Song of the Week: June
If you’ve ever gone through phases where one genre, band or artist just dominates your musical landscape like a Rothko maroon, then you’ll understand. See, this month, I was listening almost exclusively to tunes filled with modern, electronic wizardry, such as…
Jai Paul – Jasmine
For someone who really only has two songs in circulation, Jai Paul has generated serious hype. He’s pretty mysterious, which might aid said hype. Last year a mixtape appeared online that claimed to be Jai’s debut album. But at the behest of his label the supposed leak quickly disappeared; its authenticity denied. At the time, Pitchfork wrote a nice little article about it. Despite these questions over its validity, many publications placed the unofficial release in their ‘top albums of the year’ lists. Time ticks on and we’re no closer to knowing when his proper debut will be released. Until then, this is about all we have…swirling, epic and falsetto-drenched.
Jon Hopkins – Dead Eye Signal
Until recently I had no idea Hopkins played keyboards in Imogen Heap, a favourite band of the OC generation (check out their song Hide and Seek from the season 2 finale where Marisa shoots some dude – OMG!). However, I was aware that he worked with Brian Eno and helped produce Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto. His solo album Immunity, released last year, is wildly different from both examples mentioned. Immunity features lush electronic landscapes and is divided between upbeat, clubby tempos and gorgeous, minimal textures designed to chill you out. This track is the former.
Burial – Rival Dealer
Speaking of mysterious electronic artists, here’s one of the most reclusive around. Burial has been busy releasing a host of EPs since his breakthrough album Untrue. This track is from his latest offering, the three-track EP also entitled Rival Dealer. All three are worth a listen but this one takes the biscuit. At 11 minutes long and divided into sections, it’s a modern, ADHD, London take on Lou Reed’s Street Hassle (ever wanted to see what Lou Reed looks like sipping a Coke?). As a sign of the times though, traditional lyrics have been replaced by one-line snippets, a reminder that Twitter and short attention spans are now symbiotic…a chicken and egg type debate, but Burial is a master of sampling and deploys his chosen loops like an orchestra conductor. What I’m trying to get at is that, despite the lack of traditional lyrics, Rival Dealer somehow manages to feel as poetic as Street Hassle. That’s a real testament.
Moderat – Let in the Light
And finally, what do you get when you combine Modeselektor and Apparat? Moderat of course. These guys are veterans and have released two albums to-date. For some reason I overlooked this second album and only gave it a listen this year. The album is solid and this track shows off their skills. Let’s hope they collaborate again soon.