With all new technology that means I simply gotsta post silly shit. Yes yes yes yes yes.
I really am too busy for this lark at the moment. With the amount of work I have to do for uni, posting lengthy blog posts about music and other such frivolous matter really isn’t top of the pops.
Erk…. I’ll make it up in a few days, I reckon, maybe.
I am not quite myself this evening.
In fact, I think I’m haing an out of body experience; I don’t even think these are my fingers typing…
Back again so soon. I’m not sure if these pages are going to be able to take the strain of these huge slabs of text hitting them in such quick succession… They’re just not used to it.
So what am I going to write about today?
Well, I’ll start off by telling you about the cellist I hinted at in yesterday’s post. But first, some context.
Saturday 31st of October. I make that Halloween! Indeed indeed. One of the many parties I attended was in a secret warehouse venue, tucked away in the back streets of Bristol. It was filled with lots of experimental and alternative treats in a cabaret style, mixing live music, spoken word/comedy and performance art, a very interesting event indeed.
One of the performers on the night was a lady named Bela Emerson. She used her cello much in the same way as Stanton Delaplane used his guitar and voice. With a loopstation as the primary tool of manipulation, but where Stanton created lush, twinkling folk harmonies, Bela favored dark dissonant textures, really taking full advantage of the eerie tone that cellos do so well.
The music veered from reasonably regular classical, sitting somewhere on the darker side of baroque, through more and more experimentation until it became discordant abstract minimalism, with a smooth transition through the area in between. It was utterly fascinating throughout, and the dissonance was balanced with enough consonance to keep the whole thing sounding beautiful.
I have always been a sucker for the sound of a cello, there’s something about the timbre that really appeals to my senses, the it sounds so rich and full, yet sharp and subtle all at once, and it was brilliant to see one used in such an alternative manner, lovely stuff.
Now you need to go and listen for yourself…
This video gives you a pretty good idea of what’s going on with her technical set up. Interesting stuff for geeks like me.
And look who we have here… None other than Mr Tim Exile…
Fascinating stuff, I hope you’ll agree.
Well that about wraps up part one of today’s post… But we are not nearly finished! Oh no…
Seeming a polar opposite to the dark baroque magic of Bela Emerson, we have an excellent pop band I’ve recently stumbled upon; Delorean. Probably about as twee and fun as pop music can get before I start to spasm with rage, their sound lies somewhere between The Go! Team and MGMT. The same euphoria that both employ, and a lovely mixture of The Go! Team’s cheerleader enthusiasm and MGMT’s synthy cool. This isn’t poncy or clever, and to be perfectly honest, I’ll most probably be thoroughly sick of it in three weeks time, but for now it’s jolly good fun.
I came across them after I was directed to an article concerning a new movement entitled “Glo-Fi.” Cue rolling eyes and groaning cynicism that always follows ridiculous hybrid sub-genre pigeon holing. But stupid names aside, the scene does seem to be producing a fair amount of interesting music. In what seems like a natural progression from the new wave of New Wave that’s been all over the music scene in the past few years, bands like Neon Indian and Blank Dogs are actually regressing through the chain of musical evolution, from the spot that MGMT, Ladyhawke and so many others have been drawing from in recent years.
Neon Indian seem to be taking things back to both psychedelic baroque pop songwriting, and the synth twiddling production of Tangerine Dream and Vangelis. While my descriptions may sound rather fascinating, the album has yet to grab me particularly, and I do find the concept very intriguing, the end product sounds somewhere between Justice gone lo-fi and Air for the nu-rave market. Not that that is a bad thing, just not as exciting as one might hope from a band who’s name keep popping up in the all the right places.
Blank Dogs however, are regressing things in an altogether more exciting way. Taking the New Wave starting point and ramming it back to the raw Post Punk and Garage roots, keeping a nice slice of Goth stuck in there, very good stuff. I’ve yet to actually buy the album, so I’m not going to pass too many comments on it at this stage, but from what I’ve been hearing, it’s raw and ballsy stuff, just what I like to hear being made.
So far, what I’ve heard about this scene sounds very promising, despite the name, but I’m sure we can find slightly more eloquent terms for describing this sound as time goes on.
That about wraps it up for today’s post… I seem to have managed to clock up a pretty impressive word count in these last two posts. I’m actually supposed to be writing a 3000 word report on my research techniques for uni, but as usually I’ve found a way to focus all of my words to a rather irrelevant product. Oh well, long live feckless blogging.
At the rate I’m going I’m going to run out of things to talk about alarmingly quickly and I’ll have resort to telling you about what I’ve had for my dinner and how many times I’ve been to the toilet today. But you can always check twitter for that information in the mean time.
Well well well well well,
What do we have here? A blog from Minimax not trying to force a mix down our throats, or some other ghastly act of self promotion. Blow me down!
So, to business! This month (November, blimey the days just fly by, don’t they!) I’m taking part in NaBloWriMoFoShoYo – National Blog Writing Month to it’s mother (forgive me, I made the last three ‘o’s up.) – which will see me taking on the seemingly impossible feat of writing a blog post everyday! SRSLY! A quick scroll down the page will give you a fairly good idea of my usual posting frequency… You get the idea. But enough preamble, let us get the meat in this pie!
This weekend has been a fantastic few days for discoveries. Today I dug out a CD that’s been in my possession for several months now. Sitting beside my bed, in suitcases, on my computer desk, constantly teetering just on the edge of action, but never quite making it out of the case and in into my ears. I was sent it by a rather nice chap who went by the name ‘Stanton Delaplane’. I encountered him way back in the midst of time, at a gig at Start the Bus…
Gomez were headlining, Tom and Ben doing an acoustic set as it happens, which was bloody brilliant, but another story all together. The support hadn’t been announced, but being the keen music geek I am, I got there nice and early hoping to find some new musical loveliness. And it was loveliness I came to, oh my brothers, but not the sort I was expecting.
When I arrived, Stanton Delaplane was mid way through a set of beautiful guitar drone and a multi-part harmonies with himself. God bless loop stations. He very kindly offered to send anyone in the audience a CD, if they gave him their address. Luckily I managed to find a felt tip pen and a scrap of paper, and scrawled my address in a blur of red letters that instantly expanded to twice their size the minute they fell onto the paper.
A few weeks later and still no CD, I assumed that my note had been illegible, until one morning I came down to find a package waiting for me, containing an EP entitled “Mandibular Sweetmeats” a curious name if ever I heard one. Unfortunately, the CD arrived at a time when things were a little hectic in my life. I was moving house what seemed like three times a week, and spent the majority of the summer living out of suitcases and boxes. The disc got put aside and spent the next three months being tossed about, dug out for a definite hearing, then lost again in the mess that inevitably follows where ever I rest my head for more than a few days. Until today.
On the bus on the way back from town, the words Mandibular Sweetmeats popped into my head, but I couldn’t think why. I narrowed it down to being the name of an album or EP, but with absolutely no idea who the artists was. I got home and googled the name, and up pops Stanton Delaplane. After a few minutes of rooting about, I finally found the CD and put it into my computer. I’m pleased to report that it was definitely worth the wait.
A baroque folk mix of beautifully defined guitar lines, wall of sound layers of drone and some really fantastic harmonies, this is good stuff. Anyhow, this is the part where I will inevitably fall into painful journalistic clichés and sickly sweet arse kissing if I write anymore, so I’ll leave it to you to try and form an opinion on his sound, based on the tracks up on his myspace. You never know, if you write to him he might point you in the direction to pick up a CD with his music on it.
I was also going to tell you about a cellist I saw at the fagoween (all will be explained) party last night, but unfortunately I haven’t got a clue what her name was… I shall endeavor to find out and include a bit about her in tomorrows post. I’m sure you can probably wait until then.
As indicated by the ‘Vol.1’ portion of the title, and quite possibly by line above where I refer to the ‘mix series’ this is only the beginning of The Goodnight Mistress. Volume 1 sets the scene nicely for what is to come. Hopefully the tracklisting will do a pretty good job of explaining what it’s about…
The Goodnight Mistress Vol.1
A mellow mix of ambient, downtempo and experimental music, electronic and organic.
Aids restful sleep and makes a perfect accompaniment for sitting back and watching the walls breath a little.
01.ab ovo – hemisphere
02.mr minimax – atx209
03.valgeir sigurdsson – Before nine
04.chicken feed – junior
05.reverbaphon – a matter of life or death
06.mr minimax – syrely
07.chris clark – empty the bones of you
08.brothomstates – mdrmx
09.michael trommer – champ de mars
10.jon hopkins – nightjar
11.the black dog – the train by the autobahn
12.pangaea – you & i
13.falls & regis – a letter to a friend
14.boards of canada – kaini industries
15.aphex twin – weathered stone
16.apparat – wooden
17.edit – mildew
18.olo worms – guess who garden (mr minimax remix)
19.supergrass – fin
20.jackson and his computer band – mini doux
21.boards of canada – oscar see through red eye
22.k.a.l – the whisky fist (skywave systems remix)
23.halogen – previous future
24.tycho – the disconnect
25.2562 – redux
26.richard devine – randale
27.chris clark – farewell track
Blimey, it’s been a while since I graced this pages with my presence. Instead of just filling in a several thousand word report on what I’ve been doing over the last… lots of months, I’m just going to cut to the chase and tell you about a new project, started very recently.
The NSB CD Swap for NYE 2009/2010
The lovely Henry aka Skywave Systems, who runs the Myuzyk net label, set this up on the http://www.nuskoolbreaks.co.uk forum just the other day. The concept, for those not already aware, is that group of forum members, all put together a mix/compilation cd, complete with packaging and all. When all the names are in (this is capped at 30 participants) everyone produces as many copies as there are names on the list. They send all of these to the person organising the swap, and he then sends out a package to each entrant with a copy of each mix in. Simples.
The numbers for this are steadily building, with about 26 already signed up. So far there are a lovely selection of names already joined, people who readers of this blog will most likely be familiar with; DVNT, Jung, Benny(Metroboy, Ben&Lex, everythingelseunderthesun), James Fox, Clodhoppa(midnightminustwo boss man) and of course, Henry Skywave himself. Needless to say, there are going to be some pretty special mixes coming out of this.
Anyhow, what with being the massive over achiever I am, I’ve already finished my first mix (that’s right, I’m putting together two CD’s worth of goodness), and made good progress on the cover.
So far, the mix is a pretty hectic affair, with lots of techno, electro, breaks, glitchy, heavy, bassy nonsense, a little portion of hip hop, and some stupidly fast tempos here and there. I’m pretty chuffed with it so far. I’ll keep you up to date with the happenings of this.
I must be off now… Bestival is tomorrow and I haven’t packed a sausage. Ciao.
If the dates on this blog are to be trusted, (and I am reasonably sure that they are) then it appears I have not written anything on here for over three months. So what’s going on?
Production on our short film; Flutter is going well, we’re shooting this weekend has it happens, which is very exciting, if slightly scary considering the amount of work it’s going to take to get the house in shape. The battle we’ve been through with actors was finally won yesterday, as we found our leading man, so from here onwards, it’s just a case of getting the job done.
Holy Fuck it’s time to go to work, I’ll finish you on my lunch break.
Lunch break eh? I make that four days ago, Bloody typical.
Filming has been going well, on it again tomorrow for the last day. No doubt things will be slightly hectic, trying to get everything finished in time, but I’m pretty confident we’ll get it all done.
In other news, I’m taking over Ollspin’s Sunday Roast show on Brap.FM next Sunday. From 6pm – 8pm I will be playing a fine selection of music, focusing mainly on the dancier end of my spectrum, Breaks, Techno, Dubstep and Electro, along with all the things that fill in the gaps between those. I was originally just going to be doing an hour guest mix, but he has kindly offered me the whole show. Win.
Other musical happenening in my world include the release of St. Vincent’s wonderful album; Actor, and the rapidly approaching release of Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest. The former was a relatively random purchase, and my first encounter with Annie Clark aka St.Vincent. Oh how I’ve been missing out. Actor is a really beautiful album from start to finish; it blends pop, folk and electronica with big helpings of baroque and avant-garde in a way that sounds both vintage and cutting edge at the same time. What really shines through on this album is personality, which oozes out of every little detail. Fans of Laura Marling, Imogen Heap and Grizzly Bear should love this, I know I do.
As you can see, my last post on here, all those months ago, was heralding the release of Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest. The wait is nearly over I exclaimed, somewhat inaccurately. Now, on 24th May, the wait really is nearly over! My pre-order version should be with me by Friday at the latest, and I’m getting rather excited about that prospect. I’ve exercised a massive amount of self control and not taken up any of the leaks offered to me, partly out of respect for the band, but mainly because I don’t want to compromise the enjoyment of opening the CD case and listening to the album for the first time. The tracks I’ve heard so far have been nothing short of stunning, the lead off single Two Weeks is a beautiful pop song, more accessible than anything from Yellow House, but retaining all of the magic. A few people have been disappointing me massively by telling me that Two Weeks is the best track (it’s never nice to know you’ve already heard the best, means it’s all downhill from there), but I’ll have to wait and see. In a rather impulsive move, I purchased a ticket to see the Bear at KOKO in August. At the moment I’m the only person I know with a ticket, which would be a slightly annoying situation to remain in, but I couldn’t live with myself missing the opportunity to see them headlining a club like KOKO, even if I will be seeing them play Green Man Festival later that week. I’m going to be Grizzled out.
I think I’d better leave it at that to be honest, I’ve got lots of work to do in preparation for tomorrows filming.
Let’s see if I can make another post before August eh…
Today I am a very happy boy.
I have just found out that Grizzly Bear’s new album Veckatimest is due for release on May 26th. Anyone who knows me will know how excited about this I have been, and now with a date in sight I can really start to get myself worked up.
If you’re not familar with Grizzly Bear, get familiar. Their 2006 album Yellow House is one of my all time favourites, a truely amazing piece of music, combining elements of Folk, Pop, Baroque and Prog Rock to create a masterfully original sound. From the sound of the two new tracks they’ve put up on their myspace, the new album will be slighty more on the poppy side of things, but that is no bad thing. Anyhow, my description will never really do the music justice, so check them out for yourself.
Halogen – Recycled Broadcasts EP [Maternity]
This debut EP from Brighton based producer Halogen, also see’s the first release on brand new net-label ‘Maternity’.
The release is comprised of four tracks of deep and sexy downtempo electronica, with big nods towards hip hop and idm.
Opener; Not The Remix sets the scene nicely, with a set of lush pads, beautiful harmonies, and plenty of rhythmic glitch. The production is nicely polished.
Manilla takes things down a couple of steps in tempo, a classic moody downtempo track.
A short and well placed vocal sample gives way to some superb scratching effects.
Next up; Previous Future is probably the most idm influenced of the bunch, with layers of skittering double time glitch rhythms giving a sharp edge to the lush depth of the melody.
The closing track; Transmission, is a much more ambient affair, using a more abstract set of sounds, and replacing the strong beat of the others with a selection of subtle glitches.
Overall, this is a very strong debut, both for the artist and the label. The production is well rounded, slick and has a cohesive sound throughout the release. Grab this now, you won’t be disappointed.
Download it here: http://www.maternitymedia.com/
Halogen Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/halogenbulbs
Laura Gibson Art and Illustration: http://lauragibson.co.uk/home.html