Detroit techno legend Carl Craig joined forces with Green Velvet to drop a surprise collection of hard-edged tech-house dance tunes last week. As a gigantic fan of Mr. Craig who’s unfamiliar with the latter, I couldn’t have been more curious.
It doesn’t attempt the timeless artistry and elegance of Craig’s best work, instead aiming for something more directly club oriented. Set your frontal lobe on autopilot and let your hair blow back? This unassuming, low-stakes set is built, as far as I’m concerned, for invigorating night drives and house parties.
“From the outer reaches of the galaxy come two captains from two worlds—worlds that hold traditions which shape the branial particles and molecules of the munchkins, who will and have come to dominate the not-so-distant future with multiple galaxies and intercosmic cosmo cities,” states a voiceover intro on the first track. I don’t know what all that galactic imagery is supposed to mean, but this out-of-nowhere collaboration is at least worth a try.
Here’s an admission: shoegaze is still one of my favorite genres. The gauzy dream-sound of guitars blurred into pure haze.. it’s never left that soft, nostalgic center of my brain. Effects pedals, ghosted vocals, and a sort of spectral swagger will always their place in my heart.
Today I listened to Slowdive‘s monumental second album, Souvlaki, and it all came flooding back. I got those old familiar chills right in the middle:
Here She Comes is the simplest, most direct song on the album. The impressionistic lyrics are just dark and weird enough to not seem juvenile; combined with the melodic cloud of hand drums and reverb-laden guitar, they form a surreal love poem.
It’s so lonely in this place
So cold I don’t believe
And as no-one knows my name
It’s easy to pretend
It’s easy to believe
There’s a shadow on my wall
It dances like my soul
Dances like my soul
It’s so cold now
I swear it will be warm
Here she come now
Since the band recently reformed, I’m hoping for at least one chance to see Slowdive perform in this lifetime.
Someone was kind enough to upload the entire Souvlaki album on youtube, so give it a listen if you don’t already own it. As one of the best albums of the 90s, and easily one of two or three crowning achievements of the shoegaze genre, it’d be a damn shame to miss out on this experience. Buy the album for less than $10, if you’re interested. Or listen first below.
There’s a shadow on my wall / It dances like my soul