Posts Tagged ‘Ulrich Schnauss’

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Heavy Rotation 50

June 27, 2010

Welcome to the 50th installment of the Heavy Rotation. I don’t really have anything planned as this sort of snuck up on me, and if you really get technical (and we will), this is actually the 51st, thanks to the numbering system not really “catching on” until the third HR. This doesn’t even include the repeated number somewhere in the 30’s.

Long story short: we’re calling this 50, but we’re not making a big deal of it.

First the links, because we’re all just not using the internet enough already:
[All links open in a new window. Right-click on track names to download.]

http://copybot.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/the-50-most-interesting-articles-on-wikipedia/

http://copybot.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/50-more-of-wikipedias-most-interesting-articles/

http://snarkmarket.com/

Approximately 50 previous volumes here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

The Antlers – Kettering.mp3
We’ll build up this time around. Kicking things off is the Antlers and their dream/nightmare pop, delivering a haunting dirge detailing the frustration and futility of losing someone to forces beyond your control. The internal scream of someone dying on the inside watching someone dying on the outside.

The Delta Mirror – Going to Town.mp3
Former L.A. indie hip hop producers find a new life on the offworld colonies, returning to earth with their troubled take on post-rock/electronica via the shoegazey plugins of m83 and Ulrich Schnauss. Certainly more menacing than the bands listed above (although m83 does go darker more often than US), Going to Town rides a mildly fucked-up beat deep into the shadows while bright synth tones alluringly drag the listener down with them.

How could something so pretty be so full of pain? And why the hell does it remind me so much of the following track that my brain nearly broke trying to put 2 and 2 together around 4 in the morning early last week?

Ulrich Schnauss – Between Us and Them.mp3
Germany’s least expected import, Ulrich Schnauss writes love letters to My Bloody Valentine and Chapterhouse using his newfangled software and racks of electronics, rather than the tear-stained quill and paper they’re used to. Much like m83 and the recently discovered Incubator, Schnauss builds emotional moments from a collection of bits and bytes and creates cripplingly gorgeous soundscapes from files and folders.

This track sounds a fair bit like the previous one. And vice versa. Actually, more vice versa than not, what with Schnauss hitting the scene first.

m83 – Teen Angst (Death to the Throne Mix).mp3
Now the beats are starting to kick in. Death to the Throne dresses up Teen Angst for the dancefloor without pandering to the club kids, allowing blasts of m83’s white noise to break through before sending the 4/4 beat in to restore order, most memorably in the stutter-step-stagger bursts that lead into the 2nd chorus.

Tame Impala – H.F.G.W. (Canyons Drunken Rage).mp3
Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala (described to perfection in a previous comment thread) allow their Half Full Glass of Wine track to be beaten about by the mysterious Canyons. The result?

A loping beat meets gently weeping guitar licks before the bass kicks in with the intonation, “You leave me no choice but to plot my revenge.” As the vocals loop the song starts to strut, muscling its way into your ears and heading straight for your ass, mutating into a veritable rock fucking monster that Led Zeppelin woud have been proud to call their own.

[Need a track removed? Tired of all this shoegaze-tronica? Need some money wired to an ailing relative in Kenya? Contact me at 2timegrime@gmail.com.]

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation 49

June 20, 2010

For your reading pleasure this week (all links open in a new window – all mp3s can be downloaded by right-clicking on the song title):

A Kalvacade of Kinkade news! Drunk driving, lawsuits, character assasinations… it’s all here!

http://blogs.sacbee.com/crime/archives/2010/06/painter-thomas.html 
(check out the comment section for more fun…)

http://www.thebaffler.com/viewArticle/122
(On the “Placerville” biopic – specifically how fake it is. Plus, why do Kinkade’s houses always look like they’re burning down from the inside?)

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2008/11/thomas-kincades-16-guidelines-for-making-stuff-suck.html
(How Thomas Kinkade imagines he creates art. Step by tedious cliched step.)

Earlier versions, now 90% Kinkade-free!:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Incubator – Cigarettes.mp3
If you were here for last week’s Heavy Rotation, we led off with a Jesus and Mary Chain-styled piece of fuzzy bliss by Rraaiillss, a.ka. Adam Anderson. Well, as it turns out, not only is he extraordinarily talented but he’s a hell of a nice guy as well, as I received an email from him thanking me for featuring his music.

After emailing back and forth a bit, he pointed me in the direction of another of his projects, Incubator. Say goodbye to the waves of carefully crafted feedback and say hello to something that sold its guitars to buy keyboards.

Feast your ears on this: a gorgeous slice of synth-y loveliness called Cigarettes, which conjures up all the best parts of Joy Division/early New Order filtered through the best stuff m83 and Ulrich Schnauss have to offer. Completely catches the feeling of that catch in your heart when you wake up next to someone you fully expected to be gone, especially the way that burst of unfiltered emotional sunlight revives a flagging psyche.

Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks.mp3
Now that your heart is racing unsteadily, let’s jump into a slice of bouncy heaven, albeit one that makes you laugh inappropriately. Foster the People would (very charmingly) like to inform you that they plan on killing you for your kick-ass (and very expensive) trainers.

As the chorus swells, you’ll be forced to sing along, alarming unsuspecting passersby with your murderous intentions and blithesome (thx Ulysses) harmonizing:

All the other kids with their pumped up kicks
Better run better run
Outrun my gun

And then, no fucking shit, they start whistling. It’s altogether too much. You can try and fight it but they’re still going to charm the shoes right off your bullet-riddled corpse. (Show of hands: who else felt the urge to do the Swim by eight beats in or so? Be honest.)

Parties in Belgrade – Statues.mp3
Still sticking with bouncy, it’s Parties in Belgrade, a band that usually runs a little darker, but in this instance channel all the feelgood parts of the Happy Mondays, with lead singer Carlos Anthony sounding more like Shaun Ryder than Ryder does these days.

And away they go, rambling on about erecting facetious pedestals, using words more for their flow than for deeper meaning. The slightly-tuffer-than-Happy guitars start duelling, one conjuring Hawaii and the other Pere Ubu.

Have no idea what the fook I’m on about?*

*[See next track for exactly what the fook I’m on about.]

Happy Mondays – Tokoloshe Man.mp3
A prime cut from the heyday of these baggy Madchester dance-rock merchants. One of two songs stolen from John Kongos (the other is Step On). When they could be troubled to put the smack down long enough to record, they cranked out some of the best twisted pop out there. Lead singer Shaun Ryder would then stamp his unmistakable vocals on the track, freely associating, swearing and stealing bits of others’ songs, turning each Monday’s song into a catchy, shambling wreck that charmed you with its rough-edged cheerfulness even as it shook you down for drug money.

This song is an undeniably pleasant way of dealing with a creature from the collective nightmares of South Africa, a hairy beast that is part “zombie, poltergeist and gremlin,” capable of crossing cultural boundaries just to kill:

It makes no difference if you are yellow or you’re red
When the bad man says
Tonight is the night when you are dead

Plus, it has some well-deployed organ.

Twisted Wires – Oh Hell.mp3
To wrap things up, we’re going dark with the perfect track to send you out into the word, all covered in sunglasses and feisty antagonism. Friends of Adam Anderson/Rraaiillss/Incubator, Twisted Wires conjures up ghosts both chronic and recent* including Sex Gang Children, the Swans, Chrome, Fields of the Nephilim, Holy Fuck, Bauhaus and maybe even a little Coil.

*[Name that reference!]

Dark dark dark. Minor chords pinned down by bass-heavy drones and near-tribal drumming. The perfect antidote to all the smiling faces currently exiting/entering various places of worship.

[Need a track taken down? Care to point out my numerous spelling errors and faulty references? Just need me to wire “some amount” of USD to a Nigerian FedEx? Contact me at: 2timegrime@gmail.com.]

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 21 – Sunday Chillout Special Edition

November 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.

ulrichschnaussreview

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+solophoto

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.

onedove

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_happygroup

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.

jason_spaceman_2

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

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]