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Recent eMusic downloads January 23, 2009

Posted by sjroby in Music.
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Ladyhawke

Ladyhawke

I love eMusic. If you like mainstream music on major labels, stay well away from it; it’s not Itunes, and you won’t find a lot of big names there. But its low price and subscription model make it easy to justify trying out albums you wouldnt necessarily pay $20 to buy on CD. Every so often I’ll post briefly about what I’ve gotten there lately. In some cases I’ll write longer reviews, but those will probably come after I’ve had time to really get into the albums.

So… some quick thoughts on some recent downloads.

Ladyhawke: gloriously cheesy 80s revivalism by a woman from New Zealand who wasn’t born yet when this stuff happened. Think Kim Wilde, Berlin, Pat Benatar, lots of synths, mopey dance tunes.

Geeneus: Volumes: One. Keeping up with the way UK electronic and dance music evolves could be a fulltime job. Geeneus used to be known as a grime and dubstep producer; this album, however, is the first single artist album in the newer style known as funky house, or funky for short. No connection to James Brown or George Clinton funk, though. This is club music that doesn’t sound a hell of a lot different from the house and disco I’ve heard in the past. Listenable, at times quite enjoyable, but not likely to become a staple sound hereabouts.

Hauschka: Snowflakes and Carwrecks and Goldmund: The Malady of Elegance. Intrumental, piano-led music with occasional strings and electronics, somewhere between ambient, classical, and experimental music. Hauschka is a bit livelier, reminiscent a bit of Satie’s more playful moments, whereas Goldmund has the subtlety and austerity of Harold Budd’s music. I need to listen to these more.

Basic Channel: BCD-2. This is a collection of techno singles by a group that absorbed a lot of dub influences and created a highly influential blending of minimal techno and electronic dub. This is more on the techno side and doesn’t do as much for me as some of their other work. Still, given how regularly Basic Channel gets namechecked in electronic music reviews, it’s worth having a better idea of what’s being referred to.

Improvisators Dub Meets Iration Steppas: Inna Steppa Dub. I read about Iration Steppas in Woofah, the grime/dub/dubstep/reggae zine, and couldn’t find much by them. This is a collaboration between the UK-based reggae soundsystem crew and a French dub band; it’s a slightly updated take on roots and dub reggae. Sounds pretty good so far.

Jah Shaka and Mad Professor:Jah Shaka Meets Mad Professor at Ariwa Sounds. Haven’t really listened to this dub reggae album yet, but it’s another Woofah-inspired download (they interviewed Jah Shaka about the UK reggae soundsystem scene).

Stereotyp: My Sound. Needs more listens. This is a 2002 album blending electronica, reggae, and dancehall, and it’s been called a prototype for dubstep. I love a lot of dubstep, so that got my attention.

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