Posts tagged ‘Album’

July 3, 2012

The Basement Tapes

Great White Wonder

The Basement Tapes is a 1975 studio album by Bob Dylan and The Band. The songs featuring Dylan’s vocals were recorded in 1967, eight years before the album’s release, at houses in and around Woodstock, NY, where Dylan and the Band lived. Although most of the Dylan songs had appeared on bootleg records, ‘The Basement Tapes’ marked their first official release.

When Columbia Records prepared the album, eight songs recorded solely by the Band were added to sixteen songs taped by Dylan and the Band. Subsequently, the format of the 1975 album has led critics to question the omission of some of Dylan’s best-known 1967 compositions and the inclusion of material by the Band that was not recorded in Woodstock.

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May 29, 2012

The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends

flaming lips

The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends is a collaborative studio album by The Flaming Lips. Recorded throughout 2011 and 2012, the album was released as a limited edition on vinyl for Record Store Day on April 21, 2012. Four songs from the album were previously released on collaborative EPs in 2011. Following their last full-length album, 2009’s ‘Embryonic,’ the band produced several EPs with other artists including Neon Indian, Lightning Bolt, Prefuse 73, and Yoko Ono. Four tracks from these sessions appear on the album. The remaining seven songs were recorded at different times and locations, and are exclusive to the LP.

Mainstream artists such as Kesha and Coldplay’s Chris Martin share space with more experimental artists such as Lightning Bolt and Prefuse 73. The band released the double LP in vinyl form in a 10,000 unit run. Each disc has a unique pattern. Coyne has stated that he has requested and been given blood samples from some of the album’s collaborators. Coyne claims to have blood from Kesha and Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo. He plans to place small amounts of the blood sandwiched into the vinyl of limited editions of the records, and make these available to ‘interested rich Flaming Lips people.’

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March 20, 2012

Let It Be… Naked

Wall of Sound

Let It Be… Naked is a remixed and edited version of the 1970 ‘Let It Be album’ by The Beatles released in 2003. The album is presented in a form which Paul McCartney considers closer to its original artistic vision: to ‘get back’ to the rock and roll sound of their early years rather than the orchestral overdubs and embellishments which were added by Phil Spector in the production of the final ‘Let It Be’ album.

McCartney in particular was always dissatisfied with the ‘Wall of Sound’ production style of the Phil Spector remixes, especially for his song ‘The Long and Winding Road,’ which he believed was ruined by the process. George Harrison gave his approval for the Naked project before he died. McCartney’s attitude contrasted with Lennon’s from over two decades earlier. In his 1971 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Lennon had defended Spector’s work, saying, ‘He was given the shittiest load of badly recorded shit with a lousy feeling to it ever, and he made something of it.’

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March 11, 2012

Pre-Millennium Tension

Tricky 1996 by Miguel Santamarina

Pre-Millennium Tension is the third album from Tricky, released in 1996. Following the unexpected success of ‘Maxinquaye,’ Tricky made a much darker, more paranoid sonic landscape for this release, resulting in a more abrasive, and far less accessible album. It features longtime collaborator Martina Topley-Bird, and former Mama’s Boy’s guitarist Pat McManus. The album was recorded at Grove Studios in Jamaica, possibly explaining the heavy Rastafarian influence. Parts were also recorded at Platinum Islands Studio, New York.

Tricky said in an interview with ‘Raygun’ that he wanted to make an ‘out-an-out punk record’ and that ‘I thought it was going be heavier. I thought it was just going to be an out-an-out punk record. But you end up straying. What I wanted to do was a total fast album. Some of the tracks are fast and hard, but they didn’t come out like that.’ He also said that he hated being stuck with the trip-hop tag: ‘That’s why I did ‘Nearly God’, and that’s why I did ‘Pre-Millennium Tension.’ You can’t see them as trip-hop albums. So I just keep running away from it. But the farther you run, it’s still there. They’ll find you.’

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March 11, 2012

Modulations

modulations

Modulations is a multi-media exploration into the history of electronic music, consisting of a documentary film, its soundtrack album, and a book. The project was directed by Iara Lee, the maker of the documentary film ‘Synthetic Pleasures’ (which explored the implications of virtual reality, biotechnology, plastic surgery, and mood-altering drugs). People interviewed in the film include Robert Moog, DJ Funk, and Frankie Knuckles.

The book was edited by Peter Shapiro and features: Rob Young on the pioneers of electronic music, Simon Reynolds on krautrock, Peter Shapiro on disco & post-punk, Kodwo Eshun on house, David Toop on hip hop, Mike Rubin on techno, Chris Sharp on jungle, Tony Marcus on ambient, Kurt Reighley on downtempo, and Michael Berk on the technology of electronic music. Also interviewed is industrial music founder Genesis P-Orridge.

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November 22, 2011

Space Jazz

battlefield earth by Brandon Ledet

Space Jazz: The soundtrack of the book Battlefield Earth’ is a music album and soundtrack companion to the novel ‘Battlefield Earth’ by L. Ron Hubbard, released in 1982. Hubbard composed the music for the album. A 1983 press release put out by the Church of Spiritual Technology subsidiary company Author Services Inc. marketed the concept album as ‘the only original sound track ever produced for a book before it becomes a movie.’

The album includes performances by Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Nicky Hopkins and Gayle Moran. The album included music from the Fairlight CMI synthesizer; it was one of the first professional uses of this device. A demonstration of the ‘computer space jazz’ soundtrack was one of the festival displays at the 1982 US Festival rock concert in California.

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July 26, 2011

Biophilia

Biophilia

Biophilia is the musical project and forthcoming eighth full-length studio album from Icelandic singer Björk. The album is ‘partly recorded’ on an iPad and will be released in the form of a series of apps. Biophilia will be the world’s ‘first app album’ in collaboration with Apple. Björk has described the project as a multimedia collection ‘encompassing music, apps, internet, installations, and live shows.’ Scott Snibbe, an interactive artist was commissioned by Björk in the summer of 2010 to produce the app, as well as the images for the live shows (which will combine his visuals with National Geographic imagery, mixed live from iPads on the stage).

For the song, ‘Virus,’ the app will feature a close-up study of cells being attacked by a virus to represent what Snibbe calls: ‘A kind of a love story between a virus and a cell. And of course the virus loves the cell so much that it destroys it.’ The interactive game challenges the user to halt the attack of the virus, although the result is that the song will stop if the player succeeds. In order to hear the rest of the song, the players will have to let the virus take its course. Using some artistic license, the cells will also mouth along to the chorus. Björk is determined to fuse different elements together, be it juxtaposing a female choir from Greenland with the bleeps and glitches of electronic music pioneers Matmos during the Vespertine tour, or meshing soaring strings and jagged beats on ‘Homogenic,’ that ‘helps explain the power and success of Björk’s collaborations.’

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July 21, 2011

Watch the Throne

watch the throne by Thomas Fuchs

Watch the Throne is a collaborative studio album by Jay-Z and Kanye West, set to be released August 1, 2011. Production began in Bath, England and continued during available times in Jay-Z’s and West’s respective schedules at recording locations in Australia, Paris, New York City, and Los Angeles. Parts of the album were recorded at the Mercer Hotel and Tribeca Grand Hotel in New York City.

In an interview, Jay-Z discussed their insistence on recording in person, stating ‘If we were gonna do it, we were gonna do it together. No mailing it in.’ The album features guest appearances by Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, and Mr Hudson, with production by Kanye West along with The Neptunes, The RZA, Q-Tip, Swizz Beatz, and others. The album’s cover and artwork were both designed by Italian fashion designer Riccardo Tisci.

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July 19, 2011

Kid A

Kid A Hidden booklet

Kid A is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, released in 2000. Despite the lack of an official single or music video as publicity, ‘Kid A’ became the first Radiohead release to debut at number one in the US. This success was credited variously to a unique marketing campaign, the early Internet leak of the album, and anticipation after the band’s 1997 album, ‘OK Computer.’

‘Kid A’ was recorded in Paris, Copenhagen, Gloucestershire and Oxford with producer Nigel Godrich. The album’s songwriting and recording were experimental for Radiohead, as the band replaced their earlier ‘anthemic’ rock style with a more electronic sound. Influenced by Krautrock, jazz, and 20th century classical music, Radiohead abandoned their three-guitar line-up for a wider range of instruments on ‘Kid A,’ using keyboards, the Ondes martenot (an early electronic musical instrument), and, on certain compositions, strings and brass. Kid A also contains more minimal and abstract lyrics than the band’s previous work.

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July 19, 2011

Dubnobasswithmyheadman

underworld

Dubnobasswithmyheadman is the third album by Underworld, released in 1994 after the band made the transition from synth pop to progressive house. It is also the first album to feature Darren Emerson, ushering in the ‘MK2’ phase of the band, which continued until Emerson’s departure in 2001.

Tomato, the art design collective that includes Underworld’s Rick Smith and Karl Hyde, designed the artwork for Dubnobasswithmyheadman. It features black and white type that has been ‘multiplied, smeared, and overlaid’ so much that it is nearly unreadable, alongside a ‘bold symbol consisting of a fractured handprint inside a broken circle.’ The artwork was originally intended for Tomato’s book ‘Mmm…Skyscraper I Love You: A Typographic Journal of New York,’ published in 1994.

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July 19, 2011

Blue Lines

blue lines

Blue Lines is the debut album by British electronica group Massive Attack, released in 1991. It is generally considered the first trip hop album, although the term was not coined until years later.

A fusion of electronic music, hip hop, dub, ’70s soul and reggae, the album established Massive Attack as one of the most innovative British bands of the 1990s and the founder of trip hop’s Bristol Sound. The album also marked a change in electronic/dance music, ‘a shift toward a more interior, meditational sound.

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June 30, 2011

Abraxas

abraxas

Abraxas‘ [uh-brak-suhs] is the second studio album by the latin band Santana. Consolidating their live success at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, and the interest generated by their first album the band took some time to issue a follow-up. Released in 1970, the album’s mix of rock, blues, jazz, salsa and other influences made it a classic that defined Santana’s early sound, and showed a musical maturation from their first album. The album’s cover features the 1961 painting ‘Annunciation,’ by Mati Klarwein.

Abraxas is the name of a deity in Gnostic cosmology. The title of the album comes from a line from Herman Hesse’s book ‘Demian.’ Abraxas is used as a symbol throughout the text, idealizing the harmonious union of all that is good and evil in the world. Demian argues that the Christian God is an insufficient god; it rules over all that is wholesome, but there is another half of the world. The symbol of Abraxas appears as a bird breaking free from an egg or a globe.

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