Thursday, November 30, 2006
Gary Numan's "Are Friends Electric?" came out as the Top Synth Riff Of All Time and Daft Punk's "Da Funk" was the only track dating later than the mid-80's to make the top ten. "Da Funk" would have been my pick if I had only remembered to vote...
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Smith had been working from his bedroom on remnants of electronic equipment. And it taught the duo something useful. "You don't need much money to make work," says Smith. "In the Nineties, we made albums we were proud of in my spare bedroom on so-called crap equipment. It sounded good to us."
: The past couple of years has seen them focus on their RiverRun Project of download only releases available at UnderworldLive. Their motivation:
"We were touring, selling records, earning good money, having a nice time," says Hyde. "That is not a creatively stimulating environment to be in," he says. "We needed to get some uncertainty back into our lives."
"It's nerve-wracking when the culture around the selling of music is saying 'Hold it back, keep it secret and then unleash it'," says Smith.
"That implies it's all you've got, doesn't it?" Hyde says. "So that's it, is it? Everything's precious, and tight, and you're releasing stuff as if you'll never write anything again."
: Breaking...is just the tip of the iceberg for Underworld as they are working on another soundtrack for an epic sci-fi movie directed by Trainspotting's Danny Boyle, and they plan to release their next proper album sometime next year.
Stop by Underworld's myspace to listen to a couple of tracks from Breaking And Entering or dream of the next proper album with this video for Underworld's "Jumbo":
Sunday, November 26, 2006
We did an album in '96 [Wild Mood Swings] and we had a song on there called ''Mint Car'' — it was the single, and I thought it was a better song than ''Friday.'' But it did absolutely nothing because we weren't the band at that time. The zeitgeist wasn't right. It taught me that sometimes there's a tipping point, and if you're the band, you're the band, even if you don't want to be, and there's nothing you can do about it.
: So "Mint Car" is a better song than "Friday I'm In Love". Let's take a listen to both:
: You tell me which song just sits there and which one brings a smile to your face. Obviously Smith has never thought much of "Friday" saying that it was "just a stupid pop song" when the single was released, but it is also a fun tune with some energy and clever lyrics behind it even if they are less than mind blowing in their depth. As I discussed with friends at the time "Mint Car" sounded like he was going back to rewrite the same song, or at least revisit the same "silly" vibe with a similar guitar riff, but it came across as a mix of trying too hard and just tired. It's almost as if he was saying if you thought that piece of crap was something than listen to what I can do when I try to make crap. If he wanted to play up better songwriting from when the "zeitgeist wasn't right" for The Cure he should be talking up The 13th. Now there's a song that is different and stays with you.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
: Click here to listen to listen to Pac's Life for the rest of the week. It opens with gunshot samples.
Friday, November 17, 2006
: Cash's recording of the song was most likely inspired by Moby's "Run On" from his Play album which took samples from early folk field recordings so casting the video with the rich and famous adds another layer to a complex cycle of inspiration.
UPDATE: Apparently the video was Justin Timberlake's idea. He pitched the concept to Cash's producer Rick Rubin before American V was released. Also of note is the number of Rubin's clients like RHCP, Jay-Z, Bono and Dixie Chicks that feature in the video.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Perhaps if you read blogs you may have noticed that Depeche Mode won "Best Group" at the MTV Europe Music Awards a couple of weeks ago over competition from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Eye Peas, Keane and Pussycat Dolls. That inspired an interesting post by at Electronically Yours about the group's low profile in their native country despite their status as Britain’s most successful musical export. It's something to contemplate as you watch Fletch's brief acceptance speech here.
Click on the link to stream Depeche Mode The Best Of
Sunday, November 12, 2006
: Stop by the Faithless myspace to listen to remixes and more from the band.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
"Our strategic goal [with "Supernature"] was to proactively expand the licensing support from the start, [using it] as traditional marketing plans use radio airplay to garner mainstream exposure," Mute director of marketing Nicole Blonder says.
Mute is also taking "Fly Me Away" to radio in different formats. "We have some programmers coming to the table," Blonder says, but adds, "we're on track to achieve our sales goals without major support from commercial radio"
: It's good to see they set "realistic" goals.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Carl Craig's disc is titled "Influences & Developments" and finds him looking primarily towards electronic music created in Europe while using a similar approach it takes Craig seven tracks before getting into music that is traditionally classified as part of the techno genre. Making a larger argument for trends and traditions in electronic music across the world the mix finds common ground in the new romantic, Italo, synthpop, and EBM scenes. The compilation is a great find for those puzzled by the genre, I'm looking at you American journalists that spent 3/4ths of the 90's writing endless about the need to use drugs to enjoy the music, because it provides a context for a genre that seems to appeared from nowhere.
Click here to stream the mixes for the next day or so.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Pet Shop Boys have always delivered personal and social experience as a narrative to their material, but Fundamental is a more political album than usual thematically, discussing not just the typical "evils" of politics, but actually where politics pervade the personal.
It's not, to put it most bluntly, simply a record filled with platitudes how politicians are evil, or that we just need to get along. However, the politicization of the personal does occur in more intriguing ways across the album as a whole. Since the theme of
Fundamental, we keep getting told, is "politics today," we can't help but regard many of the other songs in that light, even when they don't appear immediately to be so.
Some obvious examples are "Indefinite Leave to Remain", which clearly reflects on immigration laws' prejudice towards gay partners; and "Psychological", which talks cleverly about a living in a society submerged in fear.
To begin with, much of the album's political targets are at least somewhat novel: an amazing song about ID cards ("Integral"), one about love and nationality, and specifically how immigration laws often disadvantage gay couples ("Indefinite Leave To Remain"), and most pervasively, about the culture of fear ("Luna Park," "Psychological").
Even a Diane Warren contribution, "Numb", can be heard as a comment on human reactions to the climate of terror-attacks and anxieties.
This happens most obviously with the dramatic orchestral ballad "Numb." Composed by Diane Warren (a revelation that I admit I was appalled by), the song first comes across as a straightforward song of heartbreak. (It would have seemed even more so had it appeared, as was the original plan, on PopArt.) But in the context of the new album, its opening lines -- "Don't wanna hear the news/What's going on, what's coming through/I don't wanna know" -- reminds us that it's now a song about the desire or even need to zombify oneself as a way of coping with a world gone mad.
: To paraphrase Kayne West, I'm not saying that Marshall is a plagiarist, but I don't see how this much similarity could be coincidence.