Posts Tagged ‘electro’
I´m back and in the meanwhile urbanology reached the 100.000th visitor, hurray!
“Tranquilo” is Marcelinho da Lua´s, producer, DJ and singer from Brasil (or the moon?) first record and is anything, but not calm as the title suggests. I don´t want to spend to many words on this record (in fact I´m just to lazy to read all the informations about him, which are only in portuguese), just let you know the record includes a cover version of “Cotidiano” by Chico Buarque, woah. And Marcelinho da Lua is brewing a killer mix of electronic styles on his debut and beside the cover version of that classic brasilian song Seu Jorge and Gilberto Gil are participating. Woah for the third time today, an awesome ecclectic record and I guess you will say whoaah too, after listened to this record.
Too lazy today to write down some own words, here´s the press info from Ninja Tunes:
Carlos Niño and Fabian Ammon have long been fulcrums of LA Black music, perfectly poised between the jazz crowd centered around Dwight Trible and classic group’s like the Army of Healers and Build An Ark, the underground hip hop scene which grew from the Good Life and Project Blowed collectives and the heavy soul-beat sound of the likes of Sa Ra and Madlib.
“With Voices” is the album that Ammoncontact have been waiting to make – the point where the duo’s own loping, deep production style could be melded, as the title has it, with the voices around them. The results are scinitillating, a hip hop album bursting with spirituality and positivity and a unique ambience.
The guests that Carlos and Fabian have brought together sound impressive enough on paper. From the jazz scene come the legendary Yusef Lateef, Kamau Daaood (a writer and performer who turned down the opportunity to join the Last Poets in the late sixties, preferring to build something in his own community) and, of course, Dwight Trible, for whom Carlos was instrumental in putting together the “Love Is The Answer” album.
From hip hop, they bring together long-time collaborator Lil Sci (Scienz of Life and MF Doom cohort), Abstract Rude (Project Blowed and Big Dada), Sach (formerly of seminal LA group The Nonce), Prince Po (one half of the mighty Organised Konfusion) and the Dark Sun Rider himself, Brother J (leader of X Clan). In addition, Cut Chemist adds some cuts to the X Clan man’s “Drum Riders”. And to round out the mix, there are constributions from Daedelus and Mia Doi Todd, who could be said to represent the more esoteric side of the music which has grown around the lynchpins.
But to list the names is one thing. To hear them bouncing off one another is something else again. Check Lateef, Trible and Prince Po on “Beautiful Flowers,” Brother J’s booming voice on “Drum Riders”, Lil Sci’s drawled attack on the title track, Sach’s ATP-esque abstract rhythmatics on “Into 777” or Ab Rude’s jazzy freestyle verbalistics on “Worth It.” In fact, check any of the tracks.
Nothing is forced here, nothing out of place. The guests all add to a feeling of unification which is rare on “producer” albums. This is Ammoncontact’s masterpiece, a record which at heart grows from their love of music and love of a city and is all about just that – heart. And a little bit of soul…
On this 2002 release, Salvatore keep an air of mystery by not listing the instruments played by each bandmember nor including any obvious photos of them, being content with a few grayed-out black-and-white landscapes and interiors. And at my first listening I wasn´t sure for a couple of minutes if this record is the product of a band or a one-man-show from a multi-instrumentalist. But Salvatore are a six piece band from Oslo, Norway and their camouflage helps add to an aura of mutability to the package, leaving the music to speak for itself and take on whatever shape the listener envisions. The legends says, that the members were sitting together and listening to Neu! – the German electronica pioneers. They all played in different bands and suddenly got the idea of creating a band based on the Neu groove. Which is what they did. Since 1998 they have created a sinewy, pulsating, jazzy brand of arty instrumental rock derived from early Tortoise records and the electro-acoustic Motorik of the Krautrock scene. This fourth record emulated not surprising the originators of the Chicago school of post-roc, since this session was recorded and mixed by Tortoise’s John McEntire (also member of The Sea and Cake and Gastr del Sol) in his Soma Studios in Chicago, and the band even did a brief European tour with Tortoise. But Salvatore, despite wearing their influences on their sleeve, manage to forge their own identity with this collection of evocative soundscapes. The tracks here are relatively short for a genre that tends toward excess, which leaves them concise and to-the-point, almost disappointingly so, because they set up some exceedingly tight and memorable grooves which could enthrall a listener even if they went on forever. And though they sound like they may have evolved from loose improvisatory jam sessions, the evolved pieces are executed with precision and passion, as opposed to the cold, contrived playing of some of their contemporaries. Hypnotic keyboardss, pulsing bass, looped guitars – this is an excellent trip onto the Autobahn. And when the album ends after a mere 42 minutes one wishes there were more. In its home country Salvatore won the prestigious Spellemannsprisen (the Norwegian Grammy) in the “Electronica” category.
Erlend, for now, is going it alone, Mr. Garfunkel don´t want to be Garfunkel anymore. The concept of Unrest is a result of Oye’s nomadic tendencies, as well as his growing infatuation with the mellow electronics of Versus, the remix album of the “Quiet is the new loud” record from the Kings of Convenience duo. After this successful record Erlend Oye worked together with Royskopp, moved to Berlin and started to travel the world. His destinations: 10 different producers from all over the word, with every laptop-head he recorded one track and for an album where each track is under new management from the one before it, Unrest remains remarkably consistent in tone and quality, Oye lends his melancholy but confident voice to every song. Most everything is soft focus, slightly downcast, and heavily reliant upon mid-tempo rhythms that are danceable; however, this is definitely a home-listening album, or one that would also work well during night train trip. Sounds much like a more considered version of the Kings of Convenience remix album.
Unrest is an exercise in restraint; very little overt sentiment is displayed throughout the album. But in the same way that anticipation is often better than the real thing, the smoldering emotion buried just below the surface works beautifully on Unrest. Oye has produced a seductive collection of songs that are, for the most part, described by the title of the closing track: “Like Gold.”
The involved producers: Morgan Geist (New York, USA), Soviet (Shelton, USA), Kompis (Uddevalla, Sweden), Jolly Music (Rome, Italy), Mr. Velcro Fastener (Turku, Finland), Prefuse 73 (Barcelona, Spain), Minizza (Rennes, France), Björn Torske (Bergen, Norway), Kilogram (Helsinki, Finland), Schneider TM (Berlin, Germany)
Some bands are desperately on the search for a record deal and many never reach their aim. I guess only really few would deserve a record deal, but never get one – the most artists just suck too much to have success. It´s not only about the major record companies (their politics are abhorrent, I don´t doubt that) which keep good music down, because almost every music genre has some very fine independent record labels. Club 8 are a good proof, after formed 1995 by Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård this swedish group made simple bedroom recordings and sent them to their ten favourite labels. Half of the labels wanted to release the band, good music always finds it way to be released.
Their debut was heavy bossa-nova influenced with a naive sound as well as shiny pop melodies, but soon they moved away from these direct pop songs and got darker and slower, the progress culminated in their third album “spring came, rain fell” from 2002, their most creative to date recording with diversified, semi-electronic and slightly experimental, but intensely emotional songs.
It´s obvious that songwriter and über-instrumentalist Johan Angergärd had Air’s “Moon Safari” in power rotation, with bubbly space synthesizers and fat bass keyboard. His writing and production is generally spare and simple so the little bits of color (a guitar lead here, a synth swoosh there) linger memorably and makes space for Angergård´s tenor that’s almost as light as bombshell singer Karolina Komstedst’s airy alto. But the real appeal of the album comes from Karolina Komstedt’s pillow-soft, slightly accented vocals, which have the kitschy allure of Claudine Longet, only with better enunciation and much less tendency to go off-key; Angergård only raises his voice on few tracks. The songs are mostly based on subtle layers of acoustic guitars, hand percussion, and rubbery, surprisingly melodic electric bass. They always keep the melancholic dreamy edge, now matter if they mix up Dub, C-86, triphop, chill out, 80’s or bossa nova, without ever losing focus on those wonderfully Scandinavian and melancholic pop melodies.
By the way, what´s wrong with Sweden? From jazz, hardcore/punk to indie in general, this country with only 8 millions inhabitants offers an above average count of bands with surpassing quality. Why is so much good music coming from Sweden (and Scandinavia in general)? I only can explain it with the short summers and cold winters, without nothing else to do than jam in rehearsal rooms (which you can find in almost every village around the country), because Gothenburg, Stockholm, Malmö or Umeå are much too far away.
Since the demise of the Anti-Pop Consortium, Beans is the first to re-emerge, following his “Nude Paper” EP released three years ago on Mo’wax before this release from 2003, with a collection of broken hip-hop beats and progressive lo-fi backdrops. With this record, he makes good on all the promises he left with the impressive testament of APC, delivering songs that stay in the brain and lock you into humming til the day runs out. With the infectious steel drums of “Phreek the Beet”, the lo-fi electro-dub of “Hot Venom”, or the winding loop-to-loop flutes of “Mutescreamer”. All this seems destined to redefine the word fresh. Beans pays homage to the gods of early 80s drum machines with powerbook programming, like it was recorded in a vacuum, all clipped and dry and closed-in, a paradox of time where the cadence of Bronx 1979 meets the vision of Brooklyn 2003. Relying on tight rhythmic loops layered over the sound structures, “Tomorrow right now” is surprisingly quite catchy at times, but don´t take the APC sound for granted by any means, Beans is his own man here, building on his former band’s soundscapes. By the way, Anti-Pop Consortium stated that they reunited with the intention of touring and releasing a new record!