Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Mad Archivist

There's been a running theme in the last few posts of preservation, there's tunes I've found and like that either only exist in one spot of the 'net, or simply aren't there at all. This has always irked me a bit, I've never liked the idea of something just being gone, which has happened over the years I've been out there. Now I realised early on that you can't save every piece of music out there just because there's too much of it to go around but I do my best to grab bits and pieces of what I like, it's a bit of a quirk of mine, one that I've come to define as being a 'digital hoarder' (not to demean any folks with that issue in real life mind).

Richard Hamilton - Archive I (1981)


I have all sorts rolling around on my drive for that very reason. The work of Karin Dreijer's first band in her pre-The Knife days? I have that. I saved one of my favourite game soundtracks of all time in the early 2000s, and I was actually vindicated in that case, the company went bust and the soundtrack wasn't available until the composer put it up on bandcamp. I still have both copies regardless too, because in my mind they're both different though the bandcamp one does have some extra tracks on it. Similarly, I ripped the Soundcloud version of Brian Reitzell & Daniel Lopatin's The Bling Ring Suite because it was at a different tempo AND structured differently to the release version, and that version is no longer on Daniel's soundcloud.

This might seem like a futile effort, but it's super important to me, I believe archival of media is crucial for not only records sake, but to hopefully inspire future creatives too. A few of us are doing our part though, here's a Oneohtrix Point Never mix I posted back in 2010/11, and it exists nowhere else on the 'net than my old soundcloud. I thought about adding it to discogs, but there's really not too much info I could say. It's a CD-R with a little bit of text on that says "Objects In Mirrors Mix" that was a bonus pack-in when I ordered Rifts from Bleep.com back then. I've tried to fill out the tracklist as best I can, but even so it's still thin on the ground (808 State's Flow Coma and Ann Steel's My Time being most prominent.) It used to have downloads enabled but the limit's been hit in the years gone, so if anyone wants to add this to their own archives, you can do so here.



Longtime readers might recognise the name Untra. I certainly do, even before I was on the writing staff let alone running the place they've been around, and who's avatar has always been quite fittingly the word "Revive". And this next tale is actually the reason for this post, as after a quick exchange on twitter, we got our virtual crate digging boots on with a goal: resurrect a long forgotten mix from a dead website (lasermag.net for those curious). Thanks to the Internet Archive & The Wayback Machine, I was able to pinpoint the year and month of the mix being posted, but unfortunately not the page itself. In what was a total crapshoot I tweeted at the author of the mix, who longtime readers might also recognise, GMGN. To my surprise and delight, he came through and happily DM'd me a link to the mix, and (with permission) Untra has archived it among many other mixes from years past (including some from ilictronix!) on mixcloud, where it will hopefully be preserved for many moons to come. And thanks to mixcloud's tracklist system, you shouldn't have nearly as hard a time tracking down individual tunes from it. So with all that out of the way, please enjoy.



It feels like we've come full circle here, after all emailing an artist to get a copy of a long forgotten tune is precisely what led to me getting on the writing staff in the first place. You can still read Jordan's initial posting, and the full tale of how I came into possession of the track in the comments from a pre-blogger account Claude Van Foxbat.. We'll continue our mission to keep records of all things electronic for now and ever, if you have any leads on, or copies of any obscure mixes, drop me or Untra a line, our twitters are: @ClaudeVanFoxbat and @Untra. Super special thanks to GMGN for coming through with the mix, having it stored for all this time, giving us a copy and allowing us to archive it on Untra's Mixcloud!.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 9 October 2017

Alive '07 - 10 Years On

I know I bang on a bit about how old some parts of my collection are, waxing nostalgic about getting my lil mitts on anything electronic via limewire in the early 00's. But today's something I've been planning for a while: with all those anecdotes I don't have a solid date for when they first entered my library, there's been at least 3 PC rebuilds since then so "File Created:" is no good, but today's tale is a little different because I know exactly when I got it. November 2007.



It's hard to believe it's been a whole decade since Alive 2007 entered my life. Young Foxbat was a 13 year old high-school student who'd recently gotten together with his first proper girlfriend and was deep into rekindling his love for electronic music. And what a year I picked for it, 2007 was (and remains) and absolute scorcher for all things electric, and it should come as no surprise that Alive 2007 is one of the keystones of it. It's an absolute tour de force of the Punk's discography up until that point, using material from all their albums and a few extras. As seen here with the use of Busta Rhymes' Touch It, mashing it with Oh Yeah From Homework, then transitioning that into Technologic proper, garnished with oddly enough a small part of Voyager from Discovery. Typed out like that it sounds like a bit of a mess, but if for whatever reason you've never heard it before, trust me that it is nothing short of fantastic.

Daft Punk - Touch It xx Technologic |HTML5|


It's not ever a one off though, as immediately it's followed up with Television Rules The Nation with a touch of Around The World (and as the title says, Crecendolls later). One thing I've seen about Alive 2007 but never really understood is the people who say they didn't like Human After All until this album. I'll admit I'm a little biased as I was in the throes of an electro overload at the time but nothing much about the HAA songs is really changed on these early tracks so I never could understand it. That's not to say that these live versions aren't bloody fantastic regardless though. This is one of the tunes I use to test out new soundsystems, when the full grit of Television Rules The Nation comes in at 1:00 is pretty special.

Daft Punk - Television Rules The Nation xx Crescendolls |HTML5|


Safe to say my little mind was pretty happy with the events up to this point, but the Punk weren't even close to started yet. This one marks the first appearance of some original accompaniment, the backbone of the entire song doesn't appear elsewhere on their discography (and came to be dubbed Aura Rock by the community IIRC), you can find a million and one re-creations and edits to remove the crowd sound on the 'net but I don't think it needs it personally. The album was up there to begin with, but this was setting it well on it's way to becoming a 10/10, I try not to swear too much on here but if you've never heard this I urge you to, for it's nothing short of fucking fantastic.

Daft Punk - Too Long xx Steam Machine |HTML5|


Not content with just that, the album rockets straight into the top 10 of all time with a live version of perhaps the two most famous Daft Punk songs to ever exist. Oddly enough it was also released as a single from the album, but the full fat one here beats the radio edit by a long way. If the last few tracks haven't convinced you yet, Alive 2007 is more than just a glorified Daft Punk DJ set with some extra stage design, It's just an absolute masterpiece, and a milestone for electronic live albums.

Daft Punk - Around The World xx Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger |HTML5|


If I had it my way I'd do a full track-by-track breakdown but I don't fancy getting into yet another copyright headache, so skipping forward a little in the track-list to perhaps one of the more creative re-samples on the album, Face To Face here is backed with a cut & pitched up version of the vocals from Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, it even gets a little solo time to shine around 2 minutes in or so. It's not a floor shaker like the previous examples but it's still a damn fine listen. Oh, and the ending portion of Short Circuit is one of my favourite breaddowns/outros of all time, and it's put to masterful use here, I will never not love that slow decent into glitchy-ness.

Daft Punk - Face To Face xx Short Circuit |HTML5|


I'm skipping a few more tunes to finish off (including the Aerodynamic/One More Time mash up, which is almost criminal). Instead I'm going to leave you with the Encore to the show,which does a fantastic job of summarising my initial point of it being one huge discography tour. The Encore starts off with a reprise of the Human After All motif from the very start of the album, incorporates some bits from Para One's remix of The Prime Time Of Your Life before adding the vocal hook from short lived Thomas Bangalter & DJ Falcon collab Together. It all goes off at 5:24 though in amazing fashion, if you're wondering why the crowd goes mental, here's a video of the light show at that time (this was before the Tron OST too!). AND THEN on top of that One More Time makes another appearance, and so does Stardust's Music Sounds Better With You to boot. Absolute perfection.

Daft Punk - Encore |HTML5|


I'm in love with it still even after 10 years, the same can't be said of the girlfriend I had at the time though. I still can't really wrap my head around how long its been, safe to say a whole lot has changed but the album has always been a constant, and I'm showing no signs of getting tired of it anytime soon. Here's hoping I'll be back here in another 10 come 2027 to write about it's 20 year anniversary. Until then stay tuned, stay safe, and I'll see ya soon.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Nil Locales

Time to check in with my favourite roof-based band, the Celiling Demons. They're back with their latest offering, this time an album by the name of Nil. Things are going to get a little serious from here on out, so I'll leave you with the accompanying text for the album:
"In our time, depression and suicide litter the land like the broken bottles under our feet. Anxiety and detachment leave us feeling like ghosts. We turn to methods to cope, in bad habits and goodbyes. Amid this cold scenery, alternative hip hop group Ceiling Demons return to confront the emptiness"


I've no shortage of tunes dealing with a similar subject matter, be it the brutal honesty of Aesop Rock talking about his nervous breakdown on 'One Of Four', the resolute pessimism of The Mountain Goats asking life to do it's worst, Trent Reznor's idle rage on 'Everyday Is Exactly The Same', and the thick melancholy of Beth Gibbons of Portishead. And hell, even from unexpected sources such as ADULT. with lines like "Just when I think I'm in control, I fall apart again".

I could go on, but why have I even bothered to list those examples you ask? Well as a fellow inhabitant of the mental health issues boat, it's an issue very close to my heart (that and me and the Demons share a Northern background and all the associated trimmings to come of that too) And the Ceiling Demons have offered their own arrow to the quiver of media in this vein. And it all begins in a much different fashion than we're used to, The Rose with a stripped back acoustic approach accompanied with what I can only describe as wounded delivery. It's a fantastic mood-setter and a brave move to open with something so different in terms of sound to boot, with the added bonus of establishing the light/dark theme running throughout.

It's not long before we hit the first counterpoint, Chasing Dreams in Nightmares, a return to more familiar territory, albeit a much more aggressive angle than the last few we've covered so far; to quote a Gorillaz title, Spitting Out The Demons. As someone who turns to things like writing these posts, or re-visiting my 1001 side projects in times of strife, the bars at 1:44 resonate with me pretty deeply.

My feelings towards March Forward remain much the same as last time: I touched on the positive vibes last time, and it's present again here which I appreciate a heck of a lot. After all, this is what made me draw the comparison between Aesop Rock's One Of Four and themselves in the first place (particularly towards the end when Aes and the text to speech voice start looking up again). Unfortunately the positive angle can be a difficult one to do without sounding glib, but as I said last time I think the heart shines through here.

A return to a more skeletonised structure on Dust, I'm of two minds with this one, as I was listening I thought I'd quite like it to be an instrumental introspective bit around the middle ground of the album, but as it went on things got more intense and the intention finally clicked. It's difficult for me to listen to, not because it's bad or anything along those lines but rather it touches upon some real and raw areas for me. It's more of a compliment than anything when you frame it that way, that they've managed to capture the mindset so accurately. Not to say my instrumental wishes weren't granted mind, towards the end we have the almost-ambient Scattered by the Squall, which in hindsight is a better place for it, nicely setting up the epilogue Elegy of Nil, book-ending the whole experience and in keeping with the theme of contrasts, is a complete 180 from the minimalist intro, instead we're treated to an explosion of strings a la Don't Get Lost In Heaven / Demon Days.

It's an intense experience, perhaps one that may not be for everyone, especially for casual listening. But naturally not all music is for that, on the whole the LP is well structured and is thematically consistent throughout, and through that I think they've well achieved their aim of confronting the emptiness. And hopefully it'll connect with and lend a metaphorical hand to some people that were in that same place as me a few years ago.

You can find more Ceiling Demons on:
Bandcamp
Soundcloud
Spotify
Twitter
Facebook

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Lost & Found

You ever find some tunes you like, but they seem to have disappeared of the face of the net, legal or otherwise? I have a few of those strings to my bow, be it Alexander Polzin's remix of Rippin Kittin, to my most recent foray into techno with Mijk Van Dijk's 'Magic Marble Box Vol. 2: Tokyo Trax EP. It seems as the years go on I'm finding exceptions to the rule of 'if it exists, it's on the internet' which is a bit of a shame. Still, it's been a productive few days for me picking up some tunes, some rare and some not so (and some not suitable for the blog). Let's get stuck in.


Friedensreich Hundertwasser - Island Of Lost Desire (1977)




Starting with another rare J Pop addition to my collection. I did have a few already (and let's be real, it was only a matter of time after being bitten by the Macross 82-99 bug). I think it has a lot to share with other easy-going, cosy electronic I've mentioned in the past like Plone, though without that slightly lo-fi edge that Plone had throughout their stuff. Longtime readers of the blog might hear a little in common with Celadon City too, in fact I tweeted this at him a couple days ago for that very reason.

Sasaki Sayaka - Zzz (Instrumental) [click to download] |HTML5|


Keeping things in Japan for the time being, tracked down the name of another one of the surprisingly electronic pieces on the Jormungand OST. Sandwiched between proper orchestral soundtracks and some more acoustic moodsetters is this lovely little bit of IDM flavoured goodness. A little more ordered than your standard glitchy IDM fare, but man do I love those sounds, only complaint is that I do wish it panned out a little more, but it is meant to be a soundtrack piece after all.

Taku Iwasaki - Explain Music [click to download] |HTML5|


And happy accident to finish us out, these two flow together pretty well (albeit unintentionally thanks to the shuffle) and fits one last Japan mention in there to boot; a revisit from the last podcast with Casino Versus Japan's Local Forecast. In hindsight this album, Go Hawaii, could also fit into my newly coined cosy electronic category, tunes like this Metrobolt and Warm Windows all have that lovely slightly lo-fi edge to them that I think qualifies. Definitely check out those if you're looking for more in this vein.

Casino Versus Japan - Local Forecast [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Replacement Service

Apologies for the massive delay, as some of you might know I work in a university and we're currently manning the battlestations for the return of the students next week. In an effort to remedy that (and the future delays that will inevitably happen) I'm writing and scheduling a ton of posts now and this week to hopefully see us through. The submission system I had in place had an unfortunate hiccup, despite having my DMs set to open, I'd gotten a DM but twitter didn't tell me for screening reasons. Surprisingly forward thinking for a company as lackadaisical about harassment as twitter but I digress. First up is a little something I missed from Celadon City about a month ago, a remix of a one James Deen (which you should be careful about googling if you're at work). It's a lovely injection of warmth in these waning days of summer. It's not tagged with any specific genre but if you've heard the past few times I've posted some Celadon City, you should know you're in for some smooth goodness.



And finally the screened tune I mentioned above. Just as a quick aside, like I said I had no idea I'd even gotten a DM and only saw once Jean Sean tweeted me to say so. If something similar happens to you I'd suggest you do the same on the off chance it gets caught in the spam filter. Anyway, this one came to me tagged as trap, which I must admit isn't my genre of choice but I've clearly been out of the loop for some time because this is pretty far from what I used to hear in that vein. Between that and the number of names credited for the remix I was hesitant at first, but it turns out this is the exact opposite of a 'too many cooks' situation and once again making me slightly guilty for judging beforehand. Things get pretty bombastic around the 2 minute mark, so I'd recommend hanging on to hear that.

Update 18/9/2017: The tune is out! have a soundlcoud player in addition to our own embed!

Princess Nokia - GOAT (Boston Chery x Jean Sean x Eli Cure Remix) |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Filed Away



Fell down the file organisation rabbit hole again, and I found that Röyksopp's The Inevitable End was yet another piece in my collection left slightly incomplete due to the fabled words "Japanese Bonus Track" so I set about fixing that. And as is tradition I archive them here to make it easier on folk who may end up in that boat in future (and also should I need it backed up elsewhere). Much like the (non-Japanese exclusive) bonus tracks from The Understanding it's a fairly standard Röyksopp tune, though there's more than a little of Junior's sound bleeding through at points, and the ever present melancholic streak that runs through all of The Inevitable End. The real highlight here is that gorgeous noodly synth that comes in about 2:45 or so, bringing with it the vocals not long after too. Feel like it's a better album closer than Something In My Heart to boot.

Röyksopp - I Just Don't Understand You [click to download] |HTML5|


I also found this one buried at the bottom of my soundtracks folder, it's been forever since I heard it but I'll always remember what it's from, even though there's no obvious clues with the album title or the like. Much like the bits and pieces of the Jormungand OST I've put up, tracks like these always stand out a little more to me with their incorporation of electronic elements. Zakuro might go a little bit symphonic later on but I fall for those glitchy intro sounds every time.

Suilen - Zakuro [click to download] |HTML5|


And another archiver to round things out. I spent a silly amount of time digital crate digging as it were to find this one from Apparat's Shapemodes EP. And even then it's not a proper 320 but hey ho, beggars/choosers and all that. So once again to save everyone else (and future me) some hassle here is Solaris, one of 6 tunes currently scratching my IDM itch at the mo, you know the score for me: spacey melodics and glitchy undertones. I sometimes wish Apparat would revisit this kinda style, it'd be interesting to see what he brought to the table with the extra years of experience under his belt.

Apparat - Solaris [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 28 August 2017

On The Fence

A short one this time, got side tracked re-fencing and re-painting my garden and am now sticky, itchy and a few other -y adjectives. Which gave me time to catch up on the latest I Don't Do Crowds thingy he sent me, I was quite interested to hear some non-remix work from 'em after the last promising contribution. I actually held onto it for a little while, I got it while I was in the pub a few days ago but I'm glad I waited, there's nothing like some of these end of summer vibes to go with the post-fencework shower beer (seriously, try it.), an atmosphere that would be sorely wasted in a bar.



And finally, another treat from my huge ever growing Spotify 'To Pickup' list. this one came a bit out of leftfield, the smooth intro had me going for a lil while (and tossing up in my mind whether this was a Flashbulb or Ochre piece). I popped down into the kitchen to fix another brew and when I came back was greeted by a floor rattling bass wave. I'm quite enjoying Apparat's IDM side at the mo, it's been a while since I've gone down that rabbit hole so expect more in the near future.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Back On (Sound)Cloud 9

My usual soundcloud ventures dried up a while ago, simply because my feed was getting pretty scarce, an most artists I went looking for had all the premium shenanigans I don't like to faff with. Now it seems like SC is going to be with us for a little while longer (hopefully) I thought I'd take another crack at it for old times sake.





This one comes to us from Twitter (the submissions system is still a mess I'm afraid, so in the meantime I've opened my DMs), I was a little hesitant at first because sampling/reworking of real old tunes can be a little bit pants in hindsight, see that obnoxious dubstep treatment of The Marvelettes I posted circa 2010 or so. This ain't old blue eyes though for one, and for two does a decent job of working with the production unlike The Marvelettes example. A little more mainstream than my usual affair, but I dig it, has a slight Rustie feel to it methinks and that main lead is pretty bombastic too. I do think that the change up in sound at 1:45 doesn't really work, the combination of tempo and just overall atmosphere change just feels too extreme, going from this summery upbeat style to some slightly sinister bass feels like two completely different songs. It does only come up twice briefly throughout though so it doesn't drag the experience too much. Keep an eye out for this one coming up on your local indie electronic youtube channel twinned with some Evangelion footage and some AfterEffects VHS & CRT presets overlaid.



With that in mind I thought I'd pop back to see what Macross 82-99'd been up to, last I saw was a tweet of their soundcloud stats when it was still in fairly uncertain times. Well good news is that the platform hasn't been abandoned, and there's a couple new pieces of that unique house/future funk and the like to get stuck into. Artists like Macross are the reason why I wanna see SoundCloud stick around, I wouldn't have ever come across tunes like this these, and Macross has gone on to carve a nice little niche in my library. So here's to many more years of digital crate digging on the cloud, I'll be sure to share all I find with you.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Monkeying Around



Keeping with the soundtrack theme this time, after being informed by former site owner Jordan on twitter that the Ape Escape OST was on spotify I dug it out. The punnily titled Originape Soundtracks came out much much later than the game itself but with good reason, the versions of the tunes on it are slightly jazzed up and re-arranged versions as they're free of the restrictions of having to fit onto a PS1. Now I believe I've mentioned the last few times that Soichi Terada has come up that he's the man responsible for my early exposure to Drum & Bass, and this soundtrack is entirely the reason why, it's not hard to connect the dots between my love of slightly chill spacey sounds and songs like Time Station.

Soichi Terada - Time Station [click to download] |HTML5|


There's plenty more musical archaeology (no pun intended) for the foundations of my musical taste here, I'm certain that Cryptic Relics is at least partially responsible for my love of pitch bends for one. It's also a fantastic demonstration of why Terada's music was a perfect choice for the game, at the risk of repeating myself from last time, he makes it seem incredibly effortless and the end result is once again as at home as a soundtrack as it is on it own. It does however also fall prey to the same issue that affects the entire release, it's a whopping 43 tracks long but to fit all them in they're all incredibly short. I thought that being freed from the limitations of the Playstation would call for extensions but that isn't the case unfortunately, get your fingers ready to repeat.

Soichi Terada - Cryptic Relics [click to download] |HTML5|


The other thing I adore about the OST is it's a lovely little time warp to it's own era. Songs like Peak Point Matrix just ooze this pre-millennium atmosphere, the smooth intro sounds like it could be part of a demo disc's opening attract movie. I know I always revisit points like that and it makes me sound like a colossal nostalgia nerd but like I said before, when I was a wee one, demo discs and the like were where I found the little bits and pieces of electronic music that would set me on this path to begin with so it only follows that I have a major soft spot for it. Plus I feel like I owe Mr. Terada some thanks too.

Soichi Terada - Peak Point Matrix [click to download] |HTML5|


And playing us out, possibly the most Ape Escape encapsulating song of the bunch, Crabby Beach. It actually opens the album which is a masterful move because that little melody that plays is one of the first that jump into my mind when I think of the series (although truth be told I do slightly prefer the sounds of the actual game's version over this one). Like all tunes on here it's a little on the short side, but there's a heck of a lot going on in that 1:42 of runtime.

Soichi Terada - Crabby Beach [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Friday, 11 August 2017

Animated

Aurel Cojan - Paysage Animé (1998)


Taking a sharp left here to talk about some more soundtrack stuff. As the title would suggest the following are all taken from the few anime soundtracks I have in my collection. Now that may have just sounded incredibly nerdy but trust me here alright? Kicking off with Inner Universe which may be the finest opening tune ever devised. As at home standing alone (heh) as it is in the opening credits, I'll forever love the contrast between the electronics and Origa's unique vocal contributions which go hand in hand with the world of Ghost In The Shell incredibly well.

Origa - Inner Universe [click to download] |HTML5|


Moving into something a little more recent now, the OST to Jormungand has a real nice electronic slant to it in parts. I'm saving some of the more housey numbers for another day, so instead have this slightly out-of-place downtempo trip-hop esque number from it. The flute(?) running alongside throughout is giving me serious Weekend World era E-Z Rollers vibes and I sure ain't complaining about that.

Iwasaki Taku - Alligator [click to download] |HTML5|


And finally, another slight oddity from the Trigun OST. Nestled between spaghetti western Spanish guitar and all manner of other world music influences comes Philosophy In A Tea Cup, with a fairly unique blend of breakbeat and piano that's pretty far from my usual comparison of Omni Trio. I want to say there's something distinctly Japanese about it's stylings but then again like last time I mentioned this tune I feel like it would be just as much at home on an early Ninja Tune comp too.

Tsuneo Imahori - Philosophy In A Tea Cup [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Poltergeist

In the midst of my healing process, I was sent yet another new piece from Bothan. I explained the sitch and told him I'd post it as soon as I healed a bit. Well here we are. So let's not beat around the bush and get to the meat of the thing shall we? Here's a little slice of October in July for you with the Haunted EP



We open with the suitably spooky title track Haunted, a short little piece that had me wondering for a while whether it had a really subtle sample of The Specials' Ghost Town in it. Still, the suitably ghostly organ-esque opening is a treat, and in keeping with the series of small instrumentals we've seen so far from Bothan.

Speaking of in keeping, the shelf wobbling sound of tunes such as Surface Bends is still here, giving my walls a good old dusting off is Gauntlet. It's crying out for some lyrical accompaniment I reckon, which I suppose is the intention and high praise for any producer out there.

The final tune and highlight for me, Clouded. It had me from the get go, as you all know I'm a real sucker for anything with a smooth sound and the intro has it in spades. That is until after turning it up to get an earful I was almost blown out of my chair. I'm fairly certain it's a crime to have a bassline that deep up against an intro like that. Instrumentation is sparse throughout but it really works in this case, I'm a strong believer in ending releases on a downtempo note, and this ticks that box and then some.

So that about wraps the whole thing up, this EP is also on Spotify for your alternate streaming needs, and if you're looking to throw a couple of quid Bothan's way, you can pick up the EP on Beatport, or iTunes too. Should be back to fairly normal sched as of now, I'll catch y'all soon!


-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 10 July 2017

A Pod For You: Episode 4

As promised: the latest full length installment of the ilictronix podcast thing that me and Adam do. Not going to be typing a lot as mentioned previously, but you can still expect a tracklist after the player.

We're branching out in terms of topics, and I'd like to take this opportunity to say that us here at ilictronix want the show and site to be welcoming to all. We joke about mispronouncing things and offending the corresponding nationalities a bit in this episode but I want you all to know; if we ever step on anyone's toes, or phrase something poorly or otherwise offend a group of people please do not hesitate to let me or Adam know ASAP and we'll do our best to rectify things. Electronic music is for everyone, and we strongly believe in that here, but we're only human and may make mistakes sometimes! Anyway, onto the show:



Opening:
Gnork – No Gravity

Claude’s picks:
Misstress Barbara – I'm Running
DMX Krew - Get With You
Erlend Øye - Ghost Trains
Ford & Lopatin - Too Much MIDI (Alan Braxe Bonus Remix)

Adam’s Picks
Kamixlo – Paleta
Force Mass Motion - Explosion
Cybonix - Make This Party Live
24 Hour Experience - Take Me Up To Bed (Filthy Dub)
Above The Clouds – Sunshine Productions (DJ Vibes & Wishdokta Remix)

Outro:
Casino Versus Japan - Local Forecast


And while I remember, I'm trying to cover things I say I'll link to Adam or co, and actually include them in the show notes, so: The Erlend Øye cover of the smiths can be found here, the songs being sampled Adam talks about are: Lotic - Heterocetera and the original source for both is: Dr. Baker - Kaos (1989)

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Breaking Off

Hey all, dropping by with a quick update. There's going to be a little lack of posts in the coming weeks, I've done broken a finger and fractured an elbow (on opposite arms no less!) so typing is a hassle to say the least. Me and Adam do have another podcast recorded so that should still go up soon. Instead for now have a selection of thematically appropriate tunes and I'll see y'all soon.

Gorillaz - Broken |HTML5|


I'm The Manager - Break Your Toes |HTML5|


Ellen Allien & Apparat - Do Not Break |HTML5|

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Inde-pod-ance

You might've noticed I'd gone quiet again as of late, with reason this time though, as behind the scenes me and Adam have been refining the Podcast recording process. So to give it a test run, we recorded a very special independence day episode; with Adam managing to get it edited and put up on our mixcloud the same day(!). It's going up a day late here because I was out of town last night but that's no reason you can't enjoy our selections still. Tracklist after the player:



Opening:
When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Matzzz Remix)

Claude’s Selections
The Chemical Brothers - Star Guitar
Shinichi Osawa - Maximum Joy
DJ Mehdi - Tunisia Bambaataa

Adam’s picks:
Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle - Your Love
Adonis - No Way Back
Maurice - Get Into The Dance

Outro:
This random remix of Yankee Doodle Dandy we found

Monday, 26 June 2017

Give Me Liberty

Trying to be a little more active on Spotify these days, I know it's a bit of a pisser that you can't listen to stuff if you don't have an accountand all but it's the best we've got since Grooveshark died off. Anyway, I took a spin down memory lane when I went poking around, as Rockstar conveniently have playlists for pretty every much radio station ever featured in GTA from III upwards. Naturally I have to give props to Electro Choc, which as you might've guessed from the name, was supremely my jam circa 2008. Just the preview window here has some prime electronic goodness of the era.



There's some stuff missing, and little niggling things like the mix of BTTTTRY not being the right one (and also a sub 1 minute version from some compilation too), but it's still a good dollop of both the original station from François K, and the extra tunes courtesy of Crookers from The Ballad Of Gay Tony. Takes me back to many a bleary eyed 6th form night, and I still know most of these by heart nigh on a decade later. Jumping back to the first point, before I go I'm trying out doing more Spotify curation in the near future, feel free to come check my playlists out, and get a load of my ever growing infinite "To Pickup" backlog.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Checkin' In With Bothan

I always like to see where artists take their directions after being out of the loop with them for a while. Enter our most recent example, Bothan, formerly Dr. Snus. The most recent of his I was sent really threw me off at first, that slightly off kilter intro made me think I was going to get some kinda Plug style stuff, albeit at a slower tempo. Imagine my surprise when instead I get a dark shelf wobbler that wouldn't be out of place in Stenchman's arsenal. I only wish some of that intro bled into the rest of the tune and not just the bridge, though that does happen on it's own towards the end anyway.



I was happy to see the Plug style vibes were not a one-off too, and it's like my mind was read as I was writing the above, with Mr. Bothan pretty much resolving all my (admittedly small) gripes in one fell swoop. the whole formula of small self-contained instrumentals and (what I presume) movie samples is a tried and true one for sure, as shown by Flying Lotus way back in 2006. Funny how I mentioned not too long ago I haven't felt the need to go looking for instrumentals in a while and then all of a sudden a bunch fall in my lap. That isn't me complaining mind.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 12 June 2017

For The Shorties

Erik Sigerud - Dividers Collide (2008)

A rare (these days) shuffle serving today, all we're coveing is exceptionally short tunes, in fact the total runtime of today's post comes in just over 6 minutes. Granted some of it is almost cheating by using bits from OSTs but the point stands. Starting off with one of my favourite Swedes Simon Viklund, the B-Sides is chock full of these little one off tunes he's made for trailers and websites over the years so is perfect for this theme. Collide is a nice change up from the man's usual electro come EDM fueled output, I'd love for him to tackle some sci-fi stuff with more of this techy sound.

Simon Viklund - Collide [click to download] |HTML5|


Speaking of Techy, let's pay another visit to Cornelius' OST for Ghost In The Shell: Arise. Opinions on the actual series aside, I really dig the vibe of the soundtrack, as I said a couple times before and on the podcast it's got a real upbeat more contemporary 'future' style to things, and tunes like this could easily be extended out into full on dance tunes and you wouldn't think twice about it being a soundtrack. That's both a plus and a minus I think, I do always like a soundtrack that's listenable on it's own accord though. Still, Cornelius did a bang up job, especially when you have to contend with previous soundtracks by the likes of Yoko Kanno and Kenji Kawai.

Cornelius - Action Woman [click to download] |HTML5|


Felix Da Housecat's Kittenz & Thee Glitz is one of my themed albums, and actually crosses the soundtrack line backwards compared to the above. That always sounds kinda weird every time I say it so I'll do my best to elaborate; if there were to be a movie made of Kittenz & Thee GLitz, Analog City would play over a moody nighttime scene at the end of act 2 which would then lead seamlessly into Pray For A Star.

Felix Da Housecat - Analog City [click to download] |HTML5|


And finally some Knxwledge for y'all. I picked up Old Klouds during one of my adult swim bump binges where I get a real hankering for all things instrumental hip hop. And let me tell you, I haven't had one since because every single tune on there is as they say bump-worthy. Each one is a gorgeous little self contained piece of instrumental joy, get a load of the wonky goodness of Preservatives and I'll see you soon.

Knxwledge - Preservatives [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

B-Z

The Designer's Republic - miTDR™ Versus Benelux

Hello all, it's been a while since I put anything up because things at work are pretty rammed at the mo. There should be an extreme drop off come July though so I'll try make up for it then. In the meantime tho, here's a random assortment of feelgood tunes to keep y'all going. I found some good sources on scans of Designer's Republic stuff too, so expect more of the above to come very soon too. Keep on, and I'll see y'all on t'other side.

Luke Vibert - Comfycozy [click to download] |HTML5|




Daft Punk - Voyager [click to download] |HTML5|




Röyksopp - So Easy [click to download] |HTML5|


Monday, 29 May 2017

Mecha Activated

Continuing the Japanese theme of the last couple posts, I went looking at Mijk Van Dijk again, specifically the Tokyo Trax EP, which is filled with amazingly of-the-era track titles like Little Lonely Otaku. Oversimplified takes on the culture aside, the tunes contained within are quite good. While looking though I found the sequel to the Game Trax Vol. 1 EP I posted not too long ago, and this time it wasn't Ridge Racer, it was Armored Core.



Naturally I was interested, cos Armored Core 2 had a quality soundtrack. Imagine my surprise when I find out that he's been behind that tune all along. Seems that somehow the tune names got swapped on the official release of the full OST, and what's listed as Robo.Com.Bat is actually the theme, and the tunes took a bit of finding as it's not sorted on his soundcloud like vol. 1 too. Not that Robo.Com.Bat is any worse by any stretch of the imagination, I'm a sucker for early 00's 'techy' tune titles as-is, and I absolutely adore those high pitched backing synths.



The final tune, the also 2000's techy titled Robo@Tek is probably the most conventional of the trio, and would be easily at home on the dancefloor as it is on the OST. It actually reminds me a whole bunch of the Ghost In The Shell game OST; Megatech Body Co., which is probably unsurprising as Mijk also appeared on there (though truth be told some of his tunes on that were too minimal for me). Enjoy yet another time capsule back 16 years or so.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Checking In

Please mind the mess in the in-between period where I figure out how exactly I'm going to take submissions as a one man band without being swamped. That't not deterring some of you mind, here's a recent one that came into my inbox after a bit of a runaround with contact info (again, my bad and I apologise!). I Don't Do Crowds (you and me both brother) got in touch with a little remix for me. I always find it kinda hard to be too critical in cases like this, a remix being your first exposure can be a bit of a boon, you never know if it's a one off style for the remix or whether parts you like or dislike are from the original or the mix but I digress and I'll do my best. It seems to hail from the sweet sounding school of Celadon City and co. which is never a bad thing especially with summer round the bend, always takes me back to the summer of 09's fantastic selection of tunes. Gripes are small; I almost want a hazier Washed Out treatment applied to the whole thing but that's a personal thing, on a similar note The lyrical content gets a little cliche at times but I guess that goes with the territory and isn't a mark on the remix so much as it is the source material.



After last posts 90's anime streak and the above, I went out to see what my favourite future funk fiend Macross 82-99 was up to, and the answer was slightly surprising in the best way. As the genre tag says, Victoria Harbour At Night is a far cry from the disco influenced sweetness of Macross past, and scratches a very specific itch that rarely gets hit; the two examples I can come up with off the top of my head fro reference are the (coincidentally also Japanese) Bran-New Lovesong by The Pillows and Akira Yamaoka's End Of Small Sanctuary. The soundcloud description says Macross is looking for a vocalist for this one, but I think it's near perfect as-is.



And a quickie revisit for those that missed the last time I mentioned Macross, here's the kinda thing I was used to hearing coming out of that camp. As you can hear from the get go, the retro influence is very apparent. Get a load of them drums and machine gun high hats. Although in hindsight even this is pretty far from the more Disco influenced stuff that pointed me in that direction to begin with, I'd recommend checking out the likes of Fun Tonight for that, doubly so if you'd like a fast track back to the days of French Touch and Bloghouse.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 22 May 2017

Mech Hunting & Hunting Mechs

Remember how in a bunch of previous posts on Synthwave and the like I've said things sound like they could be a soundtrack to a Sega CD game? Well late last night I was treated to probably the most apt example of that yet. I don't have much from Mitch Murder in my library, my first exposure being Hollywood Heights, which embraces the clichés of the retro aesthetic in full earnest (which a friend of mine lovingly described as 'Deliberately crap'). A far cry from the cyberpunk vibes of Perturbator, and even further from the likes of Carpenter Brut's occult laden pieces for sure.



The art was the first thing to catch my eye, that is certainly some co-opted Masamune Shirow art up there, which being a fan of all things Ghost In The Shell and Appleseed isn't a problem at all. Speaking of though, I was going to just jump right in and post some tunes I like from the thing, but I think it would do a disservice if I didn't point you to the teaser Mitch put up on soundcloud for the thing. Not only is it a solid preview of all the tracks, but it's full of lovely little touches from the word go, the little CRT noises splitting the tunes and the digitized "SE-GAAAAA" at the intro making clear this is a love letter to the style, and one Mitch is certainly having fun with.



Going against what I said in the opening paragraph here, we're going to start with Runners, just because you've probably heard the first couple tunes if you listened to the soundcloud player above. Runners is far and away what I call the least soundtrack-y tune on the EP, from the way it's structured it clearly has more in common with Mitch's usual synthwave output than strictly sticking to the 'OST' theme. That's not a bad thing at all however, and though it may stray in structure the sounds remain very Sega CD-esqe, my favourite being that bouncy bass which kicks the whole thing off.

Mitch Murder - Runners [click to download] |HTML5|


It should come as no surprise to longtime readers that I dig the latter half's more down-tempo tunes a whole bunch too, Sneakers sees a return to more thematically appropriate song structure, albeit with a few deviations here and there. After quite the foreboding intro, the tune becomes something more akin to some of the tunes I've posted from VA11 HALL-A in the past, and those little background flourishes definitely give me a little bit of a Snatcher vibe, so mission accomplished on the Sega CD front then.

Mitch Murder - Sneakers [click to download] |HTML5|


And finishing up fittingly enough with the End theme. Which if I was being pedantic sounds more like a N64 soundtrack, or even closer to something like an early PS1 JRPG but I digress. I think this style really has legs and would love to hear more of it, I fear I may have to wade through a sea of low effort vaporwave for that to happen though. If you're into the sounds on show in this post, I'd definitely recommend check out Mitch's catalogue in full, he's got quite a few releases over on his his Bandcamp, and some of them (like Mech Hunter OST) can be nabbed for free.

Mitch Murder - End [click to download] |HTML5|


Regardless, I really dig the idea of imaginary OSTs, it's something I've had a crack at before and think it' a good creative task for any musicians out there, anyone looking for a more high profile example might want to check out Passengers' Original Soundtracks 1, a collab between U2 and Brian Eno which consists of music for films that do't exist. Ironically some ended up being used in actual films, including One Minute Warning as the credits theme to the 1995 Ghost In The Shell movie to bring us full circle.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Reconnected

Back online after an unfortunate router explosion last Friday. It was cracking on a bit but I never expected it to leave in such a dramatic fashion, still over the years it provided me with no end of material to work with, and I only see fit to pay it tribute with somethings I've been playing in the meantime.

Chicote CFC - Knives In Honor To Love (2012)

There's going to be a running theme of Drum & Bass today, from an unlikely source actually, I loaded up on soundtracks to see me through the period of having no 'net. And as it turns out, Trigun's is still real good. Tsueno Imahori weaves a fine tapestry of all sorts of genres throughout: bits of Blues, Jazz, small touches of hip hop and all sorts crop up throughout. The highlight of the first OST album is by far and away Philosophy In A Tea Cup, the combination of Piano & breakbeat scratches my itch something fierce (although it's usually Omni Trio doing the scratching), it could have easily been something that appeared on an early Ninja Tune comp, it has that kind of DJ Food feel methinks. Which wouldn't be too far fetched considering Imahori's work on the Cowboy Bebop OST, which in addition to having a legit remix of the theme by DJ Food, also had a spin off remix album with the likes of Luke Vibert and Mr. Scruff.

Tsueno Imahori - Philosophy In A Tea Cup [click to download] |HTML5|


Been revisiting the mid 90's drum & bass on offer from Everything But The Girl. Ironically enough this tune doesn't show off any of the melancholic lyrics that I remember the album for, but it's apretty good demo of the overall sound. I do have a li'l bit of a soft spot for tunes like this, I remember thinking they sounded crazy futuristic as a young 'un which is kinda funny looking back, because now I'd describe the whole of the Walking Wounded LP to be pretty par the course for D&B of the era. Not to knock it though, I still really like it and I think that Tracey Thorn's vocal accompaniment works great with the production.

Everything But The Girl - Before Today [click to download] |HTML5|


Swinging back around to my earlier point about Piano & Breakbeat combos, I'm going to give Omni Trio another nod. Even Angels Cast Shadows is chock full of examples of what I'm talking about, and is an album I should probably credit more as it only barely doesn't make my list of 10/10 albums, 16 years on from release and I'd argue it still sounds pretty fresh in the grand scheme of things.. I absolutely adore that combo of deep basslines and twinkling piano and some strings even get involved towards the end which are a treat too. Check it out if this kinda thing is your bag as much as it is mine.

Omni Trio - Higher Ground [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 1 May 2017

The Humanz Condition (Gorillaz Album Overview)

Seven long years after we were spoiled with 2 Gorillaz albums in one year, they're back with another offering in Humanz. I like to try and remain impartial when it comes to the look of albums, but I really aren't feeling the art for Humanz at all, the rendering of the characters is treading a little bit into the uncanny valley, especially 2D. While we're on the subject, I'm not big on the title either, but I said the same about Plastic Beach just before that came out and now I don't think twice about it, and this is far from the first time we've had weird looking renditions of the band so I'm going to keep that gripe to a minimum. Let's get stuck in.


From the get go you'll see that the selection of collaborators is a little more eclectic this time. Which sounds funny of me to say coming off the heels of Plastic Beach with the likes of Bobby Womack and Snoop Dogg but the point stands. The second thing that had my attention is the amount of 'Interludes' there are, seven of the 26 tracks to be precise. Seems Damon Albarn's taken a leaf out of early 00's rap albums when it comes to structure.


On that note, Humanz wastes no time getting down to business after the first interlude, with the bombastic trap stylings of Ascension kicking things off with a bang. Not really my cup of tea, but I appreciate Damon's flexibility all the same, and I do dig the vibe it's setting up. I'd always felt that an electropop direction would be the next stop for Gorillaz after the likes of Doncamatic and the Little Dragon features of Plastic Beach, and Strobelite is pretty much what I'd pictured as the result of that, albeit a little more on the house side of the spectrum. I want to say it's quite different so in a blind test you'd have trouble discerning it was Gorillaz, but I think that can apply to all their albums really, at this point in their career the defining feature is the variety on offer. Before we move on, it reminds me a whole lot of MSTRKRFT's So Deep from Fist Of God, which is a gap I've been needing filled since 2009.

I'm going to gloss over some tunes form here on out in the interest of brevity, starting with Saturnz Barz because it's been out there so long I'm not sure what input I could have on it. I will say that if the production is all Damon's he's done a cracking job with it, and I think his vocal style offers a nice contrast in songs like it, I'd like to see him stretch his legs back into the rap world like back in the days of Deltron 3030. On that note it's nice to see De La Soul again on Momentz too.


Submission is doing a bang up job of taking me back to the heyday of late 00's dance in the vein of La Roux and Kelis' brief foray into Electro by way of Crookers. An early highlight, Damon's talent for picking guest vocalists shining through once more, definitely going to be keeping this one in rotation for a while. Charger is a bit of an odd one, a complete 180 form the smooth electropop style of previous. Me and a coworker were talking about it on Friday and both said that it sounds very Blur-y, part of that is definitely Damon turning up the accent up to 11 like on Country House, and part of it is that deliciously crunchy guitar present throughout.

Not going to say much about Andromeda because it's been out for so long again. I will say it's nice to hear Damon mostly on his own here, and I'm surprised it took so long in the track-list to have one. Similarly, Busted And Blue is downright fantastic too. I'm a sucker for downtempo numbers sure, but the combo of hazy, dreamy electronics and Albarn's delivery is a combo that I think is pretty special, something that's a refreshing change coming off the heels of his more acoustically oriented solo LP. Sex Murder Party sounds like it could be remix left off of The Fall, it's got that stripped skeletal sound that was running motif of that album, backed once again with more trademark Albarn vocal delivery.



Segueing to the last 4 tunes of the album: I was expecting a more punky sound to She's My Collar, based on the title and opening instrumentation. I like the tune as is, I think Damon's vocal is on point as usual and I'm in love with the synths towards the outro, but given the surrounding atmosphere and all I'd like to see him get a little shouty like on, well, Punk from their self titled. My opinion of Hallelujah Money remains mostly the same: I am very much enjoying the return of the backing choir, something I've missed from the penultimate parts of Demon Days which made them shine. Benjamin Clementine doesn't disappoint here, his delivery compliments the overall production very well indeed, and is a nice counterpoint to Damon's vocal too. We Got The Power is a slice of feelgood from the usually melancholy Damon Albarn. It's downright fantastic if oddly placed in the track-list, not sure it's what I'd pick for an ending tune (for the basic edition of the album anyway) and it does sort of abruptly end which is a bit of a let down. But it's catchy as all get out, and is bound join the lineups of the songs the crowd sings along to when it makes a live debut.



It seems that my theory of a politically charged album were off mark a fair bit, still there are some pretty powerful verses contained within no doubt. After spending some time with it, I think that the length of the track-list is a double edged sword, while I welcome the plethora of Gorillaz material to get stuck into, it can be quite easy to get lost in the sea of sound, doubly so for any new-coming listeners. My biggest issue is that there was no reason the interludes couldn't have been merged into the tracks themselves, especially in cases like Interlude: Elevator Going Up, making a 4 second voice clip it's own 'track' is a silly move and just ends up looking like padding the numbers. All in all, I'd be hard pressed to pin a numerical rating on it. Not because it's particularly bad or good mind, more that every album post Demon Days has been a grower with some standout tracks for me personally, and Humanz looks like it's going to continue that trend.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 24 April 2017

Me, The Site And You.

Hello all. You know I don't often like to get real with you all but unfortunately now calls for some real talk. Those of you who've been with us for a while will notice that the site's been pretty much a skeleton crew of me, with Sulphites or occasionally Adam popping in. The long & short of it is that I'm starting to have trouble managing all the workings of running a music blog solo, and after a few calls for writers over the years have turned up empty I think it's time for a change in how we operate.

Chicote CFC - Polysemy (2017)

What I found out in the last post is that my old system of having the promos email forward to all the writers isn't ideal, I'd forgotten to clear it out in a few months so it plain stopped emailing us new stuff. So from no on if you're wanting to send something to me, you can do so via: My Twitter, my personal Gmail if you already have it (if not you can find it on the site, I try not to post it in case of spam crawlers) and when I pull my finger out and set it all up again, Our Submithub.

I repeat, from this day forward the promos@ilictronix.com email will no longer be in use. see above for alternative modes of contact.

Right, now that unfortunate business is out of the way, let me get back to the tunes. Another lesson learned for me, I put off picking up the Old Future Fox Gang album when it was free, now it's disappeared off the face of the internet. Thankfully we have fan soundclouds to fill in the gap. I wasn't the hugest fan of the tunes that they had featured in Hotline Miami 2, but Don't Cry For Me really scratches my instrumental itch.



About a month ago the Ed Banger soundcloud started upping a bunch of older tunes for the upcoming 100 compilation. And among them was Sktesteak from Mr. Oizo's soundrack to his own film, I like to dig it out every once in a while because it never fails to transport me back to being a 16 year old Ed Banger fanboy. Other than than, it's Oizo doing what he does best circa 2007, which was a fantastic year for electro all 'round. That slowed down ending section is bloody fantastic every time.



-Claude Van Foxbat