Dov1 & An-ten-nae Feat. King Mas – Life (Dub Mix) #dnb #drumandbass #electronic

•January 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Here’s a lovely chilled half time drum and bass track from Dov1 and An-Ten-nae. There’s a vocal version of Life out there if you want to find it but I’m sticking with the Dub mix that allows all the focus to be on the crisp slo-mo beats and the deeply chilled string heavy atmosphere it generates. Sweet smoke.

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Deep Down Yonder – Strange People #techno #experimental

•January 19, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Some experimental and deep world sounds from Canada’s Deep Down Yonder and Strange Pilgrims. I supposed this has to be described as world music but if that sounds too patronising or travel show, then let’s go for experimental. This is a fascinating 10 minute journey, full of slide and banjo guitar accompanied by some beats that are almost but not quite ambient. There’s a confusion of sounds that somehow works as a walk in the Appalachians (or whatever the Canadian equivalent is).

Dangerous stuff taking on the classics: Covers EP by Slighter #electronic #bowie #radiohead #massive attack

•January 18, 2018 • 2 Comments

 

Cover versions are always dangerous places. If it’s a well known track then you risk conflicting with people’s ideas of how the track should sound. That’s even worse if you’ve picked on artists who are on pedestals. Slighter has gone for broke here picking on Massive Attack, David Bowie and Radiohead.

First under the microscope is Massive Attack’s Angel. Taken from their 1998 album Mezzanine, the track featured a lovely delicate vocal from Horace Andy. It’s a woozy druggy song (intentionally or otherwise) fully of paranoia. Slighter keeps the paranoia but turns it into an industrial ambient epic. Not quite suitable for Wednesday nights and Champions League but good for blood spattered episodes of Silent Witness.

Second is David Bowie. This is better ground for me, since I’m no Bowie fan and there are no illusions to shatter. More hefty industrial noise on the all too contemporary I’m Afraid of Americans from Mr C turning it into a gargled vocal industrial rock wig out to excellent effect.

Finally, the immensely tedious Radiohead and their inexplicably popular Climbing Up The Walls. There’s still the industrial tinge here, with orchestral dynamics to add a bit of drama. It’s only towards the end when the wall of guitars comes out that htis finally breaks free. But this of the three seems most respectful of its sources. Ends up slightly less than it should have been.

Get this for Angel and especially, I’m Afraid of Americans.

The awkwardness of IDM with drainabyte and couch astronauts #idm #ambient #drone

•January 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

A couple of awkward IDM tracks from Italy’s drainabyte and the UK’s Couch Astronauts.

I do like IDM. Perfect for home listening. Done well the mix of downtempo moods and strange creaking sounds works wonderfully. OK, so it can get pretty self-indulgently unlistenable at the other end. But what genre can’t? Here are to artists that get it spot on.

A welcome return for Acid Ted favourite drainabyte with Interlude. From what it is an interlude I have no idea. But the track has a lovely measured clatter and a bit of underlying tension in the held tones. In the end the drums are what hold the attention in a tribal way.

New here is Couch Astronauts with New Text. Starts with a bit of creaking and dub drums. But turns itself slowly around onto the synths and brings in a really intersting sample that adds extra excitement. Wonderfully dubbed. “Who are you?”

Also on Spotify

Utopia State of Mind with Kim Anker and Nutrium #chill #ambient

•January 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I suspect I post more dystopian tracks than utopian ones. Let’s redress the balance with two positively chilled tunes from opposite sides of the world in Denmark’s Kim Anker and New Zealand’s Nutrium.

Kim Anker offers the more delicate pleasures of the pair on State of Mind. This is a gorgeous piece of synth chill. But doesn’t owe too much to Vangelis in that long tones aren’t such a feature. It’s got a delightfully perky air that lifts the spirit.

Nutrium offers more organic charms on the straightforwardly optimistic Utopia. Despite being a pretty ambient piece it’s got some determinedly forward beats that gives it extra strength. The problem with the track is that at two and a half minutes it’s too damn short.

“I made this track because I hadn’t ever met my dad.” Amy Gibbon #techno #idm

•January 15, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Music expresses mood but all too often in dance music the mood is either party, party or sad, sad. Broad sweeps of hope and despair. They don’t often deal with the more subtle shades of grey of human emotion. On dad, Punch Cards (Amy Gibbon) takes a techno IDM track to deal with finding her father.

Amy says “I made this track because I hadn’t ever met my dad, and during the making of my new album I was trying to track him down.” She adds “it’s supposed to express my feelings towards my father, who I had never met and who I knew basically nothing about. I have since met him once and he’s a pretty nice guy.” which is a relief and you hope things wor out there. That gives me a dilema. One can read too much into a tune with the knowledge on what lies behind, so let’s talk about it as a track alone.

The track is cracked, hissing IDM in its opening before softer ethereal chords come in. There’s a sense of wobbliness throughout and the contrast between the IDM and the more ethereal moments reminded me a lot of Amber-era Authechre. Delightful.

Taken from the album espers.

We’re going to give the devil a black eye with Reaktiv and Moox #techno #deep house

•January 14, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Sunday is perhaps the perfect day for you to give the devil a black eye with some righteous beats provided by Reaktiv and Moox.

Reaktiv offers Fiat Lux. I assume this is neither a luxury car nor a Bath-based bathroom specialist. I assume it refers to the Latin phrase “let there be light.” The light is provided by a strange preacher who goes on about your mother. Meanwhile France’s Reaktiv channels his inner St Germain (he is French after all) to provide a jazzy uplifting house backing over which improvised trumpet has been squirted to wonderful effect. Invigorating.

Moox is next with the more techno-based Sequence. This is a slightly more minimal tune than it is one running rampage with beats. There’s a general sense of thoughtfulness to the track. But that changes halfway through when the track gives way to a more uplifting synth sequence that offers joy to all. A great piece of home listening electronica.

Download for free on The Artist Union: theartistunion.com/tracks/23d879