Saturday 31 October 2020

For The Archives

We return to a familiar format this week: tunes I've discovered along the way that I'm posting to remind myself to pick up some point soon (probably when the next Bandcamp Friday happens!). I initially thought that this post would be a bit thin on the ground, but it turns out that I forgot to wishlist a few things on Bandcamp so now it's looking a lot healthier. Let's get into it.

Richard Hamilton - Archive I (1981)

First up is something that I would have sworn was in my collection somewhere, but like so many other songs and LPs over time it never did. At the time it was the peak of me being into this kind of sound - between Bibio and the other Warp crew I had a real hankering for this kind of off kilter hip-hop. The album this is from, Lucky Shiner was Gold Panda's debut - and what a debut it was. You couldn't escape this song around then if the YouTube algorithm had even the slightest idea that you liked electronic music. I distinctly remember eventually biting the bullet and saying "oh, go on then" and giving it a listen and really liking it. So how does it hold up 10 years on? Well, I still like it that's for sure, but that itch I had back then for this sound isn't as prominent as it was. I don't mean that to be too negative though, as I said it's still a really neat track - part of me is really into that frantic sample triggering style. And now would be a good time to pick it up, as it's being re-issued for the 10th anniversary with a bunch of bonus tracks as well. Better late than never, eh?

For all my love of Modeselektor I am very much unfamiliar with a great deal of their output. I have vague memories of Art & Cash, the former track of the EP being some predictably pretentious synth unpleasantness. That doesn't excuse me never checking out the remixes though (though in my defence, there are lots and lots of them!). Enter the SBTRKT remix of Art & Cash, I've been thinking a lot about SBTRKT recently - (I was thinking of doing a Retro Review post on his debut mainly, an album that still sounds real fresh to my ears but I digress) and I realised I'd never heard this remix, so I gave it a spin. While certainly different to the sound of his debut, you can still find some distinctly SBTRKT hallmarks, Sampha on the vocals for one. It's an incredible remix, turning the rolling electro of the original Cash into a much more lighthearted 2-step Garage style. I am totally loving the 8-bit style warbles throughout this one, reminding me very much of Flying Lotus' Kill Your Co-Workers from around the same time in that aspect.

And finally, a tale as old as time. Yet another holdover that I discovered way back on Grooveshark(!) and have been meaning to check out ever since. Grooveshark's recommends sent me in the direction of a bunch of artists I might not have found otherwise, tucked away on Planet Mu (μ-Ziq's label, naturally) is an album by Skyler McGlothlin under their Nautilis alias - the rhythmically pleasing to say Are You An Axolotl.

I'm not familiar with Skyler's other work, but I can tell you I fall in love all over again whenever this track comes up - it appeals to that side of me that I always struggle to pin down a good way to describe, from those times where I would stay up far too late making weird animations and watching [adult swim] bumps (and jamming to their exceptional music choices for them). And that's actually a really apt comparison for this track, Why It Got To Be So Damn Tough would fit right in as a piece of bump music, (I haven't checked but it wouldn't surprise me if it already had been used as such) the combination of the simple guitar loop backed with beats and occasionally cut up and turntable-ised is practically the distilled formula for what they'd choose for the music. Reminding me a little of Benn Jordan's work as The Flashbulb, but with a more trip/hip-hop style, I think it's an absolutely stellar choice as an album closer.

I'm surprised how well this post flows together, normally when I make a post like this is can be a bit all over the place but these three play out togteher quite nicely. Posts may still be a bit thin on the ground going forward as IRL things continue to pick up, but I plan to restore some more old posts in the meantime as well. Blogger's had a facelift which makes should make parsing the code of those older posts much easier than before, in a pinch I may re-publish some as new posts as I did in the early days of lockdown so apologies in advance for any re-runs!

And as always - Stay safe and enjoy the music.


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