It doesn’t get any more effortlessly cool than this. Fun, quirky alt rock that’s catchy like covid.
Sometimes you can think “but all the tunes have all been written already, so what new are we expecting” and then comes something like this, which just opens a complete new portal with three notes on the bass. I love when this happens, makes me keep going and listen to ten new records a day again.
A blend of ambient and IDM with down-to-mid-tempo beats. First I registered this as some strange combination of psy chill atmosphere and glitchy sounds, then I figured there’s quite a bit of cyberpunk mood to it. I could imagine this to be a soundtrack of a neo-noir RPG game. Then I looked at the album title again… Riiiiight.
When I wrote “good punk rock” for the latest Offspring record I was already thinking how I’ll make that right when I get to this album. Because I think Rise Against is an obviously more mature and serious punk rock band, but then again punk is definitely not the definition of anything serious. Anyhow, Rise Against is not the joker type, they are serious, political, and they play melodic hardcore—this is all right there on this one.
I had a hard time decoding this record with its extremes ranging from experimental IDM to cool blue jazz. Just thinking about the aspect of this being some weirdly unique and altered jazz sound, gave me associations of The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble or even Brandt Brauer Frick. But this was something different still. And then I read this was a duo of Bernd Friedmann and Uwe Schmidt (Atom™) and it all clicked into place. It’s amazing how two artists can blend into one music in a way that you can see who brought what to the table so clearly.
In full honesty though, my favorite track here is Sweet Silence, which has no electrnics to it, but the film noir atmosphere is just irresistible.
Nu:Tone and Hospital Records like it’s the turn of the millenium and we’re chillin’ to liquid drum and bass. Brings up so many memories from parties to friends. This album is a time trip for sure, but it also shows how great drum and bass is still done. I wonder though if this appeals to the current young generation or it’s just old people’s music.
When I first listened to this I couldn’t believe how absolutely great this album was. An Offspring record in 2021, which sounds like such a good evolution of them. It’s part serious but part fun, it has drag and beat, it’s all around good punk rock, I just cannot help stamping my feet when listening to it. Although I’m still wrapping up my year-end conclusions but this one is pretty close to being my favorite rock album this year.
In 2005 when Dead Can Dance reunited they recorded and released a series of shows as limited edition records. Now these got published on Spotify. Naturally it is beautiful material. But also, listening to live concert recordings in the times of lockdowns and cancelled events is a life saver. Part pain of absence but part breath of life.
On a completely side note, thinking about the ethics of republishing of previously limited material. I imagine you can say that the limited experience at his point is the physical copy anyone purchased in 2005. But that sounds kinda like an excuse. I’ve recently seen a sale where previously Kickstarted board games found in the publisher’s storage were being sold, with Kickstarter exclusives included. Makes me go hm.