Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pop Up Me Toaster

Okay, pop fans, here's the skinny (what do you mean, people stopped saying that in 1972? I. Am. Still. Young. You. Bastids.). New Camera Obscura album, and if you love pop, you want it. It's going to be just about big enough that they will no longer be our secret.

Here's French navy. Tracyanne has prettied herself up a bit. I'm in love with Tracyanne. In my dreams, we scowl together.

The album's a bit overproduced but still ace.

I don't listen to much pop these days, but when I do, I like it Scandy. Scandinavians seem to have a great way with retro with a twist. I was a big fan of the twisted Aqua Girl carcrash that the Knife produced, and no less a fan of Karin Dreijer Andersson's solo project, Fever Ray:

I was going to embed Lykke Li's I'm good, I'm gone, for slightly lighter Scandy goodness, but her rather shortsighted record company has disabled the embedding. It can be found here though. Lykke Li always looks a bit angry to me. Maybe it's the cold.

More Karin Dreijer Andersson? Here she is with Royksopp. No proper visuals but this song just bangs. It's an update on Europop, made by people with a clue:

The album, Junior, is a million miles from their bestselling debut, Melody AM, but it's no worse for it. This track, You don't have a clue, featuring the wonderful Anneli Drecker, is as good as anything they've ever done. Or ever will do, probably:

More often heard chez Zen though is dub techno, particularly the Berlin style exemplified by Echospace and the various guys connected with Basic Channel. Here they are in their Rhythm & Sound guise, featuring Cornell Campbell:

Now that's a smoker's delight! Less dubby and more ambient is Yagya. His Rigning is a standout ambient techno album. The tracks are tied together with samples of rain and atmosphere. Try Rigning sex (Icelandic for "six", not jiggy jiggy):

Yagya's concept is that his record captures Iceland in the rain. If I tell you that I think he's successful, and that Iceland is the most beautiful place I've seen, you know that I rate the album highly.

Rigning is less dub techno than influenced by dub techno, if you know what I mean. So to balance it out, here's some dubstep, which is less techno and more, erm, well, I suppose you can hear the dub influence but dubstep is rarely all that dubby at all:

It's not very step either, to be fair. It's just slowburning electronica, but nice all the same. If you're not clear on the difference, here's some dubstep from 2562:

and from Burial:

Those both have something like the trademark twostep rhythm. Dubstep borrows its lurching drums from dub. On Untrue, you can hear the kick hitting on the first and third beats, but not the second and fourth. Often this makes a song seem to have a slower tempo than it does.

It's not all marijuana-fuelled headnodding chez Zen though. Walk past my house (no, really, don't) and you'll more often hear techno, often minimal. I particularly like the Wighnomy Brothers' mix Metawuffmischfelge. Here are the Brothers live:

Those people dance like I do, when I'm doing the washing up and I think no one's looking. I've also been loving Ben Klock, although more so his mixes than his music. Not that his music isn't fine:

This stuff is great to listen to in the background when pokering or editing. Or for dancing, I suppose, but even though I. Am. Still. Young. I am too old, too fat and too ugly for nightclubs, sadly.

If I wasn't, I could probably be convinced to bop to this:

and I recommend Isolee's Wearemonster, which is more uncategorisable than this (none of it would fit on a deep house compilation imo).


At 1:51 pm, Blogger Arleen said...

hmmmm. Either I'm in a very strange mood tonight, or you actually picked some music I can dig. I especially love the 2562 clip and the last one.

"I've also been loving Ben Klock, although more so his mixes than his music."

What are mixes? Electronic sounds mixed together to make a good beat/song?

As for those dancers, you'd think that being alone with no one to see you could move a bit better than that. ;-)

At 1:54 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"Mix" can mean several things, but in this instance I mean a studio mix, which is a bunch of songs mashed together in the same way a DJ does it in a club, but done in a studio. Here's Klock's mix for FACT, which is really good:


Post a Comment

<< Home