Thursday, August 28, 2008

i read a book about a man who made mistakes all of the time...

Some Racing, Some Stopping.
the headlights have a sort of arcade fire thing going on but please don't hold that against them. they're actually very good. also, i fucking hate arcade fire but that really isn't the point...fucking arcade fire...anyway, the point is that this album kicks mad ass in the softest way possible. i don't care if that makes sense. eat it.

i really don't know much about this band i have to admit. normally i check up and read whatever i can find about a band before i start to tell people about them. how can you make an informed opinion without any information? this time for some reason i just decided to say screw it though because i just like them that much. i'm not really a new-folk kind of guy. most of the time i hate these bands because they lack any sort of personality. something about the headlights gets me though. i wish i could explain it better.

short and sweet.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

i think i'm turning japanese i really think so...

kaito's special life was released in 2002 by the good people at kompakt. while it seems a little dated now, listening to it five years ago would have been interesting. sadly, i don't know anyone that was ever really into kompakt releases so i can't ask opinions, but judging by what i was listening to and what i was avoiding listening to, special life was a good hop ahead of the curve.

it wasn't a ground breaking album and most of the reviews i've read of it make it sound far worse than it actually was. it's a shame really because it's actually really fucking good. i've heard words like "cheesy" used to describe this album and i'm not sure where that comes from. yes, there is a definite tried and true style to the album that borrows from a long line of poppy house, but i don't think it was an attempt at irony. by looking at the cover of the album it seems fairly obvious that this album is supposed to be lighthearted and fun. perhaps as if coming from the mind of a child instead of a seasoned musician.

i was listening to this album on the train this morning. i just bought it last night and i really like listening to new things on my morning commute. more importantly, i like listening to things that are soft and relaxing on my morning commute. i caught myself thinking how interesting it is that i like this kind of music. if you were to ask my friends what i listen to, most of them would respond with some kind of rock or metal. the people that know me well would say everything. the people that know me really well would say everything including house and country. i don't know what it is about house music that gets me. house is in itself, cheesy music. it's lighthearted party fare made popular by underground gay clubs in the 80s and brought to the masses by way of innocuous acts like moby, dee-lite and armin van buuren (just a few among a vast list that are just as guilty for helping make house as bland as it's become.) i love it though. i love the fact that i'm not supposed to think about world peace or aids in africa or any other shit that's going on in the world. i can just sit back and let it wash over me or if i'm feeling really crazy, dance. this is a big thing since i can count on one hand the number of friends i have that have seen me dance.
my point is that this album is far from the banal nature that plagues so many discs like it these days. the fact that it was made six years ago makes it even stranger. it has elements of what would later become a signature sound in german house but keeps to a solid foundation of ealy to mid 90s drum patterns. i can't say i was expecting anything like it when i heard the promo clips on emusic. if you happen to be a fan of house, or just like electronic music with a happy bounce to it, check out special life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

so let the son shine in, face it with a grin...

so it was brought to my attention that i haven't written anything for a while and and because of that, i wondered why not. surely there had to be something interesting in the last few weeks that i've stumbled across that was worth sharing with the world. low and behold...son lux.

aka ryan lott, son lux is a relatively new sign to anticon. he fits in quite well with the odd not quite "backpack friendly" style of hip hop this label has gotten an unfair reputation for. i won't get into my opinions of the label and where it's genres lie because son lux doesn't really fit in to the roster properly. there are off kilter beats and production effect heavy tracks galore but ryan's almost pained whispering vocals really seem to set this record apart.

son lux has the kind of c.v. that you'd expect from someone obsessed with art. he collaborates constantly and keeps an open mind about the nature of art and relationship with sound (two separate field in some people's eyes). none of that really matters to most people i would imagine. the important bit is what does it sound like? you can find out for yourself by going here .

there are a lot of things going on in this album but that's not really what makes me like it so much. i couldn't really put into words how i feel listening to it but it's kind of like taking a walk down the ole memory lane only to find that it's been graffitied and smells like piss now. there's a sick sweetness to this album that makes you want to smile and cry at the same time and i blame most of it on ryan's vocals. there aren't many lyrics to some of the pieces and they tend to repeat to really drive home the point. loss, betrayal and pain keep falling in and out of the spotlight and somehow it's just too damn pretty to feel like a bad thing.

perhaps this falls in the category of "break up" music. maybe it's something to listen to when you just want to wind down after a shit day in the salt mines. maybe you just like beating yourself up and enjoy wallowing in the sad, whatever your poison, it's worth having a listen if you find yourself drawn to ethereal music with a splash of percussion thrown into the mix.