Sunday 16 April 2023


Wayne Thiebaud - Reservoir (1999)

Bit of a quick one for now as I was feelin' a little inspired. I'm back on my usual again - I've always had a leaning toward the ambient side of things, something you'll well know if you've been around here long enough. Today I figured I'd shine a light on some favourites old and new from the collection. Starting off with some Hiroshi Yoshimura, whose works are a distilled version of what I love about this kind of music. His work has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance recently due to the internet - reaching people it otherwise wouldn't have done decades after the original release. I've gone with yet another piece from Music For Nine Post Cards this time, it's thankfully readily accessible thanks to a repress and digital re-release. I would say Nine Post Cards is absolutely essential if you are at all interested in Ambient Music - it is fantastic throughout but I fall in love all over again from the opening bars of this one right here.

Moving away from pure ambient for the next one, I posted one track from the enigmatic Astral Engineering a while back and here we are again. Living more in that ambient techno sphere, the needle is sometimes firmly in one area, sometimes in another. Singularity is more ambient than techno to begin with, but sways that way over time with some suitably hi-tech arpeggios in the latter half. It's very much of-its-era in terms of sound, sound a little bit like an off cut from Alter Ego's debut from 1994, though this track originally appeared on this compilation from 1999, so it's a little out of time in that regard. Still, it's a lovely hypnotic listen, the ending is a little abrupt but that's because all the tracks on this album are meant to be played sequentially. It's a free download over on Bandcamp so definitely worth it if you like what's on show here.

And finally, I couldn't write a post like this without mentioning Boards Of Canada. Feels like it's been forever since I mentioned them, there are any number of tracks from their catalogue that could go here, but I had one specific in mind when writing this up. The original Olson from Music Has The Right To Children ranks among my favourite ambient pieces of all time, but I've talked at length about it many times over the years. In it's stead I've gone with the version from the Peel Session EP they put out - helpfully re-issued a few years ago by Warp. It extends the original by about double, and somehow manages to lay on the analogue warmth even thicker. It is wonderful, and compliments the original brilliantly - neither is 'better', they're more like different shades of the same colour, there are times when one will feel more apt than the other.

And that'll be all for today. I feel like it's been a good while since I went all in on the ambient side of things, I was hoping to swing it more in a techno direction with the Astral Engineering track, but I'm still happy with what's on show here - I hope you've found some things to enjoy here. As usual, I'll be back soon enough with more but until then, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Saturday 8 April 2023

Bandcamp Friday - April

It's that time again, and I'm actually on time this time! Bringing me down to only 1 month outstanding (which I'll get to in due time). Felt a little lighter this Friday, I had a couple of things lined up I knew I was going to get, but there were a couple of curveballs along the way and it fast became a little too much. So I settled for some smaller selections instead - wasn't a waste though as those other choices will no doubt come up again. Let's get stuck in.

Leading off we have Goldie's rebuild of his classic Inner City Life, part of the trio that forms the title track on his debut album Timeless. It's not too altered from the original but frankly it didn't need changing at all, and its thematically appropriate as well as this re-release is dedicated to Diane Charlemagne, the iconic voice behind the track. Inner City Life was always my favourite piece of the Timeless parts, so I will admit some slight bias there, but this version is very nice regardless. The Burial remix on the B-side is fine as well, it's not his finest work for me and predictably contains very little of the original. Not to rag on it too much though, there are some lovely moments in there, especially in the last quarter or so. It's fairly inexpensive as well, clocking in at £1 a track, I've found most of Metalheadz's library is very reasonably priced.

Keeping it Goldie for the time being, I picked up a copy of Sine Tempus again. I had a hooky one some years back but I'd lost a lot of the tracks over time, and it was a naff VBR rip if I remember right. It's been a long time since I talked about Sine Tempus actually, it has a bit of a tale behind it. In the early 00's Goldie announced he was working on a film - a coming of age story about an artist - which is no doubt semi-autobiographical if you know the man's history. The film has yet to materialise, but in 08/09 Goldie would release an album of the same name, billed as the soundtrack to the film. It certainly is very cinematic in parts, sometimes to its detriment, but there are also plenty of highlights - the opening track Letting Go has stuck with me through all this time, you can definitely hear that cinematic influence on the extended intro that sets up this foreboding atmosphere. It's soon pierced by Jenna G's signature vocals, coming to a peak around the 2:15 mark when the D*B kicks off in full force.

Moving into more IDM territory next, I've become a fast fan of Reporter, as mentioned a couple times in the past BC Posts. The brand of almost-IDM on show here is very much up my alley, as you no doubt know if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time. Opening track How Much More To Take fits that bill in a nutshell, this lovely combination of high-tech vibes and this fragile melody will always get top marks from me. That deceptively deep bassline is a lovely bonus to boot. There's not a ton of Reporter releases out there, but I have very much enjoyed my time with all of them. In a nice turn of serendipity, I found this wordpress through my research, detailing the work he's done in the past which as it turns out is a ton of audio work on some of my favourite bits of media.

I did end up picking up some non-electronic stuff, and this next one I didn't actually get *from* bandcamp but the artist's own website, but I'd stil say it counts. Some years ago now I talked at length about the weird, wild, wired world of music made by fans of Serial Experiments Lain, through both unofficial and official channels they've been making related works for many years now. Well, they've not let up in the interim - the man behind some of the original series' OST, Chikada "J.J" Wasei, has been putting on real life live events and releasing new entries in the Cyberia series (named for the club in the show) since 2018 or so, his latest being in December last year. After the release of Layer 3, Wasei teamed up with fans across the world to release a companion album fittingly titled After Hours. Covering a whole host of genres from the expected Techno to Synthwave and full on ambient in parts. It's a great way for Wasei to repay the community and shine a light on some indie artists in the process. I have a full extended Cyberia post cooking up in the background, but for now have the bouncy Replicant Funk to tide you over.

And that'll be all for today, I've been busy behind the scenes republishing old posts and I hope to get another post out soon-ish. I hope you've found something to enjoy here today in this admittedly eclectic selection! I'll be back soon enough with more but until next time, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


Monday 3 April 2023

Sweet R&R

I've got a chunk of time off as of today, so I'm going to use that time to catch up on so many things I've been behind on, starting here. It's only gonna be a short one to kick things off, but I'm planning to write a whole bunch over the next few days so I can just schedule them out over a longer peroid. But enough of that, let's get into today's tune.

And what better way to kick things off than with a bit of Underworld. They've been in the game a long long time and to my discredit I haven't mentioned them too much over my tenure here - so many iconic tracks to their name, least of which the timelessly euphoric Born Slippy. They gave out a free copy of this version of Two Months Off some time back, and it never fails to entice me with its hypnotic rythms. I've included the soundcloud streamer and a video for 2 reasons: 1) it's one of those tracks locked behind the premium soundcloud, so this way you can hear the full one either way and 2) you have to see the live performance. I loved this era of Underworld because of how understated it is, beyond the lighting setup it is in essence just two blokes and some gear, but you have to see how much fun they're having with it.

Stay tuned for more to come but until then, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.