Thursday, 27 February 2014

Desert Island Selections: Claude

Had an interesting idea the other day based off some uni work, (and the BBC Desert Island Discs show, any resemblance is coincidence, honest!) if you had to take one CD worth of tunes with you should you be stranded for an indefinite amount of time, what would be on it? It's real hard to condense nearly 12 years of music collecting into 70 minutes, but I gave it a go. Tracks and more words below.

Here I tried to cover pretty much my favourite and most listened to tracks from every genre I could fit in there, and then tried to make it flow well, cue the trademark ambient dip in the middle. A lot of these tunes are ones I can never seem to tire of, Here's a little bit about each pick of mine.

Daft Punk - WDPK 83.7
I'll be honest, WDPK is there cos I had a few extra seconds to work with, but it serves as a nice intro too so it fits in there nicely.

Modeselektor - Blue Clouds
Blue Clouds might be a recent favourite but it's earned it's place there, that intro is solid every time, and the building intensity over six minutes is flawlessly done.

Vitalic - You Are My Sun
Many a time I've written of my love for vocoded goodness, Vitalic has it in a ton of his tunes but none stand out as much as this one to me, it's a pretty good bit of electro too.

Squarepusher - Plug Me In
More Vocoders, this time from Squarepusher. A far cry from his older 'Drill 'n Bass' work, Shobaleader One got a mixed reception but I loved it. This intro track is pretty much perfect and sets up the spacey future vibe brilliantly, as I best heard it said "R&B from 2050".

Broadcast - America's Boy
The track that started my love affair with Trish Keenan's voice and scratched an indie electronic itch I didn't know I had. Broadcast are criminally underrated and are one of my all time favourite bands.

The Knife - Silent Shout
Silent Shout came to me at a difficult time in my life some winters ago and gave me an experience like no other. It's downright haunting in parts, no doubt helped by the twisted vocals. I Hadn't connected with an album on that level for a long time, IMO one of the finest produced electronic albums of all time.

Autechre - Kalpol Introl
Got massive love for early 90's Warp's bleepy brand of techno. Autechre may not like this album much these days, but I think it's a stunning debut, and one of the best examples of Warp's "electronic listening music" concept of the time.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Betrayed In The Octagon
Another album I came into a few winters back. I remember scoffing at the reviews comparing it to Boards Of Canada. "This new guy's got nothing on them" I thought, then I listened to this and was stunned. Fast forward a few years and now OPN's gotten pretty popular. This one's a great demo of his older sound: beautiful ambient littered with analogue arpeggios.

Boards Of Canada - Dawn Chorus
Honestly not my favourite example of boards, but I've beaten my two favourite minute long ambient bits (Olson and Over The Horizon Radar) to death so I figured I owed 'em one. One of the less menacing tracks on Geogaddi, this one's just a treat to listen to.

Röyksopp - Poor Leno
Röyksopp have been a mainstay long before I went took the dive into the electronic world. First heard this one on Las Vegas' Freemont Street circa 2001, immediately bought the album when I got back to England and never looked back.

Aphex Twin - IZ-US
Unusually tame piece from AFX. Long time favourite of mine from the Come To Daddy EP that has some bonus memories tied to it. Still have a card from an old friend with the opening sample written in it.

Daft Punk - Short Circuit
Originally Voyager, but I changed it to this last minute. That complete 180 in sound around the halfway mark and it's slow descent into distortion get me every single time.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Soft Shock
The YYYs dive into more electronic stuff. Sure it's a little predictable and as much as I love their other albums I felt this one belonged more. This tune doesn't get as much love as others I think, it's like a slightly less bittersweet Maps and I love it.

HEALTH - Pills
Just a shy over 1 minute long this one, but I can never skip it. HEALTH can be hit-and-miss with me a lot, while this tune is a little simple, it stikes a nice balance with their usual noisy sound.

Bibio - Light Seep
Song of my summer 2009. Seems weird to be nostalgic over something not that long ago, but damn if this doesn't bring back the warm fuzzies. Good times and a good tune, Bibio's lo-fi really shines here.

Martina Topley-Bird - Sandpaper Kisses
I'd heard of Martina thanks to Gorillaz & Tricky but had no idea she was working on solo stuff until I did a little research. Another entry on this list containing one of my favourite voices, Sandpaper Kisses is a lovely hazy tune from her debut that is timeless for me.

Nightmares On Wax - Pipes Honour
One of the first entries on this list. Lot of good memories tied to this one too, the whole Smoker's Delight album is one of my few 10/10s. As soon as that first drum hits I'm gone, that 9 minutes just passes in no time.

Massive Attack - Three
Originally going to be Protection but I had no room left. Settled for Three from the same album, not a perfect example of trip hop sure, but a unique vibe that highlights the guest vocals from Nicolette Suwoton and has some pretty deep basslines throughout.

Stay tuned though because coming soon are Adam and Earl's selections for their own 70 minute selections! For now I'll leave you with that and some honourable mentions below that were cut for time or because they couldn't fit, enjoy!

Simian Mobile Disco - I Believe
Goldie - Sea Of Tears
The KLF - Madrugada Eterna
Clark - The Autumnal Crush
Autechre - Eggshell
Moderat - Let In The Light
Moderat - Rusty Nails

-Claude Van Foxbat

Friday, 21 February 2014

Post-Interview Post

Got back in from having the third years grill me about my work and where I'm going to take it this year. It was actually pretty good and I got some good contacts from them and I feel a lot better about my plans now I had 'em give me the OK. Back to the chilled selections it is then, tunes after the art!

Edward Hopper - Chop Suey

FlyLo's ideas series has taken hold of me again, especially the more unconventional ones in there. There's a bunch of tunes like this one with beautiful sample work and gorgeous basslines. Only complaint here is that it seems to be mastered quite loud (if at all) which gives me a bit of a jump when it comes up in my headphones.

Jumping back into Unkle's debut here, the instrumental version of this tune Unreal was a favourite of mine, and I got a lovely surprise when I got this bonus one featuring Ian Brown of The Stone Roses fame lending his distinct northern-ness to the track. He compliments the vibe set up by Shadow and Lavelle brilliantly.

I've avoided putting up anything from the Sneaker Pimps for a while, 'cos I assumed like Portishead and co. they'd probably been blogged to death already. Turns out the few that had posted them are dead, which is a shame, they bring some real neat sounds to the field of trip-hop, I recommend you check 'em out.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Toneden: The First Batch *(Players broken as of 2020)*

Finaly got around to sorting through the lit of promos sent to me thanks to our new 'n streamlined Toneden partnership. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stuff we're getting is pretty varied in styles which is always good to see. I forwarded a few on to the other writers but here's a couple that caught me, after the art of course.

Dan Baldwin - Dark Forces

After covering 20 years of Warp Records it should be no surprise I like a little experimental stuff n the side, so immediately this one caught my eye. Before I even got to the track I was diggin' the visual accompaniment with me being all arty and whatnot, and the tracks fit them to a T. Take this one for example, right from the intro it was giving me Apparat-esque vibes, and I'm absolutely in love with the lush synths that get dropped in towards the mid point.

And finally something a little unexpected, reading promos can be a real drag sometimes but when they come out with saying they've already been featured on BBC Introducing you gotta give them a closer look. Reminds me of the kinda tunes I'd hear watching MTV at like 1 A.M years ago, liking it a lot.

But that's not what they got in touch with us about, no they wanted us to have a look at their follow up single! It shines a bit more on the production side than Cold and it seems like they're really finding their sound. It does get a little mainstream dance-y in parts which I'm not a massive fan of, but they're doing well for themselves and those breakdowns are still lovely. Interested to see where they take it in future.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 17 February 2014

Back To '83

Long before he was working with Daft Punk, Giorgio Moroder had already made his home in my music library as I loved his soundtrack work for Scarface and Midnight Express. Good news is that in recent times he's fully adopted soundcloud and given us a peek into his works. Alongside the usual b-sides, outtakes and whatnot are unreleased slices from the Scarface soundtrack, and I'm in love all over again. Moroder's production is second to none when it comes to nailing that 80s disco-y vibe. Check 'em out yourself!


Thursday, 13 February 2014


After working a frantic 14 hour day yesterday, I got everything done and handed over. Good news is I have today off to just be really lazy so I thought I'd write up another post. Here's a semi-random selection of what I've got on currently.

Indie184 - Chill Out

Starting with early highlight and surprisingly heavy track from Portishead's still sublime debut. This a pretty solid example of their sound circa then, the way those beats meld with Beth Gibbons' moody vocals is pretty special, especially when it all comes surging together at 1:15.

Another bit from Plone's unreleased second album. If it had been released, I can guarantee this tune would have been licensed for all sorts of advertisements and whatnot like their track from the We Are Reasonable People compilation, Plaything has. Not that that's a negative, it has the same playful vibe as the rest of their output and is a joy to listen to.

The Flashbulb now, with a bit of a change up from his usual sound. Sure it starts off with an ambient edge like so many other experimental electronic folks have, but then that bassline hits and the song keeps on building and building until you hit that post-rock esque climax around 2:40 that is almost perfection. Then Benn is kind enough to give you a couple minutes of comedown time too, it's a real experience this one.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Andy Warhol - Skull (1976)

Not a lot of words this time because I'm mon-u-mentally pissed off. Have a bunch of tracks that are rotating atm as I frantically try and get thngs in some sort of order, and a quick reminder that even when you're all adults, group projects are still absolutely shite and don't do one unless you're being paid.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Coming Down

Work's slightly more on track but we're not out of the woods yet, been going out of my way to get some downtime in before I get back at it, here's the transition back to more downbeat stuff I employed this weekend.

Michael Alan - Strange And Productive

More old school jungle to start, with a remix of the seemingly timeless Renegade Snares from Omni Trio. The original is more in line with the stuff Omni would go onto make, but this remix kicks it up like Thru The Vibe from the last post.

Moving more into the chill but keeping that hard edge with a bit from a bootleg mashup EP I found a while back. I'm usually skeptical about mash ups, but I gave it a chance seeing as I'm a fan of both Aes and Portishead and I was pleasantly surprised. Its well produced throughout and definitely worth your time.

Sliding on home with the finale from 2009's Two, an instrumental downtempo rearranging of the second track. It's really interesting how just slowing it down a little and stripping some elements away can completely change the vibe of the tune from a dancy electroclash love letter to an introspective post dancefloor lullaby.

- Claude Van Foxbat