This blog is defunct! Check out my new music blog at Sonicrampage.org.
It's all a bit grim and grey outside where I am, how about some tunes to fit the mood?
Sabres of Paradise - Smokebelch II - A project of acid house hero Andrew Weatherall and his sidekicks Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns, the Sabres of Paradise released a couple of experimental techno albums in the early 90's. Along with a lot of the other acts on Warp Records they played an important role in creating today's bespectacly nerdy IDM ('intelligent dance music') scene. This is off their second album, 'Sabresonic II', and is one of their best known bits. Four minutes of blissfully delicate electronics, this was also remixed into a club classic by Belfast's David Holmes, who transformed it into a ten minute plus cosmic workout.
As One - Away From All Of This - Jazzy techno from Kirk DeGiorgio. That should be enough to send everyone running away screaming! Having said that, I've always thought this particular tune (from 1997's 'Planetary Folklore') was quite lovely.
Glamorous Hooligan - Tokyo Heartwash - Here's a tune off an album I picked up years and years ago that was called 'Wasted Youth Club Classics'. I think I read a review and an interview with them when it was released and decided to pick it up. I think the whole schtick was that these were dead 'ard council estate football hoolie types who also happened to make, er, trip-hop. Trip-hop, of course, was the early to mid 90's sound of someone staggering into a petrol station at 4 am to buy frozen pizzas, Pringles, Rizlas, and foodstuffs so mind-bendingly obscure that only the stoned could consume them. This tune is sort of ambient house and despite it's quite obvious deficiencies (ie it's cheesy as hell) I've always liked it. It's sort of saccharine melancholy. Ooh arr. The rest of the album is ok trip-hop, but since I haven't smoked a joint since I was 18 I guess I can't really fully appreciate it.
A Guy Called Gerald - The Nile - This, however, is pretty unambiguously awesome. A Guy Called Gerald is a Manchester musical legend, creator of the supreme acid house classic 'Voodoo Ray' and sizeable quantity of classic early jungle/drum n' bass, like 'Black Secret Technology', the album that I've pulled this track from. Although the mastering on my copy of this album is pretty horrendous (I bought the original release when it came out which was, Christ!, ten years ago) this album has really stood up to the passage of time and if you can source it I highly recommend it (probably the 1997 remastered version is a better bet). This track is a good example of the album, since basically everything on it is worth putting up, which was an early salvo in taking jungle away from strictly dancefloor mayhem to being something deeper and more powerful. Of course, it all went pear-shaped in the end, but this still sounds good, even if the mastering sounds positively Medieval when compared to today's ultra-compressed, super-clean head-bangin' dnb.