Friday, February 25, 2011

Bonobo - Days to Come

Have you ever thought about what might be the perfect music for relaxing, inside or outside, with your friends or alone for yourself? Well there exists a genre that is dedicated to mellow sounds and relaxing and it's called Trip-Hop!

One of the most well-known producers of this genre is Bonobo. You'll recognize Trip-Hop (also called Downtempo or just plain Chillout) by it's slow, hiphop-influenced beats and the use of various instruments like bass, synths and guitars. The BPM (beats per minute) is rather low and sometimes vocals are used to enchance the mood. Especially female vocals fit really good to achieve this experience for the listener.

Bonobo himself definitely belongs to the more up-beat, happy artists in Trip-Hop. The whole genre was developed in Britain by more moody, dark artists like Portishead, Massive Attack or Tricky. "Days to Come" is my favorite album from Bonobo, his new one is worth checking out too!

Listen to this if you know and enjoy: RJD2, Blockhead, Thievery Corporation, Morcheeba, Tricky, Hooverphonic

Here's a song from the album, hope you enjoy it (one of the tracks with vocals on it, not every track on the album is instrumental):

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Flying Lotus - Los Angeles

This album is something special because it's really difficult to describe the music Flying Lotus does and after reading this post and maybe getting yourself the album, you'll still be surprised about what you are hearing.

His real name is Steven Ellison and he grew up with alot of musical influence coming from all sides, being related to the famous jazz muscian, Coltrane. His music knows no boundaries and he combines HipHop, instrumental beats, jazz, electronic music in general and ethnic/world music creating a universe of melodies and tunes. As for the vocals he uses these strange sounding samples. I guess most of those are from old jazz classics. It may take some time to get used to this, but it's worth it!

"Los Angeles" is my favorite album from this guy, who got really popular with the release of his new album "Cosmogramma" (featuring guests like Thom Yorke of Radiohead). He also works as a producer for artists like Gonjasufi and has almost established a new genre with his music (with people like Tokimonsta, Teebs or Nosaj Thing almost doing the same thing he does).

Listen to if you enjoy: J Dilla, Madlib, Prefuse 73, Daedelus, Instrumental music in general

It doesn't make much sense posting a song as an example, because the album is clearly not a collection of singles but made for listening through the whole thing.
Still, here's one track from "Los Angeles" (one of the more funky ones):

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pixies - Doolittle

After reviewing two rather new albums, I'll continue with a classic today. One of the most recognized groups of the 90s, that has inspired hundreds of bands and still has an giant fan base. Almost everybody should at least know their song "Where is My Mind?" which is featured at the end of the movie "Fight club".

Their music was inspired by Surf Rock as well as from Punk Rock. Frank Black (vocals/rhythm guitar) must be one of the most talented songwriters in the world of rock. Every song on this record seems perfect and has a unique tone to it. They use fast changes of pace, minimalistic guitars, sometimes soft vocals and sometimes crazy shouting. If you want your rock to be diversified, just listen to the Pixies!

If you have missed out on this till now and you love rock, then please get this record as soon as possible. It's nearly perfect. They released 4 albums and every one of them has it's own charm. "Doolittle" is their most well-known album and was way ahead of it's time. Seeing them live was, without any question, the best concert of my life!

Check them out if you like: Nirvana, Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, The Breeders (which is the band of the bass player, Kim Deal. Also good)

Here's a song from "Doolittle":

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beach House - Devotion

If somebody would ask me which album fits best when you are totally wasted after a party and on your way home, my answer would be "Devotion" without any hesitation. It's definetly one of the most beautiful albums in my collection. Beach House are a band consisting of two members from the city of Baltimore. "Devotion" is their second album and was released in 2008.

Don't compare this with all those Lo-Fi/Garage bands that pop up every day now. They are clearly influenced from the shoegaze wave of the 90s, bands like Cocteau Twins or My Bloody Valentine.

So how can I descirbe their sound? Reverb-filled guitar playing wonderful melodies accompanied by a somehow shy sounding girl who sings with alot of emotion. This is the absolutely perfect thing to listen to when you just woke up.

I've also had the chance to see them live, it was stunning! They also have released a good album last year, but I'd always recommend to start with this one.

8.5/10 Stars

Check it out if you enjoy bands like: My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride, Portishead, Massive Attack (the vocals and the mood), Cocteau Twins

The cover kinda sucks tho :D

Here is one of my favorite songs from this piece:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fresh new blog start (Nicolas Jaar - Space is only noise)

I decided to open a blog to be able to share my newest and older pieces of music that I own. I'll try to write on a regular basis. I hope the small mistakes in my texts won't be noticed :)

So I'll start with a rather new addition to my library:

Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise 

I first heard of this guy in an electronic music magazine I randomly picked up (who actually buys those?) because of a long wait. Of course I read the article about him, because he shares the last last name with me. In the interview they had with him, he seemed like a young (21), quite arrogant producer who is studying at Brown University and already has gathered some experience as a DJ. He described some strange ideas about music; how he likes to give the listener the possibility to add his own textures to the sound, to create acoustic spheres and let people think about what they just heard.

So yeah, that sure sounded interesting... 

I was absolutely astounished when I actually heard the album. Lot's of genres were mixed here and it's really difficult to put this in a genre. I love falling asleep to the smooth vocals and minimal claps and beats which fit together so very natural. I see lots of potential for future releases from this guy!

Defintely check this out if you like: Trentemoller, Four Tet, The Field, James Holden, or ambient/minimal techno with sweet melodies.

8.5/10 Stars