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Archive for the ‘Electronica’ Category

Alice XY – Me and the Devil (2018)

This is how to do a cover version.

  1. Take a 1937 blues classic from the legendary Robert Johnson.

  2. Meditate on how Gil Scott Heron tackled it.

  3. Radically strip back the music to the essentials required to make your point – simple bass, gorgeous keyboard washes and pulsing drums.

  4. Add soaring, yet melancholic, vocals over the top and definitely don’t change the genders of the subjects.

  5. Mix down, add video and release.

A new talent has arisen, Alice XY hits the mark with her debut solo release.

Did I mention that she’s my daughter?

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Zazou/Bikaye/CY 1 – Dju Ya Feza (1983)

April 2, 2018 Leave a comment

An extraordinary track taken from the fantastic Noir Et Blanc LP released on Crammed Discs in 1983.

As the blurb on the back of the CD says:

An unsurpassed milestone in European/African fusion, this is a head-on collision between traditional Central African vocals and uncompromising analog electronics. Resulting from a torrid encounter between Zairean singer Bony Bikaye, Algerian born French composer Hector Zazou and mad scientists CY1 …

Relentless.

Juana Molina – Cálculos y Oráculos (2017)

December 10, 2017 Leave a comment

As the snow falls steadily outside, I’ve started my annual trawl through all the “best album of the year” lists.

I’ve started with that compiled by The Wire Magazine and, to be honest, it’s been a bit of a slog so far. The LPs by Actress and Irreversible Entanglements might warrant some further investigation but “Halo” by the wonderful Juana Molina from Argentina has been the first one to really stand out.

I haven’t actually finished Spotifying through the whole album but I had no option to pause to post this stunning track. Elevated to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime within 10 minutes of hearing it; a record?

“Cálculos y Oráculos” appears to translate as “Calculations and Oracles” … nope, me neither. The melody is gorgeous; I was wracking my brains as to what it reminded me of and it is “Last Call Fe Blackman” by Sang Hugh, my favouritue reggae song of all time previously posted on this very blog here!

Perfection.

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.

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!

 

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