foton’s tuesday recommendations: music, art etc. #001…

Good afternoon,

Every Tuesday, I’ll be recommending 5 tracks that have given me a buzz that week, whether it be from my iPod, CD, Vinyl, Myspace or Youtube… These are tracks I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying and would like to share with you. They could have been dusted off from the archives of my collection, they could be long time favourites or they could be new discoveries I’ve yet to get hold of in material form. The only rule is quality. Of course, this is merely personal taste, but it’s good to share…

Along with that I’ll be referencing art, film, animation etc. that I’ve come across during the week and subsequently enjoyed…

Here goes:

1) This Heat Paper Hats (Deceit / These Records / 1981)

Discovered this one after reading an interview with Tortoise man, John McEntire.
Promptly went and did some research and picked up their second album, Deceit. Brilliant album, brilliant track. Mad, absurdly futuristic for it’s time, inventive, creative, brave… YES. Got excited, reminded of moments on Don Caballero 2, only this is 1981 as opposed to 1995, and that’s just the 2nd half of the track! 1st half is of course equally mad and brilliant. Maybe the lyrics are comparatively simple, but that’s not really a complaint with everything else the track has to offer. And besides you can’t wrong with a riff like that in 11/8…

2) AutechreDrone (Peel Session / Nothing / 1999)

Electronically produced music sometimes receives criticism for seeming ‘cold’, ‘mechanical’ or ‘sterile’ (sorry I’m not citing any sources, but it’s criticism I’ve heard and read many times over the years, not from electronica fans in general, but it illustrates my point…) when compared with live band-instrumentation and hence producers often feel the need to lazily litter their tracks with samples of non-synthetic instrumentation and vocals in order to combat said ‘sterility’.

Now, I’m not saying this because of some dislike for sample-laden music – Obvious example, but Entroducing…. which is in the Guiness book of records for being the first totally sample-based record; the only live element being the scratching, has been in my favourites for years and continues to reward on repeated listens. I’m mentioning it more because of how much I love Autechre’s fearless embracing of the cold-side of electronics. Virtually every sound you hear in the majority of their work was either produced by an oscillator, microchip or piece of software, or is so heavily mangled as a sample that you’d assume it to be digital.

And yet ‘Drone’ is a prime example of an oddly poignant feel that emanates from within their digital ether. Despite the heavily mechanised source, there’s something distinctly melancholic about that ever distorting riff that I personally find quite moving. I may be alone in that, but I suspect not… Anyway, awesome track from their Peel Session release. Well worth the listen.

Oh, and if you ever get the chance to see them live, do not pass up the opportunity. Saw them a couple of years back performing at a gig in a private car park in Hoxton, Shoreditch, East London. Support from SND and a couple of other quality acts whose names now elude me…

3) Blackalicious – The Fabulous Ones (Nia / Mo’ Wax / 1999)

Picked up this album while I was at uni. Can’t remember what pointed me in it’s direction, possibly the connection with DJ Shadow and Quannum Collective. Anyhow, great vibe, good raps, great beat work. Funky as hell, dirty groove and all that. Also helps you pretend it’s not still trying to be winter. Which is a good thing for sure. Slightly summery vibe, but not over the top.

4) Radiohead – Feral (The King Of Limbs / XL / 2011)

Mysterious, a little menacing, dark bass, tribal rhythm track. I love that it’s sort of an instrumental but not. Wordless vocals, heavily processed. This one’s all about feel and atmosphere. Futuristic to me. Radiohead’s more electronic side, but not a Kid A rehash. Fresh.

5) Syncom DataObi’s Heavyweight Dub (Horse EP / SD Records / 2008)

First heard this one when I picked up one Boomkat’s excellent 14 tracks compilations: From The Echo Chamber. As you can imagine from the title of the compilation, heavily dub tinged, but with a nice mix of Basic Channel and techno/ambient brigade along with an excellent old-skool cut from Prince Douglas.

This track is deep and dark. Great with the volume pumped and the lights out, or when travelling at night time. Remember this in my ears when walking down The Old Kent Road at 4am one early morning after a night out. Obscenely atmospheric. Good use of a TR808 break and spoken vocal parts. It seems to go on forever (8 minutes or so) but never gets tiring. Quality…

A few other things worth checking out…

Fairly recently started getting into an animated show called Bob’s Burgers. Great fun, a bit darker and whackier than the likes of Family Guy. Lovely characterisation etc. Particularly, Louise, voiced by Kristen Schaal (Mel from Flight Of The Conchords).

Also, check out this artist/photographer called Misha Gordin. Amazing stuff. Arty, surreal, weird. Fantastic. Particularly like the set called Shadows.



About thesilentroom

surreal and abstract illustration, printmaking and t-shirt design based in Bristol, UK.
This entry was posted in Animation, Art, Music, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

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