Continuing my love of all things Ninja here’s another stonking album. Listening to Amon Tobin is like listening to big magnets grinding against each other. Powerful, cool and metallic. I just made that up but really you should listen to the tunes to get a real feel for him. Four Ton Mantis in particular is an amazing tune full of bass and oozing class. Murderous class, but class none the less. If normal electronica music is like Roger Moore then Amon Tobin is like Daniel Craig. Still cool but edgy as well.
PS – I actually like permutations more than supermodified but 7digital didn’t have it
Let me say this first and foremost. If you like your GEEE-tar then you’ll like ol’ JJ Cale. Bluesy guitar tunes without that melancholy edge, just wonderful music with catchy rhythms, wonderful lyrics and a wholesome feel. You’ll probably recognise a lot of the tunes of his as they’ve been covered a lot of times by various people including the famous cover of cocaine by Eric Clapton. Really though, don’t listen to Eric. Eric Schmeric. J.J. Cale is where it’s at. Take a listen and see for yourself.
Dr Rubberfunk. Does what it says on the tin really, only I don’t know about him being a Dr. He’s certainly funky though and what the hell for all I know he’s made of rubber as well. Funky produced tunes that will get your head nodding AND your feet tapping (that’s considered upbeat in my music collection – trust me). I actually prefer his album ‘the first cut’ but 7digital didn’t have that for download so I went with this one instead. Seriously, if you’re looking for some modern day dancefloor friendly funk then look no further.
The boswell sisters were introduced to me on a work-related road-trip back in 2006 (thanks Sam!) and I instantly fell in love with them. They’re a 1920s trio of sisters who sing the most heart-warming swing and jazz you’ve ever heard. I possibly only like them because of the ‘antique’ sound they have but actually the harmonies and tunes are incredibly catchy and get stuck in your head for days to come so I think they deserve to be respected in their own right.
One of the first albums to get my interested in the whole ‘electronica’ genre this album truly stands the test of time. Incredible chilled music which both soothes the soul and keeps the head nodding as well. Favourite tracks include Sugar Rhyme, The Plug. While this is a produced album from Simon Green’s bedroom don’t let that put you off if you’re only a fan of ‘real’ music as it sounds very wholesome – there’s no bleeps or ticks in this one. Also – if you ever get a chance to see him live, go.
What is it about remix CDs? Some of my favourite albums of recent years have been remix and b-side albums. Bonobo’s for example. Or Quantic’s. Not forgetting the recent Fragile State beauty! This one looks to be no different. Bought in FOPP. I ♥ you FOPP.
Husky Rescue – Other World: Remixes and Rarities
If you already own more than one Husky Rescue album (aka – both of them!) then you really need to check this one out. Just like Bonobo’s ‘one off remixes & b-sides’ this is a collection of remixes by Husky Rescue, and remixes of Husky Rescue – along with a few acoustic versions of some of their tunes and even some new unreleased tracks. Although it’s essentially a collection of tracks it holds together really well as an album and is perfectly listenable all the way through just like the 3rd Husky Rescue album.
In time honoured Husky Rescue fashion – this album has a magical floaty quality to it over a dark and brooding tunes which combine to give a very atmospheric but entirely listenable sound which is their own. Stand out tracks include the Bonobo mix of ‘new light of tomorrow’, the new tune Last Dance.
Like everyone else and his dog in the UK, I first heard Vashti Bunyan on the famous T-Mobile advert which featured just another diamond day. After hearing that, and a friend raving about how good she was (who incidentally had been listening to Vashti for years) I took the plunge and bought Just Another Diamond Day. I loved it. A lot. So, when browsing FOPP in london (fopp lives!!) I saw “Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind – Singles and Demos 1964 to 1967″ and knew I had to buy it.
Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind – Singles and Demos 1964 to 1967
First things first – this is a double CD so there’s plenty of value to be had here. Secondly – although these singles and demos are remastered they’re still no where as near high quality recordings as Just Another Diamond Day. There’s crackling, scratching and odd sound levels. But that’s the charm.
Much more than on her first album you can feel the gypsy element – you can imagine her turning up at the studio with guitar in hand, recording the tracks and then heading out onto the road once more. For me though – this makes it a beautiful collection of tracks. It’s got a lovely nostalgic feeling and wraps you up in a blanket of authentic goodness.
Having said all that – a lot of it is quite same-y and listening to two CDs straight of this will tire you out but you can be assured that tracks off here will be featuring in upcoming mixes.
Firstly let me say that Ben Mynott has never given me any money, he has never paid me a single penny nor has he ever persuaded/bribed/asked me to spread the word about Fragile State. Now that’s out the way, let me assure you that my Fragile State EVANGELISM is due to one thing and one thing only: the sheer brilliance of the music.
First the facts: this is a 3CD product containing both original Fragile State albums (‘the facts and the dreams’ and ‘voices from the dust bowl’) and a remix CD with remixes both for and by fragile state. It’s available on amazon for only £8.99. It will be the best value for money product you’ll ever buy.
Now the dreams: I recall I first purchased my first Fragile State album (the facts and the dreams) back in 2004 (2005 maybe?) after finding it on someone’s Amazon listmania list. I read about it, thought I might quite like it and so decided to purchase it but it wasn’t until a few months later when I was in HMV that I spotted it and went to buy it. On the way to the counter I spotted Koop’s ‘Waltz for Koop’ and oh so nearly bought that instead. THANK THE LORD I WENT WITH FRAGILE STATE.
Fast forward a few months and I’ve purchased the second album (voices from the dust bowl) and they have both helped me through my finals revision at university. It’s about this time I discover the BigChill festival and book tickets to my first every festival (incidentally with the same good friend I was in HMV with when I purchased my first album). So I turn up to the BigChill not really knowing what to expect but on the first afternoon one of the first bands I saw was Fragile State. A sensational live set which it turned out was their last ever live performance! Since that day I’ve been a devout Fragile State fan and rave about them whenever I get the chance.
So, enough gushing about how much I love them – onto the music! Let me re-state something: for £8.99 you get 3CDs of pure aural chilled funky AWESOMENESS. The first two original albums are really chilled but at the same time funky and motivating. Ideal for listening to when you’re run down – they’ll sooth your brain and warm your innards and then when you start to relax they pick you up and make your head nod with some funky beats. No vocals so to speak but some vocal effects. Both albums are full of tracks which meld together perfectly while each track maintains an individual texture. Unlike a lot of chillout albums which fade into obscurity as you listen to them over and over – this one really stands out as fresh and unique and brilliant every time you listen to it.
Then there’s the newly released 3rd CD of remixes which really exceeded my expectations. I’ve never been a huge fan of remixes in general but this CD is like the long lost studio album from Fragile State where they were playing around a little more and experimenting with different genres. Having said that – the CD really delivers and has some amazing tracks on it such as the Digitonal remix of Song Of Departure.
I simply cannot rate this collection highly enough. If you’re in the slightest fan of chillout then you’ll love these albums. In fact if you have a pulse then you should consider buying this – if you don’t like it I can guarantee you one of your friends will.
PS – you can read my review on Amazon of this here.
NINJA!!!!! You’ve gotta love those ninjatune folks. You really do. I first heard the track “Build a church with your fear” from disc 2 of the Xen Cuts 3CD compilation of Ninjatune stuff and immediately knew I would be buying the album at some point.
Animals on Wheels – Nuvol I Cadira
While it’s no Bonobo – this album certainly falls under the ‘laid-back beats’ moniker. Slightly more rhodes and a slightly moe punchy feel to it than Bonobo but made from the same vinyl tree. It’s mellow, it’s funky, it’s beautiful. Yeah, there’s a few tracks on the album that don’t live up to the high standard of the good ones but it’s still a solid album all round and I would recommend to anyone who likes their ninjas mellow.
So, in what will become a regular feature on this blog I’ll be cataloguing all the new music I buy. How much fun is that for you guys!! Well screw you, I’m doing it for myself ok? Should have bought this album a long time ago but only just got around to it for whatever reason.
Brian Eno Music For Airports
I first heard this album in Fopp (may you rest in peace) while at university many many (ok, only about 4) years ago and instantly fell in love with it. I’ve never been a huge ambient fan even though I love relaxing and chilled music but something about this album resonated with me. I’ll admit that a large part of this probably boils down to the fact that it’s called ‘Music For Airports’ which is just a great title and conjures up feelings of long waits late at night at train stations/airports/hotels. It’s that sense of timelessness that comes with travelling and is the reason I love train journeys so much. After all you can be going somewhere – your life, momentarily, has purpose – and yet you have nothing to do but sit back and watch the view. Travelling in airplanes and taxis and trains shows what life should be like on a microcosmic scale. And so it should be with this album – sit back for a while and travel with the music and just enjoy the ride for a change.