Four Tet - Unspoken (original version)
Unspoken originally contained a sample of Tori Amos. But because Four Tet could not get the sample cleared, he had to change the original version so it could be released on his sophmore LP Rounds.
Today (ten years after Rounds was released) he tweeted a link to the original 9 minute version along with a download link. What a champ!
Download - Unspoken (original version)
Bonobo - Sapphire
Finding a song to feature from Bonobo’s new album proved to be difficult. The entire LP is a cohesive unit with different textures and cultures like an organic plant growing more luscious with every listen.
I have however, settled on Sapphire for no other reason, other than it was playing when I began writing this. The song features just before the halfway mark and it is nothing less than you would expect from Britain’s elite DJ/producer. It is the kind of song you could play to your mother in law, your teenage hipster nephew, or your neighbour’s ant colony. In other words, I think few people would find Bonobo’s new album difficult to refuse or dispute.
I highly recommend The North Borders to lovers of all music. Released last month, Bonobo’s fifth album is all killer no filler and a definite venture into downtempo bliss.
I Saw the Sky
The Flashbulb - I Saw The Sky
The prolifically gifted musician The Flashbulb (aka Benn Jordan) is a man of many talents. He is a master drummer, drum programmer, pianist, guitarist and accomplished producer. The man is so musically gifted he has also opened up a music studio in his home city of Chicago.
I Saw The Sky is from Hardscrabble, Benn’s 13th album under his Flashbulb moniker (and third album he released last year).
Whether it is the bipolar disorder that fuels his creative drive, or his highly attuned senses, Benn’s artistic works are engrossing and immersive. His unique brand of downtempo, often orchestral breakbeat music is what I like to consider (at the risk of being called a musical snob) high art escapism.
Check out the beautifully filmed video for I Saw The Sky here.
Dauwd - Heat Division
Deep sea IDM at its finest. Let DJ Dauwd’s progressive post-garage music soothe you on your Sunday night.
The recently released track Heat Division is just the thing to prepare you for the week ahead. The minimalist moody textures of the track are sure to appeal to any fan of electronica.
Download - Heat Division
Twice (Black Room Session)
Little Dragon - Twice (Black Room Session)
Little Dragon have gradually been emerging into the social conscious through their genre-defying music. They have continued to break new ground with each subsequent release and with luck, they will continue to win over fans worldwide.
The Swedes released their self-titled debut album in 2007. Twice is the opener.
Beginning your album with a song like Twice is setting the bar high. Its deadpan melody and sparse production brings out the rawness of Yukimi Nagano’s vocals. That piano riff is contemplative and has been sampled to great effect by hip hop artists A.Dd+ on Under and Zion I & J. Period’s Likwid (Dubplate).
Perhaps one of the most impressive things about this song is that it is a live rendition of Twice. You can watch Little Dragon’s performance of this on Youtube.
Massive Attack - Lately
A couple of years ago, I’d been out with a group of friends in Melbourne for far longer and later than I’d anticipated. Home by 1am? Add four hours on to that and you’d be closer to the truth. Despite my sleep-deprived state, this track from Massive Attack’s 1991 debut managed to wade its way through the fog and into my memory during the eventual car-ride home. Too tired to bother asking what the track was, I noted some lyrics down and vowed to Google them when I was a little less narcoleptic.
Blue Lines is critically regarded as one of the best trip-hop albums of the early 90’s, but with tracks such as Unfinished Sympathy and Daydreaming receiving the most attention, this gentle penultimate number may slip past many radars.
Whilst now a partnership of Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshall, the Blue Lines-era membership included a third lad from Bristol - Andy Vowles. The beauty of Lately lies in its simplicity - effortlessly laid-back, but without being boring - evidenced in the fact that it grabbed my attention rather than sent me to sleep during our first encounter.
Shara Nelson was something of a fourth member during the recording of Blue Lines, co-writing tracks and lending vocals, and it is her voice that leads the way, guiding the listener through the murky bass and well-timed industrial hammers of Lately.
I’ll always associate this track with nighttime, but it can be enjoyed any time of day - particularly during this season, for, like Shara, summertime always gives me the blues too.
Emancipator - Minor Cause
Elegance and exotic soundscapes lather Emancipator’s new album Dusk to Dawn.
Nowhere is this more true than on the stunning opener Minor Cause. The music begins slowly and builds before blossoming into a fully recognised orchestral, electronic masterpiece. The strings alone make this song worthy of a listen, but Emancipator’s technological prowess transforms Minor Cause into a piece to be reckoned with. Highly recommended.
Download - Minor Cause
Stormy Weather (LarryOh Remix)
Little Dragon - Stormy Weather (LarryOh Remix)
For those of you who don’t know, Little Dragon are a quartet out of Sweden who specialise in innovative electronica. Aside from having the amazing Yukimi Nagano as the lead singer, they also experiment with soudscapes to great effect. My two favourite songs from the group, Twice and Ritual Union are good places to get acquainted with the band.
The Stormy Weather (LarryOh Remix) certainly acknowledges their relaxing sound and draws on samples to reconstruct a dreamwave tune certain to soothe you after a hard day at work or on a night time drive.
According to Pigeons and Planes, this track was available for free download, but I can’t find any link to suggest that is the case. I suppose you’ll have to get creative in working out another way to secure a copy.