Archive for the ‘Cornelius’ Category

Beat The Heat With Cornelius

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

It is too fucking hot in Tokyo. Actually, let me clarify that a bit: it is too fucking humid in Tokyo. Today it was 84 degrees Fahrenheit. I mean, that’s hot, but not too bad. However, humidity was at 80% and I had to wear a shirt with a collar for work. Thank god we don’t have to wear ties in the summer or I would be a puddle of English instructor.

On days like this, you gotta take coolness as a state of mind, something that I carry even into the music I listen to on my commute. If I’m stuck in a crowded train on a hot and humid morning, the last thing I want to listen to is some fast-paced techno or heavy metal. I want to chill out and calm down, find ways to distract myself from my sweaty brow and heat-induced itches in the bad places.

So thanks to Cornelius’ latest release Mellow Waves, an album that certainly lives up to its title as some mellow mellowness. It’s helping me survive this brutal Tokyo sauna. Its not an ambient album, there are beats and lyrics, complete with choruses. These are proper pop tunes, just subdued and relaxed ones. It makes for the perfect soundtrack for when you’re trying your best not to scream at the top of your lungs and tear off your suit on a rush hour train to Shibuya.

You’ll have to trust me on that one.

Anyways, I won’t share Mellow Waves as its a new release that’s in-print even in America. But I want to hype Cornelius anyway I can, so here are some of his older remixes that are my favs.

Coldcut
Atomic Moog 2000 (Cornelius Remix)
This version has been on a few different albums and compilations over the years, in fact I have it twice over. I first discovered it on the 1999 Coldcut remix album Let Us RePlay, and then re-discovered it recently via a cheesy “big beat” compilation I picked up called Big Beat Battle Royale Revisited. It’s a dope track with dope beats and a dope drop. It’s dope.

Towa Tei
Butterfly (Cornelius Remix)
I meant to share this when I posted the other versions of this track a few weeks back, but I didn’t because…I forgot. Sorry about that. This is a rad remix that re-imagines the original drum and bass tune as a chill-as-fuck lounge tune with glitch elements.

Sketch Show
Ekot (Cornelius Remix)
Chronograph (Cornelius Remix)
As I mentioned in my guide to YMO-adjacent acts, Sketch Show is kind of a version of Yellow Magic Orchestra, featuring Hosono and Takahashi with the occasional support of Ryuichi Sakamoto.

They’re nothing like YMO though and skew much more towards the experimental, and especially glitch, end of the musical spectrum. Their music can be exceptionally beautiful at times, but glitch has always been a difficult genre for me to get into. Like its name suggests, it often just sounds broken to me, and the pops, cracks and other deliberate effects that are used to create a slightly off-center soundscape can sometimes just scratch the wrong nerve in my brain. I really got to be chill and relaxed to get into it. As you can probably guess, its not summer music for me.

The original versions of these tracks were already abstract, but Cornelius’ takes on them move them even further away from the mainstream, often stripping out the beats to create more ambient versions. I like what he does to them even if it’s not really always what I want out of music. If you ever listened to Aphex Twin and thought, “this could work as a pop song,” then you should probably dig on this stuff though.