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.
Squarepusher - Tundra [click to download] |HTML5|
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.
AFX - I'm Self Employed [click to download] |HTML5|
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.
The Knife - Real Life Television [click to download] |HTML5|
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
HEALTH - Max: Panama [click to download] |HTML5|
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.
Mr. Oizo - Nazis [click to download] |HTML5|
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?
Shinichi Osawa - Dreamhunt [click to download] |HTML5|
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