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Archive for the ‘Electronica’ Category

Aphex Twin – Rhubarb (1994)

October 9, 2017 Leave a comment

A great companion piece to the John Cage track posted earlier tonight. “Rhubarb” is taken from Aphex Twin’s classic Selected Ambient Works Volume II released on Warp Records in 1994. If I recall, most of the tracks are untitled but have been named according to the various pictures that accompany them.

This is a beautiful piece which reminds me a lot of Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent)” from 1983 previously posted here. That is, in itself, no bad thing!

Perfect ambient techno.

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Autechre – Pathetic Triangle (2001)

October 8, 2017 Leave a comment

This is pretty brutal techno from Autechre –  one of the mainstays of the wonderful Warp Records stable and producers of uneasy listening since the early 1990s.

Taken from their sixth LP Confield, this track soars above their typical output with the eerie gamelan samples that sit somewhere deep down in the mix and which leaven the relentless percussion and bass which would otherwise overwhelm the listener into exhausted submission.

As Autechre goes, a real toe-tapper!

Laraaji – The Dance #2 and #3 (1980)

October 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been re-reading a number of books by David Toop (Ocean of Sound, Haunted Weather, etc) and listening to all the wonderful CDs in the “Ambient” series on Virgin Records associated with those books.

Plenty of gems to post but why not start here?

Produced by Brian Eno, Laraaji was responsible for the Ambient 3 (Day of Radiance) LP released in 1980 on EG Records. Part of a series of stunning releases featuring Eno, these two tracks, in particular, are mesmeric.

Immersive, gamelan-esque, percussive, perfection.

Rhythm & Sound w/Shalom – We Been Troddin/Troddin (Version) (2002)

March 25, 2017 Leave a comment

The German pair, Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus have made some of the finest minimal and other techno of all time and their Rhythm & Sound moniker is just another outlet for their stellar talent. I’ve previous posted Maurizio (here) and Basic Channel (here) and the latter, of course, are so good they get to appear in the strapline to this blog (the highest of all praise).

With Rhythm & Sound, the focus is on dub and reggae more generally. This track is a throwback to the great reggae of the 70s with both a vocal version and then the dub – perfect! Shalom provides the vocals on this one.

The vocal and then the dub!

 

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – International (1983)

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

I’ve always had a bit of a contrarian streak about me and this post gives me a chance to show it off twice!

Firstly, I am unashamed to say that I really like (early) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Electricity”, “Enola Gay”, “Joan of Arc”, “Tesla Girls”, etc, really are peerless classics from the synth-pop era. All sorts of aspersions relating to geography teachers and “dad dancing” have been cast about the band but, really, this is pretty lazy criticism (and, as a king of dad dancing myself, rather offensive to boot!). Their influences are sound and their execution, largely, impeccable.

Secondly, not only do I really like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark but I really love this album track! It’s from their fourth LP, Dazzle Ships, and, in truth, it hasn’t got the pop sheen of their earlier singles. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful piece of (pop) electronica  with some great samples and a beautiful melody. The only downside is that, on occasions, the tune gets dangerously close to “The Bonnie Banks ‘o Loch Lomond”. However, it is also a waltz and that trumps any pseudo Scottish considerations!

Frankly, name me another blog that would bother with this? Quitters!

Vangelis – Abraham’s Theme (1981)

January 26, 2015 Leave a comment

On this momentous day for Greece, I thought I’d better post something relevant.

Despite his death coinciding with the election results, I simply couldn’t warrant putting something on the blog by Demis Roussos …. also, despite my late father’s love for Nana Mouskouri, I’m afraid that a prime example of her irritating warbling was also ruled out early on in the deliberations.

This left me with a choice between “Grease” by Frankie Valli (clever wordplay of the highest order), “The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks” by The Eagles (a record of stupefying banality), something challenging by Iannis Xenakis (could have earned some Brownie points with my avant-garde followers) or, this, a rather nice piece composed by Vangelis for the film Chariots of Fire.

Interestingly, Vangelis was another artist beloved of my late father. Looking back, my dad may well have had the highest proportion of Greek artistes among any record collection outside of Greece itself.

No matter, this is a typically thoughtful piece of mid period Vangelis electronica.

Monoton – π 3.141592653589793 (1981-83)

August 27, 2013 Leave a comment

I only stumbled upon Monoton a few years ago and it still surprises me that nothing that they did impacted upon my consciousness during the 1980-1983 period when they were most active. To quote from the usual sources:

Monoton was founded in 1979 by hypermedia wizard Konrad Becker as an art project that underwent various transformations and collaborations in its exploration of psycho-active sound programming and its psychosocial contextualizing.

Staggering that such a toe-tapping, chart aiming, project didn’t reach the ears of a callow 16 year old…. Living In Hong Kong…. Who still appreciated a bit of AC/DC alongside the Joy Division canon and who wasn’t averse to a spot of Madness and Adam and the Ants. Where was Trevor Horn when he was needed?

Nonetheless, I now have three Monoton CDs which are worthy, but rewarding, discs but had not heard this particular track until this evening. Using the wonderful Spotify to check out new tracks, I stumbled upon this ditty which appears on the 2009 Monoton release “Eight Lost Tracks”. The other seven are very tedious but, by the magic of Amazon, I was able to purchase the one good track on the album for £0.89. Not sure what the hypermedia wizard would make of that bit of business but, no matter, here it is.

Suffice to say that this track was originally recorded sometime between 1981 and 1983 and, three listenings in, it is clearly well worth a place in the pantheon of the bestmusicofalltime. What to expect? Well, perfect, “toytown” techno whose innocence and simplicity only adds to the allure. It has no proper beginning nor, indeed, a proper end. It just is 4:54 of pop perfection.

Take it away Konrad …

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