Thursday 20 December 2018

Ilictronix Podcast: The Winter One

"Claude and Adam close out the year with some festive tracks and winter themes."

We are live with our (potential) final podcast of the year! I immediately betray my 'no downtempo selections' idea I've been throwing around for the last couple of episodes. BUT in my defence, all of these are tracks that have never featured on my previous winter downtempo lists, (with the exception of The Knife) which is the reason I used them for this one. It's a real mixed bag of stuff anyway, starting off with the all time cult classic Santa Claus from Le Knight Club; one of my favourites from Crydamoure no matter the season, and all the more apt right now. After that I take you on a tour of my winter themed selections, starting with an actual factual Christmas song from Röyksopp, then I wax lyrical about the old 'chillout' records I used to pick up in a bit of a roundabout way: by first sharing yet another piece from my all time top soundtrack provider Yoko Kanno that wouldn't sound out of place on those kinds of albums, before revisiting one of the few pieces from Alpinestars' White Noise that I think has still held up all those years later. This episode marks the first appearance of The Flashbulb from me as well, one of my favourite not-mainstream producers of the already non-mainstream experimental electronic in that Aphex Twin and the like vein. Like I say in the episode, there's an intimidating amount of work in his back-catalogue, but the album that the tune I chose is from Soundtrack To A Vacant Life is a good starting point if a little on the long side. I round things out with The Knife's absolutely stellar opening track from their equally stellar album Silent Shout which I've already talked about at length in previous posts. It's good stuff.

Adam also shares his selections in this style. They're predictably more upbeat than mine as you might expect, it's a fantastic cross-section of Adam's listening and certainly one to have on as we approach the 31st. There's a whole host of stuff to get yourself stuck into; from vintage and slightly sleazy house from Paul Johnson, to the brilliantly modernised filter house of the outro track Harry Parsons' We Can Only. I'm kinda kicking myself for not adopting Adam's end-of-year theme as well, it would have been nice to do one of the old-style NYE track dumps I used to do in podcast form, but hey there's always next year! Tracklist and the rest follows.

Le Knight Club - Santa Claus

Claude’s picks:
Röyksopp - Le Cantique de Noel
Yoko Kanno - Strangers
Alpinestars - Snow Patrol (Part 2)
The Flashbulb - Warm Hands In Cold Fog
The Knife - Silent Shout

Adam’s Picks
Stash Magnetic - Things Fall Apart
Paul Johnson - Suck My Candy Cane
Rimbaudian - Drop It On EmM
The Higher - The Core
V.I.C.A.R.I. - Pascia

Harry Parsons - We Can Only

Show Notes:
There are none for this week as far as I know! I'll give the show a listen once I'm done with work for the year and update if need be though.

And that may very well be the final podcast of the year, Adam may be throwing up some NYE stuff closer to the time or maybe in early '19 tho. I'll wrap up by thanking y'all for sticking with us for another year, especially during the latter half. We had a real spanner thrown in the works around August time which meant I had to take the site offline for about a month I think. That's all behind us now, and I appreciate those that have stuck with us during the format change from posts to podcasts as well. It hasn't been easy for us and I imagine the same goes for all you as well. But it's keeping us to a schedule, myself and Adam have had some really good talks and shared some really interesting songs along the way, there are still some growing pains and issues to iron out for sure, but overall I think it's been very successful. Here's to more podcasts to come in 2019! I'll close out with what's fast becoming my line: Stay safe, and enjoy the music out there all of you. We'll leave the light on for you.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Saturday 15 December 2018

Spotify (And Bonus Soundcloud) Selections December

As I was prepping this December's playlist, I almost fell into the trap I set for myself every year of going down a downtempo rabbit hole. So, this year I decided nah let's swap hemispheres for a change and inject a little bit of warmth into our end of year selections. Starting with a little something I've had sitting in my inbox for a long time now (apologies to the artist!), it unfortunately came to us during the time where I had to take the site down for a little while to sort some stuff out. Regardless it stayed on my radar and I've been trying to find a spot for it and now seems as good a time as any to deploy it and now seems as good a time as any.

Jean Sean is someone we've covered before here a couple times in the past, and the remix fiend didn't disappoint this time. As much as I like to abuse this analogy, this rework took me straight back to the blog house days, more specifically to the like of Crookers (crikey, remember when Fidget House was a thing?) and of course more specifically Major Lazer, who thanks to this remix I found out are still active and making stuff too so I owe Jean Sean thanks for that too. It's not all going to be this bombastically dancehall-esque sound unfortunately, but I think it sets up the anti-downtempo selections I have n mind quite nicely indeed.

Starting off, we're keeping the "They're still around?" theme going, with a two-for-one from Mylo AND Louis La Roche. Mylo was a big deal in the mid 00's, he did a real good house album called Destroy Rock & Roll that had some quality singles on it; Paris Four Hundred, In My Arms and Doctor Pressure and then just kinda dropped off the face of the earth. Only on checking out Spotify was I informed that he'd done another EP this year! and with former 'French Touch' blog house darling Louis La Roche to boot. To be fair to Louis, I don't think he ever went away or stopped making tunes, I just didn't keep up with anything he did post 2010 or so. and it seems that he's left the side-chaining sample laden production of his past behind, at least the blatantly late 90's french house type. There's some samples and the like on here that make me questio nwhether they're chasing the 'tropical house' trend but still, it's nice to hear from 'em.

Naturally, I couldn't just leave it at that, so for the next couple tunes I went back into my memories and dug out some house from days gone by. Starting withprobably my first non-Talking Heads exposure to David Byrne in the gorgeously smooth Lazy from X-Press 2 (that's only a little bit depressing with it's lyrical content). Followed that up with the delightfully funky bonus track Fit Your Heart from Benjamin Diamond. I had to restrain myself from going all out with the funky stuff at this point, so I limited myself to just a couple more in this style. Modjo was a natural choice here, and hipster me wasn't just going to go with the shoo-in of Lady, instead I opted for Music Takes You Back, which I've had several people confuse for Jamiroquai when it's appeared on playlists. The last quarter when it all comes together is where it really shines. What would a dive into funky stuff be without a dash of Chromeo? I thought about putting on a bit from Business Casual here as I recently talked about it on the Podcast, but man Fancy Footwork is just so damn good, here we are 11 years after release, and I'm still madly in love with all the little synth hits and twinkles on the title track.

Ok, so I might've lied about keeping it totally upbeat, but we managed halfway! Besides, it's fast becoming winter at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere. We're keeping things a little bit funky tho, with the original Electric Counterpoint from Steve Reich. I talked about the Royksopp edits of this one that they did as freebies some time ago, and as much as I like them I've grown a real fondness for the original. It's a funny clash of electronic style composition with more traditional instrumentation. I'd hesitate to call it drone but if you swapped out the guitar for some lush synth pads it'd probably fit right in. Speaking of, when I was throwing around ideas in my head for this playlist I was running some errands in the rain when my shuffle decided to serve this one up to me. I do't think any of these playlists has had Tangerine Dream on as of yet, they've enjoyed a recent bump in popularity after working on the OST for Grand Theft Auto V of all things, (I'd love to get my hands on the limited edition CD they made from the OST, songs like Mission Possible are just gorgeous). Some questionable album art choices aside, I firmly believe they're a must have in any electronic fan's lists.

On a similar vein, Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack should be familiar to any electronic music fan, if only for Blade Runner Blues alone (though again I am biased because I absolutley could listen to that brassy analogue synth sound all day). Spotify doesn't have the expanded re-release of the Blade Runner OST, and I didn't feel like dropping the 8-minute synth Jam of Blade Runner Blues on you so I went with Wait For Me instead. Though a little more dated in terms of sound than Blues, especially with those MIDI horns, Wait For Me remains an evocative piece and one of my favourites from the OST. Rounding out my suddenly vintage selections is Kraftwerk, of course. They hold a special place in my heart as I've mentioned several times in the past, partly nostalgia and partly my weakness for techy sounds in general. Computer World 2 is a tune I've been meaning to talk about for a while now, I think its by far and away the most obvious tune to point to when it comes to the evolution of electro, and eventually techno. It's almost too easy to draw the line between the Underground Resistance and similar productions myself and Adam have been talking about and Computer Love 2.

And finishing this week, I've included Koshkina from Dispak that I included on last week but one's podcast. I've been doing some menial file management on-and-off all week and the lush sounds of the EP have been making it not as much of a slog as it could have been. Coming hot off the heels of me finding new appreciation for songs like Akira Takemoto's Island In Video Casset as well, it's been an interesting change up of sounds for me. I've just realised that the code to link to their bandcamp was broken in the original post too so I've not only fixed that, but will be including it again here. If you likewhat you hear you can stream it on Spotify (obviously), but if you like what you hear and want to pick it up, head on over to Their Bandcamp, the page has a full description of the process behind th eEP#s recording as well which makes for an interesting read and an insight into the inner workings of the EP. If you enjoyed the sounds of Koshkina I highly recommend the full thing out.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Ilictronix Podcast: Bumpworthy for NYE

"Claude and Adam share their favorite tracks of the week. In this episode Claude brings a selection of rare beat music and shares the impact of Adult Swim bump music. Adam explores tracks he will play for New Years parties."

We are back with our penultimate show of 2018! And I couldn't have picked a better summary of our two selections styles than this episode right here. As the short description above says, I take you all on another digital crate digging tour of my drives, sharingsome stuff from nearly decade old mixtapes, and some insider scoops I've gotten from long-time friend of mine and the blog Evan, who's producing now under his EVK95 moniker. Adam switches things up and does a complete 180 on my downtempo beat-focused selections and uses this episode as a testing ground for his potential New Year's mix content. I enjoyed the insight though, takes me back to when I used to put together New Year's track dumps that had bits and pieces of every genre in there, from Drum & Bass to Trance and the like. Anyway, the show's a little shorter this week but only due to my selections being fairly short by nature, the amount of tunes is the same and we have some good talk to boot. As always: stay safe, enjoy the music, and we'll see y'all next week!

Taraval - Aardvark

Claude’s picks:
Ev K - Sweet
Stevo - Can I
Knxwledge - Rude
Deadbeat Demon - The Dealio Sounds
Flying Lotus - Slow It Down

Adam’s Picks
Perko - Rounded
Roman Rauch - Hausware
Kaytranada - It Was Meant 2 B
Ruffneck Revival - Saturday Love
DJ Bone - Circus World

MF Doom - Saffron

Show Notes:
There are many sites that sought to archive all things Adult Swim bump related out there, the one I had in mind (and the title of this episode) is, which is by far and away my most used back when I was super into them. It displays artist and track names too, so if you feel like looking up your faves you can, but more importantly if there's a tune you particularly like there's a high chance of the site having the info!

Predictably, it was a bit of digital crate digging to find Stevo's Muffins (and google getting confused with the actual Steve-O) but the original Mediafire (cor, remember that?) link is still up, and it works! Those of you looking for Stevo's one and only release can find it here. Be aware that Mediafire has become a bit of an ad-riddled mess in the interim years, keep an eye out for malicious pop-ups and the like.

I'm just going to reserve this spot down here for later, I'm fairly sure that Adam had some stuff to go in the show notes that I'm forgetting about. But like always I'll fill this in when he gets back to me, or I listen to the episode and find out whichever comes first.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Ilictronix Podcast: The Unintended Videodrome + Adam's Best Of Brainfeeder

"Claude and Adam talk about their favorite tracks of the week. This episode Claude shares his favorite songs that he can never skip. Adam lays out the best Brainfeeder tracks of all time."

We are live for this week! What started as a selection of tracks I can't skip whenever they come up, it fast turned into a cross section of music videos as I was writing the show notes as I ended up including a video for each tune other than the Felix track from the intro. That tune I picked for the opening as well is one of the few where I'd describe the bassline as fat, which we talk about a little in the opening preamble. I touch a little on my thoughts on the album it's from (Kittenz & Thee Glitz) which I also wrote down way back when, I'm saving that in-depth discussion for another day though. Other than that, it's a fairly usual selection form me, frequent readers of the blog in the past will see some very familiar names as we take a trip down trip-hop lane courtesy of Massive Attack and Björk, a touch of The Knife and The Chemical Brothers followed by Squarepusher's second appearance in as many weeks.

Adam also takes us on a whirlwind tour of Brainfeeder once more, something that I certainly appreciated as I am incredibly unfamiliar with any output of the label other than Thundercat and the like. I was aware of the breadth of sound that the label had to its name, but having a curated list makes it that much easier to digest (this is something we also touch on in the episode, actually). It makes what would be a deep dive a much more targeted process, any artists you like the sound of from Adam's picks you can use almost like a springboard to others that take your fancy. Full tracklist follows as per usual.

Felix Da Housecat - Sequel 2 Sub

Claude’s picks:
Massive Attack - Protection
Björk - All Is Full Of Love (Radio Mix)
The Knife - Heartbeats (Live)
The Chemical Brothers - Star Guitar
Squarepusher X Z-Machines - Sad Robot Goes Funny

Adam’s Picks
Martyn - Masks
Teebs - Arthur's Birds
Jeremiah Jae - Guns Go Off
Tokimonsta - Bright Shadows
DJ Paypal - Slim Trak

Mono/Poly - Ra Rise

Show Notes:
A whole heap of music videos this week! Going in order of my picks, we kick off with Massive Attack’s Protection, which has a lovely evocative video that’s filmed in a really unique top-down perspective that can be a little confusing at first (it makes sense after watching it for a bit, trust me).

The first video I actually mention; Bjork’s All Is Full Of Love. By far and away the least disturbing of Chris Cunningham's directorial works, I highly recommend checking this one out, if only to see how amazingly well the practical FX + minimal CG combo has held up.

The live version of Heartbeats is a treat for the eyes and ears, Andreas Nilsson’s visual direction is on point, and the sibling duo are delightfully weird as always. Theatrics aside, the live version is beautifully evocative. Karin Dreijer was one of my favourite vocalists ever anyway, but performances like this seal the deal for me. For anyone interested, the Full concert film is also on YT here as well

The cult classic Chemical Brothers video next too.. I gave the gimmick away in the actual podcast, but it’s still a solid watch, if a little bit pandering to the 3AM stoner TV demographic. Some of the CG is a little janky in parts but it’s still an absolutely iconic piece of electronic music media, both it’s visuals and audio.

The promo video for Squarpusher’s Z-Machines collaboration finally, seems like this is the only video of the song on YT as well oddly enough. I still love it all these years later, even if those constant cuts in the video edit get on my nerves more than a tick. I’d love for the entire vid to be made up of those lingering close up shots as seen in the intro, but alas.