The Sentinel

micro-blog from music lovers sharing their passion

Category Archives: Electronica

Paul Schütze – Deus Ex Machina (Full Album)

Paul Schütze’s debut album from 1989 sets his stall out from the start; with a cyber update on Jon Hassell’s notion of ‘Fourth World Music”. Schütze’s music always sounds like it could be an alternative soundtrack to ‘Blade Runner’ (be aware fellow purists, I did state “alternative”), and this album is probably THE perfect candidate if in some other dimension the Vangelis OST was no longer deemed satisfactory (such a dimension surely cannot exist). The listener feels like they’re walking through the rain soaked, neon-lit streets of a future LA with Deckard. We have the full album on here as it was released on CD as one, single track. So, dip in.

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Paul Schütze – Hallucinations (In Memory or Reinaldo Arenas)

Schütze brings his Fourth world electronica to Kevin Martin’s ‘Ambient 4: Isolationism’ (1994) compilation for Virgin records; though his material doesn’t really fit into the Isolationism “category”.

Orbital – The Girl With The Sun In Her Head

This was the opening track from their 1996 album ‘In Sides’, which was just before they went all Dr. Who and lost it.While there are elements of their Electronica that is very much of its time (the breaks come to mind), there is still something rather lovely about tracks like this that manages to pull on the heartstrings.

David Sylvian – Blemish

David Sylvian isn’t everyone’s cup of Darjeeling. Many find his smooth vocals grating; while others revel in it.
This listener has veered between both camps over the years, but finds himself in the latter with the majority of the ‘Blemish’ album. From 2003, ‘Blemish’ is a collaboration with Derek bailey in parts, and Fennesz in others. For my money, the tracks with Fennesz really, really work and are by far the strongest on the album; and this, the title track, is one of them.
Sylvians silken croon is contrasted nicely with the improv guitar/electronics from Christian Fennesz, giving the track a sprawling sound without it being aimless. According to David Sylvian, this album was his most painful experience put to record, and charts the collapse of his relationship with Ingrid Chavez.
A work of beauty.

The Other People Place – Eye Contact

Sublime Electro as imagined by Detroit Techno; from the prolific, mercurial, and sadly missed James Stinson of Drexciya fame. This is from the 2001 album ‘Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café’, which is as magnificent throughout as this track would suggest. Go seek.

Balil – Avidya

Handley and Turner (also known as Plaid and Black Dog Productions) go to town with some Electronica (Post-Techno? Ambient Techno? IDM?) that takes in Detroit Techno, Breaks, and whatever else worked. This is from their 1994 ‘Parasight’ EP that also featured the absolutely sublime ‘Island’. This doesn’t quite touch the majesty of ‘Island’; though nothing else on the EP does; but it certainly stands as a great relic of that particular time.

Jan Jelinik – Tendency

This track is Microhouse from the original wave of said sub-genre; off of Jelinik’s sublime 2001 album ‘Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records’, where the title speaks for itself and Jelinik constructed the entire thing from samples off of Jazz records. The album has a lot of tracks that are the kind of clean, minimal Electronica that was au fait at the time (think Kreidler, To Rococo Rot, et al). However, this tune, as previously stated, is super minimal microhouse. The devil is really in the details in this incredible piece of music.

 

Uzect Plaush – The Sky Rolled Back

From a true Ambient classic, 1994’s ‘More Beautiful Human Life’, Paul Schütze uses an anagram of his name for a pseudonym (he also released an album under the moniker ‘Seed’) for an album that tightens up the sound he harnessed under his real name.

Aphex Twin – On

Pretty electronica, back from when the “home listening Techno experience”, or, “IDM”*, was new and astounded indie-kind (and was loved by true Techno heads too, it’s safe to add). Even the fart bass doesn’t take anything away from the aching beauty of this. Richard D James as a mere slip of a lad, and from his 1993 EP of the same name. The fantastic stop-motion video was made by Martin Wallace and, the one and only, Jarvis Cocker.

*Also called “Ambient Techno” back in those days.

The Black Dog – Kings Of Sparta

Twilight electronica; the perfect soundtrack to driving around London on a dark winter night. From their 1993 album ‘Temple Of Transparent Balls’

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