Friday 1 May 2020

Ever Expanding

Michael Sowa - Their Master's Voice

Over the past year or so, I think I might have come into more music than ever before. Which is surprising to me as there was a time in my teens when I was picking up 4+ albums a week, I've tried to get a little bit more selective over the years but the collection is always growing in one way or another. So let's have a look at some recent additions that I've been liking, starting with Console. I found this one off the heels of DMX Krew and there are definite similarities between this one and Ed from DMX's quirky, playful and ironic brand of electronic. It's a lovely time capsule back to a certain era of sound too, that time at the turn of the millennium where it looked like new wave and synthpop were going to come back (and they kinda did in Electroclash!). Surprising no one however, the main appeal here for me is that computerized vocal that you know I adore.

Part of this recent expansion has been me either looking up artists I made note of ages ago then promptly forgot about or artist's who I've heard on compilations or whatever and never bothered to check out. Now I have time to dedicate to that kind of thing it's been a really nice experience actually! Enter Akufen, an artist who I probably kept dodging due to their history of Glitch, which I wasn't a huge fan of based on what I'd heard. But that's when I learned that Akufen didn't just do Glitch, but had a fair few releases under the 'Microhouse' label which I thought I'd heard about in the past but I wasn't sure. To cut a long story short, Microhouse is essentially Deep House meets Glitch, I am particularly fond of this track Skidoos, which I think strikes a great balance when blending those two genres. Those little vocal cuts dancing around in my headphones are super nice.

Moving onto another artist in that "Need to check out but forgot" category, I finally got around to checking out Rei Harakami in depth. We had a post on his work a long time ago here, and he was always showing up in my recommended artists but I never took the time to deep dive, now that I've found his works easily accessible via Bandcamp and with Harakami appearing on a few soundtracks in my collection I figured I may as well. His brand of downtempo techy sounds are lush as ever, the intro on this one is a little harsh but stick with it and you enter a world of gorgeous downtempo. Like the non-soundtrack work of Mitsuto Suzuki in that respect actually, even down to the same use of panning sounds that I really like at the minute, definitely pull out your headphones for this one.

And finally, keeping things in Japan with another recent addition and quite possibly the most stereotypical Japanese name in my artist collection: Technoboys Pulcraft Green-Fund. The name comes with an equally weird origin story; they were called TECHNOBOYS on their initial formation in 1994, but were renamed in 2005 after merging with the group Pul-craft. Checked them out based on a couple of remix contributions I'd heard (and some slick looking album art which helps!) and it very much is up my alley with lush sounds abound. Interestingly though, like Akufen above, bands like this are slowly introducing more of a glitch sound to my library that was missing before (which would be a surprise if you've even seen my Artwork or Video pieces!), part of which is due to the Glitch I had heard being quite abrasive, this and Skidoos above are quite nice and almost melodic. I am enjoying this new dimension of sounds I have going on right now, and I'm hoping that you find a thing or two here that you like too!

Apologies for the slew of reposts recently, I am trying now to balance them with new & original posts (like the one you're reading now!). Like many of you I have a ton of free time so I got a little too invested in restoring the blog back to how it was, when I should have been trying to write more as well. There are still some more old reposts to come but I will do my best to mix it up a bit. As always, stay safe and enjoy the music!

-Claude Van Foxbat

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