Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hypothetical mixtape: February 2016

"Of what went on there, we only have this excerpt."

"I Miei Ricordi", by Marco di Marco. Fender Rhodes. Upright bass. Drumming as light as a feather. What more could you want as the mercury creeps into the high thirties? (Yes, that would be Celsius.)

"See Saw (Club Version)", by Jamie xx + Four Tet. And so, in January 2017, enigmatic pop music trio The xx re-emerge with their third long player. It's a tricky balancing exercise for a band to be able to move away from what made them distinctive in the first place without becoming merely ordinary. Early indications, to these ears, anyway, is that they might just have gotten away with it. The new album kind of triangulates the first The xx album with Jamie xx's "In Colour", which is a fair place to have landed. In the meantime, here's a "Club Version", whatever that might be, of a track from "In Colour", with assistance from Four Tet. That got you interested.

"Razrushitelniy Krug", by Kedr Livanskiy. Swoon.

"ESC (Prins Thomas Remix)", by Lauer. Evidently this gets played in "DJ sets". You got me.

"Sisters (Boards of Canada Remix)", by Odd Nosdam. This month's obligatory Boards of Canada remix. To be honest, after the first couple of seconds this doesn't carry too many overt traces of the Boards themselves, but it's got an enticing hint of mystery about it.

"Retox", by Essaie Pas. Yes, this has "DFA" written all over it. Also "coldwave", "minimal wave", "synth wave". So many waves. I know, we've heard it all before. But when has that ever stopped me?

"Can't Hold Back (Your Lovin')", by Kano. If you ask me (as if you would), this hits some kind of sweet spot between peak Chic and early-eighties funk/electro. Boom.

"Let's Groove", by Earth, Wind and Fire. Because it was there.

(Bonus: album cover of the month.)
"If You've Got It, You'll Get It", by The Headhunters. And then this happened ...

"I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun", by Nuyorican Soul. We don't often step into the mid-nineties Latin Jazz revival. No, I can't explain it either. Anyway, welcome. From here, you can either go forwards to the 4Hero remix, which throws some (it says here) tasty drum'n'bass into the blender, or backwards to the 1971 original, by Rotary Connection, featuring Minnie Riperton on vocals. Either way is fine.

"Sunshine Lady", by Chris Smither. Hard to fathom how the album from which this song sprang forth could have languished in unreleased-record limbo for 30 years. The songs are fine. The musicians who played on it amount to a who's who of who's who circa 1973. Chris Smither is, like, the man. In short, they don't make records like this any more.

"Elinor", by Bob Lind. This song variously appears as "Elinor", "Elanor" and "Eleanor". There may be others. 1966 never sounded better than this.

"I Ride The Wind", by Lightdreams. Some kinda drugged-out post-hippie avant skeez -- heck, I don't even know. From Canada, would you believe.

"Sexspurt (Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer Remix)", by Kerrier District. Kerrier District is aka Luke Vibert. The others you know. Extreme down-the-rabbit-hole remix weirdness over 12 minutes. You have been warned.