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

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Ceiling (And Tech) Demons

Some changes coming into effect today thanks to this post, but more on that later this week. Remember a year and a day ago when I posted Ceiling Demons?, I was thinking about them t'other day as I skipped back through some posts looking for soundcloud tunes that had been deleted, and was thinking how much into Even If back then. Mr. Foxbat was in tough times then and the audio positivity was much appreciated.



Fast forward to now, and quite a few things have changed. Ceiling Demons are back with some new tunes (and made me aware of some tech troubles in the process, again, more on that later this week) with March Forward. The tempo's a lot slower for one and the sun kissed sample of Even If replaced with more acoustic elements. The intro alone has a military-esque sound to it as the title would imply, and immediately made me think of The Seatbelts' Waste Land. I touched on the positive vibes last time, and it's present again here which I appreciate a heck of a lot. After all Aesop Rock's One Of Four has seen me through some dark days and remind me I ain't alone on this road. It can be a difficult one to do sincerely due to the nature of he subject, but I think the heart shines through here.



And just because I thought I'd save you a couple of clicks, here' Even If once again. I'm still into it as much as I was a year ago, and that's without the bias of 'em being local lads too. March Forward is officially out on the 28th, with a new LP sometime later this year too. In the meantime, you can check out March Forward and other tunes on their soundcloud see below for more links to where you can find more from 'em.

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


-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 17 April 2017

Risen

Whoops, I got so wrapped up in bank holiday shenanigans that I almost forgot to write this post. So you're goingto be sort changed by one tune this time but in the process I managed to find some material for the next one. Anyway, back onto the tunes, it's been a while since I've seen or mentioned Celadon City; me and he go way back by now, always providing a nice port of call whenever I needed some more wholesome electronics. This here remix is no exception to that rule, and with some additional touches from Dom Kilsby it has has me wanting to return to Stardew Valley.



And finally another bit from Funkstörung, this was actually one of my first introductions to them beyond the remix of Björk's All Is Full Of Love,and I loved it. I was deep into the IDM hole at that point, and Funkstörung's much more sedate approach to the often frantic genre's elements was refreshing to say the least, and it had vocal accompaniment too which is a rarity too. It's not for everyone, guest vocalist Enik's delivery is unconventional to say the least, but I think the combination of the sometimes stilted verses and stumbling beats live up to the title, and make for a unique atmosphere.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 10 April 2017

A Mixed Bag

Apologies in advance for the scattered selection of tracks, I went down the line doing some research on some rarer pieces in my collection, found some leads another miscellaneous good tunes on the way. Sarting with Mijk Van Dijk. I was just checking out his SC stuff on a whim, a lot of his stuff tends to be hit & miss with me, and to be honest this EP was mostly misses. But this is why we stick it out to the very end ladies and gents, because the last tune Power Slider hit my very small niche for songs that scratch my early 00's Wipeout itch (though as you may be able to make out from the cover, these tunes are actually from Ridge Racer V)



Now that that's out of the way, the rest of the tunes will be more of the downtempo variety. This one wasn't me searching out rarities, I like to check artists soundclouds and it just so happens that Funkstörung have two for some reason. On one of them is the promo copy of Disconnected, which as you may have already heard has little bits of interview spliced in. I kinda like it as an alternate version, reminds me of Miss Kittin's intermittent vocal musings on Radio Caroline Vol. 1, I appreciate they messed with the speed and whatnot to make it feel a bit more involved than just a simple cut 'n paste too. While it's pretty interesting, I'd still like a clean copy for daily listening, but even so, props to the Funkstörung lads for archiving it on the net.



And the Radio Caroline similarity what got me looking for this. Quite possibly the strongest contender in my library for hardest to google artist/track combination; Repeat with Studio 6.1.22, off the equally vague Easter EP. I normally try to avoid non-official soundcloud uploads for obvious reasons, but this one plain doesn't exist anywhere on any of Repeat's member's profiles (Plaid, Mark Broom & Dave Hill for the curious) so it'll do. The tune itself is gorgeous, it's nice to hear the full thing and not the 2 minute snippet on Radio Caroline (even if there isn't much more to the tune than what Kittin showed). Saying that I do kinda miss the spliced in samples from the compilation version, they added a little extra depth to the mix. Regardless it's a lovely little piece of instrumental down-tempo that may slightly stray into trip hop territory.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 3 April 2017

Clash Me

Futura 2000 - Untitled (The Clash)
You'll never guess who has two thumbs and an unhealthy appreciation for a niche electronic sub-genre from the early 2000s. That's right, it's time for another semi-regular installment of Claude goes on about Electroclash. Naturally my first port of call to start the electroclash journey was International Deejay Gigolo, so I got stuck right in with some Fischerspooner. It's been a while since I brought em up, and even then last time I think it was Emerge which everyone knows about (but is still a class tune mind). Much like Miss Kittin's eventual debut with I Com, #1 sways between the dancefloor and more meditative offerings, and the slightly sexy Turn On is a standout.

Fischerspooner - Turn On [click to download] |HTML5|


I've been really diggin' the more punky side of Electroclash these days. Back when I was more about the smooth & sleazy tones of Felix Da Housecat and the like, I inevitably picked up some pieces here and there but it was never really my favourite. Enter Mount Sims, with the fittingly electroclashy titled UltraSex, a rather recent addition to my collection but has quickly become a mainstay. Much like on Felix's Kittenz & Thee Glitz, there's plenty of critique of media and 'Hollywood' (though not as pronounced as on Kittenz). Hollywood Bride doesn't waste time, there's not an intro so much as a short couple of seconds before the whole thing kicks in, Sims himself shows off his vocal prowess quite well here too, a rare non-monotone delivery style in the sea of electroclash (barring the slightly forced Kitsch/Bitch rhymes). Only real complaint is the chorus synth is a bit weak, but every other element is on point so it can slide.

Mount Sims - Hollywood Bride [click to download] |HTML5|


And finally, more ADULT. Like with Mount Sims, I wasn't a huge fan back when I was mega into electroclash, but they've since grown to be one of my all time favourites. I'd by lying if I didn't say that Nicola Kuperus' breed of stoic delivery with just a hint of anxiety wasn't a big part of that. That's not to discount Adam Lee Miller's contributions mind (Hand To Phone has been a near constant in my playlists for more than a decade at this point), the production on Side-Swiped does a fantastic job of complimenting the vocals and creating the dark and slightly unnerving atmosphere, the way the synth effortlessly slides in after the title drop around 1:40 is just fantastic and makes everything feel like it's plunged into slow motion for a second or two.

ADULT. - Side-Swiped (Extended Mix) [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 27 March 2017

Go East

Aki Kuroda - CONTI/NUIT/É IV (1979)
Shout out to my shuffle today for serving up an impromptu theme. All today's selections hail from Japan, starting off with a bit from Soichi Terada's fittingly titled retrospective Sounds From The Far East. I always get indecisive about whether to say Terada's tunes are inspired by video games or the reverse, a lot of his stuff has an 'arcadey' feel for want of a better term and he is responsible for the Ape Escape soundtrack on PS1 so I feel it it could go either way. Anyway, a rare non-Drum & Bass offering from him this time, a relatively slow house type number that shows off a little of what I mentioned above.

Soichi Terada - Binary Rondo [click to download] |HTML5|


Second, another part from Cornelius' soundtracks from Ghost In The Shell: Arise. There's some gorgeously smooth pieces sprinkled throughout, (the intro to this one is absolutely fantastic for one) and a whole lot more with vocal accompaniment to boot. Appearing on Heart Grenade is Sean Lennon of all folks, wouldn't say he'd be my first choice, then again I haven't heard any of his stuff prior to this). Despite my initial concern he actually compliments the track fairly well in all honesty, wonder if he'll show up in any more electronic things in future.

Cornelius - Heart Grenade [click to download] |HTML5|


And finally something a little more cliché, I've posted this one before and I am still unashamedly in love with it. The introduction is pure distilled late 90's trance, which granted I do have a nostalgic soft spot for, but if it's not your bag it only shows up at the intro and outro. The rest of the 9:10 run-time is a crash course in the techno sound of the era courtesy of Mijk Van Dijk, both longer and smoother sound wise than it's For Boys counterpart on the same EP, out of the two this one is still my favourite.

Denki Groove - Niji (Mijk Van Dijk's For Girls Remix) [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Obligations

I haven't posted in quite a while ashamedly, and introductions were never my strong point, so let just get straight into it!


Firstly, a track I've had on repeat for the last week or three, Daylight by Aesop Rock. I enjoy Aesop's use of doubled up vocals, but after a while, it can become a little tiresome. That's my only criticism of Aesop Rock. The samples are solid, the beats tight and well balanced in the grand scheme. It's just a well written song, and the track suits it perfectly.
Part two is Nightlight. It is exactly what you'd think it is, a yin to Daylight's yang. It too is executed soundly (ba-dum tss), and perfectly fills the mood. Many of the lines from Daylight are repeated, albeit with a new negative or darker answer. One of my favourite lyricists.

"My God, NightLight flipped th beauty of Daylight on its back and fucked it." (sic)


Next up, Utah Saints. I never really got into the 90's electronica, and I think it's fair to blame the general quality and style that many of the hits from that era share. Although the album (Two) cam out in 2000, it still holds many of the characteristics of 90's dance. This track I find to be somewhat exempt, and I cannot find any reason why. It starts so simple and basic and just builds to something fantastic throughout. The vocal work sounds like some of the early Moby vocals, and the simple delay feedback used throughout to blend sections works favourably. Enough chit chat, enjoy it.




Lastly, something soothing and soft yet powerful and resonant. Gotye's remix album Mixed Blood (2007) was a really quite good album in my opinion. This 3am mix really quite suits the title, fitting perfectly with the vibes that abound at 3am. A soft, soothing and haunting synth and some stunning vocal work. Bravo Joe Hardy.


Regards,
sulphites

Monday, 20 March 2017

Monday Moods

Jules Lefranc - Le Metro Aerien
Another selection of things I've got on; kicking off with my favourite obscure band, Alpinestars. With only 2 albums to their name and an incredibly difficult to google name you won't find an awful lot about them on the web. I picked up their second one, White Noise in my early 2000s days of picking up anything that caught my eye under the chillout section. I put it away a few years ago because I wasn't so hot on it anymore (or so I thought), I dug it out again after giving two of the standout tunes a revisit (the equally hard to google Snow Patrol parts 1 & 2). Turns out I don't have as many qualms as I thought with it, there's definitely more than a hint that it's from the era, the Moby-esque strings and guitar being one of the more obvious ones, which isn't an issue if you have a soft spot for tat kinda sound like I do. Here's Brotherhood which shows that off very well.

Alpinestars - Brotherhood [click to download] |HTML5|


On that same note, and from the same year as a matter of fact, I will forever love the use of strings on Anything Is Possible from DJ Mehdi's debut. As much as I love the House & Electro of Lucky Boy and the Ed Banger era, I wish we had more of this more laid-back hip-hop style output from him. I think that I described this one on the podcast as positive trip-hop, which in hindsight isn't 100% accurate, in fact it's probably a little bittersweet given the circumstances of Mehdi's passing. But it still rings true to me a little, you can find me always returning to this one when I need a little musical pick-me-up.

DJ Mehdi - Anything Is Possible [click to download] |HTML5|


And rounding off this selection of downtempo vibes is the E-Z Rollers. Tucked away on an album chock full of drum & bass are a few tracks that lean on the slower side of the BPM scale. The trip-hop reworking of Walk This Land being one of them, the jazzy elements present on the rest of the album feel just at home here as they did on the drum & bass parts. It's a little on the short side but a gorgeous listen nonetheless. Keep your ears out for a re-incorporation of a sample of Derrick May talking about techno producers from the preceding track on the album Retro

E-Z Rollers - Walk This Land (Remix) [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 13 March 2017

What's On

Micael Bell - The Ring (2008)


Oh man has it been a week already? I don't have anything in the pipeline this time so lets gather 'round the fire for a good old fashioned what I've had on the last couple of days, it's been a while since we've had one. Starting off with another relic of my early 2000s mission of grabbing anything chill I could lay my mitts on. Blu Mar Ten's debut album is a big departure from their Drum & Bass output before it, there's a lot of house, downtempo and ambient laden throughout this one. I still think that some parts of it are a little rocky, but I'll be damned if I still don't absolutely adore the one-two punch of the opening track (Home Videos) and Drive, it's seen me through many a hazy morning after.

Blu Mar Ten - Drive [click to download] |HTML5|


Dug The Deadbeats out of storage as well, and there's a similar story with them too; their first LP Lounging showed promise but had a couple missteps here and there. Fast Forward to 2010 or so when I'm checking out some Nightmares On Wax mixtape and see them come up again, and in that 9 year gap they managed to come through with one of my favourite hip-hop jams in a long time. It ain't incredibly complex, but it don't need to be, if anything captures the soul of their second LP Made In The Shade, it's You Never Know.

The Deadbeats - You Never Know [click to download] |HTML5|


I went back and read my review of Mind Bokeh from '09 too. And something I mention is how the 1 minute intro for Excuses is a tad excessive for me. Thankfully I also have the EP version which cuts it down to a much more light 26 seconds. It's this version I fell in love with originally actually, watching the music video over on youtube; Bibio's hazy delivery, the off kilter beats and the video's gorgeous chromatic aberration had me sold from the get go. I still think it's one of the strongest offerings Bibio has, and a nice into to the hip hop side he occasionally dips into

Bibio - Excuses (Single Version) [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 6 March 2017

Analog Heart

Capping off a Monday dentist trip with some delicious synth work from DMX Krew. It's been a while since I scrolled through his soundcloud and it seems that much like Venetian Snares, Ed's been a busy lad as of late. I should come back more often cos I inevitably find something new to binge on every time I'm there. This time it's Radioactive Leak, though DMX Krew has always had that retro edge to it this one does feel sightly different, methinks it has a certain vaporwave/future funk slant to it, and at the risk of sounding real cliche again parts of it would be right at home on a Sega CD game.



He's also done a new age album since last I saw, fittingly called New Age Travellers. Here I was expecting full embracing of he cheese a la so many other New Age records, MIDI sax, dolphin and whale noises you know?. Well it ain't that, instead it's more lovely synth based chill stuff. I'm mad in love with this one, shame it's a tad shot but it's quality every time. Getting slight E-Z Rollers vibes off that intro, and the whole thing really just makes me want to play VA-11 HALL-A again.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Live One

Apologies for the large gap, as is par the course for moi, had some plans that didn't work out. Decided to fall back on the fairly large backlog of Warp stuff that's gathered in the time being. Most notably the return of Shobaleader One, seven years after Squarepusher promised us there'd be more from his then newly formed 'band' as it were. It's not new material (which isn't to knock it, just laying cards on the table), but rather a compilation of Squarepusher tunes played live and in the Shobaleader style which in itself is quite interesting, the first Squarepusher live offerings since Disc 2 of Do You Know Squarepusher? if I recall right. Slightly annoyed that this wasn't up on any steaming services but then again it ain't out yet. I'll have to check back in 9 days when Elektrac is released proper and give it the once over.



I've heard Journey To Reedham a million times, but it's still just as nice in it's Shoabaleader rendition. I do think I prefer the synths of the original to the bendy guitar here but to be honest I hadn't given it that much thought until now, mainly because I was distracted to how one-to-one with the original the drums are, I'd be convinced they were a backing track if it wasn't for the slightly ska sound they have to them. Whoever it is doing the drumming for Shobaleader One, I've got mad respect for them to keep up with 90's era Squarepusher beats.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

We Were Always Coming Back

Decided on a whim to see if I could find some more obscure things on soundcloud, hoping to find more meticulous archives a la Miss Kittin (more on that later). Instead I checked up on Felix Da Housecat and it seems in the time gone by he's put out another full length, and you can actually get this one without having to buy a copy of Mixmag unlike the one before, though saying that there isn't a proper *physical* release, which is a bit of a shame but that's the way things are going these days and the thing itself is on 256kbp/s too. But enough negatives, have at it and I'll join you again after the embed.



The title's quite fitting actually, after falling out of contact with Felix (like I do far too often in real life too), it's nice to hear him again.
On Is Everything OK? here it seems Felix has fully embraced the 'Nu-Disco' synthwave style stuff, it's always been kinda hinted at in his previous works and done it well. It's a bit of a departure from his usual sound in comparison actually but well made regardless. I do always appreciate treated vocals as you all know, and this is feeling a lot like Moviedisco 2 to me right now. I did always think that Felix could have done more vocal electroclash on his own a bit like Mount Sims, but then again he did make some of the scenes iconic tunes and introduce me to Miss Kittin, speaking of....



Shamelessly re-posting one of my favourite reworks of Rippin Kittin. I adore the tune in all it's forms and as mentioned above I owe it to Felix for introducign me to Kittin early on in my electronic music inductions. But another thing I appreciate a hell of a lot is Kittin's treatment of her Soundcloud as an archive of practically everything she's ever done. Obscure one-off electroclash tunes with The Hacker that only appeared on a compilation relased only it Italy? It's there, along with just about every remix you could ever want.

And that's why this one is so important to me, I can't find this remix anywhere; legit or ill, digital or physical. I understand it's not always possible to be this organised with archiving, hell if most artists are anything like me a lot of the original copies of remixes and releases have been misplaced along the way (and not to mention running a soundcloud archive one must cost more than a few pennies). So I'd just like to thank Kittin once again for the effort and allowing me to essentially go digital crate digging, now to listen to Rippin Kittin one more time...

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A Belated Valentine's Show

Hey all, dropping by with another round of the ilictronix show. I couldn't be on this one but I still sent over my selections. As the theme would suggest, we got a whole heap of lovin' tunes to get yourself and your other half down to. Tracks and all after the embed. If for some reason the embed isn't working for you, click here to go to the show page.



Tracklist:
Sheek & Big Pun - Piña Colada (Arca Edit)
Caspa - Lon-Don City
Massive Attack - One Love
Chase & Status - Take U There
Vitalic - Poision Lips (Extended Mix)
Louis La Roche - Love
Together - So Much Love To Give
Sébastien Tellier - Kilometer (Arpanet Remix)
DJ Assault - Sex On The Beach
Fingers Inc. – Feeling Sleazy
Smerz – Blessed
Lloyd – Get it Shawty
Miguel – The Valley
Jocelyn Brown - Somebody Else's Guy
Delroy Edwards – Get The Nut

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Snowy Synthwave Sundays

Just swinging by with some synthwave goodness on this unusually snowy afternoon. Wasting no time lets get down to brass tacks. Just like Carpenter Brut does on the short and furious Turbo Killer, which seems to have spiked again in popularity as of late. While it's nice to have the spotlight taken off of Roller Mobster once in a while I do urge you check out his other work, the man has his style down pat, and you'll certainly be seeing more of him in future.



And to cap off something I finally remembered the title of after seeing it on a stream, which I originally found years ago as one of those real low effort 80's/90's anime set to synthwave deals. It was Riding Bean if you're curious. Anyway, Lazerhawk's Overdrive takes a while to get going but it all pays off around the halfway mark with a glorious pitch bent riddled synth solo that sounds like it's ready to start leaking out your speakers any minute.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 6 February 2017

Double Cyberpunk Feature

After weeks if not months of not paying off, I finally found a couple things on soundcloud that grabbed my attention. Wasting no time let's get stuck in, some more Ghost In The Shell action, normally I'm a bit cynical with anything billing itself as a remix because they normally miss the point or are just plain naff, I imagine in part due to Deadamau5 dropping a bit of the main choral theme a few years back in his live sets (which while a nic touch, was a bit low effort). Ghostgate manages to strike a nice balance between the two, the subtle cues of the chorus in the first minute or so are nicely done and manages to capture the dark ambient vibe of the OST well. It could do with a bit more variety once it gets going but overall not too shabby.



And finally just because it's been rinign in my ears for the past week or so, more from the VA-11 HALL-A OST, the game that had my interest as soon as I saw the tagline "Cyberpunk Bartender Action". I'd have much appreciated it if this was the kinda stuff playing when I was working in a bar but hey ho. Most of the OST is a kinda synthwavy deal, but this one's been sticking out to me as of late because it's got a 90's techno thing to it, that might just be the synth piano stabs but who knows. Definitley check the two volumes out if you're in need of more like this.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

An Ambient Moment

Mira Schendel - Untitled (Disks) (1972)


It's been a long while since I went on an ambient bend, so I'm going to break that streak and regale some of the classic ambient I have in my collection. Starting off right with the grandfather of ambient Brian Eno. Granted I can see why the album this is from, Ambient I: Music For Airports might not be for everyone, but I think it's an important milestone regardless. Needless to say I adore it, so have yourself a listen of the 17 minute opening track simply called 1/1

Brian Eno - 1/1 |HTML5|

Now I can't go throwing that out there without giving honorable mentions to the man who put ambient on my map in the first place. Selected Ambient Works Vol. II is masterpiece of the genre, one that is sadly incomplete depending on which version you get; the USA versions are missing a track dubbed "Hankie" (as all the tracks are named after a strange pie graph pictorial naming system), and almost all versions are missing the one I'm posting. Stone In Focus is a high point of the album, and one that is sorely missed on the tracklist. Here it is again for posterity.

Aphex Twin - Stone In Focus |HTML5|

Oneohtrix Point Never remains one of my current favourite Ambient artists. He may have strayed from his initial Juno-60 based synth sound but thankfully there's plenty of it to go around as is. Blue Drive is incredibly evocative, and I don't think it would have been if it went down an acoustic route like Eno's example above, or some of the more Piano-centric Aphex Twin tracks. It probably helps I'm a lover of all things synth but the atmosphere it creates is almost palpable.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Blue Drive |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Rephlexive Action

Went through my list of expanding backlog today and came across a little something that I'd long since forgotten about. Yessir this time we're talking Richard D. James' often overlooked label Rephlex, specifically Cylob. I was turned onto Cylob after hearing a couple remixes and appearances on Rephlex compilations, and it's one of the more obvious cases of me picking something out based on album art and names there is; Cylobian Sunset from 1996.



Breaking tradition a little bit this time, we're going to start with the penultimate track from Cylobian Sunset: I Left My Heart In Syntax Error. It's a very smooth piece that nicely contrasts the slightly glitchy album art, once again showing the flexibility of what was termed IDM at the time (the term which Rephlex famously hated), twinned with Cylob's knack for gorgeous synth. I really dig it, I've always had a soft spot for the more introspective parts of these kinds of records, I love me some snare rush breakcore sure but there's always room for something a little slower. Stay tuned for the small encore starting at 4:34.



I Left My Heart In Syntax Error was one of my first picks off the album, mainly because the title stood out for one, but ten again that's not too hard gven a lot of the tracks on here subscribe to the Autechre school of naming systems, usually vaguely techy (sometimes made-up) sounding things with maybe a slight pun. Not to knock Foid before we get stuck in though, it's another downtempo piece but in contrast to Left My Heart... is more subdued, the slow build of those delicate synths, then combined with muted drums makes for quite a cosy yet cold experience. Not awfully complex, but I don't think it needed to be.



And finally Balzouf, yet another downtempo one if you hand't guessed already but with quite a different spin form the first two. While the first two could maybe fit into a trip hop or ambient mold respectively, this one is definitely a prime example of of-the-era experimental electronic stuff. Not meant to disparage it too much, its still chock full of lovely sounds and all but it certainly shows its age and as a result comes out sounding a little bit like a piece from AFX's Melodies From Mars.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Electric Futures

Horacio Garcia-Rossi - Couleur Electrique Lumière (2000)


Kicking off with a slight electro slant this time, I was picking apart my look over Perturbator's LP The Uncanny Valley and seeing if my opinion had changed much. I don't think it has to be fair, the album is still mastered incredibly loudly (or at least my copy is, for good and bad, depending on the situation). But I did manage to find some things I hadn't put in my original post. Assault didn't really grab me first time through, it's not helped by having a real generic title for one, and secondly if you've listened to as much Perturbator as I have it's standard fare at this point. That is until you get to 2:30 of course, somehow I'd forgotten in the time past that there's a massive switch up from a slow and deliberate synthwave tune to more much aggressive feel as befitting an artist featured in Hotline Miami.

Perturbator - Assault [click to download] |HTML5|


I recently put the Half Life 2 soundtrack back into my collection after a long absence, I've gotten to know them pretty well in the decade plus they've been around. Still though, there are little pieces that I will forever adore, one of which being Sector Sweep from Episode 2. That pulsating intro is a joy to listen to and perfectly captures the track's title, I especially enjoy it being used as a basis for the rest of the elements to be built around, it's not often you see a soundtrack have so much symbolism with the media it's accompanying.

Valve - Sector Sweep [click to download] |HTML5|


And we can't be talking futuristic soundtracks and not give nod to perhaps my favourite opening theme of all time, Inner Universe. Ironically enough after speaking about soundtrack symbolism, Inner Universe nails it also, the contrast between the electronics and Origa's unique vocal contributions matches the world of Ghost In The Shell incredibly well. It's been a long time since Stand Alone Complex ended, and Origa herself passed sometime ago now, bet her work and the world of Ghost In The Shell will be forever entwined.

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


-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 23 January 2017

S'all About The Money

Leading on from last time, it's probably for the best that I scheduled these out. I wanted to wait a couple of days before covering this one for obvious reasons (and to see if they'd bob it up on soundcloud or whatever but no such luck yet.) Anyway, as you may be aware, there is a nee Gorrilaz tune out after some months of teasing and a few years of waiting. Now you notice I said tune and not Single, for some reason people have bee nsaying it's the first single off the new album but it's not actually *said* anywhere that it is. (and I'll admit I was one of those folks until doing a bit of reading for this).



So, let's get the elephant out of the room shall we? Damon's definitely taking a political angle with this one. Not that it's strange territory for Gorillaz to tackle, see Fire Coming Out Of A Monkeys Head or Dirty Harry from Demon Days for example, or even the one off collaboration with D12 about 9/11 if you want to get obscure. I've seen some people be kind of disappointed about that and it's a tad confusing, granted the few examples I've just mentioned perhaps aren't as explicitly on the nose about their issues but still. I'm not going to press it anymore because it's all over the bloody news these days and the last place you want political discourse is a music blog of all places.

Right, now that's out of the way how is the tune? Well you'd be forgiven if you thought this was a leftover from Plastic Beach or The Fall, the style is quite similar but that isn't a bad thing at all, it's just I thought some of Damon's solo LP might have slipped in there. Saying that though, 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. Speaking of choir contributions too, a high point of new Gorillaz things coming out is seeing who Damon's lined up for collaborations this time, ad 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. I remain tentatively excited, I'm not blown away yet, but there's certainly more to come.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Back @ It

Peter Phillips - Spectrocoupling (1972)


Re-instating an old policy to try and git more content out there. So have a storm of posts I'm writing over the course of a couple days and then scheduling out over a week or so. Starting with yet another song that's been drilled into my head. Compound is surprisingly chill given the series its from and all. Pretty much know it note for note only without the odd "PERFECT!" and shotgun noises from many tries at Behead The Undead.

Graeme Norgate - Compound [click to download] |HTML5|


Bibio made an unexpected return this week too, some folks I was talking to were interested in retro aesthetics for their video projects and I mentioned it might be a bit difficult to reproduce them exactly with software and brought up some Bibio videos for reference. The video for Excuses remains one of my all time faves, I remember watching it when it debuted in 2009 and it's still in that list.

Bibio - Excuses [click to download] |HTML5|


And finally, to commemorate this increase in productivity, a tune from Simon Viklund with a fitting title. Between this and Phoney Money the man clearly has chops in the hip/trip hop department, and as much as I love his electro based output I'd definitely not qualm if he came out with some more for us.

Simon Viklund - Change Of Pace [click to download] |HTML5|


-Claude Van Foxbat