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.
Micro-House, Minimal, whatever you call it, Fabric 13 (named for the London nightclub) was my first proper introduction to a style which I’ve really come to appreciate for it’s stripped down compositions and attention to detail. I’m a self-confessed maximalist when it comes to my own music so I really admire the producers of this genre for building so much energy and emotion into these seemingly simplistic sonic landscapes. Geiger’s wonderful mix of I Think About You isn’t quite as restrained as Villalobos’ offering, but a similar ethic permeates both tracks. My only complaint is that Geiger’s mix gets cut short just as it seems to be hitting it’s stride, but I suppose that was the point, damned minimalists! Another stand-out track from Fabric 13 you may remember is Jackson’s mix of Run Into Flowers which I posted on a while back.
As for the cover, I’m not such a huge fan of the haphazard-collage / inexplicable-gaussian-blurring / drop-shadow look, and it doesn’t really speak to the vibe I’m getting from the music inside, but at least the type is well executed.
A quick note: I’ve installed the beta version of Martin Laine’s Audio Player WordPress plugin (thanks Karl for the heads up). This new Flash MP3 player replaces the old one and should do away with some of the quirks people were experiencing before. Please let me know if you have any issues with the new player.
In the last Blue Note post I went with the more duo-tone offerings but with these 4 covers we see a bit more color injected into the compositions. That Dexter Gordon one is choice, this sort of stuff really needs to be offered in poster form. I always wonder who actually owns the rights to these images, I assume EMI does (they now own Blue Note), so that doesn’t bode well for future large format prints.
Massive bonus round: Name all the fonts used on these covers.
By the way, if you missed it last time, there was quite a nice debate running in the comments after the original Blue Note post. Worth a read, some good opinions from people in there. But no matter how good your opinion is, you can’t sway me from my original position: Cream > White!
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”
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.