24 June 2013

Sigur Rós - Valtari (2012)

My favorite Sigur Rós album.

04 February 2013

Whirr - Distressor (2011)

My favorite Shoegaze album of all time. OF ALL TIME.

Late Night Tales : Jamiroquai (2003)

Whether you like Jamiroquai or not, I will guarantee you this is probably the best late night soul/funk mix I have heard. If for some reason you are up insanely late, enjoy some soul from 1978-1980. 

New Order - Technique (1989)

It maybe because I have a known craving for poppy dance music, or it might be that bad ass album cover, but I simply love this album. Known to be recorded during a time when house music was beginning to show dominance in the music scene in the late 80's, Technique incorporates snyth and drum rhythms with addictive, and catchy melodic vocals. I love every track in this album  and it is easily the best in the band's catalog.


24 January 2013

New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies (1983)


"A great leap forward from their funereal debut album, Power, Corruption & Lies cemented New Order's place as the most exciting dance-rock hybrid in music (and it didn't even include the massive "Blue Monday" single, released earlier that year). Confident and invigorating where Movement had sounded disconsolate and lost, the record simply pops with energy from the beginning "Age of Consent," an alternative pop song with only a smattering of synthesizers overlaying an assured Bernard Sumner, who took his best vocal turn yet. Unlike the hordes of synth pop acts then active, New Order experimented heavily with their synthesizers and sequencers. What's more, while most synth pop acts kept an eye on the charts when writing and recording, if New Order were looking anywhere (aside from within), it was the clubs -- "The Village" and "586" had most of the technological firepower of the mighty "Blue Monday." But whenever the electronics threatened to take over, Peter Hook's grubby basslines, Bernard Sumner's plaintive vocals, and Stephen Morris' point-perfect drum fills reintroduced the human element. Granted, they still had the will for moodiness; the second track was "We All Stand," over five minutes of dubbed-out melancholia. Aside from all the bright dance music and production on display, Power, Corruption & Lies also portrayed New Order's growing penchant for beauty: "Your Silent Face" is a sublime piece of electronic balladry."

23 January 2013

The Rosebuds - Love Deluxe (2012)

Stereogum.com : 

"Sade’s Love Deluxe is an intensely haunting, luxuriant, revelatory album; at the time of its release in 1992, Sade was already a tremendously successful artist crossing over smooth jazz, soul, and R&B formats, but in many ways Love Deluxe represented a tremendous leap forward for the singer. Recorded with her immensely dextrous collaborators Sweetback, the album predated trip-hop by a few years, and clearly had an influence on that genre’s seminal artists: Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky. Two decades later, it has more in common with the spaced-out beauty of Bark Psychosis or Spirit Of Eden-period Talk Talk than it does Sade’s contemporaries at the time (e.g., Seal, Natalie Cole). The album was released on 11/11/1992, and to celebrate its 20th birthday, Brooklyn/Raleigh, NC indie duo the Rosebuds covered the album in its entirety and have made it available for free download on their Bandcamp. Tonally, their interpretation is pretty true Sade and Sweetback’s original — spare, warm, pristine, striking — although the band’s instrumentation is more organic, and Rosebuds singer Ivan Howard doesn’t possess Sade’s bottomless vocal depth. That’s not meant as criticism; if anything, it should be read as high praise. Howard’s vocals are absolutely commanding here; Sade is simply in a class of her own. And the band’s instrumental choices give new emphasis to aspects of the music that might have been blurred into narcotic haze in the original version. I highly recommend listening to it — at night, in dim light, if possible — and then going back to the original"

21 January 2013



Terry Callier - What Color Is Love (1972)

Waxpoetics issue 47:

"While this is one of Callier's most socially conscious LPs (including the Vietname lament "Ho Tsing Mee"), he also found space for the two of his most beautiful and sublime soul ballads, "Just as Long as We're in Love" and "You Don't Care." 

One of my favorite soul records of all time. So perfect. So soulful. 

Liquid Liquid - Liquid Liquid (1997)

EW.com -

"Best known — okay, only known — for the great bass line of ''Cavern,'' which Grandmaster Flash later turned into the classic ''White Lines,'' late-'70s/early-'80s quartet Liquid, Liquid fused the percussive pulse of post-punk experimenters like Gang of Four with the energy of early rap. This overdue CD, Liquid, Liquid, compiles their three rare EPs and live bonus tracks, preserving a small but significant part of music history. "

14 January 2013

Laserdisc Visions - New Dreams Ltd. (2011)

"The sounds and textures aren’t composed as they are stitched together from various sources, presented almost unchanged but arranged in such a way as to make sense in a way that’s foreign but almost-not-foreign, like the soundtrack to a bright white sterile plastic airport club that exists ten years from now. It’s futurism as seen through the eyes of the early 1990s businessman. The music is haunting in its accuracy of the feelings it conjures while listening to it, and the feelings are uncomfortable because you’ve felt variations of them, but not necessarily these exact feelings. It’s pleasant in the way an out-of-body experience is probably pleasant as you gaze at your hospital room." - Critical Masses

I couldn't say that any better. Out of all the vaporwave albums that come out this year, I enjoy this one the most. It offers the most obscure samples coming from old Sega Saturn games and Japanese commercials from the mid 90's. I can't tell you how nostalgic I felt listening to this... nostalgic for moments I never lived or experienced.   

Ghibli - Rare Pleasures (2012)

My favorite album of 2012. Dreamy, repetitive, house influenced tracks are the best thing to happen since sliced bread. The great thing about this album is that is completely created from youtube samples. Tracks like "Babyface" and "Little Clique" are guaranteed to be on repeat.

01 June 2011

Suede - Performance (1994)

AWESOME live show, with three additional live tracks thrown in for good measure (Later With Jools Holland, 4/6/1993 . The second to last of their last shows with original guitarist Bernard Butler (who is in rare form here). Of note is the opening song "Pantomime Horse," "Heroine," "He's Dead," and "Stay Together" (one of the 4 or 5 times they played it live; GREAT way to end a show) . IMO, this is britpop at it's finest.

Get it here.

30 May 2011

Suede - Stay Together (1994)

From allmusic (4/5):

"Although the chorus is the weakest of Suede's five singles to this point, thanks to an ineffective falsetto backing vocal by Brett Anderson, a lush and lustful, pretty verse -- another instant tune from guitarist Bernard Butler, the big talent in the band -- and a dramatic bridge punctuated by uncharacteristic background touches in the form of horns and cello make "Stay Together" another fine outing. It's no departure from the LP material, and the rather overt Bowie/Smiths influences are still everywhere, but this is no treading-water release either, particularly since the B-side "The Living Dead" brings the cello back to spruce up a gurgling acoustic track. Similarly, the other B-side "My Dark Star" continues Suede's Smiths-like tradition of high-quality shimmer pop B-sides that often beat their lesser LP material. Butler's guitar stabs like a throbbing tone underneath a tasteful lead in the vocal-less verse. Nice stuff, nice single, exceptional guitar work."

Get it here.

28 May 2011

Sonic Youth - Hallucinogenic Preserve (1996) [bootleg]

Great bootleg of their performance on tour after their criminally slept-on Washing Machine.

Get it here.

21 May 2011

Slowdive - Outside Your Room (1993)

"If you don't have Slowdive's EP's you're missing their most of their best music. Luckily, their contents are not nearly as difficult to find as they were ten years ago as a result of reissues and compilations. The original's still command very high prices, however. This one tends to get lost amidst the three earlier ones and the more Post-Rock oriented later ones, but it's still indispensible. Coupling Souvlaki Space Station with Moussaka Chaos is almost an overdose of pure bliss, but the hidden gem here is "So Tired" which has one of the most stunning down-tuned, reverbed guitar parts I've ever heard. All of Slowdive's music is timeless and ravishingly beautiful, and this album is no exception."

Get it here.

16 May 2011

Jacques Brel - Olympia 61 (1962)

From rateyourmusic (5/5):

"The songs are great, the arrangements perfect, the performances extraordinary. The set has such a terrific flow to it; he knows exactly when a change of mood is required, and almost seems to be telling some abstract story over the duration of the entire record to go with the specific ones in each song.

I realised it had become my favourite record when, almost without meaning to, I kept putting it on to hear the opening numbers (an excellent "Prénoms de Paris" going into a lung-stripping "Les bourgeois" which elicits stunned, even slightly frightened, applause after the first chorus) and found, without fail, that I could not turn it off until the end (when I would quite often put it back to the start and listen again). For a couple of weeks, I listened to it every day, most days more than once. I started to feel that the album was sending me insane, and I didn't care. This slip into the lunatic was confirmed when I heard the record leaking out of the iPod of somebody seated in front of me on the bus (this wasn't in Paris, it was in Rotherham). I took this as a sign from somebody's god that yes, this was it, this was the record. Maybe I should have taken it as a sign that I needed help. Hindsight etc.

Two years later, the fucking thing still makes me miss appointments."

Get it here.

11 May 2011

Saint Etienne - Foxbase Alpha (1991) deluxe ed (2009)

"This is what started it all. From album to album, the trio of Saint Etienne change musically like a chameleon changes its colors - and each change can be appreciated in a different way. There's something special about Foxbase Alpha, though. Sure it's a little rough around the edges (not having the help of the mixers from albums like Tiger Bay and Continental), but this album has a warmth all its own - a sort of timelessness, if you will. Some of the songs on the album are achievements that the Etienne have yet to top. 'Nothing Can Stop Us' is an amazing song, and it WILL put you in a good mood, no question. 'London Belongs To Me' washes you away in a dreamy sea of gentle vocals and synths. And of course, there's 'Spring', an utterly charming and innocent number. Those are my favorites, but I haven't even mentioned their outstanding covers - 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' by Neil Young, 'Kiss And Make Up' by the Field Mice... I could go on and on.

I love all of Saint Etienne's albums, and I appreciate each of them for what they are - it takes guts to make a pop record one year and a techno one the next, at the risk of seriously alienating some fans. Foxbase Alpha, though, is on a pedestal in my heart. Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs, and Sarah Cracknell may have gone on from here to explore newer, stranger, and wilder sonic frontiers, but this, their first foray into music, is simply magical."

Get it here.

06 May 2011

Rites of Spring - End On End (1991)

From allmusic (4.5/5):

"Released on CD by Dischord in 1991, this digital version of End on End covers the complete recorded output of the legendary Rites of Spring: their self-titled LP, the All Through a Life EP, and one extra song. One of the first bands to be labeled emocore, Rites of Spring would seem to transcend all labels as their music cuts right through to the heart of universal human experience. Emotional? Yes -- check out the bitter memorial relived on "For Want Of," the pulse pounding moment-grab that is "Drink Deep," or the devoted searches for honesty and meaning explored on "End on End," "Theme," and really just about every track on the disc. Hardcore? Yes -- emerging from the D.C. scene, the music is pure focused energy, not a single note wasted. The band at times is fast and furious, at other times lush and evocative though always with a sense of drive and melody. Rites of Spring hint at some of the territory vocalist/guitarist Guy Picciotto and drummer Brendan Canty would later survey with Fugazi, but this band is much more than just a stepping stone. End on End, quite simply, is a testament to the rich possibilities of sincerity in music."

Get it here.

30 April 2011

M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us (2005)

From allmusic (3.5/5):

"Before the Dawn Heals Us
is M83's follow-up to the 2003 international breakthrough Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. If you're noticing a trend toward drifting album titles, that's deliberate -- M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez loves crafting antigravity masterpieces of layered and meandering synthesizers. He's also the principal player on Dawn, with previous collaborator Nicolas Fromageau having moved into solo work. Left to his own devices, Gonzalez has made a more cohesive record than Dead Cities. As nice as they were, that album's synthesized soundscapes tended to drift into a foggy territory between Boards of Canada and Tangerine Dream. Dawn remedies that with the addition of vocals, more consistent beats, and a cinematic pace. "Teen Angst" and "Don't Save Us From the Flames" pin gorgeous melodies to an indie electronic sound comparable to the Notwist; "Flames" in particular is a great departure, roaring out of the gate with giddy drum fills and an oscillating keyboard squiggle. "Farewell/Goodbye" is an icy, Air-ish duet between Ben of Cyann & Ben and Big Sir vocalist Lisa Papineau; it's not the most effective thing on Before the Dawn Heals Us, but it works as a love theme to the imaginary Michael Mann film Gonzalez seems at times to be directing. (Check out that cover art.) The album also has its stretches of instrumental wander. "I Guess I'm Floating," for example, features a scattered sample of children's laughter over lingering keyboard flourishes. But Gonzalez never gets carried away on the breeze -- he'll set a mood, but he'll cut it wide open, too. "Let Men Burn Stars" is a breathy and innocuous lull before the recording's most intense passage, "Car Chase Terror." "Look at my hands, I'm shaking...." a woman (actress Kate Moran) says over the hiss of crickets, her words tense with fear. A moody electronic pulse fades in, and suddenly you're in the midst of the chase, narrated by the same scared voice -- "Turn the key! Go! Go!" -- and the melody is melodramatic and terrifying all at once. Before the Dawn Heals Us is ambitious for sure, an emphatic step forward from the linger of Dead Cities. But it might also be a transition album for Gonzalez, a storyboard of where he'll take M83 next."

Get it here.

24 April 2011

Portishead - Roseland NYC Live (1998)

From allmusic (3/5):

"By the end of the '90s, artists realized that CD and CD-R bootlegs of live performances were in high demand, which meant that they could profit by officially releasing certain "special" live performances. Portishead's one-night stand at New York City's Roseland Ballroom, released as PNYC, certainly qualifies as one of those "special" occasions. Performing with a 35-piece orchestra, Portishead runs through selections from its two albums, favoring its second slightly. On the surface, it doesn't seem like the orchestra would add much to the performances, especially since the arrangements remain similar, but its presence makes the music tense, dramatic, and breathtaking. This is especially true of the material from Portishead. On album, several of these songs sounded a little flat, but here they soar right alongside such staples as "Mysterons," "Sour Times," and "Glory Box." That alone doesn't necessarily make PNYC revelatory -- instead, it deepens a listener's understanding of the artist, much like the Tindersticks' The Bloomsbury Theatre. Which means, of course, that PNYC is much more compelling and essential than the average live album."

Get it here.