Friday, 28 May 2010

Various - White Dot Electronica 1

I went through my itunes recently and picked out enough tracks for a couple of electronica compilations. Therefore, this is all amazing. I was going to divide all the tracks into 4 playlists, but there was no thematic cohesion to any of it, and I ended up with two lists, called 'down' and 'up' at roughly 200mb each. Even those descriptions are fairly arbitrary, although I suppose this one is slightly moodier than the next one, tending slightly toward the glacial, trippy, isolationist, or just plain abstract.
I absolutely love all of this stuff: there are some all-time favourites in here, so check it out - you may discover something incredible.
1-Burnt Friedman-Platin Tundra (Nonplace EP1)
2-Alva Noto-MM (Archiv 1)
3-Anders Ilar-Illusions Of A Summerbreeze (Everdom)
4-Autechre-Weissensee (V/A-A Homage To Neu!)
5-Bionaut-Wild Horse Annie: Pluramon remix (V/A-Harvest In Technicolour)
6-Biosphere-Mir (Patashnik)
7-Black Faction-Modanese (V/A-Voices In My Lunchbox)
8-Console-Untitled (Pan Or Ama)
9-Dabrye-Infinite Wavelength remix (Additional Productions 1)
10-Funkturm-Shimmer (Urban Mantras)
11-Cepia-Wavebnc1 (V/A-Meadow, Cottage Industries 4)
12-Grain-Untitled (V/A-Across Uneven Terrain)
13-Jake Mandell-Beartrap (V/A-Wanna Buy A Craprak?)
14-Julien Neto-Shiney Eyed Gal (V/A-Meadow, Cottage Industries 4)
15-Max 404-Quiddity Last Visit (Eevolute 12")
16-Nonplace Urban Field-Chilled #6 Muslimgauze rmx (Golden Star)
17-Air Liquide-Homicidal Diary (V/A-Harvest In Tecehnicolour)
18-Psyche/BFC-Neurotic Behaviour (Elements 1989-1990 by Carl Craig)

It's hard to pick favourites out of these: there are timeless classics like Quiddity and Neurotic Behaviour; The Anders Ilar track is a relatively recent discovery that blows me away; the Autechre rocks (is that actually a 303 I can hear in there?), and the Black Faction track is a sublime offering from a really unsung talent. Actually, I ought to rip some of the vinyl I have by him. Anyway - treat your brain.


Thursday, 27 May 2010

Skullflower - Orange Canyon Mind

Utterly glorious noise psych-out from Matthew Bower. Euphoric, blasting, coruscating waves of fuzz; juggernauts of pulsating bass. Warping witches' fingers of liquid sound lick at your ears like cold flames while crashing planets destroy the gravity in your brain. That's just track 1. Despite being cacophonous, this is beautiful to my ears: it's a richly harmonic maelstrom of overdriven analogue. I'm not sure how it was created, but it's super-effective: all kinds of power-electronics mayhem, plus some acid guitar, and barely audible percussion in a thick, lurching, surging syrup of cosmic goodness.
Sometimes the tracks are underpinned by spacy nodding grooves, sometimes there is just a clenched roar of sound, an electrical storm of wild sonics; but there is always a dense and captivating tapestry of noises, tunes and distortion.

Buy it from crucial blast


Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Exile - Pro Agonist

Nutty drum & bass from 2005. Chock full of crazy edits, wild sounds and, of course, multitudes of chattering breakbeats. Oh yes, and some monster bass sounds - plenty of the ravetastic hoover variety. Completely in your face, but also head twisting, euphoric, hilarious, and ultimately jolly good fun to listen to. Not much else to say, really - some genius production on show. Recommended for fans of Venetian Snares, and everyone else in the world.


Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Gong - You

This blog has now been going for a year! There is no better way to celebrate this anniversary than by posting one of my all time favourite albums.
This was released in 1974, and is third in a trilogy of albums that also includes 'Angel's Egg' and 'Flying Teapot', both of which are excellent, and highly recommended, as is 'Camembert Electrique' which precedes them. This album, though, I think is the pinnacle, both of Gong's output, and psychedelic/space rock in general. The playing throughout is absolutely masterful; and the arrangements are completely brilliant. There is a fair amount of silliness, it is true, but I love every second of it, and it helps create the dramatic dynamics that drive the album along. The way that the two short whimsical opening tracks segue into the very spaced out chanting of 'Magick Mother Invocation' which becomes the blistering, heavy progged out space rock of 'Master Builder' is magnificent. Steve Hillage is on fire here, and the bass and drums pretty much rival the heaviness and technical excellence of early 70s King Crimson. Also, the horn/wind playing of Didier Malherbe is an absolute delight. The key element that completes sound is the brilliant use of synths, which are particularly showcased on the next track 'A Sprinkling Of Clouds', where they beautifully build up a trippy spacescape which leads into another heavy freak out. The interplay of Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth's vocals, another great feature of Gong, is shown on the next short track 'Perfect Mystery', which also has some awesome drum fills from Pip Pyle. The last two tracks are an excellent long jam with a terrific groove, allowing some extended solos; then a real Gong masterpiece in 'You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever' winds down the album perfectly. Awesome stuff. I still get pure unadulterated joy from listening to this, 18 or so years after I first heard it.


Friday, 7 May 2010

Kev Hopper - Whispering Foils

Excellent release on Stereolab's Duophionic imprint from 2000. Kev Hopper was the (fantastic) bassist in 80s musical-weird-beards Stump ('Chaos' on Youtube). He went on to release mostly instrumental albums, featuring samples, bass, and lots of musical saw, which he plays.
The results vary from the totally brilliant 'Return Of The Bung', with it's basslines slithering and rolling around weird ambient textures and some clean tremelo guitar - this could almost be an outtake from Eno's Another Green World. 'Lamalou Les Bains' is a combination of saw, acoustic guitar and vibes, and is very High Llamas-y; and I could even imagine Monsieur Hulot wandering around with this in the background. 'Canary Lights' is another excellent track based around the tumbling sound of Hopper's percussive bass - tapping and popping over a shuffling groove while mandolin, accordion and vocals add the melodic textures. The whole ambience also reminds me of Tortoise, and this could obviously fit into the post rock category, but comparisons do this album a bit of a disservice (even though I've made loads), as it sounds quite unique. Also, it is rather lovely sounding.
Check out Kev Hopper's Website. It's pretty interesting, and also he is giving away all his music - so download it and donate him some money: I recommend 'I Saw Spoombung's Daughter Consumed By Kirby Dots'.