Tuesday 19 January 2021

A Mixed Bag

I had a real clear outline for this post and was ready to sit down and get into it, only to find that the thing's I'd picked weren't as easy to find as I'd thought. The best laid plans of mice and men as the sayings go. I've not had too much bad luck on that front truth be told, apart from a few artists who've just disappeared from the net and taken their works with them, I can normally find a decent source to embed. Not so much this time, though I will admit I am being a bit dramatic, there's only one song today that isn't conventionally available but that's because it's not officially out yet. I'm just a bit bitter because I hate to do posts that are just back to back YT embeds, doubly so when they're not legit channels but sometimes that's what has to happen. Let's go.

Ken Danby - Delicious (1971)

First is yet another tale of 'Artist I was vaguely aware of but never checked out because have you seen the size of my list of things to check out?'. I get the feeling this one popped up in my YT recommends from my recent string of trace listening but also the few tracks I have with Kirsty Hawkshaw on them (Shoutouts to Swayzak's State Of Grace). Today's entry is Stealth by Way Out West - a track which discogs describes as Trance, which is accurate but you'll find it a fair bit different from the usual hands-in-the-air euphoria that I put up. No, Stealth is (rather suitably given the title) of that specific type of Trance that was kicking around in the early 00's that was part downtempo, part breakbeat and part lounge - and surprisingly radio friendly for the most part. The popularity of Moby around that time no doubt contributing to the 'chillout' side of things and the overall feel of this one reminds me of the stuff Hybrid was putting out around the same time too - like Finished Symphony. Now it's well known that I am a sucker for all things downtempo, but I've never really given this specific style much thought until now - I do like the smooth and slick high-tech styling of it, though it does sounds a little dated now. Hawkshaw has yet to disappoint whenever she features and this track is no different, really completing that turn of the millennium atmosphere. It's oddly not got an official upload, soundcloud or otherwise, so I hope this one stays for the time being.

The trend of me discovering tunes from old compilations continues - this time with Télépopmusik's Breathe, which I found on a curious little compilation called Collectors Series Pt. 1 - Popular Songs which tells you all you need to know. I scooped it up because it had some artists and songs on there I already liked, so I figured it'd be worth a look (and to see how they mixed together so I could take notes for future mixtapes!). Breathe comes in strong with that kind of heady hazy vibe that I had a bit of a penchant for some years back, doing a bit of digging and it seems the release this is from Genetic World is a bit divisive because of the inclusion of this more Trip-Hop infused sound and that the singles (of which Breathe is one) are the only really good bits. Now I haven't listened to the rest of the album yet so I can't really comment too much on it but I keep catching myself coming back to this one - it makes good backing for menial tasks and I mean that in the most sincere way possible. Angela McCluskey's vocal twins exceptionally with the steady 4/4 and contributes excellently to that overall haziness I mentioned at the top. Echoes of Röyksopp's Sparks here, albeit in more of a House-styled vein.

And finally - I dip my toes back into the world of J-Pop once again. There's plenty of electronic influence on J-Pop, the few bits and pieces I have in my library run the full spectrum of genres, from Eurobeat and Dubstep to IDM and Drum & Bass. The end result is usually pretty interesting as producers play around with the space and genres - enter Hikaru Utada's upcoming single for the new Evangelion movie, One Last Kiss. I couldn't find any info on the producer and probably won't be able to until it officially comes out, but that intro is pretty incredible and I could do with more of it. Granted it's only a 1:30 cut of the tune for a trailer but it sounds great, really reminds me of the stuff Shinichi Osawa was making for Nandodemo Atarashiku Umareru (Reborn Again and Always Starting New) under the Mondo Grosso alias. Its laid-back feel is at odds with the utter insanity that is Evangelion as a whole, but I'll definitely be keeping an ear out for this one when it comes out fully later this year.

Update: it's out! Here's the proper full vid from the official channel:

Apologies again for the back-to-back embeds of YT but like I said, sometimes that's just the way it goes - doubly when talking about things yet to come out. Still, it's been a while since it's happened recently, there are plenty of pages in the archive that look like this though. And at least these ones won't be busted when a piece of tech gets phased out in 10 years (Now watch me go and jinx that, come check on this post in 2031 and see). But we're getting off topic so I'll stop myself here.

As always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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