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 fufils that. Unfortunatey it only exists in this live form, but the occasional crowd noise is a small price to pay for the quality.

Boards Of Canada - Echus (Live) [click to download] |HTML5|

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.

F.U.S.E - Nitedrive [click to download] |HTML5|


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.

Apparat - Limelight [click to download] |HTML5|

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.

Mr. Oizo - Miaaaw [click to download] |HTML5|


A Quiet Evening,
- Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hello

https://github.com/prezjordan/ilictronix

;)
Prez

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.

Click for big (1327px X 799px)

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.

Squarepusher - Tommib [click to download] |HTML5|

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.

Thomas Bangalter - Paris By Night [click to download] |HTML5|


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.

Brian Eno - In Dark Trees [click to download] |HTML5|

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.

Orbital - Halcyon + On + On [click to download] |HTML5|

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

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Times Is Changed

Once again, I'm feeling just a teeny bit hippity hop today. Last time was pretty much a mish mash of a couple remixes I found and a mashup, but this time things should be a bit more coherent as luckily I have some new vendors of tracks to shower on you reading folk, a couple I found through YouTube of all places, and the other two are a little more well known in the 'hop world.

I found this first guy Knxwledge though the old 'Tube, and the version that was uploaded had the samples at the beginning and end cut off. The track already had a melancholy feel with just a tinge of nostalgia, but they sealed the deal for me. and like our good friends BoC, while this one is very short at 1:54 it is pretty much the perfect length for it, it certainly feels longer than that. Also, that main synth lines are giving me slight echos of 1983 and Los Angeles FlyLo too.

Knxwledge - Rude [click to download] |HTML5|


The second wasn't as clear cut as that unfortunatey, and I had to do some searching to find the name of both the track and the artist, and then a bit more when the first free (legal) download corrupted on me both times I got it, but it was worth it. That old school sample is downright fantastic, crackle and all. There is a trend for sampling old soulful tracks like this in most of the tracks I found, this was by far the best though. And it leaves me thinking a little of Röyksopp's Sparks.

Stevo - Can I [click to download] |HTML5|



Moving into the mainstream, we have a number from DJ Krush. One of only two tracks on the LP without a featuring... credit, Song 1 stood out to me because I had already heard Krush's Song 2 and had no idea there was a first. I really dig the mellow vibe of it, and there's a good variety of sounds in it to keep it interesting including some samples of applause sprinkled in there, which I thought was a nice touch.

DJ Krush - Song 1 [click to download] |HTML5|


Finally, we return to the label that I've pent the last year detailing, Warp. Prefuse seems to be one of the lesser known acts on Warp, I picked up Surrounded By Silence on a whim not too long ago, like Krush's LP it features a lot of guest vocal work, but the instrumentals are where it really shines. It's like all my favourite elements of instrumental hip hop with that trademark Warp experimentation going on. Cut up samples are the order of the day here, and some of them are spectacular: the jazz impov style breakdown at around 2:30 and the looped to hell transition back into the main track is amazingly done.

Prefuse 73 - Gratis (Prefuse Vs. Pedro) [click to download] |HTML5|

And that's yer lot for today, but before I go you can find the album that Can I is from, Muffins, legally over on mediafire and you can buy all of Knxwledge's material over on his bandcamp.

Prequel Sequel,
-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 lyical content on Hunting Season goes unaltered. You'll see what I'm talking about when you give it a listen.

Felix Da Housecat - Hunting Season [click to download] |HTML5|

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.

Miss Kittin & The Hacker - Frank Sinatra [click to download] |HTML5|


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.

Locust Toybox - It Is Huge! [click to download] |HTML5|

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?

Peaches - Rock The Shocker [click to download] |HTML5|

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.

Goldie - Timeless [click to download] |HTML5|


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.

Oneohtrix Point Never - When I Get Back From New York [click to download] |HTML5|

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 quater 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.

Giorgio Moroder - Evolution [click to download] |HTML5|

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

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Up & Output

You know that new soundsystem I mentioned last time? well over the past few days I gave it the first few runs. Obviously I couldn't pick just anything to play, oh no. This had to be special, to inaugurate it into the collection I made a few selections The first of which being Bangalter's timeless rework of DJ Mehdi's Signatune (which I'm not going to post), and the rest? well let's just see about them.



Well of course a bass test was in order. So I chose the kind of track that sounds completely different through say, laptop speakers than it does a sub. The first ten seconds of this are just plain inaudible through my phone, but it's a different beast altogether on my new setup. No doubt thanks to those rolling sine waves bliss running alongside.

Mr. Scruff - Night Time [click to download] |HTML5|

So I'm feeling some more hip hop stylings, and I turn to good old FLyLo for my fix. This tune has always been a favourite, though it's more like two tracks actually 'cause at about 1:30 the breakdown gives way to some whole new sounds and beats that (dare I say it) sound just a little bit dubstep.

Flying Lotus - GNG BNG [click to download] |HTML5|

Something a bit faster now, as we move closer to Drum & Bass territory with Skream's love letter to the Jungle scene. It reminds me a lot of Omni Trio's Feel (Feel Good) I posted a little while ago thanks to that well executed vocal sample. There's not much different here actually, there's liberal usage of amen break throughout, and it's a little slow for a Jungle inspired beat, but it works so I'll let that one slide.

Skream - Burning Up [click to download] |HTML5|



It wasn't long before I planted myself back in familiar experimental and electro territory though, kicking things off was a track from Clark's debut Clarence Park for way back in 2001. The LP is home to a track that has one of my favourite sounds ever on it. That main melody sounds amazing anyway, and when it starts to get cut up and spliced it really is something else.

Chris Clark - Proper Lofi [click to download] |HTML5|

And bringing it all to a close is a track from way back when that I had long forgotten about. MSTRKRFT's The Looks got plenty of play from me then, and coming back to it everything is still just as sweet. I remember my first listen of this one, it was good and all but it needed that extra something to bump it up to proper quality status. And that was answered with the key change at 3:10, which I could tell was leading to something big. and then 3:40 rolls along and we get some tasty guitar licks to go with our electro. And the end result is a pretty sweet deal.

MSTRKRFT - Street Justice [click to download] |HTML5|

And that pretty well documents the first 48 hours of my new speaker setup, I only hope they last as long if not longer than my old ones. Take this selection for yourself and give your soundystem a treat!

The Green Wire,
-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.

Miss Kittin & The Hacker - The Womb [click to download] |HTML5|


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.

Boards Of Canada - Twoism [click to download] |HTML5|


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, I don't quite get the significance of it in respect to the album's sound but it's a small detail so I'll let it slide. Regardless, I think the art works in complimenting the tunes as they bounce between upbeat and downtempo numbers.

Felix Da Housecat - Let Your Mind Be Your Bed [click to download] |HTML5|


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.

µ-Ziq - Summer Living [click to download] |HTML5|

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

Friday, 3 August 2012

Memory Vague

I recently got back into making art with Photoshop again, and as always the almighty shuffle has been present throughout. However, yesterday I found MP3s of what is one of my major influences and inspirations at the minute: the soundtrack to Oneohtrix Point Never's Memory Vague DVDr.


Now, there's a lot of Oneohtrix's usual synth-rife affair on here, but there are a couple tracks that stand out to me from both a visual and audio standpoint, but I'll elaborate more on those when we get to them, but for now enjoy some of that synthesized sound that OPN does ever so well (note: this is the Rifts version of the track, which is longer and better quality)

Oneohtrix Point Never - Zones Without People [click to download] |HTML5|

This was the first standout I was talking about, it deviates from OPN's usual MO and is mostly sample based, something he'd come to again on his latest LP, Replica. But what stood out to me the most was the sample itself, it's only a few seconds long, but the things done to it sound amazing. After doing some snooping I found that OPN makes stuff like this mostly in Audacity, which got me to thinking I could do it too. But once again, more on that later.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Angel [click to download] |HTML5|

There are a couple other tracks that deviate on here, adding some beats into OPN's usually melodic productions. This is the first and also my favourite of the two, Chandelier's Dream. It reminds me a little of the Arcade High LP I posted a bit on not too long ago, and to a lesser extent OPN's other side project simply entitled Games.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Chandelier's Dream [click to download] |HTML5|


It's not long before some synth heavy stuff comes along again though, this time with an almost early 90's videogame vibe. It still revolves around OPN's tried and tested arpeggio based production, but that is in no way a bad thing because he very consistently pulls it off, and this track is short enough that it's not too obnoxious.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Heart Of A Champion [click to download] |HTML5|

Finally, the other standout track to me, and an almost perfect end to the LP. This and the stuff OPN made for the Eccojams Vol. 1 tape have been in constant rotation by me while making art things. I definitely advise you to check out the dvd, or even OPN's YouTube channel, which has slices from the DVD on it. You can find him at SunsetCorp.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Nobody Here [click to download] |HTML5|

I've dabbled in a few of these sample based jobs myself, I have the basic sound down but I can't quite manage any further edits without it sounding strange, if you're interested you can find it over on my SoundCloud. Also if you are interested, give it a crack yourself, Audacity is a free program and isn't massively difficult to learn.

Tonight,
- Claude Van Foxbat