Archive for the ‘Moby’ Category

Techno & Typhoons

Monday, July 7th, 2014

There’s a goddamn typhoon heading for Japan. I guess Okinawa is projected to get the brunt of it, so no one worry about me. Instead, keep an eye on the news and if Okinawa does get hammered then remember that the Red Cross is always the best place to give your donations.

Hopefully things won’t be that bad though! Now dance music.

Leftfield
Afrika Shox (VW Remix)
Afrika Shox (Jedi’s Elastic Bass Remix)
Afrika Shox (Radio Edit)
Dusted (Pressure Drop Remix)
Dusted (Si Begg’s Buckfunk 3000 Remix)
Dusted (Tipper Remix)
Dusted (The X-ecutioners Remix)
I think I own remixes of Leftfield tracks than actual proper Leftfield tracks. I love all of them, one day I’ll actually sit down and listen to Rhythm & Stealth in its entirety. I mean it. I really will.

Sigh, I never will.

Anyways, of these tracks I like “Afrika Shox” more, because it features the legendary Afrika Bambaataa (although he’s barely on the remixes), a man I love even if I have to double check the spelling of his name every single time I type it. “Dusted” is also great, and it features vocals by Roots Manuva, another person whose name I can never freaking spell correctly.

Oh, and the “Elastic Bass Remix” is aptly named, with crazy bass effects that might melt your head if you listen to it on headphones. You’ve been warned.

Moby
I Feel It (I Feel It Mix)
I Feel It (Victory Mix)
Classic house Moby. I love both of these (radically different) mixes, I can’t decide which I like the most. I love the classic uplifting piano sound of the “I Feel It Mix,” but I love the hard-ass synths-all-up-in-yo-grill sound of the “Victory Mix” just as much. Intense, super-distorted techno synth is the best synth. It’s like “Cubik” up in this joint.

Random free association fact: for some reason whenever I hear synths like the ones in this song I immediately start thinking of the music from late-80s Apple IIGS game Tunnels Of Armageddon.

You fucking try to figure that one out, I got no clue.

Utah Saints
Something Good
Something Good (Single Edit)
Utah Saints’ first album is out of print and that should be a goddamn crime. But hey, that fact lets me post these tracks – so enjoy.

Dance Music vs. Bad People on the Internet

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Downside with working primarily on the Internet: you get to see how horrible people on the Internet are. Today was exceptionally shitty.

I wish it was mandatory for everyone to use their full, legal name on all comments for all websites. If that wouldn’t cut down on the amount of sexist, racist, homophobic bile spewed forth on a daily basis, it would at least make it easier for me to find the people responsible for it and kick them in the knees.

Röyksopp
Eple (Shakedown Remix)
Eple (Fatboy Slim Remix)
Damn umlauts, making me cut and past names from other websites because I can’t be bothered to learn macro codes.

You’ve probably heard this  song and don’t even know it. It was in a billion commercials, and according to Wikipedia it was even used as the start-up music for the Setup Assistant in some versions of Mac OSX. Whatever, the Windows start-up sound is by Brian Eno; that makes Windows is way more indie than Apple ever will be. Boom. Shots fired.

I mostly bought this 12″ for the Fatboy Slim remix, and damn, if it isn’t a wonderful example of Fatboy Slim’s ability to dumb down even the most harmonious and beautiful dance track. Don’t take that as an insult though, I dig what he did to the track. It’s just really, really stupid. It’s impressive how dumb it is. I like purposeful stupidity when it’s done for good and not evil.

Moby
Porcelain (Torsten Stenzel’s Remix)
Porcelain (Force Mass Motion Remix)
Moby was just announced as a headliner for Movement, the big electronic dance music festival in Detroit. Dammit, now I might have to go to Detroit.

If you’ve never seen or heard a live Moby DJ set, try to if you get a chance. While his music isn’t always on target, his DJ sets are massive, amazing house sessions that will make your hair stand on end, your feet catch fire, and your head explode from the sheer awesomeness of it all. Okay, I realize that by saying it like that I kind of make it sound unappealing, but trust me, he’s really good live. Dude can cut a mix like no one’s business.

Both of these mixes are from a 12″ single, and are pretty great, radical re-interpretations of the original. I dig them.

Krust (Featuring Saul Williams)
Coded Language (Roni Size Desert Road Remix)
Coded Language (Roni Size Desert Road Instrumental)
The first line of this song is “Motherfuckers better realize!” and that’s exactly how I felt today. Word, Saul Williams. Word.

This drum and bass remix is pretty great, but it does remove a lot of Williams’ amazing lyrics. That man is a genius. Check out the original version here. Six minutes of one bad motherfucker dropping truth bombs on your ass.

More Random Electronic Music

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Lost Turntable news!

The long-awaited, incredibly-overdue, far-too-complex, incredibly-well-written Lost Turntable Guide To Recording Vinyl will be published here within one week’s time! Now, that doesn’t mean this week, that means a week from today (Wednesday). I mean it. It’s actually almost done. I’m just polishing up the rough edges and adding in screencaps/photos. It’s turned into a damn epic, well over 4,000 words, and I’m going to have to split it up into multiple parts (which will all be published simultaneously).

I really hope it doesn’t suck.

Anyways, time I got something off my chest.

I usually love The A.V. Club. I think it’s one of the best entertainment sites on the web, with a good balance of light “Top 10″ type articles and more in-depth quirky pieces that really examine pop culture in a unique way.

One of my favorite recurring features on the site is “Gateways To Geekery.” In it,  a writer looks at a fairly geeky piece of pop culture (Dr. Who, Pub Rock, Harvey Pekar) and breaks it down in a way that outsiders to the geekiness can understand, while giving examples of perfect points of entry for newcomers. It’s almost always just as educational as it is fun.

The latest Gateway To Geekery is on a topic that I consider myself a high-level geek on: 90’s ‘electronica.’ Like most people my age, I first got into dance and electronic music in the late 90s, cutting my teeth on stuff like Fatboy Slim and The Prodigy before discovering deeper acts like Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and countless British drum and bass acts. A lot of the music from that time served as a major influence on my life, so I hold a great deal of nostalgia and fondness for it to this day. As such, I was very interested to read what the A.V. Club would recommend.

Oh well.

The article starts out decent enough, arguing that The Chemical Brothers are a good entry level band for those looking to explore the genre. But when the writer (more on that asshole in a bit) starts to talk about The Prodigy and Moby, things get a bit dicey.

First there’s this choice bit about Prodigy mastermind Liam Howlett:

“Liam Howlett earned his chart success with impeccably constructed tracks that showed off his ear for melody and drew from teen years spent gorging on hip-hop and jungle. “

As a commenter at The A.V. Club points out, Liam Howlett was born in 1971. Jungle/drum and bass didn’t exist as a genre until around 1990-91. Teenage Liam Howlett was not listening to jungle, as it did not yet exist.

From there, the author goes on to cover Moby (while finding ways to backhandedly compliment him along the way) and Underworld (oddly leaving out Darren Emmerson’s name entirely) before going on to Orbital. Most of this stuff is fine, if incredibly vague. It’s at the very end where the article falls apart.

First the writer concludes the main section of the piece by listing off other artists to make note of:

Leftfield’s dubby progressive house, Fatboy Slim’s lampshade-on-head chart pop, Lo-Fidelity All-Stars’ pub-Dadaism, and the jazz-noir of future Steven Soderbergh and Darren Aronofsky collaborator David Holmes are all worth exploring beyond the odd single or two.

All right on (although I don’t think this person knows what Dada is). But let’s take a look at what he says to avoid:

Almost anything called “big beat.”

You mean stuff like Fatboy Slim? The king of big beat? And while The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy were never strictly big beat artists, a lot of their early (great) stuff certainly has a lot of trappings of the subgenre. And by dismissing big beat entirely he’s also telling you to ignore Fluke, Lunatic Calm, Meat Beat Manifesto (partially) and the Dub Pistols. All acts whose discographies are well worth visiting.

The final bit of  the “what to avoid” section really takes the cake though:

A lot of the acts that arrived in the wake of The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy were the electronic equivalents of the dullard bro-rockers taking cues from Oasis at the time. Often lumbering, obvious, and oddly self-satisfied, acts like The Crystal Method, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Propellerheads, Death In Vegas, Groove Armada, and Apollo 440 now sound like relics.

This is stupid in two parts.

First of all, to dismiss an act simply because they came out in the wake of another, more innovative, act is ridiculous. Music scenes are built on the idea of artists drawing immediate influence from other artists. And yes, this does often lead to poor pathetic copycats (post-grunge, I’m looking at you), it doesn’t mean those other acts are without any merit.

But that’s not even the dumbest, most ignorant thing about that statement. The Crystal Method were taking cues from The Chemical Brothers? Let’s visit or discography timelines, shall we?

The Crystal Method’s first single was “Now Is The Time,” it was originally released in 1994. That’s a full year before The Chemical Brothers’ first single or album came out. (I know that they were making music as The Dust Brothers beforehand, but that didn’t really put them on the map).

So the idea that The Crystal Method were a Creed to The Chemical Brother’s Pearl Jam is nonsensical and chronologically impossible. Same for the Proppellerheads, their first single dropped in 1996, less than a year after The Chemical Brothers’. Groove Armada’s first singles were in 1997, far enough away for them to possibly cite The Chemical Brothers as an influence, but not far enough away for them to be second-generation copycats. Same for Death In Vegas and even Bentley Rhythm Ace.

(I can kind of give the writer Apollo 440 though.)

Sigh.

I get the point of this article, and why acts like Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher and Boards of Canada weren’t mentioned. It’s supposed to be an introduction to a genre, and nothing about a lot of the best electronic music of the late-90s is newbie-friendly. But to not mention The Orb, Goldie, Roni Size, Basement Jaxx or Faithless? That’s some of the best, most accesible electronic music of all-time! When you see those kinds of glaring omissions, along with the blatant factual errors that run rampant throughout the piece, it makes you wonder: what kind of electronic “expert” wrote this article? Who could be that clueless?

Then you see that the writer of the article was Scott Plagenhoef and it all makes a lot more sense.

Plagenhoef is the former editor of Pitchfork, the hispster online music mag. The place where music journalism and originality go to die, replaced with bullshit posturing and elitist second-guessing over what’s cool, what’s ironically cool, and what’s trying too hard to be ironically cool. How this asshat somehow got to be the goto electronic music expert for The A.V. Club just goes to show that you can bullshit your way into anywhere if you’re popular enough.

Even if portions of your article are nearly self-plagiarized from an entirely similar piece that you wrote for GQ just a month earlier.

Lazy fuck.

Lament the state of music journalism with me as you check out these great remixes, all culled from various 12″ singles.

Daft Punk
Around The World (Motorbass Vice Mix)
Teachers (Extended Mix)
Some of the commenters on the AV Club article bemoan that Daft Punk wasn’t mentioned. I can see their point, but it’s really not a legit complaint. Daft Punk only released one album in the 90s, 1997’s Homework and when you go back to that record now, it really pales in comparison to Discovery, which came out in 2000. Sure, “Around The World” may still sound great, even in remixed form, but a track like “Teachers”? It doesn’t hold up nearly as well.

BT
Mercury And Solace (Dub Mix)
Mecury And Solace (Quivvers Transatlantic Remix)
Another almost-but-not-quite act that one could consider for an “intro to electronica” playlist, BT’s body of work is just too damn diverse to serve as a friendly/easy introduction for anyone looking to get into electronic music today. At least nearly everything the dude has put out has been good to great. If you do know someone who you are trying to get into electronic music, you could do worse than this track, but I would also recommend “Blue Skies,” his rad collaboration with Tori Amos.

Orbital
Lush (1926 Trancedance Mix)
Orbital have a new album out don’t they? Any word? I want to check it out, but I knew they kind of ran out of steam when they called it quits before. This mix is early-90s Orbital. Prime stuff.

Moby
Go (Low Spirit Mix)
Go (Voodoo Child Mix)
So many people continue to hate on Moby and I just don’t get it. So he sold off all his music to commercials? So what? It’s not like he’s Rage Against The Machine or Anti-Flag, with some crazy punk rock anti-corporate stance. A Moby’s gotta eat! Let the dude make his cash. I’ve met Moby twice, he’s the nicest dude on the planet. Give it a rest already. These two mixes of “Go” are from a 1991 12″ single. Put them on your workout mix, it’ll work wonders.

The Crystal Method 
Busy Child (Taylor’s Hope for Evolution Mix)
The Dubeliscious Groove (Fly Spanish Version)
Now Is The Time (Secret Knowledge Overkill Mix)
Now Is The Time (Cloud 9 Mix)
Now Is The Time (The Olympic Mix) (Record Live In Atlanta)
$20 (or a cookie) to the person who can tell me how to pronounce “Dubeliscious.”

Random Electronic Music Post

Friday, May 11th, 2012

I’m on Instagram now! I don’t know how to link to my Instragram account from here, but if you follow me on Twitter you’ll get my Instragram updates. So now instead of me just talking about what I’m listening to on Twitter, you can SEE what I’m listening to on Instragram! Sure, it’s kind of pointless and stupid, but most fun things are, so don’t complain.

Moby
Porcelain (Clubbed To Death Version by Rob Dougan)
Porcelain (Futureshock Remix)
Porcelain (Futureshock Instrumental)
Porcelain (Futureshock Beats)
Porcelain (Live At Glastonbury 2003)
I’ve lost track of how many Moby cuts I’ve posted over the years. It’s a lot. I’ll probably post more. I’m a fan.

The original version of “Porcelain” is a beautiful song, but not one that I would have ever thought would lend itself to remixing. However, these excellent mixes prove me wrong. Each of them transform the track into something else entirely, while still retaining just enough of the original for them to keep the song’s beauty in tact. Meanwhile, the live version is a shockingly faithful rendition, with the biggest difference being that the back-up vocals are live instead of sampled.

The remixes are all taken from the “Porcelain” 12″ single or the CD single, while the live version is a rip from the DVD that came with some editions of Moby’s album 18.

Goldie 
Kemistry (V.I.P. Mix)
Still Life (V.I.P. Mix) (The Latino Dego In Me)
Just a couple days ago I was talking about Godley And Creme’s The History Mix Volume 1, and how confusing it is that there are three different versions of that record floating around. Well, the multitude of versions of Goldie’s seminal 1995 album Timeless are even more confusing. The album was originally released as a 2CD set that had 12 tracks in total. However, a single CD version was also made available. That version featured only eight songs, including “Sensual,” which is not on the 2xCD edition. Confused yet? Wait, there’s more.

There was also a 2LP vinyl version released. And while that version also had eight songs, they weren’t the same eight that were on the single CD version, it doesn’t even have the 2o-minute title track. What it does have are the two tracks above, which have never been released on any other version of the album, not even when the album was re-released a few years back with bonus cuts.

And in case you’re wondering a “V.I.P. Mix” is a remix done by the original artist. I guess it’s pretty pretentious to call you own mix the “Very Important Person” mix, but I think that’s actually less pretentious then putting your own name behind a remix of your own song.

Orbital
Belfast (Sasha vs The Light Remix)
Nothing Left (Les Rhythmes Digitales Remix)
Nothing Left (Breeder Remix)
Nothing Left (Pariah Remix)
Now, I could be wrong (I”m wrong a lot) but isn’t “Belfast” in itself a remix of “Nothing Left?” I mean, don’t they both have the trippy vocals by Allison (worst person I’ve ever interviewed in my entire life) Goldfrapp? If that’s the case, then wouldn’t that make this remix by Sasha a remix of a remix? We’re through the looking glass people!

Yeah, I was wrong and made a mistake because I mislabeled the tracks. What I said about Allison Goldfrapp is true though.

One Hour and 41 Seconds of Moby Remixes

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Let’s all dance to music made by a tiny bald man.

Moby
Extreme Ways (Lee Combs Remix)
Extreme Ways (John Creamer + Stephane K Remix)
In This World (T&F Vs. Moltosugo Club Mix)
In This World (ATFC’s Southern Fried Vocal)
In My Heart (Ferry Corsten Remix)
In My Heart (Sean Tyas Misses Twilo Mix)
We Are All Made Of Stars (DJ Tiesto’s Full Vocal Remix)
We Are All Made Of Stars (Timo Maas Dub Remix)

These are all good remixes, although the mixes for “Extreme Ways” deconstruct that song so much that it becomes nearly unrecognizable. Depending on your feelings for that song, that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

What is definitely not a bad thing is the Ferry Corsten Remix of “In My Heart.” In fact, I’m just going to go pull my hyperbole lever all the way to the max and proclaim that this remix is fucking spectacular. “In My Heart” is based on a gospel sample. Gospel music, by its very definition is uplifting. You combine that with a remix by one of the international masters of uplifting trance, and you got a song that could probably get the most miserable of bastards on the dance floor and loving life for at least seven and a half minutes.

Seriously, if you’re feeling down, a good uplifting trance mix do more to alter your mood than Prozac (I should know, I’ve tried both). For example, when I was at Ultra last year I spent most of the festival hating everyone and everything. The heat was getting to me, the rude people were annoying the piss out of me, and the corrupt and evil promoters made me want to report their illegal activities to the cops. But whenever I wandered within earshot of any DJ playing a solid uplifting trance set, all my negative feelings and anger towards the countless drugged out asshats that surrounded me would melt away and be replaced with me going “OH MY GOD I JUST WANT TO DANCE TO THIS ALL DAY! OH HI! HOW ARE YOU? MY NAME IS JAMES! DON’T YOU JUST WANT TO DANCE TO THIS ALL DAY? I KNOW! IT’S SO GOOD! WHAT? NO, SORRY, I DON’T HAVE ANY COCAINE!”

I guess some people needed additional means to “uplift.”

Enjoy the mixes, I hope to get one more post in tomorrow, but if I do not, I hope you all have a wondrous weekend.

The Human League is Totally Awesome

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Don’t you want me OOOOOHooooooohOOOOOOOHooooooooooooh

Sorry.

Pet Shop Boys
You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk (Brother Brown’s Newt Mix) 
You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk (Attaboy Still Love You When We’re Sober Mix)
You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk (The T-Total Mix)
You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk (Brother Brown’s Newt Dub)
I bought this, along with three other Pet Shop Boys singles today. That brings my total PSB singles count to 40. Forty. Four-zero. That is a lot of fabulous. The only artist I have more singles of is Erasure, and possibly Madonna – I have to recount. One day I’m going to get all the singles from Erasure, the Pet Shop Boys and Madonna and I’m going to open the best gay bar ever. I’m sure that’ll help me get all the women.

I don’t have much to say about these mixes, probably because this isn’t one of my favorite PSB tracks. I like the stutter edit on the title lyric, but other than that, I find it pretty bland, kind of like a slightly more upbeat (musically, not lyrically) version of “Rent.” The T-Total mix has a great beat though and they’re all still worth a listen if you like the Boys.

The Human League
Don’t You Want Me (Snap 12″ Extended Remix)
Don’t You Want Me (Red Jerry 12″ Remix)

Okay, I need help here, is the “Snap” who created this rather amazing remix of “Don’t You Want Me” the same Snap who brought us “The Power?” Someone find this shit out, it’s important. If that is the case, then this remix is automatically 8 billion times better than it already is, and that’s saying something since as it stands now it’s pretty freaking radical. Equally bitchin’ is the Red Jerry mix. I actually know who that is though, he’s a DJ from the UK. Although I only know this because he inexplicably has a Wikipedia page. Yay for needless wiki pages! They make hasty midnight research oh so much easier.

I’m going to rock out to these mixes all night. Who the fuck needs sleep? I have awesome synthpop.

Moby
Everytime You Touch Me (John Blackford Remix)
“Everytime You Touch Me” is one of my top five 90s house tracks of all time. It’s one of the most energetic, upbeat and lovey-dovey dance tunes ever and it makes me happy everytime I hear it. At least, that was the case until I heard this crazy remix, which was actually the winning submission in a fan remix contest by Moby and Elektra back in the mid-90s. This mix is nothing like the original. It strips away all of the positive feelings and energy of the original and replaces them with minimal melodies and creepy as all fuck vocal samples, including this gem:

“I always had a suspicion that it might be supremely pleasurable to be humiliated by a beautiful woman. It was only now I realized what this could entail.”

Okay…um…ew. I’m going to have to listen to those “Don’t You Want Me” remixes about a billion more times just to get this creepfest out of my brain.

Don’t you want me OOOOOHooooooohOOOOOOOHooooooooooooh!!!!!!!

Damn that song is awesome.

I know what Somnambulist means, but I don’t know how to pronounce it.

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Tonight’s post is all about the beats! I’m totally dancing as I type this. Okay, not really, but I would be if I was standing up.

Moby
Hymn (Menacing)
Hymn (Dirty Hypo)
Hymn (Lucky Orgasm)
Hymn (I Believe)

The original version of Hymn is the opening track on Moby’s Everything Is Wrong album, and I think that it is one of the greatest opening tracks ever. It’s a quiet, beautiful tune that is almost zen-like. Of course, on Everything Is Wrong it is immediately followed by the freakishly fast-paced and upbeat “Feeling So Real,” so that feeling of oneness is pretty short-lived. These remixes are great, but they don’t have much in common with the original track, and are actually dance tunes for the most part. My favorite is the “Lucky Orgasm” mix…which is something I really hate saying.

What does that even mean? Does that mean you were lucky to have an orgasm, or that your orgasms are good luck? Never mind. I have more jokes/material on this topic, but my mom reads this blog.

BT
Somnambulist (Sander Kleinenberg’s Convertable Mix)
Somnambulist (Burufunk Mix)

I remember when this song came out. I was living in Toledo, Ohio (not something I recommend) and the city just got an awesome all-dance radio station. It was independently run, and if I recall I didn’t even have commercials! I remember the craziest thing about it was that it was owned by a Christian company. My friends and I all found it funny that a religious group was hosting a radio station that featured music made to listen to while heavily medicated. I think it only lasted about a year or so, but during that time they played various versions of this track nearly everyday. What’s really weird about these versions is that they strip out all the crazy stutter effects of the original, which was the biggest draw of the track when it first came out. Regardless, they still excellent remixes of a great song. These are from a 2×12” single, but I only have the second record. If anyone has the Junkie XL remix that’s on the first, I’d be very appreciative if they sent it my way.

Oh, and it means “sleepwalker,” in case you were still wondering.