Thursday, November 7, 2013

Horror


 Peter Cushing: A Centenary Celebration » The Cinema Museum, London

Both a theme for the club, and a shameless bit of promotion for the horror and cult movie festival Liam's bringing to Wellington later in the year (Monster Fest - 'like' the community on Facebook please: http://www.fb.com/NZHorrorBuffs), the theme is horror, fear, macabre, tension....

So music and albums that make you feel a bit nervous or fearfully awkward, or have been written with the intention of eliciting a feeling of fear. Obvious examples can be found in movie soundtracks.



Liam



For my two tracks I stuck with the one band and album, Estel's The Bones Of Something. Estel are a prolific alternative rock group from Dublin, Ireland, who's career spans almost 15 years and 4 albums. Despite their longevity they've shunned the limelight and held close to their underground, anti-corporate-sell-out, alternative, independent, and cheap-and-cheerless ideals. Oh and generally the titles of their tracks and albums are super-interesting!

The two tracks I've chosen from their fourth album display their epic, heavily layered, frenetic, improvised and horror movie soundtrack style. [Liam even had to load the tunes onto Youtube - setting the MC Obscurity Index to a new level].

The first, Journey to the Centre of John's Ma, always reminds me of the Halloween movies, imagining Michael Myers slowly chasing me around a house while I run frantically up and down stairs, through hanging sheets, and hiding in wardrobes. That hasn't actually happened to me, but the frenetic climaxes make me feel like it has.


The second, You Racka Diciprine (see what I mean about these names?!?), is a psychological meltdown that I feel takes you to the edge of sanity, and then calmly tosses you over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQtOYXwc_LA



Christian


With a mother load of heavy metal with scary titles and horrific hair do's, it would have been too easy to go for something bleeding obvious. Thankfully, there are equally deranged music producers that use Qbase. This was also the first session where the hi-fi equipment actually became as much of a character in proceedings as the song selection.

Excavation Part I from Haxan Cloak is hot off the press this year. Crafted by an evil force in a dank studio located near the brimstone and fire of the earth's core. Such an oppressive weight of gravity is the only way one can explain the deep marauding bass that overpowers each song (in a good way). Did I say there was a fricken lot of bass in the mix? Combined with atmospheric, moody, creepy melodies, this is the potential soundtrack to a grim noir of epic proportions. And, this is where the sub-woofer took the tune into another dimension; rattling innards and activating some innate part of the nervous system that made the foreboding bass truly visceral.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nybm3j5Kiwo

Masked Illusion is from the pleasantly named, Velvet Acid Christ. This happy chap also programs on his tod, which must happen between multiple re-runs of SAW, Hostel, Wolf Creek and anything apocalyptic in content on Discovery or the History channel. It's probably best listened to while bathing your eyesballs in LSD and wearing a tight PVC onesie with a gas mask while chained to your cellar wall. The song contains sinister pleas of mercy from a lone female voice, a driving beat, a decent nod to the industrial aesthetic with plenty of bile ridden processed, anxious and angry lyrics over the top. Yikes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s7V3eifTgs




Ivan


Assistant's Cry, from Yello's first album, Solid Pleasure.

Weird, I mean weird even for moustached prog-pop duo Yello! A slow moody number with scream like synth sounds and desperate sounding narration which grows more broken, manic and wild. But all in all its a good build up for Bostich, the next mega track on the album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXd9aC2Quo4&list=PLUdmMccuxH2GBVv0qHmMTGqUAvyXI2ZKi

Stalakdrama, Yello, album Desire.

Perhaps Yello's finest album. Placed in the middle of this album is this blade runner soundtrack sound-a-like /horror theme mash up. It sets a good sci-fi mood apart from the occasional scream heard off in the distance. The crescendo is reached with the aid of an organ and thrown in are a few more screams for effect. Does this song fit the album, not really, but is it different and unusual, yes. Yello: 30 years of great moustaches, 10 albums and some of the most interesting and imaginative Swiss music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2bfv6_tAmM


Emma



First up, I need to congratulate Liam on a great theme, was slightly dubious initially, but had great fun honing in on some dark, maniacal tracks.

So my first selection is Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I actually first heard this track whilst watching Scream in 1996, it’s used to great effect in the film. At the time I was going through an intense British Indie and Grunge phase so Mr. Cave tragically wasn’t really on my radar, that was rapidly remedied soon after hearing this song.

Red Right Hand fills me with an impeding sense of doom; the organ, the tubular bells, the steady percussion. I love the intense instrumental turning point in the middle with the big bell, and what is that high-pitched noise that sounds like wind -is it a synth or a saw?

The lyrical content is profoundly dark and twisted and contains some of my favourite lyrics of all time, including …

“You’re just one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan, designed and directed by his red right hand” and “ He’ll rekindle all your dreams it took a lifetime to destroy”.

Second selection is Down By The Water by the uniquely talented PJ Harvey.
The song opens with a heavy synthesized organ, it would appear heavy organs create a sense of unease and discord within me, and many others I am sure.

The song reminds me of a twisted Grimm fairytale. The lyrics tell the story of a fanatically religious mother killing her daughter. The track reaches its peak of discomfort for me in the last 30 seconds as Harvey whispers the repetitive closing lyrics with a manic string accompaniment …gives me shivers every time. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbq4G1TjKYg 

David


Carmina Burana - O Fortuna

This is such a bloated cliché of pseudo religious portent that it is easy
to overlook that it is such a great bit of fun. It was perfect for the
'70's movies such as The Omen that were equally bloated with religious
portent. All manner of pre Dan Brown Catholic skull duggery and mysticism
the centres on the exceedingly creepy Damien. Is it any wonder my manager
of the same name gives me the willies?! Some analysis of these movies
suggests it is all part of an overwhelming wave of cynicism and mistrust of
our institutions that followed Watergate and a series of other revelations
of high level government betrayal of the people. The idea of a hidden
sickness in our society and a kind of 'end of days' fatalism is everywhere
in the Omen series and others of it ilk.

I chose this video because who better to take this already bloated (but
fun) etc piece to new level of kitch than The Kitch Meister himself Andre
Rieu


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD3VsesSBsw

Enjoy.


The Exorcist Theme (from Mike Oldfield's '70's epic Tubular Bells)


Unlike The Omen, The Exorcist was a truly scary and unsettling piece of
theatre that completely warrants its status in the pantheon of Horror
Movies. Just watch the trailer for it below and I guarantee you will keep
the light on tonight.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDGw1MTEe9k

The Mike Oldfield's concept piece Tubular Bells was a huge commercial hit
and well worth checking our as a master work of prog rock / electronic rock
uber noodling. The theme extracted for use in The Exorcist movie was a tiny
fragment but it was such as distinctive..... [the suspense is killing us]

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New, within the last six months.

 Record Store Day 2013 at Real Groovy, Auckland | © Amanda Ratcliffe

Prior to Ollie heading off for a prolonged break, we squeezed-in a quick club session before the panic stricken planning and manic packing took hold of him. After previously listening to classics from the vaults he chose to opt for a fresh approach by asking for us to aim for something new to the library, within the last six months. And we'll start with new club member, Emma:





Emma

 

Fortunately, I was able to avoid a huge degree of personal angst as to what my first music club offering would be as I had discovered, and become totally immersed in, the new Phosphorescent album ‘Muchacho’ the week before I was garnered with a Music Club invite. 

 For me the fundamental issue was which two tracks to play, as each song has its own beautiful uniqueness; "Muchacho's Tune" was a strong contender as the production was inspired by Brian Eno’s Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, and having heard about Ivan’s Eno obsession I thought he may well be a little partial to this song.

 But I went with my heart and Song for Zula and Ride on/ Right on won out. Song for Zula is a song of heartbreak and disillusion, with an evocative string arrangement and some bouncy synth in contrast to the raw vocals of a wounded man. Whereas Right on/ Ride is a much peppier track (I love the high-pitched optimistic whoops). The lyrics conjure up images of reckless rebounding, which is officially all part of the heartbreak recovery process!


The album was written and self-produced by Matthew Houck following the break-up of a long-term relationship and the reclaimation of his New York apartment and studio, a bit of a low point. So he took himself off to Mexico for a year, hung out at the beach, and wrote what ranks as one of my favourite break-up albums (it’s up there with Blood on the Tracks for me).

“Country Alt-Folk” may not be your thing, but if you ever need a raw, honest insight into heartbreak with a Mexican Cantina style influence, then I’d definitely give this album a listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NrM5IIyRm0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2MnJGBpSR4


Christian


Basic blues based rock and roll with ball breaking riffs, gruff voices and gloriously over the top choruses. It never really went out of fashion but when this genre is nailed, man, it is unstoppable. Ready the spandex and assume the air guitar!

First up: St. Peter by the Black Spiders, the single version from their album Volume. An anthemic ode to excess. Swagger aplenty accompanied by a cow bell. The chorus is so damn good you can't blame them from cramming it in as often as possible. The break down lays the foundation for an euphoric guitar solo before inducing an unstoppable nod of the head and unleashing an over zealous ear worm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0wyphSwmQ4

Second up: Voodoo Six get the blood boiling with Something for You from their album Fluke. The main riff makes me want to indulge a midlife crisis and buy a Harley; the bridge wants me to recklessly drive around swigging from a bottle of JD; and the chorus lends an air of relative sophistication before the guitar solo incites an apoplectic fit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT5S_n1flws



Ollie


Shuggie Otis: An album titled "Inspiration Information"' I'd never heard of until it was recently reissued. It's got a heavy 70s vibe, not least because multi-instrumentalist Shuggie was influenced by Hendrix, although he's working on the funkier end of the spectrum. Apparently, he scored a couple of big hits then became something of a recluse, refusing an offer to join the Stones on tour and turning down Quincy Jones' offer to produce his next album. He's not done much since, although this album had a renaissance in the 90s thanks to Gilles Peterson, though it passed me by. Anyway, it's good stuff, rich textured, slightly wistful songs replete with some virtuoso guitar playing. [As an aside, Shuggie is playing in New York while we're there so will check him out and report back..]


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNgjmn3YrOM

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories. Less of an introduction needed here. Annoyingly catchy in places. Plain old annoying in others. Get Lucky is surely a future drunken wedding classic - music to disgrace yourself to.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5EofwRzit0 


Liam



My first choice is the title track and what I consider to be the best track from Alice In Chain's new album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. This is the second album released by the band since they reformed following the death of Layne Staley continuing with William DuVall. While this album to me doesn't have to creativity of earlier AIC albums, it is 20 years later and does stand as a strong addition to the bands catalogue. This track shows the band's core still have the ability to produce quality tracks with the distinct sluggish guitar and harmonised vocals they were known for back when pioneering the grunge sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfBU6QKu_bI

My second choice is Ghuleh / Zombie Queen from the album Infestissumam by Ghost (aka Ghost BC in the United States). I love when tracks have a slash in the title and are well written. It often results in two distinctly different parts of the song which start off separate, but by the end are combined into a crafty climax. And that's certainly the case with this one. For new comers to this band who are only aware of their exaggeration of the Satanist aesthetic and anonymity of it's members, the music produced is generally a complete surprise. The track starts off as a wistful, chanting, piano piece with the vocals of a person on death's door. Ghuleh indeed. Then suddenly the pace changes with the introduction of the Zombie Queen. The inclusion of heightened theatrics and an organ culminates in a combined Ghuleh Zombie Queen finish. A surprising and strange listen, but a very entertaining one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRB1hTjxjMg



Ivan

Jon Hopkins, A Drifting Up from the album Insides. One liquid track from a recent album of his. The whole album is electronica and this particular track is smooth, silky and slow.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Politics

We headed North to Wanganui to visit our corresponding member, Ivan. To mark this auspicious occasion, we decided to drink more wine than usual and select two themes.

1). Since recently despairing at the state of the world, the theme is... political. What genre isn't important but it has to be chunky in content and hopefully great tunes which will inspire us to revolt, build new stuff and to tear down the old!
2). Later in the night as we have more drinks and want to lighten the mood lets try some philosophical or metaphysical music







Ivan

  

Nina Simone - Mississippi Goddamn

I always feel shivers down my spine when she sings this powerful piece. Perhaps the song which reveals the most about Nina, she is playing the piano (as usual), it’s a great live recording which shows off her voice, its her own composition and most of all it expresses potently her stance on racism. Listen to it and fell it! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBiAtwQZnHs 
Roger Waters – Watching Tv

The whole of the Amused to Death album is excellent, fluid, political and complete. Its less inwardly focused then The Wall and stronger then The Final Cut. The music it self is compelling, interesting and when added to his spot-on political views and observations on the absurdity of much of human life it makes for music which is art. 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_LlnHPsnV4

Jah Wobble – A13
From the album Without Judgment and it’s a rambling monologue on the bleak life which borders the English highway A13. Not that I would know but I find it a simultaneously amusing and sad commentary of all developed areas which lack humanity – areas which have mostly concrete, plastic, the mundane, the superficial and very little nature.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cviM_n0Swoc

 

Liam

For the topic of politics and revolutionary music, I stuck within the realm of industrial music.

The first two tracks are from the legendary Ministry. The theme of attacking establishment, and specifically the then-presidents of the United States is common between the two, despite the tracks being written 14 years apart. The first, N.W.O., is a protest of the Persian Gulf War and mixes sound clips from, and directs it's attack at George H.W. Bush. The second track chosen, Rio Grande Blood, is the first track from the album of the same name. They present the album as the 2nd part of their anti-George W. Bush trilogy, and from the over-done, repetitive sound clips, it's easy to tell why. The band's signature sound, diving guitar and blasting, repetitive drum beats, is very evident on both tracks.


Next up I chose another industrial, but more electronic-based track from the very politically named, Birmingham 6. Strangely enough, they hail from Denmark. The track itself if not particularly political but keeps the industrial activist theme going while offering another view of the genre.


Lastly, I went with Skinny Puppy's VX Gas Attack from their fourth album, VIVIsectVI. This whole album has a lot to say about animal and human rights, pollution, chemical warfare, etc., and this is one of the best tracks I've heard to splice sound bites, synths, electronica and rock elements into one madcap, but intriguing piece.

 

Christian


I selected a couple of artistes from my formative years when lyrics of disappointment and dissent still stimulated an emotional response - probably the hormones. My first pick was from Senser. Musically engaging with heaps of energy, navigating a dangerous adventure in rap, rock, electronica, female vocal fusion. The anger at corporate hegemony, police state and societal imbalance drove the songs along and created some well composed, exciting outcomes. The lyrics might lack some of the hard hitting political edge I had previously associated them but the music still rocks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7eP-SSvxsA
 

Second act are the Levellers. Timeless songs with a decidedly crusty, celtic, scrumpy fuelled feel. Anti-establishment but with real heart. The songs are equally fantastic tunes to stomp around to in your DMs or sit at home, in middle age, with a bottle of gin and reflect that little has changed since '91 - apart from popular music going down the toilet along with many other principles we held dear. Viva la revolution!

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JskO0SKWFiE

Third offering for the small hours was chosen specifically on the merits of creating a melancholy and moody atmosphere. Ulver, from their marginally depressed, yet hopeful, electronica period do more for metaphysics and philosophy than words alone.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEbTJtuE6EU


Ollie


The first clip is fairly self-explanatory: an angry young rapper railing against the national health service 
reforms in the UK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl1jPqqTdNo


The second is a bit more obtuse - a song by Elvis Costello about the Falklands war,
noting that it created work for working class shipbuilders in England while at the
same time encouraging their friends to go off and die just so Maggie T could get re-elected.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuPrrdRzlxc

 

David


Ah politics where do we start?
I tried to avoid the heavy handed clumsy sloganeering that weighs down most
overtly 'political' music and focus on beautiful and moving music that
carries a wider message.


Marvin Gaye - Whats Goin' On


This is a song that at one time topped the NME's Best 100 Songs ever type
of list and I have to say that it has never really dropped out of my
personal Top 10. Written at the height of the Vietnam war it seems to
capture all of the pain and confusion unleashed by the social changes of
the period. Marvin is often more widely remembered for his 'Let's Get It
On' type of X rated soul-raunch but here just lays out all that emotion in
a poignant question that still echoes 40 years later.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-5c5o85SGo

Gil Scott-Heron The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil was a poet. He was fired up by social injustice and political themes
were always at the heart of his work. TRWNBT is arguably his most famous
piece and shot him to instant fame. The lyrics absolutely skewer every
possible sort of fake involvement and non-action with breathtaking wit and
searing caricature. Take a listen to almost anything he has done and it is
invariably heartfelt, witty, incandescent and poignant.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8




   

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Producers

 Why Music Producer Interview with Producer , Engineer, Recordin

We listen to lots of great music and forget that it's usually the producer that adds grace, depth and musicality to the raw elements of the musician. So: One producer, Two songs. Either from same album or with different artistes or just cutting tape in their own bedroom without compromise.


Tim G brings us Plini



Plini produces his own songs. He reveals little of himself on his Bandcamp other than: "i write and record music". On his Soundcloud he tells us: "i write music and eat food". I loved his playing on Halycon's Pastures EP, and that's probably where I first encountered him. Here's the two tracks for music club, from his latest album "Other Things":


 

Ollie dubs Dennis his pick'o'the month

 

My sacrifice to the god of music club is Dennis Bovell, a  Uk dub pioneer who, in addition to recording his own solid grooves, (under the name Blackbeard) produced the likes of the Slits, Fela Kuti and, er, Bananarama (those bills need paying...). 

I've chosen Reggae Fi Peach, a track he produced for Lynton Kwesi Johnston, an exceptional dub poet whose righteous indignation definitely benefits from the Bovell treatment (rich bass, muted horns, crisp drums). 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLNGAQ9hPiA

The other track is "she is beyond good and evil" by The Pop Group, which showcases Bovell's taste for Hendrix-era psychedelic sounds. A full on sonic assault that sounds remarkably contemporary for a track recorded in the early 80s. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL0tYowbIxE

Liam flip flops to Andy C 

 

So at the last minute, I backtracked on my original decision to go with DJ Shadow, and instead decided to submit drum and bass maestro Andy C. The appeal of following up Oliver's dub submission with quality drum n' bass was too much for me, hence the decision to change.

I first discovered Andy C at the 2006 Exit festival in Serbia, where I got a horrifically sick stomach, and ended up spending the whole last day in my tent, in my own porti-loo, or making my way between both. From this vantage 40 minutes from the main stage, I had my first drum and bass experience, and while I can't claim to have been hooked, I did keep an eye on Andy C's progress.

Along with other heavyweights such as Goldie and Roni Size, Andy C has pioneered drum and bass music over the last 15 years. He is a DJ and producer and co-founder of the RAM Recording Studio and has had success remixing the work of high profile artists like Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFpBSDoFTQw

Christian proffers prolific prog primo, Steven Wilson



Not only is he a craftsman on the guitar, an accomplished singer, the master of the nine minute epic, he also engineers all his own work and produces that of significant others. He has a myriad of bands and side projects he contributes to, plus solo work, which all demonstrate some serious song writing chops. His work is magnificent, textured, swirling, intricate and accessible. This boy thinks things through.

Take my first pick: Normal from the Nil Recurring EP of his Porcupine Tree guise. Melancholy and beautiful in equal measures, a little edgy in places yet strangely familiar choruses and harmonies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS_EtP1aPb0 

Second pick: When Swedish death metal outfit with folk and prog proclivities, Opeth, wanted to take it to another level. Who else do you call on, but Steve and his mellotron infused madness?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB1NuL-8Dhc 

Ivan corresponds with Eno


Not only is Eno my favorite producer but also favorite musician by far. This is mainly due to the vast volume of music he has created solo, with so many other musicians and in so many styles - he is such a music slut - who hasn't he worked with? What a glam slapper!


These two songs are from 'Bright Red' done in 1994 by Laurie Anderson and with Eno producing. Both songs they co-wrote and should be played quite loud. If people know Laurie's stuff you can clearly hear how much the producer added in this case.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Guitar sounds of the 80's

  The Summer of Van Halen | Van Halen News Desk

 

David

Replacements - Black Diamond. Off their album Let it Be from 1984. A fairly straight cover of the Kiss song. I love them for defining the guitar power pop sound for that period and launched a thousand bands. This was their breakout' (or sell out) album where they shed the shackles of the thrash band scene and began to explore slower and more personal themes. This is the sound of a band without pretensions and a really soulful rock ethic.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4RyjwIdwxc


Husker Du - Could You Be The One from the 1987 album Warehouse and Songs. Also a Minneapolis Minnesota band (and contemporaries with The Replacements) Husker Du (Do You Remember in Swedish or something) These guys took the whole wall of sizzling guitar sound to a new level and the combination of the paint stripping buzz of the guitars over the unquestionably poppy melodies make them one of the defining sounds of the eighties for me. Hardcore guitar and strong pop sensibilities - unbeatable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMe15tWC6gc


 

Christian

A fertile time that meant new supermarket job provided pay that could be frittered on vinyl and cd's. At the same time the heavy influences of the Clarke's with an 'e' meant that new sounds were challenging the Depeche Mode addled brain. Most notably, anything with a distortion pedal that required spandex, basketball shoes and long locks. Standing out from the crowd were one or two bands that also attracted plenty of live ticket dollars - who became outright addictions. Each produced anthems that resonated throughout the following 5+ years and still get the goosebumps - bumping; Living Colour and King's X were such legendary bands.

For tonight I chose King's X's Gretchen, from '89, which is still a timeless mix of skillful tone and tuneage with dextrous musicianship. Ty is magnificent, Doug is groovy and soulful and Jerry is Mr Gaskill. A huge and complex sound from 3 people who always left a strawberry grin imprinted on every stage. The halcyon days.

2 awesome songs from the album follow, but like any classic, any 2 random tracks would have fitted the bill just as well. (just found the acoustic 'everybody' rather than album version - super cool!).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPF_re3oHOk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9NDtB9oHO8


 

Ivan


So 80's guitar, hmmm, well I have to honor my fav guitarist, Robert Fripp. After all when Eno was asked what's the craziest guitar solo that you have heard he answered ' Fripp does the craziest solos.' If its good enough for the most accomplished Brian in History possibly the entire cosmos then its good enough for me :-)
Under heavy manners contains some excellent degenerate singing by David Byrne. It came out bang on the start of 1980. It was the only song with singing on the album, the rest was pure Frippotronics - music built up with a multitude of guitar loops but played real time - weird and almost totally inconsumable for the masses - the masses don't do music clubs.


Adrian Belew, from the album Twang Bar King and the song is 'The Ideal Woman' - people on the streets of Cincinnati were asked to describe the ideal woman. Belew is a guitar geek who loves synth treatments, I think he plays all parts in the song including the drums, the rest is guitar or treated guitar. I love the lead break which starts at half way, sounds like the amp is off or somehow the sound is muted.
Not many guitarists could team up with Fripp in King Crimson but Belew has the speed and freakiness. Belew first breaks were recording and touring first with Zappa and then with Bowie.

 

Ollie

I've been cheeky and chosen two bands, justified I hope by the fact that they were both on the same record label,  
and if you like one you'll probably like the other. The first is Felt, whose jangly guitar pop sound is balanced nicely 
by edgy, intelligent lyrics about self-loathing and pretension (no surprise they were an influence on Morrissey). 
The other is the Monochrome Set, whose guitarist's style is described by Wikipedia as "idiosyncratically 
retrogressive". Couldn't have put it better myself..... Enjoy!

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=X6L8rHyzQj0



Terezka

English bloke rocks up to teach in Czech village of which school her dad was head master. Bloke brings a CD of Joe Satriani's Alien album to the soviet block and misses all the dud, self-harm-inducing, stonewashed denim, would be liberation anthems from U2, latterday Stones and Roxette. What a relief.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOnUAWIZPIg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGNj34GSjs4


Liam


I've gone with a band that need no introduction, and the album considered by many to be their best; Metallica's Master Of Puppets from 1986. Although they effectively invented the trash sound with 1983's Kill 'Em All, and achieved unprecedented success with their self-titled album from 1991, I feel this album best realised their potential to orchestrate epic classics by merging youthful, raw passion and a more mature writing. To me this album remains their tightest and most accomplished work. I chose Orion, the 8 minute plus epic instrumental that represents so well the sound of 80's guitar metal, followed by Battery, the balls-to-the-wall trash intro to the album.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vAhiTUkkqQ


  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ7Aif5aXlQ



Ken 

I chose a couple of tracks by the Canadian trio Rush. Give the subject chosen was the "classic 80's guitar sound" I thought it would be good to go straight to the original source of those  jangly guitar sounds that became stock for most bands by the mid-80s. The first track was La Villa Strangiato from the Rush album Hemispheres. Also not strictly an 80s track (the album came out in 1978) it nevertheless contained the guitar chorus effect that just a few years later would become global. Like many guitarists at the time I found it a revelation and quickly began to pick up on this new sound. The second track I chose was Limelight off Rush's Moving Pictures album from 1980. This track shows how Rush had taken the chorus guitar sound an incorporated it into a shorter snappier style. Limelight is still apparently a huge live favorite.



p.s. 

I should also point out that the liner notes on Metallica's Master of Puppets album credit Rush.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Scandanavia

  How to be more Scandinavian in your everyday life - ScandiKitchen

 

Christian: Diablo Swing Orchestra, Pandora's Pinata.

The Swede's have a prolific history in jazz and heavy metal, and, I presume, aren't too shabby at opera either. DSO blend these ingredients together with high energy balkan gypsy madness and set the musical Moulinex to 11. Their first album was a revelation, the second a solid sophomore, but this, the third, manages to mature the concept to produce a winning combination of excellently written songs in an album that provides the whole endeavour more diversity and a stronger narrative.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2mZVOd0jWY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi6LcEA0CxY

 

Tim: New Trio, Elmo.

Moving on to Finland and home of the pianist Liro Rantala. Reasons it's worth listening to:

- It's fucking weird but great fun with amazing piano playing.
- Really great tunes.
- The beat boxer guy is phenomenal.
- The guitar player is obviously mad.

http://youtu.be/5bdSfmYdJ8o

http://youtu.be/FuW3X9wk50Y


Terezka: Of Monsters and Men, My Head is an Animal.

Iceland goes all folk pop on us. Nice stuff.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imgImaBleNw



Ivan: Einojuhani Rautavaara, Symphony No. 8.

From our only corresponding member: Providing a more cerebral balance to proceedings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3UxjUB8MTI


David: Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala.

Finally, back with the Swedes who also have a prolific history of creating saccharine pop  that goes viral - gotta love the quirky laissez faire vocal delivery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmq3GXsMcHM

The resurrection

 Movie-A-Day #252: Re-Animator (1985). » reanimator

About three years ago, a group of enthusiastic music lovers decided to replicate the ever popular book club format with albums. Even those of us that consider our music taste eclectic and consumption prodigious, a forum that challenges prejudices and opens our ears to new possibilities is essential in not becoming a bore or music snob (who? me!?). It's a great chance to showcase highlights from our beloved burgeoning collections and show-off our in depth knowledge of a genre or artiste - all the way from high pop pomp and circumstance, through esoteric meanderings to downright avant garde navel gazing.

The format consists of pot luck and a few drinks to grease the wheels then: playing two songs from one album after explaining the why's, wherefore's and rationale for bringing said album into the fray. Depending on numbers of protagonists we have, before, increased albums to two per person, but it's tough to digest that amount of sonic roughage and do it justice.

There are heaps of review sites out there that try to provide a guide with subjective stars and ratings; There are plenty of sites and services that use algorithms to mathematically model your propensity to enjoy their suggestions; Leafing through new releases and genres at a CD shop is slowly kicking the bucket; And quality radio with a knowledgeable DJ has a few northern hemisphere bastions;

So, why not just kick back with a few friends, a glass of wine or two and hit the play button?