The Null Device
I hadn't been going out much, or blogging much for that matter, lately due to work having been rather insane. However, I have been listening to CDs, so here's a list of what I've been listening to lately:
- Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions, Bavarian Fruit Bread. The more I listen to this disc, the more it grows on me. The quiet vocals floating sleepily over the subtly muffled guitars, with barely audible brush percussion and the odd xylophone. Very, very lovely.
- Parsley Sound, Platonic Rate; understated, with subtle distorted beats, analogue synths, vintage keyboards and floating, reverbed vocals; rather dreamlike and atmospheric, with perhaps somewhat of a 1960s psychedelia influence in places.
- Malory, Outerbeats. Best known as "that German outfit that tries to be Slowdive", this album goes beyond their influences somewhat. Granted, the Slowdive-circa-Just-For-A-Day influence is obvious (you can pick out specific songs and rhythms there), though they add synth textures and crunchy beats. And it works. Some of the tracks almost edge into Gus Gus territory.
- Which probably prompted me to dig out my copy of the Icelandic chillout outfit's This Is Normal album and give it a spin or two. It's still as good as it was back in 1999 when I picked it up.
- Victor Lancaster, Mr. Mention. Yes, the plastic bucket drummer who plays on the streets of Melbourne; and better than you'd expect it to be. Some of the remixes are particularly impressive.
- The Love Letter Band, Even The Pretty Girls Take Medicine. One of the raft of 555/Red Square indiepop releases I walked away with during one of Stewart and Jen's popfests, and quite a nice one, in a somewhat fey electro-pop vein.
I was looking at a railway map of Europe recently, and, following the lines, I had a flashback to this old Commodore 64 game. A rather cheesy platform game with vaguely Spectrumish graphics, but somehow it had stuck in my mind all this time, or at least the association between the themed screens and various European locales (from a 1980s English holidaymaker's point of view, by the look of it).
Tonight, I finally got out again to the Empress, getting a much needed dose of live music and Guinness. Seascapes of the Interior were brilliant, playing three 10-15-minute atmospheric pieces, with guitars, violin, piano, analogue synth and plenty of effects; a bit like Mogwai in some ways, only not. And Heligoland were quite lovely too, and very atmospheric. Makes me wish I had a turntable, so I could buy the 7" single they were launching.