Category Archives: Electronica

David Bowie – Heroes (1977)

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I caught sight of Bowie on a Glastonbury retrospective last night. I sat there watching it all over again. It was his set on the pyramid stage in 2000. His alchemy still affects me like few others. ‘Heroes’ is the title track off one of his trio of experimental Berlin albums. Wailing guitars, pulsing electronica and an anthem… what else can a fan ask for? Have a great week.

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Sofi Tukker – Drinkee (2016)

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New York duo Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern (aka Sofi Tukker) are probably best known for their song ‘Best Friend’ which featured in an Apple commercial. But it’s not half as good as their single ‘Drinkee’, all sung by Hawley-Weld in perfect Brazilian Portuguese, with a video that catches the eye. It was released on the independent NYC label Ultra Music in 2016.

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LCD Soundsystem – Oh Baby (2017)

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From one welcome return to another… LCD Soundsystem played its goodbye show in 2011. In 2017, at the dying request of David Bowie, they reformed, released a cracking new album, American Dream, and embarked on a world tour. The third single off the album is its opening track ‘Oh Baby’. David Bowie and frontman James Murphy were friends, collaborators and kindred spirits. Murphy had worked with Bowie remixing his song ‘Love Is Lost’, performing percussion on his LP Blackstar and producing Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’ to which Bowie lent his vocals.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1987

Another bank holiday and some recent nostalgia about Public Enemy…  it doesn’t take much for me to start curating. These are my favourite sounds of 1987, in no particular order (save a desire to kick off with ‘Bring The Noise’!).

Public Enemy – Bring The Noise

Chris Rea – Josephine (La Version Française)

Phuture – Acid Tracks

Prince – If I Was Your Girlfriend

U2 – Where The Streets Have No Name

Eric B. And Rakim – I Know You Got Soul

Rhythim Is Rhythim – Strings of Life

New Order – True Faith

Fleetwood Mac – Big Love

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Honourable mentions also go to: Ce Ce Rogers for ‘Someday‘; Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle for ‘Your Love’; The Cure for ‘Just Like Heaven’; Sugarcubes for ‘Birthday’; R.E.M. ‎for ‘Its The End Of The World As We Know It’; Aztec Camera for ‘Somewhere In My Heart‘; INXS for ‘Need You Tonight‘; Deacon Blue ‎for ‘Dignity‘; Depeche Mode for ‘Behind The Wheel‘ and ‘Never Let Me Down Again’; Stone Roses for ‘Sally Cinnamon‘; Terence Trent D’Arby for ‘Sign Your Name‘; U2 for ‘With Or Without You’; Eric B. And Rakim for ‘Paid In Full‘ and ‘I Ain’t No Joke‘, Public Enemy ‎for ‘Rebel Without A Pause‘; Prince for ‘Sign O’ The Times’; and Pet Shop Boys ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?‘.

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Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express (1977)

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This week, we learnt that electronic music lost one of its innovators. As a founding member of Kraftwerk, Florian Schneider-Esleben was described as “sound fetishist” by band mate Ralf Hütter. In fact, band isn’t the right word is it? Laboratory colleague feels more apt. In 1977, Kraftwerk produced the futuristic LP Trans-Europe Express. The title track would have a huge influence. You can hear the birth of Japan and The Human League in its synthesised sound; and of course, the electro loop used by Afrika Bambaataa on ‘Planet Rock’ made Kraftwerk references cool for a new generation too. R.I.P. Florian. Have a great weekend all.

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Sufjan Stevens & Lowell Brams – The Runaround (2020)

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Over a decade ago, the Asthmatic Kitty co-founders, Lowell Brams and his stepson, Sufjan Stevens, teamed up with The National’s Bryce Dessner to produce and share a record of avant-garde electronica (Music For Insomnia). Today, Brams and Stevens share the billing to release another collection of synthesised improvs – anecdotally influenced by the movie Bladerunner. The most single-friendly track on the album Aporia is ‘The Runaround’, together with its splendid video. Stay awake and have a great week.

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Stephan Bodzin – Singularity (2015)

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Son of a jazz and electronic musician, German DJ Stephan Bodzin picked up the experimental baton. In 2015, he released his second studio album, Powers Of Ten, on his own label Herzblut Recordings. The opening track is ‘Singularity’ – a living, breathing, deep techno melter.

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Autechre – Eutow (1995)

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Rob Brown and Sean Booth formed Autechre in 1987 in Rochdale. They were pioneers of intelligent dance music and IDM got no better than ‘Eutow’ in 1995. The track features on their third studio album Tri Repetae. Electronic, experimental, ambient… right up Warp Records’ strasse. Have a great Easter break.

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The Districts – Hey Jo (2020)

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You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere is the fourth album from The Districts (or more specifically Lancaster County, Pennsylvania) but the first in association with mix maestro Dave Fridmann. The result is a moredistinctive synthesised sound. The lead single ‘Hey Jo’ has hazy arrangements that remind this listener of OMD until frontman Rob Grote’s voice cuts through the nostalgia.

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The Avalanches feat. Rivers Cuomo & Pink Siifu – Running Red Lights (2020)

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New Avalanches single ‘Running Red Lights’ is not too dissimilar to the classic ‘Because I’m Me‘, both in presentation (the songs’ videos were directed by Greg Brunkalla) and in its use of a filtered sound. A welcome return after just 4 years – that’s prolific for these Australians. The song also features Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and Pink Siifu.

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Yves Tumor – Gospel For A New Century (2020)

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Good morning folks. When ‘Gospel For A New Century’ kicks off, one has no idea about what is about to follow. On first listening, I presumed Wu-Tang influenced hip hop with those drums, horns and stabs. But no… what follows is more like Prince doing a straightforward electronic rock track. Straightforward! Yves Tumor is the solo moniker of Sean Bowie, a multi-instrumentalist and producer who hails from Miami, Florida, but is based in Turin, Italy. This song is off his his forthcoming album, Heaven to a Tortured Mind.

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Rebecca & Fiona – Bullets (2011)

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Picking up the pace a tad and embracing electropop, I give you a song from Rebecca & Fiona’s 2011 album I Love You Man. Sweden and melody-driven EDM – who would have thought?

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Nitzer Ebb ‎- Join In The Chant (1987)

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Formed in Essex when friends Douglas McCarthy (vocals) and Bon Harris (drums and programming) were just 15, Nitzer Ebb was doing EDM while fellow Essex boy Liam Howlett was still breakdancing. Nitzer Ebb enjoyed a number of club hits on Mute Records, but none more impactful than ‘Join In The Chant’, which became a set standard in London’s Balearic beat and acid house venues. The song originally featured on their 1987 album That Total Age, but would find its zenith with a remix by pop producer Phil Harding.

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Tame Impala – One More Year (2020)

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Tame Impala’s new album was finally released a couple of weeks back. One wondered whether Kevin Parker was withholding any singles; the answer is a resounding yes. The opening track ‘One More Year’ is up there with his best. Have a great week.

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Burial – Rival Dealer (2013)

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In 2006/07, the anonymous William Bevan broke onto the music scene as dubstep hero Burial with his self-titled debut and 2007 follow-up Untrue. 5 years later he topped that with the release of two stunning EPs – Kindred and 2013’s Rival Dealer. The title track of the latter is one of the best examples of electronic dance music that one can wish to hear.

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