Monday, March 26, 2007

The Week That Was #10: Do Not Break

Well, this update comes to you a couple weeks behind schedule, but hopefully I'll be able to justify the wait. Enjoy!

I've discussed Morcheeba recently, and this is one of the songs that have made them a listening staple over the past few weeks. While the acoustic version of the song preserves the vocal, you really miss the wicked turntableism and thumping percussion that makes the studio version so very enjoyable. I also forgot to mention that Skye put out a solo album last year, and I'm sure I'll be checking that out in the near future. You can check out material via her KCRW set, in which she also covers Gorillaz.

MP3: Morcheeba - Blindfold
Buy: Here

Like a large portion of the music-devouring populace, I've been listening to (prefix optional) Arcade Fire's new album, as well as giving Funeral a spin in this particular week. I'm not really blown away by the new album after limited listening, save for the highlights "Intervention" and "No Cars Go," but that's probably my own shortcoming, at least as far as effort goes. Sadly, the band has just cancelled the remainder of their European tour because of Win's illness, and I wish him and them the best. To tie them into their neighbor Ada, here's their take on "Maps."

MP3: Arcade Fire - Maps
Buy: Here

Mirah's understated acoustics are a bit tricky live, and while I wasn't blown away by her set, I've really grown attached to this song. In the same vein as her live shows, C'mon Miracle isn't particularly immediate or hooky, but with time, it's become a comforting listen. There's some really pleasing in the simplicity of this track, and it concludes with a nice drumming burst. I'll definitely explore her other albums, and I'm particularly interested in hearing the remixes on Joyride.

MP3: Mirah - Don't Die In Me
Buy: Here

I may finally have weaned myself off of Maria Taylor, which is to say that sustained album listening has dropped off, but I'm still going through the various pockets of her prolific career. Now It's Overhead is more Andy LeMaster's project, but you can hear a little bit of the girls on the chorus on this track. The rest of the album, which is their self-titled debut, wasn't particularly outstanding, but it seems that they've grown a lot with later work. The second track is a great duet from the two, combining Maria's ethereal "Xanax"-esque voice with Andy's twang to great effect. For those keeping score at home, that track appeared on the Saddle Creek compilation, Lagniappe.

MP3: Now It's Overhead - Blackout Curtain
MP3: Andy LeMaster & Maria Taylor - Breathe
Buy: Here

Ulrich Schnauss doesn't merely make music, he composes. There's an epic quality to his sound that's really absent from most of his peers, and in "indietronica" in general. My first conscious encounter with Ulrich came, fittingly enough, from a couple Slowdive covers on Morr Music's Blue Skied An' Clear tribute. His impressive remix catalogue returned the favor with this emotional reworking of Slowdiver Rachel Gowell's standout single, but it's Ulrich's original material that is really been revelatory. He also happens to be acquaintances with Mahogany, and look for some collaborations in the future.

MP3: Ulrich Schnauss - Monday - Paracetamol
MP3: Rachel Goswell - Coastline (Ulrich Schnauss Vocal Mix)
Buy: Here

Groove Armada lives up to its name. I got into them on a bit of a whim after seeing that a new album (and video) was incoming. I went with their last album, Lovebox, for a proper intro, and in retrospect, that might have been the wrong choice. It's an eclectic affair, with a rotating vocalists and styles, and while there's nothing spectacular here, earlier work looks more promising. I know that's not a huge endorsement, but this track (as well as the new stuff) does bring appealing beats.

MP3: Groove Armada - Groove Is On
Buy: Here

Of course I'm obliged to like Apparat after all of his great work with Ellen Allien (and Damero), but I've found his solo material to be a bit more difficult. Duplex is a pretty glitchy, minimal record and lacks the immediate accessibility of Orchestra of Bubbles. But there's a lot of emotion, particularly in these two tracks, which feature those understated vocals that I'm so fond of.

MP3: Apparat - Contradiction
MP3: Apparat - Wooden
Buy: Here

So, I didn't actually hear this song for the first time until last night (go shuffler!), but it was pretty much love at first listen. I keep telling myself to listen to this band more, and this song was an easy excuse to conform that request. While some critics haven't taken as kindly to this particular Ivy album, I think Dominique's swoon-inducing vocals are the perfect complement to the electronic textures that pervade the songs. Unfortunately, Adam Schlesinger is currently working with Fountains of Wayne, but hopefully we haven't heard the last from Ivy.

MP3: Ivy - One More Last Kiss
Buy: Here

1 comment:

beketaten said...

These selections are absolutely to die for.

If you're looking to listen to some of Skye's music, just download the song "Love Show" first and then be enchanted XD

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