MAGIC MIX

Balearic . Yacht Rock . New Age . Downbeat

WEEK STARTING 17 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of Simple Things (Reissue) by Zero 7.
Zero 7 were formed in 1997 by producers Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker. In 2001 their debut album "Simple Things" was released selling over a million copies to date and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Zero 7 were also nominated as Best Newcomer at the Brit Awards 2001. "Simple Things" peaked at no.28 in the UK album chart and spent 89 weeks on the chart. Stateside, the album hit no.4 on the Billboard Dance / Electronic album chart and stayed on that chart for 52 weeks.

Singles taken from the original album included ‘I Have Seen’ featuring Mozez, ‘Destiny’ featuring Sia & Sophie Barker, "In the Waiting Line" featuring Sophie Barker and "Distractions" featuring Sia. The LP has been out of print for almost two decades and second-hand copies of the original pressing are changing hands on Ebay and Discogs for upwards of £100!

STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: Beautiful, lushly produced downtempo grooves topped with sweet melodies, somewhat akin to French masters Air but with soul and jazz flavours, this is a timeless classic, and every home should have one!

Julee Cruise

The Voice Of Love

    25 years after its initial release, Julee Cruise’s sophomore album The Voice of Love is being issued for the first time on vinyl as a deluxe 2xLP, and returning to print on CD.

    In 1992, after the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti, and Julee Cruise returned to the studio with new compositions as well as the intent to craft previously instrumental score-based material from Fire Walk With Me and Wild at Heart into Julee Cruise songs. The result was 1993’s final studio album The Voice of Love, a gorgeous ethereal album, which like her debut “Floating Into The Night” had a dreamlike, cinematic feel to it.

    “In the studio, David would always say ‘[sing] like an angel, like an angel…” Cruise remembers.

    Julee Cruise

    Three Demos

      Three Demos is a very unique release, featuring the very first demo recordings for songs from Julee Cruise’s initial lp with David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti, Floating Into the Night.

      In 1985, Lynch’s obsession with This Mortal Coil’s “Song to the Siren” was at a fever pitch. Wanting to feature the song in Blue Velvet, the rights to the Tim Buckley cover proved problematic and prohibitively expensive. Lynch had famously just began working with Angelo Badalamenti, who had been suggested by producer Fred Caruso to coach Isabella Rossellini with singing “Blue Velvet” for the film. Faced with the “Song to the Siren” dilemma, Caruso again suggested his friend Badalamenti as a possible solution, encouraging Lynch himself to pen lyrics in order to come up with an original alternative for the film. “David reluctantly agreed to write a lyric, but he thought writing a new song was absolutely preposterous because ‘Song to the Siren’ was his favorite song of all time,” Badalamenti says. The result – “Mysteries of Love,” sung by Cruise – ended up forging a rich blueprint for not just one song, but two full-length albums.

      Two years after Blue Velvet was released, the notion of a full album of material took shape and three crucial demos were recorded to gain the confidence and financial support of a label. Early versions of “Floating,” “Falling,” and “The World Spins” were all roughed out in economic elegance, rendering distinctive snapshots of what could be if the formula of “Mysteries of Love” was spun into a larger body of work. They’re fascinating glimpses into the genesis of what became Floating Into the Night and the minimal key ingredients that made the material alchemize. An early version of the album opener “Floating” originally began with a stunning spoken-word intro later dropped entirely from the album version. A revelation in its overarching simplicity, the three-song collection is devoid of the lp’s additional arrangement flourishes, and yet still manages to present the same emotional depth charge with only voice, synthesizer, and lyric.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 12" Info: Pink vinyl

      Poolside began as a recording project in a converted Los Angeles backyard pool house in early 2011, producing sunny tracks of subaquatic indie dance music in this makeshift recording studio. Surfacing first in the form of a YouTube video for the catchy track "Do You Believe?" Poolside were soon gaining local and national attention, with DJs like James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, techno legend Derrick May, and disco don Todd Terje spinning these tracks at events and a growing online following. Throughout 2011 Poolside continued making waves with a sound called "daytime disco" through tracks like their cover of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" and original tunes. In 2012 Poolside worked on a remix for longtime disco punks The Rapture and held fans over with a new single and video for a song called "Slow Down" as they prepared to release their debut album. That album, Pacific Standard Time, was self-released in July of 2012.

      After the album's release, remixes for artists like Matthew Dear, Little Dragon and Fool's Gold soon followed, as well as rehearsing and touring with a live band and doing DJ sets around the world. As thoughts turned to a second album, Poolside went on ice for a year to regroup, beginning to work in earnest on another album in the Fall of 2016. While still revolving around the sunny, laid-back disco sound of PST, these sessions yielded the additions of up-tempo dance songs and more guitars, and generally more fleshed-out arrangements. 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Sil says: Glossy disco journeys for the discerning listening. This is the perfect soundtrack for your weekend away somewhere sunny with the ocean as a backdrop. Look at that gorgeous cover!

      In the third of the "Phobiza Trilogy" we are invited through the ethereal haze that separates our world from RAMZi’s flourishing kingdom. Guided always by the deity’s music, we are given passage through the arcane archipelago that RAMZi calls home, a place where animals, children and wild spirits share territories and cooperate in harmony in their plight to protect these ancient islands from the ceaseless threat of the Great Grey Invasion.

      With the night closely following us, we are welcomed to these lands in dusk’s light, with the warm tones of "Bibwel" (featuring Asaël Robitaille on synth) carrying us across 11 different islets, all with unique climates, flora and fauna. After travelling for many a sunrise and sunset we take pause at mid day on "Det Calash" isle (with some beats provided by Regular Fantasy). We end our journey with a final sunset, this time on the foggy island of "Warhasu" (recorded on Vancouver Island with Hashman Deejay).

      'Amor Fati' (meaning 'Love of fate' or 'Love of one’s fate' in Latin) comes as the inaugural release on Phoebé’s own FATi Records and is the new nesting place for RAMZi and its’ extended family. The record ends the "Phobiza" story, following "Phobiza Dia" on Total Stasis and "Phobiza Noite" on Moodhut.


      Brand new from Vancouver's Regular Fantasy on Total Stasis and featuring guest touches from some of the Mood Hut family - DJ Silk, Bobo Eyes, Plush Throw and Lonely Flute.

      Livy Lou continues to ply her blurred sonic dreams, soaked in that thick, BC ganja haze but dressed ready to dance and with a spring in her step. Decidely more 'clubby' than other excursions, tracks like "Text Me" and "Versace Towel" are sure to soundtrack the more classy dancing establishments on this and that side of the pond. The title track, "Sunsets & Sublets" perfectly epitomizes that chilled out 'Riviera' aesthetic - electronic, soulful and languishing in stoned abandon.

      Guest touches by other Vancouver / BC stars, Plush Managements Inc, CZ Wang, Hashman Deejay, Neu Balance.

      Mixed by CZ Wang & Sam Beatch
      Mastered by Gabriel Schuman
      Cover painting by Olivia Mee
      Layout by Logan Sturrock


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: Vancouver's finest have done it again. An allstar cast of talent bringing that 'Riveira' sound to our receptive head spaces for another outing of coastal bliss and THC-soaked radiance. BC essential!

      Conner Youngblood

      Cheyenne

        Nashville resident Conner Youngblood crafts melodies through a wide range of obscure instrumental arrangements. Often centered around a specific place of natural landscape or human connection his songs embody delicate, nuanced moments in nature and the introspection of these moments.

        Where many musicians pick their instrument of choice and let it be their primary songwriting vessel, Youngblood finds different instruments allow him to tap into varied parts of his songwriting brain. His debut album ‘Cheyenne’ features no less than 30 different instruments – a harp, a bass clarinet, a tabla, etc – all of which are played by Youngblood on a record featuring no guests. Instead it’s simply him and an engineer he’s known and worked with since he first started releasing music back in high school. Though he’ll be building up a band to play live, he has before now mimicked the sounds of certain instruments on stage and supported people such as Janelle Monae, SOHN and Angus & Julia Stone.

        “Listening to music there are certain ways you think are the right ways to create songs, then you realise you can write however you want. Like, ‘Oh, I can play bongos, accordion and a guitar’ – as long as it sounds good,” Youngblood explains of his writing process. Though he initially started out learning clarinet, he’s been collecting instruments from a young age, often being gifted a new one for birthday and christmas or seeking out cheap and used rarities from local stores.

        The result of this lifelong process of collecting and playing instruments means ‘Cheyenne’ is a record that’s rich in atmospheric, organic sound. Sitting somewhere between the more low-key elements of The Band (who Youngblood wrote a thesis on while studying at Yale), the beautiful melodics of Moses Sumney and the Grammy nominated songwriter Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, this latest collection of songs feel embedded in the fabric of life – Youngblood examines what makes us human, the earth, translating his findings back into music.

        For those who may not already be aware, the release of ‘Cheyenne’ comes off the back of an already illustrative career for Youngblood. Born and raised in Dallas – a city he describes as “a lot of concrete” – Youngblood spent his formative years switching between skateboarding (he had built a half pipe in his backyard), wrestling and playing in local coffee houses. His first few releases – ‘Monsters’, ‘Australia’ and ‘A Summer Song’ – shot immediately to the top end of the Hype Machine chart and clocked up hundreds of thousands of plays and attracted offers from labels in the process.

        Though the opportunity was there, however, Youngblood decided to pursue his studies before music. That Youngblood continued his education in American Studies at Yale is an interesting point. His real name is Kneeland Conner Youngblood, after his father, a former physician who participated in sit-ins at Princeton University, while his grandfather was initially turned away from Princeton for being black - making Youngblood the next in a strong, essential American lineage.

        Though the 13 songs on ‘Cheyenne’ all have their own story, they each centre around a familiar theme. The record was written over a two year period, during which Youngblood travelled extensively. Lead track, ‘The Birds of Finland’, is a perfect example of these expeditions, touching on the tonality of these places scattered across the globe. “Travel might be a response to not feeling comfortable to stay in one place too long. I love meeting new people and seeing new terrains,” he explains. “With that being said, I do feel like the idea of a home is very important. Otherwise traveling ends up feeling more like drifting.”

        The response is a record that involves travel, but also the grounding aspects of the people Youngblood has encountered along the way, in particular the women in his life. In essence, ‘Cheyenne’ – which follows 2016’s ‘The Generation of Lift’ EP – is Youngblood having introspective conversations with himself about the relationships he holds and tying them together with specific places. That doesn’t mean these songs are specifically focused around love stories, instead the tracks on this record are about people that “have come and gone, stayed; family and friends; exes; people I like and don’t like.”

        “I've never consciously written about women, but for some reason I felt inclined all of a sudden. And one song led to the next with this album. I usually enjoy writing about places, but this time it was nice to put different people into places,” says Youngblood of the writing process. Since he has five siblings, all of whom are sisters, one of these tracks in particular stands out – ‘My Brother’s Brother’ – which was written by Youngblood after a break-up and “wishing I had a brother to talk to about it.”

        “A lot of the times I’m writing down what I want to try out as combinations before I’ve even started a song,” says Youngblood, about the songs on the record, many of which have been laboured over often for weeks at a time; as a living entity that needs to be explored, played around with and worked out.. “For example… on ‘Stockholm’, I specifically wanted to do a song with 808s and a harp, and see where it goes from there. I ended up using a vocoder too. I often think about what I haven’t used together, and use it in different ways.”

        Clearly – whether it’s what Youngblood humbly puts down as “musical ADHD” or sheer talent – ‘Cheyenne’ is the work of a musical polymath. As well as travel informing the content of the songs, it’s also a crucial part of the album’s concept as a whole. The album’s artwork is shot by Youngblood (and friends he was travelling with) who took around 2,500 photographs while touring around Europe in the past couple years, mostly in places such as Iceland, Macedonia and Finland as well as a few hiking trips around the United States. The CD and LP comes with a book full of these photographs as well as notes, sketches, essays – essentially a map of how Youngblood created this record.

        Ultimately, positioned between the sincere folk-like melodies of Elliott Smith, the pure sonics of and instrument switching ethos that’s reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens, ‘Cheyenne’ presents Youngblood an accomplished songwriter. While there are a few distant key figures grounding his sound Conner's music carves out a future narrative that is very much his own with unexpected instrumental parts and obscure melodies a step outside the current landscape.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.


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