Nujabes is my go to escapism music. His floating, uplifting beats interspersed with punchy guest lyrics take you away. He’s attributed with having had a big influence on the Tokyo hip-hop scene – he ran a couple of record shops and was a prolific producer and performer before his untimely death in 2010 – and his material sounds as good now as it did a decade ago. Modal Soul showcases the range of his production and collaboration, and is truly timeless stuff. Tanoshii.
Message from Harry: like what you hear? You can find Nujabes and tonnes more of my favourite rap on this playlist called, Favourite Rap.
Back to 2007, Simian Mobile Disco at their peak. Slow, punchy, original electronica. Bosh.
Want more SMD? Check more recent releases here, and here (with Bicep).
So this is obviously a post about Chase & Status. But stay with me. I’m talking ’08 Chase & Status. When they were playing at Neighbourhood and you have to try get in without ID and your mate was selling tickets to someone called Chasing Status because you were only 16 and didn’t really know what was going on and you probably weren’t going to be able to get in anyway because let’s face it, International Driving Licenses were a joke. But you do get in, and it is class. That’s the Chase & Status I’m talking about. And that Chase & Status is all over this album.
And let’s not forget we’ve got Kano, Plan B, Nneka and Jenna G on here. We’ve also got all-time classics like Take Me Away, and Hurt You. Put your drum n bass hat on and get jumping.
What do you know, it’s my second ever sound-art post! This one also came onto my radar through Radiolab (one for you Podcast heads).
Right, so first up, this music is just an achingly beautiful ambient composition. To quote Pitchfork, “It’s the kind of music that makes you believe there is a Heaven, and that this is what it must sound like.” Wave upon wave of sound envelopes everything around you, dissolving space and time. Get the right soundsysem set-up and it is honestly stunning.
But there’s more. The story of these pieces is even more heart-breakingly beautiful than the music itself. In the 80s WB created a bunch of tape loops from processed snatches of music captured from an easy listening station. Fast forward to around 2000 and he is in the process of digitising his collection – but each time the tape plays it disintegrates a little more, with the decay of the tape making the music itself decay. Each tape begins with a simple repeated melody which melts away with each repetition. As the physical tape decays, so the sound decays.
So far so good right? But wait, there’s more. Shortly after he completed the work, he was playing it to some friends in his Brooklyn apartment, when 9/11 happened. At dusk he filmed the smouldering rubble of Manhattan, and set the music to it. It has become an iconic elegy. Pure devastation, and utter serenity.
Some feel-good electro-piano-pop made right, by the misleadingly named German producer DJ Kaos. There’s nothing to hate about this one. It’s reminiscent of Breakbot. And that can only be a good thing. Put your feet up and enjoy.
RIP Keith Flint: frontman for the band that used to your scare your mum and dad. He must also be the pioneer of the punk/monk haircut.
You know this album, everyone knows this album. For me, it was one of the first that brought me into electronic music. A big loss.
I know it’s only February, but the time seems right for this 2007 Summer banger. Climate change eh?!
Whether you’re new to it or just haven’t heard it in a decade, there’s no mood this track can’t lift. It comes straight to you from the heyday of Swedish house, with DJs Axwell & Ingrosso turning it up to full rainbow/unicorn.