November 30, 2004
I just don't know!
Neotropic's most recent album, White Rabbits, seemed like a not particularly distinctive addition to their catalog, until "Magpies" came on. Is this trip hop? Is it IDM? Is it experimental downtempo? I just don't know! (See also "don't care".) "Feeling Remote" is like the second coming of Woob, the best ambient act EVER, and in fact, the latter 2/3 of the album changed my mind about the "not particularly distinctive" part.
Woob's two em:t albums are long out of print (although they pop up on ebay and elsewhere, but you may as well give these tracks a listen, and pine for the days when Woob was the soundtrack to every single altered state experience in a tri-state area. These two tracks are meant to be listened to back to back. From the album 4495.
November 29, 2004
Who cares if it's good
The following RJD2 track comes to you by way of the "who cares if it's good, the song title kicks ass" rule. Fortunately, the song is actually nifty... the best song on the platter, in fact. From the vinyl EP 1976.
This song came on the station the other day, a remix that basically kicks the original right in the face. I don't know why Lionrock stopped putting out music, and I'm too lazy to look, but at least we'll always have this wonderful ditty. From the bonus disc that comes with An Instinct for Detection.
Here's some hip hop from Roots Manuva that is flat out dubtastic. Reminds me of the Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor album, "in a good way"! It's from a one-track promo CD single. If you go to their web site and sign up for their mailing list, they have a free live track for the downloading. "You heard it here first, provided you were not paying attention to many other sources!"
And finally, a regular on alt.music.peter-gabriel put up a great review of the new Peter Gabriel DVD, Play, a collection of nearly all of the great man's videos. Dan's review is a lot more informative than mine would be, due to his having a badass sound system, whereas I have only a comparatively puny sound system. But I will say this: shiny.
November 26, 2004
Too high to get over, too low to get under
Several weeks back, before my dance set started at Sev and Ethan's reception, one of their picks for the "family hasn't left yet / let's try to be a bit mainstream" set that preceded it was Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". I don't give a rat's flaming diseased ass what people think about MJ's eventual slide into Cthuloid mutant squickmeister; that song kicks major, major ass, and the dance floor was hoppin'. But DID YOU KNOW that there is an absolutely sublime acappella version by a group called spiralmouth? Listen... and swoon. To add to the fun, for those of you who missed it months ago, here's a repost of spiralmouth's equally badass Beatles cover, and a nice phat cover of "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails. Yes, it's all acappella. From spiralmouth's self-titled album on Hot Lips Records.
These and other fine, fine tracks can be heard on Comfort Radio. See you next week.
November 25, 2004
A couple months ago, I posted a great IDM track from Monotonik artist Ernesto Aeroflot. He wrote in to let us know what he's been up to lately:
"Here's something new I've been working on. I'll be releasing a new album shortly. Please check out my homepage for more downloads (including my music video!)."
November 24, 2004
I can't help it really
Faithless put out a new album last summer and I didn't even notice. Someone's PR firm is not doing its job. Also, I'm a dolt. Anyway, it's, uh, good and stuff. What I love about Faithless is how eclectic they manage to be within the basic framework of putting out kick-stomping good dance music - incorporate a little of this, a little of that, as long as it doesn't interrupt the boogie. That formula hasn't changed much on this album; gotten a little slicker, maybe, but that's a good thing. This album is also apparently a concept album - I don't really listen to lyrics unless they're, like, na na hey hey and stuff, so I can neither confirm or deny, but the music does meet the minimum quota of yum for my taste. Plus, Dido is hot, so.
In other news, Mocean Worker put up a video for "Chick A Boom Boom" that is the zaniest thing I have seen in a long, long time. Do not to be missing it. And Sleepy passed on the following link to a video for a cover of "Radio Ga Ga" by Electric 6. If you are not a Queen fan, this video will probably not amuse you. If you are a Queen fan, this video may still not amuse you.
November 23, 2004
Saving the princess
I assumed most people knew about Ratatat by now, but we were in NYC for Kat's Halloween party, and Gnat put this album on probably a half dozen times throughout the weekend; each time he did, he had a swarm of people asking "What the hell is this??" Gnat refers to this particular track as "saving the princess music" - it's really gnarly techno funk that would be good soundtrack music for, you know, princess-saving and stuff. Please notify us if you have any princesses that need saving and we will fire up the loudspeakers. From the band's self-titled debut.
This is a Coe find... Dante Carfagna, also known as Express Rising, found this 1976 LP in a used record store, fell completely in love with it, and worked to get it released on CD. Carfagna writes in the liner notes, "What at initial glance seemed pretty good revealed itself in time to be excellent, and after many, many spins graduated to the status of entirely unique and very special... Every player on the record seemed to have exactly the right idea, ideas that would truly find the right audience in the post-hip-hop world of sound." From the album Thrust.
McNeal & Niles - Ja Ja
McNeal & Niles - Punk Funk
November 22, 2004
STOP... I need a new beat
From the Comfort list archives...
"I haven't heard Cibo Matto's cover of Nirvana's 'About a Girl' before. Silly, wonderful fun! Is this on an album somewhere?"
This track was released on a vinyl Moonchild EP, which doesn't seem to be available anymore. They also covered Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" on their debut EP, although of course it's sung in French. Wacky!
In the process of looking for "Black Hole Sun", I came across a couple of excellent remixes that might also be of interest. It is of the sadness that Cibo Matto broke up without producing a followup to Stereotype A. Yuka Honda is releasing experimental albums on John Zorn's label, and Miho Hatori flits about here and there, but it's just not the same. *snif*
November 19, 2004
"Der flim is okey-dokey!"
So they just released a collection of Muppet tracks. I spent hours as a child singing along to the vinyl release of The Muppet Movie soundtrack, which I still have. I COULDN'T HELP IT, LEAVE ME ALONE. Some classic tracks that previously were only available via filesharing networks, such as "Mahna-Mahna", can now be yours in pristine remastered CD audio.
Ethan wanted to track down Gonzo's version of "I'm Going To Go Back There Someday" for his reception. Curiously, they chose to "remix" that track for this CD release, but screw that - here's the original.
These and other fine, fine tracks can be heard 24/7 on Comfort Radio. See you next week.
November 18, 2004
I was listening patiently to the most recent DJ Krush album, Jaku, which is very good, for tracks to start leaping out at me, and lo and behold, four tracks in "The Beginning" came on - really reminding me of that Massive Attack Danny The Dog soundtrack. I think everyone on Amazon refers to this album as hip hop because Krush has traditionally been considered a hip hop producer; sure, he's got a couple guest rappers (including Aesop Rock) on this album, and sure he occasionally breaks out the old turntable stylee as well, but this album is mostly trip hop in my book. In fact, it happens to be awesome Japanese trip hop. The piano playing on "Stormy Cloud" (presumably by Ken Shima) is super cool.
In other news, in case you missed the link from yesterday's comments, our pal Darwin has got a good chunk of the hip hop world (and much else) covered on his media blog, Nuclear Beef. Please to be with the checking it out. That is all.
November 17, 2004
I'm not actually cool enough to have any business liking this music, but what the hell. From the upcoming release Exquisite Corpse comes the latest round of hip hop/IDM fusion from weirdo beatmeister Daedelus.
November 16, 2004
"I'm a male model, not a male prostitute!"
If you're like me, you've long been wondering if Handsome Boy Modeling School was ever going to release another album. (Of course, if you're like me, you've also been waking up wondering "what am I doing to myself??" every day for the last six years, but I digress.) Luckily, Sleepy dug up their new album, White People, and it's definitely got some gems. "Are You Down With It" is further demonstration of the general principle that Mike Patton expands to fill the available albums to guest on. "I've Been Thinking" employs the voice of Cat Power's Chan Marshall to create a smooth little Zero 7 impression. "It's Like That" is just good old school Handsome Boy hip hop.
Handsome Boy Modeling School - Are You Down With It (feat. Mike Patton)
Handsome Boy Modeling School - I've Been Thinking (feat. Cat Power)
Handsome Boy Modeling School - It's Like That (feat. Casual)
In other news, the latest episode of my other blog, eScottology, was just posted. eScottology is a monthly column on the independent drug information site, Erowid. This month's episode has a musical theme that may be of particular interest to readers of Comfort Music. That is all.
November 15, 2004
Would "Masochism Tango" work?
Kat asked me to keep an eye out for good tango music, as she is currently taking tango classes. Comfort Radio is not known as a hotbed of tango music, but I do have one album by Gotan Project, which is good tango-infused downtempo. Maybe this will suit until someone else chimes in with other recommendations. From the album La Revancha Del Tango.
November 12, 2004
A pair of guilty pleasure tracks for a Friday. Both of these tracks are covers of Three Dog Night songs, although "Eli's Coming" was recorded and released by its writer, Laura Nyro, in 1968, the year before Three Dog Night made it a hit. "Shambala" was a hit in 1973, written by Daniel Moore, who later penned a hit for Brooks & Dunn that I absolutely do not recommend, whatever it is. At any rate, these acappella versions are polar opposites in tone, one dark and haunting, the other sweet and luscious, but both share an artistry that a) belies what hacks The Nylons usually are/were, and b) belies how boring Rockapella usually is/was. These tracks feature some outstanding arranging and performing on display. "Eli's Coming" was recorded live and, remarkably for The Nylons in concert, includes no overdubs that I can hear. According to liner notes, "Shambala" was recorded "99% live" in the studio.
On a related note, I have a collection of thirteen vocal percussion loops that I created a while back for the express intent of handing them off to musicians who might be able to make use of such a thing. They're collected below in a 27mb zip file, so I definitely recommend that you don't bother downloading this unless you really think you might use it - trust me, they will sound very boring, unless you have an eye on creating music. They are released with no copyright restrictions whatsoever - you might drop me a line if you make a tune with one of these, but it is absolutely not a requirement. "Knock yerself out!"
Don't forget to check out the kickass tracks on Comfort Radio. See you next week.
November 11, 2004
U2 has a new album coming out and it has leaked onto the internet. And we here at Comfort Music could not be more excited!
Oh wait - actually, we could totally be more excited. Never mind.
Here's a haunting little ditty by Seattle's Heather Duby. I heard a few tracks off her latest album and wasn't nearly as impressed as I was with the weird shimmer of her first album. This is from Post To Wire.
I don't think I've ever heard better opening credits music for a movie than this. EVER! From the Monsoon Wedding soundtrack.
And finally, Slate published a good article on the history of the remix, with a slant towards Depeche Mode's contribution. Good reading both for the historical perspective and for a look at the sorry state of "the single" in today's world.
November 10, 2004
A couple people asked me if I could make available the dance set I put together for Sev and Ethan's reception last Saturday night. Although I am hardly "DJ White Label" when I do this kind of thing (once or twice a year), there were still plenty of people asking me "What is this?" to justify posting these tracks, even if they will fall into the category of "golden oldies" to many. Some of these are reposts, but our audience keeps growing, so I'm not too concerned about that; the Crystal Method and Propellerheads were requests from Sev and Ethan.
This set will be up for about 48 hours and then it's history.
Beastie Boys - Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix)
Kinky - Mas
Röyksopp - Eple
DJ Rap - Good To Be Alive
Joi - Asian Vibes
Cibo Matto - Spoon
Eat Static - Love Truncheon
Tom Jones & The Cardigans - Burning Down The House
The Herbaliser Band - Ginger Jumps The Fence
Banco de Gaia - I Love Baby Cheesy
Elvis vs. JXL - A Little Less Conversation
Puracane - Summertime Rolls
Goddam Guest - Pass The Word (Beasties vs. Beatles)
Dub Pistols - Keep Keep Movin' (Mystery Men Mix)
Afro Celts - Rise Above It
The Crystal Method - Keep Hope Alive (There Is Hope Mix)
Propellerheads - Velvet Pants
Lemon Jelly - Nice Weather For Ducks
Ultraviolet - Let There Be Light
Moulin Rouge - "Always this ridiculous obsession with love!"
November 09, 2004
Car crash enamour
Today's special guest entry comes courtesy of Yara, who writes:
"I'm having a total disco problem lately. I want ass-shaking music again, not the mopey emo shoe-gazing of the last two years. I thought I was over the booty, but the booty was never really over me.
"Bethany's Ask Again mix is a well-mixed hour of chair-dancing. Definitely keep an eye out for minutes 20-30.
"Caro is also rocking my italo disco world. It's a little slower-paced, a little less glitchy than what I'm used to, but just right for a little bust-a-move. The complexity and layering of vocals and 'Is that a Speak & Spell? A modem? A cowbell?' sounds does it for me in all the right places." (Other Orac Records tracks are available here.)
"Codebase is all kinds of honor-the-past, embrace-the-future techno on the Style Encoding release, showing especially fine form in the single 'Sharpshooter'. There's also a stellar track from Stewart Walker, who has been on a remix bender and is obviously getting quite good at it."
"Also, please forgive me, but i'm totally in 'car crash enamour' with Britney Spears' cover of 'My Prerogative'. The original was no 'Poison', but the cover is so bad in such a horrifying way, you can't help but look. And look again."
"I must really need to hit the clubs..."
November 08, 2004
Lyrics Born is coming to the Showbox November 17th, giving me an excuse to put up a track that I can't really ever get out of my head, "Calling Out". Seriously, it just hides out in the background while I'm listening to other music, then the minute it gets a little quiet, I hear Lyrics Born start this track up. Coe and I saw him as part of the Quannum tour when it came through town, which also featured DJ Shadow, Gift of Gab, and Lifesavas, and he was definitely one of the highlights - although that particular tour featured no noticeable lowlights, but still. John Richards plays the KEXP in-studio version of "Calling Out" approximately three thousand times a week; you would think I'd get tired of hearing it, but no. From the album Later That Day.
Also, a heads up from Nancy via the Comfort list, who writes:
"The long-awaited second Pink Martini album is out! It is available for streaming from their website. It is rich and delicious. Yum, yum, yum."
November 05, 2004
I was tickled pink when I learned from Sleepy that Terranova had a new album out. And when this song came on to close the album, I was even, uh, more pink. Or something. They do a really good Massive Attack impression on this track while adding a little bit of dance groove into the mix. From the album Digital Tenderness.
After posting some tracks from a comp released by the netlabel iDEOLOGY, someone from the label suggested we check out the rest of their output. There's quite a bit of free yumminess on their site, but this track really stood out for me - dark and simple, takes its time evolving, and has some weird guy in the background making strange sounds every now and then. What more could you want?
said the gramaphone posted this delightful track, which I dedicate to Gnat.
These and other fine, fine tracks can be heard on Comfort Radio. See you next week.
November 04, 2004
Helping fill out the "willfully eclectic" quota on Comfort Radio is this delightful little nugget of almost-twang. It's a guilty pleasure. I can't help it - her voice is just so purty! From the album The Herethereafter.
Coe recommended Shivaree to me, warning I might find them a little too poppy. But lo! 'Tis an unexpected pleasure. This song in particular would be a "book number" in a musical, not the "break away hit"; I can easily picture a dance involving a coat rack, an umbrella, and a girl in a flapper dress when I hear this tune. Of course, I'm high on cough medicine at the moment, so. From the album Rough Dreams.
Here's some good old-fashioned techno from the BeSonic archives. Normally I like my techno to be "edgy" or "slightly experimental" or "bleepy bloopy", but sometimes the straightforward approach is what works best. Get more freebies from Audioplacid here.
November 03, 2004
I just want to lay down in the grass and be cool
Amir first turned me on to Mellow a couple years ago. Their retro-psychedelic goofiness appealed in the same way that Lemon Jelly appeals - it's goofy, but it's also very tasty, as these tracks from their album Another Mellow Spring attest.
Last time I talked to Amir about this subject, he hadn't realized that Mellow put out another album earlier this year, Perfect Colors. It's a little darker, a little weirder, a little edgier... a little more psychedelic, really.
November 02, 2004
It's delicious and nutricious!
Here's one of the more outstanding tracks from the excellent series, Future Sounds of Jazz. Manages to incorporate a subtle ominous tone into an otherwise straightforward acid jazz track, giving it more punch than you might expect as it goes on. "I liked it so much, I bought the CD!"
This swank little ditty came on the station today, reminding me once again that without love, it ain't gonna do you no good. You can try to argue, but that ain't gonna do you no good, either. From the album Bryant Street.
How the weird techno group Eat Static ever got around to making such a sambatastic track is a mystery, but there it is. From the album Crash and Burn.
November 01, 2004
Soundtrack to life
I've been too lazy to buy the second album by The Cinematic Orchestra, so I'm posting a few tracks from their debut album, Motion, to try to kick my ass into gear on the subject. It's excellent jazz-and-funk-infused downtempo with a sweeping, often haunting scope.