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.