Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ambient Meditations

Some of the best ambient compilations ever sounding as good, perhaps even better, today than when they were originally released. They sound good, even without chemical assistance (or perhaps these take me back to a different time and place).

Each mix has a definite "spiritual" element to them in that late 90s retro-psy, eastern-ish kind of way which adds to their overall vibe.

All are essential but check out the who's who of the mixers of the last three volumes. The final volume took some work tracking down and prices still tend to be high for the CD but there is no need any longer.

Ambient Meditations (1998)

Ambient Meditations 2 (1999)

Mixed by Dr Alex Paterson

Ambient Meditations 3 (2000)

Mixed by Youth

Ambient Meditations 4 - God Bless The Chilled (2002)

Mixed by Mixmaster Morris

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Those parts of Hawaii you don't see...

Somewhere between leftfield, dnb, dub tech and electronic drones.

Perfect alchemy.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Is Techno Volume 8: International Trance & Tribal (1994)

After Eon, after Moby, after discovering the whole rave thing in Seattle, this was my first actual purchase of a DJ mix. Mine was originally on cassette but I noticed the webosphere was lacking this one so tracked down a CD version and here ya' go.

Played it in full last night and it sounded good. I'm not there anymore but, and perhaps it's blissful reminisce, this was right in the heart of when this sound was fresh and energizing. By the end of the decade the sound would be "over" and glutted as it moved toward the mass popularity we see so ubiquitous today, the death knoll being that a Grammy category was created to embrace it.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I stumbled across this music a few months back and it's been infiltrating my shuffle and I have really locked into its vibe. Vaporware is a term for computer software or hardware announced to the general public but never officially offered and this music carries that reference as a social critique. You can see the essence of vaporware here.

If you lived through the 80s you'll recognize the vibe instantly, especially if you were a fan of a certain television show. I'm not a retro guy by any means but this is retro in a good way as it deconstructs the vapidness by turning it inside out (although that could be 30 years of acquired cynicism projected into my listening experience).

The genre, though obviously diverse, has been interpreted as "a dystopian critique of capitalism in the vein of cyberpunk" which takes "the hollowness of global capitalism to its natural conclusion" and aligns quite correctly with my current immersion into the Sense/Net netlabel.

As for the vaporwave genre, music writer Adam Harper describes the genre as 
"ironic and satirical or truly accelerationist", and that the name "vaporwave" itself is a nod to both vaporware, products that are announced but never actually manufactured or cancelled, and to the idea of libidinal energy being subjected to relentless sublimation under capitalism." Source
You'll feel the vibe instantly when you hear it and pay attention to the artwork, song/album titles and the equipment used to make the music.

For a taste of the sound, check out the mix below and head to the Dream Catalogue Bandcamp page for a full immersion. All are 'Name Your Price' offerings but if you want to go a step further into retro cassettes are available (though they sell out quickly).

Imagine my surprise when about 29 minutes into the mix this morning it gradually dawned on me that I was hearing the keyboard riff for the hold music for our IT company.

The sound may seem too obvious, though that may be the whole point, and it may be easy to consume it without the irony but it contains a punk enough ethos behind it, in a William Gibson-ish kind of way, that deconstructs the past in which I grew up to make it a worthwhile venture.

P.S. All sealed.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


ADSR (90 Minutes In The Eyes Of iO) (1995)

Some deeper cuts from the Mo Wax era. 

The two Mo Wax tracks (see below) do not represent their overall sound but this compilation gives good insight into the fresh and developing sound that emerged throughout 90s.

Other than those two tracks this one, while certainly not rare, is really, especially outside of the Mo Wax umbrella, under the radar.

Claire / Libre (1995)

The Mo Wax tracks on vinyl with a few remixes from some Mo Wax staples. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bless You

Easily one of the best electronic albums of the past ten years, especially one with vocals. This is not the pop fluff vocal type album but one that takes a walk on the darker dubbier side with vocals supporting that vibe.

Take a listen to the depth of interpretations of the lead track and track down the album if you don't already own it. 


Rhythm & Sound

The 12" originals in their original context that made up this.

Go deep.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Simplicity Is The Key (2008)

From the now defunct smallfish label that was able to sneak a few quality dub techno releases, including this one, through.

The label introduced artists such as cv313, bvdub and the three found here, all of whom would move on to bigger things, to a growing audience.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Belekaip - Carbon Dub (2014)

A nice, chilled low slinging dub oriented release from Elektrosfera, a label highlighting electronic artists from Lithuania such as Girius Dvasios, Vejopatis and Vytis, among others.

The Photosynthesis and Kitas Krantas compilations are essential introductions to the label.

Granted, 'dub' and 'dub techno' are everywhere nowadays like the background din of the world around us but you'll like this one. Check it out at a 'Name Your Price' offering 


Saturday, April 4, 2015

London Roundhouse. England 28.02.2008

A few years back there was a series of live albums, many released almost immediately following the shows. Some dude on discogs hit me up almost as soon as I added this one to my want list. £250? 

Let's just say it's no longer in my want list nor does it need to be in yours.

All are essential.

An edited version of the opening night show in Bristol we attended is up.

Rick Smith was ill (as you'll hear Karl mention in the video) so Darrin Price manned the controls. Will always wonder if it would have made any difference but this music still sounds just as good after all these years.

Hoping there'll be a 20th for Second Toughest so we can have an excuse to travel the globe again.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Underworld - Bootleg Babies (2001)

A fan based collection of live recordings with Underworld in their heyday, essential to bring back the spirit of those days.

In 2001 several members on the rtsr-trade mailing list started this project. They wanted to release the best live recordings by Underworld gathered over the years. A bit like Underworld did with Everything, Everything. It kept the list busy for a while, since all the tracks where chosen with extensive polls. The members chose which track would be included; from which source; the name of the cd and the artwork. The cd was distributed from fan to fan around the world. Around 150 copies were made.
It doesn't matter how many times I hear these songs it always takes me to that happy place.