Monday 21 June 2021

Bringing it in

Charles Sheeler - Windows (1952)

A quick and slightly eclectic selection of stuff to see in this week - One that's been on the cards for a while and potential retro review candidate is more from Ladytron. Ever since they cropped up on Bandcamp about a year ago with their then-new single and album I had crossed all my digits that their full discography might make its way over there, and I am happy to say that I have not been disappointed. Most of it is there, aside from the respective singles from each album but even then most of the stuff from them worth hearing has been compiled into the 'Remixed & Rare' companion albums for each one. I've gone with a track from Witching Hour this time - home to some of the 'Tron's most iconic tunes though decidedly less electronic than 604 and Light & Magic before it, maybe it's the nostalgia talking but International Dateline and a few others on here are absolutely soaked in that mid 00's feel with their slight indie incline.

Another surprise find this time, I first found this track on a now out of print compilation from Toytronic called Everything Is Green on one of my semi-regular treks into the world of IDM. It's a lovely little comp that has a nice amount of variety on it, as the title of the compilation might suggest it's more on the more lush and melodic side of the IDM world that I've been very into at the minute. I first thought this one was a one off oblique Autechre / Board Of Canada reference (Boc Scadet being quite close to Basscadet, one of Autechre's early works) but turns out they are an established artist with a few releases under their belt. I still reckon it's a combo reference though, but that's conjecture on my part.

Anyway, the tune itself stood out to me because much like the naming scheme it sounds an awful lot like the stuff Autechre were making on Warp in their early days, which instantly appealed to me as that is some of my favourite stuff they've done (along with all the other artists at the time making similar). It's perhaps not quite as all in on the lush electronics as some of the tracks from Everything Is Green, but even so the techier elements aren't nearly as abrasive as some other examples I could pull up. It's that kind of bleepy electronic I can (and have) listened to all day, if the rest of the EP is like this I will almost certainly be adding it to my collection sometime soon.

And finally another visit to ThorHighHeels. If I'm honest I'm not ready yet to get more from them - between the two Umurangi Generation soundtracks I picked up a little while ago along with the Positive Yellow album as well, I have more than enough to get stuck into as-is. Still, I went for a cursory look, THH often uses his own tunes in their videos and some of them are seriously catchy so I try and find a few here and there to earmark for later. I adore Positive Yellow for wearing its inspirations on its sleeve - the whole thing is a blend of 90's rave, house, breakbeat, techno and hints of UK Garage here and there but doesn't come out feeling like a trite re-tread that overly panders.

That's a trend that continues on their other releases, albeit not as pronounced as on Yellow - bits of it can still be heard on the first track of In The Rough, especially when the 808 cowbells get their moment in the spotlight but the whole thing plays out like a more conventional indie electronic tune in the style of Monk and company I posted not too long ago. That's not a complaint though, more of an observation! THH still has a great ear for sounds and this track shows that off in spades, it's full of great little touches and I can't help but smile my way through that breakdown at around 1:15. I highly recommend checking them out, even if the ironic text and eye-searing neon of the album art turns you away a bit.

And that'll do it for this time, I'm back at work now for a little while but it shouldn't slow things down too much - though having said that I am going to look through the archives and see if anything catches my eye for another Retro Review so that could take longer than expected if I end up doing another long album like Moby's 18. I'll try and make another quick one if it does come to that though! Either way stay tuned and as always: Stay safe and enjoy the music.


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