Tuesday 13 December 2022

Feelin' Fragile

'Bout that time of year where everything catches up with me and it all just feels a bit 'eh' you know? Not helped by Friday's night out I imagine, but also this year in general. Still, things are winding down so I'm taking the time to sit and write a little bit more than usual. I've been keeping rolling lists of stuff I've been listening to and have plenty to go at, so let's dive right in.
Sam Gilliam - This Time (2008)

To match the title, I've chosen a selection of fitting songs to go at - not all ambient but all very much under that kind of fragile umbrella. Starting with some Arovane. Lilies is an album that I keep thinking I should do a full deep dive on, Arovane pretty much disappeared for about 10 years after it came out which makes for an interesting tale. At any rate, plenty of tracks from this album could have gone here - it's a gorgeously produced album, very accessible and never straying to hard into hardcore IDM territory. Tracks like Passage To Nagoya are what spring to mind for me, especially considering the content of this post, but this time I've gone with the hauntingly beautiful Tokyo Ghost Stories. The sparse piano soon gives way to something that sounds very Trip Hop in its execution, I've been playing this one a lot as of late.

It ain't all doom and gloom though, the intro for DMX Krew's December Darkness sort of fits this bill as well. Tucked away around the midpoint of the unassumingly titled Bass Drop EP, it quickly became one of my all time favourites from DMX's catalogue, and remains so to this day. Once again it's like DMX had my number completely, this kind of luscious deep house vibe is supremely up my alley. I'm a total sucker for the slow introduction of new elements too, just when I think I could be getting a little tired, something new drops into the mix to inject it with a fresh coat of paint. The EP is wholly instrumental (save for some vocal samples on the title track) so there's no tongue in cheek lyrical content like you might expect from DMX if you've heard his other work. That said, this EP is still very much a love letter to his influences, there's a whole heap of electro and acid to get at on here.

And finally, I've fallen back in with Everything But The Girl, as I seem to do every winter. Tracey Thorn's delivery is impeccable and twins oh-so-well with the Drum & Bass direction they took toward the tail end of their releases. Walking Wounded is the obvious highlight, and an album I've talked about at length before, it's the album that marked that hard shift into the electronic side of things. Unfortunately it's a little difficult to post legitimately, EBTG are one of those artists where a lot of it is gated off behind Soundcloud premium otherwise I'd probably mention them more - I'm going to make do though. I've gone with Above The Law once again, a previously unreleased demo of what would become Before Today given the shared lyrical content. It's a little more raw feeling than the rest of the album as you might expect from a demo, but it sounds incredible regardless - the production and Tracey's vocal are absolutely perfect together.

And that'll be all for now, as I mentioned up top I'm going to try and write a little more in the coming weeks, I have plenty to go at as usual - I still have to do this month's Bandcamp findings after all! I might even try and get something a little more long-form down as well, I'm starting to feel the itch a little again. But I'm going off track once again so I'll wrap up here - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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