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July’s eMusic downloads August 5, 2009

Posted by sjroby in Canadian content, Music.
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Riechmann: Wunderbar

Riechmann: Wunderbar

Still no sign that eMusic Canada is going to be getting Sony and the price changes and all that crap in the near future, so I’m still a happy eMusic user. And here’s what I’ve downloaded lately…

Conrad Schnitzler: 00_346+00_380 _ Mixes 1 and 00_346+00_380 _ Mixes 2; Klaus Schulze: Cyborg, Irrlicht, and Mirage. This was inspired by a Simon Reynolds article from 2007, just reposted on his ReynoldsRetro blog, called THE FINAL FRONTIER: The Analogue Synth Gods of the 1970s. The article makes two points: first, that there’s a whole school of electronic music that’s almost forgotten now or at the very least considered dubious and uncool; second, that some of it is actually worth hearing. It’s a look at the spacy, cosmic electronic music by the likes of early Tangerine Dream and others, and Schnitzler and Schulze were both mentioned in the article. So, because I do consider myself an electronic music fan and I did miss out on a lot of that stuff (seeing some of it as dull and pretentious at the time), I’m doing some homework.

Riechmann: Wunderbar. I’d never heard of the artist or the album, but the eMusic blog 17 Dots did a feature on it that intrigued me. I was sold by the comparisons in the first paragraph: “the B-Side of David Bowie’s Low or moodier Kraftwerk or any of Brian Eno’s ambient/electronic works.” It’s a 1978 album by someone who’d worked in the past with members of Neu! and Kraftwerk, a bit influenced by New Wave. One track sounds a lot like Neu! spinoff La Düsseldorf, who sounded at times like an inspiration for Ultravox. So, yeah, this is up my alley.

Subhumans: Death Was Too Kind. Not the UK band, the Vancouver band. For some reason, their music hasn’t been well represented on CD. I’d love to just get a CD with the Death Was Too Kind EP and the Canadian Incorrect Thoughts LP, both of which I have on vinyl, but instead I have a compilation album called Pissed Off… With Good Reason!, which has a few of those songs, and crap mp3s from a long out of print US CD version of Incorrect Thoughts, with a different selection of songs. I downloaded several tracks from this compilation to fill in some gaps, so at least I have the digital equivalent of the EP, but I still need a proper release of the album.

Various artists: Ragga Jungle Dubs. Continuing my slow but steady exploration of post-reggae music, this is a collection of ragga jungle, the reggae-influenced, pre-drum & bass sound that was briefly popular in the UK. I’m still not crazy about ragga vocals, but the “dubs” part of the title means that there aren’t as many vocals as there might normally be.

Beat Pharmacy: Wikkid Times Remixes. I really liked the dub techno/reggae crossover sound of the original Wikkid Times album, and I like these remixes, many from well-known dubstep producers, too.

2562: Love in Outer Space/Third Wave. New dubstep/techno crossover single.


Sonic Youth: The Eternal

Michael Rother: Flammende Herzen. Rother was one of the two key members of Neu!, and this is an early solo album of his. This is like a prettier, more accessible Neu!, and may prove to be a better listen, longterm, than Klaus Dinger’s post-Neu! project La Düsseldorf.

Joe Gibbs and the Professionals: African Dub All-Mighty Chapter 3. I like dub reggae but don’t actually have all that much. This is supposed to be classic stuff, and certainly sounds good enough on first listen.

Higuma: Haze Valley. Sort of psychedelic/drone/ambient, though the epic first track gets pretty loud.

Nadja/Black Boned Angel: Nadja/Black Boned Angel. Speaking of loud, this Canada/New Zealand collaboration starts out as layers of ambient drone before somewhat more recognizably metal influences pound their way in, not that a lot of metal fans would necessarily recognize it as such.

Metric: Fantasies. More good new wavy indie rock from Toronto, not a major departure at all from their past albums.

Various artists: Kill Rock Stars Sampler 2009. Forgot I downloaded this. It’s a free sampler of random tracks released over the years on the Kill Rock Stars label, including songs by Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, the Decemberists, and others.

Sonic Youth: The Eternal. New Sonic Youth albums don’t always get the amount of play around here that they should get, because there are so many great old ones. But there’s good stuff on this album; I just have to make a point of remembering to listen to it.