Thursday, September 21, 2017

King Midas Sound - Without You

Hyperdub: 2011

How odd is it that this Kevin Martin project immediately got a remix album, but none of his Bug material has. Even the critically lauded London Zoo only got a few token EP rubs, and that was undoubtedly his most successful album ever. King Midas Sound, on the other hand, passed by with less buzz, quite a few folks not even aware it was another project from The Bug. Still, I sense it gained something of a 'musician's musician' following, where the savviest of UK Bass ears couldn't help but zero in on King Midas Sound's developments. I doubt Martin, Roger Robinson, and Kiki Hitomi planned it as such, but when I see a crap-ton of obscure, esoteric artists 'reworking' tunes for Without You, it makes me wonder exactly who's the target audience here. Like, were so many acts anxious to lend their aesthetic to the King Midas sound that Hyperdub had no choice but to release a remix album like this?

Actually, Without You is something of a mish-mash of older stuff and new material. If you missed out on the King Midas Sound debut record Cool Out, fret not for you get the wonk-jazz of Flying Lotus' rub on Lost (eh, I'll pass) and Dabrye's weirdo synth-pop stab at One Ting as a hidden track (noice!). Both remixes on the Goodbye Girl single also show up, Without You kicking off with Kuedo's ker-lumpity bass-clump of G.G., plus Mala's tribal dubstep of Earth A Kill Ya. It ain't bad, but compare it to the bizarre place art-poppers Gang Gang Dance take the original moody number - I'm left speechless! The original was a fairly minimalist, menacing piece of spoken word dub music, whereas Gang Gang turn it into something you might expect from an Orb and Youth collaboration: all chipper, flighty, and filled with silly sounds. And yet Roger's words remain just as poignant in this setting as the other. How'd Gang Gang do d'at?

All the new songs are given 'revoice' credits, including the titular cut with a D-Bridge rub that's almost ambient dub. Kiki gets to showcase a little Japanese knowledge with Tears, Cooly G brings some R&B sultriness to the fray in Spin Me Around, and Joel Ford does his own croon in Say Somethin'. Not to let all these urban voices dominate, Green Gartside of the indie band Scritti Politti shows up in Come And Behold. It's... an odd contrast to the rest of Without You's thick haze of grimy dub ol' Kevin drenches his productions in.

In case that's not enough, other remixes go for weird abstraction (Robert Aiki; Ras G & Afrikan Space Program; ooh Deep Chord!), or familiar Hyperdub future garage (hey Kode 9; yo' Hype Williams). In all, Without You is a warped trip through the disparate muses of various musicians, the only thing holding it together being Kevin Martin's faith in letting all those invited stretch wherever they want. Well no wonder so many wanted in on this 'remix' album!

Cryobiosis - Within Ruins

Cryo Chamber: 2013

Another day, another artist on the ever expanding Cryo Chamber roster. Seems I can't go a few months without talking about someone for the first time on this label. Heck, in a way, I've already covered nearly all of them in one of those Cryo Chamber Collaboration albums, but it seems I'm on an unconscious task to give Every. Single. Artist. on Simon Heath's print their own special spotlight too. Including this one, I've now talked up twenty-three artists with music on Cryo Chamber, and there's still a bunch more I've never mentioned (Aseptic Void, Dark Matter, Wordclock, Metatron Omega, Paleowolf, Hoshin, and more... oh God, are there ever more!). Is this dark ambient outlet becoming its own version of a black hole, seemingly sucking in all manner of musicians into its bleak gravity well? No, that can't be right – I've come across quite a few other labels with just as massive of contributors to their discographies. Cryo just has something that keeps me poking about more, wondering how this new name or that overlooked producer might offer a different spin on the genre's morbid aesthetics. Also, sweet, sweet CDs to buy. Gotta' have ma' physicals!

Cryobiosis isn't exactly new to the Cryo family, in fact one of Mr. Heath's earliest recruits to the Chamber house. Cristian Voicu first debuted with From The Depths on GV Sound, yet another dark ambient/drone/experimental net label that's harboured such talents as SiJ, Songs From A Tomb, Morbid Silence, Astral & Shit, Radio Noiseville, and... Primus? Uh, anyway, ol' Simon liked Mr. Voicu's voice enough to invite him over for an album deal. He's released two since then, Within Ruins the first of them. It's fairly easy to hear why the Cryobiosis stylee caught on with Mr. Atrium Carceri, both having an ear for those post-apocalyptic tones and atmosphere, exploring abandoned dwellings in decayed husks of civilization. It's just, going by this album, Cryobiosis doesn't quite have the same sense of narrative flow as Atrium Carceri does.

For sure his craftsmanship with each track is easily on par. Opener Enthrall has all the morbid drones, discordant pads, and skritchy sound-effects that have you feeling like your wandering the broken rubble of old buildings. Some tracks offer piano calm while fumbling through dripping ceilings and puddles of black water (Frigid Silence, Recollection, Forgotten). Others ramp up the claustrophobic field-recordings and forlorn tone (The Corridors Beneath, Corroded, As The World Decays, Departure). And some pieces are pure depressive drone as you wander aimlessly through the dark (Murkfall, Through Debris).

Where am I going with this though? What exactly am I seeing? Is there a story behind the scenery, or does it exist only for its own sake? There's merit in such an approach to the genre, but I cannot deny being spoiled by many Cryo Chamber releases crafting distinct stories guiding me through more than vivid, unrelated imagery. If that's all Cryobiosis set out to make though, then Within Ruins definitely succeeds there.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Beatles - With The Beatles

Parlaphone: 1963/2009

The only Beatles album you're supposed to have, even if you're not a Beatles fan. It's got the iconic cover photo, after all, one even The B-Sharps ripped off. It's also the 'indie' option of their first two albums, lacking the instantly recognizable hit singles of Please Please Me, like I Saw Her Standing There, Love Me Do, and Lennon's famous throat-wrecking rendition of Twist And Shout. Instead, you get almost-as instantly recognizable hits like All My Loving, I Wanna Be Your Man, and Starr's tub-thump rendition of Please Mister Postman. Okay, they're both chocked full of vintage Beatlemania 'choons', but With The Beatles has the iconic cover and the slightly lesser-known classics, critical factors in building music hipster cred. Plus, it was the last album released before America caught on to their music, butchering their releases into nothing like the UK versions in the process. Basically, you'd be a true O.G. vinyl God if you had With The Beatles in America - or was Canadian. Yeah, my country got With The Beatles months before them yankees had any official music from the Liverpool-Four. Having ties to the Commonwealth was still reaping some benefits.

As always, it's nigh impossible for me to review an album that's been psychoanalyzed to death by music scribes nearly twice as old as I. The Beatles' story is so etched in Western culture that it'll likely last far into the future, when rock music is but a distant memory, but tales of troubadours conquering the globe endure. So it's rather quaint coming back to these early records when they were still mostly a British phenomenon, rockin' the billy, Merseying the beat, and coverin' the cross-Atlantic classics. No Bob Dylan folksy influences found here yet, my friends.

If you're wondering just how these lads managed to sell over a million copies of With The Beatles (a feat previously accomplished once in Britain, via the South Pacific soundtrack - haven't heard it either), it wasn't just their snappy duds and puckish charms. These guys really were good musicians, already finding ways of mixing things up as a record played through. Little Child has harmonica! Till There Was You has bongos! Please Mister Postman has cowbell! I Wanna Be Your Man has Ringo singing! And yes, it's the same song The Rolling Stones did too. Lennon and McCartney wrote the tune, then figured maybe Jagger and his band might have better use of it. Mickey and the Stoners definitely did, but then them Beatles went and did their own version of it anyway, each being released within weeks of the other. What's funny is Lennon figured the tune just a throw-away, because like Hell he'd give the Stones or Ringo the spotlight on a good song.

Even if you're just a fan of the Number-One hits, it's hard denying all the charming melodies and vocal harmonies throughout With The Beatles. These guys had the look, the sound, and the drive for something unprecedented in rock music: global domination.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ladytron - Witching Hour

Island Records/Nettwerk: 2005/2011

Hard to believe this is only my second Ladytron review, but it's not like the foursome have made a ton of music over the years. To date, they've released five albums (though a sixth is in the works), their last one coming out way back in ye' olde year of 2011. I suppose that hectic touring schedule caused a bit of the ol' burn-out, plus they aren't the quirky young electro-pop chickens of the early '00s anymore. I'm sure members now have families to tend to, side-projects to cultivate, and whatever else that can keep a four-piece with as disparate backgrounds as these lads and lasses have from reuniting with consistency. Maybe that's why, for as much as I adore Ladytron's sound, I've always been hesitant in buying up their albums in one big splurge. I want to savour the ones that do come out for as long as humanely possible, never risking my own burn-out.

After yet another round of label troubles, Ladytron released their third album Witching Hour in 2005, one of the worst years for electronic music since the initial rave explosion. Fortunately, the group somehow stands outside time and space, the record just as sonically timeless as their previous work, yet also pertinent to the trends happening in the here (there) and now (then). It's a very good album, is what I'm saying, in a year when finding very good albums was a ridiculous feat of excavation that would make Indiana Jones and Globetrotting Batman quiver in the knees.

It was also a radical departure from the pure synth-heavy sound the group had in their early work, bringing in added drums and guitar work to complement their electro-pop. Some attributed it to latching onto the disco-punk wave of the time (LCD Soundsystem was the hippest band about), but I don't hear it. Rather, it simply sounds like Ladytron spent some of their hard-earned cash on new musical toys, thus letting them expand their aesthetic beyond pure retro work. Unless you figure 'post-punk new wave' just as retro as synth-pop.

It worked to some extent, Witching Hour scoring the band some of their first chart action, lead singles Destroy Everything You Touch and Sugar some of their best-selling songs. They weren't gang-busters, mind you, but considering their label troubles, it's remarkable they got on the Billboards at all. Then again, breaking the 'boards was never their M.O. I think their fans are perfectly content keeping Ladytron's impossibly earwormy choruses to themselves anyway. Saves room at the live shows.

And there's plenty more to enjoy from this album. The peppy 'rockers' (High Rise, AMTV, Weekend, Whitelightgenerator), the dreamy synth-poppers (International Dateline, Soft Power, The Last One Standing), and the moody downbeat pieces (CMYK, Beauty*2, All The Way). Throw in all the charmingly catchy, yet oddly tragic lyrics you've come to expect from Helen Marnie's satin lisp (...*swoon*), and Witching Hour remains one of Ladytron's best records. Just ignore the rubbish remixes at the end of the re-issues though.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Various - WipEout XL

Virgin: 1996

WipEout didn't introduce the world of gaming to electronic music, but it sure built one of the biggest, strongest bridges to its culture. The first game scored a coup in getting the legendary Designer's Republic to create its futuristic aesthetic, while Tim Wright of Psygnosis' music studio supplied several original techno and trance tracks that fit the vibe of racing at super-high speeds. It didn't hurt that a beta version of the game appeared in the 'raver' movie Hackers either.

Sensing they could do more nods to the burgeoning 'chemical generation', Psygnosis also licensed out a few tracks from prominent 'electronica' acts of the day, including Leftfield, The Chemical Brothers, and Orbital. This factoid wasn't seen as a major selling point for the game though, especially since the tracks never appeared on the American version of WipEout. When a sequel to the game was announced, however, the mighty Virgin realized they could license out a bunch of their signed acts to the game, giving them even greater exposure with a totally untapped gaming demographic. Throw in other 'rave culture' landmarks like Red Bull ads (when 'energy drinks' were still a new concept for the West) plus associated music videos, and you have one of the defining touchstones of 'electronica' in the '90s! Or just a fun racing game with kick-ass music.

I'm almost tempted to do two reviews of WipEout XL (aka: WipEout 2097), as the game version and soundtrack version do have differences. Most interestingly, the game features some ridiculously rare cuts from The Chemical Brothers and FSOL, not to mention the exclusive Cold Storage tunes from Mr. Wright. Maybe I'll save it for *gasp* video reviews.

As for the CD, the track list isn't too surprising if you know your mid-'90s 'electronica': We Have Explosive, Loops Of Fury, The Third Sequence, Afro Left, P.E.T.R.O.L., Firestarter, Atom Bomb. Actually, the Fluke single is somewhat different here, slower and with bigger beats than the video tie-in. Underworld is also repped, though by way of the ultra-fast, loopy Tin There (a sorta' remix of Pearl's Girl), and a remix of The Chem-Bros' Leave Home that somehow sounds nothing like either group.

Easily the most intriguing thing about this compilation are the two exclusive cuts that never appeared in either WipEout game: Source Direct's 2097 and Daft Punk's Musique. The former I can see either as a tune that didn't make into the game, or Photek getting his pals a little extra rub, being something of students of Mr. Parkes' approach to tech-step. That Daft Punk track though, it's totally a case of Virgin promoting one of their new acts. And why not, the French duo already making massive early buzz with their initial singles. Sure, Musique's “what if Plastikman did a house track?' vibe totally clashes with the rest of WipEout XL's roster of big beat, d'n'b, and Brit techno, but damn, feel that funky filtered low-end. Virgin's trick worked, as I couldn't wait to hear it on the forth-coming album!

Various - Winter Chill 2

Hed Kandi: 2000

Something funny happened in the year between the first Winter Chill and its inevitable sequel: chill-out music as a commercial juggernaut became a thing. For sure it's always had a marketable undercurrent within club culture, dating as far back as when The KLF specifically made an album to chill out to called Chill Out. Whether it be ambient dub, Balearic jazz, trippy hip-hop, or whatever trendy, laid-back vibe was currently circulating, mentally exhausted punters could always rely on a few selections in the music shops to ease their frazzled brains. Then someone in the high towers of record labels realized there were more folks out there who could use a little downtime music in their lives than the Ecstasy Generation, and chill-out compilations suddenly exploded upon the scene with several CDs featuring the same songs you already had in a different order. Sure as shit Hed Kandi wasn't immune to this trend.

Think I'm exaggerating? Second track on Winter Chill 2: Moby's Porcelain. Third track: Chicane's No Ordinary Morning. Fourth track: Delerium's Silence. Tenth track: Thievery Corporation's Lebanese Blonde. CD1 also features songs from Bent, Goldfrapp, Dusted, A Guy Called Gerald, and The Beloved. You getting a sense of familiarity yet? Hell, CD2 opens with Paul van Dyk's Vega! Yeah, it's a nice enough chill tune, Mr. Van Dyk having a stab at jazzstep, but these are all darn obvious names to have on a chill-out collection, even for the year 2000 when the concept still had a fresh fragrance. The series did course correct in later volumes, though Winter Chill itself only lasted six volumes before Hed Kandi was bought out by Ministry Of Sound, save a one-off return in 2012. You bet your bottom dollar its got nothing to do with 'chill-out' music!

Back to Winter Chill 2, even Hed Kandi head-man Mark Doyle knew including the likes of Moby, Delerium, and Paul van Dyk was little more than a shameless commercial tactic to lure in the impulse buy, and thus ignores such artists in his inlay notes. Instead, he once again big-ups his label's own talent like the jazzier Afterlife and Urban Dwellers, which is fair play if you're having them rub shoulders with chill-out's newest stars.

If all this 'suburban downtempo' music isn't cutting it for you, there's always CD2. Vega aside, this is where most of the trip-hop and acid jazz vibes are hiding out, many tracks care of the rising Studio K7! that Mr. Doyle was quite eager in hyping. Thus you find Tosca, Terranova, Smith & Mighty, Handsome Boy Modeling School (Dan The Automator!), and... LTJ Bukem? Well, he did have a debut album out that same year. And yeah, CD2 is definitely more of the downtempo vibe I prefer in compilations of this sort, with plenty of smooth, smokey rhythms, soulful strings, dubby atmosphere, and sultry vocals throughout. As a means of introducing music on a proper deep tip to soccer moms who bought this for Silence, I'd say Winter Chill 2 does right.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Various - Winter Chill

Hed Kandi: 1999

The nice thing about a lot of old Hed Kandi CDs is how cheap you can find them now – ironic, considering how pricey they were when fresh on store shelves. It was that ridiculously expensive entry point (especially as an import) that always made them an easy pass when pursuing the shops for new music, but I can't deny seeing that super-slick cover art would give me pause regardless. Now one can find these things for a quarter the original price, and sure, may as well take in a couple if I see an intriguing one in the used market. They did have a reputation for having good music as well, at least before being absorbed by Ministry Of Sound.

The label also built its rep' on deep house on a slightly commercial bent, but they were all about that downtempo vibe too, releasing at least two such compilations per year. Serve Chilled first came out in summer, and when that proved successful, Hed Kandi head-man Mark Doyle decided a winter companion just made good artistic sense (not to mention mighty profitable as a Xmas gift option). The basic idea behind Winter Chill, then, was music that was best played while cozying up indoors with a hot beverage as brisk winds and dour weather beat against your patio windows. And what better music to supply such a setting than good ol' trip-hop (mostly CD1) and acid jazz (mostly CD2), the most dependable (and commercially viable) of the downtempo genres.

Anyone worth their salt in this scene should know a tonne of artists in this tracklist. Nightmares On Wax. Mr. Scruff. The Herbaliser. Peshay. Rae & Christian. A Man Called Adam. Morcheeba. Innerzone Orchestra. Hell, this is looking like a Ninja Tune collection. Even d'n'b man Omni Trio can't help but stay jazzy-chill with Native Place. Smartly, Mr. Doyle mixes in a number of fresh faces and obscure acts too, letting names like Santessa, Eyedentity, 45 Dip, and Guardians Of Dalliance get a little associative rub from the main draws on a CD like this.

The most 'mainstream' names that crop up are Hybrid and The Wiseguys, but even then we're not dealing with well-known tunes from them. We get the trip-hop bounce of We Be The Crew provided by The Wiseguys, and the French-rapping cut Sinequanon from Hybrid. Wow, never would have thought I'd hear the same French-rap tune in such a short amount of time, especially when my exposure to French-rap is basically nil.

As for all the other recognizable names, I can't confirm or deny whether tracks like Survival, Pacific, So Long, The Sensual Woman, or Moog Island are obscure offerings from their respective creators, in that I don't actually have albums from them. Yeah, funny that, me having so much downtempo music, but almost all of it in compilation form. All I can confirm is I don't have many of these songs anywhere else, making Winter Chill an ace collection for rounding out my collection.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Various - Winter

Altar Records: 2017

Boy, was this one a long time coming. Even without my alphabetical stipulation, the fourth edition of Altar Records' Seasons series was quite late. The first one, Spring, was released way back in spring of 2013, over four years ago! Summer came a year later, then Fall in late autumn of 2015. Nothing too out of the ordinary there, having a yearly series with a release date coinciding with its particular thematic season. The whole year of 2016 went by though, with no Winter to be seen. We were assured Winter was coming though, so we waited, and waited, and waited, but still no dragons, just a bunch of floppy wieners- whoops, wrong 'winter'.

Finally, in late February of this year 2017, Winter was released. I guess that technically keeps it within its established schedule, but yeah, compared to the brisk rate of output from Altar Records' first thematic series, this one sure took its sweet time reaching completion. I mean, it's been so long, it's forgotten its original art-style. What happened to the border runes, and the seasonal kaleidoscope stylee? Sure, this cover art is purty as fresh fallen snow, but rather typical of Altar's usual fare. The others had a distinct flair unto themselves.

Whatever. It's always the tracks within that's important and label head DJ Zen still knows how to find 'em, sign 'em, licence 'em, arrange 'em, print 'em, distribute 'em, and- wait, where's the “mix 'em” in all that? What kind of DJ doesn't mix?

Familiar names that return naturally include AstroPilot, his The Wind Through The Keyhole as solid a slice of ethnic-flavoured psy-chill as anything he's ever put out. Long time Altar vets Lab's Cloud gives us a dubbier offering of psy-chill in Alma Zen, while Suduaya's Clear Water opts for a spritely bit of prog-psy (it's almost 'twinkle prog'!). Hm, both these acts have been Altar staples for a while, yet I haven't reviewed anything of theirs. May have to rectify that. Anyhow, the best of the star players is Asura's The Savers, one of the most energetic, gnarliest trance tunes I've heard Mr. Farewell kick out in ages. Holy cow, where has he been hiding this stuff!

A few newer recruits to the Altar family rounds Winter out. Argus gets two track to open the compilation with, The Time Before a pure ambient dub outing while We Are One dips into prog-psy's waters, as does Profondita's Island. At the opposite end, one half of that group, Eyal Markovich, remixes No Gravity from Unusual Cosmic Process into a throwback prog-psy outing - compared to the typically languid pace Altar loves promoting, it's 'uptempo prog-psy'!

Eh, you've noticed something lacking in these detailings? Yeah, cannot deny the 'winter' theme is rather absent in these tunes. For sure they're all great cuts, but they don't make me feel like I'm frolicking in frosty meadows or snow-capped forests. Maybe dark ambient truly is the best winter music out there.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sounds From The Ground - Widerworld

Waveform Records: 2012

I relaunched this blog four years and eleven months ago. Can you guess how many Sounds From The Ground albums I had at the time? None. None of their albums is how many I had on October 2012. I barely even had two of their tracks, Triangle and Gather, the latter by way of an earlier Elliot Jones project called Path. Including this particular release, I now have eight of their albums. In that time since, Sounds From The Ground released a ten track, twenty year retrospective called 20 Years Of The Best. Naturally, most of those have been given an Ace Track honour (such prestige!), yet I could make a double-LP playlist of SFtG Ace Tracks alone. If you'd have told me I'd be a Sounds From The Ground 'expert' after five years of doing this, I'd have laughed at the notion I'd still be doing this five years later. Surely it'd only take a couple years to review my entire music collection, not a half-decade.

Sans that 'best of', Widerworld is thus far the last album Jones and Nick Woolfson released on Waveform Records, the duo having since gone with their own Upstream Records print for new music distribution. Maybe they'll return to Waveform at a later date, but three albums deep now in the independent domain, and I think they're quite satisfied with how Upstream's doing. Ooh, they even rolled out a vinyl option for their latest effort, Alchemy!

As for this particular album, I mentioned in their previous one, The Maze, that SFtG were showing signs of evolving their ambient dub sound. True, it was an achingly sluggish evolution, but the change was at least noticeable, making more use of modern dub production over the staunch traditionalist stuff most associate with '90s trip-hop. Widerworld carries that on, though as we're still dealing with Sounds From The Ground, the sonic development still moves forward at a glacial pace. Fans wouldn't have it any other way, I reckon.

What stood out the most for me on this album were the tracks that almost sounded like Jones and Woolfson were cribbing a little from other acts. Yeah, you could make that claim about a lot of their work – comparisons to Kruder & Dorfmeister are inevitable – but I'm talking outside the usual assortment of name-dropped downtempo producers.

For instance, the track Hunters utilizes a few dubbed-out sounds that have me recalling Future Sound Of London at their dubbiest. Raining Leaves has gentle synth pads and bloopy chill acid that wouldn't have sounded out of place on older Aphex Twin in his more whimsical moments. Fields Of Green And Yellow almost has a laid-back country vibe with its acoustic guitar work, but those additional synth notes in the back-half are pure Sounds From The Ground vibe. And Ink Spots... eh, there's probably some glitchy dubstep guy out there that I could compare to, but I'm lazy in confirming it.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hybrid - Wider Angle (Special Edition)

Distinct'ive Breaks: 1999/2001

Thank God I got the double-LP version of Wide Angle - aka: Wider Angle - otherwise I'd struggle through Hell with this review. The second CD, an inclusion of the Live Angle: Sydney disc that also includes the brilliant Altitude / Kill City single, supplies me all the praise, plaudits, and platitudes I need to convince folks that I, too, have drunk deeply of the Hybrid punch. I'd hate to have gone into this with the ultra-snark that I couldn't help but feel when my peers were gushing over their debut, buying into the PR byline that Wide Angle was “one of the most moving pieces of electronic music ever”. Dudes, it's a good album, but not that good. Like, did y'all not hear that Dusted record? Oh, you didn't. Erm, moving on.

But no, I get it. Way back, when Mike Truman, Chris Healings, and Lee Mullin struck upon a surprisingly effective idea of combining orchestral arrangements with cutting-edge breakbeat technology, we all loved it. Heck, even 'Son Of God' Sasha bought into it, wrapping up his 'trance-breaks' portion of Northern Exposure 2 with the full, original twelve-minute Symphony. A regular hack in dance music would have taken that initial success and parlayed it into an album-long edition of gimmicky retreads, but not Hybrid. They had bolder intentions with their music, fusing many more unconventional ideas with their nu-skool breaks. Soul! Jazz! Saxaphones! Jangly guitars! Julee Cruise! French rappers! Oh, and a couple more standard progressive trance and breaks tracks too, with orchestral arrangements and all. Gotta' still give the audience what they expect, right?

Hybrid are certainly deft in their music craft, everything about Wide Angle studio slick and polished. I dunno', though – even after hearing Finished Symphony at the end again, the album always leaves me feeling wanting, like I've just consumed a very fancy meal at a restaurant that's high in decor, but low in stomach satisfaction. After which, I head over to the nearest sports bar or night club for some greasy pub food and beer of mass quantities. Throw on the Live Angle CD, is what I mean.

And hot damn if CD2 doesn't warm my cockles every time. For sure it's got the big 'cinematic' singles of Wide Angle in Snyper and Finished Symphony, plus prog-trance stomper High Life is given added grit with pumping synth stabs not unlike BT's Fibonacci Sequence. You also get the smashing progressive breaks cut Burnin', the Alanis Morrisette bootleg Accelerator, and an eleven-plus minute long version of Kid 2000. Throw in the aforementioned bonuses Altitude and Kill City - a track I'd honestly deem worthy of a 'most moving pieces of electronic music' tag – and you've a CD that makes finding Wider Angle worth your effort.

Or not, if you prefer your Hybrid as less 'tear-out' and more 'chill at home with tea and crumpets'. For sure there's a sizable market for that too. At least the 'Special Edition' option gives both of best worlds.

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Things I've Talked About

...txt 10 Records 16 Bit Lolita's 1963 1965 1966 1967 1969 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2 Play Records 2 Unlimited 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 20xx Update 2562 302 Acid 36 3six Recordings 4AD 6 x 6 Records 75 Ark 7L & Esoteric 808 State A Perfect Circle A Positive Life A-Wave A&M Records A&R Records Abasi Above and Beyond abstract Ace Tracks Playlists Ace Ventura acid acid house acid jazz acid techno acoustic Adam Freeland Adham Shaikh ADNY Adrian Younge adult contemporary Aegri Somnia Aes Dana Afrika Bambaataa Afro-house Afterhours Agoria Ajana Records AK1200 Akshan album Aldrin Alex Theory Alio Die Alphabet Zoo Alphaxone Altar Records Alter Ego alternative rock Alucidnation Ambelion ambient ambient dub ambient techno Ambient World Ambientium Ametsub Amon Tobin Amplexus Anabolic Frolic Andrea Parker Andrew Heath Androcell anecdotes Aniplex Anjunabeats Another Fine Day Antendex anthem house Anthony Rother Anti-Social Network Aphasia Records Aphex Twin Apócrýphos Apollo Apple Records April Records Aqua Aquascape Aquila Arcade arena rock Arista Armada Armin van Buuren Arpatle Arts & Crafts ASC Ashtech Asian Dub Foundation Astral Waves Astralwerks AstroPilot Asura Asylum Records ATCO Records Atlantic Atlantis atmospheric jungle Atomic Hooligan Atrium Carceri Attic Audion AuroraX Autistici Autumn Of Communion Aveparthe Avicii Axiom Axtone Records B.G. The Prince Of Rap Babygrande Balance Balanced Records Balearic ballad Banco de Gaia Bandulu battle-rap Beastie Boys Beat Buzz Records Beats & Pieces bebop Beck Bedouin Soundclash Beechwood Music Benny Benassi Berlin-School Beto Narme bhangra big beat Big Boi Big L Big Life Bill Hamel Bill Laswell BIlly Idol BineMusic BioMetal Biosphere BKS Black Hole Recordings black rebel motorcycle club Black Swan Sounds Blanco Y Negro Blasterjaxx Blend Blood Music Blow Up Blue Öyster Cult blues Bluescreen BMG Boards Of Canada Bob Dylan Bob Marley Bobina Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Boney M Bong Load Records Booka Shade Botchit & Scarper Boxed Boys Noize Boysnoize Records braindance Brandt Brauer Frick breakcore breaks Brian Eno Brian Wilson Brick Records Brodinski broken beat Brooklyn Music Ltd Bryan Adams BT Buffalo Springfield Bulk Recordings Burial Burned CDs Bush Busta Rhymes Calibre calypso Capitol Records Capsula Captured Digital Carbon Based Lifeforms Carl B Carl Craig Carol C Caroline Records Carpe Sonum Records CD-Maximum Ceephax Acid Crew Celestial Dragon Records Cell Celtic Cheb i Sabbah Cheeky Records chemical breaks Chihei Hatakeyama chill-out chiptune Chris Duckenfield Chris Fortier Chris Korda Chris Sheppard Christopher Lawrence Chromeo Chronos Chrysalis Ciaran Byrne cinematic soundscapes Circular Cirrus Cities Last Broadcast CJ Stone Claptone classic house classic rock classical Claude Young Clear Label Records Cleopatra Cloud 9 Club Cutz Cocoon Recordings Coldcut Coldplay Colette collagist Columbia Com.Pact Records comedy Compilation Comrie Smith Connect.Ohm conscious Control Music Cor Fijneman Cosmic Gate Cosmic Replicant Cosmos Studios Council Of Nine Counter Records country country rock Covert Operations Recordings Craig Padilla Crazy Horse Cream Creamfields Crockett's Theme Crosby Stills And Nash Crosstown Rebels crunk Cryo Chamber Cryobiosis Cube Guys Culture Beat cut'n'paste Cyan Music Cyber Productions CyberOctave Czarface D-Bridge D-Fuse Dacru Records Daddy G Daft Punk Damian Lazarus Damon Albarn Dan The Automator Dance 2 Trance Dance Pool dancehall Daniel Heatcliff Daniel Wanrooy Dao Da Noize dark ambient dark psy darkside darkstep darkwave Darren McClure Databloem David Bickley David Morley DDR Deadmau5 Death Row Records Deejay Goldfinger Deep Dish Deep Forest deep house Deeply Rooted House Deepwater Black Def Jam Recordings Del Tha Funkee Homosapien Delerium Deltron 3030 Depeche Mode Der Dritte Raum Derek Carr Detroit DFA DGC diametric. Dieselboy Different DigiCube Dillinja dirty house Dirty South Dirty Vegas disco Disco Gecko disco house disco punk Discover (label) Disky Disques Dreyfus Distant System Distinct'ive Breaks Disturbance DJ 3000 DJ Brian DJ Craze DJ Dan DJ Dean DJ Gonzalo DJ Heather DJ John Kelley DJ Merlin DJ Mix DJ Moe Sticky DJ Observer DJ Premier DJ Q-Bert DJ Shadow DJ-Kicks Djen Ajakan Shean DJMag DMC DMC Records Doc Scott Dogon Dogwhistle Dopplereffekt Dossier downtempo dowtempo Dr. Atmo Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show Dragon Quest dream house DreamWorks Records Drexciya drill 'n' bass Dronarivm drone Dronny Darko drum 'n' bass drunken review dub Dub Pistols dub techno Dub Trees Dubfire dubstep DuMonde Dune Dusted E-Mantra E-Z Rollers Eardream Music Earth Earth Nation Earthling Eastcoast EastWest Eat Static EBM Echodub Ed Rush & Optical Editions EG EDM World Weekly News Ektoplazm electro Electro House Electro Sun electro-funk electro-pop electroclash Electronic Dance Essentials Electrovoya Elektra Elektrolux em:t EMC update EMI Eminem Emmerichk Emperor Norton enCAPSULAte Engine Recordings Enigma Enmarta Epic epic trance Erik Vee Erol Alkan Escape Esoteric Reactive ethereal Etnoscope euro dance Eurythmics Eve Records Everlast Ewan Pearson experimental Eye Q Records F Communications Fabric Fade Records Faithless Fallen fanfic Fatboy Slim Fax +49-69/450464 Fear Factory Fedde Le Grand Fehrplay Feist Fektive Records Felix da Housecat Fennesz Ferry Corsten FFRR field recordings Filter filters Final Fantasy Five AM Fjäder Flashover Recordings Floating Points Flowers For Bodysnatchers Flowjob Fluke Flying Lotus folk footwork Force Intel Fountain Music Four Tet FPU Frank Bretschneider Frankie Bones Frankie Knuckles Fred Everything freestyle French house Front Line Assembly fsoldigital.com Fugees full-on Fun Factory funk future garage Future Sound Of London g-funk gabber Gabriel Le Mar Galaktlan Galati Gang Starr gangsta garage Gas Gasoline Alley Records Gee Street Geffen Records Gel-Sol Genesis Gerald Donald Get Physical Music ghetto Ghostface Killah glam Gliese 581C glitch Global Underground Globular goa trance God Body Disconnect Gorillaz gospel Gost goth Grammy Awards grime Groove Armada Groove Corporation Grooverider grunge Guru GZA Haddaway Halgrath happy hardcore hard house hard rock hard trance hardcore Hardfloor hardstyle Harmless Harmonic 33 Harold Budd Harthouse Harthouse Mannheim Hawtin Hearts Of Space Hed Kandi Hell Hercules And Love Affair Hernán Cattáneo Hi-Bias Records Hic Sunt Leones Hiero Emperium Hieroglyphics High Contrast Higher Intelligence Agency hip-hop hip-house hipno Hooj Choons Hope Records horrorcore Hospital Records Hot Chip Hotflush Recordings house Huey Lewis & The News Human Blue Hybrid Hybrid Leisureland Hyperdub Hypertrophy hypnotic records I Awake I.F.O.R. I.R.S. Records Iboga Records Ice Cube Ice H2o Records ICE MC IDM illbient Imperial Dancefloor Imploded View In Charge In Trance We Trust Incoming Incubus indie rock Industrial Infected Mushroom Infinite Guitar influence records Infonet Inner Ocean Records Insane Clown Posse Inspectah Deck Instinct Ambient Instra-Mental Inter-Modo Interchill Records Internal International Deejays Gigolo Interscope Records Intimate Productions Intuition Recordings ISBA Music Entertainment Ishkur Island Records Italians Do It Better italo disco italo house Jack Moss Jam and Spoon Jam El Mar James Horner James Murray James Zabiela Jamie Jones Jamie Myerson Jamie Principle Javelin Ltd. Jay Haze Jay Tripwire Jaydee jazz jazz dance jazzstep Jean-Michel Jarre Jefferson Airplane Jerry Goldsmith Jesper Dahlbäck Jiri.Ceiver Jive Jive Electro Jliat Jlin Joel Mull Joey Beltram John '00' Fleming John Digweed John Graham John Kelly John O'Callaghan Johnny Cash Johnny Jewel Jonny L Jori Hulkkonen Jørn Stenzel Josh Wink Journeys By DJ™ LLC Joyful Noise Recordings Juan Atkins juke Jump Cut Jumpin' & Pumpin' jungle Junior Boy's Own Junkie XL Juno Reactor Jurassic 5 Kay Wilder KDJ Ken Ishii Kenji Kawai Kenny Glasgow Keoki Keosz Kerri Chandler Kevin Braheny Kevorkian Records Khooman Khruangbin Kid Koala Kiko Kinetic Records King Cannibal King Midas Sound King Tubby Kitaro Klang Elektronik Klaus Schulze Koch Records Koichi Sugiyama Kolhoosi 13 Komakino Kompakt Kon Kan Kool Keith Kozo Kraftwelt Kraftwerk Krafty Kuts krautrock Krill.Minima Kris O'Neil Kriztal Kruder and Dorfmeister Krusseldorf KuckKuck Kurupt L.S.G. Lab 4 Ladytron Lafleche Lange Large Records Lars Leonhard Laserlight Digital LateNightTales Latin Laurent Garnier LCD Soundsystem Leama and Moor Lee 'Scratch' Perry Lee Norris Leftfield Legacy Leon Bolier LFO Linear Labs Lingua Lustra liquid funk Liquid Sound Design Liquid Stranger Live live album Loco Dice Lodsb London acid crew London Classics London Elektricity London Records 90 Ltd London-Sire Records Loop Guru Loreena McKennitt Lorenzo Montanà Lost Language Loud Records Loverboy Luaka Bop Luciano Luke Slater Lustmord M_nus M.A.N.D.Y. M.I.K.E. Madonna Magda Mali Mammoth Records Marc Simz Marcel Dettmann Marco Carola Marco V Mark Farina Mark Norman Mark Pritchard Markus Schulz Marshmello Martin Cooper Martin Nonstatic Märtini Brös Marvin Gaye Maschine Massive Attack Masta Killa Matthew Dear Max Graham maximal Maxx MCA Records McProg Meanwhile Meat Loaf Meditronica Memex Menno de Jong Mercury Mesmobeat metal Method Man Metroplex Metropolis Miami Bass Miami Dub Machine Michael Brook Michael Jackson Michael Mayer Mick Chillage micro-house microfunk Microscopics MIG Miguel Migs Mike Saint-Jules Mike Shiver Miktek Mille Plateaux Millennium Records Mind Distortion System Mind Over MIDI mini-CDs minimal minimal tech-house Ministry Of Sound miscellaneous Misja Helsloot Miss Kittin Miss Moneypenny's Mixmag Mo Wax Mo-Do MO-DU Moby Model 500 modern classical Moist Music Moodymann Moonshine Moss Garden Motech Moving Shadow Mujaji Murmur Music link Music Man Records musique concrete Mutant Sound System Mute Muzik Magazine My Best Friend Mystica Tribe N-Trance Nacht Plank Nadia Ali Nas Nature Sounds Naughty By Nature Nebula Neil Young Neotropic nerdcore Nervous Records Nettwerk Neurobiotic Records New Age New Jack Swing new wave Nic Fanciulli Nick Höppner Night Time Stories Nimanty Nine Inch Nails Ninja Tune Nirvana No Mask Effect Nobuo Uematsu Nomad Nonesuch Nonplus Records Nookie Nordic Trax Norman Feller Northumbria Nothing Records NovaMute NRG Ntone nu-jazz nu-skool Nuclear Blast Entertainment Nulll Nurse With Wound NXP Octagen Offshoot Offshoot Records Ol' Dirty Bastard old school rave Ole Højer Hansen Olga Musik Olien Oliver Lieb Olsen Omni Trio Omnimotion Omnisonus One Little Indian Oophoi Oosh Open Canvas Opus III orchestral Original TranceCritic review Ornament Ostgut Ton Ott Ouragan OutKast Outpost Records Overdream Pantera Pantha Du Prince Paolo Mojo Parlaphone Paul Moelands Paul Oakenfold Paul van Dyk Perfect Stranger Perfecto Perturbator Pet Shop Boys Petar Dundov Pete Namlook Pete Tong Peter Benisch Peter Gabriel Peter Tosh Phonothek Photek Phutureprimitive Phynn PIAS Recordings Pink Floyd PJ Harvey Planet Dog Planet Earth Recordings Planet Mu Planetary Consciousness Plastic City Plastikman Platipus Plump DJs PM Dawn Poker Flat Recordings politics Polydor Polytel pop Popular Records Porya Hatami post-dubstep Prince Prins Thomas Priority Records prog prog psy prog-psy Progression progressive breaks progressive house progressive rock progressive trance Prolifica Proper Records Prototype Recordings protoU Pryda psy chill psy dub Psy Spy Records psy trance psy-chill psychedelia Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia Psychonavigation Psychonavigation Records Psycoholic Psykosonik Public Enemy punk punk rock Pureuphoria Records Purl Push PWL International Quadrophonia Quality Quango Quinlan Road R & S Records R'n'B R&B Rabbit In The Moon Radio Slave Radioactive Radioactive Man Radiohead Raekwon Ralph Lawson RAM Records Randal Collier-Ford Random Review Rank 1 rant RareNoise Records Rascalz Raster-Noton Ratatat Raum Records RCA React Red Jerry Refracted reggae remixes Renaissance Rephlex Reprise Records Resist Music Restless Records RetroSynther Rhino Records Rhys Fulber Ricardo Villalobos Riley Reinhold Rising High Records RnB Roadrunner Records Robert Hood Robert Miles Robert Oleysyck Roc Raida rock rock opera rockabilly rocktronica Roger Sanchez ROIR Rollo Rough Trade Rub-N-Tug Rumour Records Running Back Ruthless Records RZA S.E.T.I. Sabled Sun Salt Tank Salted Music Salvation Music Samim sampling Sanctuary Records Sander van Doorn Sandoz Sarah McLachlan Sash Sasha Scandinavian Records Scann-Tec sci-fi Scott Hardkiss Scott Stubbs Scuba Seán Quinn Segue Sense Sentimony Records Sequential Seraphim Rytm Setrise Seven Davis Jr. Shaded Explorations Shaded Explorer Shadow Records Sharam Shawn Francis shoegaze Si Matthews SideOneDummy Records Signature Records SiJ Silent Season silly gimmicks Silver Age Simon Berry Simon Heath Simon Posford Simple Records Sinden single Sire Records Company Six Degrees Sixeleven Records ska Skin To Skin Slinky Music Sly and Robbie Smalltown Supersound SME Visual Works Inc. Snap Sneijder Snoop Dogg Solar Fields Solaris Recordings Solarstone Solieb Soliquid Solstice Music Europe Soma Quality Recordings Songbird Sony Music Entertainment soul Soul Temple Entertainment Souls Of Mischief Sound Of Ceres Soundgarden Sounds From The Ground soundtrack southern rap southern rock space ambient Space Dimension Controller Space Manoeuvres space synth Spank Rock Special D speed garage Speedy J Spicelab Spiritech spoken word Spotify Suggestions Spotted Peccary SPX Digital Squarepusher Squaresoft Stanton Warriors Star Trek Stardust Statrax Stay Up Forever Stephanie B Stephen Kroos Steve Angello Steve Miller Band Steve Porter Stijn van Cauter Stone Temple Pilots Stonebridge Stormloop Stray Gators Street Fighter Stuart McLean Studio K7 Stylophonic Sub Focus Sublime Sublime Porte Netlabel Substance Sun Station Sunbeam Sunday Best Recordings Superstition surf rock Sven Väth Swayzak swing Switch Sylk 130 Symmetry Sync24 Synergy Synkro synth pop synthwave System 7 Tactic Records Tall Paul Tammy Wynette Tangerine Dream Tau Ceti Tayo tech-house tech-step tech-trance Technical Itch techno technobass Technoboy Tectonic Terminal Antwerp Terra Ferma Terry Lee Brown Jr Textere Oris The Beach Boys The Beatles The Black Dog The Brian Jonestown Massacre The Bug The Chemical Brothers The Clash The Council The Cranberries The Crystal Method The Digital Blonde The Dust Brothers The Glimmers The Green Kingdom The Grey Area The Hacker The Human League The Irresistible Force The KLF The Misted Muppet The Movement The Music Cartel The Null Corporation The Offspring The Orb The Police The Prodigy The Shamen The Sharp Boys The Sonic Voyagers The Squires The Tea Party The Tragically Hip The Velvet Underground The Wailers The White Stripes themes Thievery Corporation Third Contact Thrive Records Tiefschwarz Tiësto Tiga Tiger & Woods Time Warp Timecode Tobias Todd Terje Tom Middleton Tomita Tommy Boy Ton T.B. Tone Depth Tony Anderson Sound Orchestra Tool Topaz Tosca Toto Touch Tourette Records trance Trancelucent Tranquillo Records Trans'Pact Transformers Transient Records trap Trax Records Trend Trentemøller Tresor tribal Tricky Triloka Records trip-hop Trishula Records Troum Tuff Gong Tunnel Records Turbo Recordings turntablism TUU TVT Records Twisted Records Type O Negative U-God U2 Überzone Ugasanie UK acid house UK Garage Ultimae Ultra Records Umbra Underworld Union Jack United Dairies United DJs Of America Universal Music UOVI Upstream Records Urban Icon Records V2 Vagrant Records Valiska Valley Of The Sun Vangelis Vap Vector Lovers Venetian Snares Venonza Records Vermont Vernon Verve Records VGM Vice Records Victor Calderone Vince DiCola Vinyl Cafe Productions Virgin Virtual Vault Virus Recordings Visionquest Vitalic vocal trance Wagram Music Warp Records Warren G Water Music Dance Wave Recordings Waveform Records Wax Trax Records WEA Weekly Mini-Review Werk Discs Werkstatt Recordings White Swan Records William Orbit Willie Nelson world beat world music writing reflections Wu-Tang Clan Wyatt Keusch XL Recordings Yello Yes Youth Youtube YoYo Records Yul Records Zenith ZerO One Zomby Zoo Entertainment ZTT Zyron ZYX Music µ-Ziq