As I listen, I sense some of the same icy grandeur of Eno and Lanois’ earlier ambient gem Apollo and Bowie’s Low; however, technology had moved on from the previous work and the feel is somehow less resonant, less moving. Enjoyable nonetheless (especially the Satie touches) and only a pound from Hythe chaz.
Etienne De Crecy’s ambient house masterpiece Super Discount was one of those game changers for me. And it still holds up. This white label promo of ‘Prix Choc’, featuring different mixes by La Funk Mob and De Crecy himself, is nowhere near as essential, but still makes for lovely chilled listening. The former (‘Ultrabright Mix’) is almost unrecognisable while the latter (‘Ultradark Mix’) relies even more heavily than the Lp version on a Bob Marley sample for its groove. £2 at Pilgrim’s Hospice in Canterbury today.
If this odd Lp, subtitled ‘Tropes for Actor, Renaissance Consort, Chorus and Electronics’, has any precedent, it is John Cage’s Indeterminacy. As with that earlier album, random bursts of strident, prepared electronic racket pepper the proceedings to exhilarating effect. However, Salzman (along with Nonesuch mainstay Joshua Rifkin) takes things further than Cage (who simply intoned laconic, sometimes whimsical, koans and bits of autobiography) by arranging a surreal narrated provocation (by Stacy Keach) to weave in and out of cod madrigals and other Renaissance-style folderol. It’s the kind of thing I love to hear on Radio 3 late Friday and Saturday nights when things get weird. One pound last week in Hythe. Perfick.
Now this is starting to get a bit spooky. No sooner do I purchase Keith LeBlanc’s EDM agitprop, cut-up 12″ of Malcolm X bon mots yesterday for 50p (EX+) at Cats’ Protection in Hythe than the incendiary Civil Rights leader is assassinated, fifty years ago.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X was a firm favorite of my youth, the man was an inspiration (a kind of Rolling Stones to MLK’s Beatles, to be eye-rollingly glib about it) and seemed on the verge of even greater understanding when he was killed, making his loss all the more tragic.
‘No Sell Out’ stands up surprisingly well, yes it’s v. 80s, but it still sounds pretty rich; and, of course, X’s rhetoric is just as thrilling as ever.
Yesterday comes the news that the space ape, aka daddi g, aka Stephen Samuel Gordon has died. The above 10″ was given to me as a birthday present from my friend Nick, late of this parish, and began (along with DMZ’s “Officer”) a half decade immersion in modern electronic music.
I would come home from work at lunch and crank kode9 + the space ape’s single, “Backward” in particualar as a way of clearing the cobwebs, Gordon’s deep apocalyptic and paranoid intonations paradoxically giving me strength to keep going. RIP.
(London) – Social media sites went into world-wide meltdown yesterday with news of a December release date for Radiohead’s ninth studio record. The British band announced on its website that the forthcoming album will be made up of nothing but bonus tracks.
The official press notice read: “Normally when producing an album, we ‘over-record’ and file away those songs we believe aren’t quite ‘up to snuff’ onto b-sides, hidden songs, charity CDs, free downloads, bonus tracks, etc. In the present case, we felt that none of the 22 numbers completed during sessions for our new album were good enough to go on a proper Radiohead release, so we have chosen to append all of them as bonus tracks.” Fans were quick to praise the alternative group’s “generous spirit” online, with amnesia_kid’s Twitter assessment that, “rhead let’s [sic] fans see there [sic] inner workings–wotta band!!!” typical of most responses.
The as-yet-untitled no track 2CD/3Lp record has been called by the band, “probably our most sonically adventurous album to date” and comes available in a deluxe, box-set version shaped like a decommissioned nuclear power station featuring eight bonus bonus tracks of Phil Selway drum loops not used on the regular bonus tracks.
Editor’s note: I got these two “experimental” Radiohead CDs for 50p a pop at Wincheap bootfair in the same batch as the Gorillaz discs. I’ve never been too hot on Radiohead, but one of my children was playing “Everything In Its Right Place” and something else and I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I enjoyed it. Whether I bother with any more R’head is another matter.
The CD fightback continues apace with this Sunday Wincheap bootfair purchased Gorillaz bonanza. I’ve always like G’z singles and so this lot will do for an unrivaled computer playlist. My younger son already has third Lp Plastic Beach. Included are albums Gorillaz, Demon Days as well as compilations G-Sides, D-Sides (2 CDs) and Spacemonkeyz versus Gorillaz’ Laika Come Home. I also got Albarn’s Chinese Monkey opera. All for 50p a pop.
But what’s the deal with the simian thing?
Thanks to blogger and one-time musical partner Gutterbreakz, I developed an uncharacteristic jonez for the Dubsteps long about late 2005. I say uncharacteristic since, not only am I a gentleman of a certain age who should leave such racket to the yout’, but my electronic music library/understanding is relatively small and uninformed. Nonetheless, something about the music touched me (perhaps its links, sonic and physical, to dub reggae and Bristol, respectively) and, over the next 4 years I set about regularly buying Tectonic plates, Punch Drunks, white label refixes, etc., etc., entertaining myself with lonely bass weight sessions in the stereo room at Chez Asbo. None of my contemporaries or neighbours were interested. The few times I ventured into DS club nites were certainly musically edifying (the punishing volume adds impact, weight and substance), but socially less so.
Anyway, I often wondered when I would make my first Dubstep-Charity Shop purchase. And so it has come to pass. Of course, in my reveries, the buy involved copies of the first ten DMZ 12″s, but a £1.25 cd from The Shelter in Hythe of Will Bevan’s woodblock bothering second (and, at present, last) album which sent Boomkat into such paroxysms half a decade ago will do. (Other reveries involve finding J. Coltrane’s complete Impulse! oeuvre, so let’s say my daydreams don’t hew very close to reality–still, I get chills thinking about the possibility). I already own Untrue on 2xLp, but the cd, in decidedly oldskool fashion, has four tracks not on the vinyl. I hesitate to call them bonus tracks since, interestingly, the cd’s playlist has been given a reshuffle, offering a different listening experience to this unique, crepuscular record.
This quote from Derek Walmsley in The Wire explains Burial better than I can: “Inspired by the darkside drum’n’bass of the Metalheadz label, Burial decided at the outset to avoid at all costs the rigid, mechanistic path that eventually brought drum ‘n’ bass to a standstill. To this end, his percussion patterns are intuitively arranged on the screen rather than rigidly quantized, creating minute hesitations and slippages in the rhythm. His snares and hi-hats are covered in fuzz and phaser, like cobwebs on forgotten instruments, and the mix is rough and ready rather than endlessly polished. Perhaps most importantly, his basslines sound like nothing else on Earth. Distorted and heavy, yet also warm and earthy, they resemble the balmy gust of air that precedes an underground train.”
AREA MAN CAN’T FIND EXACTLY RIGHT MUSIC TO LISTEN TO
(Clintonville, Ohio) – Despite owning almost a thousand compact discs, twice as many vinyl albums and 7″’s, an I-Pod with 1,400 hours of music, as well as access to a score of digital radio stations featuring all manner of musics, Clintonville resident Alan Wiess was unable to locate music that precisely suited his mood.
“I want something modern sounding. Not too far out, yet not too commercial either,” Weiss explained from his Brighton Ave. duplex in north Columbus. “It has to sound electronic, without sounding flavor-of-the-month, and nothing self-consciously retro.”
Weiss pulled several albums out of his collection, including Daft Punk’s Human After All, Ride Da Rhythms 2 by various dancehall artists, Missy Elliot’s Under Construction, Flying Lotus’ Los Angeles, Mungo Hi-Fi’s Sound System Champion, Intrusive Incidentalz Vol. 1 by Ekoplekz and a CD-R compilation of late 90s/early 2000s ragga 7″ singles originally released on Jamiaca’s Xterminator label, which he’d recently received in the post from a fellow music fan he’d contacted on the Blood & Fire message board, only to replace them all.
Nonetheless, Weiss remained dissatisfied and concerned.
“Obviously, I need to get a lot more music to avoid this kind of situation in the future,” Weiss said, citing the new Bowie album, the vinyl re-issue of Ned Doheny’s Japanese-only Prone, the Freedom Jazz France compilation and several soul LPs as items that would, at least temporarily, plug the gaping hole in his music library and distract him from the infinite spiritual void in his soul.
Hello (says he, peeping his head sheepishly round the door at Thrifty HQ). I’m the fella that started this blog a few years ago. Remember me? I was the one who posted all those stupid easy listening and K-Tel records.
Well, it seems that I haven’t posted anything here for over a year, so I thought it was about time I got my thumb out of my ass and did something about it. It’s not that I haven’t the time to blog, but I haven’t really been on the vinyl hunt much in recent times, so haven’t had much to report. But going through some records in my stash recently, I realised there were quite a few interesting artifacts I had yet to document here. So here’s the first of (hopefully) several new posts from Yours Truly.
So, what we have here is the splendidly titled ‘Disco-Rough’ compilation from Celluloid Records, released in 1982. Only six tracks on the platter, but at least you get a reasonably decent, loud-ish pressing. Celluloid was established by the Frenchman Jean Karakos in Paris, so perhaps its no surprise that the record opens with the minimalist rockabilly of Alan Vega’s “Juke Box Babe”, which (it still amazes me to say) was a bit of a hit in France. Vega’s tremulous Elvis-Iggy delivery is up there with some of his best vocals, and the track retains the relentless repetition associated with his work as one half of Suicide, although here he trades in Martin Rev’s synth-noise for the guitars of Phil Hawk. Not my idea of ‘Disco’ in any shape, way or form, but a welcome opener nonetheless.
Another name that might be familiar is that of Material, who contribute two tracks. “Secret Life” is their pulsing synth-disco ‘classic’, whilst “Upriver” is a mash-up of latin percussion, funk horns and southern-blues-rock, with a nice twangy guitar that puts me in mind of some mid-period Captain Beefheart.
The remaining tracks are filled by lesser known acts Elli & Jacno and Mathematiques Modernes who each contribute some perfectly listenable alternative dance music of the era. Quite pleased with this purchase.