Friday, May 02, 2008

What I've been listening to...

Tunes

I haven't posted a this is what I have been listening to post for a while and their has been a ton of interesting stuff out of late... so while Miriam watches Maggie and the ferocious beast and I am reasonably lucid on my flu medicine... I thought I'd do a quick recap.

Apologies if this is too brief... I would encourage you not to take my word for it [I'm not a critic but a fan] and check out the stuff for yourself.


The pursuit of illusion by Troy Donockley

Troy is the pipes man in my fave band Iona and I arrived at his album by accident... found it when hunting for CDs for Olly in the GLO in Motherwell.

This is not an Iona album... although Joanna Hogg contributes with vocals. It is less and yet it is more. It is less in that it is one part of the overall sound... it is heavily based on orchestration, strings and traditional instrumentation and less rocking. This is what makes it more... it has a beautiful ambiance... a spiritual quiet about it that is just lovely.

Its very much an album and should be listened to as an album... from start to finish... Tracks like fragment and the colour of the door (part 2) stand out... but only in the context of the greater whole.

All in... its a good album. Worth digging out for the ambiance and spiritual vibe.


Offline Remixed (Sutemos021) by Leon Somov ft. Jazzu

Sutemos keep the standard high... and keep releasing quality content. Their latest is a collection of remixes of the fantastic Offline EP (Sutemos 018) from Leon Somov ft. Jazzu. Tracks have been remixed by a variety of players renown for their own quality output... folk like AM-Boy, Sleepy Town Manufacture, Sabi and ijo... along with some new names to watch and learn... such as Joel Tammik and Monoceros.

For me... this is electronica at its very best. Vibrant... diverse... ambient yet engaging... sonically enthralling and vocally enticing. A great addition to the Sutemos catalog and a worthy addition to your iPod. Download it for free at the Sutemos website... along with the original EP.



I'm not a NIN fan... or at least I wasn't until Ghosts came along. I deeply respect Trent Reznor's business acumen in creating a product that reaches to all fans and newcomers like me. I downloaded the free tracks - the first 9 tracks - as a sampler for the album... with the option to download all 36 tracks for $5... or buy the music on CD for $10... or buy one of 2 deluxe boxsets that include vinyl, CDs, DVDs and the kitchen sink, by the looks of it.

I was attracted to this album for 2 reasons... the novelty (the same novelty that introduced me to Radiohead) and the fact the tracks were instrumental. I have heard earlier NIN and I wasn't that impressed... and dismissed the music as too dark for me.

The Ghosts album has changed that prejudice. This is vibrant, intelligent and diverse music... expertly crafted to create a delicious ambiance with guitars, electronics and percussion. It is dark... but in a late night kind of way. Its more of a soundtrack in approach than anything else... and for that I rate it.


Thanks to Cool Hunting for the heads-up on this album... which is, all in, fab. The music is predominately electronic with a glitchy, hip hop slant... but individualistic nuances.

Recognisable names include Dabrye and Matthew Dear contribute fantastically catchy tracks... Temper and R+S respectively. The rest of the contributors provide top quality tracks... making their names worthy of watching.

It is a fab, cohesive and elegant soundtrack... that provides immersive sounscapes and entertaining ambiance. My fave tracks include Carlos Walter Wendy Stanley by The Chap (a cheeky wink of a reference to the electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos) and Light Powered by Deastro with its 80s synth grandeur.

Well worth checking out... for free from the Ghostly Swim page.


Earth Monkey Production's The Resting Bench Remix Project - Vol. 1


Simian Shaun has raised the bar with this fantastic collection of remix from a spoken word project [the Resting Bench] that I have been embarrassingly negligent in not checking out.

Basically the original Resting Bench was a collaboration between poet Ann Wilson and Clutter's Shaun Blezard for a mixed media exhibition which was held at The Nest in Barrow-in-Furness from May-July 2006. The resulting tracks were offered out for RE-MIXERS, BOOTLEGGERS, DUB VERSIONISTS, MASH UP MERCHANTS, GLITCHERS, JUNGLISTS, TURNTABLISTS, SONIC ARTISTS, SOUND TERRORISTS AND ANYTHING INBETWEEN!!!! to manipulate / remix... with the final output being this 30 track compilation.

What can I say about the diversity of this compilation other than WOW!!! This is EMP at their very best. Creating something new and something beautiful. Stand out tracks include the contributions from a couple of my favourite EMP artists - Cousin Silas and Adrian Carter... with other excellent tracks from Kristain Diod and Binary Girl.

The consistent use of Ann Wilson's poetry makes this project a cut above... her vocals add an ethereal, other-worldly nature to this first class collection. I would heartly recommend this compilation - download it for free from EMP.

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This is just a taste of the music I have been listening to of late... beds of sickness are great opportunities for listening to new music... although I wouldn't recommend some of the Resting Bench remix project while sporting a fever.

Check them out... give them your support... expand your listening.
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