting really shows off how much old TV and the National Film Board Of Canada (where they took their namesake from) influenced them. However it doesn't stay that way for long, and it soon becomes a techno driven number in the vein of June 9th from the Hi Scores EP, cascading beats and all.




Similarly, fellow Warp mainstay Squarepusher dropped his debut on AFX's Rephlex label. It's an eclectic mix of atmospheres, and is a perfect introduction to all things Squarepusher: the breaks, the bass guitar and the genre hopping are all present here. I'd even go as far to say that the opening track from it wouldn't sound too out of place on one of his later releases such as Hello Eveything or Just A Souvenir.



The trend I noted back in the Go Plastic entry for the 'pusher to put an ambient piece around halfway through his LPs seems to have started here. This track has the honour of being the first I heard from this album,and for dethroning both Tommib and Tommib Help Buss as my favourite ambient Squarepusher tracks. The progression is just perfect.



There's even a little bit of hip hop/trip hop stuff on Feed Me Weird Things, of the two I much prefer the darker sounding U.F.O's Over Leytonstone (in part due to that title), it's got an atmosphere that reminds me a little of cuts from Massive Attck's Mezzanine, there is a lot of variation throughout as sounds come and go into the mix, and even a little bit of a cheeky 303 at about 3:30.



I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop myself here, rest assured I have another part planned, I was going to put it on the end of this one, but it's big enough as it is. So instead, join me next time for what I'm affectionately calling the Aphex Twin blowout.

One Very Important Thought,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A Very Warped Epilogue: Part One

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So here we are, the first of a final few installments of the warped posts, I can't say how many posts it will be but I digress. It's taken us a long time to get here and I wasn't sure how I was going to end it, but over the past couple of days I've been thinking, and this is what I came up with. I know the Warped Leftovers posts haven't been too popular, so instead I decided I would give my favourite tracks from the warp crew one final hurrah spanning a few posts.


A track I really wanted to include in the Incunabula overview, but decided it was too long, Windwind holds the same territory as 444, a long instrumental with an incredible haunting intro. Despite being from 1993, I'd say the track still sounds very futuristic, it's not incredibly complex but it more that does the job.



F.U.S.E's debut I mentioned previously is just as amazing, Incunabula and Dimension Intrusion both encapsulate my favourite elements from that early techno sound and are from the same year. It's a shame it's not track 1 on the LP, because that intro and bassline combo is bloody fantastic. In fact, I'd go as far to say as the entire {Artificial Intelligence} set of albums are worth your time.



Likewise, another of my favourite slices from Dimension Intrusion is the 13 minute epic Theychk. Again, there's not much complexity to it, but there's enough variation on that initial sequence to keep it interesting. especially when the samples come in and every so often a concerned voice asks you "What's wrong?".




Similar to Plaid, Seefeel are a band I've admired but could never get 100% into their releases. Their philosophy is great; to create electronic-esque soundscapes using acoustic instruments, there are a lot of sustained sequences and motifs throughout, which I enjoy from a technical standpoint, but not from a listening one. That isn't to say they don't have tracks I don't like however: I discovered this one through an ambient compilation (and was only available on that until it was included on the 2007 re-issue of their debut LP) and since then it's grown to have a firm place in my collection.



Another tune I really dig from them, taken from the Starethough EP (which the original CD pressing unfortunately suffers from CD Bronzing). I picked up on Spangle just before the whole Warp20 thing kicked off, and I just love the floaty, dreamlike nature of the track. An often overlooked gem if I do say so, especially considering most copies have been lost between the bronzing and the Warp warehouse fire.



And that covers up to 1994 in tracks I've missed out while documenting Warp's history. I would take it a bit further, but a few of these are long ones, so join us next time where I'll be covering Boards Of Canada's pre-warp release that got them signed to their current home, and a few other bits and pieces on the way..

Looking Back,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Music For Films

Concluding the mini-series is my list of tracks that I have on file for fictional soundtracks. This actually turned out to be a little more difficult than I thought it would because I'd posted many of the tracks that stood out to me the most in terms of soundtracking potential, but that was fine because that just means I get to make a whole new list!


Kicking things off I decided to go for a more lo-fi background approach; something that can be barely there in the background. That's when I stumbled across this gem again, I've often said I'd love for BoC's soundscapes to be longer, and this fulfils that. Unfortunatey it only exists in this live form, but the occasional crowd noise is a small price to pay for the quality.



Continuing the early 90's tecnho theme from before, I have a special place for F.U.S.E's (Further Underground Sound Experiments) one and only album Dimension Intrusion. It's a collection of a bunch of stuff Richie Hawtin did before donning his Plastikman moniker. While I don't much care for the minimal vibes of Plastikman, this LP explores a varied array of sounds, my favourite of course being the light and spacey sounding ones that are perfect for soundtracking.




Apparat's Walls was a lovely mix of atmospheres, and a lot of the more dramatic tracks are crying out for visuals to be attached to them, and this one is probably the best demonstrator of that. It all starts off pretty sweet, if a little subdued but that all changes as things get progressively more glitchy sounding and louder until that break around two minutes in. And then a whole new wave of intensity falls over the sounds, only for a short while before slinking back into the background in the lead up to the final fade.



Speaking of atmospheres, Mr. Oizo stirs up a lot of imagery for me, particularly cus from the Analog Worms Attack LP with it's rough, almost unfinished sound combined with the basslines present on AWA just makes me think of urban spaces. Monday Massacre from the Flat Beat EP (which I've posted before) illustrates this better, but the vibes in this one are largely the same.



A Quiet Evening,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hello

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Music From Films

Reading about Tony Scott's unfortunate suicide got me thinking. He's directed a bunch of films I like and what is both one of my favourite films ever and one that I've analysed a whole bunch for my film studies exams; True Romance. No doubt my strength when it came to film studies was sound, I preferred analysing non-diagetic (fancy film speak for dubbed over) soundtracks because thanks to these posts I was good at deconstructing tracks and applying meaning to them. I'm hoping to do a little of that now, with some of my favourite soundtrack uses and then I'm gonna follow that with a post with some that I just can't help creating imaginary scenes for in my head.

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One of my favourite moments I found when I was searching for examples to assist in our final project was this little bit from Lost In Translation. It plays out pretty much how I'd expected from the sound, and captures that sense of bittersweet, longing melancholy perfectly. The shots in it are pretty great too, especially the transition to the neon soaked streets towards the end. Stellar stuff.



Similarly, I think Tommy B's soundtrack for Irreversible is absolutely perfect, his blend of his solo house work with the more ambient and atmosphere driven soundtrack pieces is spectacular, especially when it's combined like on Paris By Night. I referred to Irreversible a lot when building reference material, most of them refer to the conflicting nature of the soundtrack as heard when the house and ambient combine, and this track is no exception. That intro is just brilliant, swooping synths punctuated by a lone kick, until around 1:50 or so when it just effortlessly slides into a fully fledged house beat.




Bringing it back around to Daft Punk once again, their selected soundtrack for Electroma had some real gems on it, the most famous of which being Sébastien Tellier's Universe played over the bathroom scene. Now that scene is very powerful, and the song is great to boot, but Instead I'm going to put up another of my favourites from the soundtrack, a piece from the granddaddy of ambient, Brian Eno. I can see why they chose this for the soundtrack, the sound is menacing and that guitar is wonderfully haunting.



I have a thing for early 90's techno, I feel a lot of it is ripe for soundtracking and in my searches I came across the 1995 flick Hackers. And they seemed to have had the same idea. The film itself may not be all that great but that opening sequence is really something. And not just because of the tacky CGI title reveal either. Not just that but the OST is filled with prime tracks including Massive Attack's sublime Protection. The ethereal feel of the tune is great, but for me the defining moment is around 0:34 in that video, where the introduction of the beat is synced up with a cut to a shot of the cityscape.



And that brings this first part to a close, next time I'll be covering tracks that I can't help but picture on OSTs. It won't be as comprehensive as this because I won't have videos to link to and whatnot, but it should be a good one. And maybe I'll chuck in a couple pieces I chose for the actual film project I did earlier this year too!

You're So Cool,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Just A Bit Rude

Having a loud setup does have its downsides. There are more than a couple tracks in my collection that are... uncomfortable to listen to with an audience. Like watching an 18 rated flick with your parents. But today I'm gonna embrace them and delve into the slightly more than risque tunes I have.



More from Felix's Devin Dazzle this time, with an incredibly suggestive song (fitting actually, considering his ties to the early electroclash scene). I always found this one to be quite funny because on the tracklist, a tune called She's So Damn Cool has 'damn' censored with a tactical asterisk, yet the lyrical content on Hunting Season goes unaltered. You'll see what I'm talking about when you give it a listen.



Of course, Frank Sinatra deserves a honourable mention, I already posted the 2001 remix which is my favourite version, but now it seems suitable to bring the original up. Recorded in 1998 in a dingy record store basement (according to Kittin at least), it sounds pretty rough as a result, and of course the infamous reputation of track proceeds it, there are some pretty classic lines in it such as the titular "You know Frank Sinatra? He's Dead. DEAD!" and that's the cleanest line in the thing.




Dabbling in a bit of sampling now with a bit from the Toybox from his charmingly named Remixes And Other Crap. It's some voice clips cut up and re-arranged to sound rude set to a catchy beat with some chiptune-y synth accompaniment. I can see why it wasn't included on any of his main albums but it is fun to listen to. And I legitimately love that beat.



And of course, Peaches. This one's slower than most bits on I Feel Cream, but like most of her catalogue, it shines in the production department. If you're not paying too much attention it seems pretty normal, maybe a bit more if you don't know what the shocker is (though there's a handy Wikipedia article to explain). Saying that this album is home to possibly the cleanest Peaches track ever; Downtown, but that's not why we're here is it?



and that's that. I honestly thought I had more prime examples than this, though I could be forgetting some I suppose. Regardless, enjoy.

Totally Clucked Up,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 13 August 2012

It's Gonna Be A Long Time

Afternoon folks, gonna be a short one today, you'll soon see why. So I got curious and filtered my collection by length; holding the number one spot is a near two hour bootleg of a Mr. Oizo set, and a ton of others. In fact it's a while before you get to the actual tracks, but there is some gold when you do finally get down to it.



First is the 48MB monster that kicks off Goldie's D&B classic Timeless. Well, it's actually three tracks in one (Inner City Life, Pressure and Jah) but it is one of the best intros to an album I have. When it all kicks off around 2:40 you know you're in for a hell of a ride.



Follwing that we have the penultimate track from OPN's Rifts, this isn't gonna be for everyone and I'll admit this one does go a bit overboard with the whole layered arpeggios, in fact I sed to find it annoying. Then one day I it came up n shuffle and I had it quiet enough that the apeggios functioned as quasi-percussion and I kinda liked it. The track really shines in it's second half around ten minutes in, and the sounds towards the eventual climax are just fantastic. In summary: great title, rocky start, gets better as it goes on.



Ah, good old Moroder. E=MC² has a ton of synth work in it, as you'd expect from Giorgio. Being from 1979 and all, a lot f the vocal disco stuff hasn't aged well, but the end to this LP is something real special. A quarter of an hour instrumental that's chock full of guitars, synths and more. An early highlight is about 5 minutes in, where everything peaks and there's a complete change in sound, a guitar solo and even a little cowbell in the back.



And I'm afraid that's gonna have to be it, that's 107 MB of stuff and if I brought anymore to the party that would only get bigger.

How're You?
-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Cover Stories

I've heard people say that album art isn't particularly relevant anymore in the new digital age; now that's not true for me, for me the artwork is a big part of the experience and can give you a look at what the album sounds like before you even start listening to it. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of my favourite covers and tracks then shall we?



Opinions vary a bit on Two, but that's to be expected after their debut First Album became a cult classic, and one of the releases that helped coin the term 'electrocash' and I love the artwork for both of their album releases. Two works for me because it's simple, it gets the point across in terms of sound evolution while keeping that retro-ish aesthetic that the two subscribe to on the LP, it's a perfect compliment to the intro track as well.




Moving on to another Two now, with Boards of Canada's debut Twoism. It's still in that nice area before Music Has The Right To Children where BoC still had a slight techno edge to their sound alongside their usual detuned synthesizer affair (especially so on the little bonus interlude on the end of this track that is also on Music Has...). The artwork for this is pretty great, and has a similar story to Memory Vague I posted earlier: it's a screencap of an old 80's sci-fi B-movie called The Killings At Outpost Zeta. I think it works well here, though I'm not fond of the scribbly typeface they used, regardless, enjoy.




Probably the best example in this list of 'it looks how it sounds', Felix's cover for Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever features, fittingly, bright pastel colours, neon flashes and sparking electrics and the man himself in a glittering gold jumpsuit. There's a lot of east/west clashes in the art from the rising sun motif in the back to this famous Japanese woodcut making an appearance on the left hand side and the background, it doesn't really have any significance in respect to the album's sound but it's still a nice small detail. Regardless, I think the art works in complimenting the tunes as they bounce between upbeat and downtempo numbers.




I thought the cover to µ-Ziq's Lunatic Harness was great, and ripe for variations thanks to that flat, easily editable orange background. Turns out Mike had already beat me to it with the covers for the My Little Beautiful and Brace Yourself EPs, which feature the same setup with altered colours and positions. This is a case where I think simplicity works in it's favour, everything in the cover is arranged nicely and nothing seems too out of place, right down to the type. Of course, thanks to some typically speedy and cut up drum programming, it doesn't quite suit the sounds 100%, but it still works to compliment the tracks.



I apologise for the tracks being a bit thin on the ground here, but I didn't want to clutter the post with too many images you see. Besides, odd numbers always look better in a composition, so this gap right here with no picture will make the post look nice and clean! Also it's mine and coincidentally the blog's birthday tomorrow! I suppose you can call this post a reverse gift then?

Rule Of Thirds,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 23 July 2012

A Very Warped History 16: 2009

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In the last of the trilogy of finales, it is with both great pleasure and sadness I introduce you to the very last album entry of A Very Warped History. I wanted to take it all the way to number 20 with the whole Warp20 thing but it wasn't to be. It's taken me over two years to get to this point, so stick around as I wrap things up. Bibio is one of Warp's newer acts, although active for a while his big break came around the time of signing on to the label, culminating in the release of Ambivalence Avenue, my first exposure to Bibio (and 'Folktronica', another addition to my silly genre names list). The production is solid throughout, as the tracks explore a curious mixture of 70's inspired guitar licks and contemporary hip hop.



This exploration is ripe from the get go, with the title track featuring all of the above, with the added bonus of Washed Out style barely intelligible vocals. It does a good job of subscribing to the general 70's aesthetic, the hazy atmosphere no doubt helped thanks to Bibio's retro recording techniques. It's perfect in introducing the album, as it lays down all the structure and sounds that will make up the 11 other tracks here.



There are a couple points on the album where the contemporary hip hop element goes out the window and Bibio dons the full retro aesthetic. The first example isn't buried too deep in the albums track list, in fact it's track 2. I was unsure of it fist based on the descriptions, but the first listen was something special the funky wah-wah guitar that kicks off the track is present throughout, but the real highlight for me is the break at around 1:30 that plays the track out, specifically that killer bass line running alongside.



Bibo's said his favourite album of all time is Boards Of Canada's Music Has The Right To Children, and it shows. He covered Kaini Industries for the Warp20 (Recreated) compilation, and did a couple of similar ambient soundscapes on Mind Bokeh. There are a few shorter tracks on this LP that I think are the precursor to those soundscapes, albeit in a more acoustic fashion the first is All The Flowers which, to bring everything full circle, is referred to on More Excuses from Mind Bokeh



Like with Jealous Of Roses, there are times when the 70's aesthetics take a break. This time the hip hop elements are the focus, and it is by far one of the sweetest tracks on the album. in contrast to the duet of retro songs previously, this one takes a heavy electronic slant and is so different from everything before it I wouldn't be surprised if you thought it wasn't even from this LP. Saying that, the drop around 30 seconds in was an early highlight from my first sample, and the track only betters itself from there: the beats introduced around 1:40 are excellent and completely take over the remainder of the run time. Regardless of differences in sound, this is one of the best tracks here.




Likewise, we also get a duet of hip hop stuff this time around. And as with Fire Ant the track itself is very very sweet, as the main bass warble comes in and knocks you off your feet, which is all fine and good but once again the absolute highlight of this track is the breakdown-to-fade-out transition that Bibio nails consistently. Around 2:04 the track completely gets turned around, which is good because it keeps the whole thing fresh.



And finally we hit the most recognisable track here. Like Röyksopp's Melody A.M before it, some tracks from here were destined to be on advertisements one day as you'll hear a 1:27 here, which no doubt helped shift a fair amount of kindles. It definitely deserves it though, both halves of the tune are fantastic, the first reminds me of an old TV show I used to watch when I was a kid, and that transition around halfway makes it one of the best feelgood tunes I have in my entire collection.



After a long stint without, the LP finally revisits the sound of the title track, and is one of my favourites for sure. It feels like the culmination of all the LP's experimentation, and the evolution of the elements throughout is really something to hear: the main guitar hook comes and goes, various synthesized noises slide in and out of the mix and all manner of other things. Of note is the little soundscape on the end starting around 3:15, it's something special alright and probably wouldn't sound too out of place somewhere on Boards Of Canada's The Campfire Headphase.



Ambivalence Avenue is a proper good album, and I highly suggest you check it out. Also, while this is the last album installment from me, I'm not quite done with it yet, there are still a couple of leftovers I'd like to deal with, like I have done so far. And if the original idea I had for this series is still happening, my fellow writer Here should be taking over for his take on Warp, specifically the more modern side of things, we'll see how that plays out.

While Summer's Still Around,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday, 19 July 2012

48 Hours Of Electrics

I spent the last couple of days with a friend, and we spent a lot of that time waxing nostalgic about when we were beginning to explore Electro. We were lucky that it was around 2006-7, which is pretty much the time when every track out there was golden and new stuff was out every week or so. And after spinning them both on vinyl and from files I was feeling pretty inspired, so now I'm putting together another list of my Electro favourites, both old and new. An Electrospective if you will (sorry.)
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Vitalic's OK Cowboy is a stonking release, especially when you find out that three of the album's biggest tracks (Poney Part 1 & 2,La Rock 01) were originally recorded/released in 2001. They held up well enough not only to still be fresh when included on OK Cowboy in 2005, but like the whole album, is still bloody good even now.



I had a pretty terrible vinyl rip of Kavinsky's Teddy Boy EP for a long long time, it wasn't until I previewed it on JunoDownload that I realised what I'd been missing. I thought the rip I had sounded pretty good, so I was blown away by the DL, by far the highlights are the two Testarossa tracks. I love 'em both, but Nightdrive gets nowhere near as much press as Autodrive so that's my pick for this one.



I got turned on to Shinchi Osawa from his brilliant remix of Felix Da Housecat's Radio and never looked back. Pretty much all of The One is quality,and when I finally picked up the re-issue with a boatload of remixes on it, I was surprised to find this extended mix of The Golden on the tracklist. I was kinda disappointed at first 'cos I liked the original, but then I hit play.




I'd heard of Siriusmo through remixes and that, but never paid much attention to his EPs and such. Then when Mosaik dropped I decided to check him out. I've commented on his unique brand of electro and posted a couple of my favourite cuts from it before, so I'm just gonna cut to the chase and leave you with another nice bit from Mosaik



Likewise, I knew of Modeselektor for a while, but outside of a couple tracks here and there I could never get into their releases too much. I gave them another go around when Monkeytown was coming out and I was sold. The intro track left such a good impression I could have gone out and bought it then and been happy, the progression throughout is solid and the album as a whole is top notch, definitely one to check out if you missed it the first time around.



And that'll be all for today, hope you enjoyed my less eclectic mix of tracks this time, I can't promise it'll stay that way for much longer though!

The World Over,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 16 July 2012

Warped Leftovers Three: Squarepusher - Big Loada EP (1996)

A quick one today as we hit up an EP I couldn't get my hands on in time for the main entries. I managed to pick this EP up about a year ago from a nice German bloke, and it contains arguably what is the Square man's most famous track, that is Come On My Selector. There's a bunch of other quality sprinkled throughout the 7 tracks here, so let's do this.


I'd heard of the opener a couple of times but never actually listened to it. The first minute or so is fairly slow, with just the occasional drum roll to mix things up. But that all changes around 1:30, where what will soon become the main hook of the track is dropped in spectacular fashion, followed by a liberal slathering of butchered beats before that hook comes smashing back into the mix. One of the 'Pusher's defining moments I'd say.



Retuning to his roots, Squarepusher drops a fuzzy sounding compressed drum loo, which we haven't heard from him since his debut Feed Me Weird Things. This is actually quite close to conventional drum & bass and Jungle starting with the MC (referred to in the credits as MC Twin Tub) with the scene's staple low quality mic at :45. It's a little short,but I think it works better that if it were an extended mix. Saying that, I think the ending could have been handled better.



Skipping over Massif (Stay Strong) 'cos I've posted it before, we get to the main event, the track everyone's here for: Come On My Selector. Like Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy, a lot of the popularity stems from the infamous Chris Cunningham directed video that you can watch HERE. Saying that, it's a very good demonstration of what Squarepusher does, as demonstrated by that sublime bass work at 1:33, and then again at 1:53. It's not my favourite track of his, but those parts make it more than worth the price of admission.



Playing us out is what is an underrated track from SP's catalogue. I think the main problem is that it doesn't grab you from the get go like most of the tracks on here. I'll admit I wasn't a fan of this one until like Rotate Electrolyte from Hello Everything I forced myself through it. And like Rotate Electrolyte, my opinion soon changed. The breakdown at 1:43 caught my attention, But the deal sealer for me was the same sounds that made A Journey To Reedham at 2:02, I love that sound so much. Unfortunately after about three and a half minutes they're gone, but the track's rebuild in that section is pretty great too, before ending with the same phonecall bits from Reedham.



There is a little interlude that rounds off the album, but it's only 50 seconds long so I'm not going to bother with it. Back to the EP: it's got plenty of gold on it, definitely some of the best Squarepusher has to offer in handy bite-size form. Give it a listen and get your hands on it if you can.

Il N'a Pas De Chance,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 24 June 2012

A Very Warped History 15: 2008 (2 Of 2)

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Last post was the final Squarepusher album of the series, this one's the last Nightmares On Wax one. And it's a biggie let me tell you. Like I said on that Felix post a few weeks back, I love me an album with a story behind it, and Thought So... has probably one of the best examples of it in my collection. The ENTIRE album was recorded while the wax man moved from our shared hometown of Leeds to a villa on the sunny isles of Ibiza. Now that's all well and good by itself as a concept for an album, there's a lot of tracks here with funky acoustics because of where they were recorded. But there's a video of it taken by the man himself that also serves as a preview of the album! get a load of it. glorious accents and all. So before we dive in have a gander at this mini documentary to get you in the mood for this LP, you can find the first part HERE along with a bunch of other NoW's videos. Really, go watch it



With that out of the way, let's get to the meat of this LP. Nightmares has never been one to disappoint on intros, and Thought So... is no different right from the get go the new feel, an evolution and mixture of both In A Space Outta Sound and Mind Elevation is showcased along with the trademark NoW funk. I said way back when doing Smoker's Delight that it was a very social album, but I think Thought So might top it in terms of social listening, thanks to the road trip the whole album has a real social atmosphere present within the tracks, and that oozes out into the room when you play it.



The Wax man doesn't put vocals to his tracks a whole bunch, but this time there's plenty to go around and they're damn fine to boot. My description of it being like a clash of his last two albums rings true, as you've got the beats from In A Space Outta Sound combined with the vocal slant of Mind Elevation. Speaking of which, The social aspect of the album continues here, with Ricky Ranking laying down some catchy bars reminiscent of an MC at a soundsystem, all tied together with Nightmares' excellent production.



Mr. Evelyn says he was brought up on a steady diet of soul and early R&B, and the influences show on his choice in samples. This track however, is like his own way of giving back to the scenes that influenced him. The styles are fairly easy to spot throughout, and there's even a sax solo chucked in there for good measure. This track is also notable because it features the first of a few little excerpts from the road trip on the end scattered across the album. This one's Nightmares and some other bloke talking about a 'little black book' he was given.





At the risk of putting too many callbacks in this overview, this track reminds me of the swelling orchestral intro Les Nuits that was the sublime introduction to Carboot Soul. It's not long before it ventures back into hip hop territory though, rolling beats punctuated sparsely by a little bit of guitar, capturing that island feel. I was absolutely sold on this track by that point anyway, but then the intro fades back in and carries the song for another couple of minutes before the final fade. Lovely stuff.



As we approach the finish, the instrumentals become more and more frequent, kicking off with Pretty Dark, a track that stole the show for me early on when listening to this LP, purely because of the little electric guitar flourishes at 56 seconds in. The song knows it too, after their initial appearance, you're teased with snippets of them until their final, dramatic return at 3:25.



Nightmares makes another callback, this time to a more reggae style beat. it's unlike anything NoW has ever made before save maybe African Pirates and for that alone it's worth a listen, just to see how NoW interprets and then mixes up his own little reggae/dub ditty, and it is a cracking listen. I'm a big fan of the title too, punctuation doesn't get used in track titles so much these days, and they give a nice feel-good vibe like the one present throughout the whole thing.



And finally, what cemented my love for this album. I said way back on Smokers Delight that Me + You was one of my favourite tracks ever, it has a great bassline, amazingly well done sample and is jut generally well produced, it was a shame it was only 54 seconds long. Now, imagine my surprise when I play this track. I'm thinking "oh cool, a nice little ambient outro" but then the beats and oddly familiar bass hit. And I think I recognise those piano snippets too. And then, at 1:52 exactly, my suspicions were confirmed. The break allowed me to get a good listen of that sample. And there it was. Nightmares On Wax had sampled his own track, one of my favourites no less, and made an entirely new song out of it. I couldn't help but smile. I think it samples bits from his other albums too, hence the title, but I can't confirm any outside of Me + You. Not that it matters as Nightmares really really hit out of the park with this one.



And that wraps this up! Nightmares is working on a new album, and has been since late last year, you can see snippets of him working on it on his youtube channel i linked in the intro. Rest assured as soon as there's word about a release, you'll hear about it a soon as I do. Until then, enjoy all his contributions to the Warp catalogue. Until next time.

The Feelin' Is Real,
- Claude Van Foxbat.