Joi honoured with blue plaque

•June 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I’m a bit late but it’s a week since the BBC unveiled some of their music blue plaques. One to draw your attention to is for Haroon Shamsher in London’s Brick Lane. Haroon and Farook Shamsher were Joi and then Joi Soundsystem until Haroon’s tragic death in 1999. Farook has continued with excellent albums such as “One And One Is One” and “We Are Three” or get the “Joi Sound System” comp (here). If you don’t own them please rectify this shortcoming. You won’t regret it.

Their 1991 debut was Spiritual Get Together from which is taken my favourite of theirs A Desert Storm. A mix of top notch break beats, rave piano, all manner of samples and an Indian sensibility. “let our record speak for itself” indeed.

FM R IZ – SO LONG WAVE #ambient #drumandbass

•June 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

End of the week in sight. Here’s FM R IZ (CRAIG Caudill) from the USA with So Long Wave. This is basically three tracks bolted together to form a really unusual but engaging whole. There’s a drone tune of long chords and longeurs. An almost orchestral sense of scale and, finally, that annoying rattle from your car where the beats might otherwise go. It really shouldn’t work. But work it does for a glorious 9 minutes.

Ziino – Come (Bits & Pieces VIP Mix)

•June 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

It may be Wednesday but I’m still forging ahead with ambient. Today, Ireland’s Ziino offers Come which says for genre is experimental. It isn’t really. It’s just a lovely chilled tune. It has a really optimistic forward-looking air. A hugely hopeful tune.

On The Beach by Nick & Samantha #balearic

•June 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Ah, too hot. Burning. Thirsty. Safe to say I’m not a fan of the heat. Here’s something that reeks of stale beer, stale flip flops and crowded trains. Not really. What we have is neo-bossa nova from Nick & Samantha on Chris Coco’s label. A cover of Chris Rea’s On The Beach no less.

Flex Gordon – Euphoriac.121 #ambient

•June 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Looks like ambient is going to be the abiding theme of the week. And so it goes with Flex Gordon’s Euphoriac. 121. This is far lezz hazy than the ambient I’ve posted over the last couple of days. This is more perky and inventive by a distance. It has a certain weirdness but with a cheeky undertow. Like it knows something you don’t; it’s in on the joke you’re not in on; it’s ready to roll when you’re only getting out of bed.

unsoon🌹 – ocean tides

•June 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

If last week felt long, and it did, this week promises to be every bit its equal. And perhaps more. Ambient then is order of the day. Unsoon offers ocean tides, which to be honest doesn’t seem terribly oceanic but it is a lovely weird piece that makes the most of its hazy vocal.

Incidental Music from The Dark Outside by Stuart McLean

•June 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Some music which shouldn’t exist but captured forever. If that sounds paradoxical, it’s because it is ambient music from broadcasts in a forest in Scotland with a limited radius. That makes it sound more prosaic and less wondrous than it really is. Ephemeral feelings of the dark opened to the light.

Stuart explains all this a bit better as “The Dark Outside came about in 2012 after The Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park’s Artists in Residence that year, Robbie Coleman & Jo Hodges, basically gave me an FM Radio Transmitter to do what I liked with for 24 hours. I came up with this instead – 24 hours of music that people had never heard before broadcasting from a place where nobody was listening (this has since changed as people turned up to listen). The broadcast airs from Murrays Monument, a 50 foot granite monolith upon a hill called Big Doon in Talnotry which is in the Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park.  This site was chosen specifically as FM works from line-of-sight, which hems the listener (due to the geology and landscape) into a specific area where you really have to travel out into a forest to listen to the radio.”

There are 33 tracks ranging from not more than 20 seconds to a few minutes. The brevity is because these  are “the station ident music backing tracks for The Dark Outside broadcasts 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015.” The sound is largely drone ambient. The mood is wistful and isolated. Although created as idents it actually has a coherence that makes it something to listen to as a collection, rather than individual tracks. Gloriously glacial, granite ambient. Please buy. It’s only £2.