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.


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