Like Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, I’ve featured Chaz Bear quite a bit since I started this blog 7+ years ago. And this is no time to stop; for Toro Y Moi keeps getting better. ‘Fading’ is the opening track of his most recent album Outer Peace.
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…”
I mentioned Nick Drake this week. Three years before they disbanded, the NYC duo The Breaks took their musical combination of folk and electronica to their love of the Warwickshire man’s music. They worked with José González to cover ‘Cello Song’, a song that originally featured on Drake’s debut album Five Leaves Left. Yesterday, Omar S’s appreciation of the piano bedazzled. Today it’s Paul De Jong’s cello. Have a great weekend.
This is the ambient side of instrumental hiphop. Kudasaibeats released ‘Technicolor’ in 2018 and it went on to feature on their album White Noise released on the United Common Records label. Their use of synthesisers and a simple guitar accompaniment creates a very soothing sound.
Chaz Bear is coolio. Last month, the artist professionally known as Toro y Moi released a new album Outer Peace. ‘Ordinary Pleasure’ is one of a number of funky tracks on an album that makes me want to hang with him and his friends. The sound of my kind of house party.
Metronomy was originally a solo vehicle for singer-songwriter Joseph Mount, but in 2008 he teamed up with Oscar Cash and Gabriel Stebbing and together they released Nights Out. The album was conceived as a concept – an album about a night out. As the fifth track on the album, the band’s ‘Heartbreaker’ moment seems to come quite early in the evening. Have a great week.
Oneohtrix Point Never is the recording alias of Brooklyn-based experimental composer and producer Daniel Lopatin. Having signed a contract with Warp Records in 2013, Oneohtrix Point Never was looking to manipulate electronica. The opener of his first recording on the label, R Plus Seven, is ‘Boring Angel’. Philip Glass must have been eating his heart out.
“Lover, will you look at me now?/ I’m already dead to you/ But I’m inclined to explain/ What I could not before.” Five years after the success of his masterful LP Illinoise (and the existential crisis that followed), Sufjan was able to exorcise himself on The Age of Adz. The album features the beautiful, melodic and electronic ‘I Walked’.
“I had a good run playing horses in my mind/On a hillside I remember/I am loving losing life.” Victoria Garance Alixe Legrand and Alex Kristian Scally know how to create an atmosphere. Church organs, grinding guitars and cinematic synths feature large on this standout song from this year’s album release, 7. ‘Drunk in L.A.’ Have a great weekend.
Paddy McAloon only released the one long player under his own name – the largely instrumental album I Trawl The Megahertz. He almost went blind in the early 2000s, during which he used his heightened hearing to listen to a lot of show wave radio. Though solitude, he had found inspiration. The 22-minute title track dominates the album, but it’s another, ‘I’m 49’, with its radio samples and theme of loneliness, which catches my ears. Genius at work, but largely ignored compared to his early revered pop canon. So I am glad to read that the album is getting a re-release in February next year. Never too late.