Archive for the ‘Rock’ Category

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.

The Cure – A Forest (Album Version) [1980]
January 24, 2013

Something a little more eccentric today but a real cracker none the less. This release from The Cure’s 1980 album “Seventeen Seconds” sounds way ahead of its time, mashing some post-punk sensibilites with some wicked electro / effect pedal business and a bloody fantastic guitar riff that’s just begging for a remix. Cracking tune.

It took me an age to come around to listening to The Cure, pretty much dismissing them for years as whiny Indie Rock that I couldn’t get interested in. However, having picked up Seventeen Seconds and Faith several years ago, I found I couldn’t get enough. They have a massive back catalogue but spend some time in the 1980-1983 Cure period and its plain as day how they became to garner such a devout and rabid following. Easily one of the best bands of the 20th Century in my opinion.

Michael Jackson – Rock With You (Frankie Knuckles Favourite Club Mix) [1995]
November 29, 2012

For the record, I pretty much adore Michael Jackon’s first 3 Albums, Off The Wall being my favourite by a long way with Bad and then Thriller. Dont care about the eccentricities, accusations or any of that shit, the music stands bigger than the man.

Now, I have no idea what Frankie Knuckles was smoking when he wrote the intro to this remix since it deviates so far from the original disco/funk classic it hard to believe its even related to the original. But this is the intro I think every artist wishes his tracks remix would have. Its a full force emotional buildup of biblical proportions with a piano riff so inspired it just steamrolls the listener into submission. Soon as the drop comes, your back in Frankie Knuckles familiar housey territory and its a pretty happy bouncer for the remaining 5 mins but you’ll find yourself constantly yearning for that intro.

On a side note, after MJ passed away, a guy with the online handle of Technics2000 did a kind of tribute mix featuring tracks from his entire back catalogue in their best remix format. Its an amazing mix that I strongly recommend you go grab and give the guy some love. Its been on constant repeat this week on my 14 hr days and im yet to get bored! There’s lots of links online, just run a search for “Technics2000 Michael Jackson”

Simple Minds – Theme For Great Cities [1981]
March 26, 2012

However, it can be said that Pete Heller and Terry Farley did not originate their string section from the excellent Perfect Motion remix. Nope those strings have a far wider legacy than just that progressive track. In fact, the introduction, melody and drum programming from Theme From Great Cities have found their way into countless tracks spanning every possible genre of sample based music.

Now take a listen, can you tell why? Yeah, I bet you can, this track is a fucking stormer. Hard to believe it dates back to ’81 as it still sounds as fresh now as it did 30 years ago. Simple Minds man, always comming out of left field to remind you why they remain one of the truly unsung heroes of modern music.

Echo and the Bunnymen – The Killing Moon (All Night Version) [1983]
January 11, 2012

I’ll confess, Echo and the Bunnymen are a secret love of mine. Every so often, when all that electronica is boiling my brain in my skull, I need to break away. Usually i’ll move into some soul maybe some disco or funk. Sometimes I go a bit bonkers and crank up the classical. However, quite frequently, i’ll fire up Ocean Rain from The Bunnymen and bask in its irreverent New Age madness. This being probably my favourite of the lot, with an incredible intro that just keeps on going and going until the track kicks in and cranks it into overdrive. LOVE IT.

The Blue Aeroplanes – ..and Stones (Lovers All Around Mix) [1990]
December 30, 2011

I’ll confess, I know next to bugger all about The Blue Aeroplanes other than they have been around for donkeys years and their primary genre would be closer to Indie Rock than the track above. That said, this is a classic remix in the vein of Baggy Madchester turn of the nineties rock/rave music. Its not surprise then that this track is featured on one of my favourite Telstar compilations “Rave” also released in 1990.

The track holds a certain special place in my heart as I actually remixed the intro guitar solo when I was a kid writing modules in OctaMED on my Amiga 500. The laugh was I didnt have my two phono jacks in correctly and since the track is encoded in mono on my CD, I only got half of the guitar riff through the sampler. Needless to say, it was a wonderful and unexpected result that I crafted into one of my many extremely mediocre attempts at music production. If I ever get around to getting those tracks off the old floppy disks, rest assured I will upload them here!

So anyway, why this track today, well I was sat on the bus and on it came. While usually I would skip the track (and all the horrible music remix memories it holds) this time around I thought I would give it a shot. Reminding me how much I actually do love this track. Its a quality remix, catchy vocals and some incredible guitar riff work. Classic.

Bon Iver – Holocene [2010]
December 22, 2011

So here’s a change of pace for you. Ive been hearing the name Bon Iver a whole lot over the past 12 months. He found himself on KCRW one morning which I thoroughly enjoyed but ive never given myself over to taking a full listen of any of his works. I have friends that have gushed about him all year long, people going crazy about how amazing he is live. Well, today I finally got around to queuing up a stack of tracks on YouTube and giving myself an Iver breakdown.

The Verdict? Awesome. If you are not listening to the above track right now, stop reading and hit play. Then go buy this guys self titled album as its an hour of audio bliss. I cant put my finger on what makes this so refreshing, I can hear all manner of artists weaved into the melodies. You have natural Royksopp/Sigur Ros comparisons on the vocal front, there’s some downtempo electronica courtesy of Modeselektor, Apparat and Trentmoller. There’s the folksy guitar business of a thousand backroom jammers. Iver manages to weave so many familiar sounds into his compositions that you dont have to try too hard to listen. They are perfect tracks to put on and sink into, absolutely cracking.

Bjork – Virus [2011]
August 22, 2011

Caught this on KCRW this morning and it blew me away. Deep rumbling bass, almost Dubsteppy in its arrangement, playing underneath this ridiculously eccentric bells and vocal composition from Bjork. You have to give it a couple of listens to really let it settle in on you but once it does, its a wonderful experience. Uplifting as only Bjork can do, with that mental voice of hers with some bonkers lyrics that make sense only after the third or fourth listen. Classic, irreplaceable Bjork business.

The Stone Roses – I Am The Resurrection [1989]
August 19, 2011

Fools Gold will forever be my favourite Stone Roses track but “I Am The Resurrection” comes pretty damn close. Not because the start of the track is classic Roses rock with some innovative lyrics and catchy hooks. No, its because at four minutes in, the planets decided to align and finish the last track on one of the greatest albums ever released, the right way. Gone are the lyrics, gone is the catchy riff of the previous four minutes, what happens next is pure divine inspiration. The band just seems to jam, pumped on the previous ten tracks and kicks the encore into overdrive. Its four minutes of some of the most inspirational music ive ever heard in my life. Its abso-fucking-loutely amazing, what a track.

From Discogs
Utterly fantastic debut and one of the best albums of all time (and I still think that’s an understatement!). Anytime I get a chance to introduce this LP to a new friend, my anticipation grows to enormous heights because I get to listen to it again, and each time I hear it, I feel as if I’m experiencing it for the first time as well. I think it’s impossible not to get lost in this recording and it’s world of sound and wonder.
This is truly a timeless sonic document of MAMMOTH proportions.
The Stone Roses are eternal…

The Stone Roses were one of many bands coming from the mighty Manchester following on from the likes of The Smiths, New Order (geographically not sonically) who paved the way for the Oasis etc.

Anyway, this album is a near perfect example of the late 80’s / early 90’s explosion of youth club culture where an indie record could be played next to a dance record and next to a rap record. All the songs are pure emotional bliss and even the shortest (Elizabeth My Dear) taking a riff from Simon & Garfunkel is miles better than the palest of imitators from the time.

The lyrics of each song match perfectly the accompanying artwork from John Squire, the tight drumming from Reni and slightly funk-driven basslines from Mani were always super tight with Squire’s lead guitar and Ian Brown’s understated delivery – truly an album of it’s time and still one of my favourites today.

If you like indie, dance or just generally good music you should have a copy of this LP or CD

No wonder St Etienne declared on the run-out groove to Kiss & Make Up that: “John Squire You Are My Guitar Hero”

E.L.O – Livin’ Thing [1976]
May 16, 2011

Pretty much guaranteed to be heard on Radio Two, Three, local radio all over the UK. Its a total classic from 1976 and played almost constantly throughout my childhood. Helping my old man in the Garage? Livin’ Thing. Listening to John Peel? Livin’ Thing. Driving to see my grandparents? Livin’ Thing. As familiar a song as anything from Off The Wall or by Luther Vandross! Wicked.

From Wikipedia
“Livin’ Thing” is a song written by Jeff Lynne and performed by Electric Light Orchestra. It appears on ELO’s 1976 platinum-selling album, A New World Record. Patti Quatro sang uncredited vocals, particularly the ‘higher and higher’ parts of “Livin’ Thing”, according to Unzipped, an autobiography by her sister Suzi Quatro.

In August 2006, “Livin’ Thing” was named by the UK’s Q magazine as the #1 ‘Guilty Pleasure’ single of all time – a list designed to celebrate ‘uncool’ but excellent records, and which received considerable publicity. The original single had the added bonus of having “Fire On High” on the flip side, a song that became the band’s most popular instrumental piece. The UK version was released in a Blue vinyl format.