The Durutti Column – Trust The Art Not The Artist

A few months ago I really wanted to share this incredible song with you and found, to little surprise, that it was streaming exactly nowhere on the internet. So I put my copy on youtube because everyone deserves to experience this distilled observation of profound humane love.

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Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin – Uptown Psychedelia

I forgot to share this immediately after my first listen.  I really should have.

Tim Hecker is widely acknowledged as a master of his own blend of melodic drone (whom I’ve shamefully never written in depth about) while Daniel Lopatin is better known as Oneohtrix Point Never, hands down one of my favorite artists working today.  The fact that he’s collaborating with Hecker has, to put it mildly, assuaged my fears about Lopatin’s distinct lack of a new LP this year.

It’s late and I’m tired and I don’t know what to say.  If you like either of these artists, you will certainly enjoy this song.  Let’s hope the full album is just as good.

[I’m not seeing it yet but the release should be here for preorder soon.]

Kenji Kawai – Ghost In The Shell

I was aimlessly browsing and came upon the Ghost In The Shell original score on CD. Loving the film, though having not seen it in years, I knew it would at least conjure some nostalgia for a time long gone. Nostalgia is achieved within 5 seconds of the opening track. Beyond that, it gets very interesting.

About that opener: anyone who’s seen the film will be instantly transported to the iconic fembot creation opening credits sequence. To a teenage boy in 1996 this was both erotic and confusing, setting up my expectations for something which never appears. Instead what unfolds is an enigmatic film sprouting questions about consciousness, mortality, empathy, identity and where we’re headed as a culture. The film’s outlook is as dystopian as its ending is optimistic. The cinematography and art direction sit at the zenith of hand drawn animation (and yes I know primitive CGI was employed as well). The music sits at a crossroads between traditional Japanese, Hollywood classical, and minimalist synth pads echoing classics like Blade Runner and anything Tangerine Dream in the 80’s.

With my tastes light years removed from whatever I was into at age 14 (remember, this was before the internet made jaded cynics out of preteens bored with Boris and Nico) I find myself slipping into boldly embracing waters with the score by Kenji Kawai (川井憲次). I love the abstract synth sculptures of Oneohtrix Point Never, the warm tones of Brian Eno, the quickening thunder of Taiko and choral flights into pure ambient bliss. I love when an epic orchestral swell dissolves into liquid neon pools, spiking the hair on my neck. I love when an alien sound cloud whisks my conscious mind away, toward nothingness and enlightenment, and peace.

This is one of my favorite scenes of the film. There is no dialogue. Almost nothing happens, but it’s the moment when the initial rush of plot subsides and the viewer truly slips beneath the surface. It is pure hypnosis.

[You can attempt buying this at amazon for an exorbitant price.  Or find it on the internet.]

Interesting Blogs / Blue Crystal Fire

My list of connected blogs should change more frequently, and now is a great time to start.  There are a couple I have in mind, music blogs with vast knowledge and interesting subjects.  I need more.  Not only to spread the word here, but for my own benefit.  I find it easy to slide into routines and some fresh perspective is a necessary punctuation.  So:

What are your favorite music blogs?

Any type: essays, reviews, videos, original material, file sharing, etc.

Please leave a comment and then listen to this absolute stunner from Robbie Basho, Blue Crystal Fire.

This song resides at the center of Visions Of The Country (1978), the only Basho album I have.  Having discovered his music this month I’m not experienced enough to convey much more than the notion that this is an essential listen for fans of guitar music and/or incredible voices.  It is.  I literally cried during my first listen.

Great cover artwork, too!

Thank you for the replies!!

Until The Quiet Comes Comes

Just because.

This has been out over a week and the leak for half that, but tonight, alone, listening to the proper stream on NPR, my excitement is reborn.  There are details, sharp edges and vocal snapshots bursting out at me, entire stretches brimming with instrumentation I haven’t noticed.  I listened to the leak ten times and haven’t heard the album like this.  My thought confirmed:  the vinyl leak is muffled, distant and compressed sounding.  Everything’s in there, buried then rendered in high fidelity.  I kept wanting to lean inward and focus on the elements I knew were inside.  It’s a treat to know that what I’ll be receiving in a couple weeks is even better than what fans have been going nuts over.

Stream the entire album here:

Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes

[NPR stream]

Thanks, NPR.  Also a question: why can’t your player embed?

Also here is the video for first single Putty Boy Strut.  Regardless of how you feel about this song, remember that with this man’s work, it’s all about context.

[Pre-order the album from Bleep, especially if you want the ridiculous collectors edition like I do.]

Sam Hatzaras – 2007-2012

This is fun and fantastic. Psychedelic, hypnagogic, sampledelic. As I said to a friend yesterday: It’s what I listened to when I was in an Ash Ra Tempel mood. Yet actually, thanks to the external memory I can see that I actually said, “I’m in an Ash Ra Tempel kinda mood but this fits perfectly. Even though it’s more like Avalanches.” So there’s that.

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In Heaven [mixtape]

So I made another mix. Close friends have heard it, and I feel it’s time I shared it here. This was an attempt to capture my outlook right now. Or then, rather. There are distinct first and second halves, and I feel that the latter could be a “healing” side. It’s definitely a warmer, rising sensation. There’s more than that, but the sound is what matters.

It’s called In Heaven.

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