Thursday 8 August 2019

Plus One

It's been a little while since I wrote a proper post, but I thought I should this time. It's that time of year where both me and the blog tick over one more year. It's not philosophical or anything, me and the blog just happen to share the same birthday.

2018-19 has been a fuckin' hell of a year for me and the site. It's resulted in a drastic overhaul of every post ever made (which is why so many are missing, I'm working on it) and to be frank I'm amazed we made it this far in the previous state. Still, we made it to the big 10 year mark before everything caught fire so I can be content with that.

Though we are still dealing with some bullshit too, like a nonsensical DMCA for the St. Patrick's day episode of the podcast which shouldn't even apply as it's hosted on mixcloud and we don't even offer downloads of the episodes but sticking my neck out is what got me in this situation in the first place, and given the stories you hear about a certain video hosting site being especially incompetent at dealing with them I'm not going to bother. the show along with all the other episodes we've done is still up on mixcloud or what it's worth Silver linings though, the first ever proper on-depth series I did here; A Very Warped History is now once again complete with all broken images (that 17 year old me thought was a good idea to hotlink) and the next/previous links fixed too so you can navigate the whole series from that first post there. Pleas excuse some of my teenage attempts at writing, but overall I'm still very proud of it.

In the meantime, I thought I'd throw up some birthday selections for the first time in forever. Starting with a bit of euroebeat I was saving for the podcast one day. I think I did mention on a previous show that I don't use the term 'guilty pleasure' anymore re: music. You shouldn't be ashamed of what you like, but that doesn't mean you can't view it objectively. Which is what my collection of late 90's Trance and Eurobeat are to me. Both of them hit the same buttons for me, sometimes it's nice to cut loose to some frankly unashamedly obnoxious synths and downright cheesy vocals and the occasional euphoric break. Eurobeat is also interesting if you approach it from a electronic music history angle, the genre is very heavily Italian producer biased and you can certainly hear the Disco, Italo and Hi-NRG influence on some tracks, especially with them MIDI piano hits. Enter Burning Up For You, which I think covers all the bases I mentioned above.

Another tune I mentioned and played on the podcast if finally on Spotify. Essentially what I said on the show is my usual spiel about not shaming folk for how they discover music they like, especially when it comes to soundtracks: I personally have seen Peace & Tranquility introduce multiple people to House, even if it as as inconsequential as a comment asking "what genres is this?", and I am always happy to see more people come into the broad and exciting world of electronic music. Even if the song does get memed to death in the process, which is a bit of a shame because it's one of my most favourite recent house tunes.

Speaking of euphoria, I've been revisiting HEALTH's Death Magic recently and it's still a solid listen. Don't be put off by the dark artwork and ALL THE CAPS, some of these tracks are surprisingly light, certainly not like Carpenter Brut and other Synthwave that I put it next to in the podcast episode. Dark Enough being my most recent looper, I love what they do with the electronics and how the twin with the vocals to make this dreamy feel despite the heavy kicks.

And after overlooking him last time I covered hip-hop stuff in the podcast, here's a little bit from Nujabes. I still think it's a shame that his works overshadow the other contributors to the OST for Samurai Champloo, because eoff of the mare very much quality but I cannot deny that Nujabes was good at what he did. I speak a lot about tunes that from the get-go just grab me and I think that he and the rest of the OST cew have the highest rate of that in my collection, all of these instrumentals are a treat for the ears, as are the brief excursions into more R&B territory. Even if you have no interest in the series, stream the rest of this album and seek out the other OSTs, they are incredible hip-hop albums on their own.

I think that's enough variety, reminds me of the old end of year roundups I used to do. I don't know how active I'll be with *new* posts, but I will keep re-publishing old posts as and when I can, some of the older ones are an absolute mess to detangle but I'll get it done. Until next time, enjoy.

-Claude Van Foxbat