If you had to give me one musician to listen to for the rest of my life i’d probably settle on Casino Versus Japan even to this day. Here is part 2 of ISO50 Classic albums, the defining collection of what shaped the beginnings this blog. Glad to see you enjoyed the Yagya even if it was a repeat listen.
Since the blog has been around since 2007 and its not always focused on new music I want to start a ISO50 Classics series where I share some of the albums that I think represent the blog perfectly. First, is Yagya “Rigning“, if you’re not familiar then you’re lucky to enjoy that first experience with it. Its like Gas but floating slightly higher off the surface. If you have listened to this album, share some favorites or stories, for me I would fall asleep to this album in an amber lit room and wake up half way through and just couldn’t imagine not owning it and relying on it.
Pronounced Hate-Rock, this duo is like a shoegaze version of Sade, in love with this LP.
Psychic 9-5 Club marks the beginning of a new chapter for HTRK. It’s an album that looks back on a time of sadness and struggle, and within that struggle they find hope and humour and love. It’s Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang’s first album recorded entirely as a duo—former band member Sean Stewart died halfway through the recording of their last LP, 2011’sWork (Work Work).
Though the record is instantly recognisable as HTRK—Standish’s vocal delivery remains central to the band’s sound, while the productions are typically lean and dubby—they’ve found ample room for exploration within this framework. Gone are the reverb-soaked guitar explorations of 2009’s Marry Me Tonight and the fuzzy growls that ran through Work (Work Work). They’ve been replaced with something tender, velvety and polished. This is HTRK, but the flesh has been stripped from their sound, throwing the focus on naked arrangements and minimalist sound design.
The album was recorded at Blazer Sound Studios in New Mexico with Excepter’s Nathan Corbin, who had previously directed the video clip for Work (Work Work) cut “Bendin.” Inviting a third party into their world was no easy decision, but in Corbin they found a kindred spirit. The LP was then refined and reworked in Australia at the turn of 2013, before the finishing touches were applied in New York during the summer.
Of all the themes that run through Psychic 9-5 Club, love is the most central. The word is laced throughout the album in lyrics and titles—love as a distraction, loving yourself, loving others. Standish’s lyrics explore the complexities of sexuality and the body’s reaction to personal loss, though there’s room for wry humour—a constant through much of the best experimental Australian music of the past few decades.
Standish explores her vocal range fully—her husky spoken-word drawl remains, but we also hear her laugh and sing. Equally, Yang’s exploratory production techniques—particularly his well-documented love of dub—are given room to shine. They dip headlong into some of the things that make humans tick—love, loss and desire—with the kind of integrity that has marked the band out from day one. Psychic 9-5 Club is truly an album for the body and for the soul.
Adult Contemporary as a sound is here to stay, its become more flexible than ever and has sneaked into every genre imaginable. The most in-touch musicians weave in and out of naturally through their careers and some never leave. I picked 4 tracks for todays playlist that wear that fusion of sound on their sleeve proudly.
Trying to do a few label focused playlists lately.
London based Lobster Theremin only has 4 vinyl releases under their belt with a 5th one on the way. We were fortunate enough to be offered the exclusive stream of the new Palms Trax. If you’re looking for more of what Trilogy Tapes and Opal Tapes offers than sift around Lobster’s soundcloud.
LINK TO PRIVATE SOUNDCLOUD
If you’ve been on the blog for even just a few month you’d know we’re all huge fans of both Todd Terje and Small Black, it makes us even happier when musicians pick out songs that you love and cover them. Both artists took on pretty advance songs in my opinion, these aren’t boring Fleetwood Mac covers that everyone can crap out, these are 80s-90s soft gems that you really got to nail because of precious atmosphere and timing, pretty impressed by the finished product.
He’s back! after completely re-scoring the original Tron back in 2011 Mogi Grumbles has finished his whole re-score of Escape From New York, below is the movie re-cut and above is the album, enjoy! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
I Heard You Were Dead is an original re-score of the movie Escape from New York (1981), composed by Mogi Grumbles, musical alias of Ann Arbor, MI native Alex Taam. In 2011, Taam asked the question, “What if Daft Punk had composed the soundtrack to the original Tron, and not its sequel?” The answer was “End of Line.” Two years later, he turned his attention to John Carpenter’s cult classic, this time posing a much simpler question, “Why not?” After amassing a collection of synths authentic to the period, Taam was inspired to compose something that was both classic and modern. Operation Black Light is sleek and stealthy, propelled by a bassline that whirs like a Blackhawk helicopter blade. Mac 10 is the sound of bombast, a grenade that’s just gone off with shrapnel bouncing everywhere. This re-cut of the film, by editor Christian Silbereis features the Mogi Grumbles re-score.
One of my favorite producers for years has been Kompakt’s Kaito, he always made real trance and not even tainted it with quirky stereotypes of what the genre is seen as.
Cascine found a very fitting pairing for Yumi Zouma, it gives Kaito the lush pieces to make this stunning remix come together, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Yumi Zouma are Charlie Ryder, Kim Pflaum and Josh Burgess – 3 friends from New Zealand living between New York (Josh), Paris (Charlie) and NZ (Kim)