Friday 30 October 2015

Back 3: The End (For Now)

and for out final chapter, we visit similar synthy territory once again. It should come as no surprise by now that the 80's were a goldmine for those of us electronically inclined, with things like Vangelis' score for Blade Runner taking center stage. As I finish up this week's selections we take a walk on the more experimental side of things, taking a look at my other genre love, Ambient, The out and out synthetics of Kraftwerk, and a selction from an obscure New Age record.

Syd Mead - L.A Skyline West (1988)

Tangerine Dream were yet another case of me thinking I should definitely start listening to something, but being completely clueless as to where to start. Thankfully I found my way in eventually and I am so happy that I did. Their music is among the few that can take me back to being a bright eyed kid completely in awe at the sounds coming from a cassette. It ticks all my electronic boxes in the most sublime way.

Breaking the rules a little bit here, technically this one is from '79 but it was released as a single and eventually went to #1 in the charts in '82, and that's where I heard it first in that same tape collection. Out of all the song so far I have compared to electroclash, this one is probably the closest, from a lyrical standpoint it could easily have been from Felix Da Housecat's Kittenz & Thee Glitz and was even the base sample for Ladytron's He Took Her To A Movie.

And finally, a little something from a band called Software. I already gave the album the once over here, it's been in my library for some time now. Has my opinion changed on it? A little, some parts of it are pretty generic, (my older post pretty much is the best selections from it) but what 'New Age' music of the era wasn't? Still it's recent influence is apparent with Vaporwave, and Oneohtrix Point Never's label is called Software and I think might even use the same font as the cover.

There is plenty more I wanted to put in these posts, but it turns out I didn't have a lot of the things I wanted to post to hand, or in cases like the Blade Runner soundtrack were actually released later than the 80's. Still I see it as a plus should I come back to this again which is highly likely given the treasures on offer.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Back 2: New Wave

Moving on to other Genres of the era, a little more spread out this time however. The 1980's also saw New Wave burst onto the scene and stick it's synthesized self firmly on the charts, often accompanied by people looking moody at keyboards. You should all know by know that I adore Electroclash in all it's trashy glory, and New Wave contains much of the similar formula so it should come as no surprise I have a soft spot for it too. Let's have a look.

Patrick Nagel - 1310

A lot of this stuff is what kicked off my interest in all things electronic (not the first though, that honour goes to Autobahn). Among the earliest I can cite is The Human League. The eventual influence on Electroclash is most clearly seen here on the lyrics, I could easily see Miss Kittin & The Hacker giving this one a crack at some point. You've probably already heard this one a fair few times, and it's not aged well in parts for sure, but I do remember being mesmerised by the opening bars and the equally weird music video.

On the flipside, I think Blue Monday still holds up today very well. It's more than earned it's place in electronic music history but every time it comes up I am always surprised just how modern it sounds. Every single time I fall in love with it, from the instrumentation down to the stoic, disconnected lyrics. Granted, this isn't the original release from '83 (but it's the one I have to hand) so there are minor differences there, but it's largely the same.

Moving away from New Wave / Synthpop slightly to cover some Italo-Disco. Italo is very much a product of it's era, and there are more than a few tracks that are straight up bad by today's standards, but it's still a very important milestone in electronic music history that has influences to this day. For example, eagle eared listeners may recognise this as the sample on both Washed Out's Feel It All Around and Miss Kittin & The Hacker's The Beach.

There's plenty more I wanted to cover here but I think I've gone on enough here, and I would like to save some ammo for whenever I decide to resurrect this idea once again in future!

-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday 26 October 2015

Back In Time

Hey y'all, thought now would be a good time to spring an idea we had a long time ago, for the next week or so of posts we'll be taking a trip back to the 1980's and seeing what musical trasures it has to offer. I realise this would have been better to start closer to BTTF day but you should all know by now I am far too organised to do anything like that. So let's take a trip back to when it was Maggie's Britain shall we?

Keith Haring - Pop Shop Quad 1 (1987)

I thought I'd start with some early house. Seems fitting as that was my first real love when I started following electronic music exclusively. The roots for all the stuff you and I adore on are all laid out here starting in 1987 with Derrick May's now legendary Strings Of Life. I gotta tell you it holds up real well though the piano hook may be a little dated to some ears, it kind of borders the line between Techno and House in some spots too. Regardless it remains an incredibly important milestone in House.

Following it up with another all time favourite of mine that's especially relevant today. I'm sure you're all aware that Deep House has been the in thing for a while now and I'm sure like a lot of you its fans really grate on me. The ones I've encountered keep talking like Deep House is this new genre that's only just come around, and that's when I like to spring a little Mr. Fingers on them. Can You Feel It made it's debut in '86 and it remains pretty much my favourite example of the genre to this day.

And finally, I may not be the biggest fan of Acid, but this one more than earns its place. Chances are you've heard this one somewhere before despite the tabloids of the time doing their best to demonise Acid House. It's a far cry from the screeching 303s one might usually associate with Acid, as is to be expected with its age. Now there's nothing wrong with the other tracks on the EP, but something about Voodoo Ray just pushes it above the rest. I suppose it makes sense given that it's the title track and all but still. Take a bite out of this one and treat yourself to some acidic goodness.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Friday 23 October 2015

Done Goofed 2

I swear it keeps sneaking up on me that I have to post and once again I have nothing prepared. Other than these bits of my favourite late night tales compilations I was revisiting so they will have to do. Saying that I have nothing but high praise for Röyksopp's entry to the series, it's chock full of gorgeous tunes that fit he series' theme as well as tracks you can tell have influenced them a whole bunch in their own production.

Trentemøller's is also pretty good, not every track is a hit for me like on the 'Sopp one, but there are still some solid picks on there, and again some of the influence the songs have had on his own productions is evident throughout. And no matter how I feel about some of the choices, the cover of Blue Hotel included is still solid, and the way it's seamlessly introduced in this minimix is gorgeous.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Always Forever Ambient

It should com as no surprise to any of you reading that I do love me some good Ambient tunes. Now I've been trying to move away from that in recent times just because I think it can get a bit boring, and even the most chilled out bloke in the world has to enjoy some good old fashioned electro house every once in a while. Unfortunately I've been scratching my head for a day or two trying to figure out what to post and I'm back on that ambient train, let's go.

More from Celadon City who is currently out of town, he was nice enough to leave us with a little song before he left though. Again, much much different from his Rustie-esque tunes of before, this one almost seems to take some cues from Apparat and co with that building noise. A treat to listen to, and short enough that it shouldn't be too alienating to everyone but the drone lovers.

Opposite end of the spectrum now, I couldn't do an ambient post without mentioning my man Daniel Lopatin. I've got a place for all his side projects but I'll always love Oneothrix Point Never, between the ovearll retro-ish aesthetic and his gorgeous command over the synths there's nothing for me to not like. A bit on the long side this one for the casual listener mind.

Now would be a good time to mention I've been playing Mass Effect again and as such have a hankering for spacey tunes s of now. Did some digging on µ-Ziq's soundcloud and found this unreleased remix with an interesting tale: "Tom didn't like this one as he thought the second half seemed to make light of the tune which wasn't my intention. But he was right in hindsight, none of these really deserved to come out compared to their amazing originals.". Mike has a point there, the first half is certainly much better than the second. Even so, it's always interesting to see unreleased behind the scenes type things, and this is no exception. -Claude Van Foxbat

Friday 16 October 2015


Remember a few days ago when I mentioned that flylo mix keeping me sweet until the next Rustie release? Well thanks to old friend of the blog Cloudfill and his label I may have even more ammo to see me through. The latest release of theirs is by far and away the most suiting of the 'sugary sweet' label I like to throw around tracks like these. The watercolour-y cover is lovely to see too, among a sea of often all too generic cover designs it certainly stands out.

Be sure to give 'Fill some love, check Hexmania on Soundcloud for more, and if you're feeling the releases on offer you can cruise on over to The Bandcamp and scoop them for a moderate fee of your choosing. -Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Techy Wednesdays

Oops I meant for this to be yet another Techy Tuesday but I done goofed again. Have the belated version of the post anyway featuring a ton of Electroclash because I unironically like the genre. Less getstuck in.

Atelier Olschinsky - Neon Cities (04)

Recently put the creatively titled debut LP #1 back into my rotation. International Deejay Gigolo Records are pretty much a goldmine for the seedy electroclash-y sound, but I always felt like Fischerspooner were the meeting point between the cleaner stuff and the all out lewd, and this track is a solid example of that. There's nothing out n' out filthy about it and I bet it would still be at home on a dancefloor today.

I wish I had come around to Mount Sims sooner. I was aware of the featuring tracks he'd been on but it took me a crazy long time to check out his solo work, and I haven't been able to get my dannies on a physical copy as of yet so this one isn't the best quality. But I'll be damned if it doesn't tickle my electroclash itch like no other, straight from the opening track.

And finally, a half remembered fragment of my youth that I came into again recently. More of the soundtrack from the PS1 Ghost In The Shell game, I remember a demo disk with it on and the intro movie blew my little mind before I knew what Cyberpunk was. Fast forward a decade or so and not only do I have the soundtrack to that video, but the whole game too. And it's chock full of gorgeous mid-90's techno.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday 10 October 2015

It's Massive

I made the mistake of going into this week's soundcloud roundup expecting there to more indie stuff to cover. Turns out I fell down the Massive Attack rabbit hole and here we are. Starting it off right with a semi-rare remix I only barely remembered, Portishead give their once over to Karmacoma. There's nothing too interesting about it until 1 minute in where there's some absolutely gorgeous guitar dropped into the mix. It doesn't show up as much as I'd like but when it does it's fantastic.

And leading right into another tune I forgot about, FlyLo lends his touch to some Massive material, and it comes out sounding like some of his production for Gonjasufi, hell if you didn't know it was Massive Attack it could almost be a cut B-side from Los Angeles with a Horace Andy sample. And it's brilliant throughout.

And finally, producer extraordinaire and grandfather of ambient Brain Eno and his take on Protection. There's not much re-mixing going on here, but in true Eno fashion it almost sounds like a re-arrangement for a film. Certainly a more laid back take on the original, and I'll always adore the storm SFX sprinkled throughout.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Comfort Tunes

Not shaping up to be a brilliant week. But I'm tryin me best to carry on regardless, British Spirit and all that. Anyway it's time for more tunes I put on whenever I get a little bit down like this, surprisingly you don't really want to throw shapes to '92 techno when things are a little blue.

Jeremy Mann - 7th Ave. Night (2012)

And blue things will be; here's a little something I've been holding onto for a while, I first heard of Michael Brook's Cobalt Blue when I was on my ambient streak a few years back. Ultramarine is by far one of my favourites from the LP, it gets a little dark in spots for sure, but I always fall in love with the interspersed guitars throughout when they come up. Not strictly electronic but I highly recommend the album, it's consistently gorgeous throughout.

Another throwback but even further this time. Alpinestars' White Noise is an album I picked up off the heels of Röyksopp's Melody A.M. in the early 00's because I was in love with the new breed of chillout that was hip at the time. The album's aged poorly in parts for sure, but it still has parts that I still like a bunch and take me back to being young & dumb. Take the single Burning Up for one.

Bringing it a bit closer now, a tune I was in love with non-stop for about a year straight back in High School (when the album was new!). Between this and Destroy Everything You Touch you have a portal that takes me back there. A lot of good times associated with this one, it's still got a place in my heart.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday 4 October 2015

Smooth Sundays

Hello all, just dropping by with some more bits from my feed as per us. And once again I'm starting off with Celadon City, but this time it's quite a bit different from his usual sugary sweet summer vibes, much more sedate and pretty much all acoustic. Admittedly it's a few months off from Valentine's Day and I should really save it for then but I can't help myself, I'm a well known sucker for a nice vocoder, and this has it in spades.

Second comes from someone I was meant to cover this time after seeing a few of his tunes reblogged. I went onto my soundcloud today to find out he'd actually followed me! not bad to say I only put up weird ambient and drone experiments. I've been digging Vigliensoni's output as of late, I was in love wih the sounds regardless, but the vocals are giving me serious Sébastien Tellier vibes, which is something I have been lacking as of late.

And finally, a little something I found just above all that. FlyLo's Puppet Talk was a bit of a wildcard from him being a solo piano piece and all. I was curious as to how a remix of it would work and I got my answer. I know the whole Beats things has had its moment and gone, but I still love a lot of the stuff in that style like FlyLo's own Massage Situation for example. And this has the right combo of compression and super sweet synths to keep me satisfied until the next Rustie release.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday 1 October 2015

Mike Sheridan

Hello again - Jakob here!

Today I want to tell you a little bit about a young and very talented individual by the name of Mike Sheridan. I was actually going to write about something else(you will get that later), but I recently had the opportunity to go to a workshop that he was hosting. Mike Sheridan is what you most likely would call a "electronic musician/composer". And yet, he is so much more than that. As a sort of introduction to the workshop, he told the small gathering that he doesn't understand alot of music theory. He even called himself dumb at one point. What's interesting, though, is that he sees this "dumbness" as a good thing - something that can work to his advantage when creating.

Stylewise his music is somewhere in between ambient and experimental techno. I've picked out 2 tracks from his debut album - "I Syv Sind". Translated to english it would mean something along the lines of "In Two Minds" only that "syv" doesn't mean two, it means seven.

Both of tracks really encapsulates the ambient techno side of his sound. All the while still having a soundtrackish quality to it. The title track "I Syv Sind" is a perfect example of that.

The second track, Stilhed (Silence) I chose because of the vocal. I mean, after all, this is a focus on Danish(!) music, so of course there had to be some of that delish danish language in here somewhere.