Weekly Adventures in the World of Music, vol. 1
Here at Vulture Hound we like to celebrate all that is weird and wonderful in the worlds of Art, Music and Film. So this series of weekly posts is dedicated to looking at musicians that we heartily endorse. In these posts, I cover two bands a week. I break these focused look at bands into two sections, content and style in the first section and how I discovered the band in question in the latter. Anyway enough of the introduction let’s move on. Business waits for no man.
This week I will be keeping it electronic, mainly because it’s the most interesting style of music at the moment. The first band is a French artist who openly straddles the line between pop and ambient with awe inspiring results, the second is the most globally successful name on the LA beat-hop scene. That’s not actually what it’s called, it is just quicker than saying instrumental hip hop, but I guess I’ve made that new title redundant by explaining this in such depth. Ha-ha. Anyway, nothing will ever get done if I just sit here rambling about nothing – let’s get on with the music.
The first band of the week comes from France providing one of many examples against those that think that there is no good music coming from France. The band is M83; the project of Anthony Gonzalez. The electro that comes from Mr Gonzalez is both very similar to 80s synth-pop and contemporary ambient music. Alot of electro has either full on dance sensibilities, pop or ambience. They all have their own charms, but that’s not usually the case when bands try to mash together those different musical sensibilities. Usually those brave enough to mash sensibilities together make a bit of a mess of it. Where I believe M83 to be unique is that they successfully create music that is suitable for different moods, from the thoughtful to the cheerful. In recent material, Gonzales creates music which is both fantastically catchy and beautiful at the same time, whereas his older material was either one thing or the other. M83 are a magnificent band, the sort that makes me want to search out and look up new avenues to find music rather than resting on my laurels and then eventually moving on when I inevitably get bored.
This was a band came into my sphere of vision a long time ago, long before I actually gave them the time of day. I first heard of them at the end of 2005 when their album Before Dawn Heals Us was gaining plaudits all over the place, like album of the year. This would usually be a fair reason for a band to get your attention and it was. I listened to the album, and I’ll be honest my tastes back then were much more narrow, so at the time I didn’t think – oh, this is cool or interesting music, instead I thought what a load of boring shit. That is probably true; they probably are boring if you don’t give them a chance, so to right them off so soon was unfair. It wasn’t until recently that I they piqued my attention and that was thanks to the song we own the sky, a song that instantly made me fall in love with the band. Now slowly but surely I am making up for the folly of my younger self by enjoying their material, and the rest is history.
Listen to the song that made me fall in love:
http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F5791988We Own The Sky – M83
Selected M83 discography
• Saturdays = Youth – 2008 – EMI Records
• Before Dawn Heals Us – 2005 – Gooom Records
• Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts – 2003 – Gooom Records
Flying Lotus aka Stephen Ellison is the great-nephew of the late Alice Coltrane, whose husband was John Coltrane. He is also the cousin of musician Ravi Coltrane. The one thing you cannot doubt is the credentials of the guy, it’s not just his blood he has also made a name for himself thanks to the many hearts and awards has won such as Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards album of the year nod. But enough of the spiel, if you go deep enough everybody is linked to someone impressive thanks to the theory of six degrees of separation. Musically FlyLo is an endlessly creative mix of electro, dub, jazz and pretty much everything else you can think of. It works and then some for me, but because he is so unique and houses such diverse influences he attracts as much as he repels. I hope he attracts you as he is the best new musician I have heard in years, its people like this that put a stake into the heart of ideas like modern music being pointless and awful when you compare it to the legends – The dad perspective on music, essentially. FlyLo challenges the dads of the world and wins.
FlyLo is an unromantic new discovery. There’s no great lord of the rings style adventure to find this one, no one ring to end them all, no really bad ending, it was all just a fluke. I discovered Flying Lotus on a whim. I had seen the name frequenting alot of websites that I use and I was curious. So I went on a music website and bought the most recent album, at the time (Los Angeles), purely of the back of the artwork and name. It was a potent combo; the power of album artwork is something not to be messed with. When it arrived I listened to it endlessly in a very short space of time and within about 3/4 weeks, I had literally bought all of his albums and EP’s. That just doesn’t happen anymore now I am older and wiser. The affection I had for his music was instantaneous and unconditional, and the rest is history.
Flying Lotus – Camera Day (taken from Pattern+Grid World)
Selected Flying Lotus Discography
• Cosmogramma – 2010 – Warp Records
• Pattern+Grid World [EP] – 2010 – Warp Records
• Los Angeles – 2008 – Warp Records
• Reset [EP] – 2007 – Warp Records
• 1983 – 2006 – Plug Research Records