Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tunes for everyday use



Been doing my research... checking out some classics... First up on the classic list is The Clash >> I love their well known songs :: London Calling... Rock the Casbah... Should I stay or should I go... I fought the law... :: and wanted to learn more. Their fondness for dub reggae appeals to me. Their singles collection is a good starter and one that is growing on me. Well worth checking out.



As part of my research... I have been listening to The Police with their self titled compilation of 30 singles and fan faves. I love songs like can't stand losing you... Roxanne... message in a bottle... and every little thing she does is magic and its great to be able to bang them on the car stereo and sing-a-long badly. The compilation is fantastic > its all encompassing and well worth checking out... if you like your new wave reggae/ska flavoured.



Something newer... something full of future sounds and flavours. The Rapture are a fab post-punk-electro-rock band that make some amazing tunes in the school of DFA records, LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip. Their album Pieces of the people we love is awesome... truly modern... right now... and I love it. Sounds great walking the streets of Glasgow > wish I had it on the iPod when I was walking the streets of Manhattan.



I am a huge fan of Tom Middleton and his compilations are world class. I picked up Cosmosonica vol 1 > Crazy Covers for £4 and love it. The intro track where a crooner sings some ghetto classics is bad... that's bad as in awful. However the rest of the compilation is fab > Mrs Robinson by The Lemonheads, Roxanne by Aswad and Frontin' by Jamie Cullen are some of the fab tracks in the collection. The emphasis is on fun and different... making for some tunes that will get people talking.



Now for something new and bleeding edge :: first up is the latest album from Distraction Records -- I found out about d_rradio from an ad on Facebook and was shocked to find out they are doing a pre-release deal where the album is available for free up until the actual release on the 3rd March...
Two weeks before the release date proper, we are putting 320kps (VBR) mp3 versions of each track of the album, on our web site, for you to enjoy for absolutely nothing at all. No hidden catches! Hey, Thom Yorke can pat himself on his back eating organic couscous perched on top of his lofty pedestal for charging you at least 45p for Radiohead’s 160kps mp3s. It’s alright for him; he’s a millionaire. But we’re a tiny label, with ZERO grant funding - we haven’t even rich parents or a big label subsidising us - giving away audio from the d_rradio album for sweet FA, encoded at a rate almost as good as that of the CD. It really has taken the last of the coppers in the Distraction PayPal account paying for this little fellah, we tells ya no lies.

So why are we doing this? Simply put, we thoroughly believe that, once you hear how brilliant the d_rradio album is, you will want to support both d_rradio and Distraction Records by buying the actual album. We genuinely plough all of our money (and our wages) back into our releases, so if you like it, ensure that we continue to survive (survive being the operative word. . .) by purchasing the album from our web site, buying the album from our preferred, independent retailers, or by donating some money to us.
I love it. d_rradio remind me of Boards of Canada and a more downtempo Slam > that's a good thing > I haven't heard such good electronica in a long time. Fantastic beats... imaginative soundscapes... lovely. A Life Alive is just so vibrant whereas tracks like So Long and Wish For More Wishes are more glitchy and ambient. Truly great headphone music that needs a wider reach.



Lastly we have Commissions from the el presidente of Earth Monkey Productions with a collection of tunes that he has written to "pay the bills". Tunes / soundscapes from his work in his community.

Tracks like Thumbelina and Erazerbyrd have subtle folk flavours. Dybbk, Phelps and Bedroom have more overt techno influences which are more upbeat and gregarious. My fave track has to be Round And Round with its chilled downtem-pop soundscape and female vocals... something exceptional in an already great collection of electronica and ambient soundscapes. That said... I have to be honest and say that I don't like the school project work > the found sounds are a bit too found for me. I have tried but I'm just not there yet... maybe one day. All in... a great collection of work and something to be proud of > made even better by giving them away for free. Thanks Shaun!

That's me... my iPod is bursting with great tunes. What are you listening to?
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