Tag Archives: Bjork

2010: The best tracks. Part 1 (1-10 of 20)

23 Dec

So, the snow has fallen, rivers have frozen, sky has darkened.

2010 was a year in which I didn’t listen to nearly as much new music as I should have.  A year I shunned albums and got a little too obsessed with tracks.  It’s also been a year my music taste has been set alight by the world of dance music and electronica, but there’s been ample amounts of alternative and independent music too.  The list below is quite diverse and I could have put so many more down, but I think this is sort of representative of the last 12 months of music for me.  Order is random. Part ONE.

 

1.  Wile Out (feat. Ms Dynamite) – DJ Zinc
ZINC FT MS DYNAMITE – WILE OUT clip by zinc

Simply a genre bending, funky monster of a track.  The opening is a total bluff, the r&b/pop vibe snarling into a completely infectious bass heavy beast.

2. Real Love – Beach House (mp3)

The year’s most poetic ballad.  The album, Teen Dream features one beautiful love song after another, but  it’s the haunting Real Love that stands out after hundreds of plays.  At no other point in the year did a vocal track and a piano line sit so perfectly side by side.

3. Zodiac Shit – Flying Lotus (mp3)

The drama… the drama.. a stunning two part party of noises electronic, sampled and played.  Jazz syncopation, hip hop beats, classic samples….Like the soundtrack to a film set in the streets of LA 2050.

4. CMYK – James Blake (mp3)

It’s not often people make truly original music at the age of 21.  And it’s even rare that it’s so jaw-droppingly exciting, tense and well-crafted.

5. Odessa – Caribou

It’s like floating down a river made of mercury through the middle of a shadowy forest with the northern lights dancing above.

6.Fletta – Anthony & The Johnsons feat Bjork

This year’s most hard hitting track.   Ghostly yet visceral,  a quietly building onslaught of emotion, and a fan video of the highest standard.

7. Whip My Hair – Willow

More than a guilty pleasure.  The first glimpse of the future of pop.

8. Returnal – Oneohtrix Point Never

More sounds from the future.  Distorted, warped vocals and heavily textured sequencing.  A sci-fi stand-out.

9. Becoming a Jackal – Villagers

The bittersweet melancholy of growing up and falling in love.  A parallel fantasy world of dreams, windows and lovers – and a melody (and harmonies) to die for.

10. Round and Round – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (mp3)

Pitch (im)pefect fuzzy daydreamer pop.  Spring time memories shot on Super8.

Part II to follow.

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Hearing about what the whole world is talking about…

6 Jun

…this.

which is just genius.

Creator James Houston explains:

Radiohead held an online contest to remix “Nude” from their album – “In Rainbows” This was quite a difficult task for all the electronic musicians that entered, as Nude is in 6/8 timing, and 63bpm. Most music that’s played in clubs is around 120bpm and usually 4/4 timing. It’s near impossible to mix a waltz beat into a DJ set.

This resulted in lots of generic entries consisting of a typical 4/4 beat, but with arbitrary clips from “Nude” thrown in so that they qualified for the contest.

Thom Yorke joked at the ridiculousness of it in an interview for NPR radio, hinting that they set the competition “for a laugh” and to find out what would come out of such an impossible task.

I decided to take the piss a bit, as the contest seemed to be in that spirit.

Based on the lyric (and alternate title) “Big Ideas: Don’t get any” I grouped together a collection of old redundant hardware, and placed them in a situation where they’re trying their best to do something that they’re not exactly designed to do, and not quite getting there.

It doesn’t sound great, as it’s not supposed to.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum – Guitars (rhythm & lead)
Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer – Drums
HP Scanjet 3c – Bass Guitar
Hard Drive array – Act as a collection of bad speakers – Vocals & FX

HD: Big Ideas (Don’t get any) from 1030 on Vimeo.

It’s such a great idea, and it’s amazingly well done. It makes me wonder about the sounds that some factory machine in Siberia might be making in the dead of night. How the hum of a supercomputer in Southern California could follow the melody of a swedish pop song, or how an industrial fryer in Grimsby could be chinking along to the drum beat of Arcade Fire’s Keep The Car Running.

Music is sort of one big collection and sampling process. We take the noises around us, filter them down. Select the ones we like, add them together and build our own sonic landscapes which are in reality a reworking of the ugly sounds, the beautiful sounds, and those background noises which we experience everyday.

Reminds me of Bjork’s starring role in Dancer In The Dark, which is a brilliant but absolutely devasting film.

This clip from the film was my first ever introduction to Bjork, broadcast on saturday morning Japanese TV, and I spent nearly 8 years looking for the film, or music video it came from. Seeing it for the second time the other day was an amazing experience.

Beijing Fog

27 Oct

 

If it wasn’t for the life threatening air pollution, I’d like to experience Beijing with 0% visibility.

 

 

 

Which is kind of funny because all the blogs (BLDG…dwell etc..) are running the story about Agro Housing

in China…and..well, plants need sunlight don’t they. But nonetheless the schemes look really cool. Le Corbusier wanted a nature fused with the city, and I think the average city dweller probably wants that too. Design E2 have a film about China’s building crisis, apparently if China meets its housing demands without thinking about the consequence then its residential construction industry will consume 1/4 of the world’s resources in 50 years. Which is almost unbelievably huge.

I suppose we could always exploit the next chunk of rock to meet those demands.

Or visa-versa they could move Beijing up there to escape the fog…which is now smog.

Bjork – Earth Intruders