Saturday, 26 September 2020

(Trying To) Wind Down

Juan Gris - The Open Window (1921)


Things have been a bit hectic as of late, and because of that I haven't managed to keep on top of my emails which only adds to the chaos. I sat down and rifled through them this morning and something I really appreciate is when Bandcamp keeps me up to date with artists I've bought from, so many times over the last couple of years an album or EP release has just completely passed me by and this helps mitigate that a bit, doubly so if you follow a label's bandcamp and see *all* their releases that way. They're ramping up lately which is to be expected with Bandcamp Firdays becoming a regular fixture. Here's a couple of things from both the new list and my archives:

And what better way to try and soothe than with the old tried and tested lo-fi style hip hop. I know it's become a bit of a meme in modern times (like so many other genres I like!) but I'll always carry a certain fondness for it, dating back to my times of staying up far too late and watching [adult swim] commercial breaks with that same vibe. I struggle to critique the genre in all honesty, it's pretty hard to get wrong; pick a nice sounding sample and you're pretty much there. I'm not super well versed in it admittedly, it's something I indulge in every now and then. Axian is one of the few examples I have in my library, and I had a look at the new stuff they have put up recently (though this one is originally form 2017 it's 'new' to Bandcamp) and Seasons Change really hit the spot. After being inactive for a long time this was a super sweet thing to come back to.



And just for old times sake, the original tune of theirs that I never actually posted about but included on a podcast way back when we used to do them. This one is a lovely slow-jam lo-fi'd version of Duvet by Bôa, which is one of my all time favourite songs in the non-electronic side of things. It was a lovely serendipitous moment where it appeared in my youtube auto-playlists for a long time but I assumed like so many one-off fan tracks that it wasn't anywhere else, only one lazy day did I read the description and find the Bandcamp page, and for a solitary dollar it was certainly worth it. Something both me and Axian agree on is that perhaps a little more of the original should have been included here, there's a small tease at the end of what could have been if that were the case. Not even the original lyrics, just a little more of that guitar work would have been a great closer.



Another one from the archives, I picked up Jasper Byrne's Night after hearing the title track on Adult Swim's synthwave as hell Fever Dreams compilation, and of course adoring his pieces from the Hotline Miami soundtracks from long before that. It's a lovely little album, although if you're coming off the Hotline Miami soundtracks don't go in expecting full-on synthwave ultra-violence. Having said that however, Bliss does have the feel of Miami from those soundtracks, having the same smooth synth melodies that were present on that track and the breakdowns of Voyager too. While it's got that neon-drenched vibe going on but overall has more of a chillwave style influence, like a slightly retro electronic version of Washed Out's Life Of Leisure, doubly so with those hazy vocals. They appear on a few tracks from this album and they're a nice addition, Jasper's instrumental work is gorgeous on it's own but the addition of vocals is super refreshing to hear.



And finally, yet another artist with a connection to Adult Swim for me, Casino Versus Japan. I've regrettably not really taken a really deep dive into their works in all these years, which is an absolute crime considering I've had Go Hawaii for ages, my original copy being a very low quality version from limewire of all places. Consider this then another one of my usual 'friendly reminders' to myself to actually do that in future. In the meantime, have one of my favourites from Go Hawaii, Local Forecast. It's a lovely little piece of melodic, squelchy home-brewed sounding electronic. The beat is a little harsher than I remember but that could be these laptop speakers that I'm stuck with at the minute. Be sure to stay tuned after the main tune fades out! there's an absolutely divine little bonus ambient piece on the end that I could immerse myself in for ever.



And so ends this time's slightly scatterbrained selection of things. As mentioned last time things might be getting a little more sparse from here on out so I hope you can have patience, as we all know a lot of things are a bit of a mess right now. Not to dwell on the negative though, I hop that firstly you are all well and secondly that you find some things you really dig in this selection. And finally, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.

-CVF

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Retro Reviews: Kleerup - Kleerup

Time for another look back at tunes gone by, this time with what I think is the newest album to yet feature on retro reviews, but I think at ~11 years old it's an acceptable entry. This time we're looking at Andreas Kleerup's debut; the eponymous Kleerup. It's an album that I have mixed feelings about, and it's yet another case of the album being released and then re-pressed within a year with a different cover and with an almost completely altered tracklist that really ticks me off - you essentially have to buy the album twice to get the whole experience. The Spotify version I'm covering today has the tracklist of the repress but the album art of the original just to muddy the waters further. But I digress, let's have a look.



The album opens with Hero, which now with the added hindsight of age wouldn't sound completely out of place in the Synth/Retro wave world, artists like Arcade High were making this kind of stuff circa 2012 for example. As an opening track it's pretty solid, it lays the groundwork for what's to come and nicely demos the sounds that permeate this album. It's maybe a little grandiose with the fadeout to choir on the end but overall it's fine.



The album's at it's strongest however when Kleerup has a guest vocalist to bounce off of, normally I am a bit suspicious when an album has a whole ton of Featuring credits (admittedly irrationally so now I think about it), but the album is only enhanced by the features on it. By far and away the biggest example is the very second track, the beautifully bleak Until We Bleed with Lykke Li. If there's a track from this album you've heard before it'll be this one; I do really like it and it's a great piece of production from Kleerup, though it's a bit of a 180 in terms of sound from the intro track. It's absolutely targeted to that slightly emo blogger demographic of the time, and Lykke Li does an amazing performance that completes that atmosphere. I can see the whole thing it coming off as a bit trite here in 2020 but I still have a fondness for it, though I do think the strings and lyrics make the whole thing a little bit overwrought.



Speaking of muddying waters, this track is the biggest culprit. You'll find it credited to Robyn, Robyn With Kleerup, Kleerup Featuring Robyn and just about every variation you can think of, which is warranted because Robyn also released this herself but I'm digressing again. If I had to pick one track that would summarises the album for me, it would be With Every Heartbeat. Every part of it is what I really like about this album: slick production from Kleerup with the way the elements build throughout, those lush synths and sparkling arpeggios, all tied together with Robyn's impressive as always vocal. Robyn was an excellent choice to feature (as were all the guest vocalists sprinkled throughout this album), her guest appearances around this time were all incredibly solid. Once again I feel like the strings are a bit much, they're not too bad when they're hanging in the background of the mix but I don't really get on with them when they come to the forefront during the breaks.

You can criticise some of this album as being total radio-bait, which I totally understand and think would probably apply to this track more than most as it was the breakout hit... But man, 2009 was a really good year for electronic pop stuff: La Roux, Röyksopp's Junior, Calvin Harris before he went full generic, it was good times.



I'm skipping over a fair few tracks here, which it's paining me to do a bit but I don't want this to turn into a track-by-track. We're getting into tracks now that were only included on the re-release one year later, and they're a lot more synthwavy than I remember. Iris in particular has that Kavinsky-esque slow jam feel to it. While it's only short it's been a highlight of my revisit to this album(s), strange that it's only included on the re-issue but then again it's also strange that some tracks were dropped entirely from the original pressing. While I've been praising the choice in guest vocalists throughout, I think Iris doesn't suffer from the lack of one, it's is a solid example of Kleerup's finely polished production style.



That trend continues on the next track and yet another highlight from my re-visit; 3AM. And again these parts of the LP are much more retro sounding that I remembered, those handclaps and synth solos like at 2:42 wouldn't be out of place when the whole outrun thing gained traction a couple years later. 3AM was also released as a single which I think was the right choice, much like some of the bits of Plastic Beach I feel tunes like this should have been bigger hits than they were but as mentioned above there were already so many hits that year it probably just got lost in the undertow. Hell, based on the bits and pieces I hear from the radio now a tune like this would still do well, and would probably be the only song on there to contain the world 'Newfoundland' (though rhyming it with 'and' was a bit forced!)



Misery continues the trend of slightly melancholic lyrics set to an upbeat backing that's present a lot on this album, and mixes things up with some male vocals this time to boot. I can't say that this one is a new rediscovery from this revisit either as it's had a place on multiple playlists of mine, so its not gotten as much of a dusting off as some of the others here. It's a pretty listen, home to all those twinkling sounds that we've had so much of so far, the delivery of the lyrics is this catchy yet cathartic release, and there's something lovely and paradoxical about an upbeat tune with this kind of vocal backing. I do wish the ending had a bit more impact behind it, the way it just kind of fades out has always bothered me a bit, I don't think it would be as bad if it were a to linger a smidge longer before the fade.



My final selection is more of the same, with a slightly funkier twist. It seems like a bit of a cop out to summarise an entire song in one sentence but it's pretty much true, by this point Kleerup has the formula down pat, and the tracks don't stray too far from it, which if you like them like I do isn't necessarily a bad thing at all. His production work really shines, and with he variety of guest vocalists there's enough variety in there that it at least stays a bit fresh. Also do remember that I am giving a slightly biased view of this album by choosing my faves which happen to lean on this sound, but even so tracks like Until We Bleed stand out as very different in contrast to the rest of my selections. Also note that this isn't the final track of the album, just my final choice. But saying that I reckon it wouldn't be too thematically out of place if it were



And so ends my trip down memory lane once again, this album is much more... 'generic' is the wrong word but certainly in that same vein. Don't get me wrong it's a quality album, I don't want it to seem as if that's a negative, I'm just having a hard time thinking of a synonym that would fit. I think essentially a bunch of the tracks got blended together in my head, which speaks to the consistency of Kleerup's production for better or worse. In looking it up I did find that Kleerup didn't do another proper follow up until this year, I haven't checked it out but I imagine the sound might have changed in the good decade and a year since this album. He has semi-regularly released EPs in between too, it's nice to see at least, Kleerup could have just carried on producing for other artists in the background.

So enjoy another instalment of these retro reviews, I think I'll have to consider more ~10 year old LPs of yore and see what and how if at all my opinions have changed in the meantime. There's not really a fully drawn up plan for these though, I write them as and when I sees them, I recently put this album back into rotation for example. Anyway, I hope you find something you like here, and as always: Stay safe and enjoy the music.

-CVF

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Decompress

Max Bill - Compression to Purple (1965)


It's been a bit of a week. And so I've pivoted to my usual listening in such times, albeit a little further. We're not going full ambient, but we'll come close at times! I mention a lot how much I love mid-late 90's to early 00's Trance in all it's EUPHORIA™ glory, but a large part of that is it's sister scene of chillout stuff; the songs intended to be put on in the room next door for all the folks coming down, or for you to wearily grab some orange juice from an Ibiza beach hut as you slowly work your way back to the hotel if you'll pardon the slightly romanticised imagery. A big part of why I love Trance in the first place is those actual euphoric breakdowns, and some of the chillout mixes of tracks are essentially never ending breakdowns. Case in point with another track I forgot I had, Solarstone's After Hours mix of Paul Oakenfold's Southern Sun. Full disclosure I haven't heard the original, but I've been looping this one for a couple of days now and I can't get enough of it. For its age I think it's held up fairly well, as have most of the chillout style mixes of the era, the mask only slips with that ATB-esque guitar that comes in every now and then.



Likewise with A:xus' Suite Disappointment, the digital EP comes with a ton of remixes but for me, my favourite comes at the very end. The Original Reprise as it's billed isn't the most complex mix in the world, like it's name says it takes a lot of elements from the original (which was full of gorgeous sounds anyway). But the key difference here is there is no beat at all, and I absolutely adore when tracks get flipped like this, just by removing that (admittedly amazing) 4/4 of the original just highlights the vocal performance and those melancholy lyrics that I've always liked. It reminds me of the Alexander Polzin chillout mix of Rippin Kittin in that respect which is another of my all time favourites. Tracks like this just beg to be used as a midpoint of a mix or something, I can already kind of hear the transition from the Reprise into one of the many other mixes in my head already.



I can't write a post about chillout without mentioning the elephant in the room. This one comes back into vogue once every few years, usually when it's featured on a soundtrack or as a streamer's intermission music or something. And not without merit, the tune is very good, if a little intense in parts for the 'chillout' label. Unfortunately I can only find the radio edit as an embed (I've been trying to shift away from Spotify see), which while it has enough to get your teeth into, it's just missing that crucial build up that makes the payoff extra sweet, it essentially cuts the song in half. Look up the full mix if you like what you hear. The original was actually a minor hit back in the early 00's over here in the UK, with Motorcycle (actually Gabriel & Dresden themselves, with vocalist Jes Brieden) only ever doing this one single and another solitary remix as was the style at the time. It's interesting to see tracks like this crop back up after years of quiet, especially when the resurgence in popularty sees it gain more attention in the USA and other places that it didn't originally, and it's tales like that which keep me blogging and sharing!



So ends our brief stint into trance come chillout after hours rundown, I hope these tunes help you have a minute of calm (maybe with the exception of Until The Rush Comes!). And as always: Stay safe, and enjoy the music.

-CVF

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Throwback... Wednesday?

Trying to keep up with posting but motivation has been fluctuating, between the new and crap blogger 'redesign' that google is pushing, and the public transport system of my country as reliable as ever (I type, dripping with sarcasm). Anyway, point is that I *was* going to start this yesterday which would have made for a nice alliterative title but it wasn't to be.

Eyvind Earle - The Wave (1990)


So without anymore preamble let's talk about the tunes in question. First is short lived turn of the millennium music 'unit' as they were described SiLC. They dabbled with a wide variety of sounds during their brief run, and all of them very much of the era, running the gamut from moody trip hop to amen break fuelled Drum & Bass to just good old fashioned house. Their penultimate EP, Himegoto has a premium cut of this house sound in the simply titled Vibe, it's a gorgeous little encapsulation of the late 90's house that bled onto the radio. The real highlight however comes after the full force return from the extended breakdown at 3:20, Miki's delivery is just so full of passion it's almost infectious. Something about this one just hit extra special yesterday, which is why I'm talking about it here!



Throwing back further for the next one, long before Soichi Terada would treat us all to his slick brand of Drum & Bass, he produced a track called Sun Shower for Nami Shimada. I've posted it before (with some slightly incorrect information I think), Originally released in 1989, it's had a few represses since then and is surprisingly easy to get hold of thanks to Crème Organization's repress and digital versions. Listen through the slightly dramatic 10 seconds of the intro and what you get is a fantastically retro piece of Deep House, Terada is always good when he's working in that genre and this is no different. Sweeping synths and that driving bassline are surprisingly fresh all things considered. If you'd prefer a pure instrumental to get an unfiltered listen of that goodness there is one included on this EP!



And finally, returning to DMX Krew. I've long loved Ed from DMX's analogue synth noodling, and I dig the whole aesthetic he's going for with it too, think Chromeo but a good ~10 years before them and influenced by retro Electro instead of Funk and you're pretty much there if the cover didn't already tip you off. And to perfectly summarise this even more we have Place Called Love from '98's Nu Romantix. 15 seconds in and you're already greeted by the gorgeous melodic lead that's going to carry through the song, it's one of my all time favourites of Ed's, surprisingly powerful. For the first time in a while we actually have a demo of the one thing I bring up every time I mention DMX Krew and that is the lyrical content. It's not as intentionally ironic here and the vocoder certainly helps with that, the lyrics themselves are a little corny in their content but fitting given the genres it's a love letter to. It's a short album at only 9 tracks (and one of them is a remix of a track not on the album so more like 8), but if it's a crash course 101 into DMX Krew this is a very good jumping in point.



Keeping things consistent for now, but as mentioned before there's a lot of things on the plate at the minute. Going to be mainly midweek and weekend posts from now on I think. But I digress, as always: Stay safe and enjoy the music!

-CVF

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Ilictromix: DJ Toka (2014)

A re-post and archival of one of the series of mixes Adam sourced for us a long time ago. Think this is the last one, but don't quote me on it! In the meantime, stay safe and enjoy the music. -CVF

Hey guys real special exclusive mix today coming to you from DJ Toka. I've been listening to this mix for the last couple of days and I'm excited for you to hear it too.

Toomas is a 30 year old DJ from Estonia with a great ear for deep cuts. Believe it or not he has only been spinning for a year now and it sounds like he has an exciting road ahead. I recently chatted with Toka about his influences and this mix:

Ilictronix: so what kind of influences go into your sets and production? 
Toka: My taste and influences are very varied and i love all music made with heart, soul and thought. My favorite artist is Michael Jackson and i love soul music, classical music, downtempo music and of course electronic dance music.

I: So then what are you listening to now or recommend to friends? 
T: Lately i have been listening to the album from the danish/canadian duo "Rhye". The album is entitled "Women" and is a smooth soul record with amazing vocals. Generally im more into the soulful downtempo stuff as opposite to the music i choose for my DJ mixes. However, i always try to keep it soulful. I like to be open minded and a good DJ should be able to educate, throw in bits and pieces of old music but still keep it fresh and always look out for the next big record. 
(Note: we featured Rhye in our ilictronix: wingman features)

I: So what kind of equipment did you use with this mix? 
T: Regarding this DJ mix and the tools i use, im using only digital equipment. Laptop and Traktor S2 DJ controller. Personally i dont think there is any "true style" of Dj:ing today, since it does not matter what equipment you use, whether it is analog or digital. All that matter is the music selection and how you program the sets and the flow.

You can find more of Dj Toka here:
Facebook
Soundcloud



Tracklist:
1. SOHN - Lights
2. Aki Bergen & Pezzner feat Terry Grant - Tararareando
3. Lifelike - Night Patrol
4. Hayden James - Permission To Love (Touch Sensitive Remix)
5. Tom Trago -Two Together
6. HNNY - For The Very First Time (Dirtytwo Midas Touch version)
7. Charles Murdoch - Dekire feat Oscar Key Sung (Bodhi remix)
8. Daughter - Youth (Lane 8 Remix)
9. Doc Daneeka - Walk On In
10. Nightriders - You Said
11. Outboxx - Need You
12. Lane 8 - Nothing You Can Say feat Lucy Stone
13. Ruede Hagelsein & Noir - My lover
14. Foals - My Number (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Remix)
15. Funk d Voi - Lovin feat Jay Leblone (Your body mix)
15. Tensnake - Congolal (Tensnake Rework)


-Adam

Friday, 11 September 2020

Delayed Arrivals

Do you ever think you have something in your collection and it turns out that you never did? It's something that's happened to me more than a couple of times (though less since I overhauled my folder structure a few months ago). It has been a while since I've had it happen, but recently I did have a couple of cases of it, and I'm going to share the results of that for you today.

Marina Pallares - La llegada de la abundancia (2007)


First up is Helen Marnie of Ladytron's first solo album. I remembered the announcement and release in 2013, I was still at University then, I remember listening to it and digging it. And apparently I just never bothered to follow up on it? Which is a shame because it's a very nice album. I'm not as familiar with Ladytron's later works from around the time, but compared to the stoic electronics of Ladytron's debut 604 that took more than a bit of influence from Kraftwerk's The Man Machine, Crystal World is much more dreamy in its execution. It's a style that compliments Marnie's voice very well, I liked her vocal command in Ladytron and I'm more than happy to see the trend continue here on the very first track of the album. It's slightly odd for me to think of tracks like this that are still fairly recent in the grand scheme of things as slightly nostalgic but they kind of are, this one in particular reminds me of that one summer around 2009 when electronic was all over the airwaves.



Similarly we have Au Revoir Simone, pretty sure I had some loose MP3s of theirs on an old phone many moons ago that got left behind. But like with Marnie I remember liking it a whole lot but then just never following up on it. And then a few years ago now when the new Twin Peaks was on and they were doing that special guest band bit, Simone were one of the bands included which kick started a reminder in my head. Move In Spectrums is an album I've mentioned in passing once or thrice; specifically the gorgeous slow jam that is Somebody Who. Revisiting it after some time though, and it's instead Crazy that's really resonating with me. I am totally enamoured with what they do with the synths here, and much like some parts of Gorillaz's Plastic Beach, I can't believe that some of these tracks weren't big hits, especially Crazy with it's chorus that almost demands you shout out along with it. My favourite part right now is the final build up and payoff starting around the 2 minute mark, which is just divine.



And finally, my long time loves The Knife. This one is not like the others in that I've known about it for a long time but was never able to get my hands on it, thankfully now it's much easier to get via bandcamp, albeit on on its original EP. Originally released on one of their first ever EPs, Afraid Of You is an almost perfect summary of the sound that early The Knife productions had, the kind that my friend once lovingly described as "Napoleon Dynamite-esuqe". And hopefully that should make sense when you listen; it sounds very crafted, and I mean that in the hand-made sense, the whole record has this very DIY style to it. Not to say there aren't signs of where they'd take that sound in future, this track is probably one of the very first examples of Karin playing with vocal roles: pitch-shifting her vocals to adopt different characters and perceived genders, something that they would continue to do throughout their career. The drums also have a slight edge of the Deep Cuts style to them, which is probably why it was included on this issue of the Heartbeats EP.

It's slightly oddly nestled between two remixes of Heartbeats which seems a little odd, feels like it should have been the closing B-side personally but I digress. I have a real love for this slightly acoustic-meets-electronic sound that early Knife records had (one that as no doubt influenced by Karin's previous band Honey Is Cool), and Afraid Of You is a shining example of it.



Apologies for the big gap in posts a little while ago, I work in education and as I'm sure you're all aware things are more than a bit messy at the minute, and they are only going to ramp up in the next few weeks. Not to bring the tone down or anything, just thought I'd say somethin'. Hell, even with that little gap, I've already posted more this year than I did for all of 2019! (Even if I did cheat a bit with old re-posts). So I'll try my best to keep things semi-regular, but I hope you'll understand if things are a little more patchy than usual. As for you? As always, stay safe and enjoy the music.

-CVF

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Ilictromix: Bobby Green (2014)

A re-post and archival of one of the series of mixes Adam sourced for us a long time ago. There's a couple more of these in the archives but I will spread them out between new posts! In the meantime, stay safe and enjoy the music. -CVF

No, no, I didn't forget about this series. I've been vacation and then at Pitchfork Festival all weekend. This week's Ilictromix comes to us from Dallas native, Bobby Green.

I came across this talented producer after the track "Changing Me" came across my inbox. It was bright and had some stellar production so I knew he would be a great fit for this weeks mix. 



After listening to the mix a couple of times though its safe to say its our most "Broiest" ilictromix, but its a perfect fit for that summer hustle. Enjoy!




Tracklist:
ZXX, Paul Anthony - Drink by the Jug
Nom de Strip - Techno Saturday
Diplo - Pull up Dat Booty
Skrillex - Stranger
Nom de Strip - I Can’t Believe
Diplo - Freak
Tujamo - Hey Mister
Duck Sauce - Mondo
Bobby Green - Drug Testing
Knife Party - Lrad
TJR, VINAI - Bounce Generation
MIA - YALA (Bro Safari & Valentino Khan Remix)
Milo & Otis - #FESTMUNCH
LAXX - Brainbug (MUST DIE! Remix)
Bro Safari - That A$$
Major Lazer - Aerosol Can
Calippo - Back There (EDX’s Dubai Skyline Remix)
Kevin Prise, Crazibiza - Reach Out (Leston Remix)
Hoxton Whores, Melleefresh - Let’s Get Dirty (Crazibiza Dub Remix)
Bobby Green - Goin’ Crazy
Iggy Azalea - Fancy (GTA Remix)
Usher - Good Kisser (Disclosure Remix)
Bobby Green - Changing Me
Bobby Green - My PT Cruiser is DOPE
Autoerotique - LZRFNK
EDX - Blessed
Tiger La - Now You Know (Bobby Green Remix)
Jessie Ware - Running (Disclosure Remix)
Wolfgang Gartner - There and Back
Jay Frog, Melleefresh - Peekaboo
Wolfgang Gartner  - Latin Fever

Dive deeper into his work here:
Soundcloud
Facebook
Twitter



Thursday, 3 September 2020

Re-Freeze

Olivier Debre - Vinter Oppdal (1979)


I've been stuck in a higher gear than usual when it comes to my choices for these posts these days (last one with the mixtape excluded). A welcome change for sure but man, you gotta slow things down every now and then don't you? I will admit re-publishing all the old posts made me realise just how much downtempo and trip hop I was into back then and it was definitely a lot. But today I'm going to indulge that side of me again just for today, starting with Flunk.

I found Flunk through my deep dive into Guidance Recordings, while mainly a house label they had a very strong downtempo component as well (see their Hi:Fidelity Lounge and Hi:Fidelity Dub series of compilations for a perfect demonstration). I feel like Flunk should be more prominent than they are, their debut, the incredibly aesthetically titled For Sleepyheads Only came out in '02 and was primed to be part of that wave of chill electronic that was popular at the time thanks to Röyksopp and friends, though then again Flunk didn't have a big label behind them like Röyksopp did. Still, both it and the remix album are very fine slices of that Northern European chillout electronic scene. The remix here from Athome Project takes the already very trip-hop styled See Thru You and strips it back to the bare bones, adding some glitchy IDM-esque skips and bleeps here and there and some extra synthy bits that are more than a bit Portishead inspired.



Contrary to the title and that last choice, it's not all doom, gloom and general cold vibes. Revisiting Funkstörung's Disconnected here with one of the singles from that album, Moon Addicted. I summed up the LP best last time I talked about it, the order of the day here is electronic meets acoustic with just a smidgen of IDM influence which from the text alone should tell you ticks more than a few of my boxes. This is one of a few tracks featuring Enik on guest vocals, and they certainly have a unique style that's not for everyone (particularly on the title track of this album), I can change opinion on them now and then but I think they work pretty well for the most part, especially on the choruses here. It's another one I have strong memories of thanks to its music video, which is just a time lapse of someone tweaking vectors in Adobe Illustrator, which is what I was doing when I was getting into this album!



A real throwback to wrap us up, Mr. Scruff's debut Mrs. Cruff. It's a very different sounding album than the follow up Keep It Unreal, that album is known for Get A Move On, the sample heavy single that I'm pretty sure that people hold up as early electro-swing. By contrast Scruff's earlier work is much more stripped back, the samples and Jazz influence is still there for sure, but there's a simplicity to the tracks that give them a lot more breathing room (and not to mention many, many outrageously bassy basslines, this track included!). It's not a complaint really, it's just interesting to see not only Scruff's style but technical working get more complex with time. If you're a fan of Scruff already you'll find plenty to like here as from the sound to the cheeky bits of humour scattered throughout it has his personality stamped all over it. If this is you're first exposure to Scruff and you're left wanting more from it, you'll do no wrong by checking out Keep It Unreal and beyond for more in this vein!



And so ends our whistle stop tour of some downtempo vibes, feels just like old times. Reminder that this upcoming Friday (the 4th) is another Bandcamp Friday, where they're waiving their usual cut of sales so that all the proceeds go to the artist, if you enjoyed anything you heard here today and are going to pick it up, consider waiting until Friday to support the artists and labels a little bit more!

As always, stay safe and enjoy the music.

-CVF

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

VaporDays - A Retro inspired mixtape

Lordy help me I am back on my BS. After becoming frustrated at the lack of some of these tunes on the usual streamers I took matters into my own hands (and tweaked some of them a little bit.) I knocked this out in one go this morning so expect it to be a little rough, but that's kinda in the spirit of things isn't it? Anyway, enjoy a rundown of some actually retro and some retro-sounding tracks from my catalogue. It's not 100% electronic granted, but I did some touches to make it a little more like Games' Heaven Can Wait Mixtapes but I'm nowhere near as good at it as Ford & Lopatin, and I didn't want to go full experimental EccoJams with it either.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy some of the selections on offer here, it's not very long in terms of tracklist but it clocks in at roundabout 25 mins thanks to my speed tweaks. It's a nice listen IMO, the first 3 tracks are a delight to listen to and I haven't altered them at all to enhance the vibe any. Tracklist and player follows:

Tracklist:
Konami Kukeiha Club - First Triangle
Joyo Katayanagi - T.N. Software
Software - Island Sunrise
SILK - Sunset In My Heart (@ 90% Speed)
Gunsmith Cats - Shiawase Da Yo (@ 75% Speed)
Isamu Ohira - Be At Home (@ 85% Speed)