Saturday 30 October 2021

Some Short Spooky Selections

Finally making good on an idea I've had for some years but always just missed or plain forgotten about. Every year I think 'I should make another Halloween tape thing' - made a good compromise that one year with a Spotify playlist but as with a lot of things in my collection - some of the stuff just plain isn't available to stream legally and will probably never be. Not this time though, I've gone ahead and compiled a suitably spooky selection of tunes for this year. I'd hesitate to call it a mixtape like I have my other ones but I have tried a little bit to do some creative transitions where possible - kind of needed to with the abrupt end of the TeddyLoid tune after all. I'll be posting a full tracklist and mini-breakdown after the player!

TeddyLoid - Zombie (TV Version)
Mr. Oizo - Pourriture X
Alec Lambert - Silly Game
Sidewalks and Skeletons - VALLEY OF WOLVES
Kensuke Ushio - Empty Eyes
Akira Yamaoka - Heaven's Night
Akira Yamaoka - Alone In The Town

We kick off with my No. 1 provider of Electro House nostalgia in TeddyLoid. His soundtrack contributions for Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt go hard (no pun intended!), Zombie is a bonus track included on a pack-in CD with a volume of the show so it probably won't be available on streaming like the other albums from the show are, if you're after some delish electro house circa like 2010 I highly recommend them all. Given it's sudden end I had to come up with something, and I settled on the spookiest version of Oizo's Pourriture series - 'X'. It's not my favourite of the lot, I think that would have to be Pourriture 7, but I can't deny the change up in sound on this one makes it feel like it's from a horror flick.

A new addition next with a bit from the soundtrack to Heaven Will Be Mine - not a spooky game but a lot of it's soundtrack is haunting. And Silly Game strikes a nice balance between the two especially in the latter half. Next we get some classic witch house style vibes from Sidewalks and Skeletons. Originally one of the few artists on my list with no specific track in mind - as the name might suggest a great deal of Skeleton's output is of that particular spooky vibe. I ended up picking something a little less well known from them - as much as I love tracks like Drifter I felt it better to shine a light on other tracks this time. If you enjoy that, you'll not put a foot wrong by picking up the whole album.

And a soundtrack roundup to play things out, a beautifully atmospheric piece (among many others) from Kensuke Ushio's soundtrack to the 2019 Boogiepop And Others. Ushio's work has fast become some of my favourites in recent times, both under his own name and his Agraph alias as well - gorgeous glitchy IDM offerings aplenty from him. Of course, what would a spooky selection be without some bits from Akira Yamaoka? The man behind some of Silent Hill's most famous soundtracks and sound designer for the original 4, his works are sometimes unsettling but sprinkled throughout are lovely bits of ambience and sometimes even full-on Trip Hop stuff. I've chosen a couple of those Trip Hop pieces from Silent Hill 2's soundtrack to play things out - the two in question play back-to-back on the official released soundtrack and flow together near seamlessly. Yamaoka cites Portishead as an influence and I think that's plain to see on these two. And that wraps the selections for this year, it was fun to finally get them down for once - hopefully I remember to do the same next year!

I'll be back sometime the middle of next week with another regular post, but I hope yo enjoy this little tape in the meantime. And of course, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music!


Wednesday 27 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 24

Sophie Taeuber-Arp - Rising, Falling, Flying (1934)

James Stinson has made more than a few appearances as of late - never under his actual name, usually under one of his many guises. One of the enigmatic members of Drexciya, Stinson is behind many of my classic electro favourites, and today I thought I'd bring up one that I haven't actually touched on before. What I especially admire about Stinson's work is the theming that often comes with them - you have the high-tech melancholy of The Other People Place's Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café, the self-professed love letter to Kraftwerk that is the Elektroids' Elektroworld (though the exact membership of the Elektroids was never fully estabished, a 2008 Warpmart listing had "Produced by Drexciya's late James Stinson" as a bit of promo text), to the very obvious aquatic influence that underpins the entirety of Drexciya's output.

Continuing that trend we have an album I haven't actually mentioned before from another alias of Stinson's: Transllusion with The Opening Of The Cerebral Gate. Cerebreal is a perfect descriptior of it, a little more esoteric than the other examples I've listed, loaded with themes of mentality and psychedelic touches - to quote the bandcamp page directly for a moment: "hypercharged arpeggios and driving pulse patterns, morse-like tones and chord stabs, huge, über-booming tympanic kicks and grainy snares"

My favourites, surprising no one, are the more airy tracks. I've chosen Dimensional Glide for this time, those of you familliar with Stinson's other works will immediately clock the shared sound DNA between this and his other projects. Glide is the longest track on the whole thing, but when I get really into it those 7 minutes pass by like nothing. It's a wonderful piece and defintely is my absolute favourite of the lot, but if you dig this I can highly recommend not only the full thing but pretty much everything that Stinson ever did.

I've got a little somethin' different lined up for the end of this week so expect a break from this format, but I must admit I have enjoyed being able to just go all in on one specific track like I have done here. Until then, as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.


Monday 25 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 23

Robert Cottingham - Don't Walk (1991)

A very quick 'the morning of' post this time - I knew for a while I was going to cover some DMX Krew stuff but I wasn't sure which one to pick and I figured it'd be pretty easy. Famous last words though isn't it? I had a quick run-through of We Are DMX to pick something as I think it's the album I've represented the least - which is pretty surprising because it was my first dive into full length offerings from Ed DMX. There are so many ones I could have picked from the album though - and that's doubly true for the slightly expanded edition that's now on Bandcamp.

I mention it every time DMX comes up but he has a very playful approach to his works - there is a lot of deliberate irony and embracing of the cheesier side of genres that inspire him - breaks, funk and electro. I think of all the albums he has, We Are DMX has the most examples of that: with tracks like Street Boys and Konnichi Wa! back to back and honourable mentions scattered throughout the track list like Twenty Minute Affair and Good Time Girl. The one I've chosen for today is more middle-of-the-road as it turns out, the instrumentation is still decidedly retro but there's no cheeky self-aware lyrics like the ones I just mentioned - in fact the vocals appear only once in the entire thing at 1:20, but they do wonders to compliment that retro feel. Truth be told I think they could have done with a couple more appearances throughout, but the fact it's a one-off makes the payoff that much sweeter.

And that'll be all for today, this week is pretty hectic so I will try and keep to the schedule, but anything could happen in the meantime! Until next time, as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.


Friday 22 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 22

Louisa Matthíasdóttir - Harbor Scene, Reykjavik II (1987)

Going ambient this time and with less words - it's been one of those days where a bunch of little things go wrong, none of them insurmountable but a little tiring you know? Took a little time when I came back in to retreat into some calm favourites - Rei Harakami's Pone and others in that same vein, trailing off into ambient towards the end. Which led me back to Tim Hecker, it's been a while since I've mentioned him, but thanks to a mostly complete Bandcamp it's not due to difficulty finding legit streams.

An Imaginary Country has been on my radar for a while, what little I've heard of it is very much what I like from Hecker - and really makes his contributions on the collaboration LP Instrumental Tourist with Daniel Lopatin (of Oneohtrix Point Never fame) that much more obvious. Borderlands has been a long-time favourite of mine from this LP, real floaty dreamy ambience in line with the tracks I mentioned in passing in the first paragraph. But as if the universe was out to give me one last issue for the day - it's actually misspelled on the page as 'Boderlands' and people have even commented as such, so the people who manage Tim's page (or even Tim himself) must be aware! It'd be an easy fix from my brief experience with Bandcamp, but you know what? C'est la vie.

And that'll do it for this week, liked the change in format this week with one longer post to break things up - I'll try and make it a semi-regular thing! I've been fixing some behind the scenes stuff as well, so I might cheat a little and republish an old post as a 'new' one again as well. But I digress - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Wednesday 20 October 2021

The forgotten art of Cover CDs

If you've been reading here for a while, you know that I'm a bit of an archivist. I love gathering odd and curious releases that catch my interest, albeit sometimes digitally in the cases of really rare ones like Takashi Kokubo's BMW Cyber-Tech Sound. Still, I've managed to get quite a few physical ones in my time as well - and today is going to focus on a very specific subset of them - the magazine cover CD.

Picture slightly unrelated, this cover did come with a CD though!

It's a pretty simple concept: you buy a music magazine, you get a free compilation/mix or whatever CD from it as well, works to promote both your mag and the artist(s) featured as well. So I thought today I'd go over some of my favourite examples of them that I've manage to pick up. By far responsible for the most of them in my collection is MixMag - they've played host to some properly massive names when it comes to their cover CDs over the years, there's even a Felix Da Housecat album that until recently was exclusive to one issue of MixMag, but that's a tale for another day as today I'm going to focus on the actual Mix CDs.

Part of the reason I like collecting these, aside from the obvious appeal of finding new stuff of course, is preserving the mixes. It makes me sort of sad when things like this fall by the wayside as time goes on - but I guess that's to be expected after all as you don't get much more ephemeral than a release that came with a Magazine, even so it still bothers me a bit. Like how I've been unable to find any trace of Fotonovela's I'm The Masturbator With My Pocket Vibrator mix CD either physically or digitally - judging by the tracklist that mix looks brilliant.

Thankfully, it seems there are a fair few folk like me out there on the net with this archivist streak, while discussing this exact topic with some friends I was able to pull up most of them on YouTube (which of course means there are copies floating around in the P2P spaces as well). We're going to be starting with a MixMag offering first of all, with one that I still have my actual copy of from back when I was an Ed Banger obsessed teen: Club 75, mixed by Zdar of Cassius. This was around the time Ed Banger was rebranding a touch: their clothing line was being renamed from Cool Cats to Club 75 - and the Club 75 in the compilation's title was supposed to be a DJ Supergroup of Cassius, Justice, Busy P & DJ Mehdi (as detailed on the comp's cover).

That didn't quite pan out though and with the death of DJ Mehdi in 2011 the project seemed to have been permanently shelved. The compilation itself is a great listen though, a real time capsule back to 2009 with some big belting tunes on there - the Justice mix of D.A.N.C.E still gets a rise out of me to this day (It appears on this comp mislabelled as the MSTRKRFT Remix, but that too is a massive tune). Perhaps a little bittersweet now that both Philippe Zdar and DJ Mehdi are no longer with us, but what better way to recall them than by putting this on.

Another of my favourites from the MixMag ones is the Trance 'n' Bass mix from John B circa 2002. John B has a pretty eclectic style, if you look up pictures of him from discogs he looks more like the frontman of an early 00's emo slash pop punk outfit than a Drum & Bass producer (and also one unfortunate picture of him at like 16). Trance & Bass was a very short lived spin off of the two genres, but it made enough of an impression to get an entry on Ishkur's Electronic Music Guide at the time, the one that no longer works due to the death of Flash.

The mix shows off a great deal of variety from the genre, with a healthy dose of John's own productions in there too. The introduction is a pretty solid demo of the overall vibe - massive build ups a la Trance that release with waves of bass and frantic breaks, it takes a good 3:24 before the beats even come in on the intro! I would say that throughout does lean more heavily on the D&B side of things and keeps the BPM suitably high too, but the Trance elements are a welcome addition, especially in my case as I don't have a ton of variety in my collection when it comes to D&B. It gave me a laundry list of stuff to check out and introduced me to a great tune in Speedfreak from Plex - a tune very hard to search for now that all engines assume you mean Plex servers. It's quite an intense listen and doesn't let up for long, which can be a bit much for the full 74 minute runtime - but even if it's not your bag, I'd say it's worth at least a sample purely for the tagline on the cover: "Mentalist tunes to rinse your weasel"

And that'll be all for today, there are other mix CDs that could have gone in this list quite easily, but I figure I'll hang onto them for a future second instalment. It felt good to write something out long-form for a change as well given my output in recent weeks, I think I'll leave this one up for a little longer before returning to the bite-size format. I hope you'e enjoyed this brief dive into the world of cover CDs - there are some really fantastic ones out there if you go looking, and more often than not they're an interesting curio of the times if nothing else. Until next time, as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.


Monday 18 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 21

Hedda Sterne - Machine 5 (1950)

Back again with another morsel for Monday. I am actually working on a more traditional longform post (in addition to the other long one that's also on the backburner), but it wasn't going to be finished in time. I have another busy week coming up so I figured I'd do another round or two of these just to get something out. But enough preamble, let's go.

Something from The Flashbulb today - yet another bit from Soundtrack To A Vacant Life. This one always stood out as a bit of an outlier compared to the rest of the album's sound, there are only a couple of tracks that sound like it across the whole thing but then again it is a long album at a hefty 31 tracks. That's not to say it's bad, in fact it was one of these techy, more 'traditional' IDM sounding things that pointed me towards The Flashbulb in the first place - and it's an sound I've been spending a lot of time with recently too. It's a nice little tune, one that I'm happy to have back in rotation as I made the mistake of animating one of my showreels to this one a long time ago, which I have since found is a surefire way to make any song grate on you as you repeat the same 5 seocnd portion looking for mistakes.

Vacant Life is a great starting point if you're new to The Flashbulb, it's not super experimental as far as releases in the IDM world go - and while it is long, Benn Jordan does a fantastic job of weaving it together into one big experience: the opening salvo of Prelude into Kirlian Voyager is brilliantly done and reallt effectlievly establishes the whole album. That'll be all for now, I'll be back soon with more but until then, as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.


Friday 15 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 20

Asano Takeji - Arashiyama (1949)

A return to 'tunes I found on compilations' this time and this one is actually pretty special. I know I say every time that compilations are a great way to suddenly get a ton of variety in your colleciton but the one I found this on might have been the most successful in that respect - it already had a couple of tracks that I absolutley adored on it so I figured it was worth a full look and boy was I ever right.

The comp in question is The Modernist's Collectors Series Pt. 1 Popular Songs - and the title pretty much says it all really. It's full of amazing tunes like Télépopmusik's Breathe, Erlend Øye's Ghost Trains and even super deep cuts like Autosundmädchen's cover of All The World Loves Lovers as well, but those are the ones I knew of already before jumping into this comp, so let's focus on the new instead.

One of my favourite discoveries from this comp is this track right here - I have a couple of other mixes from Superpitcher from various live sets and other comps and based off the strength of them I may have to look into getting some of their main productions in my collection. The mix of (This Is) The Dream Of Evan And Chan is just fantastic - not hard to see why it ended up on a comp of 'Popular Songs', but one I was unaware of as I was a literal child when it first came out as a single in 2001. It's one of those I couldn't help falling fro straight away, the kind of tune that directly appeals to that part of me with a penchant for this slick hi-tech sound of the era.

A little like the Salt City Orchestra remix of Marshall Jefferson's Mushrooms both in sound and excecution - as the whole thing is stitched together by a sequence of storytelling verses from Ben Gibbard (of The Postal Service with Dntel and Death Cab For Cutie fame). A very early crossover for the worlds of indie and electronic, can't say I'm super familliar with the bands he's known for, but his vocal works really well here - albeit in a bit of an 'of the era' kind of fashion, though the verses take a backseat in the latter quarter which really Superpitcher's remix work to really shine in full force. I just adore this remix (but admittedly part of that is tinted by nostalgia), like I said about Erlend Øye's Ghost Trains way back on an old podcast, I think it still sounds surprisingly modern all things considered - but there are little bits and pieces that kind of give away its age. Perhaps that's just me wishing that this kind of sound would make a comeback though.

And that'll be all for this week - I did almost forget to write this one as things IRL are getting busier again, if I miss one of these posts it's probably becuase of that! I'll do my best to keep it regular though, there's no shortage of tunes for me to go at for sure, it's just finding the time to write about them. Story of my life right there though isn't it? I'll be back again come Monday but until then - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music. -CVF

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 19

Robert Williams - Hot Rod Race (1976)

Another throwback this time, but to something a little different. I mentioned Positive Yellow some time ago now, last summer I think? It's a little album from ThorHighHeels, who you might know from their YouTube work. Much like the video content, the audio stuff that comes from the ThorHighHeels camp is... eclectic to say the least. Sometimes dropping with irony and often a frivolous self-awareness I could understand why some would be turned away - I must admit that some of the accompanying album art is incredibly gaudy but intentionally so, if the little note on that album cover didn't give it away.

But much like similarly self-aware electronic acts such as Ceephax or DMX Krew, if you dig in a little there's plenty that's worth your time. I've taken another cut from Positive Yellow this time, which is a love letter to all kinds of 90's sounds. We talked about Summer's Edge last time, which embodies that beach House vibe of the time, but here we're going a little darker with Beat The Police. A proper 'ardcore breakbeat number complete with shelf wobbling bassline, while short at just shy of 2 minutes long, it shows that THH has a pretty good grasp on the genre and also has a ton of love for it. And that's really Positive Yellow in a nutshell, the tracks are all these short sketches of various genres with a retro edge - but each of them is a fantastic. It doesn't feel too pandering either, with the exception of some samples from Tekken (I believe?), nothing feels shoehorned in to get that nostalgic reaction.

And that's why I recommend Positive Yellow as a starting point really, short and easily digested but still showing off THH's production prowess. From here I'd suggest the OSTs they made for a game called Umurangi Generation, some of the tracks from Yellow appear on there but it's mostly original - and keeps true to that short sketches format as it clocks in at a weighty 82(!) tracks, plus an extra 51 from the DLC OST as well, so a plenty to go at. And that'll be all for today, I'll be back come Friday with more but until then, as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.


Monday 11 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 18

Jindrich Styrsky - Aquarium (1923)

The electro train continues into this week with a little something from my inbox. I've said before one of the main things I've enjoyed about my uptick in use of Bandcamp is getting release notifications from labels and such, it's handy to have and certainly does wonders in expanding the reach of what's on my radar.

Enter the enigmatic MSRG - I normally try and do a bit of a blurb about the artist in question here but there isn't much to go on, all I got is that it's an alias of Guga Gusein and there's only a handful of releases under this name. That's changing though as 2021 has seen more releases from them than ever before. I checked out Afterwork Programming after one of those emails, it promised to be very evocative with a title like that so I went right in with the equally interestingly named Dancing Data. A great little introduction and a fine addition the the melodic Electro streak I find myself in at the minute, I promptly earmarked the full EP for future pickup. Not super spacey like the E.R.P. stuff I put up last time, this ones a little bit more on the jazzier, funkier side - reminds me a little of the Drexciya spin off project Elecktroids in that respect - in fact MSRG even has a couple of Aquatic-themed releases to further cement that Drexciya connection.

I love that tracks like this are still being made in 2021, it's a sound that I've got a lot of time for so I'm always happy to have more of it, every release helps keep that Electro history alive to boot. That'll do for today, catch you all on Wednesday for the next instalment, I'm going to maybe try and get a longer one out to break up the format a little bit but that'll probably be towards the tail end of the week. Anyway, until then, as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.


Friday 8 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 17

René Magritte - The Voice of Space [La Voix des Airs] (1928)

A bit of spacey Electro to play out this week, for I am nothing if not predictable. Gerard Hanson's work under his E.R.P. alias has fast become one of my favourites over the last year or so - his brand of high-tech electro is beautiful and massively appeals to that part of me that adores the early 90's stuff Warp was promoting in this same vein.

Enter the Hubble Telescope Series - three releases celebrating science, tech and all things space as well, from some fittingly techy sounding folk. E.R.P. heads up the second volume, which wastes no time in getting down to business with title track Ancient Light. It feels almost as if you've dropped into the middle of the track in a sense, as you are immediately wrapped up in some some absolutely gorgeous lush pads - backed, of course, with some fittingly electro drum programming. I have always used that 'spacey' descriptor for the E.R.P. work I've posted before, but here more than ever is it apt - Hanson has really taken the theme to heart, with lone pulses shining through every now and then like distant stars, the bassy melody balanced with some delicate and distant counterpoints really give it that slightly idealised sci-fi feel.

I've yet to have come across an E.R.P. release I've not liked, some of them shine brighter than others - the other tracks on this EP are much more 'electro' by comparison, which is't a bad thing at all but I'd be lying if I said my heart didn't belong to sounds like Ancient Light. That's partially the reason why the Alsoran EP might still be my favourite release of his (which you can get digitally, twinned with the Vox Automaton EP - re-issued as FR014X here). If you have an affinity for that kind of sound as I do, I can highly recommend you check out Hanson's work, both as E.R.P. and his other main alias Convextion. Some of it is harder to come by than others, but I've managed to find a fair few bits scattered over various label's Bandcamps which kind of adds to the mystique a bit - it's always a joy when I come across another release I didn't know about.

And that'll be all for today, and the week with the new spaced out format. I am trying to write a little more to make up for the gaps but overall I'm pretty happy with it, I think this is a good balance for regularity. I may return to regular 3/4 tracks to one post every now and then to break things up if I find the time though - time will tell. I hope you've enjoyed this quick look at some of the recent additions to my library, I'll be back again on Monday with more but until then - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Wednesday 6 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 16

Shozo Shimamoto - Hole Esquisse (1962)

Bit of a revisit this time (or so I thought, but when I looked it up it's been well over a whole year since I mentioned this last) - to Zamilska's Undone. Zamilska calls it an EP but Discogs says it's an album but in reality it's a bit between the two, a little like Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy 'Mini-album'. It's for the best that it's only this length though, as I've mentioned with Zamilska in the past, she is a master at building these brutally crushing sounds. Undone is an almost exhausting listen and I mean that in the best way possible, to paraphrase a review quote from one of her Bandcamp pages "It's like a shot to the brain and a punch to the gut".

I've posted what I think are the heaviest tracks from Undone before, but really you can drop the needle anywhere on it and be immediately immersed in gritty techno. It doesn't take long for Call to go down this route, machine-gun handclaps and rolling tides of bass making a hell of an impression in the first half. However the real highlight comes around 1:50, where these waves of bass become the central focus and play it out. If you like what you hear on this one you can pretty much go ahead and pick up the full release and you will not be disappointed.

Undone is a fairly short experience with just one track coming close to the 5 minute mark, but I have to echo that paraphrased comment above again, Zamilska's productions are perfect as they are: these shots of aggression that make for incredibly cathartic listening. It's a record I've had to take out of rotation a couple of times just because I ran the risk of overplaying it, but when I do come across it again in my library it's always welcome. Perhaps that's a sign I'm due to pick up another release sometime soon.

And that'll be all for today, with the new spaced out schedule the next Bit will be on Friday, I've not pinned down what I'll be talking about then, so tune in for either some literal spacey electro or a return to classic early 2000's IDM! Until then, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Monday 4 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 15

Gérard Fromanger - Bastille Flux (2007)

Swapping over to that slightly delayed format as mentioned last week just to slow things down a little, felt like some of them were being pushed off the front page a little soon is all - the front page only has space for 4 posts after all. Anyway, as also mentioned last time, the next few bits are probably going to be all just bits and bobs I picked up on Bandcamp Friday - I got a pretty decent headstart this month so didn't have to scramble to make up the difference.

I got another EP from Kölsch this time, I picked up the collaborative effort between him and Tiga - the HAL EP a little while back after a chance reommendation on one of my playlists - a great little EP that instantly teleported me back about a decade to my Bloghouse days. I got an email from bandcamp that he hada nother new one out so I thought I might as well have a look. And I'm happy to report it's more of the same.

This time though it's a little closer in the music timeline - this one calls to the Progressive House gremlin that I was around when the likes of Random Album Title were coming out. Hold does a fantasic job of reminding me why I fell into that hole in the first place though and would have absolutley made it into one of my many amateur bedroom mixes of the day (and hell, it might still if I ever go back to that!). Perhaps a little long at 6 minutes but it's a very clean run, never overstaying it's welcome.

The B-side, Clear, follows the same path pretty much - the buttery smooth build up gives way to some fairly grandiose strings around the 2 minute mark, I've been very vocal about my dislike of strings in electronic music in the past, but as with all things there are exceptions. I will admit I did raise an eyebrow at this one the first time through but it has grown on me a little, which is probably rooted in a little nostalgia as Ed Banger and SomethingALaMode were fiddling with (no pun intended) this kind of sound around the early '10s. The EP is a short sharp sweet trip down memory lane for me, certainly worth the €2.50 asking price.

That'll do for entry one into the now spaced out Bits - tune in on Wednesday for the next one! Until then - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Friday 1 October 2021

Bite-sized Bits 14

George Ault - From Brooklyn Heights (1925)

Coming back to Thievery Corporation again this time, I sometimes hold off on posting bits and pieces from them because I'm almost certain that I must have mentioned it before, only to find that I haven't. Another band that's pretty good at having a good portion of their discogs available directly from them on their Bandcamp too, so I haven't any excuses this time!

Thievery Corporation excel at this very specific kind of slick, well produced downtempo that I've branded with that coffee shop label in the past. I've never meant that as a knock on their style though - it's a pretty apt description all things considered, theirs is the kind of work that would appear on tons of 'chilled' or similarly themed compilations in the late 90's to mid 00's, which is actually how I found them in the first place. Amerimacka is one of many perfect examples of that to pull up, from the intro alone you get a real good idea of what the Corporation is all about - and more importantly the genres that underpin all their prodictions: per their bandcamp - Dub, Bossa Nova and Jazz records (Even going as far as to make an entirely Bossa Nova record in Saudade)

Teaming up with Notch here (thankfully not that Notch), the corporation wear their influences on their sleeves, running a dub delay over the vocals in spots and bookending the choruses with some lovely brass. It's not the deepest cut in their discography I'll admit, it does appear on their 'Best Of' compilation after all, but if you dig it as much as I do, you'll not put a foot wrong by diving headlong into everything Thievery Corporation has made. Come to think of it, how many downtempo acts even have a 'best of' compilation anyway?

And that'll do it for this entry and the second full week (not counting that first batch as I missed Monday!) of these shortform posts. I think they've proven to be pretty useful, comapred to the 2-3 track ones of old they feel much easier to thrown down. I am considering spacing them out a bit, maybe once every 2 days rather than everyday. But that's not because I'm finding it tricky or anything - rather I know how much of a pain it can be when there are too many updates you know, I'd like to give some of these time to sit before pushing them down the way. But enough about that - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.