Genres explored: Cool Jazz, Soundtrack, R&B, Ambient Techno, Experimental/Electronic, World/Psychedelic Funk Rock, Psychedelic Pop, Noise-Rock, Soul, Ghetto House.
Three to Get Ready [The Dave Brubeck Quartet]
Another 2014 revelation for me has been the discovery of Dave Brubeck’s “Classic” Quartet. This was the first jazz album to go Platinum in the US ever (over 1,000,000 copies sold), and still remains one of the biggest selling jazz albums of all time. For people like me who are just starting to skim and discover the world of jazz, this record serves as a firm reference point, as much as Coltrane’s Love Supreme, and Davies’ Kind of Blue. The 2009 Legacy Remaster Edition we have at the Central Library contains 3 discs: the first CD is the original Time Out -though pristinely remastered (compared to older remasters); the second CD features live recordings of the quartet from 1961, 1963 and 1964; and the last one is a DVD where we have Mr. Brubeck giving an interview and playing his ol’ piano friend.
Prelude and The Sound of Music [Irwin Costal, Julie Andrews]
This soundtrack was the biggest-selling album in the UK in 1965, 1966, and 1968 and the second biggest-selling album of the entire decade (yes, even beating The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper!) Yet, it is not hard to imagine why! How many young souls around the world has the movie touched? The songs, brilliantly arranged and composed, will inevitably connect with the kid inside us, and always live in our memory.
Loving You (Demo) [Michael Jackson]
Xscape is the second compilation released after Michael’s death 5 years ago. I have to admit it took me a while to settle into the fact that more of his material is being excavated and release without him being part of the production, especially considering the perfectionist that he was. To compensate for that, I was happy to find that this deluxe edition includes the original 8 songs of the album plus the original demos of each song. In the sleeve you can find a brief background for each of them, including the recording year and the personnel involved. It is very interesting to compare the the project’s vision for a 2014 pop album -produced by BIG names in the industry (Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, J-Roc), and the raw material -dating back to the decades of the 70s in some cases. This demo song is my favourite of the album.
Oneiroi [Laurel Halo]
After her praised debut album Quarantine was released through the now well-established Hyperdub record label (Flying Lotus, Code9, Burial) -and was named Album of the Year by the Wire magazine, Halo’s career took an important step forward. We had the immense pleasure to have her perform last year in Wellington at a venue that unfortunately reached its last days earlier this year. I would like to honor the great moments that Puppies owner Blink (same organizer of the unforgettable Camp a Low Hum festivals -also resting in peace) has brought to us in the short-lived yet very successful follow-up to the one and only Happy Bar. Farewell Puppies!
A Sound Like No Other [Various Authors]
This album takes us through a galactic journey of oscillators, experimentation, and electric friends. As Kubrik might have done, the trip starts with the echoing voice of local pioneer Douglas Lilburn who, instead of throwing a bone up to the sky, concentrated all his efforts in a vision which produced the first electronic music studio in Australasia, founded in 1966. This studio is still operational, electrifying the brains of the students of Sonic Arts in the Victoria University of Wellington. Among interplanetary dialogues and cosmic field recordings, we are transported to Lilburn’s early days in the many songs that Wellington artists have produced along the years. This wonderful compilation has just made its way to our shelves thanks to the initiative and curation of our very own librarian John, who also produced this homegrown mix. As he emphasises in the booklet, “Buy the music. Support Local artists”. This CD is also free to borrow!
Henna Henna [The Bombay Royale]
I selected this song because Spotify couldn’t retrieve any of the songs of their very successful debut album. This Australian band toured NZ last year, and I thought it would be nice to give them a shout from our library. Here’s a video that shows how cool they are.
Moth Wings [Pond]
As a preview of ex-Tame Impala bassist Nicholas Allbrook’s new solo release Ganough, Wallis & Fatuna (which of course is on its way to our shelves), I offer you a taste of acid drops from one of his other projects, Pond. I recommend watching this video to cement the experience this young Aussie is channeling.
I got exposed to this band through a friend who had the amazing experience of watching these guys perform at noise-loving Taipei. Their act was solid, very intense and LOUD. If you are into the sounds of Boris, Lightning Bolt, Stereolab, and appreciate seeing a girl playing a Hofner Bass then I’d encourage you to dig for more of their music.
You and Me [Penny & The Quarters]
This song was brought from the grave into the spotlight thanks to director Derek Cianfrance’s decision of featuring it in a romantic scene for his movie Blue Valentine. The rest of the soundtrack is mostly composed by Grizzly Bear, interestingly.
Feel My M.F. Bass [Paul Johnson]
Hardcore Traxx is an overdue compilation that honors one of the earliest and most prolific House labels: Dance Mania. These high-speed beats will still make anyone shake these days. If you manage to play this tune without distorting your headphones or speakers, then consider yourself a happy owner of decent music gear 😉