Sunday 13 December 2020

Taking Stock

Feelin' all nostalgic this time. Again. But! Not in the usual sense where I share a bunch of old tunes I used to listen to or anything, well actually kinda that but not quite how I usually do it, hopefully it'll all make sense in a bit. Essentially these are not things that are *super* old or anything, but hit that same kind of feeling for me. Wouldn't be too noteworthy normally but I hit a good 3 in a row and thought it'd be nice to share. Let's go.

First is another bit of Trance. I promise that this post won't go super in depth with it, after all I already had my annual post where I wax poetic about Trance a couple months back! Though saying that, this track would have been right at home there - as I always say I could just be in those breakdowns for ever and ever. I will concede that as is usually the case with trance - that it does take an extraordinarily long time to get going. Though it's not as bad an offender as some tracks I have in my collection, I understand it could turn a lot of folk away. It's not as aggressive with the 'drop' as it were as the other trance stuff I posted - there's not really an explosion of that trademark euphoria here, it all just kind of slides into place. And that's not a criticism of it by any means, as much as I love that style I've been especially taken with this one as of late- which has also taken me on this virtual trip of YT channels that are just videos of vinyl.

Speaking of enamoured, it's been a long time since I mentioned Yoko Kanno on here. She's one of my favourite composers and while her work isn't always applicable for an electronic music blog, when she does turn her hand to the more electronic side of things it's something really special. I've talked at length about her soundtracks for Ghost In The Shell and Cowboy Bebop, but as is the theme of this post we're going a little bit more into the past. She also sound tracked a series called Terror In Resonance, which despite it's often heavy content (as you may have guessed from the title) is a absolutely full of gorgeous visuals and lush audio. I last mentioned this one way back in the early days of the podcast, around episode 2 I think? When it came up on shuffle I knew I had to include it here. Terror In Resonance carries a lot of Icelandic influence oddly enough, and this is reflected in the soundtrack. There's no outright plagiarism of homages to bands like Sigur Rós, the influence is clear to hear, more so on the tracks with vocals (my favourite being 'Hanna'). Crystalized however you can still hear that influence in, to me the way the build ebbs and flows is very reminiscent of post-rock as a whole.

And finally - ending the year as it began with an Everything But The Girl demo. Last year it was Above The Law, the demo for what would become Before Today on the Walking Wounded album, a vry rough round the edges early draft that only enhanced Tracey Thorn's vocal contributions. Speeding Car Side On by contrast is completely instrumental - and feels much more finalised than Above The Law albeit lacking vocals at all. Without knowing the ins and outs of the album's production though, who can say it was even intended to have them at all? But I digress, it's a shame this one was cut, it's not going to knock your socks off or anything but it's a lovely period piece of downtempo and for that I love it (With my biases admitted!). As always, I'm not a massive fan of the string accompaniment in places, but it was 1996 and that kind of thing was very much in vogue at the time. And if I had to critique it more the whole thing does feel a bit meandering - it's not something that stops me from enjoying it but I can see the lack of development grating on some - and again I have to give them some leeway as it is explicitly labelled as a demo, so you can expect it to be unpolished and unfinished. That doesn't stop it from being lovely in parts though.

And that'll do it for this week. Apologies for no bandcamp players this time but YT is a decent enough replacement, especially when dealing with tracks that aren't on the platform. I've got some things lined up for the end of the year, not sure if they'll come to anything yet but stay tuned anyway. Might be a little longer between posts as well now we enter the end of the year - rest assured that unless I say otherwise, I am still active and am probably just busy!

And as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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