Friday, 29 June 2012

Magic Tape 24

Hey there



It's becoming a habbit, here's The Magician's new Magic Tape!



Would you mind help us find the missing track in the playlist?

01. Isaac Tichauer - Doing What I Got
02. Monsoon Season Feat. Miss Bee - Green On Blue (Moon Boots Remix)
03. Panama - Magic (Midnight Magic Remix)
04. Peter & The Magician - Memory
05. Scandal - Just Let Me Dance (Maxxi Soundsystem Remix)
06. Rogue Vogue - When I Looked At You
07. ??? - ???
08. Waze & Odyssey - I Can't Hear You (Dance)
09. Country Club - In The Air
10. Santigold - The Keepers (Duke Dumont Remix)

Enjoy!
-Here

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

An Experiment

You know, us bloggers are always marred by copyright issues, I'm sure you all know about it so I won't bore you with the specifics. Anyway I got to thinking of ways I could still post my usual eclectic mix and have it be a little more legitimate. I toyed with the idea of making a podcast, and even made a prototype but that idea soon fizzled out.



Anyway, I got to making some mixtape type dealies. They're not anything special, they're pretty much a post, just without the input from me inbetween. I thought it'd be a nice change for all you out there and for me as well! let me know what you think and maybe this will become a regular thing. I'm not 100% happy with this, it is a bit rough around the edges (though I'm very happy with the Omni Trio / Goldie transition) but it is a prototype after all, and even then it's not meant to be a proper 'mix' but... well what else do you call a continuous string of tracks? :)

[Update - I no longer have access to this file so the mix is no longer available. It wasn't great if I remember right anyway, I've updated this post so the tracks included are available individually below anyway:]

Tracklist:
Squarepusher - I Wish You Could Talk (Go Plastic, 2001)




Omni Trio - First Contact (Even Angels Cast Shadows, 2001)




Goldie - Timeless (Timeless, 1995)




Commix - Strictly (Call To Mind, 2007)




Netsky - Mellow (Netsky, 2010)



Sunday, 24 June 2012

[Review] Para One - Passion

Hey.

So, on tuesday I received this...



First thing first, Marble does not mess with people who buy their stuff. That translucid vinyl is simply gorgeous, they also include a CD edition of the album in the package which is a very nice touch. Hats off.

1. Ice Cold

A very gloomy, dark and smart way to open because this has absolutely nothing in common with what will follow.

2. Para One - Wake Me Up


Wake Me Up is, as stated, an awakening. It gives us the tone the album will have.

3. Para One - Every Little Thing (feat. Irfane and Teki Latex)


Alright so let's say the things as they are : Irfane + Teki Latex = WIN. A pretty
imple instrumental part but para one knows that there's no need to overdo things as long as you do them right, and it fits the vocals perfecly.

4. Para One - Vibrations followed by Poisoned Apples (Interlude)


Para explained that he wanted to do a track like he used to listen to in the 90's, some good hip hop and then an interlude with an awesome beat that makes you think "why the hell didn't they use it in the song ?!", he also stated that the said interlude at the end is in fact something he made quite a long time ago.
The whole thing works pretty well because the interlude is definitely great, perfect balance of smooth bass, piano and hip hop influence, makes you wish it would have lasted longer.

5. Para One - When The Night (feat. Jaw)


The song's begining is probably not the best thing on the album, but after that rather boring intro, you'll discovere a savant mix of funk and electro. For some reason I feel like there's a strong SebastiAn influence in here, maybe not, but at least it has a few similarities to me. Little fact I remember from an interview, this song samples Frankie Smith - Double Dutch Bus also sampled by Missy Elliott - Gossip Folks so if something sounds similar, it's because it is actually.



6. Para One - Sigmund


Animal Style (Mr Oizo remix)? That's the first thing that came to my mind, so I checked the track's name, turns out it obviously isn't. So, what about the track, except that it sounds as crazy as a good Mr Oizo song ? Well that's already a pretty good compliment I guess.

7. Love Ave

Already posted about this one, I can barely describe how much I find this song great, it has every little aspect of Para One I like, this is just ridiculous.

8. Para One - You


This track has a lot in common with the tracks he released alongside Bobmo and Surkin (aka Marble Players). It feels kind of like what Marble Players would be without Bobmo nor Surkin while not being Para One. I don't make sense? Yeah I know.

9. Albatros

The track that was missing on the album, something that will let your mind fly away for a few minutes


10. Lean On Me



That is the song that will define Passion for a lot of people I think. It captures the essence of Para One, precise beat, cheerful melody, smart vocal tweaking. One of, if not the, "feel good song" of the year. Oh and he also directed the music video.

11. Para One - The Talking Drums


No matter how hard you try, you can't put every bad memory in a closet, a few will eventually escape. That's what this song is, a few dark sounds that fled from their Ice Cold prison, only to give us a pretty melancholic song filled with oppressing pieces of noise.

12. Empire

What a great way to end this album, I don't know why, but I can only picture this song as the ending scene of a movie where you're not sure what's going to happen to the characters once the screen turns black.

==

So, what IS Passion ? Passion is the perfect mix of old and new, regular and weird, dark and joyful, silence and loudness. Every track is here for a reason, every little beat has been refined to make each sound on the album as meaningful as possible.

For those of you who want to know more.





Enjoy!
-Here

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

    Previous Part                                                                                                       Next Part   

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.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Madeon's minimix for Annie Mac

Hey guys



You probably remember His Majesty Andre's minimix for Annie Mac a while ago, well it's Madeon's turn now.

He decided to wrap up 93 tracks in 5 minutes for us and it is pure genius.



You maybe want the tracklist right ? There it is!

Madeon — Shuriken
The Beatles — A Day In The Life
M83 — Intro
Woodkid — Iron
Groove Armada — Look Me In The Eye Sister
Madeon — Icarus (Minimix Edit)
Röyksopp — Happy Up Here
The M Machine — Immigrants
Daft Punk — Outlands
Julian Perretta — Wonder Why (DatA Remix)
Ellie Goulding — Starry Eyed (Russ Chimes Remix)
Phonat — Set Me Free
Justice — New Lands (A-Trak Remix)
Skrillex ft. The Doors — Breaking A Sweat (Zedd Remix)
Yuksek — Extraball
Foster the People — Pumped Up Kicks (Gigamesh Remix)
Oliver — Dirty Talk
SebastiAn — Greel
Anoraak — Nightdrive With You (Grum Remix)
Martin Solveig — C'est La Vie
Bodies Without Organs — Sunshine In The Rain
Knife Party — Tourniquet
Para One — Wake Me Up
Feed Me ft. Gemini — Whiskers
Michael Gray — The Weekend
ABC — The Look Of Love
Gorillaz — Feel Good Inc.
Pendulum — Hold Your Colour
Chic — Stage Fright
Dirtyloud — Needle
Black Kids — Boyfriend (The Twelves Remix)
Kanye West — All Of The Lights ft. Rihanna, Kid Cudi
Justice — Let There Be Light
Sub Focus — Rock It
Kill The Noise — Talk To Me
capsule — More More More
Justice — Helix
Kavinsky — Nightcall
Madeon — For You
Porter Robinson — Say My Name
Muse — Hysteria
Sebastian Ingrosso & Unless — Calling (R3hab & Swanky Tunes Mix)
Daft Punk — Da Funk
Zedd — Slam The Door
Volta Bureau — Alley Cat
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke — Intro
Wolfgang Gartner — Flexx
The Ting Tings — Shut Up And Let Me Go
Justice & Simian — Never Be Alone
Michael Jackson — Beat It
Rihanna — Russian Roulette
Clock Opera — Once And For All
The Paradise — In Love With You
Clock Opera — Belongings
Madeon - Finale
Lifelike & Kris Menace — Discopolis
Deadmau5 — Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)
Queen — We Will Rock You
Michael Jackson — Billie Jean
Miike Snow — The Wave (Thomas Gold Remix)
Martin Solveig — The Night Out (A-Trak Remix)
Lady Gaga — Bad Romance
Yelle — La Musique
Metronomy — The Look (Camo & Krooked Remix)
Danger — 3h11
Nari & Milani — Atom
Unicorn Kid — Lion Hat
Daft Punk — Short Circuit
Yuksek — On A Train
Kylie Minogue — Get Outta My Way (Penguin Prison Remix)
Surkin — Ultra Light
Martin Solveig — The Night Out (Madeon Remix)
Stardust — Music Sounds Better With You
The Killers — Bones
Russ Chimes — Back 2 You
Madeon — Icarus (Original Mix)
Chic — You Are Beautiful
Perfume — Tak Off
Earth, Wind & Fire — Let's Groove
Deadmau5 & Wolfgang Gartner — Animal Rights
Frankmusik — Confusion Girl (Russ Chimes Remix)
Wolfgang Gartner — Illmerica
Calvin Harris — The Rain
Mylo — In My Arms
Kanye West — Power
The Killers — This Is Your Life
Kanye West ft. Jay Z — H.A.M
Green Day — Are We The Waiting
The Killers — A Dustland Fairytale
Green Day — 21 Guns
The Clash — London Calling
Alphabeat — What Is Happening
Disclosure — Control (Joe Goddard Remix)
Burns — Lies (Tiga Remix)
Benga — Icon (Breakage Remix)
Toddla T — Alive (feat. Shola Ama)
Delilah — Inside (Redlight Remix)
Maverick Sabre — These Days (Friction Remix)
Mz Bratt — Rocket Launcher
Dismantle — More Funk
Buraka Som Sistema — Hypnotized
High Powered Boys — Streetwise
Para One — When The Night
Magnetic Man — Mad
Nas — The Don (Massive Attack Remix)
Emeli Sandé — My Kind Of Love (Gemini Mix)
Chase & Status — Blind Faith
Rudimental — Feel The Love (feat. John Newman)
Rihanna — We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)

Enjoy!
-Here

Friday, 22 June 2012

Warped Leftovers Two: Autechre - Tri Repetae (1995)

Evening all, I just remembered I made one of these a long time ago to show off Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92, which while not on Warp is a downright essential album. Basically imma go through stuff I missed while writing a very warped history, mainly because I didn't get them in time or I bought them after I posted about their respective dates. Up first is the album that made me eat my words after saying "I only liked Autchre's first two albums", Tri Repetae



And yes, that is the actual cover. Some come with a sticker on, but mine was on the outside of the shrink wrap so I got that. This is also unfortunately where I draw the line with Autechre, everything after this point just doesn't appeal to me. But enough negativity, all you really need to know is that it's a damn good evolution from Amber, featuring a lot more techy sounding stuff that's pretty unique for when it was released 1995. And the rolling bass waves in this opener seal that deal.



Now I've posted this track before but it seems to have dissapeared from the Hype's records. So I'm gonna post it again! Clipper for me is where the LP really hit is stride, Dael was a brilliant intro to this new sound, but it gets taken up a notch here. There's lots of swooping light sounds, and then around 1:40 a wave of bass rolls up and takes them away. that moment right there cemented this track for me. To quote my friend once again from the last time I posted this "It sounds like space condensed into music form". And that's pretty much the entire album.



And it doesn't let up, the first minute or so of this track is what we've come to expect, but then 1:30 rolls around and everything goes a little bit orchestral sounding. This little bit gets me every time. Especially the little progression sequence starting around 2:50. And it only gets better towards the end when they start glitching it and messing with that pulsating bass that until then was just a background bit. Stellar work.



Many times I've been stung by my impatience with tracks. Stud used to be an ordeal for me, but like many others before it, I decided to give it a chance one day. And after the bit at 3:30 where the main synth is separated from everything else was that moment. Since then I've grow to love the track, it sounds a little bit like a early chilled out dubstep tune. Oh, and the ending is pretty great, as everything fades away and all you're left with is the analogue hum of the recording equipment.



We've reached Autechre's token ambient piece. Well, sort of. Unlike those on Amber, this still subscribes to the albums overall sound, as the bass kindly demonstrates at around 50 seconds. That's the turning point, after that things get all glitchy, the main riff you'd grown used to during the first minute or so is chopped and switched around, and there's some nice drum programming lathered over the top to tie it all together. It's easily the most accessible track here, so if you've not been feeling it so far, give this one a try.





The accessibility continues on this next one, also foreshadowing for Autechre's later titles that were just letters and numbers. Anyway, back to the accessibility: like Eutow it's just over 4 minutes long, compared to the 7/8/9 minute tracks of before, and it's not too experimental. This and some of the tracks off Amber are the way to go for the beginner's introduction to Autechre.



Finally,the last track will play us out. The accessibility is gone, we're back to a whopping 10 minutes as the tune slowly builds itself in AUtechre's unique way. he main riff in this one reminds me a little of Aphex's Digeridoo. It's a shame that it fades out around 9 minutes in, leaving the last minute or so in silence. You don't even get some nice analogue hiss like on Stud.



And that were that. I may have lied a bit when I said that last post would be the last of the Squarepusher, I have quite a few EPs and a couple albums I missed so I'll be upping them soon. Suppose it wasn't a lie though because this is a different series

Overandout,
-Claude Van Foxbat.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A Very Warped History 15: 2008 (1 Of 2)

    Previous Part                                                                                                       Next Part   

We're back on the final stretch now. As I've said before opinions get more and more divided as we move closer to the modern era, but as always I'll just call it as I sees it. This time it's Squarepusher again with the follow up to the pretty damn sweet Hello Everything. As you may already know from previous Warped entries and my Shobaleader One review, this is far from the Square man's original material, which I didn't include in this series just because I didn't own the albums/EPs. I might go back and give 'em an overview when this is done but for now: Just A Souvenir



Right off the bat you'll notice this feels a bit looser than Hello Everything, and is an evolution on the framework set down by the bonus tracks on Hello Everything, Hanningfield Window and Exciton. It's not too shocking if you listen to the albums sequentially, but I imagine it would be quite jarring to jump from Come On My Selector to the much more jazzy tones of this LP.



Just A Souvenir also has a certain degree of humour to it, especially on these vocoded tracks. Now, I've already posted A Real Woman, so this is all that's left. Both tracks have flourishes and sections that make them actually decent despite their slightly strange premises, though I feel this track doesn't have as many standout moments as A Real Woman, but it's early doors and there's more quality to come, so I'll let it slide.



There's a pretty steady rhythm of jazzy interludes and typical Hello Everything era Squarepusher experimentation. The latter are by far the standout here, and this is their first formal introduction. The thundering guitar takes center stage here, and the combination of it with the actual percussion running alongside it leads to a strange outcome. There's no crazy drum rolls or rushes, and the guitars aren't tinkered with as much as on Hello Everything. This has no elements that are trademark Squarepusher, but you can still tell it's Mr. Jenkinson behind the production.



The balance is restored once again with a jazzy interlude. Unfortunately on this album they never really exceed 3 minutes, which is a shame because then they pale in comparison to their speedier tempo-ed brethren which can be anywhere from 4 to 7 minutes a piece. They aren't bad, they're just not especially memorable thaks to their shortness





But its not long before normal programming resumes and everything gets real loud and real fast. I really like the juxtaposition of the dreamy synths and the grinding guitar riffs that is featured on a lot of these tracks, unfortunately there's not a lot to say about them until 'pusher changes it up a bit later. Once again, not bad but there's nothing much to say that I haven't already.



Here's where things get a little bit more interesting and that's a good thing. After the formula laid down by the first two uptempo bits from this LP, the Square man carefully avoids stagnating with one of my favourites that grabs you from the get go. Tensor In Green shares sounds with the other two, but fiddles with the tempo a whole bunch, there are breakdowns, fakeout breakdowns and resurgences up and down this one, all leading up to that glorious face melting climax starting at around 2:50



I have two minds about this track, I properly love the juxtaposed sounds a bit like those on Rotate Electrolyte from Hello Everything, I love the breaks and whatnot that were introduced in the last track. I really, really love the peak when it all comes together a 1:10. Problem is unlike Rotate Electrolyte where the track teases you with that peak, but then plays it out for the rest of the song, this one gives you the peak pretty much straight away and then leaves you wanting it back. This wouldn't be a problem mind, if it wasn't so bloody long! more than a minute is spent on a fadeout that just drags its heels Regardless, it's well worth the price of admission for that part, because it does come back eventually, in brilliant form.



As we pull in the final stops, there's nothing really that signifies an ending, other than the return of back to back interludes, I give it a pass this time though cos it had probably my favourite jazzy bit in there, which I'm gonna use now to play us out. Ending on an entirely different note from the first track is alright and all,but I wish there were a few more Star Time styled tracks on here.



And there you have it, the last Squarepusher album of this series! It's not bad, it's just... spaced oddly. Like you have these psuedo-jazz joints with vocoders and whatnot for the first four or five tracks and then they're gone. There's definitely less memorable material on here than Hello Everything but it makes sense from a sound evolution perspective (the openers are gold). The LP has its moments, they're just a bit all over the place in the tracklist.

A Member Of Society,
-Cladue Van Foxbat.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Friday, 15 June 2012

Share, Remix, Reuse

Lemme tell you a lil' anecdote. As you may know I'm prepping to go to art university,now my favourite medium is the digital one which brings a whole bunch of copyright trouble with it. That's where you get creative and look for images and video or whatever that has either been given out as public domain by the author, or things that simply didn't get copyright renewed. That's where the title comes in, see there's a whole community dedicated to making art more accessible to people by compiling massive archives of material that is free from copyright. And I admire that because creativity shouldn't be limited by what materials you have access to, and also because it's a very similar principle I'd like to see applied to blogs, we're not filthy pirates, we just wanna share some tunes.



And this got me thinking. See, there's a recent trend in art for remixing work through stuff like art jams and whatever, and that's a lot like how remixing (in the musical sense) got started. So with that in mind I cobbled together a list of remixes to share with you lot! Daedelus' revamp of 1983 starts off fairly plain, following the original version quite closely until about 1:40 where it gets chopped and spliced in all sorts of ways



Let me take you back to 2008, when dubstep wasn't a dirty word and it wasn't all about who can put the most bass on a track. I'd just gotten my mits on FabricLive 37 and this track was on it, but being a compilation it was about a minute long, I stumbled across it again earlier this year and it's still as good as ever. There's something about old school dubstep remixes of reggae and dub that is just really special, something this remix hits perfectly.





There's a couple of official hip hop remixes of the classic that is Clint Eastwood out of the two I have, this one's the best. The backing is actually well reworked, instead of just being a loop from the original track and Phi Life's lyrics are great throughout, they're clever and while it may take a while for them to come in, once he's off he hardly ever stops laying them down until the last minute or so.



Back to more conventional electronic remixes, I posted one from The Thin White Duke not too long ago and mentioned that they're all fairly similar structure wise and here's another example. Röyksopp's What Else Is There? was a pretty big hit at the time but it wasn't suited well to the dancefloor, and that's where the Duke comes in. Unlike the Felix remix I posted earlier this one stays pretty consistently quality throughout, no doubt helped by Karin Dreijer's sublime vocals.



Here's one that comes a little out of leftfield, slotted on the end of Ladytron's 604 is this remix. Now after an album full of retro synths and homages to the synthpop scene, the last thing you expect to hear is an instrumental reworking in the vein of tracks like The Knife's Vegetarian Restaurant. But that's exactly what this is, and it's pretty swell. I actually didn't realise how long it is, I could've sworn it was only about 3 minutes but nope, it's actually 6:13. It's kept fairly fresh throughout despite only being variants on the same 4 elements or so within the mix.



Gonna leave ya again now, next I'm probably gonna find where I left off with the Warped posts and hopefully get them finished up. It'll only have taken me nearly two years to get through it all then! consider it me making it up to you for not doing an anniversary post this year on the 9th :)

Logging Off,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

You Can Trip On My Synthesizer

I like my electronic noises as much as the next guy, but you always gotta have those sounds that make you just say YES. And that's what I'll be detailing today, picking apart the best of the best to show you just what pads, stabs and other such words describing electronic sounds fill my ears with pure delight. Hop on our genre exploring wagon and join me on this quest won't you?



I'll admit not I have a weakness for swooping, smooth synths, so I'll apologise in advance if they make up the majority of my choices. Up first is a cut from Squarepusher's sublime debut Feed Me Weird Things. The track itself starts off fairly light, and stays that way for a couple of minutes before the beats come tumbling in. But the beats are not why we're here though, oh no, because the real highlight for me is the breakdown at around 2:40 that give you a respite from the beat assault, at least for a while until they come crashing back into the mix. The same lovely sounds also play the track out till the final fade out starting at around 6:50. Brilliant stuff.



To be honest I could fill this post with just Squarepusher, but I won't (and also cos I covered some of my favourite synth hits of his in my post on Hello Everything) But, I reckon I'll be staying in familiar territory as we pay old Richard D. James a visit, once again I have a lot of Aphex/AFX and whatever other pseudonyms he feels like donning that day tracks with sounds I love in them but this one byfar takes the cake. The Twin can make those analogue machines sing like no other, and his revisits to them on the Analord series of vinyls just cement that reputation for me. This right here is 4 Minutes of sequenced heaven.



You get two for the price of one here as not only do I love the lead in this tune, but also the backing drone too. Especially so towards the end where the track slowly gets stripped to just that drone. This was shortly after The Knife's first effort, which featured a lot of rough and indie sounding synth lines (or as my friend described it "Like the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack") but here the sounds have matured a little, they're not quite as harsh on the ear but aren't quite silky smooth either. It may not be a long track but it is very, very sweet.





More soundtrack work coming up, this time from New York noise-rock group HEALTH. Now I know what you're thinking, but trust me this is still electronic, HEALTH often have a electronic-esque structures in their music anyway but this right here is Synth central. Pretty much everyone I've shown it to so far says it reminds them of something from the Drive OST, and I must admit sometimes it does have that Kavinsky-esque sound to it, so be sure to check it out if you're a fan of either the movie or the 'vinsky



Mr. Oizo's Nazis EP is famous for the Justice remix of the title track on it's B side. Saying that, the more I listen to the original, the more I prefer it over the remix, it crams the most listenable parts of Moustache (Half A Scissor) and condenses them into one track with that unique Oizo 'rough around the edges' vibe that I just love. It's a shame he decided to not put it on the finished album.



Shnichi Osawa's The One was quality through and through. There are too many sweet sounds to name on here, from the brilliant cover of The Chemical Brothers' Star Guitar to the delightfully Japanese Maximum Joy. I picked one of the more obscure ones that grabbed me from the opening bars. Shinichi layers on brilliant sounds throughout the track so I can't pick a specific timestamp for you all to fast forward to, so just give the whole thing a listen will you?



I better draw this one to a close before I get too carried away, maybe I'll do a sequel a some point, but until then you'll just have to make do with these six.

Smoke Me A Kipper, I'll Be Back For Breakfast,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Night Night

Good News! I finally sorted my dire PC situation and now can post from places that aren't my phone! this means I'll actually be more active and actually have access to all my music in one place instead of carting around my SD card and hoping that the tracks are there. It's taken all day to sort this sitch out mind, and with it being dark outside I felt a little inspired. That's right, it's the return of my trademark suffle playlist posts, hold on to your hats!



As you may have guessed, today's theme is night time. For me night is special, I've always liked urban spaces, even more so at night when everything is deserted and there's nothing but the glow of street lights. So this here playlist I'm cooking up is made of tracks I associate with that image. First up is the E-Z Rollers with Walk This Land, most versions of this track are Drum & Bass, and it's probably the Roller's most famous song discounting Short Change (no pun intended) however for their album they remixed it. And not in the way you'd expect, this time it's a slow hip-hop esque number that creates a whole new deeper feel that just isn't there on the D&B versions



Continuing the theme we have Commix, now they're also mostly known for their D&B but again like the E-Z boys they chose to branch out on their album, usually in a more house style direction. This track stands out though, once again following a Hip Hop style beat, but with Commix's famous bass warbles never too far away. When I first heard this track through laptop speakers I was disappointed, I thought it was all too repetitive but nope I was wrong. This track absolutely demands a decent speaker setup or some headphones, trust me.



You all remember Omni Trio right? I've mentioned him a couple of times as one of my favourite D&B prducers. Well anyways I finally got around to picking up Even Angels Cast Shadows and it is a bloody stonking good album I tell you. As always I fell in love with the Trio's trademark dancing piano keys & beats combo, he was one of the first producers to do such a combo it, and I'll give him a pass for using it because he does it really, really well. Picture a Nightmares On Wax album opener. Now take that image and increase the BPM by a fair amount and you have an idea of the absolute quality of this track.





Massive Attack's third effort 100th Window gets a bit of a bad rap among fans, but that's to be expected after their absolutely stellar sophomore album Mezzanine. Personally I don't think it's that bad, the sounds are a lot sparser, colder and a bit more sterile than those on Mezzanine, but to me that just seemed like the natural progression from where that album left off. But enough about opinions, I chose this track because I was locked out of my house one night, and instead of waiting around decided to go for a little walk. Walking the streets at disk with this track in your ears makes for a pretty powerful experience.



Back when I was first getting into dubstep, the big EPs on the scene were Caspa's 'Ave It Vol. 1 & 2 and Rusko's Babylon Volume 1. Caspa has always explored some mellow territory on his releases, and I found this gem I had long since forgotten while backing up all my music. I kept coming back to this track when it was new, and listening to it again I rediscovered why. It scratches my chilled itch like Pangaea's Router does. If dubstep hadn't blown up so quickly maybe we'd have a few more tracks like this. Though on the other hand, maybe that's what makes the few I do have even more special.



And that about does it for this, my first of hopefully many more reliable posts as I have nothing else to really do and well, now I have a means to do it that doesn't take the piss so I have no excuse. Hold me to that.

I'll Leave The Light On For Ya,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

From The Vault III

Another vault outing, another album I absolutely love from that scene dubbed Electroclash. This time it's Felix Da Housecat's Kittenz & Thee Glitz often regarded as the man's best album. It is at least his most consistent, and the beginning of Felix's movement away from his Chicago House roots. While Electroclash as a whole has a pretty bad rap in the music world, Kittenz & Thee Glitz has enough variety and genre blending that it's a solid album regardless.





One of the things I really love about the album is its running theme throughout which is basically "Fame is skeezy and not all what it's cracked up to be" which is really just an evolution of Miss Kittin's monotone musings about pop culture on her The Hacker's First Album. Though saying that I feel that this album's a bit more accessible than that because of it's House-y nature. Check this out!



Much like Daft Punk's legendary Discovery, Kittenz has a bunch of quality tracks right off the bat. Contender for both my favourite synth sounds of all time and one of my favourite tracks of all time: Madame Hollywood is the entire album in a nutshell, from the structure right down to Miss Kittin's appearance on the track, delivering her trademark brand of vocals once again. It's been covered/remixed by Tiga but for me, Kittin just nails it, and brings a contrast that I feel is missing on Tiga's cover.



Continuing the theme, probably the most famous track on here Silver Screen Shower Scene is a fantastic track all the way through, the beats crash down from the get go and just do not let up and prove a nice contrast to Kittin's contributions on the vocal side of things. Also Silver Screen Shower Scene has the honor of featuring one of the best breakdowns ever in my collection. And the part immediately afterwards (3:00 and on) is pretty boss as well.





What album is complete without it's very own downtempo interlude? Kittenz's is very short but is just as sweet, and reminds me just a little of Daft Punk's Nightvision from Discovery. It fits with the albums established atmosphere and theme and opens the door to some more genres for Felix to explore, more on that after this



Taking a bit of a break from the usual techno/house vibes that typically make up that electroclash sound, Felix branches out into a weird combo of house, trip hop and regular old hip hop. That may be a bad description in my part but deffo check it out, it's a nice break from the usual house and techno combo that makes up most of the album



There's still plenty of house to be had though, and Sequel 2 Sub is one of the best house tracks in my collection. The piano dances over the classic house beat as the bass rumbles in the background, and the breaks throughout are beautifully done. It may sound a bit dated, but what old house tracks don't? I mean it is 11 years old after all. Despite that pretty much everything about this screams quality.



Speaking of genre clashes, since electroclash itself is pretty much synthpop with newer equipment what happens when someone covers a synthpop song in the the electroclash style? Well, you get one of two results, one being Ladytron's He Took Her To A Movie which lifts its main riff from Kraftwerk's The Model and the other is this: Felix's very own housed up version of Space's Magic Fly



And finally the token remix, I've heard a few of The Thin White Duke's remixes from around this era and they all have a similar structure: a bloody brilliant intro leading into a track that takes a while to go anywhere. These are clearly intended for the dancefloor, if that wasn't obvious already from the length. The track itself is great but the intro and outro absolutely steal the show here.



And that rounds off our latest venture into my old collection, and it'll probably be the last for a while. On the plus side I promise you that next time I post it won't be about electroclash. Or feature Miss Kittin on vocals. Maybe. We'll see. No Gurantees.

Everybody Wants To Be Hollywood,
- Claude Van Foxbat