Tuesday 14 July 2020

Tune In, Drop Out

Postponing another post as I needed to get this out ASAP. Some of you may remember how much I love Miss Kittin's compilation/mixtape thingy Radio Caroline, Vol. 1, I've posted about it plenty in the past! It's finally made it's way to digital distribution (as have a lot of her mixes) via bandcamp, which I was surprised at because I thought it'd be a licensing minefield. I long ago picked up a second hand physical version anyway but it's nice to see it accessible like this.

Radio Caroline a real treasure trove of rare tunes, myself and Kittin's music taste sometimes clash, I've listened to a few of her other compilations like this and none of them have quite gripped me the way this one has. It's not just the track choices either, Kittin injects a little bit of uniqueness to the compilation/mix by overdubbing herself musing in spoken word about a variety of topics, it makes the whole thing feel a lot more personal and twinned with the excellent track choices you really get a feel for her personality through it. Let's get right in.

It doesn't take long before we hit a highlight, after a brief intro we hit the gorgeous melodic IDM of Delarosa & Asora, this track is one of many that made it onto my 'must pick up' list off the back of this compilation (though unfortunately some are a lot harder to come by than this) it really sets the mood for things to come, even down to the little spoken word interlude from Kittin towards the end as it mixes out into the next track. I may yet write a full Retro Review of this compilation because it totally deserves it, and being a mix it might be a little disjointed with me just picking my favourites. That said, listening to it in prep for writing this, a lot of the tracks stand pretty well on their own, the only giveaway they're from a mix is usually on the outros and not the beginnings which is a testament to how well the tracks are picked.

Back to the rarities, here's one that pretty much only exists on this compilation. It's another one of those instances where mine and Kittin's music taste doesn't quite align, but where I would become quickly bored by tunes like this in a regular mix, Kittin's spoken word gives it a little edge that keeps it fresh and the best part is how effortlessly it's put in there, Kittin's voice doesn't seem like an out-of-place addition, you could almost mistake it for being part of the studio track. And bonus points for the absolutely gorgeous mixing out into Marshall Jefferson vs. Noosa Heads' Mushrooms (Salt City Orchestra Out There Mix), which is one of my favourites of all time, never mind from this mix!

Keeping things rare with a piece from Plaid alias Repeat, and you can definitely hear the Plaid influence in there once it's pointed out, though it is very different from their usual melodic semi-IDM style. This is again another one of those tracks that would have been super obscure were it not for this mix, this isn't Kittin flexing on how many rare records she has in her collection though, it's something a little more wholesome. I know I'm repeating (ha!) that point a lot but it bears doing so: part of the reason I got into blogging and the reason I adore mixes like this is that you get to shine a light on so much stuff that you enjoy and hopefully others will as well.

Saving my all time favourite for last. If we wanted to talk about flexing rarity this would be the track to do it on. Taken from Walking Endustries one and only EP called "Relaxation II - The Era Of 'Mental Hip Hop", of which there are only 500(!) copies. This record has been a great source of pleasure and pain for me, between Radio Caroline and another compilation I had a total of two tracks from it and they were both super gorgeous. I saw rumors a while ago now that it was going to get a digital release but nothing seems to have materialised yet. After literally years of fruitless searching I finally got my hands on a copy (digitally that is) not too long ago and it's everything I could have wanted. I love the inclusion of Makkee on this mix, it stands out amongst the minimal and house we've heard so far and is generally just a lovely slice of Hip Hop. What really makes it complete though is that tempo switch up in the latter half, kicking in at around 3 minutes in, and it's subsequent mixing out into the final track [Kinesthesia - Flicklife (µ-Ziq Mix)]. I could have written the whole article on this track alone, but the whole compilation has been an incredible chapter in my music listening history and I cannot recommend it enough. Especially now it's super easy to get your hands on via bandcamp.

Be sure to check out the full thing on Bandcamp! I skipped over many a track, including a couple favourites not mentioned here (If you've been reading long enough to know my taste you might be able to spot them! ). Worth noting if you love a bargain like me, Kittin is currently offering a coupon code to get 80% off anything from her bandcamp (until July 16), the code is "happybd" (minus the quotes). Get out there and support your favourite artists!

No comments: