What Are You Listening to at the Moment?

(Sebastian) #4419

Deep Purple - Child in Time (1995 remastered)


Saw John Carpenter on his Anthology Tour last night and he was excellent.

(Andy) #4421

That’s f*ckin awesome and I am so jealous!


It was quite an experience. Can’t believe he came to my hometown, usually I have to travel halfway down the country to see anything I’m into.

(El Topo) #4423

One of my favourite bands ever

acoustic version

normal version

(El Topo) #4424

Another favourite band and song

(Andy) #4425

This guy does a great cover of Trinity Stand Tall

(autephex) #4426

Wow, I was obsessed with Orbital in the 90s, right around the time In-Sides came out (which is prob still my favorite album) but I have totally lost track of them as I didn’t really like the stuff after Middle of Nowhere too much. I will have to check this out and see what they’re upto these days

That is a pretty incredible show to see, and that poster is cool as shit :face_with_monocle:

Just finished listening to Killing Joke Peel Sessions & now onto some Italian OST music, currently The Bloody Hands of the Law - Stelvio Cipriani

(Mickey13) #4427

I know, we discussed Oribtal on this very thread like several years ago. I’d say it’s their most 90s sounding album since the nineties, it’s very solid overall. Be sure to check the new Aphex out, it’s great.


Love me some funky stuff from Herbie, while having a very nice Caipirinha Cocktail. Yep!.. It’s all good.


I rewatched Death Wish a few years. Having missed the credits, I stopped the DVD to google who did the cool “classical” score and was surprised to find it was Herbie Hancock who, at the time, I mainly associated with Rockit.

(autephex) #4430

The new Aphex you mention - Syro from a few years back, Collapse EP, or the self released cassette Aphex Mt. Fuji 2017? I loved Syro - even bought it on vinyl, excellent release with triple gatefold cover. Easily one of the best vinyl albums I own. I haven’t heard the new EP or the cassette yet, will look them up.

Still haven’t checked out the new Orbital yet. I thought I maybe remembered discussing them before with you, but wasn’t sure. I guess my age is catching up to my memory.

Currently playing Haujobb - Polarity - Some great albums, reminds me of Underworld meets Aphex:

(Mickey13) #4431

I mean the new Collapse EP is easily his best release in a decade. Some of it sounds familiar and squelchy enough (particularly Pthex), but there is a new digital crunchy edge to it, some of which was already apparent on his Cheetah EP. Likewise, James has shifted towards the footwork genre and created an interesting blend of footwork and jungle. One track (MT1 T29R2) sounds so similar to some of Jlin’s stuff that prior to Collapse’s release people were even speculating it was a collab between her and Aphex. As a matter of fact, apart from having been played on several of his live concerts, the track appeared on a mixtape compiled by Paradinas like a year earlier or so and it was credited to Jlin back then. Either way, it’s not as undercooked or skeletal as his other recent EPs.

Now that we’re talking about his EP material, it’s funny you mention his Mt. Fuji EP because that shit was like a non-release or perhaps that’s his idea of a prank concocted just to fuck with his retarded fanbase, wouldn’t surprise me the least bit. I appreciated some of his lesser known EPs like London 03.06.17, Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006–08 or Cheetah, but Fuji EP was like a compilation of analog farts made on his modular system which is all fine I guess, but it’s not like it’s an actual release, you can find stuff like that on youtube and so on. Some of it isn’t that abstract, but you get the idea. It’d be amazing if he released a new abstract ambient record though, not gonna lie about that.

With regard to Syro, I don’t know what to say. Some of it is fucking amazing, some of it isn’t. I mean XMAS_EVET10 is a freaking masterpiece, there is no denying that. I’ve listened to it like several hundred times and it never gets old, quite on the contrary, it gets better with every listen. It’s one of the most subtle, multifaceted and complex tracks he’s ever recorded and perhaps one of the best pieces of electronic music ever composed. I also adore minipops 67, 4 bit 9d api+e+6, aisatsana and syro u473t8+e, but overall the album is kind of all over the place and a little bit of everything, never coalescing into a stylistically coherent record: it isn’t as energetic and vigorous as his Tuss EPs (I think they are his best late releases along with this new Collapse EP) and it isn’t nearly as deranged as his Drukqs. Its breakbeat parts aren’t as groovy as his breakcore releases and its glitchy drill 'n bass bits aren’t as aggressive as his experimentation at the beginning of the 2000s either. IMHO of course. It’s still pretty goddamn good, don’t misunderstand me.

Gonna check that out, cheers.

BTW, have you been keeping up with the new Autechre stuff? I still haven’t got through all of their late 2000s and 2010s releases, it’s kind of daunting wading through all these hours of generative noise.

(El Topo) #4432

(autephex) #4433

Sounds great I will look it up soon.

hahah yeah that does not surprise me at all. I haven’t heard it and probably won’t even bother. His ambient albums are so big, I wonder if he’s scared to even attempt a new one lol. His last ambient work wasn’t so great, IMO, while the first 2 are among the best out there.

My thoughts on Syro are as follows:

minipops 67 is an almost perfect aphex twin song - complex yet simple beatwork that is more about tight groove than craziness, beautiful evocative synths along with dirty 303s and just a hint of vocoded vocals… the track would work better at about 1 minute shorter though.

XMAS_EVET10 - jesus that is some funky ass bass, and then the combination with the haunting synth/weird piano and groovy beats that are like distant sounding … this is really the style i always loved most from him. It creates a very characteristic kind of feeling, the same present in a lot of his best ambient work, but then you get the beats and funk mixed in with tonal changes throughout the song. Beautiful stuff, definitely among the best I’ve ever heard from RDJ.

produk 29 - i’m a total sucker for the slower tempo with these kinds of floating synths, rhodes type piano and that bass sound is incredible.

4 bit 9d api+e+6 - could say much the same about this track as already said above

The fact the album is front-loaded with such great tracks really gave it a big boost for me. I was instantly in love with the album even though the next few tracks are more or less typical aphex filler. Things get back on track with CIRCLONT14, although still nowhere as strong as the first songs, and syro u473t8+e again bringing some serious funk along with more haunting synths - track starts out like a sleeper and becomes another favorite.

papat4 - i like the sounds, but i don’t like the weird melody (or whatever you want to call it) as it doesn’t evoke any kind of feelings, so the track just doesn’t work at all for me.

s950tx16wasr10 has all the key aphex elements, even the jungle style drums, but its just listenable and not so good really.

aisatsana - at least he has the decency to end on one that makes you remember suicide is always an option

So yeah, there’s definitely a mixed bag there, but there is also a big chunk of some of RDJ’s best work.
I’ve got to laugh to myself picturing people reading these replies who are unaware of aphex and the nonsense track names.

If you like Haujobb, the main guy in the band is Daniel Myer and he has a massive catalogue of work under different names.

I haven’t been keeping up with Autechre - to be honest, I’ve mostly not kept up with any electronic music for some time now. Not that I don’t like it any more, but I was so focused on soley electronic music for so many years, that recently I’ve been making my way through quite a lot of other stuff.

But yeah, I hear you on wading through it all. Really I’d say the same thing about Autechre as Aphex, which is they made a lot of stuff just for the sake of making it and a lot of it isn’t really very good. And especially with a lot of these earlier experimental artists - things weren’t so easy to do back then, so it was a lot harder to make this kind of music actually sound like music, and that is a big part of why a lot of it isn’t so great. Even now with newer production methods, the sound is almost too played out now and these kinds of artists really need to go back to making expressive music while retaining their distinct styles because we’re coming out the other side, where experimentation is too easy so its kind of pointless… but maybe that’s just me getting older :stuck_out_tongue:

(Mickey13) #4434

I kind of agree to a certain degree. I would say that especially Autechre perhaps have been delving into the abstract side of electronic music for a little bit too long. But I would take issue with the claim that limitations of the old gear impeded the process of making music back in the day. While it is true to a certain extent, the opposite could be argued as well, for these limitations often were a starting point for experimentation these producers attempted. Autechre have stated multiple times that they often feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the digital systems and the boundless possibilities offered by such flexible environments and instead of trudging through complex software algorithms, they occasionally prefer taking a different route by returning to their antediluvian equipment and their old drum machines: they make grooves with the gear that is severely lacking from the contemporary standpoint. Limitations oftentimes inspire a lot more than endless creative possibilities.

While we’re talking about the limitations of the vintage gear, it seems important to note that a large proportion of the early electronic acts were actually shaped by limitations of the equipment they were using. There would be no acid house or acid techno without Roland TB-303, no doubt. There was a multitude of constraints as far as its architecture goes, but not only that, the thing was it sounded like crap and it was basically a one-trick pony used to make these two squelchy basslines. The reason why it ultimately found its place in the industry (a lot of people rejected the piece of gear back then) was that these musicians were forced to push these machines to their extremes. No one in their right mind would crank the filter resonance knob all the way up back in the day, but Phuture and others did this specifically because they couldn’t afford anything else and the one thing the TB was good at was that raspy, corrosive squelch. Other machines could do that to some extent as well, but the whimsicality of the filter ensured the particular quality TB basslines have and the rest is history. The same could be argued with regard to early step sequencers: perhaps there wouldn’t be any Berlin school ratcheting and Tangerine Dream basslines without the existence of rather clunky hardware modular sequencers.

Likewise, the same could be said about early digital equipment. A lot of 80s pop records would have sounded drastically different had it not been for the existence of Yamaha DX7. Apart from sounding somewhat more ‘acoustic’, it had a great keybed and some great rhodes, bells tones, brasses and all kinds of sounds under its hood for an extremely affordable price. Besides killing the analog instrument manufacturers, the progression of digital technology largely shaped the electronic soundtrack industry, but the interesting thing was that most of these machines almost functioned as sample playback instruments because no one would go through all the trouble to program any of these beasts on account of their absolutely abysmal interfaces. Soundtrack composers grew to work within the very narrow boundaries imposed by Japanese manufacturers and preset designers for the most part, as a consequence of which a lot of soundtracks from the late 1980s and early 1990s sounded pretty samey.

Despite the fact that the digital gear used back in the day such as DX7 or Korg Wavestation had a tremendous sonic capabilities, no one other than RDJ or Eno had the time or patience to program these horrible things. But at the same time, a lot of music produced at the time functions as a sort of time capsule and a trained ear can easily discern the kind of era during which the stuff was produced. Perhaps some of the sounds produced on the early gear were repetitive, but this tyranny of opaque interfaces ultimately changed the music scene quite a lot and resulted in the creation of very specific subgenres and styles of music. At the end of the day, a lot of it is still quite enjoyable IMHO and the sounds are still quite charming, the old digital with its low-bit and low-sample rate waveforms as well as its distinctive DA converters still sounds very nice.

With that being said (I went a little overboard back there, I know), I agree that the glitch sound has pretty much palled on most of us, since it’s super easy these days to achieve similar results in any DAW by dropping a simple glitch plugin that can chop up any audio signal in this specific way. Glitchy and broken music can sound good, but only if it offers anything besides that brokenness, so to speak.

Which album are you referring to? I meant his first two albums back there, yeah, not sure which specific release you’re alluding to here though.


(autephex) #4435

Hmm I guess I’m inventing some ambient album in my head for some reason, as I’ve looked at his discography and not seeing anything. Maybe it was just one or more of the random non-releases over the years that I’m misremembering as an actual album.

We’re actually in agreement here, and this is more of what I was trying to say but didn’t fully express. I mean that making this kind of music in modern times feels pointless unless its actually very good music. Standards are raised a lot now because the ability to do things is vastly opened up… experimentation isn’t good enough any more - it needs to be creatively and expressively sound, and there’s just really no excuse for it not to be.
I certainly understand the appeal of returning to old methods and older setups/gear. Limitations do help in creativity, and aslo help in moving things along because you are confined to those limitations rather than being endlessly caught up in trying to change different things. This aspect really applies to all forms of creativity, not just making electronic music.

I’ve got a lot of years of my own experience with all of this as well, so I really do understand what it used to be like versus what its like now, and the struggle between these dynamics. Maybe I’ve posted this photo here a long time ago, but this is me back in the mid 90s… around this time I had a full hardware live rig setup, even using some of the same live sequencers as Orbital:

(Mickey13) #4436

It was probably one of his soundcloud dumps. Some real gems in there, I particularly love his 28 organ, 18 With My Family and 1 nocares.

Obviously. I think now it’s simply a lot more conspicuous than it might’ve been back in the day, but it was always true to some extent.

Man, that’s a nice photo, props. The keyboard on the right is a Korg MS2000 if I’m right, but I cannot make out what’s on the left. What’s your setup now BTW? It’s always fun discussing gear and things of that nature.

(kit saginaw) #4437

Black Sabbath’s kid-brothers:

(autephex) #4438

Sorry, lost track of this topic! Yep that was a MS2000, along with a Yamaha EX5 (full keyboard version), korg er-1 + ea-1 (drum machine + synth in x0x style boxes). The photo is unfortunately very small so its not too clear… that was back in the day when digital photos weren’t so great and its the only one I have left.

I’ve had so much gear over the years… FutureRetro 777 (crazy individually made 303 clone which is ridiculously expensive now), Moog Little Phatty, Elektron Machinedrum, various sequencers and effects…

Its all sold now… along with my soul… lol

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