Category Archives: Electronica

Future Islands – Cave (2017)

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“I don’t believe anymore/I don’t grieve anymore.” More nuanced synth pop from Samuel T. Herring and bandmates. ‘Cave’ is one of the standout highlights on this year’s long player The Far Field. Have a great week.

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Connan Mockasin – I’m The Man, That Will Find You (2013)

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We finish the week with something a little weird and wonderful. Connan Mockasin’s ‘I’m the Man, That Will Find You’ mimics and evokes to great effect. Despite the R&B machismo of the chorus, its psychedelic funk production has to be heard to be believed. The song features on his 2013 album Caramel. Have a great weekend.

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The Dust Brothers – Chemical Beats (1994)

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After their first single ‘Song to the Siren’ under the name The Dust Brothers, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons released their EP Fourteenth Century Sky in 1994. It features ‘Chemical Beats’ and in that moment The Chemical Brothers were born.

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Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Kids (Kapka remix) (2016)

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Netflix are currently engendering a renaissance in soundtrack writing. At the head of the queue are Survive’s analogue synthesisers. Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, two members of the Austin-based band, wrote the score for mini-series Stranger Things. Set in the 1980s of E.T.’s America, the show borrows its look and sound from Stephen Spielberg and John Carpenter movies.

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Air – Playground Love (2000)

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A year or so after their hugely successful album Moon Safari, Air wrote the score for Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides. The opening track ‘Playground Love’ is the only one with vocals, which emanate from neither Jean-Benoît Dunckel nor Nicolas Godin (nor Beth Hirsch). They bring in Phoenix’s singer Thomas Mars to deliver the low key “I’m a highschool lover/And you’re my favorite flavour”.

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Four Tet – Planet (2017)

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Kieran Hebden is a bit of a national treasure nowadays. His electronic sounds with Four Tet inspire dinner parties and chill out rooms alike. ‘Planet’ is the B-side to his latest single release ‘SW9 9SL’ – otherwise known as the Brixton Academy. Feel the synths.

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MGMT – Electric Feel (2008)

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I’m back with a sound from my summer. It’s a reprise brought about by a remix of a cover. In 2007, MGMT’s Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden released their debut album Oracular Spectacular. A year later, after much warranted hype, the duo released ‘Electric Feel’ as a single that included a B-side remix by Justice. This year, the beaches of the Med enjoyed Berlin DJ Nick Talos’ tropical house remix of CRW’s acoustic version, amongst other things. I plump for the original. Have a great weekend, before some more sounds next week.

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9 of the best – sounds of noughties

It would seem that 2004 was peak noughties (to these ears…):

The Avalanches – Since I Left You (2000)

 The Strokes – Modern Age (2001)

The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize? (2002)

Broken Social Scene – Stars And Sons (2003)

The Walkmen – The Rat (2004)

Sébastien Tellier – La Ritournelle (2004)

Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla (2005)

 Midlake – Bandits (2006)

Beirut – Nantes (2007)

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Honourable mentions also go to: Lambchop for ‘Up With The People’ (2000); Outkast for ‘Ms. Jackson’ (2000); Ian Brown for ‘F. E. A. R.’ (2001); The Shins for ‘New Slang‘ (2002); Kings Of Leon for ‘Red Morning Light‘ (2003); Radiohead for ‘A Wolf At The Door’ (2003); Mew for ‘Comforting Sounds’ (2003); Kasabian for ‘Club Foot’ (2004); Danger Mouse for his remix of ‘Public Service Announcement’ (2004); The Good, the Bad and the Queen for ‘Herculean’ (2006); The Hold Steady for ‘The Chillout Tent‘ (2006); The Strokes for ‘You Only Live Once’ (2006); and Jay Electronica for ‘Exhibit C’ (2009).

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Burial – Come Down To Us (2013)

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In 2013, the mysterious and reclusive William Bevan released his EP Rival Dealer. Burial had had already gained a reputation for standing a head above his electronic peers and this release did nothing to dowse the excitement. The 13-minute closer ‘Come Down To Us’ manages to be both funereal, layered, spacious and upbeat.

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Kelly Lee Owens – Anxi (2017)

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Good morning. The Welsh singer-producer Kelly Lee Owens draws on dream pop and ambient house for ‘Anxi’, the title song off her 2017 debut album. The track is a collaboration with a Norwegian musician, singer-songwriter Jenny Hval, who provides the moody vocals, Have a great week.

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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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