The Haunted House

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On my MP3 Player

I have had some quite good albums on my mp3 player over the past week. First up is Underworld's new album, Oblivion with Bells. Underworld are true electronica pioneers and this album is no exception with lots of interesting sounds and tunes. The tracks are:

1: CROCODILE: The lead single is a very song-like affair featuring some gorgeous synths to accompany Hyde's 80's style lyrics, but it falls short of previous singles due to it's lack of power.

2: BEAUTIFUL BURNOUT: This could well be the definitive Underworld track! Subtly upbeat with layers of synth, driving basslines, soft mellow lyrics and powerful melodies, best track on the album.

3: HOLDING THE MOTH: A simplistic track with an abundance of swirling ambient textures, reminiscent of "Little Speaker", lovely but not exactly outstanding.

4: TO HEAL: The second best piece of music from the Sunshine soundtrack. To Heal is a beautiful ambient track in the style of Brian Eno's "Ascent" featuring a gorgeous swelling melody.

5: RING ROAD: Similar to "Bruce Lee", sounds a bit like The Streets with some cute little backing melodies. It's a good song but not one of the best.

6: GLAM BUCKET: An interesting lo-tempo electronic piece featuring fathoms of intertwining melodies swirling and swelling into a large scale finale.

7: BOY BOY BOY: Another song-like piece featuring Larry Mullen from U2 on drums. This is a good song with an awesome beat but similarly to Crocodile it's not quite got that powerful edge.

8: CUDDLE BUNNY: A short track made out of one ambient pad and a few bassy explosions in random moments.

9: FAXED INVITATION: A very mellow electro track featuring some typical Hyde lyrics but nothing of any real merit.

10: GOOD MORNING COCKERIL: A NICE piano and voice piece which once again lacks any kind of significance in the context of the album. Could have easily been replaced with some of their Underworld live work like "Play Pig" or "Back In The Fears".

11: BEST MAGMU EVER: A great finale piece and a terrific 9 minute relaxing electronic number to round off a good album.

The second album I have really enjoyed this week is Robert Henkes Layering Buddha. Robert Henke, if you don't recognise the name is the guy behind Monolake, and a chief consultant and audio expert at Ableton Software. This album consists of high resolution recording from the FM3 buddha machine. This is a small plastic machine that contains a series of lo-fi hypnotic loops designed for monks.

Robert has sampled these loops using a high quality ADC and then done lots of zooming and processing to show all the hidden sounds you wouldn't normally hear. The sounds quality is exceptional and creates a very surreal ambient album. It might be a little too odd for most peoples tastes, but I recommend it.



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