Sunday, 11 March 2018

Guest Night Tales Vol. 2 (2018 Version)

The revival continues, the week sees the return of the first true proper 'Guest' offering, this one was made by a friend of mine at Uni and it was the first moment I realised this could be a series, and pretty much what I said last week still stands: I was really into seeing other people approach the same prompt, and since I don't get to see that as such these days now that my art college days of briefs & crits are behind me, it's been refreshing to revisit this idea.

Grim's offering is a slightly eclectic mix of Hip Hop, Dubstep and Reggae, and just a smidgen of Demon Days era Gorillaz. It's straying form our Electronic label quite a bit, but that was the reasons why I ran with the idea of the Guest Night Tales in the first place. Unfortunately just like my list there were some casualties in the tracklist but I think the meat of it is there and it works just fine. It's only now looking back I see how many tunes I swiped for my own collection from this list, which is another bonus of looking into other peoples collections I suppose: despite the differences mine and Grim' lists might have we had common ground in terms of the Dubstep and Drum & Bass we liked. It's good to step out of your world for a little while, you might just find some tunes and artists you really dig, after all "You Might Like" and "Users Also Liked" algorithms can only take you so far.

There's still a couple more of the Revivals before we hit new ground, the next couple have pretty slim track-lists due to spotify not having the infinite variety of grooveshark, I'm thinking those weeks I might make a second normal post mid-week to make up for it a little. Regardless, stay tuned for more and as always stay safe and enjoy the music!

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Guest Night Tales 2018: The Revival

Cleaning up my HDD this week I found some remnants of art I did for the 'Guest Night Tales' series I did back in 2013. +I still really adore the idea behind it, it's shamelessly ripping off the actual real Late Night Tales compilations but still I like peering into other people's listening, and ultimately their different approaches to the same prompt: "What's your perfect late night playlist?"

So back then I ended up with a bunch of grooveshark playlists that I asked friends to contribute some art and a track-list to. Grooveshark kicked the bucket in 2015 and since then the posts have just consisted of a list of the few songs I could salvage from Grooveshark's recovery option at the time. Until now. I've decided to give them a new lease of life as spotify playlists this time. Now there are some downsides, some tunes straight up aren't on spotify so some of the playlists re missing anything from one or two songs to whole chunks in some cases. Still, it's nice to have them back and functional again.

Starting with my contribution, 2015 me helpfully didn't list the entire playlist when GS died, so I rebuilt most of it and added even more songs to it, it made sense to given the time that's passed anyway. Some alterations were made: I swapped out the Plaid Mix of All Is Full Of Love for the Guy Sigsworth one, and one of the linchpins of the ambient section, The KLF's Madrugada Eterna is missing but overall I'm still happy with how it came out.

I tried to really capture my listening progression over the playlists runtime, starting with a little bit of 80's stuff, slowly changing into the electropop block by way of Chromeo, which gives way to more of a downtempo / electropop combination with The Knife and friends before going full on trip / hip hop with a little help from the likes of Nightmares On Wax and Blockhead before finally beginning to wind down with the more ambient block featuring the likes of Boards Of Canada, culminating in the rhythmic ambience of Charlotte's Mouth and Nightvision.

Nothing too surprising for longtime readers, but stay tuned in the coming weeks as I resurrect the other playlists in the series and add a few more to the stock. It's gonna be a good time. If anyone reading would like to make their own Guest Night Tales list, please feel free to do so! Whether you make it and send me the link or just give me a tracklist to work with I'd love to have it featured here.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 25 February 2018


Helen Frankenthaler - Reflections IV (1995)

A return to a more eclectic mix of tunes like I used to do in years past. Starting with a little underrated piece from Massive Attack's Protection. For me the LP is so, so close to being on my 10/10 albums list, but it falls at the last hurdle with a slightly naff live cover of Light My Fire which doesn't really fit with the rest of the album. Still it's essential listening for anyone into downtempo, and Eurochild is home to one of my favourite verses ever courtesy of Tricky at around 2:53: "Take a second of me, You beckon I'll be. When you're sad I'll mourn and when you tear, I'm torn.".

Massive Attack - Eurochild [click to download] |HTML5|

I've spoken on a few occasions about my favourite vocalists, and Trish Keenan of Broadcast is very near the top of that list. All her songs have a light bittersweet edge to them now that she is unfortunately no longer with us, but I'm always consistently in love with her vocal delivery. And what better song to show that off than the fairly minimal cover of Nico's Sixty Forty, Trish's vocals have a slightly lo-fi feel to them here, but it continues to remain one of my favourite pieces of hers.

Broadcast - Sixty Forty [click to download] |HTML5|

Keeping it downtempo for the final choice. I've been having a lot of Moby's more ambient work on in the background while I work. Play is still a fantastic album (if a little overplayed) almost 20 years on. Here's the short interlude Down Slow, a far cry from the ambient pieces on the fittingly titled Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. it clocks in at just over a minute and a half. It comes up in the shuffle once in a blue moon and sometimes just blindsides me and I get a little lost in it. This has been one of those times.

Moby - Down Slow [click to download] |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Nostalgia Trippin'

I've posted at length several times about my love for Graeme Norgate's Timesplitters soundtracks, they were supremely influential to a young Foxbat dipping his toes into both the world of electronic music and shooters. But a lot of that attention has been focused on Timesplitters 2 (which to be fair had the majority of my time back when). So today I thought I'd do a cross section of some good tunes from the other 2 games, the OG and Future Perfect. Get a load of those character models from 2000.

I thought I'd start with something a little unassuming first, the soundtrack to the built in mapmaker mode. I know I dole out a lot of criticism for generic productions and the like, but I have a real soft spot for menu themes and tracks like this. It's a little bit like ambient music, Norgate's sound engineering skills put to the test to make a tune that fills the silence but won't drive you out of your mind as you edit and re-edit variations of your map. Maybe it's the nostalgia talking, but I think I could slip a couple tunes like this into my cosy electronica category.

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

Something I especially like about the overall design of the Timesplitters soundtracks as a whole is how Norgate plays with the genres on display, fitting given he location and time-period hopping backdrop of the games. Compound is a one-off big beat come trip hop style tune with samples and some vinyl scratchin' dotted throughout. It's a one off composition that only appears in the multiplayer map of the same name, which sounds like a lot of effort on its own but this is just one of many tunes from the OST that are made for that exact purpose.

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

I like that tunes like the above are decidedly non-videogamey in how they feel. The same kind of applies to the final tune I have for you from the third installment, Future Perfect. Here Norgate stretches his trance legs and takes us on a 7 minute ride. It'd be just as at home on the dance-floor as it is with deathmatches, and I've been often tempted to throw it into one of those mixtapes I put together semi-infrequently. The break at 4:15 is so deliciously in the style of old school trance euphoria and I adore it. Thanks for all the good times, Graeme.

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

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Rainy Days

Kiyoshi Saito - Coral (1958)

After a couple of weeks of themed playlists, you'll be pleased to hear that this time we're back to the usual format. Starting right with more obscure Flying Lotus tunes, Catacombs is a bit of an enigma, for one this is billed as the extended version, but I can't for the life of me find any evidence of a non-extended version. Pedantry aside, the tune itself is a terrific listen, the Thundercat-esque style on here is buttery smooth and an absolute treat for the ears. I say esque because nowhere does it say Thundercat did the noodling for this one, it's well worth your time.

Flying Lotus - Catacombs (Extended Version) [click to download] |HTML5|

Following an impromptu synth jam at work, I turned one of my teammates onto Analog Worms Attack. A lot of folks don't realise there's more to Oizo than Flat Beat, and that the man's sill going strong to this day. I can see why though, the LP of Analog Worms Attack is a different beast than Flat Beat. Oizo's house-influenced tunes are in the minority here, replaced with a distinctly gritty and rough-cut hip-hop come electro sound. I adore it, but those looking for more flat antics will be let down. Here's one of the less abrasive numbers on there, Bobby Can't Dance

Mr. Oizo - Bobby Can't Dance [click to download] |HTML5|

I've been revisiting Stenchman as of late too. I've tons of material from the guy over the years, and he's got more going than just the Dubstep of days gone by. Looking over the list I spy quite a few that I'd like to put up, but this one ended up making the cut. Silicon Future is definitely heavily Garage inspired, while Stench usually puts stuff in that style out under his Philestine moniker this one comes across more of a meeting of the two aliases, which is something that'd start to appear on his later free compilations. The tune's as good as ever too, hard to believe it was 2012 when I picked this up for the first time.

Stenchman - Silicon Future [click to download] |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Songs In The Key Of Chroma: Part 2 - The Downbeat

Back with part 2 of the CMYK playlists, we're rounding out the inks this time, heading down the list in order as we have been so far gets us to... Yellow. Home of all things downtempo, with a strong hip hop/trip hop lean to it, with some slightly funkier numbers in there for good measure. A warmer feel than Cyan and far from the dancefloor thematics of Magenta, Yellow is your go to winding down playlist (parts of wich may or may not have been adapted from my Morning After playlist). It might take the weather warming a little for these tracks to reach their full potential, but regardless enjoy this dive into my downtempo masterclass. Think artists like: Thievery Corporation, Nightmares On Wax and Bibio

And finally, Key. Not black as you might have expected, though black is covered in the range for Key. I don't quite get it either but I don't make the rules. Key as the shades of the thumbnail might suggest is where all the darker parts of my music collection lie. It's earthy tones and dark greys that I can turn to if I'm having a rough day and ain't feeling the uplifting vibes of Cyan or Magenta. Key is so far the most varied of the playlists, there's some decidedly non-electronic stuff in there, and some tunes I can't put in there due to them not being on spotify (honourable mentions to Suilen's Zakuro which would absolutely be on this list if they had it.) It's currently the shortest list at the time of writing, having trouble finding things to put into it but when I do, I instantly know they belong. Think artists like: Portishead, Depeche Mode, Trentemøller and Massive Attack

I'll continue to try build each playlist up to 100 tracks, in the meantime you can find all the CMYK (plus a few others) playlists over on my spotify. That's the end of the themed playlists, I might repost them when I get to the 100 tune mark for each but it should be back to regularly scheduled programming next week. As always, stay safe and enjoy the music!

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Songs In The Key Of Chroma: Part 1 - The Upbeat

I've been back on my playlist creation and curation trip again, I wanted to make something akin to mood playlists but didn't want there to be a million and one of them knowing me. So taking a leaf from my art education I divvied them up into your four printing inks, I'll be posting them all so far and giving a quick breakdown of what's within them today.

Cyan is a bit of a mixed bag, in here you'll find a slightly downtempo leaning collection sprinkled in amongst little bits of electropop, some ambient selections and other various lush sounds. If I had to pigeonhole it I suppose it be in the vein of motivational playlists. Think artists like: Röyksopp, Ladytron and Boards Of Canada

Magenta now, there's not as much here as I would like but I'm still building them up (my end goal is 100 tunes for each ink, so stay tuned for updates). In here you'll find all manner of tunes to cut loose to, a mish-mash of gorgeous tunes of the House, Electro, Synthwave persuasion, plus a few more. Think artists like: Perturbator, Carpenter Brut, Macrosss 82-99 and Vitalic

It's been a fun experience, I'm trying to limit myself to 2-4 tunes per artist so there should be plenty variety in there. I already have the other two playlists, Yellow and Key put together on my spotify if you're interested in a sneaky peaky at the upcoming post. Like I said earlier I'll be trying to build each of these up to the 100 mark,so give em a follow if you're into that. I'll be back next week with the other side of the inks which will be a little bit more laid back than this offering.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Out Of Phase

Elmer Bischoff - Figure In Landscape (1957)

Haven't been feeling myself as of late, going to keep the text to a minimum and share some tunes of a more ambient persuasion. Starting with a rare beatless contribution from Flying Lotus, takn from the Ideas + Drafts + Loops compilation he put out some years ago now.

Flying Lotus - Puppet Talk [click to download] |HTML5|

Geogaddi has finally returned to my rotation. In between sinister slices of slightly occult undertones there are some of my favourite lush Boards Of Canada offerings. Over The Horizon Radar will forever be among them.

Boards Of Canada - Over The Horizon Radar [click to download] |HTML5|

Squarepusher has few ambient pieces to his name, but those few are all very solid additions. Tommib being one of them, chcok full of gorgeous distrotion and all the things that scratch my itches, but most of all I love the way it subtly fades up to prominence and then just as soon its gone again.

Squarepusher - Tommib [click to download] |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Standard Protocol

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy - Flower (1925)

A blast from the past as for the first time in I have no idea how long we have an actual, factual shuffle post. These were my bread and butter some years back so it's nice to revisit them once in a while. Speaking of revisiting, I used to skip over this next tune because I wasn't really into the intro, but as the tale's gone so many times before after giving it a little time it turned out to be very much the opposite. The section starting around 2 mins in is extremley powerful, and I wish it stuck around longer. Overall, very nice once you give it the chance.

Nutritious - Distortion HQ (UNATCO) [click to download] |HTML5|

As for things I don't really dig, this tune is a mixed bag for me. It's incredibly generic at points, even feautring your mandatory EDM style dubstep breakdown towards the midsection. But I can't bring myself ot fully dislike it, for one that ethereal intro is a fantastic reimaging of Beyond The Bounds, and it's already incrdible vocal accompaniment gets a solid treatment here too. I'd love a full-lenght trancy version in the style of the intro, but I can be content with looping it as is for now.

Maki Kirioka - Beyond The Bounds (Eshericks Remix) [click to download] |HTML5|

And finally, the final tune and impetus for this post, another tune I'd overlooked because it didn't grab me initially. Once again it does get a little generic in parts especially towards the end but I've grown to like it since. I like the slightly sinister edge to the overall atmosphere, it's like if Distance had some more wobbles going on.

3x6 - Protocol In Dub [click to download] |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 7 January 2018

New Year, New Archive

Over tha past coupel of months (with a holdiaybreak over the end of Decemeber, natually), I've been on a mission to acquire some fairly obsucre things not only for myslef but so I can post them here and hopefully lessen the search for any others interested in the material. This has been our mission statement with all previous archive posts, the target of today's being none other than Flying Lotus. In addition to the 4000x4000 version of the You're Dead! album art above, I have some tasty findings to share with you all today. More on that in a second, but first a Los Angeles-era B-Side.

Flying Lotus - My Chippy [click to download] |HTML5|

First of which is from a bootleg (maybe?) compilation called LA Times. I'd imagine it came bundled with the paper at some point but I can't find any solid info one way or the other, googling "Flying Lotus LA Times" will get you a bunch of results but none in relation to this release. Anyway, I'd reccomend it for anyone like me who is in need of more deliciously compressed Los Angeles style wonkiness, it's not so difficult to get a hold of if you tweak your search terms a litle. Heat Wave is a short sharp glimpse into that world.

Flying Lotus - Heat Wave [click to download] |HTML5|

Lastly, the fruits of a collab between FlyLo and Samiyam, portmanteau'd into FLYamSAM. Their stuff appears on a couple of legit compilations, but some kind soul put them all together (and a few bonus ones) onto a bootleg compilation simply called Bootleg Beats. There's some failiar tunes on there but the standout by far for me is The Offbeat, one of th etunes which did appear on legit compilations. It again definitley has that Los Angeles sound to it, with maybe a smidgen of the sounds of Pattern + Grid World too, which is the exact style that drew me to FlyLo in the first place. I can't belive this one was under my radar for so long, I've given it a ton of play over the last few months and now here's hoping you will too.

FLYamSAM - The Offbeat [click to download] |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat