Archive

Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

Artificial intelligence mix

September 17, 2017 4 comments

 

The best of Warp records and ambient-techno from 1991 to 1998. In 1992, 25 years ago, Warp records released the highly influential compilation Artificial intelligence. I made this mix of my favorite Warp tracks but also some other tracks released on similar labels at the same time such as GPR (General production recordings), Rising high records and Apollo.

Samples from movies: Apocalypse now, 2001 a Space odyssey, THX-1138, and Scanners.

Artificial intelligence, a sublabel of Warp.

Enjoy!

1) Intro Kiss 100 FM Transmissions
2) Reload : Teq / Album : A collection of short stories 1993
3) Robert Leiner : Interval / The Source Experience ‎– Visions Of The Past 1994 / Apollo
4) Reload : The enlightment / Album : A collection of short stories / Infonet 1993
5) Global communication : 4-02 / Album : 76:14 / Dedicated 1994
6) Bola : Glink / Album : Soup / 1998 / Skam
7) Speedy J : Symmetry (live) / Album : Artificial Intelligence II 1994 / Warp
8) Air Liquide : If there was no gravity / EP : / Rising High Records 1994 / Blue
9) James Bernard : Phosphorous / Album : Atmospherics 1994 / Rising High Records
10) Irresistible Force : Space is the place(Intergalactic ambient mix)1991 / Rising High Records
11) Redcell : Gimp / Album : TimeTourist 1996 / Warp
12) The higher intelligence agency : Hubble / Album : Freefloater 1995
13) Saint Etienne : Skin up you’re already dead Autechre remix (1994 EP)
14) Seefeel : Time to find me (AFX fast mix 1994) / Astralwerks
15) Beaumont hannant : Utuba / Tastes And Textures Vol-3 1994 GPR & AI2
16) Reload : Rota link / Album : A collection of short stories 1993
17) The higher intelligence agency : Speedlearn / Album : 1993 / Beyond
18) Autechre : Clipper / Album : Tri Repetae / 1996 / Warp
20) Biosphere : Novelty waves ( Biosphere artic mix) / EP : Novelty Waves 1995 / Apollo
21) L.F.O. : L.F.O. (Leeds warehouse mix 1991) / Album : Frequencies / Warp
22) Speedy J : Pepper / Album : Ginger 1993 / Warp
23) Speedy J : G-Spot / Album : G Spot 1995 / Warp
24) Polygon window : Polygon window / Album : Surfing On Sine Waves 1992 / Warp
25) Darell Fitton : Blipsalt / Album : Artificial Intelligence II / Warp
26) Caustic Window : On the romance tip / EP : Joyrex J5 EP 1992
27) Aphex Twin : Tha / Album : Selected ambient works vol 1 1992 / Apollo
28) F.U.S.E. : Dimension intrusion / Album : Dimension intrusion 1993 / Warp
29) Autechre : Eutow / Album : Tri Repetae / 1996 / Warp
30) Golden girls : Kinetic (Morley’s Apollo Mix) (David Morley mix) / Album : Kinetic EP 1993
31) The Irresistible Force : Waveform / Album : Global chillage 1994 / Rising High Records
32) Cmetric : VOID/Comm (1996) / Album : TimeTourist 1996
33) Balil : Merck (1992) / Album : Bytes 1992 / Warp
34) Kenny Larkin : Tedra 1993 / Album : Azimuth 1993 / Warp
35) FSOL : Ill flower 1994 / Album : Lifeforms 1994
36) FSOL : Omnipresence 1994 / Album : Lifeforms 1994
37) The 7 th plain : To be surreal 1993 / EP : General Production Recordings (GPR) ‎
38) Sister love – The Hypnotist 1991 Ambient mix

Advertisements

Mick Chillage interview


INTERVIEW WITH MICK CHILLAGE

 

Mick Chillage, is quickly becoming one of the most prolific electronic artist in his native country of Ireland focusing mainly on CD album releases in recent times, but also most recently on his
Bandcamp page that can be found here.

Mick Chillage has been producing various strains of electronica since 1996 and is one half of Dublin based radio DJ’s The Chillage Idiots who have been playing a wide range of music within the spectrum of electronica on Dublins XFM. His Influences are wide ranging from John Barry to Kraftwerk to Eno to Larry Heard & beyond.

His distinct sound combines atmospheric soundscapes and melancholic melody which he prefers to create from scratch rather than sampling someone else’s work. So far Mick has released material on Pete Namlook’s legendary Fax records in both solo and collaboration with Lee Anthony Norris as Autumn Of Communion. Mick released his debut CD album “Tales From The Igloo” in 2009 on Dublin based label Psychonavigation.

You can hear his music on his Bandcamp page.

1) Hi Mick, first of all thanks for doing this. Could you tell us a little about yourself and did you started making music?

Thanks for composing such a nice interview Jeff. Myself, well I’m based in Dublin Ireland where I have lived since I was about seven years old. Music is in my family both my brother and sister can play instruments and my grandfather also played the accordion. My parents both have a love for traditional Irish music so I grew up listening to a lot of that but honestly never really cared for it much. I started making music in 1996, at this point in my life I didn’t own a computer or wasn’t particularly interested in them so I purchased a Roland MC303 which was aimed more at the dance music market, after some time I eventually learned to program all sorts of electronic music on it but got tired of its limited sonic capabilities and realised I needed to expand with some synths.

2) What are your most important influences? Vangelis, Pete Namlook & John Carpenter comes to my mind…

Influence wise, those you mentioned in the question are definitely high in the list. My earliest true influence would have to be John Barry and his scores. I guess seeing “Goldfinger” on TV for the first time at about eight years of age was a life changing moment, those massive brass swells and epic string arrangements and the jazz elements just seemed so otherworldly, a million mails away from the music I usually heard at home. The first album I owned on vinyl was the James Bond 10th Anniversary a double vinyl which comprised of highlights from each movie from Dr No To Diamonds Are Forever, It was a ninth birthday present from my parents.

3)  Listening again to your tracks after having done the mix tribute to you and AOC, I can’t help but noticing how pure your soundscapes are and pristine. You must spend an awful lot of time in exploring sounds?

Most of my finished pieces are usually the result of experimenting with my synths firstly, I very rarely set out to make a track with a preconceived concept or composition in mind. With much of the equipment I use, a mixture of Analogue and digital synths, there are so many possibilities its often chaos at the beginning, often creating sounds that on their own they are quite interesting but when trying create something that fits in to a musical coherent piece they don’t work so well so I will go to work on calming them down into something more usable which is probably why they sound so pure or pristine to you. One thing I try to avoid is re-using a sound or patch, a lot of artists tend to have a sonic trade mark like BOC with their de-tuned pads, while it can give an act an identity, I prefer not to save any patches that I use in a particular track, I just record the performance and mix and arrange it but don’t save it to the synths memory or midi dump the sysex. Having said that I guess my music has a certain sound that is identifiable, I guess I’m drawn to certain frequencies and tones and my approach of synthesis is self-taught so I tweak and edit sounds in almost a uniform way.

4) Wondering about the machine you use: let me guess, a mini-moog, a korg, a prophet 5?

The equipment I use, no Moogs as yet, I have two korg’s a Prophecy which I picked up in 1997, its a digital mono synth very powerful and unique with its multi Oscillator synthesis system, it can create rather impressive wind instrument sounds with lots of expression but an interface that will make editing a drag at times. The other Korg in the MS20 mini a recreation of the 70’s analogue classic its semi modular patch bay is quite frustrating to say the least so I’m not massively impressed with Korg so far, The MS20 is fun though with the SQ1 Sequencer and the standard front panel is great for creating powerful basses and leads etc. One of my fave bits of recent kit is my Mopho X4 by DSI which is a relation to the Prophet 5. the Mopho features largely on most of my albums created within the last three years or so. its a four voice analogue. I still use my Novation Supernova II [Digital] which is a classic analogue modelling synth, which supplied most of the sounds on Faxology etc. I’ve got two other bits of analogue, The Waldorf Pulse 2, a rather harsh sounding analogue, it takes quite a bit of tweaking to calm it down ha ha. I also have a Doepfer MS404 which use to belong to Russ Gabriel of Ferox records etc, a great little mono synth for creating authentic 303 style sounds and much more..

5)  How many years did it take you to settle your studio?

The studio has been progressing since 1996, I guess it never truly stops as I plan to purchase the new DSI Rev2 in the Autumn a 16 voice poly analogue!

6) You & I aren’t so much of different age, you lived through the 90’s, how was the scene in Dublin back then? Did you hang out in raves, chill-out rooms?

I got hooked on the sounds of Acid House in about 1988, up until that point I never really felt that I was part of a particular music scene or culture, where most people my age where either dedicated goth’s Rockers etc, I kinda liked bits of everything like Prince, PSB, New Order, plus the soundtracks of John Carpenter, Vangelis etc.

In School I was quite an outsider I guess, I wasn’t into football and regular sports, preferred to ride my BMX and create art so Acid House just clicked for me,although it arrived two years after I left School it just seemed like two fingers to conformity, something about its brutal minimalistic machine groovesand the twisted buzzing alien frequencies captured my soul. In the late 80’s Dublin record stores started stocking the music as much of it was breaking the UK charts and Ireland was very much influenced by what was happening in the UK. It took me a while to find a club that played Acid and Techno.

Eventually I discovered an underground club in Dublin city called Sides D.C. that had been a gay club and played more alternative sounds since the mid 80’s. So through the early 90’s I spent most of my Saturday nights there.

You could hear anything from Orbital, Joey Beltram, Primal Scream etc, I would also from time to time travel to Belfast to go to raves. Eventually Sides got taken over by “E” culture the music and the crowd changed Happy hardcore and sweaty Rave as I liked to call, it became a dangerous place to venture into, fortunately other venues popped up around Dublin, some promoters booked acts like AE, Bandulu, Kenny Larkin etc so I would still check out many of these nights right up unit maybe the early to mid 2000. Dublin’s electronic scene today is pretty much dominated by Techno but the quality end of it.

Oh, so safe to say I was fairly active in the Rave scene back in the day, but only as a reveller, never got involved in promotion of parties.

7) Your collaborations with Lee Norris seemed inspired a lot by early BDP, Rising high and New electronica.

Both myself and Lee, have a rather large range of influences, the ones you mentioned are surely in there are lots more from the 90’s for sure but we go way back, for Lee and myself Gary Numan, Tangerine Dream, John Foxx, Japan, Eno, Kraftwerk, er Vangelis for me, Lee’s not so keen, I also liked Herbie Hancock, Cabaret Voltaire, DM, YMO, Yello, Art Of Noise etc.. We are still getting influenced today as we still consume lots of music new and old.

8) What’s your opinion on the state or current electronic music?

The current state of electronic music ha ha, whoa, that’s quite a mind field. I guess I can only express my opinion on the scenes that I follow quite closely, Ambient and IDM perhaps. While its a truly great time for any wannabe artist to start out with the cheap availability of DAW’S And soft synths,

I do feel there’s an awful lot of deeply generic sounding electronic music out there, wether its down to all the Ableton/fruity loops tutorials on YouTube or the sound packs which are just lazily used by so many.

As a beginner to the art of making electronic music it’s very easy now to create a four chord progression over 16 bar section with lush sounds out of the box! To make a mark in the scene you really have to think beyond these structures, I think composition appears to be secondary and that

production quality is more important these days? within the digital world of preset soft synth patches and digital rendering it’s almost impossible to sound awful, personally I do find music that is created 100% within the digital domain a little flat sounding and becomes a bit tiresome on the ears particularly for long sittings so the composition and sentiment of the music needs to be more soulful, imaginative and emotional to keep my attention.

To simplify, it’s very easy to make a mundane Techno or Ambient piece thanks to modern technology but to create something with longevity and a strong identity that is a lot more difficult and takes talent and a real passion for one’s art.

9) I know how much of a cinema buff you are, how much does it influences your productions? (AOC2 has a sample of “Silent Running”)

I’m not sure I would consider myself a true cinema buff but I am quite fussy about the movies I watch. I guess much of the 70’s movies left a big impact on me, I love a lot of the early Science Fiction and road movies of that era, from Vanishing Point to THX 1138 to Jaws and The French Connection. I just loved the dark grittiness of the often flawed characters, the practical stunts and effects where much more inventive and the stories where much more believable, obviously today the art of cinema is still delivering the goods but rarely in the mainstream world. Popular culture just gets dumber and dumber, as in the music scene you have to really look away from the mainstream to find true gems.

10) Who is the most overrated electronic music producer and the most underrated in your opinion?

I’d have to be careful mentioning overrated artists, while there are many I consider overrated I’d still hate to miss a possible opportunity to collaborate or remix with some bigger artists in the future. Underrated is a strange one, I’ve mentioned certain artists before in such light on forums only to be attacked by someone misinterpreting the sentiment. “How can you say that about such and such?” thinking that I’m saying they aren’t very talented or it’s some form of criticism. What I mean is that they are under the radar for such an amazing talent and should be more popular considering the music is of such high calibre.

A few I would mention who deserve greater accolades are: Peter Benisch, Mark Van Hoen, Kettel, Spyra  and Ochre.

11) Top 10 music albums of all time?
Top ten albums, seen as there are so many genres of music. I’ll just focus on electronic for this question, this list could vary from day to day.

1) 808 State “90:”

2) Biosphere “Substrata”

3) Chapterhouse “Blood Music-Re translated by Global Communication” Heard it before 76:14

4) John Carpenter “Escape From New York”

5) Peter Benisch “Soundtrack Saga”

6) Locust “Morning Light”

7) Vangelis “Blade Runner

8) Harold Budd “White Arcades” or  “The Room” can’t decide which is best

9) Pete Namlook and Mix Master Morris “Dreamfish” so many to choose from but this is the first one I heard by Peter

10) Various “Artificial Intelligence” Life changing comp, easier than picking something from the whole AI series on Warp.

12) Top 10 movies of all time?

1) Blade Runner

2) Jaws

3) Vanishing Point.

4) THX 1138

5) Bad Boy Bubby

6) Mad Max

7) 2001 A Space Odyssey

8) American Beauty

9) On Her Majesties Secret Service

10) Alien

13) Tell us more about your new project Architects of Existence with Eric Taylor ?

Architects of Existence with Eric started a few years back, I basically connected with Eric through Facebook and over time we were both exposed to one another’s music, Eric expressed interest in a collaboration and I felt it was right also. His music is very expressive and quite diverse from found sounds to ambient textures and distinct compositional themes. Eric is based in New York so we just transferred files back and forth. The first album came together quite quickly, it is quite a sprawling ambient affair with subtle hints of Berlin School and cinematic influences with our idiosyncratic flair, something that we feel may demand a few listens to reveal some deeper hidden depths. The album was completed almost two years ago but as I have had quite a prolific run in the last two years Dave at Carpe Sonum had to schedule a release strategically as to not clash with other projects of mine. Eric & I have recently completed a second album which we see’s us taking our sound further, again four tracks but in its current form may need a double CD release.

14) How has your Bandcamp page transformed the industry for ambient artists like you?

Bandcamp really is a leader, it gives the artist so much freedom, from designing and managing your own page, offering both digital and physical and instant revenue for physical sales, all digital sales revenue is issued within 24 hours usually. For low key/Niche artists like myself I don’t have to wait months and months for royalty statements and the usual digital channels take a major chunk and I feel it is really not worthwhile to a certain degree. There’s also benefits for the consumer like offering various file formats with no price difference is quite unique and a feature I think is essential for people who like high end audio.

Another great difference between usual distributed digital outlets is that you have control of proper genre identification of your music, I’ve often seen my material being billed has progressive house on Beatport or other when it’s clearly Ambient or Experimental which means that the music is often mislabeled and lost.

Other features I love with Bandcamp is that fans get automatic updates when I release something new. With a bit of work through social media, blogs and forums you can promote your music pretty well, so safe to say it has revolutionised the industry for an artist like me.

15) You were the last release on Fax +49-69/450464, it’s quite an accomplishment but also sad at the same time, Peter was such a pillar of the ambient scene…And still is, even though he passed.

Yes the first Autumn of Communion with Lee, has a certain bitter sweet feel to it. Pete passed away two weeks after it was released. Both Lee and I are extremely proud of the release and feel its a fitting sawn song to Pete’s legacy but at the same time knowing that we will never hear anymore new material from him or no more releases on the sub label based on his incredible taste is still hard to think about.

There is huge void that just cannot be filled.

He was an innovator and kept pushing and nurturing the scene who gave some big artists in techno and a platform to express their experimental sides along with exposing lesser known talents. No other established record label would take chances like that, try getting a demo to any of the big labels in electronica now, it is just closed doors but Pete let his heart rule more so than is head and coming from a background in banking and finance showed he didn’t care so much about rules.

On a final note, has Ed Norton contacted you to be his double on the sequel of Fight club? 

No I’m still waiting for that call 🙂 In the meantime I’ll continue to make music and keep my day job!

  • 1 Interval two by Autumn of communion
  • 2 Rhea by Autumn of communion
  • 3 Special K (Mick Chillage’s Black Hole Mix) by Radio Scotvoid
  • 4 End (Sunrise For Claudio) by Autumn of communion
  • 5 Interval One by Autumn of communion
  • 6 Seroni by Mick Chillage
  • 7 Over ingia by Mick Chillage
  • 8 Approaching Antares by Mick Chillage
  • 9 Gamma Radiation by Mick Chillage
  • 10 Night Works by Mick Chillage
  • 11 Spaang by Autumn of communion
  • 12 Autumn Of Communion by Autumn Of Communion
  • 13 In The Valley Of Tanaro by Autumn Of Communion
  • 14 Part IV by Architects of Existence
  • 15 Earth Waiting by Autumn Of Communion

Top 10 Trip-hop records of all time

April 18, 2017 Leave a comment

1. Portishead : Dummy (1995)This album is archetypal of trip-hop. Dummy is the debut album by English band Portishead, released in the UK on 22 August 1994 on Go! Beat. The album received critical acclaim, winning the 1995 Mercury Music Prize. It is often credited with popularising the trip-hop genre and is frequently cited in lists of the best albums of the 1990s. I was seventeen in 1994 and remember its release very well. Most hip-hop afficionados deemed it worthy enough of the productions that came from that time. Some of the best hip-hop albums were released in 1994 like Illmatic by Nas. A quintessential release, well worth its classic status. Building on the promise of their earlier EP, ‘Numb’, Dummy helped to cement the reputation of Bristol as the capital of trip hop, a nascent genre which was then often referred to simply as “the Bristol sound”. The cover is a still image of vocalist Beth Gibbons taken from To Kill a Dead Man—the short film that the band created—for which the self-composed soundtrack earned the band its record contract.(Check this amazing short film featuring Beth Gibbons and Geoff Barrow) 

For the track “Sour Times”, the album samples Lalo Schifrin’s “The Danube Incident” and Smokey Brooks’ (Henry Brooks, Otis Turner) “Spin It Jig”; for “Strangers”, Weather Report’s (Wayne Shorter) “Elegant People”; for “Wandering Star”, War’s “Magic Mountain”; for “Biscuit”, Johnnie Ray’s “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”; and for “Glory Box”, Isaac Hayes’ “Ike’s Rap II”. Sour times – Portishead

2. Tricky : Maxinquaye (1995)

Maxinquaye is the 1995 debut album by English rapper and producer Tricky. By the time he recorded the album, Tricky had grown frustrated with his limited role in the group Massive Attack and discovered vocalist Martina Topley-Bird, who he felt would offer another dimension to his lyrics. Maxinquaye was produced by Tricky with assistance from Mark Saunders, who helped him utilize dub production techniques and heavily altered samples taken from a variety of musical sources. The record’s groove-oriented and low-tempo sound incorporates elements from hip hop, soul, rock, ambient techno, reggae, and experimental music. The songs explore themes of cultural decline, dysfunctional sexual relationships, fear of intimacy, and recreational drug use. In writing them, Tricky drew on his experiences in the British drug culture and the influence of his deceased mother Maxine Quaye, after whom the album is titled. Definitly one of the highlights of the whole trip-hop movement.

All vocals were performed by Tricky and Martina Topley-Bird, except on “Pumpkin” (Tricky and Alison Goldfrapp) and “You Don’t” (Tricky and Ragga) When Maxinquaye was first released, it received widespread acclaim from critics. In a review for Mojo, Jon Savage called it a very ambitious and musically audacious work that brilliantly explored the disparities in Britain’s social structure, with Topley-Bird as the “dominant voice” articulating Tricky’s vision of uncertainty in an ever-changing world. Dele Fadele from NME said the record was unprecedented, spellbinding, and revealed something new with every listen. He found Tricky’s production innovative and his fusion of various sounds so seamless, “you can’t label the results under any existing genre”.

3. Morcheeba : Who can you trust ? (1996)

Who Can You Trust? is the first album by the band Morcheeba. It was released in 1996 on China Records. Stylistically, the album is by far the band’s most trip-hop oriented release, consisting of languid, looping grooves, using mostly Rhodes piano, electric guitar and scratching. Slower, smoother, and more soulful than Portishead and less pop-oriented than the Sneaker Pimps, Morcheeba have an alluringly dark sound that nevertheless remains accessible. As their debut, Who Can You Trust?, illustrates, the trio has a keen sense of how to make a pop melody seem dangerous and foreign by having it crawl out of the murk of creeping beats and ominous samples. Although the group lacks the visionary spark of Tricky and Portishead, and their songs aren’t as bracing as the Sneaker Pimps, Morcheeba have a distinctive, idiosyncratic sound that makes Who Can You Trust? entrancing. Although the latter half of the album tends to sound a little samey, without many beats or hooks to distinguish each song, the album remains a hauntingly atmospheric — and quite terrific — debut.


4.Kid loco : A grand love story (1997)

 

This is one the quentessential trip hop album. Marvelously chilled grooves with some outstanding cut and paste work. His loops work to perfection. Kid Loco had a real cinematic style to his early sound. A grand love story features a sample from Easy to be hard by Three dog night on their album Suitable for framing (1969), which was also used on the movie Zodiac by David Fincher. The whole album is an ode to love, and way back in 1997 that LP was highly considered as a lover’s feast 🙂 A Grand Love Story is an irresistible romp through the lighthearted, pastoral side of trip-hop by way of orchestral pop paragons like Bacharach, Gainsbourg, and Love. Songs like the single “Relaxin’ With Cherry” and “She’s My Lover” are beautiful pop songs, constructed mostly from sampled material with a few live guitar and basslines plus vocals by Prieur and the Pastels’ Katrina Mitchell. If the ’70s fixations of Air were shifted back a decade, the results would be quite close to A Grand Love Story.

A grand love story – Kid Loco

 

 

 


5.Troublemakers : Doubts & Convictions (2000)

The Troublemakers, an innovative electro-fusion outfit from Marseilles, made their mark on the international music scene in 2000 with their acclaimed début album “Doubts & Convictions.” Far from the flashy, in-your-face style of the ‘French Touch,’ the Troublemakers’ sound revolves around subtle atmospheric mixes that transport listeners into a cinematographic universe strongly coloured by 70s influences. The trio decided to pool their individual talents and collective musical passion and team up together as a group. And thus the Troublemakers were born! The threesome soon went into the studio together to begin work on a first album, but their avant-garde tracks found no takers amongst French record companies who dismissed their work as on the one hand, “lacking genius,” and on the other not being “commercially orientated enough.” Their love of jazz is especially obvious on Chez Roger, boîte Funk :

Fortunately for the Troublemakers, their sound was picked up on by the cutting-edge American label Guidance Recordings (who had produced Fred Berthet’s first project). In 2000, the trio went on to release their debut album entitled “Doubts & Convictions.” The result? A distinctive but hard to define sound partway between electro and jazz. In fact, the Troublemaker sound is a rich melting-pot of styles, each member of the group throwing in his own personal influences. Lionel brings a soul and funk sensibility to proceedings, Arnaud adds a cinematic edge and Fred takes care of honing the tracks into a smooth final mix. On Get misunderstood, the duo has sampled a classic french monolog from the movie ”Promenade du maquereau” (Stroll of the pimp) and a great monolog from ”La naissance de l’amour”. (The birth of love). Sampling at its best, this is where trip-hop truly shines and thrives : smooth grooves mixed with cinematic ambiance reminiscent of the 1970’s.

 

6. DJ Shadow : Entroducing (1996)

In 1996, DJ Shadow aka Josh Davis released the groundbreak album ”Entroducing” a milestone in sampling and hip-hop and an amazing tour de force, one of a kind, one of the greatest albums ever recorded.  DJ Shadow’s debut is a milestone in music and one that anyone interested in non-mainstream music should hear. It might just change your outlook on the possibilities that music has to offer. I will never ever stop liking this album. I know “Endtroducing…” almost by heart but it never fails to impress me. It all started when I heard “Midnight In A Perfect World” (probably my favorite Shadow track ever), which almost brought tears into my eyes. The whole album devastated me. While the contemporary technologies seem to offer an unimaginable amount of possibilities, we realize more than ever the importance of the very essential aspect of our environment : the musical culture.

Musically, samples ranges from Tangerine dream (Strastosfear) to Metallica, Bjork (Possibly maybe) David Axelrod ( Human abstract) and thanks to the author’s very unique research that included Northern Soul, Rare Grooves & Old School Funk tunes from the sixties and seventies, The quality of the breakbeats present on this masterpiece suggests an abyssal disparity between the musical backgrounds of the contemporary and the old school artists (“Endtroducing” suggests something like the ‘introduction of something from the past’, already ended – like something brought from the old times, though through a nowadays bold perspective.)

Midnight in a perfect world

 

7. Massive attack : Blue lines (1991)

Blue Lines is generally considered the first trip hop album, although the term was not widely used before circa 1994. The album was a success in the United Kingdom, reaching #13 in the albums chart but sales were limited elsewhere. A fusion of electronic music, hip hop, dub, soul and reggae. The album established Massive Attack as one of the most innovative British bands of the 1990’s and the founder of trip hop’s Bristol Sound.

Music critic Simon Reynolds stated that the album also marked a change in electronic/dance music, “a shift toward a more interior, meditational sound. The songs on Blue Lines run at ‘spliff’ tempos — from a mellow 90 beats per minute …down to a positively torpid 67 bpm. The group also drew inspiration from concept albums in various genres by artists such as Billy Cobham (Stratus was sampled on Safe from harm), Herbie Hancock and Isaac Hayes.

The collective from Bristol have featured breakbeats, sampling, and rapping on a number of tracks, but the design of their albums have differed from traditional hip hop. Massive Attack approached the American-born hip hop movement from an underground British perspective and also incorporated live instruments into the mixes. They have also featured the vocals of Shara Nelson, Tracey Thorn, Elisabeth Fraser (From Cocteau twins) and Sinead O’connor as well as Horace Andy, along with the rapping of Tricky Kid.

Groundbreaking in every way could define the Massive attack sound and so is their use of samples. For instance, in 1998, Mezzanine marked a major departure from the jazzy and laidback sound of the first two albums (Blue Lines and Protection), invoking the dark undercurrents which had always been present in the collective’s music. The album’s textured and deep tone relies heavily on abstract and ambient sounds, as demonstrated in the song “Angel” among others.

Similar to their previous albums, the majority of the songs consists of one or more samples, ranging from Isaac Hayes to Led Zeppelin. Massive Attack sampled the song “Tribute” from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s eponymous 1972 album, used in “Black Milk”.

Some of their most noted songs have been without choruses and have featured dramatically atmospheric dynamics, conveyed through either distorted guitar crescendos, lavish orchestral arrangements or prominent, looped/shifting basslines, underpinned by high and exacting production values, involving sometimes copious digital editing and mixing. The pace of their music has often been slower than prevalent British dance music at the time. These and other psychedelic, soundtrack-like and DJist sonic techniques, formed a much-emulated style j and to quote Robert Del Naja : ‘You know, as far we were concerned, Massive Attack music is unique…

Blue Lines

 

8. Kruder & Dorfmeister : Sessions (1998)

THE best chill-out album of all time imo. Music database All music gave the album five stars out of five, opining that “the impossibly deep beats on almost every track simply couldn’t have been recorded by any other act” and referred to the music as “the most blissfully blunted music the world has ever heard. 17 years after its release, I still listen to it every month or so, mesmerized by its dubby soundscapes and hypnotic landscapes. What makes this a masterpiece is the perfect mix between original samples and new arrangement, especially basses and delays. I started listening to this release a few years ago, and it STILL sounds fresh when I listen today – and this doesn’t happen with many of my albums. Could this be the quintessential intelligent downbeat chill-out album of all time? You came home from the club spangly eyed and twitchin and you put on the K&D Sessions, like a reflex action, it wasn’t concious thought that did it, it was what you did, it was almost an unwritten law. And through the buzz of the Heads coming down, the rustle of rizzlas, the soupy herbal haze drifted K&D’s sumptuous serving of chilled beats and baselines. It swoops and rolls, slides and shuffles, cossets and supports then messes you up with ghostly, icy fingers tickling your very soul. Heck one of their remixes was even used in a movie with Daniel Craig. K&D are that cool

1st of tha month

9. Nightmares On Wax : Smoker’s delight (1995)

Smokers Delight is a studio album by British trip-hop producer Nightmares on Wax. It was released in 1995 on Warp Records in the UK, and on Wax Trax in the US. The album was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book in 2005. In 2015, it ranked at number 15 on Facts “50 best trip-hop albums of all time” list. George Evelyn’s solo step as Nightmares on Wax, Smokers Delight, is a whole delightfully irreducible to its parts, which, as with earlier releases, is largely electro, hip-hop, and soul, with bits of Latin percussion and down-tempo funk thrown in. Nights introlude samples Quincy Jones Summer in the city (1973) also sampled by Pharcyde on Passin’ me by in 1992 :

 

 

10. Thievery Corporation : Sounds from the Thievery hi-fi (1996) / Mirror conspiracy (2000) / Cosmic game (2005)

Rob Garza and Eric Hilton met at Eighteenth Street Lounge in May 1995. They were introduced by a mutual friend and proceeded to discuss their admiration for the work of Antonio Carlos Jobim and the 60’s bossa sound. Weeks later, in a home studio, they began to work on the music that would launch Thievery Corporation. After several early 12″ singles, Thievery Corporation released Sounds From the Thievery Hi-Fi on ESL Music. That record is already considered by most to be a classic of the new electronic era. Following that album, The Mirror conspiracy (2000) is a must have album from the Thievery Corporation, similar to the first but with a few more vocals thrown in. Production is tight and the influences are far and wide. You are taken on a trip through Jamaica, France, the Middle East, Brazil, India and maybe 70’s China Town on the Pornesque Hong Kong Triad.

The Cosmic game (2005) sees the Thievery Corporation working much more with vocals, including some contributions for a few well-known voices, such as The Flaming Lips on the twinkling, spacy “Marching The Hate Machines (Into The Sun)” or Perry Farrell lending a ache to “Revolution Solution.” David Byrne brings ‘The Heart’s A Lonely Hunter” a unique vibe. But there’s also room for lesser known artists, such as the raga singer on “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” or the Latin American contingent that starts with “Ambicion Eterna” and ends with “Sol Tapado,” while “Warning Shots” bursts out with a more aggressive dub.

Essential sultry downtempo grooves from the Washington duo!

 


HONORABLE MENTIONS :

11 Air : Premiers symptômes
12. DJ Cam : Underground vibes (1995)
13. DJ Vadim : Headz ain’t ready (1995) / U.S.S.R. Repertoire ( 1996)
14. DJ Krush : Strictly Turntablized (1994)
15. Sneaker Pimps : Becoming X (1996)

 

 

TRIP-HOP MIXES TO LISTEN TO :

 

%d bloggers like this: