Saturday 22 May 2021

Red Skies

Abbott Handerson Thayer - The Sky Simulated by Red Flamingoes (1909)

Back again with what I hope will be another one of those shorter posts I talked about last time. Kicking off with my latest escapist experience, Umurangi Generation, and its decidedly on-point soundtrack. The setting is a slightly cyberpunk New Zealand, and you're there to take pictures and have a chill time mainly. The soundtrack is on paper at odds with the chill aesthetic, it runs the full gamut from near dubstep and future bass to more conventional House and a whole heap of UK Garage influence too, but it works ever so well in practice. Speaking of variety, it helps that the OST is massive, the DLC soundtrack that this is from is 51 tracks, and the main game has an extra 81 on top of that - granted a lot of them are super short but still. I've yet to hear a dud from ThorHighHeels, and even if I did there's so much to get at on this album that I don't think it'd be a big deal even if.

Speaking of aesthetics, we're revisiting Mitch Murder again now. Out of all the 'Retrowave' (and it's million other umbrella terms) artists, Mitch's works always felt the most... honest, for lack of a better term. Mitch's work certainly takes a whole heap of inspiration from actual 80's music, but unlike some other artists of the synthwave persuasion, I think a lot of his work is more of a love letter to the style of old rather than just aping the overall sound and vibe. Take Frost from his latest release Then Again - it has massive echoes of Vangelis' score for Blade Runner, which I know is an incredibly cliché comparison to make but those brassy synths are almost absolutely intended to be taken that way. It's been a while since I heard Mitch tackle something so downbeat as this and I'm really digging it, it's at the top of my list to check out and scoop up come next BC Friday.

Another one from my list to round out - L'usine (or just Lusine as they go by now). I very briefly dipped my toe into their work when I was on my ambient streak a little while ago, but as is so often the case I ended up finding out they have a ton of releases under their belt, the early stuff falling under the IDM label to boot. I did a little bit of exploring, and is so often the case with me I checked a couple out based on the cover art alone, which is how I found The Waiting Room. Made the mistake of reading the reviews on discogs but they weren't useful, just full of folks lamenting that it was a house record and not like their older works, I was undeterred though and thought I should at least sample the first track.

I haven't really had time to sit down with the album properly yet, but Panoramic is nice enough, a real driving song that worked real well during my WFH periods - it actually reminds me a lot of Röyksopp in a way, I think it has some of the same structure that was on The Understanding's bonus tracks that are like the refined results of a bunch of jam sessions. It's on the ever-growing list either way, so you may be hearing more of this in the future, if not this album then certainly L'usine's other works.

Right, I think that went pretty well. A *little* bit shorter than usual but not by much I will admit. Still, my thoughts remain the same, I plan to do more of these quick-fire posts in the coming future, too many times recently I've ended up writing across multiple days which I think sometimes makes my writing a bit scatterbrained (more so than usual at least!), not to mention the extra time taken too. Anyway, that's neither here nor there, hope you enjoy these selections - I'll be back as usual with more soon enough.

And as always - Stay safe and enjoy the music.


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