Friday 19 February 2021

In The Meantime...

Natalia Goncharova - La Forêt [The Forest] (1913)

I thought I'd have the Retro Review done in due time, but it's turning out to be a bigger job than I thought. So in lieu of making you wait for however long it takes, I'm here to write another quick one to stem the tide. Been enjoying a lot of late 90's stuff as of late, keeping it vaguely Warp themed we have Björk's Homogenic. I say vaguely because this album has a bunch of production work done by Mark Bell of LFO as well as Guy Sigsworth and others. Together they make this album have a great hi-tech feel, not quite the same as the bleepy techno of the early 90's I've mentioned a lot recently, but of the same sphere. That's of course not even mentioning Björk's vocal work - which is as stunning as always. The big one from this album is obviously All Is Full Of Love (though I prefer the Single version to the one on the album), but I think my favourite might have to be Immature.

All this Warp talk as of late and I've not even mentioned perhaps the act most associated with them - the eternal Aphex Twin. Keeping it late 90's too with the Richard D. James Album and it, too, is an incredibly futuristic piece. I believe this is around the time Aphex was moving from analogue to pure digital production and the difference is pretty clear. The album before this (...I Care Because You Do) had an air of DIY to it, a lot of rough sounds and crunchy bits. In contrast the RDJ Album is smooth as all get out, even when the beats are being mangled. The unassumingly titled 4 is absolutely stunning for a track from 1996, and I believe it to be one of the best opening tracks of an album that I have heard so far.

And finally, Rei Harakami again. I've said in previous posts how I can't believe it took me so long to get into Harakami's works, especially considering they were always recommended to me. Now that I have though, I love them all a whole lot, to the point where I've had to stop myself from just making entire posts about bits and pieces of his works (not that I don't want to, but I thought I'd save them for a rainy day!). Unlike the last times I've brought Harakami up though, today we're keeping in theme and talking about his debut album from 1997 - Unrest.

The tracks I've shared in the past all show off Harakami's unique style of almost ambient electronic - and you can definitely hear signposts of where his sound would evolve even on this record, which still has that downtempo but not quite fully downtempo feel. Tracks like this are exactly why I love Harakami's work so much, from the opening it simply nails his brand of lusciously smooth electronic and it only gets better from there with smatterings of flourishes scattered throughout and that bouncy bass line make it a joy to listen to. His works are also quite easy to get hold of too, as they were re-issued around 2015 and are readily available digitally as you can see here. If you like what you hear here, I would dive right into one of his later album [Lust] for more of the same!

As always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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