The Thunderclap Year of 2008: Obama and the Electronic Generation

Posted: December 28th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

obamadesk


Top Ten Albums of 2008

Posted: December 28th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Still working on this list, but here’s the tally so far:

1. Benga – Diary of an Afro Warrior

2. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

3. Future Sound of London – Environments II

4. The Black Dog – Radio Scarecrow

5. M.A.N.D.Y. – Fabric 38 (mix)

6. Flying Lotus – Los Angeles

7. Baldelli & Dionigi – “Cosmic Disco?! Cosmic Rock!!!” (mix)

8. Hardfloor – Tales of the Unexpected 3 (mix)

9. Underworld – I Love Techno, live in Gent, Belgium

10. Leila – Blood, Looms and Blooms

*HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Justus Kohncke – Safe and Sound
Future Sound of London – Environments I
B12 – The Last Days of Silence
Osborne – Osborne
Wighnomy Brothers – Metawuffmischfelge
Cobblestone Jazz – 23 Seconds
Portishead – Third
Basic Channel – BCD-2
Autechre – Quaristice
The Orb – The BBC Sessions, 1989-2001
Santogold – Santogold
Stanton Warriors – Stanton Sessions, Vol. 3
Various Artists – Pop Ambient 2008


From the Archives: Leftfield's 'Rhythm and Stealth'

Posted: December 13th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Leftfield - Rhythm and Stealth

Rhythm and Stealth is a brooding onslaught of electronic wizardry. From the streetwise raps of Roots Manuva on ‘Dusted,’ to the Afrika Bambaata throwdown of ‘Afrika Shox’ to the spectral beauty of ‘Swords,’ this swansong from one of England’s techno supergroups is still undefeated as the final statement on ’90s electronica.

Unlike Leftism, Leftfield’s popular first album of 1995, 1999′s Rhythm and Stealth was jagged and austere in its first impressions. At it’s core was still Neil Barnes and Paul Daley’s unmistakable blend of thundering techno, dub science, hip hop beats, house rhythms and punk attitude. But their approach was now deeper in its studio precision, more beguiling in its sonic tricks, and in the end far more Detroit than Ibiza. Read the rest of this entry »


Blast from the Past – Amii Stewart's 'Knock on Wood'

Posted: December 6th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

You have to love YouTube for giving us access to the past. Stewart’s video feels wildly psychedelic and fresh today, as I’m sure the video was in its own time. She comes on like a cosmic peacock chugging to the light fantastic.


Yage (F.S.O.L.) – The Woodlands of Old

Posted: December 4th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

yage.jpg

Downright bizarre music courtesy of Future Sound of London’s Brian Dougans. Acoustic electronica is one way to describe it. Freaky is another. Brilliant comes to mind too. The Woodlands of Old seamlessly blends rock psychedelia, world, jazz, and ambience into a vision quest through elemental rain forests and inky streets. Sometimes I wonder if the Future Sound of London have driven right off the cliff, but then you always suspect they are just one step away from another triumph. They always keep you guessing. Whiplash funk like ‘Crow Hushing the Floating Woods’ and ‘The Yage Letters’ suck you right up into their madness with a grin. All that’s missing is more of that acid house joy from ‘Papua New Guinea.’ I can hear those same birds chirping for a new dawn.


Eat Static – Back to Earth

Posted: December 3rd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Eat Static - Back to Earth large 2

Some intriguing stuff from the Eat Static boys on their latest album. Sadly however, it seems one half of the dynamic duo, synth whiz Joie Hinton, has mostly bowed out for the foreseeable future to spend more time with his family. The result is an ecclectic, downbeat mix of tunes further along the lines of remaining member Merv Pepler’s drummatic tastes. Twists and turns are all about with some real gems, especially ‘Valley of the Moon,’ ‘Pearl of Wisdom’ and ‘Lo-Ride Sloucher.’ A few experiments don’t quite work as well, like the cheeky Latin swing of ‘Epoch Calypso’ or the Arabesque ‘Dune Rider.’ In spite of the New Age tendencies though, tracks like bruising groover ‘Up, Periscope’ buggy right along. You can check for yourself and buy single tracks on Beatport.com or buy the album, which features classic Eat Static artwork.


Trancehall? Regarding Guardian's music blog

Posted: December 3rd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Trancehall

The Guardian’s Scene and Heard blog reports on a little phenomenon called ‘trancehall,’ a hybrid of arpeggiated synths and dancehall beatitude. Just discovered John McDonnell’s blog and find his judicious and insightful posts quite on the money. He picked up earlier on another trend he dubbed trance-hop, something most astute listeners picked on but maybe failed to declare within American shores. Cross-pollination between techno and hip hop is always healthy. Just check Benga, Flying Lotus and the like if you don’t believe me.


Orbital reunite, kind of

Posted: December 3rd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Orbital in concert

The Guardian reports that Orbital bros Hartnoll will be performing at the outdoor music festival the Big Chill in 2009. Is it a full-fledged reunion? One wonders what it might spark. They say it’s not an nostalgia thing. “The time just seems right,’ Phil Hartnoll says. “Everything just seemed to fall into place. I’ve played at the Big Chill before, I DJed there and had a really good time – it’s an amazing festival. The timing is also good: 20 years of being together.” Hmmm…