Monday 1 August 2022

Backwards Glance

At the risk of making the last trilogy of posts too wistful, this post is also going to centre on the theme of looking back once again. See, I've been going back to front and republishing the very, very old posts that Jordan was making when the blog was launched - as I mentioned before it's a sort of odd experience, the early blogs are very much that and at points it feels like reading back the diary of a teenage me; complete with... questionable choices in wording, but we were dumb teens and have grown since.

But scattered amongst the dated memes and old school slang is, well, music. The kind that I can distinctly remember downloading at the time, be it from here or one of the other myriad of blogs dealing in Electro House, which was the hot topic of the time. This lengthy intro all to set up the theme of this post, I thought I'd share some of the tracks that have been in my collection the longest (or as close as I can get in some cases).
Unichi Hiratsuka - Cape Kasuga (1930)

Kicking off with Flunk, a relic of a time when I was consuming any and all things I could find labelled 'chillout'. If there was an album that was guaranteed to have my interest it was Flunk's debut: the evocatively titled For Sleepyheads Only, sporting a cover that flawlessly sets the tone. It errs more on the side of trip hop than my other 'chillout' scoops of that era and I think it still holds up really well throughout (though your opinion on the cover of Blue Monday may differ to mine). I've gone with Honey's In Love this time around, lovely downtempo that has echoes of the more conventional parts of the Silent Hill soundtracks (End Of Small Sanctuary specifically, though this album actually came out before it), the instrumentation punctuated by that sparse vocal giving the whole thing a hazy, suitably dreamy feel. Sleepyheads suffers a bit from being one of those albums with a couple of different pressings with different tracklists, it's not too hard to get hold of it legit via Flunk's bandcamp though - they're also still active with an expanded reissue of their second album coming later this year.

Something else that's also come up a lot recently has been my history with the original PlayStation - something I credit with introducing me to more electronic music (though I already had a fascination with it before then, but I've told that tale here before). Clichés aside, the little grey box was chock full of Big Beat, Techno, Trance, Drum & Bass, Breakbeat and just about any other electronic genre that was popular in the 90's. Of course, a lot of that content was licensed, this was around the time budgets were big enough and storage was capable enough to allow that sort of thing - but there were also still original composers for a lot of titles too. Enter Rom Di Prisco, probably one of those most prolific in the field with 20+ years worth of titles under his belt.

My introduction to Rom's work was from the early Need For Speed games, with tracks like Quantum Singularity and Cygnus Rift having me enraptured with the hi-tech atmosphere. I can't post them as the OSTs were only released in the 90's on CD and are probably tied up in some copyright hell vault in EA headquarters. Lucky for me though, Rom would revisit this sound on Spacetime Miscalculation, going so far as to dig out the old hardware to make it on. It's a bit more Trance than the ones I linked above but it still has that heart if the science-y track titles didn't give it away already. I'm a big fan of tracks like Time Dilation, the kind that sound like they could be long lost menu themes.

And finally a bit from Blu Mar Ten's first album. I've talked about it a fair bit in the past, it is another one of those albums I picked up in phase I mentioned where I would get any and everything in the chillout section. It's an odd one, Blu Mar Ten's work before this (and afterwards too!) is definitely more Drum & Bass focused - which would make coming to The Six Million Names Of God a little surprising. A blend of House, Downtempo and pure Ambient in places, it's an album I've had mixed feelings on revisiting, but it's still home to some really nice stuff. The new 're-issue' that BMT put up on Bandcamp has a bonus track and nicer artwork, though I do have a fondness for the new-age styling of the original. The first 10 or so tracks are all great and flow together effortlessly. A very strong first half as well, opening track Home Videos does wonders to set the tone with the simple but effective acoustic loop. My favourites to this day is a toss-up between Drive and I Wake Up. It's been a long time since I posted either, but I'm feeling Drive a little more today, if only because it more perfectly embodies that 00's 'chillout' spirit.

And that'll be all for today, a little longer than I was expecting but its good to stretch the old writing muscles from time to time isn't it? I might disappear back into the archives for a little more republishing as they've not been too difficult as of yet, it's getting to be that time of year where things get a little busy so it may get a little sparse here and there. Still, I'll try and pop by every so often with more tunes - hope you've found something to pique your interest here and of course, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just want to thank you for continuing to post music. I appreciate the effort you must put in to this. I’ve always enjoyed the music on especially the warp stuff and a lot of the remixes. Aphex, Square, Daft, Magna, Mehdi, B of C etc etc. So many! Some of them I wish I could find again because an app I had them all in crashed and I lost them. Anyways I’m still listening. And thanks for your stuff too! And micro samples, that was interesting.