"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"
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Monday, 31 December 2007

Music for One Computer


I'd argue that Coldcut's awesome remix of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians is as close as anyone's come to the fusion of Tony Allen & Reich that Eno once said inspired him to make music (apologies if I've cited that comment before...). It's a few years' old now, of course (remix released back in 1999, original from 1976), but still sounds fantastically, inspirationally modern to these ears.

That light, dry drum sound, the bass squelch & boom it offsets, the shimmering grace & build of Coldcut's pacing of the piece, the way its assuredness persuades you that glitchy electronica is Reich's rightful heir: eight years on, it seems more of a masterpiece than ever.

I considered also posting the original in its full 1-hour glory. But it's 80MB, so instead here's 12 great minutes from the world premiere of M18M (think Reich was giving this away during his recent 70th birthday celebrations).

Anyway, the Coldcut comes from an often excellent double CD of Reich remixes (originally one but expanded last year with four more mixes, including a 'Ruoho Ruotsi's Pulse Section Dub Remix' of M18M that I've not heard; buy here or here) by a bunch of interesting late 90s DJ/electronica types (Andrea Parker, DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, Howie B, Takemura, etc).

Here's Reich enthusing about the project (& showing real magnanimity over The Orb's thieving an uncleared Electric Counterpoint sample in Little Fluffy Clouds). Love his comment on his non-classical appreciators: "I think it's wonderful, and it's a kind of poetic justice", as well as the observation about 10/8 time...

& here he is on Coldcut's contribution, which is clearly one of the all-time peaks of their 20 years as sample meisters & taste creators (up there with Say Kids What Time Is It?, Beats & Pieces, the Journeys By DJ megamix & the Paid in Full remix):

bn: What did you think of Coldcut's take on "Music for 18 Musicians"?

SR: I was completely knocked out by it. Their own title -- and it's too bad we didn't use it -- was "Music for One Computer." It's very straightforward: "Here's 'Music for 18 Musicians' done our way."

Here's hoping 2008 brings more music as memorable as this...

Happy New Year from LMYE!

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Sunday, 23 December 2007

Tasty

Clark is offering a sampler from an imminent new album, Turning Dragon, here. Can't say I was overwhelmed by the supposedly 'ravier' new sound of the new EP, Throttle Promoter, but his stuff is usually excellent & always interesting - so check it out :-)

I'll post an example of prime Clark one of these days...

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Life post-Triosk

Adrian Klumpes has a new post-Triosk outfit: OJCS. News here.

This isn't his first dalliance outside the now lamented trio, as you can see here. Looking forward to that duo album...

Note that you can also hear a new-ish piece with Cameron Deyell, Ado & Cam in the lab (described as "an edit from a fun session"), at his home/MySpace page (they're the same): here or here.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Future masterpiece

It doesn't seem too popular a view now, but eventually 2005's Another Day on Earth will be seen as one of Eno's masterpieces - in its staggeringly contemporary way, the equal of another magnificent Another: Another Green World.

Of course, it's not flawless. But in tracks like This, Bottomliners, Bonebomb, Passing Over & the title piece I hear an intelligence & a richness & range that 2-1/2 years on I'm still delighting in. I also love its restraint, a kind of mastery of tone & pace exemplified in Passing Over.

Buy it from the man's own online outlet here. & check out the microsite here.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Ondulation

Clearly, Moebius is a legend & Lifetime Achievement Award-winner - for his work in Cluster & Harmonium, his collaborations with Eno & an epic solo career that's still going strong (he & Roedelius were touring as Cluster just this autumn, I'm mortified to discover from his site...).

Anyway, see a good overview of the great man's output at All Music Guide & check out the satisfyingly throbbing, echoey, spacey Ondulation from 1999's Blotch (buy here).

Friday, 30 November 2007

Not classical

Tim Hecker has been one of my key discoveries of this year. Baffling that it took me so long, but I now see his stuff as some of the most profound, beautiful, mysterious & moving music I know. It's not classical, but it's beatless & pretty abstract. & completely mesmerising.

Best of all is the 2003 masterpiece Radio Amor (read some smart listener reviews - passing over AMG's observation that "The sonic palette Hecker draws from here is strikingly reminiscent of his previous work", as the rest of their piece is decent - & buy here).

Listen to I'm Transmitting Tonight for a taste. But you need to listen to the whole thing to really experience the massive emotional weight Hecker gets out of his material...

&, of course, check out the other albums, including last year's Harmony in Ultraviolet, this year's Norberg & the older Haunt Me, Mirages & My Love is Rotten to the Core: all well worth your time & money (good jumping off point here).

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Spin-off/sister

Usually, I like Tarwater a lot less than their spin-off/sister To Rococo Rot. Their music is often pretty interesting, as might be expected, but the lugubrious, Teutonic-speak vocals really don't do much for me.

A Tarwater instrumental would solve that problem, though. & while they seem pretty rare, one is the wonderfully atmospheric, spidery, twanging Yeah! (which has some chanting by way of a chorus, but none of the post-Nico vocalising).

It comes from the 2005 album The Needle Was Travelling (buy here) on morr music.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Computer Centre

New music from Rechenzentrum is always good news. & last month's Silence is no exception - tracks like Paradox, Free From Care & Expeditition Existenz are up there with the best work by this Berlin duo (think that's what & where they are, anyway...).

To hear how good they can be, despite a name that translates as 'Computer Centre' (according to Babel Fish), check out the chugging, swirling, beautifully textured & paced Vertikal from their John Peel Session (2001).

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Clicks, washes, squawks, riffs & twangs

I love Kammerflimmer's assurance, their confidence that what jazzy drum 'n' bass really needs is their highly idiosyncratic mixture of clicks, washes, squawks, riffs & twangs over the top of it.

They're right, of course. For proof, take a listen to Lichterloh from 2005's brilliant Absencen (buy here)...

Friday, 16 November 2007

Frail As Breath

You wouldn't call it easy listening, but Mark Templeton's stuff has a rich beauty in its drones & textures & layers that I find quite moving. It seems to have the same emotional impact - on me, at least - as fellow Canadian Tim Hecker (though the assumption that they're connected by nationality is probably not worth exploring - suspect they live in different parts of the country & could even be sworn enemies for all I know :-)

Anyway, try Not Alone Anymore from his 2005 Frail As Breath, which I seem to remember he gives away somewhere online; I'll update this if I track it down again. UPDATE: I half-remembered right - he provides a couple of tracks from FAB, as well as some other goodies, here, & more at music.download.com

Of course, you could (& should) also be less cheap & pay for this year's excellent Standing on a Hummingbird album here...

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Step on the night bus

Last week saw the release of the second album by reclusive dubstep producer Burial. The addition of vocals to the tracks on new album Untrue lends a yearning quality to the minimalist dubstep beat that makes this one of the releases of the year so far. Listen to this short ambient piece from the first album evoking the comforting bleakness of a rainswept street and aptly entitled Night Bus.

Buy the new album here or here

Monday, 29 October 2007

A Paler Shade of White

Couldn't get an interesting (though also wrong & a bit dubious in parts) New Yorker blog on "How indie rock lost its soul" to appear in our 'Worth Reading' section, so read it here.

For what it's worth, I hear lots of black influence - thankfully - in much of what LMYE deals in (naturally enough, since you could define that space, as Eno said somewhere about his original inspirations, as music with Steve Reich & Tony Allen as its main forebears).

Sure, "the lassitude and monotony that so many indie acts seem to confuse with authenticity and significance" is & long has been a recognisable side of the indie rock world. But there's plenty else around outside the mainstream, thank God (hasn't the author ever heard of electronica, IDM, post-rock?).

&, rightly, black musicians wouldn't thank you for the assumption that the indie ethos isn't available to them because of the piece's banal reduction that indie = white.

More importantly, terms like 'segregation' & 'miscegenation' don't need throwing around so lightly - there's a bit more at stake than whether Arcade Fire should loosen up & feel the funk...

Friday, 5 October 2007

Resistance is futile...

Tortoise & Spring Heel Jack in one 15-minute extravaganza (Reference resistance gate)? What's not to like?!

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Something for September...

If the idea of three German lap-toppers collaborating on improvised music sounds like your idea of an inner circle of Dante's Inferno, think again. There may be chin-stroking, there may be over-earnest philosophising in the background & there may be a very dodgy title. But September Collective's All the Birds Were Anarchists is a delight - pretty but not cute, alive with ideas & noises, rich in mood & clicky, shuffling texture. So check it out & buy a copy for a friend.

Try the lovely Das Meer.

Good review by eMusic here, by the way...

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Thirtysixtwentyfive

Having had Adem & Fridge, it'd be downright rude not to complete the set with something of Kieran's. Try his delicious Thirtysixtwentyfive...

Now get out & buy some Four Tet, or the collaboration with Steve Reid, or the great new Fridge (or the pretty damn great older Fridge). Thank you.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Adem - mmmmm

Something suitably titled to get myself going here - Adem's lovely, clunky yet prettily harmonic 'Launch Yourself'.

I know very little about Adem. But I suspect him of being part - a short-haired intense bass-twanging part rather than a wild-haired Kieran Hebden intense part - of the Fridge/Four Tet Putney massive. There's somewhat more at www.adem.tv & probably on myspace too...

Anyway, LY is from last year's 'Love And Other Planets', which you should obviously buy. Immediately.
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