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February 28, 2007

Ensemble

Completely wistful, organic, evolving ambient pop? Featuring Chan Marshall on a couple tracks? Uh, okay, sign my stupid ass up! From the 2006 release Ensemble, by the act Ensemble.

Ensemble - Summerstorm (feat. Mileece)
Ensemble - One kind two minds (feat. Lou Barlow)
Ensemble - Disown, delete (feat. Chan Marshall)

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Air - Afternoon Sister
Butthole Surfers & Moby - Tiny Rubberband
Cocteau Twins - fotzepolitic

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2007

Burial

I first became aware of Burial via a post by Charles Mudede on the Stranger blog, in which Mudede wrote: "I would go as far as to call it the best album since Tricky's Maxinquaye, which brought post-colonial Britain to the point of dusk, the verge of the aftermath... It is the meter of, the movement in, a time that's somewhere not here." Needless to say, that's a hefty statement, and when I finally spotted the album in Sonic Boom, the press quotes were just as emphatic: "The dubstep answer to Massive Attack's Blue Lines," read one, while another called the album "a mournful dubstep masterpiece." Ignoring for the moment that a) I didn't know what the fuck dubstep was in the first place before this, and b) I'm just letting those other people write this entire post at this point, the fact is that c) this is really intriguing stuff, cold and otherworldly but intense and commanding. From the 2006 release Burial.

Burial - Distant Lights
Burial - Spaceape (feat. Spaceape)
Burial - U Hurt Me

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Amiel - Meet Me In The Red Room
Electric Chairs - The Good, The Bad mit Barby mix by The Orb
Divaship - In Theory

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2007

The Earlies

The Earlies offer quirky prog-influenced art rock, incorporating electronic elements into their weirdly creative arrangements. Their debut album didn't make much of an impression on me, but this one leapt right out and caught my attention. From the 2007 release Enemy Chorus.

The Earlies - No Love In Your Heart
The Earlies - Bad Is As Bad Does
The Earlies - Found A Lion And Earth

These and other fine, fine tracks can be heard on Comfort Radio. See you next week.

Posted by Scotto at 08:28 AM | Comments (1)

February 21, 2007

Gilles Peterson

On the 2005 release Gilles Peterson in Africa, we're treated to a 2-CD tour of African sounds. The first disc, "The Soul", focuses on African music from the '60s and '70s; I'm not super familiar with this genre, having a slight bias against modern "Afropop", but this stuff is energetic, creative and yeah, soulful. The second disc, "The Spirit", lets modern remixers take a stab at the sound.

Letta Mbulu - Mahlalela
Fela Kuti & The Africa 70 - Ye Ye De Smell
Cesaria Evora - Angola (Carl Craig remix)
Thievery Corporation feat. David Byrne - The Heart's A Lonely Hunter

Recently on Comfort Radio:
DJ Cheb I Sabbah - Govinda
Transglobal Underground - Ancient Dreams Of The Sky
Lamb - The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2007

The Minor Canon

I originally posted demos from The Minor Canon last February, describing the sound as "part Dixieland, part Polyphonic Spree, part sentimental ballad". Well, the group's album, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, comes out tomorrow, and I would say the sound has swung a little away from the Dixieland and a little more toward the sentimental ballad, but overall, the mix is still really, really good, "if you like that sort of thing". The band's founder, guitarist and Dntel-collaborator Paul Larson, has put a great band together (with piano/organ, bass, trumpet, trombone, trumpet, and drums); the music is wistful and sweeping at the same time.

The Minor Canon - It Never Was
The Minor Canon - The Art Of The Quickdraw
The Minor Canon - The Rockets Countdown

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Cujo - Fat Ass Joint
Bjork - Possibly Maybe (live w. Brodsky Quartet)
Sigur Ros - 5

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)

February 16, 2007

Trans Am

Hey everyone, guess what! I've got a brand new blog for you to check out. It's called DoseNation, and it covers all aspects of modern drug culture - from art, music & literature to breakthroughs in pharmaceutical research; from shamanism and psychotherapy to drug policy around the world; from Ecstasy, cocaine and speed to alcohol, coffee, and benzodiazepines. DoseNation has its eye on all the non-ordinary (and ordinary!) states that psychoactives and other technologies have to offer. I'm one of the founders & main contributors, and my posts typically have a bit of a humorous vibe. Please to be checking it out!

And now, the music...

The band Trans Am releases a new album next week called Sex Change. The album demonstrates a nice fusion of post-rock and dance punk, sometimes even sounding a little retro prog. It's is complex and varied, showing a deft, light touch in some cases, while on some tracks, laying on the aggro guitarness pretty thick.

Trans Am - First Words
Trans Am - North East Rising Sun
Trans Am - Reprieve

These and other fine, fine tracks can be heard on Comfort Radio. See you next week.

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)

February 14, 2007

Namelessnumberheadman

Aside from having one of the best names in indie music, Namelessnumberheadman also has a distinct flavor of melodic rocktronica that I have found to be right up my alley. From the 2006 release When We Leave, We Will Know Where We've Been.

Namelessnumberheadman - An Unproven Theorem
Namelessnumberheadman - In The Throes Of Giving Up
Namelessnumberheadman - How To Attract Love

Recently on Comfort Radio:
William Orbit - Time To Get Wise
Praxis - Dead Man Walking (Edit)
Billie Holliday - Too Marvelous For Words

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2007

The Funky Lowlives

After stumbling across a single by The Funky Lowlives last year, I decided to check out their 2005 release, Somewhere Else Is Here. To my delight, the record is a pleasingly creative downtempo affair, occasionally reminiscent of Zero 7 but often with a kind of Blue States vibe that makes it even more interesting. Plus, "Superlove" adds to the very slowly-expanding but incredibly important "banjotronica" genre, so.

The Funky Lowlives - Superlove
The Funky Lowlives - You Have To Come With Me
The Funky Lowlives - Time Traveller Man

And since they went to the trouble of including a bonus remix CD, I have ever so thoughtfully provided this little treat today as well. It's because I care.

The Funky Lowlives - Sail Into The Sun (King Unique Vocal Mix)

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Count Basic - Hide (Abstract Jazz)
Tori Amos - Datura
Hexstatic - Machine Toy

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (3)

February 09, 2007

Friday grab bag

Gothic art rock? Okay, sign me up! This is a little more earnest than my other favorite Gothic art rockers, Rasputina, a little more urgent in some ways as well. From the 2006 release II, by the band Espers.

Espers - Mansfield And Cyclops

I don't often get inclined to post iterative ambient or IDM, so this track by Tristeza kind of caught me by surprise. The whole (very short) album, En Nuestro Desafío, is quite nice, but the closing track is a stand out.

Tristeza - En Nuestro Desafío

And here's a great little sliver of dance punk from New Young Pony Club to kick the near-weekend off. From the 2006 single Ice Cream.

New Young Pony Club - Descend

These and other fine, fine tracks can be heard on Comfort Radio. See you next week.

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (2)

February 07, 2007

Menomena

Portland-based experimental rock band Menomena produces intricate, bizarre, very engaging modern prog. Their latest album, Friend and Foe, struck me as a pleasing cross between TV On The Radio and Morphine. Regardless of how I try (and fail) to pigeonhole them, this album is a rich and rewarding listening experience; I had a heck of a time trying to figure out which tracks were the highlights to post. Apparently the band constructs its music by recording individual loops into a home-brewed computer program, assembling the loops into full songs, then learning to play the full songs outright and recording that; the resulting pastiche is complicated and unpredictable, but still full of emotion.

Menomena - Muscle'n Flo
Menomena - Air Aid
Menomena - Evil Bee

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Creature - Stuffed Hostage (The Ambient Western Orb Mix)
Cherry Poppin' Daddies - Shake Your Lovemaker
Bahamadia - Innovation

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2007

Of Montreal

Oh yeah, Of Montreal has a new album out. (I know there have to be at least four people out there who did not know that yet.) It's called Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?. It's pretty good. That is all.

Of Montreal - Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse
Of Montreal - Gronlandic Edit
Of Montreal - She's A Rejecter

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Lamb - Gold
Afro Celt Sound System - Inion-Daughter
FC Kahuna - Hayling

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)

February 02, 2007

"The Abduction of The Art of Noise"

I stumbled across an excellent compilation from 2004 recently called The Abduction of The Art of Noise - unlike the well known Art of Noise remix compilations, which vary in quality, this album is a compilation of full remakes, featuring the likes of Hexstatic, Disco Gecko (otherwise known as Banco de Gaia), and Art of Noise founder JJ Jeczalik himself. If you're not familiar with old school Art of Noise, this might be the perfect entry point to those compositions. Actually, The Ambient Collection is probably a more perfect entry, but this comp puts a modern spin on the sound that's definitely worth checking out; I can't remember the last time I got done listening to an album for the first time and immediately decided, "I should listen to that album again right this minute." (Note that "Beat Box (Diversion 2)" fades out in the middle for a spell and then fades back in - very tricky!)

Trafik feat. Rachel Lambert - Moments In Love
Avon - Legs
Velvet Chain - Beat Box (Diversion 2)

And of course, how could I overlook the sole acappella contribution to this compilation? This one track is closest in spirit to the original Art of Noise in terms of how unexpected it sounds.

Michael Schiefel - Opus 4

These and other fine, fine tracks can be heard on Comfort Radio. See you next week.

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)