Londoners Andy Cato and Tom Findlay are Groove Armada. 20 years ago, they released the wonderful downtempo LP Vertigo. Prior to the chillout finale ‘Inside My Mind’, they featured ‘At The River’ with its sublime Patti Page sample at its core. The album was released on Jive’s Pepper Records.
In April 2013, Jai Paul broke onto the music scene with the unexpected release of a set of songs on Bandcamp. Everyone was clamouring to find out who was this creative force – a new Prince elect they pronounced. Six years on and it’s happened again. From nowhere, we’ve received ‘Do You Love Her Now’. It’s good.
Little Dragon consists of Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano (vocals, percussion) and her close high-school friends Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrik Källgren Wallin (bass), and Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboards). Their electronic output has never quite eclipsed the success of their guest turn on Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach. The title track off 2018’s Lover Chanting EP got close tho’.
Harry Hosono has featured in this blog before. Whether it would be for his work with the Tin Pan Alley collective, or Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) or as a guiding light in Japan’s city pop scene, today won’t be the last time neither. The synthpop classic ‘Sports Men’ was originally released on 1982’s Philharmony, Hosono’s first solo album following YMO’s Ross to success. “Your mother, she might be a swimmer/Your father must have been a vaulter”. Indeed. Here’s to a sporty week.
Signing off this week with ‘Breathe’, a little gem of a single from French electronica outfit Télépopmusik. This breezy synthesis features singer singer Angela McCluskey and appears on their 2001 album Genetic World. It was released as a single a year later. Have a great weekend.
A compilation treat for the May Day holiday. Looking back at 1993, the world of popular music was a-changing… Björk was doing her own thing at the crossroads, house music had grown up a little less exciting, and hip hop was showing temporary signs of sophistication…
Honourable mentions also go to: Jeru The Damaja for ‘Come Clean‘; Masters At Work for ‘The Buff Dance‘; George Morel for ‘Let’s Groove‘; A Tribe Called Quest for ‘Electric Relaxation‘ and not too much else. A quarter of a century after the annus mirabilis that was 1968, thin pickings were abound in 1993. That’s crossroads for you.
In February 1994, Saint Etienne released Tiger Bay, their third studio LP on Heavenly Records. Band member Bob Stanley referred to the album as “an album of modern folk songs done in twentieth century styles like techno and dub”. Quite amazingly, the powers that be decided to drop the ‘Western Wind’/ ‘Tankerville’ suite from the American edition on Warner Bros. While the delivery of ‘Western Wind’ maintains the essence of a traditional English folk song, the shift into trip hop of ‘Tankerville’ was incredibly current.
Before we leave the wonderful world of Arthur Russell, my real introduction to his work was at the skilful hands of Todd Terry. In 1988, as a compliment to the classic Russell single ‘Go Bang’ by Dinosaur L, Terry mixed and released the seminal house track ‘Bango (To The Batmobile)’ on Fresh Records.
Joseph E (vocals/synths), Tom S (guitar) and Tom P (bass) named their band after an infamous Chinese cash and carry in their native Manchester. With a sound of post-punk and synthpop, the sound of the city is evidently a big reference for the band; as is Thelonious Monk, Prince and Giorgio Moroder from what I read and hear. Their debut album Incidental Music features ‘Second Death Of My Face’. Enjoy a 2019 take on new wave.
Fat fingers result in a bonus track this Monday. In 2000, Mathieu Hocine started his project Kid Francescoli. He was soon joined by Laetitia Abello on vocals, David Borras on keyboards and Olivier Scalia on bass. Hocine was raised in Marseilles and his French roots and passion for electronica inevitably leads to comparisons with Air. ‘Moon’ features on the band’s 2016 album Play Me Again. “And it went like…”