Thursday 25 June 2020

Cross Section

Apologies for the slight delays recently, I've been on a bit of a roll with restoring a bunch of blog posts (over 600 republished as of writing!) but unfortunately we're hitting the era where a lot of the posts either have broken soundcloud links b/c they've been taken down (Which I am still republishing, just with a note that they're broke) or even worse have no formatting which makes it an absolute headache to fix the links. Here's a screenshot so that all of you can share my pain as well:

Yeah. So I thought I'd return to form with this original post as I just talk about the kinda stuff I'm listening to as of late. Let's get right in, my techno itch came up something fierce a little while ago as you might have notice from the High Tech Dreams mixtape I did a little while ago, I used that as a springboard to dive further into the work of Mijk Van Dijk. Van Dijk's stuff has been hit and miss with me in the past but the hits have been incredible hits. I chose the album 'Teamwork' as I hadn't yet heard anything from it, as the name suggests it's an album of collaborations, each track is Mijk with another producer. I picked the opening track with Humate (who I'm slightly familiar with from Love Stimulation) so it was looking to be a good time. I love that intro something fierce; partially the gorgeous synth accompaniment that is very Van Dijk, partially the nostalgic if a little cliché Tomb Raider samples that make up the backbone of the track.

Not to play out the High Tech Dreams post again, but I recently replayed Ape Escape 3 for a slice of nostalgia and the soundtrack still holds up incredibly well. It marks the return of Soichi Terada after being absent from the sequel, I always want to describe his soundtracks as suprising given the subject material. They're cutesy games form Japan about catching monkeys, I certainly wouldn't expect it to be home to some absolutely gorgeous Drum & Bass and House, but I suppose that's what you get when you bring an electronic musician in as a composer (And I am not complaining at all!). Gorgeous skittering beats, lush synth pads and a surprisingly thick bassline are the order of the day here, with the fittingly titled Eversummer Island. It cuts off abruptly as do most of these OSTs, mostly because I think they're designed to loop back into themselves.

A recent addition to my listening repertoire, Swayzak were supposed to appear in some form in that High Tech Dreams mixtape mentioned above, but were cut last minute. Currently making me eat my words a little as so many other bands have with my "I don't really like minimal" stance. They also cross over into the world of electroclash a bit in the early 00's which as you all may know is essentially scoring a critical hit on me (Doubly so when one of their works is a collab with Nicola Kuperus of ADULT.). A little lost on where to begin I jumped in on 2000's Himawari which is a suitably high tech treat. I chose State Of Grace to best represent this, I can see how people would lump this in with electroclash, there is a kind of Fischerspooner-esque style to the proceedings, and even some German thrown in there toward the end to suggest that Euro vibe of labels like International Deejay Gigolos. It sounds surprisingly modern for 20 years old now, though Kirsty Hawkshaw Of Opus III fame on the vocals is a bit of a throwback for sure. At least in that department I will say it's a least a little early-mid 00's, regardless it's an all around solid production.


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