Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 22)

Boards of Canada – Reach for the Dead
Oval – Textuell
Future Sound Of London – Lifeforms (Single Version)
Jherek Bischoff – Automatism
Max Richter – Dream 13 (minus even)
Sigur Rós – Svefn-g-englar
Jonsi – Animal Arithmetic
Nosaj Thing – Eclipse/Blue
Explosions In The Sky – Be Comfortable, Creature
MONO – Dream Odyssey
Mew – Making Friends
Thom Yorke – Black Swan
Mogwai – Ether

4 Albums: Number 4

Finally catching up with last Monday and getting to the fourth album I listened to.

I have quite a few albums released by Deutsche Grammophon, mostly old classical albums released in the 70’s and 80’s with composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and the like, the Classic Classical’s I suppose they might be referred to as, but I have some new releases as well, one of which is ‘The Blue Notebooks’ by Max Richter. It was originally released in 2004 but mine is a 2015 180g edition, until I bought this I’d been listening to it digitally.

the-blue-notebooks-b-iext28304229

If memory serves me correctly I was introduced to it by my friend Andy McGough, well, I say friend, it’s more complicated than that, but let’s not go into that now. I suppose it must have been not long after it was released, so at least 10 years ago. There’s a modernity about the music, as one would expect, and to my ears it least, it bridges a gap between the classical and ambient and includes texts taken from “Hymn of the Perl” and “Unattainable Earth” by Czeslaw Milosz and “The Blue Octavo Notebooks” by Franz Kafka, translated by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkinsand read by Tilda Swinton. There are also sound effects, such as a clacking typewriter, which add to the piece and make it feel complete and self contained.

The music itself is has an air of nostalgia about it, but not in some rose tinted spectacles to the past way, it is laden with melancholy and is somehow forlorn as though a soundtrack to a really rather sad film.

Below is a not brilliantly filmed live performance at the Royal Albert Hall of the opening two tracks from the album:

 

A1 The Blue Notebooks 1:20
A2 On The Nature Of Daylight 6:11
A3 Horizon Variations 1:52
A4 Shadow Journal 8:22
A5 Iconography 3:38
B1 Vladimir’s Blues 1:18
B2 Arboretum 2:53
B3 Old Song 2:11
B4 Organum 3:13
B5 The Trees 7:52
B6 Written On The Sky 1:39
B7 Bonus Track: On The Nature Of Daylight

Arranged By [Composer’s Assistant] – Henning Fuchs
Conductor – Lorenz Dangel
Orchestra – The Max Richter Orchestra

6:35

Here is the whole album, which, obviously, I’d recommend listening to:

So that’s the 4 albums, all different, but all somehow connected, in my mind at least.

Fp-Oner with  “6” (2015)
Oval with “94Diskont” (1995)
Ennio Morricone with “Lizard In A Womans Skin’ (Una Lucertola Con La Pelle Di Donna) (1971)
Max Richter with “The Blue Notebooks” (2004)

4 Albums: Number 2

 

oval-94-diskont

The 2nd of the 4 albums I listened to last night was by Oval, it’s called ’94 Diskont’. I am convinced I first heard Oval on a compilation of Electronic music I had several years ago but I can’t find the damn thing now to confirm that, anyway, this is Oval’s fourth album which was originally released back in 1995 but which I bought just a couple of months ago in a rather nice, ever so slightly spattered orange vinyl. Here it is on the deck:

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The colour imperfections don’t really show up in the picture but there are specks of grey and white in there, which is something that I understand happens a lot with black vinyl but doesn’t show up because the black dominates everything. If it is not delibarate then it is due to some different colour vinyl from an earlier press still hanging around in the machine. I learned this from a vinyl podcast called ‘The Vinyl Guide’, which currently has around 40 episodes all running at about an hour or so long and presented by Nate, who is an enthusiastic and engaging presence. I highly recommend a listen, it’s very professionally produced and has an interesting and diverse range of guests and subjects. you can find it at http://www.thevinylguide.com/

Back to Oval, they do weird things to create music, such as deconstructing music and digital audio by using knives, paint, and tape to damage the surfaces of compact discs, and R-4492910-1376422606-4960.jpegthen stitch the sound back together in loops of melody, which is punctuated by the disc’s physical skips, due to the damage inflicted.

The opening track of ’94 Diskont’ (Do While) is 24 minutes and 4 seconds long, and nothing much happens, it is a loop, however, there is constant change with momentary slowing
down, or warping of the sound and minor variations which, once you get into the track, almost trick you into thinking there is much more happening than there really is, or perhaps there really is a lot more going on than I am conscious of because I am happily lost in it. Judge for yourself, here is the whole opening track:

It’s repetitiveness really does have a calming effect, especially if you have a predisposition for repetition and are able to allow your mind to just drift. The swooping melody counterpointed by clicks and pops works extraordinary well in a multilayered way where the track can be just something to relax to but also bears concentrated listening for the tiny imperfections that are deliberately and perfectly placed.

The album is a double, both coloured in this release, which I’ve just looked up and it would appear that it was for Record Store Day 2013, which means it had spent 3 years sitting in the record shop before I picked it up. All records will find the right home eventually.

Vinyl, LP, Album, Orange Marbled
Vinyl, 12″, 45 RPM, Orange Marbled

The track listing is as follows:

A1 Do While 24:04
A2 Do While ⌘X 4:50
B1 Store Check 3:58
B2 Line Extension 3:02
B3 Cross Selling 6:06
B4 Commerce Server 4:56
B5 Shop In Store 4:00
C1 Do While: Scanner

Remix – Scanner

6:53
C2 Do While: Jim O`Rourke

Remix – Jim O’Rourke

5:36
D1 Do While: Mouse On Mars

Remix – Mouse On Mars

8:55
D2 Do While: Christian Vogel

Remix – Christian Vogel

6:27

When released, this music was looking far into the future and it has taken the music world quite a while to catch up, but many of the works being released now owe a debt to Oval who, 21 years ago, created a template for others to both follow and build upon.

I read one online comment that described the album as “Like being delicately cocooned in fine silk by mechanical spiders.” I think that’s a fair summation.

 

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