Saturday 27 November 2021

Same Name Game

Claudio Bravo - Coke Love (1971)

Following through on an idea I had years ago and could have sworn I'd already done a few times - wherin I post duets of tunes that have the same titles. Naturally, the ammo you have for this sort of post only increases with time, and amongst my thousands of tracks there was bound to be some crossover. The real challenge comes from finding ones that are readily available to stream from BC though, I've managed to get all of them on there this time though.

Let's start off with a little bit of a easy one - two Berlins from Moderat and Modeselektor respectively. Of course, Moderat is made up of Modeselektor and Apparat so perhaps cheating a bit, but interesting to see the two different takes from each. We'll start with Moderat's Berlin as it was the first of the two to be released - a surprisingly sedate number from the otherwise minimal and glitchy tones of tracks before and after it. Now of course you all know I am a complete sucker for any and all ambient interludes and this one is no different, it's a gorgeous little breakwater that ushers in the final quarter of the album. Apparat's influence is very clear to hear on this one, especially in the final ten seconds or so, which use almost exactly the same tone of synth as on Over And Over from Apparat's Walls some years prior.

A stark contrast to Modeselektor's Berlin - a bombastic slice of electro house from that era that wastes no time in getting going. The album it's from, Monkeytown, is probably my favourite of the bunch that the 'Selektor boys have put out - but I'm more than willing to admit that a big part of that is a sort of nostalgia for the time when it came out, it was an incredible year for this brand of high energy releases: Teenage Bad Girl's Backwash, Rustie's Glass Swords among others leading the charge. Looking over the track list now, I'm hard pressed to pick out any weak points, the whole album is pretty tightly produced - don't be dissuaded by the amount of 'Featuring' credits on it, each one is finely selected and runs the full gamut from Thom Yorke to Busdriver. Perhaps a little short at 11 tracks but that's nothing when they're all so good. Berlin is one of the high points though for all the reasons I mentioned above, I just love the sound that Modeselektor had around this time, and this one (and really the whole album) are absolutely coated in it.

The theme of contrasts continues with the next two - partially inspired by my last post where I revisited Graeme Norgate's OST work. We'll flip the format this time and hit up the uptempo one first with the opening track from Perturbator's The Uncanny Valley. Perturbator's brand of synthwave is one of my favourites, I was aware of them in passing but like so many others out there I only really took a closer look after the Hotline Miami soundtrack introduced me in full, and what a perfect fit Peturbator's sound is, perfectly at home in the slightly psychedelic ultra-violent world of Hotline Miami. The Uncanny Valley continues that trend, much more cinematic feeling than previous releases, but that's to be expected if you read into the background lore of the album: all about a technological cult in the year 2112. With Neo Tokyo as the opening track it'd be easy to assume this is all full power synthwave for the full runtime but there are some real nice downtempo bits nestled in there too - my favourite of which being Femme Fatale. Tune in and log on, get a load of this.

And finally, another bit from Norgate. His NeoTokyo is a very different beast to Perturbator's and takes more than a few cues from Blade Runner (which to be fair, the level itself did as well if the '2019' date on it didn't make it clear enough). The past few times I've talked up Norgate's work it's been upbeat ones but the man certainly knows how to set an atmosphere - tracks like this and the Siberia theme do a fantastic job of setting the tone for the levels in question. Again quite cinematic actually, not bad for the soundtrack to what is on paper an arcade FPS. Having said that it does suffer a little from being a mite cliché at times with the stock samples used to create that kind of generic 'eastern' feel, but in my case the nostalgia overpowers that. Still, even so I think it has a charm to it, the non-sample contributions are as good as ever, though for the complete effect you'll need to play some ambient rain sounds in the background to match how it is in the game!

And that will be all for this time around, I have another couple lined up but they probably won't use the Bandcamp players so I've put them to one side for a potential sequel along with any others that I might come across in the meantime. This one took a little longer than I expected but that's purely down to me meandering a bit, I wanted to finish it up last night but it was one of those Murphy's Law kind of nights you know? Anyway, you don't come to the blog to hear me vent so I'll call it here. Hope all of you folks in the USA have a good Thanksgiving weekend and as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.


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