26 February 2009

Herbie Hancock & Quincy Jones 1983

Synthesis. Geekiness. Funkiness. Genius.

25 February 2009

Stinkworx - Coelacanth

Nope, I'm not sure how you pronounce it either. Wikipedia tells me it's some kind of fish but whatever, I'm here to tell you about the Stinkworx track of the same name. Released as a 12" on Legowelt's Strange Life Records late last year, the original is a thick synth funk track. The chord progressions are lovely, the bassline even better. Proper techno-soul style business. On remix duties are Syncom Data, who strip it down and make it a little darker and more menacing without losing the rolling groove of the original. Amira on the flip is some deep as fuck melodic dub-techno. Highly recommended release.

Stream in full on Boomkat

19 February 2009

Zombi - Spirit Animal

A plethora of new material is out there from Zombi at the moment. Firstly, and most importantly, is the new long player entitled Spirit Animal. It's an immense piece of work, much more organic than previous albums, and all the more interesting for it. The album opens with the epic prog-rock of the title track, complete with wanky guitar lead and synth counterparts. It breaks down for long enough to grow an extra inch on your beard; with accoustic guitars, a detuned piano and some strings drifting in and out of the mix before eventually the track evolves into one huge euphoric hook as powerful as the elephant in the album art. Spirit Warrior treads a more familiar territory with its arpeggiated bassline, shuffling 3/4 drum patterns and choral synths. Again, it breaks down and mellows out before building to a climax in the final third.

Earthly Powers is fat, the thick bassline groove at times sounding like a lazy Rage Against The Machine lick. It's on this track that the addition of guitars to the Zombi sound is most apparent, with both fuzzy power chords and swirling lead lines used to great effect. Not that the thick layers of synth pads and arpeggios are forgotten of course, particularly in the dreamy bridge section. Cosmic Powers uses another odd time signature to vary the relentless synth riff and heavy drums routine. Not a lot happens but as the shortest track on the album it doesn't outstay its welcome, fading out to leave the drums high in the mix. Fith and final track Through Time is a 17 minute monster that rarely lets up. A dirty great distorted bassline runs throughout the track and the drums take a real pounding. Credited as the only Paterra composition, it's clear he is the more rhythmic minded of the group. Layer upon layer of synth is added upon the chugging bass which eventually fades, leaving just ambient noises to close the album.

Stream the whole album on last.fm

Also available is a split EP with Masarati (not a name I'm familiar with but one I shall be looking into) on Brooklyn's Temporary Residence label. Masarati supply 2 two-part tracks on the A side, both with a good shuffling dancefloor friendly instrumental space-rock kinda vibe. Zombi on the B side deliver another epic called Infinity. Starting out slowly with drones that wouldn't sound out of place in an old 80s horror movie, the track begins to evolve after a couple of minutes with the introduction of some eerie chords. An arpeggio begins to bubble and Paterra treats us to a 4 minute drum solo before eventually letting rip with a driving beat. From here the bassline expands and layers of synths are continuely added until the track unfairly fades out before I want it to end. Listen on myspace:


Finally, there's is the Sapphire 12" to mention. This was the track that originally got me into Zombi, from the Digitalis EP released a few years back now. It's been re-issued by another US label Throne of Blood with an unnecessary remix by Escort and a new track The Long, Mirrored Corridor. Like Sapphire, it smells like the work of Steve Moore, all dark Italo loops and 100% electronics. It's essential listening though if you dig Zombi for the synths and not just the rock. Stream all 3 tracks on Boomkat, where the release is also available digitally.


06 February 2009

The Amen Break

This video had been sat in my bookmarks folder for some weeks but today I finally got round to watching it. Very interesting it was too. Recommended viewing.

"Nate Harrison's 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip."