Saturday, 21 October 2017

Pere Ubu ‎Cloudland Reissue


Pere UbuCloudland Reissue

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In a press handout that accompanied the original release of Pere Ubu's Cloudland, David Thomas quipped "We'd never been asked to write a pop record before. I guess it never occurred to anyone." Given the sonic Dadaism of much of Pere Ubu's work, what's most startling is not that it took so long for someone to suggest they make a pop record but that they were able to comply so successfully. Stephen Hague, who had previously worked with the Pet Shop Boys, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and New Order, produced these sessions, and Cloudland boasts a glossy surface that was unprecedented for Pere Ubu's work; the drums sounded crisp and tight, the songs included traditional melodies and melodic keyboard lines, Allen Ravenstine's noisy punctuations were pushed to the back of the mix, and the harmonies sounded as if they were performed by actual professionals. However, beneath the hipster friendly production, Cloudland remained a Pere Ubu record -- David Thomas' yelping vocal style was as unrestrained as ever, and while the tunes here lack the sharp angles of Pere Ubu's first era, the lateral sway of the melodies is still cheerfully off kilter. Lyrically, Cloudland finds Ubu moving cautiously from their passionate defense of the Midwest's industrial wastelands to a look at the broad plains that lurked elsewhere, as if they were looking for sunnier climes like many other denizens of the Rust Belt and finding many strange, troubling and wonderful things in their new surroundings. Ultimately, Cloudland showed that however much you dressed up Pere Ubu's music, their heart and soul would show through, and that is a very good thing. In 2007, Mercury Records reissued Cloudland in a new remastered edition created with the input of the band. The new disc includes two non-LP B-sides, "Wine Dark Sparks" and "Bang the Drum," as well as a live BBC recording of "Bus Called Happiness" and alternate mixes of "Breath" and "Love Love Love." David Stubbs' liner notes describe the circumstances behind the making of the album as well as Thomas' lyrical themes on this material

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Beck ‎Midnite Vultures



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Midnite Vultures is flourishing with a deranged sense of psychedelia that disorient the senses, while mesmerizing the mind with surrealistic melodies. Surrealism has often been defined as an artistic movement that deviates from the conscious laws of reason and convention. It is a philosophy dedicated to exploring the most obscure realms of the human imagination. Surrealism originally began as an expressionistic approach to visual art, but the ideology of imaginative indulgence transcended into other art-forms such as film and music. Beck has once been described as a composer whose music spontaneously transcends through genres, while simultaneously reinventing them. Beck's pervious albums, like Mellow Gold and Odelay!, displayed a distinctively eccentric and innovative musical style. Amalgamating different genres such as Folk, Hip-hop, Rock and Electronica to create an unusual listening experience that is directly inspired by the unconventional nature of surrealism. Beck's prior albums have constantly exposed us to his experimental tendencies, but none of those experiences even come close to the utter abnormality of Midnite Vultures. This is Beck showing absolutely no restrain, as he takes us on a metaphysical journey to the most abstract dimensions of his mind. "Nicotine & Gravy" is perhaps the essence of what Midnite Vultures is all about. The song is composed by an excessive barrage of psychedelic effects flowing along a mellow arrangement of bass and drums. But as we descend further and further into "Nicotine & Gravy", we find the song being constructed by a diverse musical landscape that arrives to an eruptive medley of kaleidoscopic sounds. Midnite Vultures introduces an eccentric style of ambient music. "Peaches & Cream" displays the typical musical approach of the album, exhibiting condensed layers of sounds comprised from the rhythmic groove of Funk music and trancing instrumental elements. As I said before, this album is flourishing with a deranged sense of psychedelia that disorient the senses, while mesmerizing the mind with surrealistic melodies. We can really see Beck's growth as a songwriter in this album. The lyrical content still contains Beck's usual delivery of nonsensical comedic witticism, but the instrumental sections demonstrate innovative orchestral techniques that we hadn't really seen in his past albums. In songs like "Hollywood Freaks" and "Get Real Paid", we find Beck returning to some of his past tendencies as he revisits his Hip-Hop and Electronic roots. We have seen Beck incorporate both electronic and sampling effects in his music before, but they were always an occasional decorative arrangement. In Midnite Vultures, electronic sequences serve to play a prominent role in the musical structure of almost every song on the album, adding a higher level of spontaneity to the music. "Milk & Honey" and "Mixed Bizness" perfectly display all of the different approaches Beck uses with electronic effects, from eruptive discharges of cosmic sounds to inducing a more melodious dancing atmosphere. In the end, Midnite Vultures proves to be highly entertaining because it's simply Beck doing what he does best- altering the norms of musical orchestration while blending several different musical elements to create a truly captivating musical experience

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Thanks A Million


Since I Started This Blog In July 2014

Just Like To Say Thanks A Million For The All Visits And Comments

Thanks Again Aid00

Various ‎Retro:Active2 (Rare & Remixed)



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If you're an '80s alt-pop junkie who scours the various-artist bins for new series that take surprising turns, Hi-Bias' Retro: Active series might fit the bill since it compiles alternate and extended mixes that tend to come from the original 12" releases. A lot of the tracks in the series have been out of circulation since they were first issued, so Hi-Bias should at least be credited for not recycling the same old batch of hits and semi-hits. Notables on this, the second volume, include the extended mix of the Human League's "Human," the dance remix of Blancmange's "Don't Tell Me," the Madhouse mix of Yaz's "State Farm," and the dub mix of Tears for Fears' "Shout.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Beta Band ‎The Best Of The Beta Band Music



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The Beta Band's biggest claim to fame was that homage in High Fidelity, which speaks volumes about this sorely missed British talent. When John Cusack's character puts The Three EPs on in his record shop, his customers ears immediately prick up. 'Whats this?' they ask, 'It's good!' To which Cusack replies, smugly, 'I know'. If only everyone did... The Beta Band disbanded at the end of 2004, citing their frustration at being critically lauded but commercially ignored. They left behind a legacy of innovative and inspiring tunes, which a small but devoted legion of fans had grown to love. This Best Of does a grand job of placing the finest moments from their four albums in chronological order. There are, perhaps, one too many tracks included from last album Heroes To Zeroes, at the expense of epic live jam, "The House Song", but this is nitpicking. Thankfully, the latter does appear on disc two of this set, as the conclusion to a triumphant live set, recorded at Shepherd's Bush Empire during their final farewell tour. This release is an essential purchase, just to hear the crowd refuse to let "Dry The Rain" finish by repeatedly singing the chorus back to a bemused band.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

The KLF ‎Chill Out


The KLFChill Out

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Recorded and mastered over the course of two days (and apparently recorded in one mammoth take) Chill Out is, as its name suggests, an album for the early morning rather than the night before. It’s the sound of rosy fingered dawn emerging sleepy eyed from behind the horizon, coating existence in swathes of delicious honey and drowsy outlines of amber before playfully chasing somnolent shadows across the horizon. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense that a band active in a scene notorious for getting as close to god as chemically possible would make music like this; Chill Out is the ultimate come down album. Yet dismissing this as simply another early 90’s pillhead album would be the height of ignorance. You don’t need to be insufflating anything to appreciate this; the music itself is utterly sublime. Delicate waves of synths wash over percussive trains that trundle lazily through sleepy towns, punctuating brief and fragile fragments of conversation that leak out of yawning doors and slowly blinking windows. From time to time, vehement roars emanate from the open doors of a Baptist church that trembles in divine ecstasy. The KLF deserve the highest praise for painting the musical picture of places utterly alien to them, in the process creating an astounding aural soundtrack to a journey that would only ever take place on the shrouded highways of the listeners mind. This being the good ole days before Gilbert O’Sullivan decided to ruin music, samples are inserted wholesale into the mix; Elvis on the Radio, Steel Guitar in my Soul, which places In the Ghetto over drifting hawaiian guitars, is particularly heart wrenching. Like all good sampling, the individual pieces combined are more than the sum of their parts; church choirs, impassioned preachers, the braying of animals and children - everyday sounds flickering by that somehow succeed in conjuring up intense visions of mysterious and magical places, lonely landscapes and lonelier people.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers ‎Anthology Through The Years



Tom Petty And The HeartbreakersAnthology Through The Years

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For the fan that wants more than the superb single-disc Greatest Hits yet doesn't want to delve into actual albums or the exhaustive, rarities-heavy box set Playback, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and MCA Records offered the double-disc Anthology: Through the Years in the fall of 2000. This set basically offers all the singles and album rock radio favorites, with a couple of odd selections here and there and one new song, "Surrender." There are a few omissions -- "Make It Better (Forget About Me)" isn't here, for instance -- but not enough to really be noticeable, especially since this consolidates the bulk of Petty's great songs and plays very, very well. Greatest Hits might have a slight edge to Anthology because of its conciseness, but this double-disc set illustrates that Petty's catalog was deeper than just the hits.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Charlatans ‎Forever The Singles Limited Edition



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What separates the 2006 compilation Forever: The Singles (released in the U.S. in 2007) from the 1998 Melting Pot? The simple answer: the eight years separating the two compilations and that Forever draws heavily from the four albums that came out since Melting Pot, resulting in such '90s Charlatans classics as "Just Lookin'" and "Jesus Hairdo" being left behind. In effect, if Melting Pot documents the Charlatans peak, tracing their rise from the baggy of 1990's Some Friendly to the retro-rock of the 1997 masterpiece Tellin' Stories, Forever is the story of how this quintet turned into rock & roll survivors, weathering tragedies and shifts in fashion to become a strong, reliable rock band, always dependable for solid, entertaining albums even if their singles were not as big or as memorable as "The Only One I Know," "Can't Get Out of Bed," "Just When You're Thinking Things Over," "One to Another," or "North Country Boy." Forever is a good overview of that band and is a worthwhile introduction in that regard, but Melting Pot remains a better portrait of the band at its popular and creative peak
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