19 Apr

The Enduring Legacy of BOC’s Music Has the Right to Children

In April 1998, a little-known duo of Scottish musicians with a rather inscrutable moniker — ‘Boards of Canada’ — laid the foundation for what has come to be one of the most enduring legacies in modern electronic music. On the 20th of that month, Marcus Eoin and Mike Sandison released an album called Music Has The Right to Children, which turns an exact 20 years old this Friday.

There’s little one can say about MHTRTC that hasn’t already been said, and this in part is testament to the indelible footprint it has left on listeners over the last two decades. From serious music critics to casual bloggers and rabid fans, we’ve all taken a shot at trying to convey the true depth and meaning of this album. If we’re being honest, our attempts have been failures. To state what is painfully obvious, MHTRTC is a work of art that defies description. Still, it’s worth another shot.

Like most great pieces of music, MHTRTC’s success lies in its ability to merge seemingly polar aesthetics. It is happy-sad and retro-futuristic; chilling on the ears but warm on the heart… brimming with hope but not without an undercurrent of crippling anxiety lurking beneath it’s hazy analogue tones. It offers you the option of tuning in and being mindful, or tuning out and dissociating yourself from the world entirely. There is a clinical temporality to it, but it also somehow appeals to our more intuitive spirits. Boards of Canada did something truly remarkable with this album: they took raw electronic signals and shaped them into psychedelic cue-cards that will keep us engaged for the rest of our lives.

Unlike the more cerebral, braindance-ey sort of IDM that was coming out of the UK in the 90s – think Autechre and Squarepusher and their several likenesses – Boards of Canada succeeded in de-intellectualising a genre and opening its doors to a wider audience. Instead of mind-numbingly complicated rhythms, the Sandison brothers combined deceptively simple songwriting with an expansive soundscape, touching upon a formula which managed to evoke emotions that electronic music had so far been unable to tap into. The genius of MHTRTC isn’t so much in its technical prowess, it is in the nature of the sound itself. You can almost touch and taste it. It has texture and temperature… an almost Dionysiac sensuality. No wonder it is hailed as a touchstone of psychedelic culture.


The world has changed a hell of a lot in the last two decades. We know that music certainly has. Yet Boards of Canada, and this album in particular, continue to exist in a vacuum. Far from losing their place in the echelons of music, as so many albums and artistes are wont to do, they continue to gain even more relevance with each passing day. It’s 2018, and with all of the chaos that music consumption has become, we can be sure that there will never be anything like this again. And that’s why the 20th anniversary of Music Has the Right to Children is such a big deal.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album we’re hosting a vinyl listening session on Friday, 4/20 at Levi’s Lounge, Todi Mills, Lower Parel. Register for the event at www.sagebombay.com

Words by Prayag Arora Desai.

17 Apr

BOC – Music Has The Right To Children Turns 20 [Vinyl Listening Session]

 

Boards of Canada’s seminal album Music Has The Right To Children turns 20 this Friday, 4/20. The album, highly regarded as one of the best pieces of music ever written, takes listeners down fragmented memory lanes symbiotically baring a strange sense of familiarity and newness.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Sage Bombay is organising a vinyl listening session of the album at Levi’s Lounge in Todi Mills, Lower Parel.

As part of the celebration, Mumbai artist Sajid Wajid Shaikh will be creating an art installation to add another dimension to the experience.

Free Entry. Limited Seating. Registration Mandatory.

Registration  : www.sagebombay.com

Updates : www.instagram.com/sagebombay

15 Sep

Nightmares On Wax, in his new single Back To Nature, explores our relationship with Nature.

I really need to write a long piece on Nightmares On Wax. I’ll get to that in the months to come but for now let’s stick to his new track Back To Nature. If you’ve heard N.O.W before there’s not much to say. The music is effortlessly chill which is really his signature style. And if you’ve heard a lot of his music, chances are you’ve smoked a lot of pot and already pondered about things like individual and collective consciousness, the meaning of life etc.. etc.. the usual existential stuff that we all think about until we get distracted by self serving goals. So Back To Nature kinda brings back thoughts on collective consciousness and how the world is really a sum of its parts and for it to survive we need to accept and realise that and move on. A fitting message at this time when the world lacks the leadership to bring unity and it’s in the hands of each individual to make this happen. To sum things up you’ll love the song and the video will blow your mind.

Nightmares On Wax – Back To Nature

For more updates, follow Mezzanine on Instagram.

14 Jul

Burial Remixes Monic’s Deep Summer

Burial threw a bit of a curve ball earlier this year with Subtemple. Some people loved the textured ambience he created on the 10″ some thought it was a weak release. For all those who wanted Burial to deliver something closer to the “Burial” sound, here’s his remix of Monic.

Have a listen and share your thoughts in the comments.

P.S: For vinyl lovers, the release is available in Vinyl format too which you can get over at Bleep.

14 Jul

[FRESH SOUNDS] PHATCOWLEE – CINEMA

Kathmandu based producer Rajan Shreshtha drops a 4 track EP on consolidate that will sit perfectly between next to your FlyLo or Madlib collection. Hissy beats with cinematic samples. It’s more an ambient take on instrumental hip hop and sampling which all sounds very good and leaves me wanting some more.

 
Rajan Shrestha is a Kathmandu based artist, primarily known as the bass guitarist of post-rock act Jindabaad. He is also one half of Anaasir, a collaborative project with Pakistani electronic musician Alien Panda Jury.

Phatcowlee is Rajan Shrestha’s solo electronic project where he infuses samples and LA beat sensibilities with deeply personal lyricism to create songs that veer into the ethereal. Cinema – his debut EP – is an excellent example of this distinct sound – in it, a love for Nepali film music and lo-fi hip-hop is combined with Rajan’s songwriting sensibilities that draw from Adhunik Nepali Music.

“Accidentally tuning into TV Filmy, a local channel that broadcasts classic Nepali movies led me to reminisce about Gitaanjali: a national TV program of the 90s that played popular Nepali film songs. I became nostalgic, and this EP is a result of just that.”

Most of the songs in Cinema begin with samples from classic Nepali films (Mayalu and Chino) before they evolve into rhythms, textures and voices of their own. The result is a curious interaction between Rajan’s nostalgia for the past and his current experiments with song construction, which are tinged with modern sensibilities and methods. There is a raw directness to his chosen samples which belies the unexpected sonic territory the songs go on to explore, where the artist’s inspiration and his reaction to it, take the lead.

There’s also an EP launch gig lined up at RS MOTO, Kathmandu on 15th July.
RSVP: www.facebook.com/events/981925818577580/

12 Jul

Tricky Announces New Album – Ununiform

Here’s the first single off the upcoming release.

Tricky returns with his 13th album, ununiform, out in September on his own label False Idols via !K7 Music. It’s a delicate, storming, intricate album that sees Tricky take perhaps his most radical step yet – a journey into happiness and contentment. It’s a record that shows the legendary British producer confront his legacy, history, family – even death itself. And in all of this, he finds the strangest, least familiar thing – peace.

This is the first album-proper made since Tricky moved to Berlin, three years ago. While many people move to the clubbing capital of Europe to party, this was a clean break, in every sense of the word. “I like it here because I don’t know anybody. I eat good food, I go for walks, I’ve got a bike. I’m trying to look after myself. I don’t drink here. Some people call it boring, but I wake at 9am and I’m asleep by 11 o’clock at night. I’m looking after myself.”

Though most of ununiform was made in his adopted capital, four tracks were recorded in a city further east, the capital of Russia. “Moscow is my favourite city in the world,” he says. “I didn’t want to spend Christmas at home, so in December 2016 I spent three weeks there recording and eating Russian food.” The four tracks made in the dead of winter in Moscow feature collaborations with local rappers and producers. “I’ve been listening to Russian rap for 20 years. I love those accents, so I’ve always wanted a Russian rapper on my album.”

The rappers and producers he worked with are among the most famous and critically acclaimed in Russia. Among them is Scriptonite, who MCs on the knotty ‘Blood Of My Blood’ and ‘Same As It Ever Was’. Vasiliy Vakulenko, one of the country’s most popular rappers, made the beat for graceful, gaseous single ‘The Only Way’. Rapper Smoky Mo appears on digital rap workout ‘Bang Boogie’, a tune produced by Gazgolder, the owner of one of Russia’s best and biggest rap labels. All this without Tricky speaking Russian. “I don’t need to understand what they’re rapping. I could just feel it. People live like everyday is their last day, and I like that.”

Though the album is more settled and at peace with life than any other that Tricky has recorded, it’s also one shot through with references to the end of life, from the raving, synth-led ‘Dark Days’ to the single ‘When We Die.’ “Word to the wise: I don’t want to die young,” Tricky explains. “But my first memory was seeing my mother dead in her coffin in my family house. I’d go in, stand on the chair and look at her. So I’m saying to that kid on the chair, ‘it’s going to be OK. You’re going to tour the world, you’re going to make music, and the good life is going to come in.’ If you don’t accept death, you don’t really accept life.”

Tricky also credits much of the freedom of ununiform to something more grounded: “This album now is the first album I’ve made (in years) which isn’t going to pay off some kind of debt. So it’s more relaxed!” Referring to his previous albums, False Idols, Adrian Thaws, and the Skilled Mechanics project, he says “I was doing these records thinking ‘the quicker I do this album, the quicker I pay off the tax people.’ So ununiform has been very chilled out. Now, I own the label, I pay for everything myself. I’m a truly independent artist. Now I do what I want. Freedom is a beautiful thing.”

Interestingly, the effect of this new-found financial freedom, and a newly healthy lifestyle, has led to Tricky turning back to his classic sound – perhaps the final frontier for such an inveterate experimentalist. “I’ve got nothing to prove now, and I’m comfortable with referencing myself.” Indeed, he’s since described lead single ‘The Only Way’ as “Hell is Round The Corner, Part 2”. This sensation is perhaps a response to a wave of artists referencing Tricky’s ‘90s records and his approach, from The xx to boundary-pushing London rappers Gaika and CASisDEAD, the latter of which Tricky recently collaborated with. “I’ve got a really wide audience. So I’ve got nothing to prove. I feel like sometimes it’s OK to do it again.”

In this spirit of revisiting the past, ununiform also sees the return of previous collaborators Francsca Belamonte as well as former girlfriends Asia Argento and Martina Topley-Bird. ‘New Stole’ is a fresh take on ‘Stole’, a song from Italian singer Belmonte’s Tricky-produced and False Idols–released 2015 album Anima. Martina was the vocalist on Tricky’s era-defining debut album, Maxinquaye, released one month before their daughter was born, and featured on his follow-up albums Nearly God (1996), Pre-Millennium Tension (1996), and Angels with Dirty Faces (1998). Since this extraordinary streak of albums, their relationship has been less fruitful musically – this is the first time that they’ve worked together on a record since Tricky guested on Martina’s Mercury-nominated solo album Quixotic (2003). Yet Tricky is keen to stress that her vocal on the sumptuous ‘When We Die’ is less of an emotional reunion than it appears at first glance. Tricky stresses that though their musical collaboration elapsed over a decade ago, they’ve been in constant contact through raising their daughter. “This situation happened through actually having the time to do it. I said to Martina ‘it would be great if you were on the album,’ and it happened really naturally, with her sending her vocal in an email. My managers realise it’s a big deal and that it would be to listeners, but it’s not to us”. With Asia Argento, the actress Tricky dated for a year in LA, and appears on the delicate, trembling and achingly beautiful ‘Wait For Signal’, it was a similarly relaxed affair: “it was really easy working with her because I knew her well and she’ll try anything. If I said to her this song is really unfinished, it’s not where I want it to be yet, but try something, she’d go for it. You’ve really got to be able to take a risk.” Yet Tricky is still eager to discover and collaborate with emerging talent. Enter female vocalists Terra Lopez (part of the group Rituals of Mine) who features on ‘Armor’, Mina Rosa who features on album highlight ‘Running Wild’, and Avalon Lurks who delivers the vocal on the cover of Hole’s 1994 song ‘Doll Parts’.

There’s one final emotional return that took place over the last three years – Tricky’s reconnection with his family’s history in Bristol’s soundsystem culture, and the discovery that his granddad was legendary (and the stupendously named) reggae DJ Tarzan The High Priest. Back in 1965, when the first wave of Afro-Caribbean immigrants were making their home in the port city of Bristol, Tarzan set up one of the city’s first soundsystems – a glorious if under-reported history that was uncovered through Bristol Soundsystem Culture, a landmark exhibition in Tricky’s hometown. “My granddad made a record and in those days it was a big thing. He was a well-known artist before I was born, and changed English music in ways we don’t even know.” Tricky’s tough family life has long been the subject of psychological speculation on the part of critics and fans – his mother killed herself when Tricky was four, and he was raised in a series of foster homes. But this revelation of a lost musical great in the family has transformed Tricky’s life. “I reconnected with my father’s side of the family during the recording of this album, and in a way, the fact that I’m coming from good lineage made me feel good coming into this album. I’m from a line of kings. That feels good.”

At one point, he asks a rhetorical question: “People say this album sounds like ‘Tricky’ … But what does that actually sound like?”. Ununiform, then, is a glorious, beautiful, intensely personal attempt to answer that question.

 

09 Jul

Radiohead’s OK Computer Album Art Re-imagined by Young Indian Artists

Here is a symbol for your age: OK Computer came out twenty years ago. I was four years old then, and the album didn’t make it into my life until much later (Amnesiac was my intro to Radiohead), but the genius of OK Computer is such that its influence trickled down to even those who were ten years too young (or too old) to be listening to a band like Radiohead in 1997. That year, Yorke, Selway, O’Brien and the Greenwoods finally achieved what a couple of decades worth of optimistic ‘prog’ had not: intelligence in rock music. “When a reporter asked one of the members whether Radiohead had been influenced by Genesis and Pink Floyd, the answer was swift and categorical: “No. We all hate progressive rock music,”” the New Yorker reported a couple of days ago. The weird wryness of OK Computer and its creators is so hard to comprehend that there is a whole cult of people out there who can only do so through vastly inadequate internet memes.

To celebrate OK Computer’s vicennial anniversary, we asked a bunch of our artist friends to reimagine the album art according to how they see it. The inspirations vary, but I’ll be damned if these ramblings don’t belie a singular, underlying aesthetic. And that’s the genius right there. What’s more, this was only the beginning of the band’s artistic explorations. With electronic production at the cusp of taking off, OK Computer turned out to be an exceptional set up for one of the most glorious faux pas in recent popular music history. Take a minute to think about what’s happened in the last twenty years, and then absorb the fact Radiohead predicted everything. They provided a spookily intuitive view of the future and became the last bastion for the wayward electric guitar, signing off on the collective experience of a generation before moving on to shape the next one.

Some of the artists would rather let their work do all the talking, but here’s what the other artists had to say about their own relationships with OK Computer.

Deeganto Joardar

The musical themes in OK COMPUTER: OKNOTOK predicts humanity’s extreme obsession and dependency on technology and the loneliness that accompanies it. Although Thom Yorke has mentioned in interviews that it was his personal feelings of being disconnected from other human beings because of constantly touring as a band. He used technologyas a motif to express that in the lyrics of the songs. 2017, 20 years after the release of the original album, is the most appropriate time to launch the
B side, as an almost unintended prophecy come true.

I’ve tried to create an atmosphere of disconnect and alienation with visuals that are almost a direct interpretation of the lyrics from various songs in the album.

Follow Deeganto on instagram here : www.instagram.com/deeganto

via GIPHY

Ankit Singh

 

Follow Ankit on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/ankit_db

Swapnil Kale

The band has had a huge influence on my life. If I remember correctly the first song I heard by Radiohead was Karma Police and then listening to more of their songs was like entering a world of emotions I’ve never felt or experienced before. I had a few rough ideas for this piece, but the one which stuck with me was this portraits and mannequins concept. I personally feel mannequins have a very Radiohead-esque feel to them. That expressionless and detached look they have… I also wanted to do a very clean portrait which has a good amount of detail of the mannequin. And I wanted it to look a bit futuristic, so I used a white mannequin which got me this good reflective surface with even spread of the gelled lights from either sides. The album cover for The Bends was the main inspiration, actually, however I was mostly listening to songs like No Surprises, Paranoid Android, Fake Plastic Trees, My Iron Lung and Just, which are some of my favorite Radiohead songs.

Follow Swapnil on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/framesbyswapnil

Mitheel Vartak

Follow Mitheel on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/mitheelv

Linda Zhengova (w/ Deeganto Joardar)

My image represents a constant cycle of revisiting our past, living in the present and thinking about the future. The distorted head in combination with the small gap in the middle mirrors who we are today. OK Computer transmits a very melancholic yet futuristic vibe and because of this atmosphere, the image and the album are related. Thanks to Deeganto Joardar with whom I have collaborated on this piece and who edited the photograph from black and white to colour. The image has gone through a process of energetic and dynamic reinvention, just like the re-release of the OK Computer album.  In the end, we are all constructs of our past which shapes our present and guides our future.

Follow Linda on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/xxxamylindaxxx

Linda Zhengová + Deeganto Radiohead OK Computer Art

Anne Milan

‘Drawing while listening to music is something I have been doing for a while. The process is both exciting and therapeutic and the results, surprising.  The album ‘OK Computer’ in its entirety somehow invokes the deepest fears in me. A dystopic world with a strange sense of detachment and disconnect but solidarity from the realization that everyone is in the same path – of doom is created in my head while listening to it. I have tried to bring that into my artwork.’

Follow Anne on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/_animalcreations

Anne Milan Radiohead OK Computer Album Art

 

Priyanka Tampi

There was an experiment I had seen once about a monkey that keeps coming back to gain the affection of a cold mechanical set of arms that are programmed to push it away, while ignoring another machine that embraces it whenever it comes closer. OK Computer somehow reminds me of that. It sometimes seems like a disconnected array of songs that have been put together, each song according to my interpretation of it, tries to comprehend what it means to be human, where machines seem more human and humans seem more cold, calculating, listless or primitive. The album feels like racing through traffic watching everything go by while trying to cling on to technology in a desperate attempt to connect emotionally with something, since we have forgotten what it’s like to actually connect with another human being.

Follow Priyanka on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/tampipriyanka

Swati Addanki

Follow Swati on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/lazyteacup

Prarthito Banerjee

[I’ve] Been a Radiohead fan since forever. What prompted this piece is Radiohead’s sense of rhythm… wave upon wave building up to a crescendo. But the lyrics remain stark and often brutal (think ‘Climbing up the Walls’) so I tried to represent the music with the multicolored layers juxtaposed by the charcoal and red core.

Follow Prarthito on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/will_o_lamp

 

Abhinav Ramesh

I have to admit, that I listened to the ok computer album only after I took up this project. And only when I listened to the album as a whole, a couple of times, did I realise its true distilled brilliance. To prep for making the cover, I also looked up all the album art that was created previously for this album in addition to the artwork in the ok computer booklet. I was also aware that this album was one of their more experimental albums. Hence a normal cover, in my opinion, wouldn’t make the cut, it had to be an experimental cover. When asked about what Ok Computer represents, Thom Yorke had said,” it refers to embracing the future, it refers to being terrified of the future, of our future, of everyone else’s”. After going through the ok computer booklet and their previous album art, i noticed a lot of random text, which I converted to binary code and made into a fingerprint, which is an amalgamation of all of this text. It has the text present in all the album art including Lost Child, authorities here are alert etc. The idea is essentially based on 2 things. The first being, the title ok computer was inspired from the macintosh computer and nowadays our fingerprints are what we use to unlock our apple phones. The second is that, there are constant undertones in the album of artificial intelligence taking over and human beings surrendering to robot overlords. I thought the perfect way to represent this was with a fingerprint made of binary code.

Follow Abhinav on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/abhinavramesh.art

 

Aditya Patil

I’ve always been a fan of this album. It came out the year I was born and I feel like it ages with me. For this piece, I listened to it for two days just to fill my head with it, and most of my time was spent driving around doing things. I do not know about the intent of the original artist use the image of a road in the artwork, but I take it to the mean how the album goes in different directions with each song. And I went off in the same tangent and tried to recreate the roads in a 3D modelling software, but kept realism to the bare minimum because I wanted that 90’s end-early 2000’s computer graphics look, but at the same time trying to blend it with the current internet v a p o r w a v e  aesthetic that I keep looking at on Tumblr all the time.

Follow Aditya on Instagram here : www.instagram.com/adityapatil.art

 

Introduction by Prayag Arora Desai.

Special thanks to Deeganto Joardar for connecting us to these talented artists.

For more updates, follow Mezzanine on Instagram.

05 Jul

Four Tet shares new single – Two Thousand And Seventeen

If you’ve  followed Four Tet, not just his albums and single releases but also his mixes and DJ sets, you know there’s a certain amount of unpredictability in his music. You just cannot predict what he’s going to put out next.

Last week Four Tet announced that he’ll be putting out new music in a few days. A key element that stood out in that image was the Om symbol hinting perhaps at a track, or an album even, with Indian spiritual / devotional influences. In my head I was expecting a sound similar to Morning side. That track, a blissful 20 minute long one, sampled a very spiritual sounding Bollywood track by Lata Mangeshkar from 1983 and sounded like the perfect come down from his previous release Beautiful Rewind. It had enough chill but just enough do a (very) slow dance to.

Coming to Two Thousand And Seventeen, which he just released several hours ago, the single mellows things even more. I’m pretty shitty at identifying samples and specific influeneces, but 10 seconds into it the track sound almost like the melody from Radiohead’s All I Need and then the layers with the south asian influences come in, all very soothing and calming. Something I’d put on repeat to do yoga to if I did yoga. Something I’d definitely start, and perhaps end, my day with. Maybe i’m biased to Four Tet because i’m a long time fan, but Two Thousand And Seventeen is as good as a track as he’s put out until now and I want more!

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28 Jun

[Fresh Sounds] Recondite – Theater II EP

Recondite – Theater II EP

Recondite returns after maintaining a year long silence with a 5 track EP titled “Theater II” on Dystopian. If you’re familiar with the Recondite sound you already know that the producer is a master of seamlessly blending techno, house and acid sounds while maintaining a deep warm sound. The first track off the EP available for streaming on Bandcamp is no different. He doesn’t shoot too far from what he’s good at and that’s not disappointing in the least.

The album art deserves a solid mention too. The website for Dystopian credits Nina Langel for the layout and going by the doll getting ready, it seems like the show is just about to begin. Makes me wonder if the EP is more of a buildup to a full length release in the not so distant future.

Recondite – Theater II EP is out on July 3 and is available for purchase in digital and vinyl formats.

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26 Jun

Emerald Fluorescents by Anthony Linell

Northern Electronics have just announced another quality release. This one is super solid. Anthony Linell puts together 8 tracks for his new release titled “Emeral Fluorescents” on the no bullshit label. Going by the 2 tracks shared only a few minutes ago it seems like Linell is exploring a darker heavier side than what he releases under his Abdulla Rashim moniker. To quote the press release accompanying the album, “Scattered fractal stabs revolve around quietly furious low-end fit outs with enough sharp edges to let you know it’s someone else’s space.”

The album (limited to 200 on wax) is available for pre-order on the Northern Electronics Bandcamp page.

Check out the two tracks here:

Anthony Linell – Fractal Vision

Anthony Linell – Emerald Fluorescents

For more updates, follow us on Instagram.

 

 

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