This is the weekly installment where we recap what we’ve been spinning at The Synthesizer Book headquarters during the week. If it’s on this list, it got played more than once!
I think last week I said I was going to do a yearly recap of our favorite LP’s of the year. I lied! We’ll have that up before year’s end.
1.Daft Punk-Tron Legacy
I finally got around to see Tron Legacy in 3D. I actually purchased the soundtrack/score first. I have a friend who refuses to listen to it before seeing the movie. He prefers to see the music in context of the movie. I normally do that, but I was thinking that with this season’s schedule, I wouldn’t get to see the movie. I did manage to sneak a visit to Famous Players for a viewing. I really like the Daft Punk score. At first, I wished it would’ve been 100% synthesizer based. Nonetheless, the soundtrack works with the visuals of the film. There have been a few people who have suggested that someone like Kraftwerk would’ve served the score better. I’m not one of them. I think the score stays true to the original and adds new elements that compliment the picture. My only regret is to not have taken my son to see it. He would’ve loved it. I think I’m going to have to take him next week. Go see the movie if you haven’t. It is fantastic and I can’t wait to buy this on DVD.
2.Martin L. Gore(Depeche Mode)-Counterfeit EP
I purchased this on cassette when I was in high school. As the years went by, I lost the cassette tape. It would be a few years, but eventually I was able to find it on CD and purchased it. I like the title. I like that they are all covers. I also liked his second solo Counterfeit 2, but I think the first one in this series is the one worth repeated listens. All of the tracks with the exception of Never Turn Your Back On Mother Nature, got plenty of listens this week. His version of Motherless Child is still one of my favorites. The version on the EP is quite minimal, but with lyrics like that, do you really need much music to accompany it?
3.Suzanne Ciani-Seven Waves
I was doing some Suzanne Ciani research this week. I always knew of her, but never really was a devout follower. Many have classified her style of music as New Age. My idea of New Age has always been Yanni! I will never forget getting bumped by a studio we were recording in because Yanni had decided he wanted to record that week. I’m sure he had a much bigger budget than us, anyway. The project I was working on didn’t amount to much either. Thank heavens.
I like Seven Waves. It’s not the type of album I would’ve purchased, likely. However, I like what she did here. For 1982, it adds quite a contrast to what was the predominant sound being generated by artist, and the albums that filled my collection. I was expecting to hear a little more experimentation, but that’s not to say that it isn’t worthy of investigation. Here, is still the usual drum machines of that period. However, it’s her use of the Buchla 200 system that I was interested in checking out. She was a pioneer with the synthesizer and for that I give her much, much, respect. Make sure to read my post on her.
4.Rosebruit & Franck Smith-Lemon Juice & Chloroform
Franck Smith is one half of the duo Zn’shñ. I’ve discussed their Butoh Sweets LP several times. Here he teams up with Rosebruit(audiovisual artist) for a very good recording. There is a fine mixture of noise, bleeps, drones and beats. I like Lemon Juice and learned a few things about chloroform too. You can download the EP for free. Go check out their blog for details and download instructions. Of all the free downloads, this one was a nice surprise. Give these artists your attention. They deserve it. Zn’shñ
From Zn’shñ blog:
The 6 tracks of “Lemon juice & chloroform” contain the original soundtrack of the eponymous audiovisual work by Rosebruit + unreleased audio material recorded for the film — collapsing alternative drum/bass patterns, free funk-jazz, glitchy-psychedelism, distorted horns, noise/electronic, abstract break-beats… No external sound sources were used in these recordings.
I’ve always liked Blackalicious. I didn’t have this album. A friend of mine and I were talking about their LP The Craft and I realized I had never heard this LP. It’s a great album. Hip-Hop heads might accuse this type of music as being for the “backpackerish,” but you know full well, I don’t care! I’m off to have my sons take some pictures with Santa Claus and this is my soundtrack as I sip on a coffee and wonder what awaits me at the mall. Thanks bro, for letting me borrow this. It’s a very nice album indeed.
6. The Synthi Group Vol.3 Compilation
Yep, its a compilation featuring artist using their EMS Synthi’s to produce music. The Synthi has been on my mind since the Square Waves symposium. This is a very good listen. You can go to the Synthi website for more information and downloads of Volumes 1-3.
From the Synthi Group:
The Synthi Group returns for part three of their EMS analog music series. Unlike the first two releases, this edition was recorded with a specific theme in mind and with parameters of limitation. The artists appearing on volume three were asked to create ambient soundscapes using EMS equipment ONLY. No other musical gear was used in the creation of this compilation.
7.Mumford & Sons-Sigh No More
My wife really likes this LP. I actually purchased it for her. A very good friend of mine got me onto them. I love the vocals, melodies, harmonies and the instrumentation is delicate and soothing,…and even a little moderately uplifting at times! A great LP that I enjoyed listening to. It’s also nice because all she ever listens to is the radio! Music is just not the same for her as it is for me. Nothing wrong with that. Not all of us can claim to have a partner, wife, etc. that plays synthesizers! When I want to know what’s on the charts, I ask her. I sometimes have no idea. Aside from NPR, I just don’t listen to much radio. This and Field Music’s-Measure are albums I listened to with her.
I listened to a bunch of other stuff this week, but these are the ones that got the most play-time.
I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and an even happier New Year…Most of all, I’d like to wish my son a very Happy Birthday. He is the most incredible and beautiful gift I ever received on a Christmas.