Sunday, 21 December 2014

JONAH BASEBALL – WORLD SERIES

Man I don't know a lot about baseball or anything like that but this track by Jonah Baseball sure is really cool. It's called 'World Series' and it I guess effuses the same final boss / colosseum tournament at Dressrosa in One Piece that the World Series must have. Actually it's more of a journey of sound that I suppose is inspired by the World Series, the romance and the history of it all, the uninterrupted majesty of legacies made and broken.

See, I don't know anything about it but I got a bit of borrowed nostalgia for something I've never experienced from this track. It must be a good track. An electronic symphony to baseball in like five parts, it begins with the ominous mystery and nervous tension that stepping up to the plate must produce. Wiggly chords and synth vox make misty atmospheres over a snappy, jangling beat, with each snare hit like a baseball being hit out the park.

Then the track rears up on its hind legs and goes nuts, destructed almost brassy bass swaggering like a giant, descending into super-crunch distortion after a sweeping, almost cosmic breakdown. Then we talk a relaxed walk to the rhythm of a beautifully skittering beat with accented hi-hats, emerging from the previous crunchy madness into a refreshing world of soft, jazzy chords, joined by thin mists of synth and a playful squelchy lead melody, a reminder that it's not all drama in sport but it's fun and romantic, too. A many-tens-of-thousand-strong crowd cheers at the end.

Jonah Baseball, who is from America and basically makes music + loves baseball, has worked some real magic with his music, leaping into conceptual storytelling and producing a mini symphony with distinct movements containing their own energies and moods.




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Saturday, 20 December 2014

CUT FROM THE TEAM。– POCKET TOYS

This guy called cut from the team。 tweeted me a new track the other day, well a few weeks ago it feels like now – I dunno, it was a while ago. That song, which I liked and stuck on a one-day-will-write-about list, got taken down (snooze ya lose I guess), however I found another more recent song that is a real good showcase of the beats that emanate from this enigmatic SoundCloud page.

I'm presuming that their name comes from that Taking Back Sunday song, but then again it's bad to make presumptions so I'll just say that it's a theory. It's a theory. And allegedly they are from Japan but then again they say they're from Lawtown so it's quite difficult to ascertain exactly which one is the truth. Who knows. That's the internet for u.

Anyway, the track in question is 'Pocket Toys' and, described by cut from the team。 as "broken beats around december afternoon," it's a chilly number that summons the crunchy cold of traversing wintry cityscapes, whilst at the same time itself being quite warm in tone – like sitting toasty inside watching the frozen world outside. Reverbing marimba sounds glisten softly like slow-dripping icicles in afternoon sun, joined by subtle whisps of boinging noises, cosmic sounds that summon the sometimes alien feel to a city covered with fresh snowfall; crunchy noises invade, like walking through thick snow.

The final part of the song brings a watery dimension to the crunch – an intense rainstick of slapdash, random percussion, or maybe it's a delayed sample of somebody screwing up an empty foil packet of crisps – with more high-pitched chimes evoke the strange delicacy that the freezing air and naked trees of winter seem to lay bare for us every year. And that's not to mention the beat at all, the substantial noodle of this flavoursome broth of music, a fragmented slow-flutter of thudding kicks and clacking snare hits.

A refreshing, chilled out exercise in textural, atmospheric beatmaking, even the slow lassitude of afternoon feelings — an ode to December.




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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

MAT PLAYFORD – ISON

When I was thinking about this track earlier I came up with the idea that it sounded exactly the same as the music for the first stage of Captain Falcon's Twister Race on Nintendoland. Now, as I listen to this bit of soundtrack afresh, I can hear that, really, they don't sound all that similar. Where did I get that from?

I think it is the motion, the urgent, hyperactive kineticism of Mat Playford's house track 'ISON' that made me automatically associate with the speedy vibes that traditionally go with anything F-Zero related. I first heard 'ISON' one night on the radio (think it was an Annie Mac show?) and couldn't help but love it. That was months ago. Since then I've been waiting patiently for a real upload that wasn't a 2-minute teaser on Black Rock Records and HERE IT IS.

It's an odyssey of squidgy bass and a gloriously cyclical set of piano chords that gradually come into focus in the first minute of the track, where cymbals and hi-hats invade the beat – pulsing kicks and understated handclaps with the occasional snare stutter – to give it more energy. Soon, the main event: virtuoso piano. Tinkling and 7th-chording all the over the place, a kind of jazz-flavoured mania of cascading notes that should cement Mat Playford as a very decent piano player, too. Please note: 3:11, the low-note pause; the muted breakdown at about 4:08; the gradually deconstructed, bleepy outro from 5:35-ish. Dynamics are strong 'n' subtle here.

It's like, yeah, like something that might play in one of the clubs post-race on F-Zero, hanging in a slick Mute City bar and watching the future of lounge piano playing unfold before your very ears.




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