Cutup Piano And Xylophone
Fridge - Cutup Piano And Xylophone
Four Tet has a pretty large fanbase nowadays, but not many fans of his music would know that before building his reputation as the godfather of folktronica, he made music in a trio called Fridge.
The group was pretty prolific in the late 90s, early 00s, producing four albums in five years. The very descriptively titled Cutup Piano and Xylophone is taken from their third full-length effort Happiness. It blurs the line between sampling and live instrumentation in a fresh, unconventional way.
Download - Cutup Piano and Xylophone (control-click & save)
The Shins - New Slang
If I had to choose one track from The Shins’ impressive back catalogue, it would be New Slang. The melody is sweet one moment then melancholic the next and James Mercer’s lyrics may be personal and even cryptic at times, but his style of delivery is enough for even the casual listener to get a basic understanding of what he is talking about.
I’ve been enjoying this song years and years before I realized it was on the Garden State soundtrack and I think it was only a matter of time before this song shot the humble group into international stardom through some ad campaign, movie soundtrack or other means. I think that our readers are mature enough to appreciate quality music no matter the popularity or source of it’s creator.
I think that people are still listening to New Slang ten years after it was originally released because it has universal appeal, infinite playback value and it is memorable for all the right reasons.
Download - New Slang (control-click & save)
Jon Swift - Run River
There is very little information about American folk artist Jon Swift. His brief bio on his website lists his influences as being “his experiences with travel, personal challenges, social dysfunction, and most importantly, nature.”
I came across his music after sitting through a Corona commercial at the movies. This song was playing and I made a mental note to track it down. The rest is history. Chances are, you’ve probably heard a snippet ofRun River from the ad without realising what the track was called.
At the moment, Swift is recording a new album in the coastal town Byron Bay in New South Wales.
Aphex Twin - Avril 14th
Literally meaning April 14th in French, this instrumental piano piece is stands in contrast to Richard D James’ IDM, breakcore and fast paced electronic music.
The piece is simple and moving. James makes use of timing to emphasise the affect of the chords. The mood of the song alters in the middle and finishes at the emotional zenith.
Kanye West saw the beauty in the last few seconds of Avril 14th and sampled it on the track ‘Blame Game’, transforming the mood of the music in to a fully realised 7 minute break-up song.
Right-click here and select save for an mp3 of Avril 14th.
Dust In The Wind (Z-Trip & DJ P Remix)
Kansas - Dust In The Wind (Z-Trip & DJ P Remix)
You youngsters might think that silky mullets and eyepatches are unfashionable. But back in the 70s, men were rocking them everywhere on the wheatfields of the U S of A. Well, for-shame I say! There was a time when they ruled supreme and time can be cruel to the fashions of the day!
Nevertheless Kansas’ opus, Dust In The Wind remains timeless. Mashup master Z-Trip leaves this acoustic number mostly untouched, save for a funky hip hop beat. With this simple addition, he managed to make Kansas’ music approachable for those of you who might not have been instantly won over by the group’s fashion sense.
The track appeared on Uneasy Listening Vol. 1 in 2001 and only 1000 copies were pressed. Enjoy!
Someone Like You
New Order - Someone Like You
This track is from Manchester veterans New Order. I admit that I don’t listen to a lot of stuff from the band but this song is absolutely transcendental in its crescendo.
I’ve been listening to this one since I tracked it down in 2004 and it still makes frequent appearances on my iPod. It is lavishly produced and no effect is wasted on your ears.
Right click here and select save to download this gem.
When I Goosestep
The Shins - When I Goosestep
A decade ago, The Shins were in their infancy and James Mercer’s songwriting ability was little-known. Fast forward to 2011 and it is plain that their fanbase is formidable. This is a song I only discovered last year on a friend’s iPod. I loved it instantly. The lyrics are playful as Mercer talks about an invented dance move, the “goose-step” and how the significance of witnessing him perform it is eclipsed by his desire to impress the listener by explaining his new invention.
“I’m so impressed that you hear
My inventions, and that it matters more
Than what you saw with your eyes”
The Shins are due to release another album next year and it will be their first since 2007’s Wincing The Night Away. For now, enjoy the song and here’s a link to the MP3 (right-click and save as)