Florence is coming to town. I was a big fan when she first got played on this side of the pond and have dropped off considerably since then. It's not like Infected Mushroom where the music has changed. Nor, I think, is it the old fogey of I-can't-like-anything-once-it-gets-popular. Florence is still doing her thing, except with a big stage now, bigger budget, and the trappings that come with that. In this live recording from last year you can hear her with a big-stage quality drum kit backing, two backup singers, a harp, and a full live horn section. I'm left wondering if that makes her (act) better or not. What attracted me to her was the combination of her voice and the deep weirdness of her lyrics. It has been a very long time since I've seen a show at a place so big they needed Jumbotrons - I forget what stadium-concert sound is like. She's very clearly having fun, though, and that's a strong incentive to try and see her when she comes around. Of course, the ticket price is likely to make me balk, but it's a thought.
Also coming to town is Bob Mould. I've written about my admiration for him a few times in the past. Going to see him would be a no-brainer except it's at the Paradise, a venue I despise. Their sound quality is uniformly terrible, sight lines are mediocre, and it's never comfortable. But it's Bob Mould, and I'm going to go in part because we've lost some great talents recently and I feel like I want to appreciate the really great gray-haired performers who are still with us. And because, duh, it's Bob Mould.
This was one of the fine tunes in the New Year's Eve party soundtrack. The host who had programmed that night's set has different musical tastes from mine, but there's a fair degree of overlap to the point where it's enjoyable for me to notice something they've picked and inquire, or to suggest something they can check out. Here is Melosense with a deep chill track. Very 'night music' and slinky acoustic sounds.
While we're still in the mellow part of this post, let me also introduce you to Phutureprimitive. This track came off Pandora's recommendations from my modification of sweetmmeblue's Glitch Mob station. The resemblance should be clear - bass electronica, with a strong beat and some stutter programming. "Kinetik" is also an acoustic-only track.
Vicetones continue to supply me with lush, sweet club sounds. It's a house track, like their other work, but it's also uptempo and melodic (despite the title). As so often happens I wish to complain that the track clocks in at under 3 minutes - feels more like a teaser than a fully developed track.
Back in 2014 I noted that RAC mixes have this habit of slipping by unremarked. And somehow I managed to go all of last year without blogging any of his work. My bad - I do follow it but don't always notice and mark his entries in my stream. This one reaches out and grabs you (well, if you're me) entirely because of the vocals. Frida Sundemo fronted this track for Morten originally and this is RAC's mix. Her voice is excellent - I particularly like how she handles the minor-key bits without sounding whiny.
I hope you've had enough of relaxing because the last two items are going to break that mode. First up is DJs from Mars' year-end megamash. This is the extended mix - I linked the original when it came out last month but I like this better. You get an extra minute and a half of ear teasers as a bonus and where I thought the end of the original mix was kind of a letdown, this one goes strong right up to the last 20 seconds.
About a decade or so again there was a thread in club music that was just generally called "hard". It featured very fast beats, electronica with distorted edges, insistent repetitive phrasing, and a lot of the tropes of club music at that time - sound samples, manga or Japanese animation elements, using horns or whistles as found sound, and simple message-oriented vocals. The first link is a recording of Marco V doing his hard anthem "Godd" recorded in 2005. I had forgotten all about this track - and really never was much of a hard fan - until a version of this got sampled in a DJ set I was listening to last week. I have no idea where the memory is from, but I remember thrashing to this track until my shirt was soaked with sweat. (I believe the track first came out in 2001 which only broadens the possible places/occasions - my best guess is one of the poolside parties that used to happen at Disclave.)
The second link is the V-Dubb remix of "Godd" and it's what started me on this as it was sampled in the DJ set and something in my brain pinged. This mix has some of the elements of the original but I think I can see how the edges are starting to soften and evolve into what house music would become in the years after. If you don't like hard techno you're not likely to enjoy this mix any more than the first, but for me it's a nice reminder of where EDM used to be when I was first dipping my toes into the waters.