Archive — Music
This is the opening track from the 2001 album Claro by Brothomstates. That was a special purchase for me, because it was the first IDM album I bought. I already knew I liked this sort of music because I was exploring what I could with whatever clips of tracks I could find online. But Claro was the first full album of this genre that I had heard. This was opening up a new world of sonic possibility to me, and I never looked back.
Wintry weather brings this album to mind. I have vivid memories of walking around my home town of Kirkcaldy in icy weather while listening to Claro on a Discman.
In particular, this opening track, In, epitomises the chilly vibe. The piercing synthesised staccato whistles may as well be icicles falling from the sky.
When thinking of what jam to feature this week, as the Beast from the East descended on the UK, I could make no other choice.
Shuffle mode has just reminded me of the time Richard D James (best known as Aphex Twin), using the pseudonym DJ Smojphace, opened for Björk at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2003.
From the YouTube video description:
For almost 2 hours Richard played nothing but “noise and feedback” from the backstage, only appearing in stage to cheerily wave goodbye in front of a very, very pissed audience.
Listen to the booing! Delightfully funny.
Bittersweet Bundle of Misery — Graham Coxon
This song is a little bit too close to Coffee & TV for comfort. But after having left Blur, perhaps Graham Coxon wanted his own version of his own song, which I guess is fair enough.
Looking back, this song almost seems like a last gasp of the Britpop sensibility — an unashamedly, straightforwardly good pop song.
Grammy Winners — Funkstörung
If brutalism was a genre of music, is this what it would sound like?
Photo — 2018-02-12
I’ll be honest; I’ve had better music rounds.
Is the greatest hits album dead?
Count It Up — Field Music
When a band you like releases a new album and it’s really good then count it up.
Harsh Reality — Claro Intelecto
A delicious slice of minimal techno. Perfect for a chilly night time walk through the city.
Sense — The Lightning Seeds
The Lightning Seeds were one of the first bands I really liked. They don’t seem to have as much indie-cred as I think they deserve. Maybe that’s what happens when your biggest hit is a football anthem.
Sense is a little bit before my time, but I still think it’s one of their finest songs.
Everywhen — Massive Attack
A lot of bands I liked wilted somewhat after Radiohead released Kid A. Not Massive Attack. 100th Window may not be their most admired album. But I thought it was one of the few that successfully met the Kid A challenge.
Gone were the trademark trip-hop beats that made them so successful in the 90s. In came a more clinical, experimental electronica sound. It switched some people off, but I think elements of this album are superb. It was an impressive reinvention, but it was also still unmistakably Massive Attack.
Note — 2018-01-15
There may be no real science behind the concept of Blue Monday. But there is definitely something strange about mornings in January.
I always go back to work as soon as possible after the new year. On my morning walk to work, the streets are dark unlike any other time of year, and eerily quiet.
It’s now a new year tradition of mine to spend my first morning walk of each week listening to Blue Jam. Chris Morris’s peerless radio programme of the late 1990s mixed dark comedy with downtempo music. It was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 1 in the small hours of the morning, maximising its unsettling vibe.
That vibe seems to suit these weird, dark Mondays in January.
Roundabout — Yes
I used to think I got my proggy tendencies from my dad. However, he was recently dismayed to learn that I like Yes, who he says are too noodly. I guess I developed an excellent taste in music all by myself.
Every Friday evening I’m going to post a tune that I’m digging right now. Because why not?
Conditions of a Shared Belief — Soulwax
I’d never taken notice of Soulwax before. But after reading a review of their latest album From Deewee in an end-of-year list, I decided to check it out on YouTube.
Wow! The motorik beat grabbed me; the climactic melody hooked me. I have become obsessed with this tune.
The album, supposedly recorded in one take, is also magnificent. This is bold, uncompromising electronic music that
commands attention. It continually surprises without being pretentious.
John Bult: Julie’s Sixteenth Birthday
The story of one of the worst record covers of all time.
“During the photo shoot, Ted kept telling her to look serious, like her dad is talking to her,” Bult said. “But she just kept looking sad to me.”
When the final album was pressed, and Bult saw the finished product, he was livid.
Photo — 2017-10-27
Godspeed You! Black Emperor 🎥