Last month we gave you the first snippet from Dan Lopatin's forthcoming album Replica with Sleep Dealer. Now we are all presented with the title track from the album Replica for downloadable pleasure. This jam throws us no more clues as to what the rest of the record will sound like, are we being teased by these subtle but weighty tracks! PIANO!
YES - TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEAN's - ROGER DEANE
This is the first of a regular post about great music artwork. Often great artwork is mistaken for artwork that simply happens to be on the outside of a great album but this isn't the case. For some reason we think that if the band has created something amazing musically then the imagery and design chosen to accompany it must also be amazing. It is true that the easiest covers to design are for great records but I am going to hopefully bring to the table a selection of sleeves that have added to the creative package of the album rather than simply housing it. The best sleeves are those which capture and equal the creative thinking of the bands. These are the sleeves that stick in our memories as the visual we recall when ever we think of the music. It is impossible, for example, to think of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band without picturing the Peter Blake collage on its cover.
Based on this thought the first sleeve i'm choosing is for a band that i have never been a fan of. This isn't to say I don't appreciate them or that I can see that their role wasn't important but musically its just not my thing. The artwork however very much is my thing. It is influential, original, psychedelic and to some extent redefined the "rules" of record cover design.
Roger Dean created the work for YES' Album Tales from Topographic Oceans in 1973. The work depicts a psychedelic alien world where the laws of physics are completely a jar. The detail of the original painting is on a scale that simply would not be relevant or practical for the digital age. An ITunes thumbnail would just not be big enough for the work to make sense. In fact a 12" record was not even a big enough canvas, the artwork stretching on to four sides of a fold out vinyl package.
The artist, is currently in a copyright battle with the producers of Avatar. Its claimed that entire landscapes from the film have been lifted directly from Deans' original fantasy- scapes. It seems that the worlds he created throughout his career have now become so symbolic within our perception of fantasy that we believe they are shared visions owned by us all. His influences can be seen across the board from Studio Ghibli films such as Howels' Moving Castle, to Fantasy computer games and of course films, namely Avatar.
I suppose that in some ways the brilliant excess, detail and overworking of the cover artwork is completely appropriate for the excessive symphonic length prog psychedelic doodlings it houses. The very reasons I think this is a great cover are probably the same reasons I have always found the album and the band difficult to like.
David Lane is director of Inventory Studio
High Places are back with a new record, Rob Barber and Mary Pearson seem to be on a higher concentration level with this incoming record High Colors. UK electronics seem to inform NY/LA duo's sound, smatterings of Garage and Dub-like atmospherics. The latest is due out on Thrill Jockey as of today, get a first listen below.
Endless House - could be the biggest enigma in electronic music, Jack Dramatic, Czecholslovakian proto-techno club ruins, the archives of Jiri Kantor. I could go on! I think you should just get your sound receiver devices around this cut from Walter Schnaff, one of the more distinguished gents from the EH colective.
At the Spicemas carnival in Grenada, the ‘Jab Jab’ are the people who get drunk on rum and cover themselves in oil, while freaking people out with horns and chains, lumps of raw meat hanging from their mouths, and generally running around and causing mayhem. This video is for a track made by Adrian Lenz, called ‘Cover Me’, and is basically amazing dark carnival music that – as this young guy called Sam, who is making it his first release on his label Blank Mind along with another track called ‘No Prisoners’ by Sandman, puts it – “sounds unbelievable on systems.”
FT: What is this Cover Me track all about then, and the guys who made it?
Sam: Both tunes are made for the Jab Jab which is a bit of a carnival tradition over there. They go round playing drums and conch shells, shouting out local secrets and causing a bit of mischief. Though this is just me relaying information – I've not been before. The roots of it apparently are as a tribute to emancipated slaves who celebrated freedom by going to the local carnivals to offend the communities that had oppressed them – they greased up in black, wore chains and upset the general order of things.
What's the video about and who made that?
It's about mocking a girl who is afraid of the Jab Jab getting oil on her! The video was directed by Tremor who's also the producer of the track. They filmed it at 5 in the morning and had just finished filming by the time authorities came over and told them to stop.
What drew you to release tracks from Grenada?
I've never been to Grenada, I didn't really know much about it before the songs – but I feel I really should go there now. I kind of fell for the songs in an instant. Seeing the video for Cover Me as well, it was like it was from another planet… it was inspiring, and hit me harder than anything had done in a while.
Do you find music from outside the UK more interesting than our domestic scene?
At clubs at the moment in London, it feels like people are struggling to find that much to get really excited about, nobody's REALLY raving. Jab Jab tunes and Shangaan tunes for example though really make me want to dance, as does old hardcore – and I want more of that feeling!
I'm dependent on money coming back before I can put out any subsequent releases, but I've got two songs by (Juke music pioneer) DJ Clent lined up for 002 which is exciting, as they're great tracks. If I can keep on putting things out, then the aim is just to keep on releasing good music, with no strict agenda.
Sandman - No Prisoners
Adrian Lenz - Cover Me
Good old boy Mr Benjamin John Power, one half of Fuck Buttons and one whole of Blanck Mass has made us an insightful, conceptual and a weighty hour and a half long master mix. As you will soon find out through a lock-down listen, this is not your run of the mill track compilation churned out by a musician/DJ, oh no! Here we are treated to exclusive tracks, customised loops, film and field recordings and the kind of love and care you would expect from Blanck Mass. If you have had a chance to listen to the Blanck Mass debut long player which came out earlier this year on Rock Action, you will understand that the craftsmenship and beauty of the songs are all within the subtleties and intricacies and we are honoured to have a simillar ethic put in to this audio delight. Enjoy!
1. Eno, Moebius & Roedelius - The Shade
2. Aaron Dilloway - Amputation
3. Ariel Kalma - Manege
4. Kangding Ray - OR
5. Bernard Szajner - Welcome to Death Row
6. Hieroglyphic Being - The Black Box
7. Burning Star Core - Mysteries of the Organ
8. Blanck Mass - Raw Deal
9. Deutsche Wertarbeit - Auf Engelsflügeln
10. Mr. Flagio - Take a Chance
11. Linear Movement - The Game
12. Alden Tyrell - Love Explosion
13. Legowelt - Jess the Cat
14. Gas - Untitled (taken from 'Zauberberg')
15. Loop taken from DeBussy's 'Claire de Lune'
16. Emeralds - Excerpt taken from 'Christmas tape 2'
17. Pan Sonic - Hinaaja / Tugboat
18. Oneohtrix Point Never - Nil Admirari
19. Novicat de Soeurs Missionaires - Yesu Ka Mkwebaze
20. Wolf Vostell - Elektronischer de-coll/age. Happening Raum, 1968
21. Loop taken from Fantasia's 'When i see you'
22. Boards of Canada - Zoetrope
Blanck Mass - Icke's Struggle (Directed by Alex Turvey)
Is the NTS radio station the best thing ever?... The answer is a resounding 'Yes!'
Here is the latest episode of Gilded Sound Reflection from last saturday, featuring all manner of rarities, exclusives and insights. This originally went out live and direct from the NTS HQ right here in Dalston, the same way we do every Saturday 2pm-4pm. Keep tabs on us!
Feeding Time Presents : Gilded Sound Reflection - NTS - 18/09/2011
I am enormously proud of Ed/Femi for putting NTS together. Fedmund, Tai and myself spent a few years working an office job together, many moons ago, dodging responsibilities whenever we could to play our latest record purchases to each other and dream up some plans for being our own bosses in the future. Femdog came through whole heartedly as this film from ISYS explains.