Sunday 30 October 2016

Flyin' South For Winter

Bit of a different post this time around, a leftover from the Submithub roundups that didn't fit in any of the other ones. So instead I did some digging and instead of picking one track got my dannies on the full EP (with Kin Klavé's permission of course. And what a generous EP offering it is, more recently I've been used to 2-3 track EPs with maybe a remix if you're lucky, so to have Volare clock in with 6 tunes of decent length is a breath of fresh air. More on that after the embedded EP itself, note the superb cover art, that printed style is very evocative of Sigur Rós' Takk... era, with the added bonus of if you pick it up on CD each cover being different and printed personally by Kin Klavé (more info on that at the bandcamp page)

So let's breakdown the EP shall we? There is an intro track but I will be skipping onto track 2, Isola, it was the one I first heard via submithub and I think is the default first play over on the bandcamp page. And a pretty listen it is, I do always appreciate some downtempo in my inbox which is part of the reason I went digging. That and I do always like a smidgen of strings in my electronic from time to time, and the eastern styled ones on show here are a treat to listen to.

Mantissa is also an early highlight, a much more hip-hop influenced piece than the previous that takes me back to many a bleary-eyed night up searching for the bump music from [adult swim], where it would have probably been right at home. Speaking of nostalgia, towards the end I get that same warm and fuzzy vibe as I do from Röyksopp's Sparks too. Which is followed by even more variety, with Helvellyn having more than a bit of a house streak to it. It almost reminds me of the Salt City Orchestra remix of Marshall Jefferson's Mushrooms, I always love hearing having that slow layering of elements over time.

Overall, a very refreshing change. And it came at an opportune time too, just as I was digging through old Rephlex stuff like Global Goon and Cylob to scratch my mellow IDM-style itch. Granted, Volare is probably closer to The Flashbulb in tone, particularly on Drums & Sounds 1 but that's not a bad thing at all either. I'm not sure I can make my mind up about the variety though; on one hand it's nice to hear, and taking on so many genres competently is impressive within itself, but at times I'd catch myself wanting to hear a full EP of one particular style, but saying that there's a fair degree of consistency between them all so in the long run I suppose isn't too big of an issue.

Very strong for a debut EP, I don't even have any mastering gripes like I ocassionally have with debuts, it's just up to Kin Klavé where they take their sounds from here!

You can find more Kin Klavé on:

-Claude Van Foxbat

Friday 28 October 2016

Röyskopp's Track Of The Month Archive: Part 2

Part two of the track archive, Starting off with a twin offering of instrumentals yet again. All the instrumentals are from Junior which was newly out at the time, I would have liked to hear other instrumentals from older LPs but who knows if they even have the masters anymore. Anyway, It's What I Want may be the best instrumental example yet, the stripping away of the vocals reveals some interesting stuff tat otherwise gets a bit lost in the mix.

And then followed by Happy Up Here. Which by comparison isn't too different from the original, handy if you need some backing music for some project though, and still interesting to see it stripped bare and all.

Onto Track Of The Month Originals here, they were always a bit of a puzzle to me because I just assumed they'd appear on an EP down the line but they never did. I suppose if you have the half finished project lying around and you plan this whole track of the month thing you might as well finish it for that but still. Hus Nr. 9 is very smooth indeed, it'd still fit in right at home on Junior but it still has that mid-2000s chillout sensibility that was present on Melody A.M. and The Understanding, there are little flourishes here and there but it's fairly sedate for the most part. A fun little listen, if a bit lacking in parts.

Something from their upbeat catalogue next. Unlike Hus Nr. 9, this one doesn't feel like a Junior byproduct at all, which would make sense given this is month 8 by now so it could've been something they knocked up in the meantime, doubly so given the unceremonious ending. Not to be negative hough, it all kicks off in spectacular fashion around 2:00 in and I almost wish the 'Sopp boys had done a few more tunes with those kinda sounds, it's so unlike anything they've done before.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

The Submithub Roundup, Vol. 7.5

I've been real busy as of late, so I kinda forgot about the submithub side of things. Which means that the selection box which is normally overflowing isn't. I don't mind though, there's still things to pick from, and it's a nice change of pace to not have the pressure of multiple pages of submissions if only for a while. Now onto the selections, as you all well know by now I normally take the tags with a grain of salt, doubly so when they namedrop artists directly but this one may just make me rethink that policy, the Little Dragon comparison in the tags proving surprisingly apt, definitely hearing Yukimi Nagano's influence here on the vocal side of things.

It's not long before my eyebrow's raised again though, needless to say I don't think the tags fit this one but I digress, as we all know it's difficult to define sounds at the best of time, more so when it's your own. Anyway, onto the song itself, the electro influence is definitely there, but for the most part it feels like a much more intense version of electroclash. I didn't realise how much more until I went looking at my other electroclash stuff for comparison actually. Certainly evokes elements of it throughout, specifically the Punky, vulgar side as made famous by Peaches, just with a more electronic slant. I do feel like there's a lot for 'em to gain by looking at ADULT., Peaches, Mount Sims and the like. As we all know that's one of my weaknesses so enjoy.

And something a little jazzy to finish off, which combined with Stef Williamson's delivery on the tune leaves me reminded of the guest parts by Sarah Winton on Nightmares On Wax's Carboot Soul. And that gorgeous breakdown in the middle could be straight from one of Mr. Scruff's samples. I'd certainly like to see them tackle something more in that trip-hop vein but what they got going on now is perfectly alright too, and certainly a breath of fresh air amongst other synth-based indie pop stuff.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday 24 October 2016

Röyskopp's Track Of The Month Archive: Part 1

I realized a couple of weeks ago that Röyskopp's track of the month series they ran on their website from 2010 - 2011 had gone missing from my HDD. Naturally, the download links had all expired or were soundcloud links on Röyskopp's site. I managed to recover a couple because I'd posted about them here in the past but oh boy was it ever hard to find them again, turns out not a lot of people cared enough to archive them like other releases. So I'm going to do my part and share the complete collection I've managed to gather over the last couple of weeks, so nobody will have to go digital scouring like I did ever again.

Was in two minds 'bout this at first cos it's quite a lot to go through and I'm 90% sure I saw some hosted versions of this be taken down through DMCAs (which if you're reading this labels, doesn't mean squat when THE ARTISTS themselves gave these songs out for free 5/6 years ago and they haven't been released elsewhere). So here we go, nothing big to start with just a instrumental version of Vision One as featured in Little Big Planet 2. It's quite hypnotic without Anneli Drecker over it, I imagine the tune was designed to have vocals over it from the get go. It's still nice to hear though, even if the album version is still my favourite.

The first of a few remixes/reworks next, with Röyskopp giving their treatment to Gustavo Santaolalla. It does sound a little unrefined but could easily still have been a b-side to the Junior and Senior era releases, might've been a small side project that didn't fit anywhere else, regardless, I'm glad we got to hear it.

The reworks continue for the next couple of tracks, with two different versions of Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast. Feels like there's a lot more work in these than the Gustavo Santaolalla rework, and not only because there's two of them. I do enjoy when the Röyskopp boys go off on a 8-16 minute jam session, and the Milde Salve is a solid demonstration of that, feels much closer to their earlier releases in style than the True To Original remix, which is definitley a Junior influenced piece.

That'll about wrap this one up, and in fact that's all the remixes out of the way too, so part 2 onwards will be all Röyskopp originals, stay tuned for that and I'll see you soon!

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday 22 October 2016

Submithub Roundup, Vol. 7

Another week another roundup or two, starting this week with a very smooth number from Torin Bell, I haven't had much in the way of this style of thing in my feed which is a bit of a shame, especially because I'm about to embark on another down-tempo adventure. I'd love to see a more IDM approach with this kind of sound from them, I could certainly parts of this merging well with it. As it stands though, it's a lovely self contained experience, which would make sense given its description of "finding peace in a time of turmoil".

More ammo for my electropop drought relief again, this time from a little further east in Moscow. It's their first ever single release to boot, the artwork is solid (but then again I do have a soft spot for glitch) and for a first proper single it's very well done. I do always find covering first releases tricky simply because I don't like to be too critical while they're discovering their sound, but these two seem like they have a good idea where it's heading, so my only very minor complaint is I'd love to hear more of the production side shine through in parts, the tiny break at around 1:50 makes me smile every time.

More sufficiently spooky tunes for all hallows with vverewolf whose name may or may not have made me check my kerning settings. I dig the overall sound and all but I feel like they'd get a lot out of incorporating some more intense sounds into the mix, thinking along the lines of Carpenter Brut, the retro style's already there after all, or maybe something a lil more industrial like Trent Reznor's cover of Immigrant Song, maybe even Massive Attack's Butterfly Caught too. That's not to knock the tune itself though, they certainly have their sound pretty nailed down and it's a solid listen.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday 20 October 2016

Passed Me By

I managed to somehow miss that MSTRKRFT did a new LP back in July. I mean, I knew they were back doin' stuff but there's been no real hints or anything, disogs even says it ain't out in non-promo form outside of Canada yet. So let's have an impromptu first Impressions / review thing shall we?

I'd heard a few people mention this one in looking up other impressions of it, and I was pleasantly surprised to be truthful. I'd only heard Little Red Hen off this thing, and that seemed to be an expansion on their occasional kinda minimal abrasive stuff as seen on Neon Knights and such. Runaway on the other hand, is pretty much the old MSTRKRFT formula updated to 2016, honestly it could almost be a lost remix from the blog house glory days, which makes it doubly surprising why I've heard nothing about it. And as much as I'd love an LP invoking the spirit of 2007, I'm also happy that they didn't do that, more on that next.

Party Line is more abstract than your usual MSTRKRFT affair for sure, and boy is it much more abrasive than even the hardest parts of The Looks or Fist Of God, and that ending is abrupt as can be. Despite not sounding much like their ususal output and me harping on about them no retreading ground, this one still sounds like it would be at home in some DJ sets from the time. Especially going by the Mr. Oizo bootlegs I have. Speaking of...

Oizo gives it the once over too, and does some harking back of his own with that drum loop taken straight from Lyn Collins's Think (About It), the end result sounding like an amalgamation of the sounds of Analog Worms Attack, Moustache (Half A Scissor) and Lambs Anger wrapped into one. It's a little on the short side and just kind of ends without any fanfare too. There's a bunch of remixes of the other tracks too, including a Juke style rework of Runaway from blog friend from way, way back The Phantom's Revenge, here's hoping that it gets a European release and that they get included, I remember we had to wait a long time to get Fist Of God over here so there's hope yet.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Submithub Roundup Vol. 6

Back again with another round, normally I don't pay attention to the artist namedrops in the tags because in my experience they've been way off base. I gave this one a pass for two reasons, first beign the artist namedrop was Little Drgon and I don't think I've seen anyone else do that and second is that they're Swedes, which is home to some of my all time favourites including the aforementioned Little Dragon. The tune itself is a lovely listen, there's some lovely smoothness going on underneath that driving beat, and the transition into the second half from the midway breakdown is fantastic. Looks like I've found the means to fill the Au Revoir Simone shaped hole in my collection.

Some undestated art for the next one, which is quite fitting given the intro. Another smooth addition to this post too, quite catchy when the chorus hits for sure and makes me perhaps a little nostalgic for BBC Radio 1 circa 2009 or so. After listening to the original and this I feel like it'd be nice to give it the All Is Full Of Love treatment Björk did back in '99 and have a bunch of varied takes on the same tune, Tanis' vocal contributions seem like they'd fit that model well.

Speaking of nostalgia, Dr. Snus here is prescribing me another replacement dose for Pretty Lights this time, only this time with more shelf wobbling sine waves in the mix. I have a pretty mixed opinion about the Pretty Lights album this reminds me of, Filling Up The City Skies, they're both going for the same kind of sound, but I think Snus' is more cohesive overall. A few very very minor complaints with it, I feel like the ending fade being a little long for one, and I'd like to hear a little more of the instrumental experimentation going on but like I said very minor. A promising introduction regardless, and another one to follow on my books.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday 16 October 2016


Albert Oehlen - DJ Techno (2001)

Been on a bit of a techno thing as of late, you might have seen a glimpse of it on my twitter. Not gonna dilly dally anymore and get straight into it, speaking of twitter things; this is a tune in question that I had to track down to a shady Polish site in a rare case of digital crate diggin' for me, It's not the best quality but after the trawling I did it'll do. it's a nice listen too, Mijk was pretty big in Japan at the time and it ain't hard to see why. Don't let the title dissuade you too much if you aren't a girl, but if it matters there's also a 'For Boys' version too. Also probably wins the award for most 'I's and 'J's in the metadata for anything in my collection

More obscurities next with Chaos A.D. or as you might know him better, Squarepusher. The album's a bit of a mixed bag in all honesty, but I think that's to be expected given it was a much more acid driven sound than his usual stuff, there are small glimpses of the Squarepusher sound under all that acid though. Take Psultan for instance, that intro is definitely reminiscent of tunes like Tundra and the like, and there's even a Squarepusher remix of it that appeared on a Rephlex that is even more like it (and is actually the better version, but I don't have it on me).

And finally, rounding it out with Joey Beltram's contribution to the PS1 Ghost In The Shell Soundtrack. I went looking and it seems this is the only place it was actually released which I find really surprising cos it's a stonker of a tune. I imagine there's some copyright thing with Sony and co. preventing it from appearing elsewhere at the time which is a shame bu thanks to The Internet™ we're no longer limited by that, so enjoy.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Friday 14 October 2016

The Submithub Roundup, Vol. 5

After a long absence, the submithub roundup is back and oh boy do we have a reet backlog to work through. There was a whole batch of things tagged indie pop which isn't an issue, but imagine my surprise when the next one comes on. I'd call it hip hop myself but let's not get down that genre rabbit hole, the opening sample had me right away and it's contrast with the main beat is a joy to listen to. AUTOMatic says that " "Speak To Me" addresses the attitude of hip-hop being a disposable art and is an anthem for starving artists everywhere. ", and I always got time for things that deal with that kind of issue, it's applicable to many genres in the age of the bedroom producer after all, but that's a topic for another day.

Another dubiously tagged one this time, with yet another gorgeous intro. As the soundcloud tags say, it's a bit of a mixed bag between dubstep, trap and the like. It's certainly an interesting take on them for sure, I had mixed feelings about it until around 1:30, that break is sublime in of itself, and the comeback into the autotuned/vocoded verses is nicely done too. I'm not too sure that the vocal treatment works hand in hand with the instrumentation, there's nothing *wrong* with it as-is, but I do feel like they'd be more at home on something that sounds a little more like DMX Krew. They're only a small part of the tune though, and other than that small nitpick it's very well put together especially in the last couple of minutes which is chock full of unique sounds.

And finally, something spooky just in time for all hallow's. Takes a little while to get going this one, but I'm glad I stuck through it. Chelsey herself is reminding me of Nicola Kuperus from ADULT. something fierce in her delivery, and the song itself is reminding me of the more intense parts of Massive Attack's 100th Window. I'd definitely like to see them tackle something like 100th Window or The Knife's Silent Shout in future, the slightly menacing side is already there after all. Certainly one of the more unique things we've had submitted, and another act I'll be keeping my eye on.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Midweek Hip Hop

How y'all doin'? I am back with some hip hop style stuff to brighten your day either way. Starting off with some folks from the submithub roundups that I said I'd keep tabs on. Well it's already paying off, with Best Friend doing their best to keep my instrumental itch scratched with their newest EP Daylight (which is coincidentally also the name of one of my favourite hip hop EPs from Aesop Rock). The sampling is once again on point, not so much brass this time some lovely cut up flutes the likes of which I haven't heard since the E-Z Rollers' Weekend World.

Time for more of the Metal Fingers compilation now which was a big source for my instrumental needs for a long time. As the name would suggest, it's largely made up of MF Doom instrumentals, all of whoch named after some variety of spice. Each time I pick one to post I have to force myself from not just putting up the whole compilation. If you're a fan of Doom or just have an interest in the instrumental side of things I highly recommend checking it out.

And finally this one wasn't planned to be here originally, but it just came up on shuffle and thought why not. For those unaware, this is a lil' something by one of our long time pals Evan, he's appeared on here under many different aliases and the couple of tapes he did under the Deadbeat Demon moniker have a special place in my collection. The guy's real busy making moves and producing for folk over in the states at the moment, I think the few tapes I have from him can tide me over till he drops another one though.

Song is missing from the internet! Sorry folks.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday 10 October 2016

The Return Of The Röyk'

I am back with news of new Röyksopp Rumblings. This one's actually been sat in my to-do pile for a while, but the original promo email only had spotify and apple music links and I couldn't figure out how to embed 'em. Anyway, the Röyksopp boys are back after leaving us a little uncertain after saying they were abandoning the album format with the ominously titled The Inevitable End. This time with a shiny new retro aesthetic and some junk style helmets too. Seems they've heeded my call somewhat and fully embraced the pop streak of Junior, which isn't necessarily a bad thing...

I think I like the visuals more than the cover that's been making the rounds on soundcloud and the like, seems a little cool in terms of palette for the sound of it. Which speaking of, remember a while back for one of the submithub roundup posts where I was saying I missed La Roux and was surprised no one's jumped to fill in the gap? Well it looks like the 'sopp might be on that track with this one, Susanne Sundfør's delivery here is unlike most of what I've heard from her, certainly a far cry from the bittersweet melancholy of Running To The Sea, and she pulls it off in fantastic style.

It's not grabbing me as instantly as Junior did, but I am definitely down for more stuff in this vein to see where it goes. (Plus my weakness for all things Susanne Sundfør, Karin Dreijer, Lykke Li and Robyn probably helps too.) They're clearly having fun with it, the vaguely Tim & Eric style visuals have me charmed, and judging by the appearance of Svein & Torbjørn in the video they aren't taking themselves too seriously which electronic music could always use a bit more of. For comparison's sake and just because it's one of my favourite pieces from their last release, I leave you with Thank You, and I thank the promo folk who put this on my radar to begin with, 'cos I'm a bit rubbish at keeping up with new releases these days.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday 8 October 2016

Double Click Blues

Gerard Sekoto - The Jazz Band (1961)

Oh boy guess whose mouse is actin' up again? It's a lil annoying from time to time so I'm going to try and knock a few posts out while the gettin's good. With the title in mind thought I'd pay a visit to some of the jazzier parts of my collection. Starting with something from FlyLo, it ain't hard to see why he was on Adult Swim's radar with tunes like this.

Revisiting the Cowboy Bebop remixes again. In what will probably be blasphemy to other fans of the soundtrack, the original Piano Black is not one of my all time favourites from it, luckily I have Ian O'Brien to remedy that. The downtempo take on the tune is a lovely addition to an already solid remix compilation.

Speaking of that album, I can't go having a jazzy themed post without giving a nod of the hat to Mr. Scruff now can I? Here's another bit from Keep It Unreal, specifically one of the bonus tunes on the 2nd disc 10 year anniversary edition. The intro alone is finger snappingly good, and like much of Keep It Unreal is a lovely listen.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday 6 October 2016

Throwin' Back

Here's a little something that was meant to go up around the blog's birthday back in August, so only about 2 months late then. Anyway, I was looking back over the history of the blog and just generally reminiscin' and decided to go over what is one of our founding blocks (if not arguably the most important one), of House. I owe an obscure local house tune for securing my initial writing position for on, so here's a rundown of a few of my all time fave house tunes.

Keith Haring - Best Buddies (1990)

Starting with Mushrooms, which is one of the few tunes that make me put the 'but' in "I usually don't like minimal, but...". I love the format of it for a start, as an audio driven cautionary tale, it might not be perfect for dancefloor consumption but it's an interesting listen nonetheless. I love how it builds with the progression of the story too, especially when most of the elements come together at 1:33 or so.

As I mentioned on the last podcast, A:xus has been a long stay in my music collection since being introduced to me via Midnight Club II. This one actually came to be my favourite remix of the song that did introduce me (which would be (When I Fall (Stryke's Acid Dub Techsture) ). I love A:xus' vocal house stuff anyway, but Stryke's almost deep house treatment is a welcome addition to the mix.

And I can't go being all nostalgic about discovering house and this blog without giving honourable mentions to Crydamoure and Roulé. Each label being one half of Daft Punk was a dream come true for a young house addict like I was. And they still remain top quality examples to this day, with Thomas Bangalter responsible for a whole lot of favourite tunes, His particularly funky breed of house pesent on the Trax On Da Rocks EPs especially so.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday 4 October 2016

(Almost) In The Doghouse

Nearly fell behind schedule, but I'm about to clutch it now! Starting with a rare soundcloud feed hit courtesy of Celdaon City. Taken from the Happy Doghouse's newest EP that came out last week, it ain't strictly electronic in the purest sense but I'm diggin' it. This one in particular has been a standout, it's almost like a less lo-fi, more indie version of Bibio, and with the whole dreamy thing it's got goin on it ain't hard to see why our mate Celadon City was so taken by it.

The same applies to the title track, Above The Stars. It's got just the right blend of chill and slight melancholy to make a perfect closing track. Oh, and the post-rock style explosion of sound that happens around 1:25 is nothing short of gorgeous too.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday 2 October 2016

The (Belated) September Shuffler: Nostalgia Special

I was looking over my schedule and I noticed it's been a long time since we've had a good old fashioned ilictronix track selection and art hasn't it? Well I did originally plan to get this one out towards the end of September but missed the mark slightly. So instead I'm going to solve that right now, starting with one of the more unintentionally amusing artworks I have around.

Alex Colville - September (1979)

I probably say this everytime I post something that's been in my collection for a long time but regardless, Daft Club has been in near constant rotation for night on 10+ years at this point, and yeah it does have some duff moments but that was always going to be the case coming off the heels of Discovery. Here's one that I really dig and continue to in all it's bleepy glory.

It's been a while since I went on about my love for the electro-renaissance of the mid 00's too. Hadn't even given it any thought until The Looks cruised back into my life recently, took me right back to the days where vowels were uncool and every new EP had a MSTRKRFT remix b-side. It's still a good listen, I really dig their overall sound which is chock full of vocoders and handclaps and the like.

Stenchman's also been on my radar as of late, he's revived The Smelly Show which is basically a livestream of him doing his mixin' thing. I imagine the ones he does these days will be much better quality than the Myspace webcam ones we used to get. I still love pretty much everything he puts out, but here's an old favourite from his collaboration project with Suspect, the aptly titles Suspicous Stench.

Suspicious Stench - Faith In The Future

-Claude Van Foxbat