Here are who i think might be the best indie hip hop producers at the moment when it comes down forward thinking, more on the electronic end and catchy. Its great to see that a few went the extra mile and got a proper designer for album covers like Dabrye’s WK Interact artwork and Eliot’s someoddpilot artwork.
I’m sitting in a friend’s studio and he asks me what would you love to hear really loud since he has an amazing setup and my first reaction is wanting to hear the guitar’s right after the intro of where Slowdive’s Souvlaki Space Station drops in. I’ve always wanted to hear this song live over anything in my life.
After that, i wanted to compare that sound to The Verve’s spaced out Gravity Grave so i can compare in my opinion the 2 ultimate shoegaze tracks. It was lovely, almost as good as it being live in a few parts.
Then, to really take it to a dark and heavy side we put on The Reflecting Skin’s (who is pictured above) Year of the Knife which is an absolute monster. You look at movie trailer’s these days and they end up using some weak heavy metal track or some bad sped up Orbital rip off electronic track from the mid 90’s, why not something with more of an emotional connection that people won’t forget? The latest trailer for the movie Watchmen was perfect, i think it sounded like Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins, it couldn’t of been a better pick for the footage shown, I still remember it now perfectly clear.
As for the last track, it’s an edit that Addled did for M83’s You Appearing, i felt like i couldn’t of posted these songs without an M83 track but needed a song that was exclusive for you guys, you can download the song on Addled’s myspace. The original is very similar to this but he added the perfect touch to the rhythm section so its a little more driving.
The new French Kicks album Swimming has been out for a couple months now and I’ve had a chance to give it some proper listening time. I thought Songs From 2000 set the bar pretty high so anything coming after that would need to be pretty good to surpass it. While Swimming is a great collection of songs, I don’t think it really lives up to the previous release. Although being subdued is sort of the Kicks’ hallmark, this offering just seems a bit overly subdued for my taste.
The band apparently recorded and mixed this record themselves, which is a pretty commendable feat; it really does sound great and the overall vibe is pretty unique. From a technical perspective the record is interesting, most of the parts sound like they are room recordings, big and airy with a lot of ambience. The album opens with what I think is the strongest track, you can really hear the recording style shine here with the big boomy bass, it almost sounds like a really good live take.
I am not sure what’s going on with this album cover. I’m definitely not a fan of the style or execution; just seems rather boring. Looks like some stock art from an Ikea wall hanging or something.
If you’ve been following any of the slowed down disco that’s been in alot of peoples ear you usually hear about talented Europeans like Prins Thomas, Todd Terje, and Lindstrom. Well, California has its own trio in my eyes Hatchback and Sorcerer who make up Windsurf and Rollmottle who is part of Project Sandro with Tony Watson. Alot of their music comes out on the wonderful “California Soul” imprint Sentrall Records where it feels like windsurfing and collecting original vintage synthesizers have become 2 hobbies that are inseparable. I first heard about all this music thru my favorite group Broker/Dealer which have been doing music similar to this for awhile now, they were making these kind of tracks in the early 2000’s. I hope you can enjoy these spaced out jams while you go about your day today. As for the art above i grabbed it from Sorcerer’s myspace and there is plenty more where that came from on Dream Chimney’s Sleevery section which Scott loves to grab from.
I posted on the new Wolf Parade album a while back so after letting that sink in I thought I’d post some tracks from their first album, Apologies To The Queen Mary. I do love the Queen Mary album, although I have to say I am partial to the new one, At Mount Zoomer. I ran into the guys from Better Propaganda last weekend and we got to talking about bands we’re currently listening to. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t convince them that Mt. Zoomer was a better record than Apologies. They actually seemed indignant at the mere suggestion that this new one could be better. I then ran that same crazy idea by another friend who knows a lot about music and got the same response. So apparently I’m crazy, but I feel like Zoomer has a decidedly darker tone, it sounds like the product of a maturing band finding their way out of the somewhat crowded category that I felt Apologies placed them squarely in. Apologies is a brighter, more energetic album to be certain, but I guess I’m not really looking for bright or energetic from this band.
At any rate, they are both classic albums in my book with a razor thin margin separating the two in regards to their relative quality. The beauty of the set is that they make such good companions to each other; play them back to back and you have a very fulfilling listening session.