Wednesday 15 December 2021

Ç'est Nostalgique

Takashi Murakami - And Then, And Then, And Then And Then, And Then (Blue) (1996)

Couple days ago my brother decided to do one of them Spotify blend thingies - it's actually kind of a cool feature, generates a playlist of both your listens and essentially just compares / contrasts 'em. We have quite different taste but we do cross over from time to time. From there though I got super nostalgic for them halcyon days of the blog - the time where I was an absolute hype fiend who subsisted solely on blog house and constantly chasing the next electro house hit. And there we have the theme of today's post - come on board with me as we take a trip back in time and try not to have an existential crisis along the way.

And what better first stop on that trip than the Justice boys? There were so many choices I could have made and honestly I was going to just pick somethin' from the iconic  because it was (and is to this day) an absolutely stellar album. I chucked on all of my Justice on shuffle to get some inspiration, I ended up going with a deep cut. I wasn't expecting to find this one so readily available to stream in all honesty, but it seems that the Justice boys have been pretty good about archiving most of their releases digitally. I've gone with the B-Side to D.A.N.C.E - predicatably called B.E.A.T. Even if you're totally sick of the original from it being played out I'd give this one a listen, it's more of a remix of the original in reality - but it's a gorgeous tour de force of Justice's sound of the era, one that heavily foreshadows their later funkier progression rather than a straight up electro house chugger. (This one is listed as extended despite being the same length as the original release as far as I can tell)

Keeping that train going with MSTRKRFT - as one friend amusingly put it "remember those years where vowels were really uncool?". Their debut The Looks is actually before the big heyday of the blogosphere in around '07 or so, but only by a year. It's a pretty short album but each of the entries on the tracklist are all hits - 8 tracks on the original, but 9 on my copy with the bonus remix on the end. I've chosen Easy Love for our next stop on this trip, a tune pretty infamous at the time for it's typically cliche 2000's 'dance' video - that is to say, incredibly horny, You can see it in all of it's crunchy 240p glory on YouTube if you'd like. I've got a lot of love for this early MSTRKRFT work, admittedly due to my massive weakness for anything vocoded though, but I'd be lying if I didn't get a little rush of memories every time I hear Work On You or this one come up every once in a blue moon.

Kind of a contrast to the Justice lads - you can find most of Boys Noize's stuff up to a point on Bandcamp as well. I was hoping to get some stuff from Oi Oi Oi on there, as the name might suggest that is an album full of yer classic bangers that I absolutely rinsed back when. But that's fine because Power is on there - an album I don't think is quite as consistent as Oi but is still home to some pretty big shakers. Truth be told it's closing track Heart Attack that might be my most favourite of them all, but that's not keeping with the pumpin' electro of the last couple so I'm going to tweak my choice slightly. I did initially consider either Starter or Jeffer, two early standouts that I had leaked copies of back in the day - Jeffer did almost win out with it's fantastically fidgety feel, but I changed my mind at the last minute to the opening track instead. Perhaps a little bit of a cop out, but it's a really great opening track, one that I think I've heard used on TV as BGM a couple of times to boot. Coming back to it with hindsight, you can really feel the evolution from the Oi Oi Oi era, a little rocky in places but when it shines man does it shine.

And that'll do it for this time around. It's been a long time since I did a bloghouse nostalgia piece like this, I was pretty surprised to find so much of it on Bandcamp actually, so many times I've wanted to do posts like this but ended up on non-official Soundclouds or otherwise dead accounts - I did think about maybe making this one a little longer but I'm pretty content with it as-is, if only for that deep Justice cut alone. Things are winding down IRL so I may be a little more active than usual - there's a mountain of old posts that still need fixing to be re-published so it might not be 'new' content though. Still, I have the makings of another annual winter time mixtape cooking as well so that should be coming up fairly soon, will be a good time. Until next time - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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