Wednesday 30 September 2015

(Sound)Cloud 9

Time for the daily change up I do, unfortunately my feed hasn't been so kind this time so I had to do some digging. Regardless, here we go: I'm always down for some more experimental electronic stuff and I've been meaning to check out The Flashbulb for some time now, last I heard he was on hard times cos somebody stole some gear from him. Turns out he has a new LP and it is chock full of lush sounds and the like that made me like the man in the first place. I might have to jump on this one very soon:

On a similar line a tune from Funkstörung's new LP was meant to be here. Alas, Monkeytown only has like 40 second previews up. So instead have one of my favourites from them from an older LP, their upload is pretty neat because it's the full album intercut with little bits of interviews about it. Not sure it'd be good for regular listening, but a nice touch here.

And finally it's no secret I adore vocoders but at current they are back in a big bad way. This post is also a reminder that I need to get my arse in gear and get the album this is from. Röyksopp's goodbye to the traditional album format is beautifully bittersweet, especially when they've been in my listening queue since like 2002. If anything I should be thanking them.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday 28 September 2015

Synthesized Soul

As often as I repeat it, I've always had a certain affinity for electronic music since I was little, I remember being amazed at the sounds, so unlike anything conventional instruments could produce. More than likely you've seen the same argument played out countless times: Electronic music doesn't have 'feeling' which is something I've always rejected, maybe it's my sci-fi side talking but when you break it down isn't a Piano just a machine? (Obviously not in the same way as a Modular Synth, but still). But enough philosophy for now, here's some songs that have been tickling my brain bits recently.

Vladimir Bonačić - PLN 5 (1969)

Ladytron's debut output was littered with references to old tech, be it the Speak & Spell featured in the Playgirl video or hell even the track simply called Commodore Rock. It's most prominent on the few instrumental tracks on their debut, as the opening tones of this one sound vaguely 8-bit.

Keeping it in electroclash-y territory with some Fischerspooner. I've been meaning to do an in-depth overview of this LP like I did with Felix and other albums of the time but it hasn't happened yet. Around the midpoint of the LP we're treated to this lovely interlude, I've always loved the post-dancefloor introspection present on Electrclash LPs and this one may be my favourite example of them.

Coming back to a frequent one of mine, OPN's closer to R Plus 7 is still as gorgeous as when I first heard it. I can see how some could be a little alienated with the direction OPN takes it towards then end but I adore it throughout. Especially that lush introduction.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Friday 25 September 2015

Friends In Beats 2: Speedy Edition (Links broken as of 2020)

I gave long time friend of the blog and music pal of mine Evan a well deserved shoutout not too long ago, and one of the things I mentioned is that he normally has excellent genre flexibility. Well he musta read it and wanted to show it off a little, so he hooked me up with some 'sclusives of the Drum & Bass variety. But before we get into those, here's another new slice of delicious chilled instrumental from him:

Now that that's out of the way we can get to the meat of the Drum & Bass. I love sharing examples of the genre with him from the early days of '92 to the more jazzy feel the E-Z Rollers were putting out around 2000, and the influence shows on tracks like these, it'd be easy for him to adapt his house formula into the mix and make some modern style Liquid Drum & Bass but instead it's a nice spectrum across the entire history, al wrapped up nicely but that bassline.

EVK - 615 [click to download] |HTML5|

That's not to say he doesn't bring his other work in at all, despite the radical difference in BPMs, some of the samples seen in his Hip-Hop stuff come into play quite often, and the end result often comes out sounding more than a little Omni Trio-esque. For that I can't complain, Omni Trio is responsible for some of my favourite Drum & Bass songs ever ad I'd love to see Ev tackle something that sounds like Even Angels Cast Shadows. Here's hoping!

EVK - Take U There [click to download] |HTML5|

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Belated Soundcloud Roundup

Oops I have forgotten to post. Well lets fix that once again with a quick visit to my soundcloud feed shall we? My man Celadon has been far too kind with the releases as of late, here is is with yet another free edit for download that will warm the cockles of your heart as fall approaches.

I've been subsisting on a steady diet of Tangerine Dream and the Analord series, so synths are kinda my bag ATM. I've mentioned Abbrev.'s previous forays into almost acid territory but this one is by far and away my favourite, something about the combination of those airy synths and the bouncy bass that comes in just takes me back to all the weird electronic I found in my dad's cassettes that made me fall in love with electronic music in the first place.

And finally something I found thanks to the friend-of-a-friend reblogging that I like to dive into now and then, a group(?) from France called mechanical television. There's more than a smidgen of influence from both IDM and Post Rock in their work and thinking about it I'm surprised the two don't go together more often. Regardless, this track might not be for everyone once it gets going, but once gain I absolutely adore that intro.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday 20 September 2015

Will There Be Another Time?

Pleasantly surprised this morning to find out it's the 10th anniversary of one of my all time favourite albums from one of my all time favourite underrated bands: Broadcast's Tender Buttons. It's a very special album indeed, it's much more electronic focused than all their previous efforts, no doubt influenced by the departure of most of the bandmates, leaving Tender Buttons to be made with a skeleton crew of James Cargill and Trish Keenan.

There's plenty of albums that open strongly, but no matter how many times I look over Buttons' tracklist, I'm hard pressed to find a weak link throughout. The actual introduction track I Found The F does it's job perfectly, showing off the new electronic undercurrent in spectacular fashion.

It's not long before Broadcast's previous psychedelic-influenced streak begins to show through though with Black Cat. One of the tracks that were chosen for release from the album, not sure that it's the perfect choice for that given some of the later ones, but it is still fine.

The title track of the LP is very different from all we've heard so far, it plays out almost like a normal Broadcast song before the electronic accompaniment of this album. The real highlight here is the reason for the album's name: it takes it' title from a series of poems by Gertrude Stein which revolve around the rhythm of the words rather than traditional rhymes, which is also the case for some songs on the LP that Keenan delivers absolutely flawlessly, especially here.

I end the post on a rather significant point. America's Boy is the reason I discovered Broadcast many years ago on some music blog, and to this day I fall in love with it again when I hear that intro. I think it is one of the best constructed tracks here, and is also pretty good introduction to the overall sound on offer, showcasing the new and unique electronic aspects as well as Keenan herself in top form.

Broadcast remain one of my all time favourites, and even though their output was limited there hasn't been a single release of theirs that I haven't enjoyed. Unfortunately that limited list of releases will not be getting bigger anytime soon, owing to Trish Keenan's death in 2011. James Cargill has said he has some unreleased Broadcast material recorded before her death that he was preparing for release but there's been no developments on that front in some time. But until them I more than content with their discography up to now, and I hope the wait will not be much longer if this has been your introduction to them.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday 17 September 2015

Real Adult Things

It's time, I've done fired out some apps to some production companies in the hoes of becoming a responsible human being. It's pretty scary as the first step onto the professional creative ladder is likely to be but I'll survive. Here's some songs.

Pam Glew - Furs (2013)

You've probably come across a few tracks in my writing history that I says have taken time to grow on me. This one kinda fits that bill, it's a two parter hence he title, but while part 1 doesn't really do much for me, the transition into part 2 around 2:54 and everything after it is golden. It doesn't fit with the rest of the moody trip hop on the LP, but it's a nice change of pace for sure.

More Pretty Lights to go with today. Far from the summery vibes of July though. Coming from the more Hip Hop / Trip Hop side of the album (and frankly the better of the two) come Pop Quiz whose intro always makes me ting I've suddenly picked up some Spaghetti Western soundtracks along the way somehow.

And finally one of my all time favourte instrumentals from an EP that has had tons of play from me. It was my first exposure to Blockhead though I never knew until I checked the liner notes one day. It'd be a fitting end to the EP but it makes a lovely midpoint song as it is. Along with Daylight from the same EP it continues to be among my favourite instrumentals ever and will continue to do so until I find somethin' that scratches my itch better.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday 16 September 2015

The New Guy

Hello! My name is Jakob and I'm the new guy (so to speak). I hail from the land-in-the-north-but-not-quite-there called Denmark. As I told Claude when I first proposed the idea to write a few posts for the blog, I'm not new to the site. I have been following it on and off since sometime in 2009. I'm an avid fan of primarily - but not limited to - electronic music, currently enrolled at the University of Southern Denmark. But enough about me, let's get to the music!

In these first few posts I will be focusing on the electronic music scene of Denmark (perhaps spiced up with some of my favorite non-electronic acts). To kick this whole thing off is Spleen United: An electronic band with roots in drone, rock and techno (think Soulwax with better lyrics). Probably alot of other stuff too! This is one of my all time favorites from them called "Gold Ring". It's from their first(of three) album "Godspeed Into The Mainstream".

Even if this isn't your cup of tea I urge you to check out their other stuff - their third album "School of Euphoria" has a much more contemporary sound, with alot of inspiration from the 90's rave scene. This means a ****ton of 303 synthesizer sounds and really great dancetunes. Here's the opening track - "Days Of Thunder"


Monday 14 September 2015

Gorra Cold

Woke up feeling utterly vile, easily remedied by an extra hour in bed after some sneaky tabs to dull it a bit. And then I remembered I was due to do another post today which is no problem because while I am more prepared than I was for the last one I did. Hold onto yer butts.

A little something from my man Celadon City to kick off, as a pressie for hitting 2k followers he ever so nicely gave out this one as a free download. It's as expected of him by now, featuring more dreamy vibes as per usual, and once again I adore that intro. This is the first I've heard of his output that doesn't strike me as summery, whether that's to do with it being autumn now or if it's just the vocal focus in this remix I can't say, but I'm still liking it a bunch.

Another shoutout to Evan again here, this time with another slightly reworked track of his. I've heard plenty of the original, dubbed Tsukuyomi 2, and even more of it when he gave me a redone version of half speed for the A/V EP we collaborated on. You think I'd be sick of it by now but if there's one thing I like it's callbacks to earlier works. Hell, that's practically most of what Alive 2007 was. Anyway, enjoy this latest beat flavored version from the man.

I'd be lying if I said I've kept up with AFX since Syro dropped, I tend to steer clear of the man's soundcloud simply because I don't want to get too attached to a demo that will never get released. This time I decided to peek in and have potentially a new favourite track of the month. That opening synth was gorgeous enough as is but then the vocoder came in and I was completely in love. Almost seems like AFX has taken some cues from former Rephlex labelmate DMX Krew and I couldn't be more happy with the result.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday 12 September 2015

Back In Time

Ho boy, this took a little longer than expected to get together. Pay no mind though because it's here now. Today's focus is old things. Shock horror I know given how my usual posts look, but I promise you these things are older than usual (mostly). Here we go.

Jim Rosenquist - Circles Of Confusion And Lite Bulb (1966)

I was finally able to get my hands on something I've been after for a long time. My first taste of Dub, and a refreshing change from the Dub reworks I have of Massive Attack & Gorillaz. Here's Scientist with the second (and my favourite) track from his album with a rather long title: Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires. Don't let the title fool you though, the output is strictly mellow dub throughout.

Goldie ever so nicely reminded me today via an FB post that Timeless turns 20 today. The album remains a standout in my collection, a cracking debut and certainly a highlight when it comes to Drum & Bass overall. I would post the amazingly structured 21 minute long title track, but I figured I'd go with my other favourite and second longest track on the LP at a lengthy 12 minutes. I never tire of it, from the intro to the final fade Golide's expert combo of breaks and that ever present guitar keep me hooked.

And finally, something I was trying to hang onto if we ever got around to the 80's week I proposed we do forever ago. One of my favourite ambient pieces, from one of my favourite films, my love of cyberpunk is well documented here sure, but the atmosphere of Los Angeles 2019 (of the film of course) is perfectly captured by Vangelis here, and it helps that the synth sounds are absolutely gorgeous to boot. incredibly lush throughout, if you've never heard this one I highly recommend it, doubly so if you've never seen the film either!

Thursday 10 September 2015

I Done Goofed (Soundcloud player broken as of 2020)

Forgot to schedule a post before I left for a couple days, have this belated bit from Warp as recompense not sure if I've heard anything from Darkstar before, they have their cover designs down to a T judging by their previous but it's alright. Nothing mind blowing but I'll have to do some more digging when I return and see for sure. Until then, enjoy!

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Friends In Beats (Links broken as of 2020)

Our own in-house producer hasn't been able to post for a while now, not that I mind because when you've been doing this for as long as I have it's easy enough to post a lil' something together. Not to say our man Evan hasn;t been putting work in tho, here he comes with another EP/Tape offering.

I adore whenever he drops one of these, The artwork is solid for one but also they're like a guided course of his influences and interests, often with a few Drum & Bass or House tracks thrown in for good measure. This time though it's all hip hop stuff, and there's few producers who scratch my instrumental itch like Evan does, I'm in love with the opening track, as well as the slightly re-worked version of an older tune now called Rolex. It's shaping up to be the soundtrack to my day, here's hoping it is for yours too!

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday 5 September 2015

The Fall

Hooray for Autumn, bringing with it lower ambient temps meaning I can do more rendering without turning my room into a greenhouse. But also a time for me to swap out playlists and get in that cooler mood again, here's some choice picks from my sorting:

Ed Ruscha - Fall All Leaves All Fall (2009)

It should be no surprise that I adore Boards Of Canada (although I still need to fix the enitre Warped series and get them back on the site). Here's a bonus track from The Campfire Headphase, I appreciate a lot of the Warp crew and musicians in general including bonus tracks for Japan to make up for the CD tax or whatever the exact reason was but I do wish we had easier access to them too. Not as show stopping as From One Source All Things Depend on Geogaddi, but a worthy addition to the LP nonetheless.

Keeping it in Warp territory I got around to the mixed bag that is Ultravisitor again. It's not my favourite Squarepusher offering, but I will forever love how the album ends. After a rollercoaster ride of experimental Drum & Bass with the occasional Jazzy interlude thrown in, Squarepusher closes the LP with an absolutely gorgeous combo of tracks; The first an extension of Tommib from Go Plastic which was already a favourite of mine, but the final track is simply some solo guitar work from 'Pusher. A fitting end for ride.

And seeing as I'm staying in familiar territory I may as well give a send up to my former favourite Swedes The Knife. Here again with my semi-annual coverage of one of their tracks from the soundtrack to the film Hannah Med H or A Different Way as it was titled in English. If you've gone and looked it up, it doesn't look like The Knife's icy electronics would gel with the film, but there's plenty of flexibility displayed on the soundtrack. So I leave you with their lush acoustic contribution to the film, Enjoy:

Thursday 3 September 2015

Animation Blues

About finished up my latest video project, and got time to get stuck into a project that stuck out in my inbox about a week ago. Now some introduction: the worlds of Jazz and electronic music may seem like odd bedfellows, but there's plenty of influence to be seen: from the Lounge meets Drum & Bass combo from the E-Z Rollers, combined with more of a trip hop feel from Red Snapper, the often frantic bass guitar work from Squarepusher to the more experimental parts of Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma, and again on the Ideas+Drafts+Loops tape.

Why do I bother setting that up you say? Well this is exactly more of that, albeit leaning more on the jazz side than the electronics. There's a lot of piano work on here too, but if it's good enough for Aphex Twin then it's good enough for Mr. James (And if I could play I'd make use of it too).

Maybe a little out of leftfield for our usual posting, but there's some highlights to be sure. Tracks 2 & 3 show off some lovely Downtmepo/Trip Hop and Indie-ish electronic respectively, and I'd recommend you start there for a perfect summary of the vibe here. (Also be aware the player starts on track 6 from some reason) I can definitely see some good stuff coming out of Mr. James' camp in future, particularly if he takes it in a more Hip Hop / Tip Hop direction but then again I am biased. Regardless, get stuck in, and I'll see you in a couple days!

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Summer's End

Summer used to be a lot more enjoyable before I had to regularly render videos, now it is pretty much uncomfortably hot 24/7. But those days are numbered and I have some suitably chilled songs to give you in prep for that, less go.

Loui Jover - Anything (2014)

Starting with a recent addition to my collection, the rock turned Drum & Bass outfit Everything But The Girl. The title track from the LP has been haunting me as of late, parts of it are definitely a product of it's times; the dramatic strings, the liberal use of the Amen Break to name just a few. But towards the end it comes out surprisingly modern, Tracey Thron's depressive delivery isn't something you'd think would twin well with Drum & Bass, but truth be told I can't get enough of it.

Keping it mostly in England next with another part from Ladytron's Witching Hour. My all time favourite from the album is still Beauty*2, but I've already written about that a couple of times (and it's more of a winter song anyway). Considerably less electronic than their debut 604, but nonetheless still a solid addition to their catalogue, here's an early highlight:

And finally my first vocal love since I heard her guest on Felix Da Housecat's Kittenz & Thee Glitz, Miss Kittin. I've put Batbox away for a long time, but now it's back in rotation and I'm all in love once again. Everything from Kittin's playful delivery to the wobbly bassline underlining the synths between verses is hitting all the right buttons. It's a shame her solo output is so few and far between, none of it has disappointed.

-Claude Van Foxbat