Category Archives: Electronica

Chromatics – Shadow (2015)

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The intense post-punk disco of Chromatics has been celebrated this week through the feature of 2015’s ‘Shadow’ on the new two-hour reboot of Twin Peaks.  In fact, Johnny Jewel and group appear on performing the song in the show’s Bang Bang Club.

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Desire – Under Your Spell (2009)

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In 2009, Chromatics’ Johnny Jewel and Nat Walker teamed up with vocalist Megan Louise to become Desire. Their debut album II was released on Italians Do It Better and explores the synthpop typical of Jewel’s label. The standout song ‘Under Your Spell’ would then appear as a centrepiece sound in the 2011 movie Drive.

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Broadcast – Corporeal (2005)

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Shortly before they released their 2005 album Tender Buttons, Broadcast had reduced to a duo. This change brought about a more stripped-back sound. On ‘Corporeal’, Trish Keenan and James Cargill create a pulsing beat and bass line that reminds me of the work of Yo La Tengo, albeit a touch more sultry. Have a great week.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2000

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 2000 in no particular order:

Radiohead – Idioteque

Blonde Redhead ‎- For The Damaged

Lambchop – Up With The People

The Avalanches – Since I Left You

Alan Braxe & Fred Falke – Intro

Outkast – Ms. Jackson

Marah – Round Eye Blues

Richard Ashcroft – A Song For The Lovers

Phoenix – Too Young

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Honourable mentions also go to: Grandaddy for ‘He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s The Pilot‘; Erykah Badu for ‘Didn’t Cha Know‘; Daft Punk for ‘One More Time‘; Augie March for ‘The Hole In Your Roof‘; Missy Elliott for ‘Get Ur Freak On‘; D’Angelo for ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)‘; and Edu K for his remix of Otto’s ‘Bob‘.

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Radiohead – Idioteque (2000)

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And then on 2 October 2000, wiping more than their own slate clean, Radiohead released Kid A. Seven tracks in, there’s a break in the mysterious ‘In Limbo’ with all seemingly lost at sea, and out of the mist blasts ‘Idioteque’. Its sound is a wave of intelligent electronica pulsing against the rocks, while Thom Yorke delivers a haunting siren to suit. “Women and children first, And children first, And children.” This song mattered.

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Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now (1983)

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I list this song with trepidation. More synth pop from 1983, by which time Thompson Twins had reduced to a trio: Tom Bailey, Alannah Currie and Joe Leeway. The three of them contributed to a sound that filled radio play and dance floors, but it made for a really awkward, swaying moments; or maybe that was just me. Listening to ‘Hold Me Now’ today, I can hear more than a touch of The Police during that chant half way through.

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China Crisis – Wishful Thinking (1983)

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A lot of chat about 1983, among a good set of friends last week. Annus mirabilis or not? Well, ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Uncertain Smile’, ‘Liquid Liquid’, ‘Blister in the Sun’ and ‘Modern Love’ are already blogged and represent a very good start. Now for something very archetypal of that time… China Crisis and ‘Wishful Thinking’. Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon were established songwriters searching for that one song. I am not sure ‘Wishful Thinking’ is it, but what they had discovered was the sound of pure synth pop. The song featured on their sophomore album Working With Fire And Steel. Have a great week.

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Moby – When It’s Cold I’d Like To Die (1995)

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If it wasn’t for his go-to house music anthem ‘Go’, ‘When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die’ would be the best thing Moby has ever done. It is the closing track on his 1995 album Everything Is Wrong. Have a great weekend.

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Yello – Lost Again (1983)

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Released in 1983, You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess is Yello’s third album. You can hear the trio’s influence on bands like Pet Shop Boys, The KLF. They would change themselves too; this was the last album to feature all three founding members (Dieter Meier, Boris Blank, Carlos Perón). Perón would get ‘Lost Again’.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2001

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 2001 and in no particular order:

The Strokes – Hard To Explain

Ian Brown – F. E. A. R.

The Shins – New Slang

Daft Punk – Digital Love

Radiohead – Pyramid Song

Spiritualized – I Didn’t Mean To Hurt You

Lift To Experience – Falling From Cloud 9

Röyksopp ‎- Remind Me

The Strokes – Modern Age

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Honourable mentions also go to: Weezer for ‘Island In The Sun‘; Zero 7 for ‘In The Waiting Line‘; Jay-Z for ‘Izzo (H.O.V.A.)‘; Golden Boy feat. Miss Kittin for ‘Rippin Kittin‘; The Other People Place for ‘Let Me Be Me‘; Muse for ‘Bliss‘; Cannibal Ox for ‘Iron Galaxy’; Roger Sanchez for ‘Another Chance’; Radiohead for ‘Knives Out’; and Yann Tiersen for ‘La Valse d’Amélie‘.

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Mr. Tophat feat. Robyn – Right Time (2017)

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Rudolf Nordström is Mr. Tophat. In January this year, he dropped this massive slice of space disco. ‘Right Time’ features Robyn Carlsson on vocals and appeared on  the DJ’s EP Trust Me. Have a great weekend,

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Peter Gabriel – Intruder (1980)

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‘Intruder’ is the opening song off Peter Gabriel’s third and arguably best solo album. The Melt album saw the reunification of former bandmates Gabriel and Phil Collins. The latter’s instantly recognisable gated snare drums, which became one of the signature sounds of the 1980s.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2016

My favourite sounds of 2016 in no particular order…

The Avalanches – Because I’m Me

Whitney – No Woman

Glass Animals – Life Itself

Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

The Strokes – Threat of Joy

Okkervil River – Okkervil River R.I.P.

The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – I Feel It Coming

Traumprinz – 2Bad

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Honourable mentions also go to: De La Soul for ‘Trainwreck‘; The Last Shadow Puppets for ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect‘; Let’s Eat Grandma for ‘Deep Six Textbook‘; Anderson .Paak for ‘Come Down‘; Solange for ‘Cranes In The Sky‘; DJ Snake for ‘Let Me Love You’; Honne for ‘Someone That Loves You‘; and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for ‘Rings Of Saturn‘.

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Traumprinz – 2Bad (‘What If Madness Is The Only Relief’ Rework) (2016)

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First released in 2015 as part of a mix (This Is Not) of Traumprinz’s own productions on the Weimar-based label Giegling, ‘2Bad’ made its way to selective dancefloors this year after it featured on the DJ’s EP 2 The Sky. Aka DJ Metatron and Prince of Denmark, the dream prince is certainly mysterious royalty, as any quick search on Google will reveal. This piece of music is suitably enigmatic and exceptional.

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Boards of Canada – 1969 (2002)

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Using a vocal sample allegedly originating from a David Koresh cult member, Boards of Canada were pushing the boundaries of inspiration to create ‘1969’. With synthesizers and vocoders abound, this intelligent electronicity features on their darker second pressing, Geogaddi.

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