ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Oct. 17th, 2016 05:38 pm)
This weekend, I went to two very different concerts.

Friday night: Joseph Edgar at Cabaret La Basoche in Gatineau (Aylmer). He's an Acadian rock singer-songwriter, performing mainly in French; [ profile] soul_diaspora was the impetus for going to that one. It was a fun and energetic show; he's at that point of his career where he's getting a bit of airplay, but he's still humble and a bit overwhelmed at having sold-out shows a long way from home, even in such a small and intimate venue as that (about 120 audience). His accent lends a distinctive character to his singing, and carries his emotiveness well. He was backed up by a solid band, notably a drummer/bassist/singer who could do all three of those things at once. Our tablemates had come down from Montreal, in a rare reversal: usually, folks from here go there to catch the good music, especially in the case of francophone performers.

Saturday afternoon: Angela Hewitt (piano), with three significant talents from the NAC Orchestra, Yosuke Kawasaki (violin), David Marks (viola), and Rachel Mercer (cello), at the National Gallery. These afternoon concerts are a great opportunity to hear some less well-known classical music in a casual setting. The first piece was Three Romances (Op. 22) by Clara Schumann, a woman of considerable talents as both a composer and performer. Next was Beethoven's Serenade in D major (Op. 8), of which the fourth movement (Adagio--Scherzo) was my favorite of the concert; the following movement (Allegretto alla polacca) is fun too. After the intermission came Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet in E♭ major (Op. 47), which was the most integrated of the three works; rather than liking this or that movement, it was the whole piece which appealed. Ensemble performances are fun to watch, as the performers collaborate as equals rather than following the direction of a conductor, subtly riffing off each other in much the same spirit as musicians in less structured forms do more overtly.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Sep. 21st, 2015 04:03 pm)
Anyone interested in coming to hear Stewart Copeland and Jon Kimura Parker play some crazy modern stuff? This is a concert arranged by Ottawa Chamberfest, but not during the usual festival period. I'm very fond of Parker's warm and energetic performances; I've seen him previously at the NAC, and look forward to a different perspective on him. Stewart Copeland is indeed that Stewart Copeland, the former drummer for The Police. There are a few other folks who will fill out the combo; this promises to be somewhere between a classical and a jazz concert. Tix $47 + etc.
ironphoenix: (slicktory)
( Aug. 1st, 2015 10:26 am)
Nufonia Must Fall was a weird and wonderful show: it was in fact a sci-fi movie, being created live on stage. There's a matinee at 3 today, so you can experience it for yourself. I don't know whether he's going to come out after and spin tunes in the lobby, as he did last night, but he might. Kid Koala spinning "Moon River" at midnight in a high school lobby as part of a chamber music festival is pretty far out!

One thing that struck me was that most of the audience was around my age and up, with lots of non-mainstream folks in evidence; nobody I knew, though. I did, however, see a fox dart out of the parking lot and across a road as I headed back to my car, rounding out a remarkably wacky night at the end of a really hectic week.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Oct. 12th, 2013 01:56 pm)
This may be a bit late for the more connected among you, but anyway, a couple of somewhat new things that I ran across:

The Fox plus Gangnam Style gives this mashup... earworm2, anyone?

Also, I ran across Arcade Fire's Reflektor on the radio and liked that too.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Sep. 15th, 2012 07:13 pm)
Another post got me thinking about minimalist electronica, and how it can be quite haunting.

Here are a couple of good tracks to give you the feel of it:
Solvent City--A Panel of Experts (The Lowfish remix gives it a darker tone)
Tycho--Send and Receive

Also, much of the music from Machinarium (free demo, highly recommended) falls into this category.

Some people call it "intelligent dance music" (IDM), which doesn't seem to fit it well. That label also gets applied to stuff like Ulrich Schnauss' work (for example, Knuddelmaus, which starts off quite minimalist but layers as it goes), which I find much more full-textured, and quite distinct.

Anyway, it's a little corner of the music world that doesn't get a lot of attention, so I figured I'd shine a somewhat flickery, yellowish spotlight on it. Some of you may be interested, or have related stuff to share back at me!
ironphoenix: (slicktory)
( Aug. 15th, 2012 11:49 am)
Gotye's song Somebody that I Used to Know has spawned innumerable covers, one of which I posted about a while back. Rather than exploding in litigation, Gotye has instead made a mashup of covers, which I think is an awesome response and thank-you to the fans.
ironphoenix: (demon)
( Mar. 15th, 2012 08:22 pm)
J'ai entendu ceci à la radio hier soir... trop drôle, et trop catchy!

Translation for the non-Francos: I heard this on the radio last night... too catchy! The track is titled "Roll Your Pennies" and is a pretty good parody of the hip-hop obsession with money; catchy, too!

5:27 video, worth fullscreening, and having the misic audible for.
A recent psychology paper suggests that musical preferences can be broken down in general terms into five factors, termed by the authors "Mellow", "Unpretentious", "Sophisticated", "Intense", and "Contemporary" (named that way to generate the acronym MUSIC). It's an interesting way of looking at music for a DJ... what do you think?

What do you believe your preferences are? Mine probably run C-M-I-S-U, but it would be interesting to try the study.

Article ganked from [ profile] siderea!
Robert Tiso: Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, played on glass harp.

Beautiful, and impressive.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:23 pm)
[ profile] gabriel_le and [ profile] zenten got me started... enjoy!

Stayin' Alive in the Wall: The Bee Gees vs. Pink Floyd

Thunder Busters: Ghostbusters vs. AC/DC

Enter You: Metallica vs. Bryan Adams

Crazy Little Thing Called Rehab: Amy Winehouse vs. Queen

Umbrella in the Rain (my title): Rhianna vs. Gene Kelly, as done by Glee

Black is Back: Public Enemy vs. AC/DC (Run DMC style!)

Never Giving up Teen Spirit (my title): Nirvana vs. Rick Astley
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Dec. 5th, 2010 11:13 pm)
CD Baby has interesting and rare music... take a look sometime!

This is basically a self-wishlist post, for my own future reference (gift money has to go somewhere!), and for the interest of anyone following my music tastes (not rank-ordered):
Cut for your non-reading protection )
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Oct. 15th, 2010 04:50 pm)
Moby: Wait for Me. I think this is Moby's best album since Play, which was the real blossoming of the blues- and gospel-based electronic ambient stuff he's best known for. Wait for Me is a return to the mood of his pre-Play work, but richer and deeper. He set out to make a beautiful album, and I think he's succeeded: this is powerfully affecting stuff.
Ganked from [ profile] frenchzie, 4 different videos for one song: Daft Punk's Harder Better Faster Stronger. Videos are technically work-safe.

Key: #1 is hands only (watch this one first or last), #2 is the girls, #3 is the guys, and #4 is a solo guy. All 4 are awesome, but watching them back-to-back may get you earwormed and/or rather sick of the song.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Aug. 19th, 2010 05:11 pm)
Richard Durand--In Search of Sunrise 8: South Africa: This is a fairly mellow progressive trance mix. It's the first In Search of Sunrise mix compilation not to be produced by Tiësto, who has parted ways with Songbird Records. Durand picks up nicely with a related, but clearly different, flavor. This mix feels significantly less club-oriented than the earlier releases in the series, except for maybe a few tracks around track 10 of CD2. There are lots of pianos, vocals, and strings throughout, and less untz than in most trance sets. The closest mix that comes to mind is CD1 of Armin van Buuren's A State of Trance 2006 compilation. An interesting highlight is Ben Preston's track "Pillars of the Earth", which riffs on a passage from the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, played with a swing. Yes, it's odd... it seems to work, though. Durand is a DJ to watch: he's new, and has something new and different to offer in a world where the few superstars have far too many imitators.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Aug. 9th, 2010 01:19 pm)
Groove Armada--Black Light: Much less hip-hop and house flavored than their previous releases, this is electropop/electro-rock, with maybe some New Wave flavors. I can easily imagine hearing some of this on Live 88.5 in Ottawa, for example. It's the most mainstream-sounding of the CD's I bought last week, but it probably won't get much attention because of the pigeonhole a lot of folks have put GA in.

They deliberately let their darker side out in this album; previous releases have been more laid-back and/or party-orieted. There's a moodiness that comes through overall; there seems to be some hurt and anger behind some of this stuff. It's not my usual flavor, but it's well-done stuff.

There are a lot of collaborative bits on here, as they work with other musicians, most notably Brian Ferry, who has done a lot of neat collaborations over the years. As a result, the sound varies quite a bit over the album, as it does on their other albums. Even though it was the disk I hesitated most about buying, I'm happy I did, and it seems to have grown on me well.
ironphoenix: (blast of happy)
( Aug. 1st, 2010 02:18 pm)
Forwarded a while ago from a cow-orker, just now making it to my LJ:

Canadian, Please!

Bouncy and silly... the making of video is cute too.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Aug. 1st, 2010 10:26 am)
Various Artists--Warp20 (Unheard) (2009): This is the most varied and least mainstream disk of the five I bought yesterday.

Tracks range from semi-ambient IDM to D&B styles such as dubstep and "drill and bass" (i.e., less bpm, more complexity), with occasional patches of experimental, and one electropop track ("Sixty Forty" by Broadcast). There's only one real loser track on the disk (in my not-really-very-humble-at-all opinion): "Elecktroids Bonus Circuit" by Elecktroids is a tediously repetitive, dry riff on a drab theme. Fortunately, the rest ranges from really quite good to excellent. The other artists represented (the ones that don't suck) are: Boards of Canada (there's an interesting story behind this name for a Scottish duo!), Plaid, Autechre, Clark, Nightmares on Wax, Flying Lotus, Broadcast, and Seefeel. I have albums from BoC and NoW, and thanks to the format of this disk (all unreleased stuff), there is no overlap at all with other CD's, which is also a nice plus for me when I buy a compilation.

Warp Records has been around in this genre for a looooong time, and hasn't lost its underground feel. According to Wikipedia, their first release (in 1989) was "financed by an Enterprise Allowance grant and distributed in a borrowed car"; it doesn't get much more underground and indie than that!

The cover art is also interesting: it may well be a shout out to Nick Warren's Back to Mine ambient/chilled mix compilation (the very first album in the Back to Mine series), which I quite like, but which doesn't seem to be that well-known (Wikipedia doesn't even mention his ambient stuff, despite this mix and the ambient mix on CD1 of Global Underground 030: Paris).
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Jul. 31st, 2010 08:36 pm)
I just picked up a few CD's, and listened to the first one all the way through. I haven't been doing this for a while, but I figure I should get back into it...

Gotan Project--Tango 3.0: Wow. The things they do with and to nuevo tango music are just awesome. Incorporating electronics and other non-traditional elements, they preserve tango's essential moods and energy throughout the album. The final track, "Érase Una Vez" ("Once upon a Time"), deserves special mention: from its very first bar, you know it's the last track: nobody says good night like that last slow, bittersweet tango. My favorite track on first listening was probably "La Gloria", but such things sometimes shift around.
ironphoenix: Raven flying (Default)
( Jul. 24th, 2010 11:33 am)
I'd like to go to tomorrow afternoon's concert by the Djokic Duo (piano/violin), at St. Andrew's (82 Kent St.)... anyone with me on that? It's part of the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, so tickets are $25 at the door. The concert starts at 3:00, so to get seats, I plan to arrive around 2:20 or so.
Demo of a clever versatile homemade instrument.

Ganked from
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Jun. 16th, 2010 04:09 pm)
A short, imagined monologue: An Aspiring Club DJ Reluctantly Moves On To Weddings.
I wanted to write this down somewhere, since I haven't fooled around much with this before.

I found a way to transform a beat in realtime using my CD players. Basically, by using a single cue point and looping it manually, I could turn this:

4   8-8-8-8 4   | 4   8-8-8-8 4   :||

into this:

4   8-4   8-8-8 | 4   8-4   8-8-8 :||

(4's are quarter-notes, 8's are eighth-notes, bold is a big drum, underline is the kick, plain text is a smaller somewhat snare-like drum, and italics is a kind of screech)

Clearly, I will have to fool around with this kind of thing more... it can make for very neat live DJ tricks. The latter sounds a lot like the original track, but doesn't feel like it, so it can make a fun intro to get people wondering, "what is that?" It could also be used as a building block in a remix or a new track.

It's old news to the real pros of course, but I'm exploring this stuff on my own, so it's new to me.

(Btw, the original track is the Fatboy Slim mix of Groove Armada's "I see you baby", perhaps best known for the lyric which follows after the title: "--shakin' that ass, shakin' that ass, shakin' that ass!")
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Aug. 6th, 2009 09:38 pm)
I'm considering a trip to Montreal: Armin van Buuren is playing at Sensation on 5-6 September.

Anyone else interested?
Ganked from [ profile] siderea, this one goes out to [ profile] soul_diaspora and all the other geek girls in the audience, and to everyone who knew [ profile] bwanageek!

Also, This one from Bobby McFerrin is a quite different music-geek connection, ganked from [ profile] metahacker.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Nov. 1st, 2008 10:23 pm)
Imogen Heap--Hide and Seek.

Solo voice and harmonizer... much, much sparser than what I usually listen to!

I first encountered it as Tiësto's In Search of Sunrise Remix, which is very nice as a trance remix, but the original is gripping. It came up on's Lush internet radio station.

According to the Wikipedia article, it's been used fairly often on T.V., but I wouldn't know, not owning one!
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Sep. 20th, 2008 01:24 pm)
It had been too long since I heard it... DJ Food--The Crow. The moodiness of it, and the use of dissonance (especially in the build starting from 3:45) is really, really striking.

There's a different (and longer) version that uses a vibraphone instead of the horns, but the horns work better for me.

[ profile] gabriel_le, I think you'll like this one.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Aug. 24th, 2008 12:24 pm)
A couple things I'm interested in obtaining, based on tracks heard on internet radio:

DJ Destruction--The Park Street Sessions

I'll likely post things like this semi-regularly, more as notes to myself than as unsubtle hints. Of course, if you have any of the albums I mention, I'd love to borrow them!

Also, a quick poll: is anyone interested in me continuing with my capsule reviews of recently acquired music?
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Aug. 16th, 2008 06:53 pm)
[ profile] soul_diaspora and I have been looking for a good way to listen to internet radio on the main stereo system for a while. Since they're in separate rooms, we want a wireless system, but all the crummy electronics stores had was shitty FM transmitters.

Well, I recently saw some wireless headphones at a store, and did a bit of research. I found all the usual companies (Pioneer, Sony, LogiTech, Sennheiser...) until I searched specifically on latency. I need low latency to be able to use them for DJ'ing, and most don't spec the delay between sound input and sound output. What turned up was a company called Amphony (which I hope is a mashup of "amplifier" and "phono-", and not "am" and "phony"!)... reviews of their headphones are good, and they also have a wireless digital audio link system. Their high-end products are using the 5.8 GHz band, which is currently fairly interference-free.

10 years ago, I was bullish on 5.8 GHz unlicensed ISM (instrumentation-scientific-medical) frequency band technology; in the past couple of years, it's started to hit the market big-time. Next up: the chunk at 24 GHz. This is a bit harder to exploit, but will allow some very cool applications when it does hit. Look for a few high-end products in that band in about 4 years, and mass-market stuff in about 8 to 10 as the 5.8 GHz band gets as crowded as the 2.4 GHz band is just starting to get now.

I should mention that I generally avoid sticking RF transmitters to my head for extended periods of time, although the research I've found suggests that any link between cellular phone use and cancer is tenuous at best; the headphones are, as best I can determine, receive-only, though.

Anyway, I think I've found something for both of our wish lists!
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Aug. 1st, 2008 08:43 pm)
1: I've found most of my aforementioned missing discs, except for Natacha Atlas--Diaspora, which I miss enough to look for another copy of.

2: While my Mackie desk-style mixer is in the shop, I got a Stanton DJ mixer to tide me over, and because it's more compact and portable. It has a crossfader, and I'm discovering just how fun a toy it can be. *flick* *flick* *flicka* *flicka* *flickaflickaflickaflicka* Wheeeee! (Freudian commentary might be superfluous here.)

3: I'd forgotten just how awesome an album Lamb's Between Darkness and Wonder is.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Jul. 24th, 2008 07:57 am)
So I went to a great party Saturday night (when I see the sunrise on my way home, that's a sign I was having fun!), and was (very loosely) spinning some tunes, mostly just letting mix discs run. There will likely be more such parties, and I want to encourage the attendees to request music or bring some for me to play. If you have thoughts on such, replying here is a good way to get them to me; comments are screened, but I'll unscreen things if you say I can.

Below the cut is my list of the CDs I brought with me last might. Things I recall playing are bolded, but I haven't done a tracklist, of course! This list may give you ideas on what you'd like to hear at the next event, or even suggest things you'd like to borrow or buy.
cd list )
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Jul. 19th, 2008 12:39 pm)
I'm missing a few CDs, and am wondering whether any of you might have borrowed them, or might be willing to lend me copies if you own them. The ones I'm currently aware of are:

BT--Movement in Still Life
Natacha Atlas--Diaspora
Sasha & Digweed--Northern Exposure
Sasha & Digweed--Northern Exposure 2: Eastcoast Edition

Please let me know if you have any of these!
ironphoenix: (blast of happy)
( Mar. 26th, 2008 01:24 pm)
And now... The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra!
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Feb. 26th, 2008 10:42 am)
Yes, I am still buying stuff, but not as fast, since I'm buying mostly new. My buddy is still passing me stuff, though, so you'll hear about some of that too in future posts.

Here's the disc I didn't buy (with preview links for the tracks I liked!):

Air--Late Night Tales: Read more... )

The two I bought are rather harder:

Ferry Corsten--L.E.F. (American edition): Read more... )

ATB--The DJ: In The Mix 3: Read more... )
Radio Free Vestibule's Bulbous Bouffant = Awesome.
Cute girls lipsyncing on YouTube = Awesome (well, when it's done right).

The new math:

Awesome + Awesome = Awesome2!
[ profile] gabriel_le, I think you may like these pieces by Rodrigo y Gabriella:
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Feb. 22nd, 2008 02:17 pm)
Smoke on the Water as you probably have never heard it before.
...from my good buddy DJ Neuron, who hands me things in exchange for passing things his way:

Various--Impulsive! Revolutionary Jazz Reworked: Read more... )

Various--bargrooves: cosmopolitan: Read more... )
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Jan. 26th, 2008 11:53 am)
This may be my last batch for a while, I fear: my favorite used CD store is closing.

Hexstatic--Master-View: Read more... )

Various artists--Behind the Eye vol. II: Read more... )

Alias & Tarsier--Plane that Draws a White Line: Read more... )

Pet Shop Boys--Disco Four: Read more... )

n-trance--electronic pleasure: Read more... )

Yello--You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess: Read more... )

Various artists--Breakfast Club Paris: Read more... )

Deep Forest--Music Detected: Read more... )

Purple Penguin--Question: Read more... )

Le Duc--célébration: Read more... )

Jeff Grenier--Soul Submission: Read more... )
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Aug. 27th, 2007 11:53 am)
Lots of stuff! (There was a sale, and, well...) So, in chronological order by year of release:
  • Banco de Gaia--Maya (1994): Read more... )
  • lamb--lamb (1996): Read more... )
  • Hooverphonic--"a new stereophonic sound spectacular" (1996): Read more... )
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra--Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996): Read more... )
  • alëem--sound season (1997): Read more... )
  • (Various Artists)--A Journey into Ambient Groove 4 (1997): Read more... )
  • Olive--Extra Virgin (1997): Read more... )
  • Hooverphonic--Blue Wonder Power Milk (1998): Read more... )
  • Jesse Cook--free fall (2000): Read more... )
  • Hooverphonic--Hooverphonic presents Jackie Cane (2002): Read more... )
  • Hatiras--Arrival (2002): Read more... )
  • DJ Tiësto--In Search of Sunrise 3: Panama (2002): Read more... )
  • (Various Artists)--Saint-Germain-des-Prés Café III: the finest electro-jazz compilation (2003): Read more... )
  • BT--Emotional Technology (2003): Read more... )
  • (Various Artists)--DJ Pogo presents the Best of Pulp Fusion (2003): Read more... )
  • Mocean Worker--Enter the MoWo! (2004): Read more... )
  • Wax Tailor--Tales of the Forgotten Melodies (2005): Read more... )
It occurs to me that you might wonder how come most of my reviews are so positive, so I should mention how I find this stuff: I go to a used CD store where they know me pretty well, root through several sections for new and appealing stuff (principally, but not only, the electronica bin), and come up to the counter with a stack of discs, which they then kindly let me listen to. By "new," I mean discs that they've recently acquired, not necessarily recent releases, as you can likely tell from the release dates above! Of those, I buy about 1 in 4, depending on the day. This post reflects two unusually productive expeditions.

Thinking about it, it would probably be more interesting to read about the discs I don't buy, and my reasons for nixing them. Maybe I'll take notes next time, and see whether I can write anything about them too.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Jul. 13th, 2007 01:44 pm)
As promised long ago...
ironphoenix: (gear)
( Jun. 23rd, 2007 10:20 am)
From [ profile] theweaselking: 1812 Overture (slight static)
Please contact your representatives in support of Bill HR 2060: Internet Radio Equality Act!

It's already way too hard to find good music out there; the RIAA goons just keep trying to make less music available for more money, and I'm in favor of cutting off that agenda wherever possible.
ironphoenix: (tunez)
( Mar. 13th, 2007 12:05 pm)
I've had these for a little while, but haven't posted about them yet. (Remember what I said about being busy?)

By the way, the reason I so seldom write negative reviews is that I generally sample somewhere between 2 and 10 CD's at the store for each one I buy, and only write about the ones I buy. The ones I don't, I don't generally remember enough to write up.
  • Tiga & Ajax--InTheMix.05: Two mixed CDs of techno, rave, house, and dance. This has somewhat of an old-school sound, remniscent of late 80's synthpop, hiphop and house, even though it's a quite recent set. Some folks are calling this genre as "electroclash"; we'll see if the label sticks. My main problem with it is that I think I should be in a warehouse somewhere on the outskirts of Montréal at 4 AM instead of in a fluo-lit office in Kanatonia.
  • Stereo MC's--Deep Down & Dirty: British hip hop or house, with as gritty a sound as the album title suggests. [ profile] ms_danson liked it when it was playing last week before the RPG session, and I'll admit to having tossed it on with her in mind. If I was in a warehouse with the previous discs, this one has me outside in the industrial wastelands around it.
  • Hybrid--Y4K: A trance mix CD from one of my favorite groups in that genre. Great music, of course, plus a couple of titles that stand out independent of the actual music: Hi-Fi Bugs' "The Knife Drawer" (Ryeland Allison Edit), and Lee Burridge & Andy Page's "Why Are All The Pretty Ones Insane?" Moving uptown from the previous disc, now we're in a club that affects industrial chic, but actually has a license.
  • Dirty Vegas--(self-titled): More Brit house, not quite as gritty as the Stereo MC's, particularly in the vocals and the production. Still credible, and there's more good stuff on the album than just the number 1 single, "Days Go By." Still at the same club, but definitely afterhours now.
  • One Dove--morning dove white: Surprise surprise, a trip hop disc (well, you knew I had to have one!). Some of this got onto the radio, though: you may have heard the radio mixes of "white love" or "breakdown". As a result, they sometimes get classed as dance or synthpop, but I find their stuff a bit too downtempo for that designation. They've been compared to Saint Etienne, and I think it pretty much fits, except that One Dove come across a little darker. I guess I'm back in my living room now...
ironphoenix: Raven flying (cd)
( Feb. 15th, 2007 11:44 am)
A sizeable crop...
  • New Order--Crystal: A CD single, with 3 tracks: the original mix of "Crystal," the B-side "Behind Closed Doors," and Digweed & Muir's 'Bedrock' mix edit of "Crystal." "Crystal" is the kind of thing N.O. does best, electro dance/rock, and the remix is an excellent dancefloor trance track that will probably show up the next time I'm playing that kind of music. "Behind Closed Doors" is darker, as the title suggests; I didn't like it much on first hearing, but it seems to be growing on me.
  • Menomena--Under an Hour: Just three tracks again, but great big ones, between 17 and 19 minutes each. This is hard to classify: electronica, abstract but not really ambient or even jazzy. Even calling it electronica may be a stretch, given that they use unsynthesized instruments quite a bit. Maybe it's what Philip Glass would have written if he had grown up on rock and electronica? Anyway, it's affecting, evoking nameless but wistful images and emotions.
  • Ensemble Anonymous (dir. Claude Bernatchez)--Llibre Vermell: Medieval music from the "Vermillion Book" auof the title, these pilgrim songs are mostly done with period instruments here. The overall sound is quite spiritual, unsurprisingly given the subject matter and the recording location, Église Saint-Dominique in Québec City. Many tracks start with an instrumental introduction from one work and then segue into another one of the pieces from the book. I find that the Arabian influences (remember those Moors!) blend well, albeit a bit oddly, with the Latin.
  • UNKLE--WWIII: An UNKLE Soundscape DJ Mix: Well, I can't start from the liner notes: there aren't any. This is probably a bootleg, although online information about the set is contradictory. Dark, thick, scratchy, distorted rockin' techno, with many tracks also featured on Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats and James Lavelle's Global Underground mixes. If you've heard Queens of the Stone Age's No One Knows, you'll have some idea of the sound of their source material.
  • Björk--Violently Happy: This peculiar Icelandic singer's album Debut was one of my favorites from the whole 90's decade. The remixes on this single bring the track onto the dancefloor, where it fits well thematically: the song is, after all, about uncontainable ecstatic emotion.
  • Beat Pharmacy--Earthly Delights: Electronica again, edging towards acid jazz. More upbeat than the Menomena disc above, but still pretty abstract. Dub influences show up in several tracks, the most notable being "afrotech," which also has West African flavours rolled in. The tracks are probably too heavily looped for just listening straight through, but it's got enough going on that it would make excellent atmospheric music for a tropical-styled lounge. Excerpts could also be very effective, mixed in the right places.
  • Basement Jaxx--Remedy: The album that preceded Rooty, for which Jaxx are best known. This is funked-up house with lots of looping and original vocal lines. Several little interludes separate the meatier tracks, and provide good links. This concern for flow isn't surprising: before recording this album, Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe ran a regular club night in Brixton for 5 years. Big, dense sound, with lots of layering and reverby effects. I wouldn't use most of it as background music, except for the interludes and maybe one other track; keep it for something Happening.
  • (Various Artists)--retro remixed 2: Rare & Refashioned: A mixed bag, in both senses. The extended version of David Bowie vs. David Guetta's "Just for One Day (Heroes)" is execrable; the trancey remixes of Duran Duran's "The Reflex" (Come As You Are Mix) and Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy" (Roger Sanchez Radio Edit) are excellent. Lots of 80's classics redone in ways you haven't heard, and a few less well-known tracks (do you remember Fuzzbox's "International Rescue"?). But come on, a techno remix of Falco's "Der Kommissar" (Jason Nevins Time Warp Blaster Mix)? You can't pass that up!
  • (Various Artists)--retro:active 3: Rare & Remixed: Mostly new wave and synthpop tracks with a light hand on the remixing: these are extended versions (damn useful for DJing!) rather than full-on remixes. Most of the original songs are 3-minute 80's pop hits, edited here into 5- to 7-minute tracks, which can get a little old if one is listening to them "straight up," since there is only so much material to work with. There's some rare and good stuff on here, like the DMC mix of Duran Duran's "Save a Prayer." It's cool stuff for me, but I wouldn't recommend it for non-DJs unless they're pretty heavy-duty 80's nuts.
ironphoenix: Raven flying (cd)
( Jan. 23rd, 2007 02:24 pm)
Okay, original content. At least a little bit.
  • Various Artists--rU receiving: A mix CD from 1997, this has a distinct direction as it evolves, starting in the Portishead and ending in the Prodigy. In other words, it gains speed and energy as it goes, although it's never really ambient. [ profile] ms_danson might well like this one, especially once it really picks up the pace. There are some classics on here, but thankfully not all of them are in the over-anthologized versions: for example, The Orb's Toxygene shows up, but instead of the usual version, this is the Way Out West Begbe mix. (Did they mean Begbie from Trainspotting, Begbe, the "populated place" in Togo, the Begbe police station in Papua New Guinea, or something else, I wonder?) Darkish, overall, but energetic.
  • DJ Sammy--The Rise: Straight-up dance/trance with a very hopeful, optimistic feel. Of note is the track Rise Again, which is the theme from the movie It's All Gone Pete Tong that didn't show up on the soundtrack CD set. Lots of that female vocal thing going on throughout, à la classic late 90's trance, even though this is a 2005 disc. I think my favorite track may be Time Will Show, for all that it might be considered a bit hokey by the "in" crowd.
  • Sharam--Global Underground 29: Dubai: If the last disc was too candy for u, this is the antidote. Sharam is one half of Deep Dish, whose sets have a very solid, dark sound. This and the following GU release are chances for the two members (the other one is Dubfire) to do their own thing entirely, and this CD set takes us to the United Arab Emirates, a very modernist Arab country, from all accounts. The selection of tracks is eclectic and original, completely cheese-free: I don't think I have a single track out of the 27 anywhere else.


ironphoenix: Raven flying (Default)


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