Archive for the ‘Leftfield’ Category

The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist [2000]
January 4, 2014

Happy New Year folks! To celebrate the madness of working the entire holiday period, here’s one of the very best sample based tracks of the past decade. It takes some serious talent to mash this amount of completely disconnected samples together into a track that not only makes sense but is insanely catchy as well. The music video is completely off the wall but the track is a masterstroke in breakbeat lead samplage. Its a track you’ll be humming long after you first heard it.

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Basecamp – 2 Thingz [2013]
November 19, 2013

One sent over by my much better half, Basecamp look to be doing a cracking job of meshing R&B/Dub percussions with huge sweeping synths and textured electronic landscapes. While in itself that would normally be all I need to sign up, you also have a fantastic set of vocals that really polish the track into a total cracker.

They have rather generously uploaded their entire EP to Soundcloud and while all the tracks are great in their own right, this is the standout for me. Its all about the bleeps man.

Here is the artist page with links to the entire EP for your listening pleasure, enjoy.

Alpines – Empire (Creep Remix)[2012]
June 14, 2013

Well now the pressure is easing at work, I can go to work on getting this blog more frequently updated! The Alpines are a trio from South London, Bob Matthews (guitar and production) and Catherine Pockson (pianist, singer/songwriter). They have kicked out some really stellar downtempo, atmospheric crackers over the years and this is no exception. Taken from the EP of the same name which incidentally is a cracking buy in its own right, this remix by Creep is an absolute stormer. Preserving the vocals and adding a deep and dark flavor to the arrangement, you get a fantastically forward looking electronica track.

Howie B – Hey Jack (UNKLE Metamorphosis Mix) [2003]
April 10, 2012

Now this is a cracking remix from UNKLE and while I cant comment on the original, this remix has the lot. Taken from the mix album “Big Brother Is Watching”, another concept mix cd that allegedly has its roots in a mix that James Lavelle did for an essential mix. The track has an awesome menacing build-up, dark scary basslines and razor sharp breaks giving the whole track another trademark grimy UNKLE tune. Absolutely fantastic.

UNKLE – Nursery Rhyme (UNKLESounds Shin Mix Edit) [2002]
April 10, 2012

Taken from the superb Shin mix of the mix album from UNKLE known as “Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats”. Taking the bass break from the original and just propelling it across the board into a rocking Dubby Trip Hop sounding break beast, this has to be one of the best re-edits of any UNKLE track ive heard. The sounds are wonderfully dark and grimy, giving Badly Drawn Boy’s lyrics a suitably filthy environment to wallow within. Thankfully the bassline is solid all the way through, adding a little level of distortion to the whole arrangement which only enhances the dirty feel of this track. What a tune.

From Discogs
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Beats is an outstanding release by Unkle, but there is a certain amount of confusion surrounding it. It’s first release was limited to 500, yet there would seem to be more than that floating around….and there is. A second release was made, still under the ‘for promotional use only’ tag (numbers will still be relatively low, a few thousand maybe). The differentiating feature is a barcode on the top side of the slip.

The rationale behind this ‘unofficial’ wider release would be the licensing of certain tracks from the album would be impossible in an official commercial release….hence, ‘for promotional use only’. People saying that these barcoded DADOEB’s are bootlegs should have a long hard think about it….among other things. Cause if they are bootlegs someone has put in one hell of an effort, firstly production (and if you did do a bootleg would you really differentiate it by wacking on a barcode…Duh), and secondly, getting it distributed to LOTS of shops (they aren’t just popping up in the UK, but also the US and Australia, and I would guess numerous other places). If a bootlegger can manage this, maybe he/she should think of starting label.

The more likely answer would be that a certain not to be mentioned label realised the licensing issues involved with this release and rather than altering the original sets decided to do a little creative circumvention.

Blue by LaTour [1993]
March 26, 2012

How about some downtempo electronica with your Simple Minds synth? This track from LaTour was a pretty decent hit for this one hit wonder. The main claim to fame this track has? It followed Channel X’s “Rave The Rhythm” in Basic Instinct’s club sequence.

Bomb The Bass – Black River (Gui Boratto Remix) [2009]
September 28, 2011

What an incredible remix from Gui Boratto, preserving the wonderfully melancholic vocals but dropping it over a completely different flavor of composition. Darky, haunting but slightly uplifting with a slice hint of malevolence. The track is a masterstroke of electronic, giving all the big boys a run for their money. You can find this masterpiece either on the 12″ release of Black River or alternatively on the incredible album from Bomb The Bass, Future Chaos. If you dont have this album, rectify that immediately, its chuffin’ amazing.

A great review of Future Chaos from Bomb The Bass

RIP Loleatta Holloway
March 22, 2011

Loleatta Holloway

Its a sad sad day for music. We lost one of the truly great female vocalists. In this day of autotune and refined marketability, Holloway continued to find cuts of her vocals in all manner of music, in many cases without any financial compensation. Her voice remains one of the most sampled in the history of music with Love Sensation being one of the most prolific accapella’s of all time.

I grew up with Loleatta Holloway’s voice, from the originals back in the early to mid Eighties to the rise of the sampler and House & Garage tunes from 1987 onwards. From that point on, I dont think ive heard more than 20 different electronic tracks before I find one with a vocal from Holloway. Ive lost the plot with her, i’ve danced around a field with her voice floating across the fields, heard in raves, mixtapes, hardcore, house, drum & bass, commercials, movie trailers, on my ipod about four times a day and i’d hazard a guess that she was playing the day I got married. There are very few artists that I know of that can claim to have been in the collective audio unconscious of sample based music lovers for almost four decades.

She was one of the truly great vocalists of our time and one that will be very sorely missed by me. In an effort to do any kind of justice to this memory, lets get the music underway.

RIP Loleatta Holloway, you were fucking amazing.

…the key to her appeal is that she doesn’t push herself too far to the front. The pleasure of listening to divas like Whitney or Rihanna is that it’s an aspirational experience – women want to be them, men want to be with them. Holloway is a different proposition: a collective experience, of mutual understanding and shared joy. She takes the utopian ideals of clubland – sex, community, abandon – and massively amplifies them back at the dancers, singing to each one of them and the club as a whole. As her voice surges onto and fills the dancefloor, it really does feel like we’re all getting stronger.
Taken from a Great Obituary from the Guardian

Bjork – Big Time Sensuality (Fluke Minimix) [1993]
February 16, 2011

Just wow. Want an uplifting track? Stick this on, repeat. Fluke simply supplement the original, supporting Bjork’s vocals with a bassline and unintrusive synth riff. I think its a crime this doesnt find its way onto more compilations and mixes, its just fantastic.

“I don’t know my future after this weekend, and i don’t want to” – Words to live by wouldnt you say.

From Discogs
A rather mixed bag which may not necessarily appeal to clubbers or fans of the elfin one. The Fluke mixes were what originally drew me to the single and they do a good job of brightening up the track, although there’s little variation across the 3 versions. Justin Robertson’s mixes were great at the time, but haven’t dated too well, whilst the Dom T mix still doesn’t do it in my opinion. Which leaves the Morales mix – typical uptempo rework but frustratingly short in the radio edit version included here.

Bjork & David Arnold – Play Dead [1993]
February 16, 2011

It took me a LONG LONG time to finally *get* Bjork. I slanted her for a fair old while but going back to Debut, damn what was I thinking. This track is one of the stand outs from that album and what a stand out it is. The minute you hear her vocal kick in, the hairs on the back of your neck are tingling and its not a patch on what comes next. What a VOICE, smooth as hell and so powerful when given the room. Which is exactly what David Arnold did with this track, using the orchestral score to supplement the vocals only. Amazing.