Goddamn things just feel busy right now. Of course they’re not, not in the literal you-have–a-million-deadlines-that-have-to-be-done-yesterday sort of thing. But the last week has seen my spare time spent ripping some very creaky old Icelandic vinyl records so they can be converted to MP3 files. I thought my mate Sævar was only going to give me a couple of records, but naturally he gave me more than a dozen LPs and nearly a dozen 7″ records. It’s taken me a week just to rip them and that’s even before i get to cleaning/tagging/converting the files. I’ll tell you all bout it sometime…
And to top it all off, I only went and spilt kjötsúpa over my keyboard at the weekend, so mow everything is gunky and stick, even after a clean up. Sigh… another new keyboard is required by the end of this month it seems. I can barely type the letter “a” as it is!
Oh, if you have the time, then go over the Grapevine’s airwaves site, as Haukur gets stuck into the colface wheb he speaks to Högni from the band Hjaltalín. Apparently it was a very intense experience, calling each other between the USA and Siberia. But the results make for compelling reading…
As for tonight’s listening – well I’m not one to make rash judgments (It´s a mug’s game apparently), but once in while you get an album and you think in your heart of hearts that it should be given a lofty title and prediction towards its implied greatness. And for me this should go to ‘Vapor City,’ the latest album from MACHINEDRUM. It´s only received middling reviews from the likes of the Guardian and the NME, but as they usually know fuck all about dance and electronic music in general, then they can safely be disregarded. For me though I do truly believe that this is an album that could (and should) be this generation’s version of LTJ Bukem’s ‘Logical Progression.’
Why do I say this? well firstly the way he meshes and weaves DnB and footwork styles into a propulsive skittery frame that allows his sounds to hang off them so easily. His grooves are smoooooth as cream. The second is the ambient sounds he makes. With an obvious debt to Burial in the specifically placed vinyl cracks and rustles, the ambient sounds he produces are full of snippets of deep emotive vocal sighs and murmurs, stretched till they provide a glistening skin of aural desire. This album may have been released on Ninja Tune, but really its spiritual home is that of Tri Angle Records, home of numerous melted, hypnotic sounds and electronic/vocal mutations.
The track “Rise N Fall” is for me the best example of the albums style. Starting off with a vocal cry that’s submerged running underneath a clean simple bassline and a tightly wound junglist breakbeat, it slowly raises above the surface as the vocal sound multiplies and builds on itself, until it takes on a slightly devout,, almost divine aspect, all the while contrasted by the slipped, repeated vocal sample that pushed the track to its final place.
This track is just so luxurious and thick in sound, you can just hear it numerous times and not get bored with it. It´s an album that contains many slow burn floor movers, as well as head tunes that allow you to disconnect from your daily grind. Essential.