Musical Meowing


October 2013

The Five-Star Tour – Porcupine Tree

Porcupine Tree – The Sound Of Muzak (2002)

If you write a song lamenting the descent of music into demographic-targetted, packaged crap, you’d better make sure it’s a cracking good song. No worries with Porcupine Tree in the driving seat. Musically there’s a great contrast between the muscular 7/4 verse (also meriting inclusion in my Uncommon Time series!) and the sumptuous common-time chorus. I even appreciate the lyrics, which is very unusual for me. Steven Wilson sings clearly and writes to-the-point lyrics, which probably don’t win any awards for poetry but cut to the chase adroitly. For example, ‘The music of rebellion / Makes you wanna rage / But it’s made by millionaires / Who are nearly twice your age‘.


Albums Of: September

Volcano Choir – Repave

Here’s Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame (plus appearances on Kanye West albums, of all things!) teaming up with members of lesser-known post-rock band Collections of Colonies of Bees. Basically post-rock with singing, which Sigur Ros have shown can be done quite effectively.

Steve Hauschildt – S/H

Steve Hauschildt of (sadly now defunct) Emeralds is a synth/drone experimentalist and gets his own ‘remastered retrospective’ here on Editions Mego, a la (former) bandmate Mark McGuire‘s fantastic A Young Person’s Guide To in 2011. This is drifty, impressionistic ambient music and there’s an enormous amount to take in across the two discs – nearly two and a half hours’ worth.

Trentemøller – Lost

Anders Trentemøller‘s debut album, The Last Resort, remains one of my favourite electronic albums, a virtuoso but, crucially, thematically-consistent set of wintry techno. His follow up, Into The Great Wide Yonder was bewilderingly different, all over the place stylistically and without enough strong tracks to carry the weaker ones (weird surf-rock-techno-freak-outs). Lost bridges the gap between the two approaches quite effectively, although it still only occasionally touches his best and suffers from a surfeit of guest vocalists. He’s clearly a highly talented producer but he needs to decide whether he’s a vocalist’s accompanist or the main attraction.

Late To The Party: Com Truise

So, I’ve been covering new albums as they’re released (and as I buy them) in my Albums Of section, but quite often I pick up stuff that hasn’t just come out and I wanted an excuse to feature those occasionally – hence this new section, Late To The Party, where I will do so.

I’m going to kick it off with this 2011 album by the cheekily-monikered Com Truise, Galactic Melt.

Galactic Melt

Com Truise (real name Seth Haley) makes music with a pretty limited palate of sounds – some quite retro sounding synths and beefed-up drum machines. However, he really uses this to his advantage, crafting ostensibly simple tracks with an amazing sense of rhythm, melody and harmony. There’s a lot of minor-key wistfulness that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Boards of Canada release, if it weren’t for the downright funky beats backing them. And he doesn’t let his ideas outstay their welcome, either – the 11 tracks on this album coming in at a relatively trim 43 minutes.

Check out Brokendate from the album, below:

The Five-Star Tour – Lindstrøm & Christabelle

Lindstrøm & Christabelle – Baby Can’t Stop (2010)

Lindstrøm is pretty much the king of the ‘space disco’ sub genre but here, with his collaborator Christabelle, he borrows liberally from Michael Jackson‘s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (or maybe I’m being unfair) to create an absolutely storming electro-pop/funk crossover (should-have-been-a) hit.

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