Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind (Erol Alkan Rework) – Tame Impala

Why won’t you make up your mind?

Give me a sign.

Am I wasting my time?

Living in my head?

You’ll be sorry when I

Make up mine instead

The emotion of this Tame Impala track is taken up a notch by Erol Alkan. While the original lasts 3:19, this goes for a full 8:14, extending the band’s painful limbo and magnifying it to fever pitch proportions. And the lead electric guitars, already gripping, are elevated into full Ratatat-level raucousness. It’s a monster.

Jagwar Ma

Jagwar Ma aren’t afraid of a long track. In fact, I might even describe them as The Kings of the long track. The three-piece Aussie outfit come in a couple of guises. A lot of their solo work is quite down-the-line in a Tame Impala kind of mould. But I think they are at their best when they focus on vibe-building, especially when that vibe is chuggy, atmospheric and vaguely psychedelic. Check out 3 of my favourites below.

Party Line Vol.1 – Chat Desmond

Today I’ve got an almost unreasonably deep EP from Canadian newcomer Chat Desmond.

If you only listen to one track, make it Gotta Light. In one sense, it is a mournful duet told in three parts; the male vocal takes us to four minutes in, before Gladys’ Knight’s familiar laments takes its place (the sample of DJ Koze’s Pick Up fame). Finally the two vocals greet each other in a touching finale. It is a really creative take on two samples that have probably been never been anywhere near each other before. But for all that beauty, it has another side – Gotta Light is basically a bit of a banger. The vocals are underpinned by this addictive acid-tinged bass line. Progression after progression leaves you on the tip and wanting more. Tune.

A couple more tracks to mention. The opening number Hiding From Love is another nice deep number. And as an added bonus you get a crash course in Year 1 of Philosophy undergrad.

Another to check out is Pinch Me, which is now the cause of me mentioning Beyoncé for the first time on this blog. Chat Desmond gives her Sweet Dreams the Cyril Hahn / Destiny’s Child treatment; a delightfully twisted, dark reimagining of the track.

All in all, looking forward to a Vol. 2.

As ever, a big shout out to Ben Gomori and his Turned On podcast for the tip.

Rare, Forever – Leon Vynehall

I’m not going to not post Leon’s 4th album am I?

It is… interesting. Moody, ominous soundscapes that set out to disorientate are the order of the day. Rare, Forever is more reminiscent of Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders’ sprawling Promises than it is of say, his debut album Music for the Uninvited, or the follow-up Rojus. But where Promises is reminiscent of a daydream, in Rare, Forever we meet the nightmare. A rare bright spot is An Exhale, which really does feel like a relief after the intensity of Worm (& Closer & Closer). None of this is to say that the release isn’t engrossing, but if you are coming to Leon to feel uplifted after a tough Winter then look elsewhere.

You can read more of my thoughts on Snakeskin ∞ Has-Been here, or his previous album Nothing Is Still here.

Bonus track: An Exhale reminds me of this number by Kenton Slash Demon. Enjoy