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Audio Mix: Hybrid, Transitions Mix

Posted in Downloads, Music Reviews with tags , , , , on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 by raeflect

Live
Hybrid, the electronic brainchild of UK’ers Mike Truman and Chris Healings, remains one of my favorite techno/ electronic groups to date.  Their stylish mix of trance, progressive house, and their inventive drum breaks cement their reputation as a very solid DJ act.  Their debut LP “Wide Angle” came out in 1999, and although I didn’t discover it until a few years after the release, their amazing mix of electronic beats and live string arrangements pulled me into the diverse world of techno, and broke ground for a future love of all things electronic.

Their distinctive style has evolved into something all their own, but comparisons can be drawn from such powerhouse electronic acts such as Massive Attack, Portishead, John Digweed, and Underworld.  Many live trance acts mar their performance (in my opinion) with unnecessary vocal samples, often in the flavor of a female vocalist voicing shallow philosophy or heartbreak, but Hybrid uses a more opera style female vocals very tastefully, and not as a main aspect of their live mixes.

Their latest live mix, which debuted on Transitions (Kiss 100) in the UK (DJ’d by John Digweed) last October, draws from a great list of remixed tracks:

01) Rufus Wainwright – Tiergarten (Supermayer Remix) [Kompakt]
02) Layo & Bushwaka – Now Is The Time (Original Mix) [Olmeto]
03) James Talk & Ridney – Sunshyne (Original Mix) [CDR]
04) Tim Davison – Love You Bye (Original Mix) [CDR]
05) Shilo & Radiohead – Flywheel / Nude (Hybrid Re-Edit) [CDR]
06) Tim Davison & Stacey Kitson – Deliver Me (Less Vox Mix) [CDR]
07) Hybrid & Charlotte James – The Formula Of Fear (Hybrid Remix) [Disctinctive]
08) Leftfield – Song For Life (Tim Davison Mix) [CDR]
09) Dive & Jin Sonic – Play (Wolfgang Gartner Dub) [U-Boot]

These tracks flow effortlessly into each other, creating a great mix for a late night dance party or as a soundtrack to any other activity: Driving, gaming, or smoking. Starting with the more chill Wainwright, and transitioning into the next track, this mix gains steam, eventually building into the deep trance, low frequency beats I love Hybrid for.

You can find this mix, free and legal at:

http://www.hybridized.org/sets/562

If you dig this mix, I highly recommend the ‘DJ Set on Frisky Radio Pt. 1’ which you can find, along with tons of other sets at:

http://www.hybridized.org/sets/?artist=1

Official Site

MGR

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 by raeflect

mgrhome

Mustard Gas and Roses (MGR), side project of ISIS guitarist Mike Gallagher is indeed a force to be reckoned with.  My mood for his style of ambient metal influenced songs fits in with the likes of Mono, Sigur Ros, and World’s End Girlfriend.  2006’s Nova Lux paints an elegant dreamscape in five movements, with the track titles appropriately simple in I- V roman numerals.

The first track leads in with three minutes of synth strings, eventually fading behind a haunting guitar line.  The mood is best described by Gallagher himself on his myspace: “………slow…………..boring………………depressing.”  Besides a few specific incarnations, drums are essentially absent on this album.  The ambiance is instead created by layered guitar lines, deep rolling gongs, and a few scattered aphex twin ambient style beats (reserved, simple, distorted…).

This is the perfect album for sitting and staring out at the slowly darkening world through a cold window, with a warm drink in hand.  Although this word is thrown out way too often, I do not hesitate to call this album entirely Chill.  As the last track fades out, the silence suddenly feels full of life, and you are glad for it.

http://www.myspace.com/mgrsounds

Foundations of Music

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on Monday, October 27, 2008 by raeflect

I am, (as are all the contributors to this site of literary exchange) a music lover.  From when I was a small child, to as I am today, music in all it’s various forms has helped shape who I am and how I live my life.  Thinking about ‘Violent by Design,’ spurred on by alteezimo’s article, I began to think of all the albums that have in the last five or six years affected this evolution.  Many of these albums were either given or suggested by friends, who have assuredly also placed most if not all in the ‘never discard’ section of the individual’s music memory.

Personally, had these albums been physical records, I would have over time carved the grooves into canyons.  These eight albums make up a core of my music listening history, and will forever be a part of my music library.

Air – Talkie Walkie


This album introduced me to the genius of Air, and helped forge my love of electronic music.

Boards of Canada – The Campfire Headphase


Being a drummer, I absolutely love stylish, inventive beats, and simple though many of their loops may be,  their creativity in frequency and static distortion definitely makes them stand out from the very large crowd of electronic artists.  It’s a shame they have not released any official material since 2006.

Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It in People

First introduced to me by my friend Shannon, this album absolutely captivated me, being of a sort of rock music that I had never known existed.  My favorite track on this album is ‘Looks just like the Sun’ which sounds like two people sitting with their feet up on a porch railing: the sun setting over a gently flowing lake glittered with sparkling reflections while their docile music tones float around.

Isis – Panopticon

I bought this album only weeks after it’s release, on the recommendation of my friend Ryan, and I’ve never looked back.  Just as ‘Violent by Design’ gave me an introduction to hip-hop, ‘Panopticon’ showed me the way to a now great appreciation of metal.  Hearing many of the songs off this album played live proved to me that we can expect much more great music from this band.

M83 – Before the Dawn Heals Us

In it’s own way, ‘Before the Dawn Heals Us’ is one of the heaviest albums I own.  Although I would associate it more with electronic music than rock, tracks such as ‘Don’t Save Us From the Flames,’ ‘Fields Shorelines and Hunters,’ ‘Asterick,’ and ‘Teen Angst’ are definite head bangers, and from firsthand knowledge: Loud and very intense live.

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

Convinced of their worth by my brother, but lacking knowledge of their catalog, I picked up this album maybe in seventh or eight grade, and since that first listen of ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond (part I-V)’ my respect for Pink Floyd has never lapsed.

Sigur Ros- Takk

I saw Sigur Ros live in Madison just weeks after buying this album, and I can say that to this day, dozens of great shows later, that was one of my all time favorites.  Their obvious skill for music composition reveals itself in the subtlety and direction of the string quartet section, everpresent on this album.

Super Furry Animals – Phantom Power

I love all of Super Furry’s catalog, but the playful and carefree nature of this album, backed up by it’s strong yet never over-reaching electronics, beautiful harmonies, and wonderfully crafted drum beats marks it as entirely unique in my mind.  The slight background vocal samples, often voiced by Gruff Rhys, add a clever and often humorous touch.  I absolutely love the psych-rock jam that breaks down the end of ‘The Piccolo Snare,’ and ‘Slow Life’ remains one of my favorite electronic tracks.

I mostly wrote this so others would share some of their lasting, if not all-time favorite, albums that will always have a place in the ideal music collection.  Frankly, I’m just curious.

Staring at the Walls

Posted in Life Perspectives with tags on Thursday, October 16, 2008 by raeflect

Those of us that have grown up in rooms entirely our own, or have eventually occupied a lone cell, often times will decorate the walls.  Some people seem to put up pictures, artwork, or tapestry merely to fill space, with little or no thought as to how this arrangement reflects personality.  Others entirely take over a room, cramming the walls with either dozens of half blurred pictures of friends, posters of favorite bands, cloth hangings with intricate design, or artwork of still and/or lively nature.  I ascribe myself to the latter school; There are pictures of valleys, waterfalls, cloud obscured sunsets, and random light swirls.  I feel at home in my room, comforted by the images surrounding me, and I feel proud when anyone enters and comments on the either peaceful nature of the space, or the specific images that help make up the togetherness.

It seems that many individuals, especially those that decorate based on their wish to be surrounded by those things they love, are sometimes reticent, or reluctant to allow strangers entry into their space.  Rooms often take on a personal feeling when one has inhabited the space for a long time, projecting a sense of peace, hurt, sorrow, love or even emptiness, depending on the personality of the occupant.  To walk into the room of such a person is an almost intimate act, one that should be appreciated and respected.  Currently my favorite thing to look at in my room is a painting I was loaned by a friend.

If the images on your walls are static and have become boring… consider spending a few minutes either re-arranging, or tearing them down to replace them with something more interesting to look at.  Make your space belong to you… and live with it.

Grails’ Doomsdayer’s Holiday Released Today

Posted in Music News with tags , , , on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 by raeflect

Mixing a blend of heavy rock, blues, psychedelic sound wave experimentation, and mid-east guitar riffs, Grails stands out from similar genre, former label mates such as ISIS, Red Sparowes, and Neurosis. Now situated on the Temporary Residence Limited (Mono, Explosions in the Sky and Maserati) label, who also released their amazing 2007 LP Burning Off Impurities they release Doomsdayer’s Holiday.

I haven’t had a chance to pick this album up yet, but listening to the two tracks they’ve released on their MySpace page, I am very excited to hear the full length. The first track I listened to was “Reincarnation Blues”, which starts out with the slightly off key wobble of an instrument you’d more likely hear in a Turkish bazaar than on a heavy rock album. They do a great job of blending this instrument into the lead guitar line, while layering on strings, and keeping the drums nice and heavy. The song fades out into an ambient breakdown, but begins to build steam toward the end, making what I can only assume will become a buildup into the next track.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this full length, so everyone who likes interesting music with a touch of greatness should also pick this up right now. Right, now.

Also, watch this sweet commercial they made for the album release: