I’ve been listening to the excellent Sonic Talk Podcast for several years now. In the show, a rotating panel of guests who work in the production side of the music industry give opinions about the latest news regarding music technology. They also throw in the occasional story and insight into production.
As a fan of music production I would have always been attracted to this kind of podcast, and I have listened to many in my time. However, Sonic Talk manages to stay in my feed when many have fallen by the wayside. This is due to both the presenting of the podcast by Nick Batt and the guests, who remain effective, genial and relatable.
In June, collaborators of both the Sonic Talk Podcast and its website, Sonic State, released a compilation album on Bandcamp, showcasing their work. It’s a great collection of varied music that is well worth a listen.
Although there are several highlights on the record, Hanka by MATTHS really resonated with me. Its cavernous rasping synth lines tear away at your speakers and are reined in with tight, angular percussion. This creates an aggressive, brooding dance track that realy suits being played loud:
Bellowhead are an amazing Live band. They manage to create a real party atmosphere with their folk based jigs that make you want to dance. Their clever arrangements of traditional folk tunes with a lyrical history that adds a weight and gravitas is complimented perfectly by the music. This video doesn’t do them justice but it does introduce their music to you.
Both these tracks are from their first album Burlesque which is great from beginning to end. Listen to them below:
If you haven’t heard this song I don’t really know what you’ve been doing with your life. Soul music is pretty damn awesome and this is one of the finest examples of the genre.
For me its a perfect record and the build from the intro to the first chorus is simply sublime. Time to refresh your memory:
I really like the work of The Antlers so the announcement of their new album comes with great anticipation for me. The first track released shows a slight change to their sound with focus on brass instrumentation that apparently carries through the whole album. Mix that with the bitter sweet sound the antlers are known for and you’re on to a winner.
Palace is the Teaser Track and is well worth a listen:
I have been interested in the idea of prepared pianos for a few years now. The basic idea of a prepared piano is to add/alter parts of the piano to crate new textures during its playing. Hauschka is known for his works on prepared piano and demonstrates the ideas perfectly in this Live Performance on NPR:
When I first heard Crystal Castles I was amazed by their sound. Abrasive in almost every way with its harsh production and vocals mixed with raw synth sounds they created something fresh and exiting.
Ten years and three albums later and they are still developing this unique sound and make it all worth listening to. Magic Spells is one of their more relaxed tracks from the first album, a favourite of mine and can be heard below:
I’ve been listening to a fair bit of squarepusher over the past few weeks and his new project with Z-Machines seems a rather interesting one. Namely composing music for a completely robotic band. In this video we get to see some of the music generated from this work. If you like what you hear the full EP was released this week:
After hearing the Patterson Hood of The Drive-by Truckers state Vic Chesnutt as a major influcne when being interviewd on the WTF podcast, I felt like i had to go out and listen to him and was blown away by his fragile voice mixed with powerfull, articulate and well constructed lyrics.
Flirted With You All My Life focuses on his struggle with death and suicide which unfortunately ultimately consumed him. I don’t want to talk more about the track then to say you need to listen to it and more of his work:
After watching the most recent Wes Anderson film I was reminded of Coconut Records the pseudonym of Jason Schwartzman and one of Andersons regular cast members. With Coconut Records, Jason Schwartzman manages to craft novel pop rooted in nostalgia. West Coast is my favourite track from his first album nighttiming and is available below:
Every year in either February or March I will hear an album that should have appeared in last years album of the year list and this year its Inform-Educate-Entertain By Public Service broadcasting.
Another gem heard on NPR’s SXSW Playlist. Everest like all of Public Service Broadcastings work adds a musical accompaniment to samples of documentary narrations to create really wonderful music. Everest is only the tip of the mountainous talent that the their first full album demonstrates. Every track being feeling part of the whole whilst having its own voice a fantastic work: