Monument

No, not the undersung London structure of the same name (although I do have a blog post waiting to be written about that). No. This is a track with the name Monument from Röyksopp’s best album* The Inevitable End.

Teaming up with vocalist Robyn (she looks like a lot of fun, but you wouldn’t mess, hey?), the boys popped out this banger, in which director & cinematographer Stiaan Andersen has basically made me want to attend a Röyksopp gig, right now. And then another one a bit later. And so on.
There’s a lot going on in this monolithic, monochromatic masterpiece, but it’s all underpinned by the strength of that steady, positive lyric.

Wonderous. Turn it up loud. The lab is a good place to be this afternoon.

* don’t @ me

20 years of OK Computer

It’s twenty years to the day since Oxford band Radiohead released OK Computer.

I lived in Oxford back then, and the local HMV on Cornmarket Street opened at midnight for Radiohead fans to buy the album before anyone else in the UK got the chance – no mp3s or downloads back in those days, remember.

And yes, I was looking forward to the release, but wasn’t a HUGE fan, so I wasn’t planning on heading into town. But then, finding myself still awake at the witching hour, thought “why not?”, jumped on a bike and hit the High Street.
I was only just in time. The crowds (such as they were) had gone (it doesn’t take long for 50 people to each buy a CD), and the staff were about to close up, but a friendly guy let me in just before locking the door, and I got my CD and my free poster (woo!).

The album was definitely one of the best releases of the 1990s and has aged really well. And yes, the CD is still somewhere safely boxed up in my loft. The poster never made it out of the damp Cowley Road flat we lived in though, and even the branch of HMV succumbed to the pressures of the modern retail environment and closed in 2014.

Favourite track? I liked all of it, but the slower stuff hit home more for me – No Surprises, Exit Music (For A Film) and of course Karma Policeas mentioned here.

Concierto de Aranjuez

I heard this on BBC 6 Music earlier today and felt it worth sharing.

For all that it’s lovely to listen to and Tara Fitzgerald is (apparently, anyway) lovely to watch, the two don’t go together very well. I mean, we all know that she’s not playing the solo here, but it’s actually horribly obvious that she’s not playing the solo here. Brassed Off surely had a big enough budget to make it a bit less obvious.

However, for all that the scene lacks in believability, it makes up for in the juxtaposition of the young girl playing the fragile solo against the silent yet volatile scenes around the negotiating table as the final nails are hammered into the colliery’s – and with it, the community’s – coffin.

Passion comes in many forms.

London music tonight

If you’re in London tonight, lucky you. You get the chance to go along to this:

Baroque Remix is a new classical club night launching at the arts venue, IKLECTIK, Old Paradise Yard SE1 7LG, on June 3. The night will feature baroque DJs alongside live instrumental performances from Carla Rees (baroque flute) and Liam Byrne (viola da gamba). Combining music from across the centuries including drum loops, hip hop and R&B samples, the evening will reimagine the music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Live sets will showcase the diversity and beauty of the historic instruments, presenting a mix of old music and new.

Yes, Baroque music and hip-hop. That’s right.
I heard some of it on 6 music yesterday morning, and it’s really different, really refreshing, really GOOD. Here’s Benjamin Tassie‘s Baroque Remix:

A project to bring classical music to a new audience, to educate, to remove the ‘stuffiness’ which dissuades a lot of younger people from approaching it. And, in doing so, creating something incredibly new and unusual.

I cannot wait to hear more of this.

Sugar for the pill

I was sitting in the traffic on the M3 this morning, listening to the new Slowdive album.

The traffic was awful, a thousand cars, each occupied by a single individual, waiting in line merely for the opportunity to join another queue on the other side of the lights.
And then, just as the amazing release kicked in on this track at 3:08, the peachy morning sun hit the top of Table Mountain.
The timing was impeccable.

And suddenly, everything was alright.

For a while, at least.