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Wow, it's not too often I hear a new band that really knocks me on my ass. This band is very much a contemporary sounding group, with massively retro 80s sounds – killer slap bass; vintage synth sounds – brass, bells; disaffected, robotic sounding German-accented female vocals; damsel-in-distress shrieks and gasps; funky guitar lines dripping with chorus; vintage drum machines – this album has it all. Killer songs, killer production. What more could you ask for from a new band? Oh yeah, how about some incredible, wailing sax solos?
Except, wait a minute… Saâda Bonaire is not a new band! They were signed to EMI Electrola way the heck back in 1983, and this, their debut album, was originally recorded back then at Kraftwerk's recording studio. But some record label buffoons screwed up massively – the AR man handling the band had blew his wad 5 times over on Tina Turner's Private Dancer and then 3 times over again on Saâda Bonaire – as a result EMI decided to take him to task and so the project was thrown on the scrap heap, never to be released, dooming Saâda Bonaire to 30-some-odd years of obscurity. This sad fate was, in a way, maybe not so horrible a thing though – who knows, this band may well have sank like the Hindenburg back then, we'll never know. But the album sounds pitch perfect for the musical clime of today, hence the interest in a timely release courtesy of Captured Tracks.
The band, formed by DJ Ralph "von" Richtoven in 1982 in Bremen, Germany – a lesser known neighbour to Hamburg – Saâda Bonaire was designed to showcase vocalists Stefanie Lange and Claudia Hossfeld. The album was produced by British reggae guitarist and producer Denis Bovell (Thompson Twins, Slits, Alpha Blondy, Bananarama, Fela Kuti, Orange Juice, Madness, Linton Kwesi Johnson, etc). You may remember Bovell from the BBC Reggae Britannia documentary, where he talks about the superb suburban dub-plates coming out of John Hasell's Barnes-based studio. Charlie Mariano (Gong, Stan Kenton, Charles Mingus) contributes some seriously sultry sax lines.
This album is stunning: sophisticated female vocals dripping with sexiness and style; amazing funky guitar lines; Asian/African influences; paranoid effects; awesome drum machine sounds and exotic percussion; echoes of disco; echoes of rap. Songs of longing, songs of sex, dystopian visions; it's hard to imagine how this album could be any better, or au courant.
It's so good – so branché – that I couldn't help but wonder if it was a scam – did this band actually ever exist? – cursory research suggest that they were in fact a real band and they did release one 7" on EMI back in the day.
Fans of Rainbow Arabia, Destroyer, Grimes, Sean Nicholas Savage, Adult, Glass Candy, goth, goth pop, Strawberry Switchblade, 80s vintage sounds, etc take note. This is an extraordinary album.
Chris Watson, known for his work with Cabaret Voltaire and The Hafler Trio, has also had a very successful career as a field recording artist. With The Sounds of Lindisfarne and the Gospels Watson created a sound installation that attempted to recall the sound of the remote UK island of Lindisfarne – situated on the northwest coast of England, almost up towards Scotland, and also known as "Holy Island" – as it would have sounded around the time of the writing of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
The Gospels is an important text that is held in the collection of the British museum. An illuminated manuscript, and one of the finest examples of its kind, it is believe that the Gospels was written by the monk Eadfrith somewhere in the vicinity of the year 700. Given that was over thirteen hundred years ago, details are a bit hazy.
The installation was created in conjunction with the celebration of the exhibition of the Gospels at Durham University. In St Cuthbert's Time – thankfully ported to album format by the fine folks at Touch Records – is a beautiful, immersive recording that transports the listener to Lindisfarne and then takes one on a journey through each of the four seasons. Titled in some form of Old English – Winter; Lechten; Sumor; and Haefest – each segment is approximately in the 15-minute range.
Being an island where resided not much more than a monastery, the album is rife with the sounds of nature and solitude: bird calls, wind, and water abound. The animals audible throughout the recording include: geese; ducks; swabs; skylarks; plovers; snipe; eider duck; linnet; cuckoo; insects; cattle; terns; yellowhammer; deer stags; grey seals. Bones of the great auk were found on Lindisfarne, but seeing as no recording of the extinct bird exist, they obviously did not make it onto this recording! In addition to the nature and wildlife sounds, the monks make their presence felt in the form of iron bells sounding out a gentle call to prayer.
This album itself, functions as a sort of call to prayer – being a deeply serene and rejuvenating experience from end to end. Watson has created a masterful journey back to medieval times as heard through the ears of a monk on Lindisfarne. A wonderful album for fans of audio art and nature recordings.
This new Boogat track plays to the heartstrings of those familiar with Montreal's Romados Portugese bakery. Another classic Boogat and Poirier collaboration, another classic tribute from these guys to Canada's finest city.
"Epic" electronic pop. Not so sure about this, but I do like the pan flute type sound which may the Andean folk influence the band speaks about.
More classic old school house flavour from the Kill Yourself Dancing collection coming out on Still Records. Great piano parts and drum programming. Not so sure about that wobbly string patch, but hey it's maximum vintage material we're talking about here.
Detroit's Shigeto has a new album titled No Better Time Than Now out on Ghostly International. It's been seeing a lot of spins in my iTunes lately. Ringleader is a track off the album. He's set to tour North America soon with other Ghostly artists….
Awesome flavour in this serously "old school" house track from the collection The (Lost) Story of AKA Dance Music: Chicago 1987-88.
No-holds-barred French electronic mayhem from Étienne de Crécy.
Remix it: http://play.beatport.com/contests/etienne-de-crecy-we-computers/
The first time I saw PS I Love You play was at a sexy sweaty basement dance party in Olympia, WA with Joey Casio. I was dazzled. PS I Love You is the brainchild of Nathan Gordon, who unlike most electronic musicians these days, always has a ton of gear on