Sunday 24 December 2023

Christmas Catch Up

Hey all, season's greetings and apologies for not having written lately, it's been a bit of a time. Thought I'd drop by with a little something for now though - kicking off with a compilation of Owen Ashworth's projects with a Christmas theme. The man is responsible for the majority of tracks in my library with that word in the title, and this mixtape gathers them from 2006 to 2020 all together in one neat little package. Recently updated this year with a new final track in 'Christmas Steve' and with a low low price of 'Pay what you want', it makes for a great little stocking filler if you're in the mood for some sweet lo-fi melancholy.

Thought I'd throw some more in as well while I'm here, starting with Susumu Yokota. Love Or Die is an album that comes to my mind every now and then - I often can't recall the tracks specifically as they all have wildly lengthy names, like "The Now Forgotten Gods Of Rocky Mountain Residing In The Back Of The North Wood." for example. The exception to that is A Song Produced While Floating Alone On Christmas Day, every so often the main melody will come up in my mind and I'll seek it out and give it a listen once more. Yokota's backcatalogue is extensive and varied, but the downtempo melodic sides of Love Or Die are a highlight and a great place to jump in.

From here, it's the usual suspects. Yoko Kanno is a natural suggestion - her soundtrack for the Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex series is full of cool electronics that is supremely to my taste. It'll have to be a spotify embed this time sadly, but here's hoping the small snippet it'll play you shows off that in spades. If you liked Björk's Homogenic you might find some similarity here - one that's no doubt made more prominent with Ilaria Graziano's guest appearance on the vocal front. It's not my favourite of her guest spots, but I can't deny the power she brings to the choruses.

And finally, what else but a deep Röyksopp cut. Originally from their 'Track Of The Month' series from many years ago, I'm surprised they've never put it out officially anywhere else as they did with some bonus tracks in their 'Lost Tapes' series. It's not overbearingly twee with it's Christmas trimmings, in fact, if it weren't for a whispered 'Happy Christmas' at one point you could probably get away with it at any time of year. Those of you that have read my writings here for any length of time will know I adore the Röyksopp boys and this one is no different. I could live forever amongst those gorgeous synths that come in full force from the second half onwards. Just divine.

And that'll be all for now. I'm still mulling over whether I want to do a little roundup post before the year's end, but if I don't end up doing it in time I'll pick it up again come January. Until then - as always - stay safe and enjoy the music.