Heavy Rotation Vol. 21 – Sunday Chillout Special EditionNovember 1, 2009
Winter’s here for most of us. (I said “most of us,” Claire and Overconfident.) Time to enjoy those lazy Sunday mornings. Only venture outside the covers long enough to grab some cocoa, the Sunday paper (if available) and curl up in bed with your main squeeze. Maybe throw in an old movie or tenderly get your fuck on.
Make a day of it, starting with this week’s very special Sunday Chillout Special Edition.
Ulrich Schnauss – Between Us and Them
Germany’s answer to m83, Ulrich Schnauss has been mixing My Bloody Valentine/Cocteau Twins beauty with racks of electronics for nearly 15 years. His tracks are long on “pretty” and short on “boring,” producing the kind of blissful ambience that just dares you to demean it with the left-handed compliment “chillout.” (Which I already did. See above. Apologies all around.)
Whitey – Made of Night
Fucking Whitey. How does he do it? Let me just state something right out front:
This the best fucking thing I have heard in a long time.
That is not to cast aspersion (nifty word, huh?) on anything else I’ve heard recently. I have heard a ton of great music lately. A ton.
This is just saying this track is that fucking amazing. The sound of quiet desperation. Existing rather than living. Letting a lifetime of bad choices carry you into the dark. It’s all in there. And it is done so well. Just listen. I lack the proper adjectives.
This reviewer doesn’t. All you need to read is the last line.
One Dove – White Love
Scotland. Is there any place like it? Between the weather, the poverty and the unintelligible accents, it’s a wonder anyone ever gets out of there alive. Featuring the impeccable production of Andrew Weatherall and the airy vocals of Dot Allison, White Love glides gracefully towards the dancefloor. Just enough kick to keep your heart rate up and enough layered vocals to curl up in and stay warm.
Mogwai – Tracy (Kid Loco Mix)
Scotland. Is there any place like it? Apparently not, but that doesn’t stop great bands from popping up all over the place like some sort of impeccably tasteful kudzu. Mogwai, another of the Scottish greats, have been working their particular brand of post-rock for over a decade, eschewing lyrics for guitars and propulsive drumming for more guitars.
Building layers and layers of texture out of some quite strumming, the Glasgow quintet create some of the most amazing noise ever laid down on wax. (Records, kids. They’re like mp3s, except that you would need a couple of sherpas and some pack mules to transport a gig or two anywhere.)
Mogwai gets reworked by French electronica producer Kid Loco, who adds his trademark downtempo touch in a deft bit of addition through subtraction, adding ample breathing room that allows the track to ebb and flow.
Spiritualized – Shine A Light (Unreleased Mix)
Someone had the notion that the only thing missing from space rock was soul. And not just any soul, but a shattered soul, wrapped in bruises and numbed with heroin. That man was J. Spaceman, a refugee from drone-rock antagonists Spacemen 3.
This is an unreleased version of a track from Lazer Guided Melodies. It breathes a little heavier and approaches the crescendo a bit noisier than its “proper” version, but that’s what makes it better. It has more of a cathartic feel, as if bringing the noise would drown out the pain. J Spaceman is most likely in the business of killing himself to death, intertwining his despairing smack lust with the rock-bottom hopefulness of old spirituals and last chance prayers to a god that won’t save him. He won’t because he knows that deep way down, J doesn’t want salvation: he just wants to feel something different.
All files in one easy-going zipped up folder:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 21