Thursday, 24 November 2011

Some brief melodic observations

Perc - Wicker & Steel (Perc Trax 2011)
Boom, boom, boom, boom, crackle, bam, crunch, minimal bandsaw techno.  Occasional punchiness doesn't make up for the lack of much going on in most of the tracks.  Better than Redshape though, by miles.

Oriol - Night & Day (Planet Mu 2010)
Fantastic melodic funk / disco / electro / IDM crossovering into... Oriol makes his own sound here.  Successfully merging many of his inspirations into something that's more than the sum of its parts.  Not necessarily perfect, but there are tons of great moments, e.g. the Tom Jenkinson-esque bass throbbery set to loungy piano and spacey vocals on Spiral, Night And Day's REAL dubstep/breaksy beats set to space pads and gradually rousing space synth solos, or Flux's immediately memorable arpeggio set to 4/4 beats that morph effortlessly into breaksy/big-beat rhythms.  Top work.

Hudson Mohawke - Satin Panthers (Warp 2011)
Warp "darlings" are rarely all they're cracked up to be, but Hud Mo breaks out some surprisingly melodic wonky/IDM/hop on this EP.  Thunder Bay's trumpet bass-farts and Cbat's annoying glitchery are the only issues.  Octan, Thank You and - particularly - All Your Love all burst with melodic synth explosions set to solid beats and breaks.  More of this, please!

Radiohead - The King Of Limbs (Ticker Tape / XL 2011)
The further away from mumbling emo drudgery these guys get, the more fascinating they become.  I would even dare to say they sound positively euphoric at times, on this highly experimental but thoroughly engrossing album.  Bloom recalls Four Tet's style with its thickly atmospheric design, tumbling drums, and distant pads.  But - crucially - these electronics are tempered with memorable vocal lines from Thom.  The descending hook on Little By Little, the quiet down-tones on Codex, and the prickly rhythms of Morning Mr Magpie are just some of the moments that stand out.  Worth seeking out the separate 2-tracker Supercollider / The Butcher also.  I'd argue they form an essential addendum to TKOL.