Saturday 16 January 2021

Digital Archaeology

Not to sound like a broken .MP3 once again, but re-publishing old posts has been a trip and a half. It's interesting to see my opinions circa 10 years ago and the tunes that have come and gone, amid my awkward teenage writings (much like a diary in that respect!) - that's part of the reason I like collecting music like I do, it's a living archive of the moment and music ends up tied to memories, people, places and so on. But curiouser than that are the fragments and relics that lay forgotten in the list of posts - things that had been started by myself or the other writers of days past and never saw the light of day.

Salvador Dalí - Archeological Reminiscence of Millet's Angelus (1935)

The first of these relics is a bootleg remix of Bôa's Duvet - I'm pretty sure I didn't end up posting this one as I had put up the non-nude version of the mix not too long before it. Knowing me I shelved it to talk about at a later date, but probably didn't expect that date to be a solid two plus years later. Duvet is potentially one of my favourite songs ever and one I am guilty of collecting pretty much every remix and rework I can find of it. ScummV's were the first I found and are some of the most popular, and rightly so. The original bootleg gives the acoustic version of Duvet a do-over with a moody Garage vibe - something I could have definitely seen happen back in the 90's when it was originally released, it *did* have a trip-hop mix after all. However that's the original I'm talking about there, the Nude Version here as the name would suggest is a stripped back version of the bootleg with the two-step backing absent. Harkening back to the days of 'chillout' versions of mixes, despite being very similar the Nude Version is a gorgeous compliment to the original bootleg.

I can't talk about rarities and hidden gems without mentioning Miss Kittin. Kittin's been on a mad streak of mixes and rarities lately, archiving them all on her Bandcamp. Not too much of a surprise as her soundcloud was similar a little while back but still nice to see. Anyway, it's fun to see how often that someone like me who likes to think they're pretty up to speed on Kittin's output to come across something I'd never heard before. As is the case with The Vogue, one of her many Featuring credits from the turn of the millennium. And it's again one of those cases where I'm surprised it hasn't come up before, as someone with a deep love of Electroclash and especially Miss Kittin's work within it this track is another prime slice of the subgenre. Being from 2000 it's not exactly as defined as some later Electroclash examples, it's of the high-tech variety a la the Golden Boy & Miss Kittin EP or Felix da Housecat's Kittenz & Thee Glitz and not the punky kind that ADULT. and the like were putting out. The slick techy sound, the globe-trotting theme of the lyrics, and Kittin's of-the-era stoic delivery - all elements that I love oh so much - are out there in force and I absolutely unabashedly adore it.

Other digital leftovers I found were from our brief dalliance with Grooveshark players. I forget the exact circumstances but they were a pretty decent alternative for a while - you could do little 'broadcast' playlists where people could tune in and listen with you that I liked - not quite being a full on DJ but having the chance to talk about songs was nice. One of the posts that I came across from that time was talking about the then-new Clark LP Iradelphic. Thanks to Warp Records' recent addition to Bandcamp it was not only an easy fix but sent me down a leisurely scroll of their releases. I was thinking they'd only put the 'new' stuff up and slowly add the archives but that's not the case at all, a ton of albums, EPs and Compilations going back to the very first Warp releases are available on there, and I ended up making note of plenty of things to scoop up that I'd been putting off due to lack of physical availability or similar. But I digress, it's been a long time since I really listened to Clark (to my shame), his style is distinct for sure and one that I think I've aptly summed up in the past as 'Melodic Grit'. I gave the track I chose back then another listen and it didn't take long for me to remember why I'd picked it.

The opening is very reminiscent of label-mate Bibio's more folky breed of electronic, but that gives way after about 30 seconds to make room for some suitably punchy and trademark Clark kicks. It's a nice listen for sure, but doesn't really live up to that 'Melodic Grit' label I mentioned before does it? But as is sometimes the case with Clark, you need a little patience. The absolute explosion of sound around 1:20 is just brilliant; backed with a newfound synth that is best described as shredding, the sudden injection of intensity is great on it's own but that melodic accompaniment is absolutely pushed to its limit as well, sounding as if it's going to break down and start leaking out of your speakers. And just like that, it's all gone by the 2:10 mark. Short, sharp and powerful - a 3 minute masterclass in Clark.

Come to think of it, the variety of genres on show here reminds me of the old posts I used to do that were just a real grab bag of styles. Funny how some things never change eh? I'd have liked for this one to be a little longer but I didn't really have any more tracks to post, and looking at the text above it's probably wise I stop here before I type another pageful!

And as always - Stay safe and enjoy the music.


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