Sunday 6 December 2020

Extended Play

Normally this would be where I talk about the stuff I grabbed in the latest Bandcamp Friday but the truth is I didn't get that much this time. No fault of the artists, it just snuck up on me and I hadn't prepared too many things I was definitely going to scoop. I didn't want to force it either so I just went for a couple of EPs that only just missed the cut last time. They're both EPs I've talked about before too (well, sort of in the case of one) - Thought it might be a bit thin on the ground so this post is going to be a bit longer as I talk about 2 other tracks I've been listening to lately too. Let's go.
Pierre Alechinsky - The Night (1952)

Leading us is DMX Krew with the newest thing of his I have in my collection, the Don't You Wanna Play? EP. Appearing on Peggy Gou's Gudu Records, the EP is a short sweet and slick rundown of the DMX sound, it's a smidge different from my favourites from him like We Are DMX but as the bandcamp description rightly says, that's to be expected given how long Ed from DMX has been in the game. It's an entirely instrumental EP which is rare among the bits and pieces of DMX work I've picked up over the years - there are no tongue in cheek rhymes here, just straight up House. While the opening track CJ Vibe is still the standout for me, I've been quite taken with the bouncy, playful, spacey retro feel of the final track 110 Series recently. Here Ed really stretches his melodic legs and puts those synths to work - I say this every timeI talk about DMX Krew pretty much, but the tracks are all so fun sounding you can't help but smile a bit, and I imagine Ed has a ton of fun making them as well.

Keeping it spacey next with another bit from Gerard Hanson, better known as Convextion. I've been taken with his work under the E.R.P. alias for a little while now though it was a little difficult to get a hold of digitally. Thankfully in 2019 Frustrated Funk re-issued two of his most popular (and hard to get hold of) EPs: Vox Automaton and Alsonran. Combined into one big EP now just called the fittingly technologic sounding FR014X - it's a great introduction piece if you're looking to get into the world of Convextion as a whole. I do think Alsoran is the stronger of the two EPs but that's not to say that the Vox side isn't worth your time. If you're at all like me and love that futuristic techno/electro sound, you'll find plenty to enjoy here. The title track from Vox is a nigh-perfect summary of that - I could live in those lush portions all day.

Taking another dip into the recommended space again with yet another track that barely missed being on the Algorithms post. This is once again the first I'd really heard of an artist to my knowledge, but what a track to make a first impression with, it was a perfect suggestion for the playlist it ended up going into. Desolate 1 is from 1998 but feels slightly older than that - and not in a negative 'this is dated' way if that makes any sense. It's the B-Side to an EP called It Ain't Gonna Be Me and as people other than me have pointed out it's a sort of strange choice to have: the A-side is a standard House come Big Beat affair, but this B-side goes hard - full on techno with perhaps a smidge of Trance influence on those breakdowns (though now I think about it, the whole thing sounds a little like Juno Reactor's Guardian Angel from '95). And to CJ's credit, there's enough variety injected throughout that I have frequently sat through the whole thing without realising a few times since my introduction to it. I didn't know I was really in the mood for this kind of intensity lately but apparently I am, and I have yet another artist to add to the ever growing list of things to check out once again.

And finally, not to give you all tonal whiplash but I've been taking a deeper dive into the back-catalogue of Susumu Yokota again. As I mentioned last time the man had many a release to his name, and even more under aliases but not all of them are easy to get your hands on. I've been exclusively looking at ones that aren't as readily available and so far I've liked each one I've run across. Sound Of Sky leans more on the downtempo side of things, that intro and opening track are gorgeous and wouldn't be out of place on a lounge compilation from the early 2000's. But as much as you all know I love that kind of vibe (and I am having to seriously stop myself from posting that one!), the standout tracks on the album for me are the more House-y ones, and there are more than a few to get stuck into. King Of Darkness is, unlike its name, not a very dark track at all - from the get go you have an almost 2-step garage style beat that soon gives to a more traditional House 4/4 with a deceptively killer bassline. Around the midpoint of the track is where it all comes together though, the twinkling piano that often goes off on Jazzy tangents is an absolutely inspired touch and beautifully twins with the House side of the track. Keep an eye out for more tracks from this album coming up in the near future, I can't get enough.

And so ends another weekly post, slightly longer than normal as I didn't want it to be just 2 bandcamp players or just YT embeds either. In other news, I've been making good headway on the republishing so expect that to continue over the winter, it might delay proper posts somewhat but I aim to put something up at least once a week, I've got a few ideas rattling around in this head of mine for just such an occasion!

And as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.

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