Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Week That Was #2: Post-Vacation Vacation

Winter break, we hardly knew you. The upside of supreme lethargy and/or lack of productivity is that I got to hear a substantial amount of music. I primarily shuffled, but the full albums that I listened to (and scrobbled) are represented above (and below). More of the Notwist can be found in the set I posted, as well as in last week's update. Many thanks to Bushwick Is Beautiful for the introduction to Masha Qrella; although tracks are no longer available there, you can stream a few tracks on her MySpace. You can also hear White Rose Movement in Erol's DJ set. Enjoy the rest, along with a few random favorites:

What this so-called IDM lacks in personality, it more than makes up in mechanics. I like to contextualize the relationship of this type of electronica to "normal" music as that of abstract and realistic art. While there's often a greater sense of connection to the latter, there's really something special about the former. While I get a bit antsy sitting through a full length album of it, in small doses, the style is appeals a lot to me. Autechre is one of the pioneers of the genre, and this track starts off their landmark album, Tri Repetae.

MP3: Autechre - Dael
Buy: Here

It feels as if I mentioned Boards of Canada an eternity ago. 2006 was a relative lull in the band's existence, with the only release being the Trans Canada Highway EP. It contains this standout track from their 2005 album The Campfire Headphase, as well as a remix. While Autechre is fully mechanized, Boards inject an incredible amount of emotion into their work. While the EP maybe revolve around driving, it's no accident that the video for this single soars.

MP3: Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy
Buy: Here

Editors have pretty much been on constant rotation since I heard the track "Munich" to the recent video post. After a number of listens through their superb debut The Back Room, like any fan worth his bandwidth, I went fishing for b-sides. That's what I thought this particular track was, as it was released as a companion to the aforementioned "Munich," but it's actually a Stereolab cover!

MP3: Editors - French Disko
MP3: Stereolab - French Disko
Buy: Here

It's appropriate that a track from the Pitchfork-endorsed Girl Talk came up on shuffle, as Night Ripper is essentially one giant mixtape. It's what Endtroducing... would have sounded like if Shadow had listened to mainstream radio. There's a staggering number of samples, compiled in a giant list on the Wikipedia page. Incidentally, you can find his mashed-up remix of Grizzly Bear's "Knife" on the aforementioned 'fork. I really like the second half of this song.

MP3: Girl Talk - That's My DJ
Buy: Here

I should really listen to Ivy more; they were technically tied for 10th last week. You may very well have unknowingly heard them, considering their hefty appearances in film and TV sources. Adam Schlesinger is also in the (unjustly) more prominent Fountains Of Wayne, but the focus has to be on singer Dominique Durand, who more or less embodies all that is great about French chanteuses. This track is the opener to their lovely Apartment Life, and it is more or less swoon-inducing.

MP3: Ivy - the Best Thing
Buy: Here

Mahogany contributes to the growing number of excellent Brooklynites and nu-gazers. Their recently released Connectivity! has made a number of bloggers' top albums lists, and there's little wonder why. By combining the ethereal nature of shoegaze with a forward-thinking indie sensibility, they've really created something utterly unique yet charmingly retro at the same time. Robin Guthrie produced the delightful "Supervitesse."

MP3: Mahogany - Neo-Plastic Boogie-Woogie
Buy: Here

Emily Haines was in town last Tuesday, and her Wednesday set in D.C. aired on NPR (again, Counting Stars on the Ceiling has the recording). The first single off of Knives, "Doctor Blind," was originally a Metric demo. I think I'm actual more partial to this version, as the thumping percussion, along with Jimmy Shaw's back-up vocals add a lot. Finally, in the awesome department, Metric will be opening for Bloc Party on their UK dates. Lucky!

MP3: Metric - Dr. Blind
Buy: Here

Eisley have really had an indelible effect on me. I mean, they provided the impetus to check out Radiohead (!), as well as fellow Texans Midlake (check out "Roscoe," which kinda starts like "Street Spirit"), as well as Pilotdrift. It's unsurprising that they're on The Polyphonic Spree's label, as they play enjoyably weird and eclectic music. It's really a cinematic experience, and while this track is very good, it's only one aspect of the band's sound.

MP3: Pilotdrift - Passenger Seat
Buy: Here

Psapp is one of those fortunate accidents. Back when iTunes didn't crash my computer, I was recommended Tiger, My Friend via the Just For You feature. Later, I saw the video for this song, and I've only since gotten around hearing the whole album. It's a really pleasant concoction of many familiar elements, foremost the cute electronics and pretty, understated vocals. It may not be revolutionary, but it's very appealing.

MP3: Psapp - Hi
Buy: Here

Okay, a word of advice for aspiring DJs, the end of Ellen Allien & Apparat's "Way Out" makes a wicked transition into this track's intro. It also doesn't hurt that both songs are rather good. The Twilight Singers is Gred Dulli, formerly of the Afghan Whigs. Powder Burns was recorded in New Orleans throughout the hurricane, and it is nothing if not passionate. This particular track roars with emotion, and it's the highlight of the album for me. if that wasn't enough, Dulli goes a great job of covering Massive Attack's "Live With Me" on A Stitch In Time EP.

MP3: The Twilight Singers - My Time (Has Come)
Buy: Here


CircleCircle said...

Holy Moly!!!
I hasd no idea about Doctor Blind/Metric

thank you for that.

love the other bands also.

Anonymous said...

cheers well liking the editors b side cover of FRench Disko.

and the metric tune!


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