Wednesday 27 April 2022

Bits 'n Pieces of the past

As the Final Friday™ approaches, I've been looking over my 'collection' tab on BC - I'm going to try and make this last one quite a big one (and also non-electronic in parts potentially as well) so I thought a 'things I am looking at' post would be either too long or not super relevant. Instead we're taking another dive into the archives for a cross section of songs of yore, let's take a look-see.

Takashi Murakami - Mr. DOB All Stars (Oh My The Mr. DOB) (1998)

Something short to start off with, it's been a hot minute since I talked about ThorHighHeels - I picked up Positive Yellow off the heels of the great soundtrack work they did for Umurangi Generation. Some of the tracks from Positive Yellow actually appear in that OST as is, so I had a feeling of what to expect going in. In short, this whole release is one big love letter to 90's videogame OSTs (which will come as no surprise if you've seen any of Thor's YouTube content) - it'd be very easy to make kind of twee or overly pandering, but I think it does a great job of being 'inspired by' rather than just retreading. I've gone with a super short bonus track of the 'DX' version of it to illustrate - just under a minute long but it will sum up the whole experience in that time, though the 'GAME OVER' sample at the end is a li'l cliché, even if it is the actual end of the album.

Warp coming to bandcamp has been great, they were pioneers of the digital space back in the early days with Bleep so I was surprised that it took them this long, but then again they have enough capital to run their own service well enough anyway. Regardless, another reason I've come to love it is that it makes talking about their releases new and old much easier than using the naff Spotify previews like I was doing before. But enough tech - Welcome To Your Life is a tune I've mentioned a few times over the years, dating back to my first year of University I think. It's one of those that I'll forget about for a while but have a nice moment when it crops back up. And what an entrance it makes - that bass is so thick you can almost feel it in the air. Mount Sims features on the vocal front, his solo records are good listens if you are a fan of Electroclash stuff, Welcome To Your Life shares a little bit of sound DNA now I think about it. His voice works really well on tracks like this, shame we haven't heard anything in a while from his camp.

I feel like I didn't talk about Then Again too much - what was then the latest Mitch Murder LP. I've got a lot of love for Mitch's work, every time I think I'm done with retro-inspired synth stuff he comes along with something to pull me back in. Last time I mentioned this album I think it was focussing on the Vangelis-esque Frost, we're sticking with the slower side of things once again this time with the final track Someplace Else. An almost contender for the mixtape of Cosy Tracks that I made, it's chock full of synth power chords and the like. There are times where I think Mitch gets a little close to your stereotypical archetypal 'synthwave' vibe, and this is one of those times - but even so I can't help but get into the groove of this one. A fantastic album closer as well, very cinematic in its execution.

I think that'll do for now, I'm going try and swing by with a couple more before the Final Friday, but I'll try my best to make it a bumper edition when the final roundup does come. In the meantime, I hope you've found something to enjoy here and until next time, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Monday 25 April 2022

Back To The Punk

Going to get wistful for a bit here if you'll indulge me. It's been about a year since Daft Punk announced their split, and I figured they'd just slip back into the background as they always did anyway, and they sort of have - but recently their YT channel has been updating pretty regularly with some interesting stuff, more on that in a minute.

So what have we missed in the last year or so? Well, The Daft Club, the fan-site that I used to be on as a tween shut down upon the news. Sort of sad really as it could have still carried on I feel, they sure as hell managed fine without any news at all between the release of Random Access Memories and the split - but then again I was really only ever lurker anyway. The real reason it hurts a bit is that TDC was actually how I found this site, with a promo post by former owner Jordan - and if I hadn't then you probably wouldn't have been reading this right now.

A 25th anniversary edition of Homework was released which features a ton of remixes including previously super rare mixes of Around The World, though disappointingly the Armand Van Helden rework of Da Funk isn't included - but that was the B-side to the Musique EP I suppose so not part of Homework technically. Nice to see, but if you've been a longtime fan you either have or have heard all those mixes already.

Anyway, the focus of today is going to be the recent influx of 'from the archives' footage and content that's making an appearance. The archivist in me loves seeing stuff like this, it's a great resource and seeing it like this, freed from the old probably VHS/DVD sources of yore is fantastic. It's all to do with Around The World today, and we kick off with the video itself with audio commentary by director Michel Gondry. The late 90's to early 00's were a wild time with superstar directors putting out weird and wonderful music videos of all kinds - Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham and of course Gondry himself being but a few. Around The World is one of those iconic videos - the kind that gives everyone an 'oooooooh' moment when you realise that each group of dancers represents an element of the song (A concept which Gondry would re-use for the Chemical Brothers' Star Guitar), super interesting to hear this commentary.

Expanding on that even further we have a ton of behind the scenes footage from the set as well - which really highlights some of the things Gondry mentions in the commentary such as the computer setup for the lighting. As someone who works in a similar sphere, its humbling and a bit quaint to see the monstrosity of a setup needed to do something like triggering lights. The editing feels a little fast, sometimes too fast IMO - no idea if that was how it was originally or it's been re-edited for the 2020 world of social media. Either way, a very interesting look into the process, one that the archivist in me again really appreciates.

One last one to complete the archive, a very animated Gondry discussing the video and process. Another interesting slice from the archives, albeit one that kind of covers the same ground as the initial commentary. Not too sure about the weird filter on it but that is apparently how it is on the DVD anyway. Here's hoping that the rest of D.A.F.T is next, the videos for Revolution 909, Da Funk and Fresh are all equally iconic in their own right (and also boast Spike Jonze among others on the directing front) and I'd love to see the BTS footage and content for them again. That goes double for Interstella 5555, the duo's collaboration with Leiji Matsumoto that is essentially one giant music video for the whole of Discovery!

Having a flip through and reading the descriptions I actually think these were all just DVD extras from D.A.F.T but I don't mind too much because in the grand scheme of Daft Punk stuff I feel like it's a little unknown. And besides, as I've said many times in this post: the more sources there are for these things there are, the better. The Daft Punk superfan version of myself circa 2007/8 would have loved all of this content being so easily accessible and would have no doubt made an appearance and influence on my brief dip into the world of Filmmaking.

I realise now that there hasn't really been any 'music' in this post as of yet, so I leave you all with one final mix - the 'official video' for the KenLou (Kenny Gonzalez & Louie Vega of Masters At Work fame) mix. It's made up of clips from the above so there's not a lot of new content - likewise for the mix, the two take a fairly hands off approach, injecting Around The World with a little bit of funk but keeping most of the main body. I do wonder if they'll do similar for other mixes and behind the scenes footage, it'll be interesting to see which mixes get picked for the official treatment - Around The World has tons of mixes by itself after all. Well that'll about do it for this time around, I'll be back soon with more but until next time - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Monday 18 April 2022

Bank Holiday Bonus

What to do with an extra day off? Well, I thought I'd compile a miscellaneous post of bits and bobs I've collected over the last week or so that might not fit anywhere else. Let's start with a little somethin' I've been meaning to put up for a while, I've talked about Sean Seanson a couple of times already this year - champion of old school Playstation soundtracks and a man of similar tastes to me, as evidenced by his mixtapes I've mentioned.

But this bit of the post isn't about him, instead we'll be talking about Dedeco (whom I found through Sean's feeds), another fine purveyor of soundtrack electronic. As I said last time I talked about Sean's mixtapes, soundtracks are an absolute goldmine of tunes for mixes and such: from cult classics like Ridge Racer Type 4 with it's blend of Drum & Bass and Diva House to the slightly more obscure like Mijk Van Dijk's chilled remix of a track from surreal Dreamcast survivial horror D2 I have plenty of examples to go at. But I have to concede to Dedeco's absolute mastery of the soundtrack world, as he is consistently putting out mixes with tracks sourced for a massive variety of titles and genres. I may still have a go myself, but in the meantime, I'll be studying these for ammunition. (aslo stay tuned for cat cameo at around 24:10!)

A couple of random tracks next - the other day I decided to un-shuffle some of the Touched Two compilation as I'm pretty sure I have still yet to hear all of it. The artists are in alphabetical order which helps a little when it comes to making notes for posts like this given that there are 256 or so tracks on show here. First is Temp Cadet, a surprisingly House-y number considering the vast majority of the Touched compilations err on the IDM/Experimental/Ambient side of things. It still has that feel to it though, it comes out reminding me more of the Karsten Pflum track I posted a little while ago.

In a surprise to no one, my next pick is again reminiscent of the Artificial Intelligence era Warp sound. I know I repeat myself but it might just be my favourite sound styles of all time, and I swear that I didn't know about this one going in! At any rate, you all know the score by now - hi-tech spacey electronic is the order of the day here, reminding me a little of Gerard Hanson's work under his E.R.P. alias, although less electro and very much rooted in that ambient techno side of things. Come to think of it, it's a little closer to some tracks from Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92 now I'm writing this, which while released at the same time as the Artificial Intelligence stuff, wasn't actually part of the series or on Warp! But I digress, get a load of this one for some smoothy techy goodness.

And now... switching gears to something not strictly electronic, as I like to do from time to time. I'd say I'm not super versed in the world of psychedelia, but thanks to Broadcast and a co-worker of mine being into all kinds of rare, eclectic and otherwise experimental stuff from New York and beyond, it is slowly creeping into my library. Enter this morning where I awake to a couple of tweets from Kongress - a group with real heritage that I vaugeley knew in passing from a compilation that Future Sound Of London did under their Amorphous Androgynous alias. The Broadcast comparison rings true, as I've been listening to a lot of their final live sets recently that were moving in a more freely structured improvisational route, and such is the methodology behind Running With The Wolves - to quote the description: "two improvs that turned into two amazing recordings - 'Running With The Wolves' & 'Wink of an Eye'.". I highly recommend watching the video to get the full experience, the audio alone doesn't do it justice!

And that'll be all for today, the most varied post I've done in a while! I've got some things to try and sort on the backed, and I'm back at work this week as well so things might slow down a little, but I'll be back soon enough with more, even if it means a couple of bite-sized posts to pad things out. Until then, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Thursday 14 April 2022

Throwback Thursday

Let me take you all back in time, back to when a younger Foxbat was your stereotypical blog surfer with a headful of House. It's not that long ago in the grand scheme of things, but it's all documented on this site for all to see, going back and reading my (incredibly self conscious and very obviously the product of a teenager) writing is always interesting - to see what's changed and what hasn't. I tend to focus on what hasn't when I've previously brought this up - I'm still a fiend for all things IDM for one - but there are also more interesting changes in opinion as well; somewhere on here you can find a solitary post where I moan about not gelling with Portishead - fast forward a decade or so and I adore 'em
So Me - Triple Trouble (Crowd) (2009)

This time though, if the art didn't reveal all already, we're paying another trip to the archives of Ed Banger - a formative label for me as a teen and one of the major reasons I ended up writing here in the first place. I won't dive too deep into that this time though as I already did earlier this year, naturally there is going to be a lot of crossover though! First of all what being what spurred this post on in the first place - my last complaint about a lot of Ed Banger stuff not being on Bandcamp is now null and void, as a little while ago a whole heap of the catalogue appeared on there, including a whole bunch of DJ Mehdi stuff - including that remix of Signatune by Thomas Bangalter.

Instead of retreading ground I thought I'd put another favourite up (that I'd actually forgotten about a bit) - Mehdi put out a compilation of remixes called Red Black & Blue back when, and I think we might have even done some kind of preview/review of it at the time too. A real highlight for me was his reworking of Chromeo's Waiting 4 U, one that I am surprised didn't end up appearing anywhere else other than this comp. Chromeo and Mehdi were an almost perfect match anyway as demonstrated by their collaboration on I Am Somebody and this mix only cements that further. Unlike that though, this mix of Waiting 4 U feels much more raw by comparison, the Bass that slams in after the li'l break at 0:45 sounds super distorted, like its clipping slightly, giving the whole thing this lovely bedroom bootleg feeling.

This whole post, like my last Ed Banger one could be 100% Mehdi in all honesty, but I am going to have a little bit more variety this time around. Just after one final Mehdi offering! B-Side to the Pocket Piano EP, Tunisia Bambaata always felt a little underrated to me in the grand scheme of things, it's very much in that 'Nu French Touch' style that was in vogue at the time after all. Doubly so after myself having explored the world of Future Funk, this would fit right in that scene no trouble, though it's maybe a little slower than my favourites from that genre. Anyway, my real favourite part of Tunisia Bambaata is the 'bonus track' included at the end - after the final fade we get a little 1-minute instrumental interlude that lets Mehdi show off his hip hop leanings. As a teen obsessed with Adult Swim bumps, I was all about little instrumentals like that, but I'd be lying if I didn't still have a lot of love for that style of lo-fi.

SebastiAn's remix compilation is also there, though the track list is a bit of a minefield and a lot of them aren't tagged properly with either the artist or the fact it's a SebastiAn remix. At any rate, at the time there were some real juggernauts of remixing - MSTRKRFT was always a favourite of mine, but SebastiAn got a lot of the limelight thanks to his bold choices in what to remix. Rather than just remixing whatever was new at the time, SebastiAn did a lot of paying tribute to his influences with bootleg mixes of Rage Against The Machine and others - it didn't take long for some of them to go legit however, a trend that continues to this day with Metallica commissioning him and other artists to remix the Black Album. I've chosen his remix of Klaxon's Golden Skans because it is not only one of my favourites ever, but also highlights another thing I loved about this time - there was a great crossover between folks from the Indie scene getting into Electronic music and vice-versa, I made a lot of friends that way!

There is still a distinct lack of Ed Rec. available on their bandcamp however, there are some real gems on there (especially Volume 3, but I am biased!). In light of that though we're going way back in the chronology of Ed Banger for this one here, with a catalogue number of ED010: Mr. Flash's Champions / Disco Dynamite. It's funny going back to these early releases, you can hear the direction that the 'Ed Banger' aesthetic is going to take but it isn't quite fully formed yet, there's a certain charm to it, though it's not quite aged as gracefully as the later entires of the label. Still, those early releases are still important, and an interesting listen if nothing else. Personally, I enjoy a little bit of Disco Dynamite once in a while - there are days where it hits the spot.

And that'll be all for today, I hope you have enjoyed this little time capsule we've had today - as I'm becoming all too aware of it might be the first time hearing tracks like this for some of you depending on your age! Maybe over the summer I'll do another historical dive back into the early days of Dubstep and become some kind of digital archaeologist. Anyway, I'll be back soon with another entry for you all but until then, as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.


Monday 11 April 2022

Getting 'round to it

Hey again, I'm back again with the first of hopefully a few instalments this week. This one has been baking for a while - I've been making note of specific tracks that I'd like to talk about but don't necessarily fit in with whatever I have writing at that moment. What I do is wait for a fair few of them to pile up and then put them all together in an odds & ends post like this. Despite the method behind the madness, these ones are actually fairly cohesive in terms of sound as you'll see - let's have a look!

Neil Welliver - Night Scene (1982)

Starting with a deep dive into the Warp archives here with a little compilation called The Theory Of Evolution. A little backstory first though: In the early days of working from home I went on a deep dive of interviews and such to have on in the background, one of them I ended up putting on was of Warp co-founder Steve Beckett at the Red Bull Music Academy. It's a very interesting talk in general but there was one bit that caught my ear: Steve's response to any signings that they missed out on. He calls on Mark Pritchard (who is conveniently in the crowd, and also would eventually end up on Warp anyway), saying that his first album as Reload - A Collection Of Short Stories should have been part of the Artificial Intelligence series.

Which is true, the album is very much of the same kind of philosophy behind that series after all - some tracks from it would appear on this compilation a couple of years later. The compilation itself is a bit of a mixed bag in all honesty, but this has gotten long enough already so I'll save it for another post. The real highlight of the bunch is the Chameleon remix of Amazon Amenity, a delicious slice of Drum & Bass in the middle of the tracklist. Not quite the same as the Artificial Intelligence stuff, but not a million miles away in terms of the theory behind it.

Next, we revisit The Flashbulb for the first time in ages. I feel like I bring up Flashbulb a lot, but it's normally as a point of comparison with other artists (which to be fair, is very useful due to the sheer variety over the Flashbulb discography) - so its high time I saw to make that right. I've gone with track 2 from Love As A Dark Hallway, which rather interestingly on Bandcamp has different album art for each track which is nice. This one blindsided me about a week or so ago after coming up on shuffle, I live for those moments when a song comes back into your life after a long absence and it's almost as sweet as the first time, such is the case with Pastorial Whiskers. It is lovely - to reverse the record and play comparisons for The Flashbulb, there's streaks of μ-Ziq here, but by far and away the closest comparison I could make is the kind of stuff Squarepusher was making for Hello Everything, there's also plenty of Squarepusher-esque Bass work on this one too if the album art didn't tip you off. Lovely stuff.

And finally, something new. I haven't been up to date on new releases for a long long time now, but thanks to the magic of Bandcamp I have a better handle on it than before! Gimmik has been a bit of a mainstay recently after finding his and other former Toytronic artists on Bandcamp, really it's just nice to see people still making my favourite style of IDM into the modern era. Omicron Acid, as the name might suggest, sounds like a bit of a departure at first listen (and not particularly Acid either). Stick with it though, and around a minute in some lovely spacey touches emerge to counterpoint the punchy kicks. The Acid doesn't really show up until 2:50 but it doesn't disappoint, I'll never complain about a swift delivery of 50ccs of 303, doubly so when it is mixed with the hi-tech lushness that is everything else. It is my favourite of the two versions available, which is curiously listed as 'name your price' on Bandcamp, so you could theoretically get it for free (at least as of the time of writing)

And that'll be all for today, as I mentioned up top I do have a couple of other posts planned for this week - another like this one and hopefully finishing up a quite long one that's been sat on the back-burner for far too long. Based on my thoughts about the Evolution compilation it might be time to revive the Retro Reviews as well. But I stray from the point, not a bad start for this week, I hope you like each of these selections as much as I do and until next time - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Friday 8 April 2022

A Cosy Collection

Hey all, I was going to post today anyway but I originally had something else in mind - I managed to polish up that mixtape that's been sat on my drive for a few weeks now so that got bumped up the schedule. Same theme as always: this is a bunch of tracks that I can't find legally streaming (though that's not quite 100% true this time around!) But I'd still like to share them, and try and get a little creative at the same time.

So what's the theme this time? Well, just a selection of my comfort tunes - the kind I can come back to when I need a little bit of a break. There's no real genre limit here, but it does lean heavily on the IDM / Ambient side especially towards the end. Some of my choices didn't actually make it in so I've got a second list for a potential sequel sometime soon. Full track list and breakdown after the player!

Takako Minekawa - Milk Rock (Cornelius Remix)
HASYMO - Weather
Gimmik - From A-5310 To TW2 7Q7
Console - Conti.nue
Rei Harakami - Come Here Go There
Kensuke Ushio - Fire Witch III
Agraph - Quietude
Mitsuto Suzuki - The Sheep That Lived A Million Times
Hiroshi Yoshimura - View From My Window

Like an old friend. Like a warm wraparound. Like a Sunday morning where you wake up and it's raining. We kick off with Cornelius' remix of Milk Rock, showcasing my favourite sound of his - a fusion of Shibuya-kei and quirky electronics, I can never get enough of that intro. It gets surprisingly heavy in parts with lavishings of IDM-style breakbeats, but overall a lovely and smooth mood setter. HASYMO follow, a revived line-up of the Yellow Magic Orchestra. They provided some tracks for the second Appleseed movie, which all have amazing soundtracks regardless. YMO's reputation proceeds them, having already been huge influences in the world of electronic music since the late 70's - I adore the sound that they have with Weather, it's one of the few tracks that I knew would be in this mix when I started coming up with track list ideas for it, that Swedish(?) vocal really gives it a bit of a Tangerine Dream feel too, especially tracks from Exit.

It's not long before we enter IDM territory though, with a tune I already talked about earlier - and I'm just going to paste what I said last time because it's all still applicable! If, like me, you also enjoy the Aphex Twin sound circa Richard D. James album then the album that From A-5310 To TW2 7Q7 is from - (Back To Basics) will very much appeal to you. It's much close in style to the work μ-Ziq was putting out in the late 90's on Lunatic Harness, I could live in this little microcosm of sound forever, it's very beautiful but fleeting. A more recent addition next, I fell madly in love with Console's 14 Zero Zero a while ago now, the EP its from is super solid and features the track I've chosen, Conti.nue as a B-Side. I've got a lot of love for this style of DIY skeletal chill kind of electronic, another tune that I knew would make an appearance here.

A return to more up-tempo territory with Rei Harakami. I've talked at length about how much I like Harakami's work and his signature electronic piano sound - naturally I had to go with one of my favourite examples from [Lust] with Come Here Go There. [Lust] is my overall favourite Harakami work still, but my heart will always put Pone as my all time favourite of his, a fantastic talent gone too soon. Another recent addition next with a 2-in-one deal from Kensuke Ushio, both under his real name and the Agraph alias. He seems to be using his actual name more often when making soundtracks, as is the case with my first choice - Fire Witch III from the Boogiepop 2019 OST. It was that OST that turned me onto his work, as bot his solo albums under the Agraph name have a similar style to them. I love the weaving of lush electronics with subtle glitches and other IDM-adjacent elements - which hopefully is on full show by the time we transition to Quietude.

An ambient duet to see us out, first with Mitsuto Suzuki. Better known for working on Final Fantasy OSTs, his two solo albums are a treasure trove of electronic in a similar style to the other songs in this mix - they're not all fully ambient like this one. It can be a little hard to find but I recommend seeking it out, there are odd tracks on YT such as Clear which should give a pretty good first impression. That's a big reason why I do these little mini-compilations in the first place, to shine a light on obscure and otherwise hard to find tracks! We round out with a piece from the iconic Music For Nine Post Cards from Hiroshi Yoshimura. View From My Window is a divine piece of ambient, one that embodies Yoshimura's sound philosophy around this time. Relatively short considering the vast breadths that Ambient tracks can stretch to, it's a gorgeous capstone to this selection.

And that'll be all for today, I'll be back soon enough with the post that was *supposed* to go here, but in the meantime I hope that you enjoy this selection and hopefully find some artists to check out as a result. Until then, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Monday 4 April 2022

Friday's Sounds

Another month, another chance for me to drop a bunch of recent purchases on you. Not sure how much longer that will be the case though, the announcement of Bandcamp Fridays continuing into 2022 ominously stopped at 'May', and with the recent acquisition news it's entirely possible that they will stop then too. But let's not dwell on that, instead lets take a look at my digital bag! This time around I had a pretty solid idea going in and ended up picking up a whole heap of records you could quite easily put under the 'IDM' umbrella, let's take a look.
Charles Sheeler - Windows (1952)

Starting with something that's been on my wishlist for ages at this point, what was seemingly Arovane's final album - Lilies. Arovane's work is a very delicate touch compared to some other operators in the 'IDM' world - there are some tracks from Tides that wouldn't sound out of place on the trip-hop style parts of the Silent Hill OSTs, and the same is true here, quite fittingly with Tokyo Ghost Stories being the most like that, but it appears early on too - after an ambient intro you enter that same sound space with Windy Wish Trees. It's just after that the the album really hits its stride for me though - the twinned approach of Passage To Nagoya and Cry Osaka Cry is divine. Osaka is still my favourite of the bunch, but the title track comes close - I've picked that for today as I've already posted Osaka before and I think it also does a very good job of demoing Arovane's relatively soft but engaging sound.

Getting a little deeper into the realms of obscurity we have Karsten Pflum, a name I'm pretty sure I've heard before but may be getting confused with Abfahrt Hinwil. At any rate, a lot of artists like this have put their work up on Bandcamp now that the original labels are long defunct (Worm Interface in this case) which I always like to see. Tracks is a very fun album, one that explores the more 'fun' side of IDM - think Plaid and co. and you'll end up in the same area of sound. It's been a long time since I added something like this to my collection, as someone whose favourite AFX tracks are the super melodic ones, I can't help but grin at tracks like Te that fully embrace that lovely squelchy electronic sound. Very impressive for a debut, beautifully balanced between abstract and melodic, it's fast entered heavy rotation for me. Thankfully Karsten has plenty of other releases to get stuck into so I will have plenty to come back to in time.

Rolling back to 'Something I've been meaning to pick up for ages' once again for this next one, I think I first heard this track on some kind of mix or compilation - and after seeing a Metamatics album be one of the many 'Xth Anniversary' releases of other IDM records by Lapsus Records in their Perennial Series, I wish listed a couple of them for future reference. And the wait, while a little too long perhaps, had been worth it - coming back to Vanishing Point was like falling in love all over again, I just can't get enough of the vibe here. It's quite far removed from what comes to mind when I think 'IDM' but I'm sort of beyond labels at this point. I highly recommend NeoOuija in general - it's a very refined experience, even at times where it gets a little out there as with the off-kilter melodic passes on So Many Ways. If you're after more of the same feel as Vanishing Point though, look no further than Beautiful Mutations to enter that hi-tech lounge zone once more.

Ending now with the release that made me decide to go all in on the IDM stuff this time around, flicking through n5MD's back catalogue and I found plenty to grab my attention, the label has a pretty impressive roster. Loess' self titled debut has a fairly unassuming cover but it's at least sonically appropriate - this album dwells a lot more on the darker, slightly melancholic side. Not to say it's super dreary or anything, in fact I'd say there's a bit of warmth to it - take opening track Chariv Canopy for one, it's fairly short but serves as a fantastic intro to the album as a whole, and tracks like Pleuston also evoke that sort of 'Artificial Intelligence' sound to a degree, though not quite as bleepy as the Warp originals. Another reason I've chosen the very first track is because the entirety of this album is designed to flow together - a bit of a rarity for this kind of electronic. It makes for an interesting experience, as someone who usually shuffles my entire collection doubly so - I've had it on in the background while writing and it's almost totally seamless.

And that'll be all for this time, I have a bit of free time over the next couple weeks so I'm going to try post a little bit more than usual - perhaps even finish up some of those longform ones, it has been a while after all. Still, I hope you've enjoyed this month's entry - I'll be back soon enough with more but until then, as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.