Hello all, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Beamer, and Scott invited me to start posting to ISO50. As a long time fan and a friend of Scott’s over the past few years, we’ve spent a small amount of time together and have been very interested in each other’s tastes. I’m very honored to be posting here, and I hope I can deliver some relatively entertaining content.
This being post #1, I’d like to continue the theme with my #1 favorite album.
Ash Ra Tempel – New Age of Earth (1976)
I’ve been amassing a progressive Krautrock collection for about seven years now, and this is one of those records that caught my eye. Not being much of a fan of psych, or much loud banging in any form, I had somewhat (embarrassingly) written off Ash Ra after hearing the much acclaimed self—titled release (back when Klaus Schulze was drumming); though, I insisted on owning this if not just for the artwork.
Manuel Göttsching moved the project from an experimental group to a solo act just one year before this release with Inventions For Electric Guitar (1975). In New Age of Earth, Göttsching introduces his flowing landscape sound later shown in his triumphant and highly influential E2-E4. In this album, instead of focusing on his signature layered guitar sound, he builds an amazingly textured synth masterpiece. This record will stay in my #1 position for quite some time.
Ash Ra Tempel — Sunrain
Awesome transcription from the sleeve:
Not wishing an end
Prefer a sunrise
Not everything planned
So you’ll always be
In the new age of earth”
Since its mid summer i wanted to put up a few songs that have a good feel to them, some are songs that friends have given to me to check out this week and a few are older songs that needed to be dusted off and listened to again. You should be able to buy either of these tracks on Amazon MP3 except i think Air France(who is pictured above) isn’t available yet.
Caribou – Sundialing
Air France – No Excuses
The Avalanches – Since I Left You (Cornelius remix)
Here is a small collection of tracks that might be filed under techno or dance but i would listen to as background music while i work. All 3 are pretty heavy on the lush and deep end and move along nicely, i guess you could file it under ambient techno or some other odd sub genre. The photo above is Pantha Du Prince, his whole record on Dial Records from last year was outstanding. I’m not sure what Dettinger does anymore since this track is from 1999 but has released since on Kompakt. The Sami Koivikko track is a remix by the duo Daso & Pawas from Cologne, DE. If you like these kinda of tracks, i’ll try to post more in the future. I’m just trying to change it up every once in awhile.
This classic from Funki Porcini’s album Hed Phone Sex always hits the spot. I’ve been wanting to post it, but not wanting to post it’s poorly designed album cover. So I’ve posted the cover to another Porcini release, Fast Asleep, which is amazing. If you look closely you’ll see that the titling is all done in vintage audio gear, pretty clever.
Accuse my absence, my macbook needed to get repaired, so i decided to post 4 tracks for you today. First, Loscil who’s on Kranky Records and i have his cover up at the top of this post which is honestly in my top 5 favorite covers of all time no questions asked. I’ve read abit about Loscil, he gets his warm tones by sampling ticks and hisses from cassette tape and stretches out the sounds and thats how he gets such full warmth in his sound. As for the cover, i’m not sure who did it, all i know is that if there’s a poster of it somewhere out there send me a link to buy it please.
Helios is the second track, I’ve looked on my play count on iTunes and this track is in my top 10. It’s just a wonderful organic track, Keith brings in layer upon layer of melody from each instrument and add hints of adjustments that are all easy to just listen to and enjoy.
Third is a John Tejada side project with Takeshi Nishimoto as I’m Not A Gun, it’s very similar to musicians like Aeroc or Mercury Program which i posted earlier in the year. The attention to detail that John takes towards his own production always has me checking out everything he does. They go off a little on an experimental session in this track but bring it back to what catches my ear the most which is that first 8 second melody which i think could just go on forever in my opinion.
Finally, I had to add Tim Hecker “Dungeoneering” this song floors me, not to get cheesy but it feels like i’m in a air tunnel when i listen to this track. For someone known for doing lo-fi noise this is as pretty as it gets.
My introduction to electronic music came via the UK drum n bass movement of the mid to late 1990′s. Logical Progression was and is one of my top electronic albums of all time. I was also a big fan of the Bristol scene and labels like Full Cycle and Dope Dragon so when Roni Size & Reprazent dropped New Forms in 1997 I was hooked. This album won Britain’s coveted Mercury Prize (and mind you, this was the same year OK Computer and Fat of The Land were released) and sort of signaled the peak of Drum n Bass as a whole. In my opinion the genre pretty much backslid from that point forward until it completely devolved into some sort of dance floor-fodder, cookie cutter noise-fest; but that’s beside the point. New Forms stands as a classic album without qualification, it can sit beside great records from more traditional genres and still hold it’s own.
The relevance of a band like Coldplay can be argued all day and while I can’t really say I’m a fan of everything they do, I’ve definitely enjoyed a fair amount of their releases over the years. So as you no doubt know they have a new album out called Viva La Vida and it’s sort of a hit and miss affair for me. Whatever you think of the album, you can’t deny the quality of the production, which comes courtesy of the man, the legend, Brian Eno (pictured above). Eno essentially invented ambient music and since the early 70′s he has produced an ever-growing pile of amazing records for bands like U2 and David Bowie. So I was pretty surprised to hear he was working with Coldplay for this new record, and pretty anxious to hear the results. Needless to say, I’m not finding myself in love with the album as a whole, but it has it’s moments. One, very short, moment that really stands out is the first track, Life In Technicolor. It sort of straddles the line between electronic and rock and we are momentarily spared the weight of Chris Martin’s heavy-handed lyrics. The space that’s left allows a brilliant glimpse of what a talented bunch of musicians working under the direction of a music god can create. I think there should be a law that states that any rock band releasing a new record has to tell their lead singer to shut up, just for one song, so we can hear another side of the band. It almost always works out.
The image above is a shot of Brian Eno from the cover of his 1977 solo release, Before And After Science. I didn’t post this cover because it’s repulsive. I don’t know what it is about it that doesn’t work for me, it just makes it feel like I am buying a hair metal record or some Gun’s ‘n’ Roses box set or something.
By the year 2000, all of the early 90′s shoegaze bands had either broken up (Chapterhouse, My Bloody Valentine, Ride) or either changed their sound altogether (Slowdive/Mojave 3, Catherine Wheel). While not purely a shoegazing act, Cheshire, England’s Doves brought a sense of beauty and ethereality to their music, similar to that of their shoegazing influences, with careful use of echo and reverb. The opening track from their debut album, Lost Souls, as Doves (previously they had played under the electronic moniker Sub Sub), Firesuite, displays all of their strengths. While a band like the Verve would take you on 9 minute space rock odysseys a la She’s a Superstar, Doves were capable of keeping it under the 5 minute due to a strong rhythm section. I am perplexed that there is not a YouTube live version of this track!