Wednesday 1 February 2023

Peaks & Valleys

Rochelle Blumenfeld - Desert Canyon (2015)

What a week of ups and downs it has been, seems like there's always something waiting just around the corner, for better or worse. Still, given me a chance to catch up on some writing, which I am sorely behind on. the list of post ideas keeps on growing, but I'm going to try and schedule them out over this weekend - bit of a change from my off-the-cuff mode of operating I'd been using for a while! But let's pin that for now and talk tunes. Going a little thematic with this one for the selections, let's go.

Kicking off with some of Ben Prunty's solo work. I just missed a January sale on his Bandcamp page unfortunately, but they're on my radar now at least. Fans of Prunty's suitably spacey OST for FTL will find themselves in similar company here - Dusty Road opening with those lone, almost chiptune stabs. It soon evolves though, and by the 1 minute mark is quite similar to some of the Battle themes from FTL, building to an almost post-rock style crescendo come the 2 minute mark. I'm doing the track a bit of disservice by giving it the bullet point treatment, give it a spin to get the full effect.

Taking a trip back to 2007 next - it's been a little while since I did some nostalgia-posting about the days of electro house but here we are again! Very occasionally a track will come back up out of the blue and just blindside me, I was listening to Ed Banger's Ménage-À-Trois mix CD from Mixmag earlier this week, which pretty much did that on every single track. The real highlight was a little something from PUZIQUe, a short-lived duo of Boys Noize and D.I.M. They had a few killer remixes out around that time but I had pretty much forgotten about 'em in all honesty, until Don't Go Reminded me. A real tune, a shining example of the sound a li'l teenage me would go mad for, much like Surkin's White Knight Two later in this same compilation. Annoyingly a but tricky to get a legit stream of, so I'm splitting the difference once again - one legit, one knock-off soundcloud upload.

And finally, a little something that I picked up a while ago but just plain didn't mention. Not for any particular reason, I like to hold onto things every now and then for occasions like this. Astral Engineering is an alias of Simon Rees that's one of those delightfully obscure tales of electronic music - self-releasing 2 albums in 1993, then disappearing for nearly 20 years before coming back with new material in the 2010s. Music For Insomniacs gathers some of the 90's material that was never before released. It's a nice experience in all, reminds me a bit of Alter Ego's debut from 1994 in terms of it being one big continuous techy ambient jam. Drifting sets up that vibe nicely in all it's spacey, dubby glory. The end's a little abrupt as it's supposed to mix into the next track, I highly recommend the whole thing if you need a little bit of a midweek float. You can get the album for free if you'd like to boot.

And that'll about wrap it up for today as I said I have a few more ideas in the pipeline that I'm going to try and get out soon enough, but for now I hope you've enjoyed this slightly eclectic selection. I'll be back soon enough with more but until next time, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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