Saturday, October 22, 2016

Toshifumi Hinata - Sarah's Crime

A lovely collection of arrangements for synthesizer, piano, strings, and is that melodica, harmonica, or something else? I find it hard to tell. Heard about Hinata from a post on the Listen to This! blog a while back, someone did a write-up on Reality in Love, which I recently described to a friend as "one of the most beautiful albums I've ever heard." I did not feel guilty of hyperbole when expressing this sentiment.

Sarah's Crime is Hinata's first, apparently. Sounds, like many of his works, like the score to an imaginary film (I can't help imagining a Studio Ghibli-type sequence panning over meticulously drawn landscapes and exploring dimly lit rooms, somber faces...). Alternating from gentle movements between electronics and acoustic instruments to Satie-sounding piano interludes... probably the perfect soundtrack to your rainy weekend.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ulrich Schnauss - Far Away Trains Passing By

Pleasant if slightly dated, straddling the line between ambient and unobtrusive beat-oriented electronica, perfect for early/mid-morning commute or general mid-week drudgery (Slowdive's "Souvlaki" is also a good point of comparison). Think I heard about this record via the always-informative dream chimney 'track of the day' forums. Highlight - the lo-fi nature sounds overtaken by the phaser/chorus kraut-y bliss of "Between Us and Them," channeling "Deluxe"-era Harmonia.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sophie and Peter Johnston - Sophie and Peter Johnston

Heard about this sibling duo via the bandcamp page for an album I've already raved about, but why not rave about it again, Ice Choir's Designs in Rhythm. Cited as one of the latter group's influences, this album certainly shows why - layers of blissful FM synths (say, during the chorus for "A Bigger Temptation"), YMO-style syncopated MIDI sequenced runs in the classic opener "Television Satellite"... this is one of those gems of the maximal 80's synth-pop era (Scritti Politti's "Cupid and Psyche" is another good reference point, but might I suggest also the vocals of Sade on a track like "Torn Open"?). 

Sliding through the shimmering synths, reverb soaked drum track and what sounds like a melodica patch on the instrumental "Take That Jerkin Off!"... an eaaaaasy way to slide into Tuesday.

P.S. If you can't get through the throw-away closer rap track "Brain Def"... I get it. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bowery Electric - Beat

Heard about this album via my favorite facebook meme generator, "I'm sad and I listen to loveless every night." Digging everything about this record, from the b/w overpass image on the cover to the nice mix of shoegaze fuzzy warmth and the insistence of that sampled beat which doesn't get old, despite popping up on 75% of the songs here. "Fear of Flying" is a highlight for me, but I think the highlight comes, for me, when the drums sound like actual drums, on "Black Light." 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Mercury Program - A Data Learn the Language

A post-rock album?!?! On this here blog???

Hey, why not... this album lands on the spectrum of that harried non-genre/catch-all term that I particularly enjoy (think Tortoise as opposed to any number of soft/loud guitar-centered acts). Solid playing throughout - drums, guitar, bass and mallets. I particularly enjoy the opening of "Slightly Drifting," comparable to Oval or another post-rock highlight for me, a jazzy group from down under called Triosk (I'll put their stuff up here if desired). 

(I think this album is out of print, but, dudes of Mercury Program, if there's still money to be made off this one, lemme know and I'll take this down.)