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
You Can't Go Home Again
DJ Shadow - You Can’t Go Home Again
The king of sampling DJ Shadow is often known for his standout debut album Endtroducing which obliterated the arguments of anyone still seriously contesting the legitimacy of sampling as an art form. But his second full length studio effort The Private Press tends to be brushed aside from public consciousness despite it being equally as strong as Endtroducing.
What The Private Press lacks in breaking new ground it makes up for in innovation and further experimentation. It is hard to pinpoint what it is that makes the album so incredible; perhaps it is the experience of being transformed to an unpredictable and exciting new soundscape with each track. This is definitely not 3 minute pop song territory, and DJ Shadow challenges the listener’s expectations by shifting focus and pushing boundaries with every new sample he uses.
Photo of DJ Shadow and fellow Quannum artist Chief Xcel in 1995.
Download - You Can’t Go Home Again (control-click, save as)
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
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)
Bonobo - Cirrus (radio rip)
Bonobo has a reputation for being one of the premier ambient / electronic producers in the world. This is a reputation that has been building for several years and there are more and more fans anticipating the man’s next move.
Thankfully, three years after releasing his last original album Black Sands, Bonobo has returned with Cirrus, premiering the tune of Giles Peterson’s BBC Radio 6 show and rumour has it that he is due to release a new album in 2013.
The track features complex percussion and predominantly live instrumentation that has been masterfully mixed to create a minimalist tune. The end result is Cirrus. One listen to this song will induce the same brain wave frequency patterns as mediation. Unfortunately that state of mind will be broken by Giles Peterson talking over it.
Keep your ears peeled for the legitimate copy when it is released later this year.
Jessie Ware - 110%
In the spirit of the garage revival, Jessie Ware’s new track plays with a bouncy bassline and fast percussion. The British songwriter is no stranger the UK electronic scene, having collaborated with SBTRKT and Joker.
Her other work has been compared with Adele in terms of her diva delivery, but I think I’d prefer hearing Jessie Ware continue to broaden her fanbase by exploring garage/dub/trip hop accompaniments, rather than following the all too familiar path of femme pop stardom. No disrespect intended.