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Tag Archives: Trip Hop

The albums on this blog were selected because they speak. Some speak to the beauty of the world and its many peoples. Others speak through open exhaust pipes. One speaks idealistically while wearing funny glasses. And there are some that speak simply in a Southern drawl.

But there’s only one that whispers directly into your subconscious memory. When the needle drops Preemptive Strike lowers its voice to mask unsettling comments within the safety of snares, kick drums, and a chorus of eerie instrumentation. It implants auditory psychotropics, code named Altered States and THX 1138, deep within your belfry folds. When Preemptive Strike’s recorded voices stop your thinker will return dialogue with voices of its own. Voices that trigger flashbacks that may or may not have happened. Flashbacks that drive you to vainly scrub epidermis, dermis, muscle, to bone. You’ll never be clean again.

You’ll listen to this album and slip into slumber tonight with a conscious as pleasant as a plum. You will because you never felt DJ Shadow’s needleworms wriggle from your headphones through your ears and on into your subconscious. They’ll gestate for two hours and hatch thousands upon thousands of brain cicadas. This brood will emit a terrible, mind-screwing tone when they sense your morning wake.

In a few moments you will have an experience which will seem completely real…
It will be the result of your subconscious fears, transformed to your conscious awareness…
You have five seconds to terminate this tape…
Five, four, three, two, one……………………………………………….

The sound of this terrible screech won’t be entirely audible. You won’t really hear it over your SoniCare toothbrush during your pre-public rituals, but you’ll really know it’s there. Scrambling your thoughts, replacing ideas of an ordinary business lunch with an insect-like fixation on the scent of your bosses trousers. You’ll know it’s wrong, and attempts will be made to get your mindset back on the straight and narrow. This won’t make a lick of difference. It’s already begun and completely began.

Loathsome scenarios involving everything you love and hold dear will become permeated with the grotesque. Your first bike ride will be replaced with memories of your mother being torn apart by hyenas in a Kroger parking lot. You know this didn’t happen, but the cicadas know it did. Their land claim on your cerebrum will continue to grow. They’ll pump you full of alternate scenarios, both lived and yet to be. Loss of control will extend down to your core, to the building blocks that compose the very idea of what is you.

You’ll check yourself in a mirror and only see a conglomeration of ghostly crawling. The exterior is gone, a relic of the past. But what’s really important is what happened inside. Did you, as a person–a collection of beliefs, experiences, loves, prejudices, and questions–just disappear? If not, then what of it remains? In other words, what does your soul look like?

Accept one deviant concept: that our other states of consciousness are as real as our waking state and that reality can be externalized.

>>>Click here to download Preemptive Strike at 320 kbps LINK FIXED

The real stars on this album are the “What Does Your Soul Look Like” lineup that composes one of the two LPs. However, if you haven’t heard this album I don’t want to give anything away. As such, I’ve posted two excellent, mutually exclusive songs for your listening pleasure. Enjoy.

Tracklist

A In/Flux 12:12
B1 Hindsight 6:52
B2 High Noon 3:57
B3 Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul) 4:26
C1 What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 2) 13:51
C2 What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 3) 5:12
D1 What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4) 7:12
D2 What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1) 6:21

This album’s spent a lot of time spinning in a smoke-filled room. Not smoke from an unattended panini press. Not smoke from a curling iron left on an Ikea shag rug. Not the smoke Glenn Beck’s blowing up America’s ass.

Nay, it’s the smoke that huffs and puffs from a frog bong. Yes, the frog bong you used begrudgingly as a replacement for the perfectly nice, perfectly non-jumping bong your brothers broke while playing soccer in the apartment. The frog bong you “forgot” to pack in the big move. The frog bong you never got to say goodbye to…until now.

Wow, sweet. A frog. On a bong. Awesome.

Dear Frog Bong,

I never really liked you very much. You were an ugly mess of glass with a stupid frog blown on your side, for crying out loud. You were an exaggerated cliche of marijuana culture that showed up unwelcomed after the tragic loss of a good friend. Your beady little eyes eternally mocked his demise between each and every rip.

Every chillout, every prized stash, every slammin’ party was ruined just a little bit by your presence. Your unnecessary girth was a continual source of shame and coffee table dents. How many times did you ruin a potential friendship with your shitty ambiance? How many times did your deceivingly narrow downstem clog as soon as I flipped on disc two of my UNKLE album? Only endless fingers on endless hands could count the times.

I would have destroyed you if it were possible. However, several attempts to annihilate your faux permeable skin proved fruitless. A drop from the fourth floor balcony onto 33 E. McMillan Street didn’t create so much as a scratch. Letting my crack-dealing neighbor blast your facade repeatedly with his shotgun only deprived the world of a dozen 12-gauge shotgun shells. Multiple attempts murder you using a non-FIFA approved soccer ball in conjunction with a wicked bicycle kick proved folly at best.

And you took it all with an amphibious little smile. “Ribbit, ribbit,” you croaked, “you know you wanna hit it.” You monstrosity, you whore of Babylon. Your bulbous shaft was blown straight from the devil’s mouth…that’s what she said.

Goodbye forever. I hope you have a really tough time being green, you bastard.

xxxxxxx

Don’t cry, friend. That terrible frog bong can never hurt you again. I hope a look-see at this amazing music video for “Rabbit In Your Headlights” (ft. Thom Yorke) will dry those beautiful eyes.

>>>Click here to download Psyence Fiction at 320 kbps

TRACKLIST

1 Guns Blazing (Drums Of Death Part 1) 5:01
Lyrics By, Vocals – Kool G Rap
Music By – DJ Shadow
Recorded By [Vocals] – DJ Shadow , Kevin Scott
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Vocals [Additional] – Lateef The Truth Speaker , Lyrics Born
Written-By – J. Davis* , N. Wilson*
2 UNKLE Main Title Theme 3:24
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Written-By – J. Davis*
3 Bloodstain 5:57
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Performer [Sample] – Be Be K Roche*
Recorded By [Vocals] – James Lavelle , Jim Abbiss
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Vocals, Lyrics By – Alice Temple
Written-By – A. Temple* , J. Davis*
4 Unreal 5:10
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Performer [Sample] – Jules Blattner Group, The
Written-By – J. Davis* , Jules Blattner
5 Lonely Soul 8:56
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor [Strings] – Wil Malone
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Recorded By [Vocals] – Sie Medway-Smith , UNKLE
Strings – London Session Orchestra*
Written-By – J. Davis* , R. Ashcroft* , W. Malone*
6 Getting Ahead In The Lucrative Field Of Artist Management 0:56
Music By [The Entertainer (uncredited)] – Scott Joplin
7.1 Nursery Rhyme 4:45
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Recorded By [Vocals] – Jim Abbiss , UNKLE
Vocals, Lyrics By – Badly Drawn Boy
Written-By – D. Gough* , J. Davis*
7.2 Breather
Vocals [Breaths] – James Lavelle
8 Celestial Annihilation 4:44
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor [Strings] – Wil Malone
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By [Additional] – DJ Shadow
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Strings – London Session Orchestra*
Written-By – J. Davis* , W. Malone*
Written-by [Concerto For Strings And Beats] – Wil Malone
9 The Knock (Drums Of Death Part 2) 3:58
Bass, Theremin – Jason Newstead*
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Scratches [Cuts And Skratches] – DJ Shadow
Vocals, Lyrics By – Mike D
Written-By – J. Davis* , M. Diamond*
10 Chaos 4:42
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – Atlantique (2)
Producer [Additional] – DJ Shadow
Vocals, Lyrics By – Atlantique (2)
Written-By – A. Khan*
11 Rabbit In Your Headlights 6:20
Bass, Synthesizer – Thom Yorke
Mixed By – Jim Abbiss
Music By – DJ Shadow
Recorded By [Vocals] – Kevin Scott , UNKLE
Vocals, Lyrics By – Thom Yorke
Written-By – J. Davis* , T. Yorke*

*download below*

This is the album that shepherded me into the rolling knolls of Vinyl Hunters Valley. This is because it causes the most mysterious synaptic firings within my squishy grey matter. Makes my temples swell with a pleasing uneasiness. Causes mysterious pockets within my loins to quake and flutter.

It's my HEAD, Schwartz, it's MY HEAD!

OK, so basically I have no idea what it does to me but I’m certain it transmits some sort of ultrasonic frequency that says, “GO ON EBAY AND BUY A TURNTABLE RIGHT NOW. NOT LATER, NOW. TURN OFF COPS, YOU’VE SEEN THIS EPISODE, GUY, BUY ONE NOW.” So I did and never looked back.

Despite the fact that I love, love, love this album I’ve been avoiding reviewing it here because it’s difficult to capture the essence with letters. Most stereoponies love to saddle the “Trip Hop” label onto this album but that does it no justice whatsoever. That term conjures the visions of hippies listening to hip hop, smoking a big J and spouting, “whoa man this rap groove is, like, so trippy. It’s totally gnarring my buzz, man.” While this album will most likely multiply and sassify marijuana-induced intoxication it’s so unfair to tie it to pot culture. Endtroducing would never, EVER get caught dead in patchwork corduroy pants.

 

Our youth are under attack.

Other bucking vinylbroncos like to describe  the album by mentioning Endtroducing’s ingredients: hip hop, jazz, psychedelia, movie dialogue, television show trialogue, percussion samples etc. However none of these phonocowboys can ever really capture this wild one.  True, you get a flavor of each along the winding train ride through British Columbia that is Endtroducing but it’s so much more than bits and pieces. It’s like describing your favorite pizza to a friend and saying, “Yeah man I had this awesome food today it was, like, a bit of tomato, flour, a touch of salt and some, like, I think cheese.” Those ingredients are all fine and good but separately they wouldn’t do an Adriatico’s Bearcat Pizza justice just like calling this album a fusion of genres is a crime. The sum is much greater than the parts.

I think, maybe, this album is like watching the most beautiful little bubble you ever saw. You can watch it dance on the wings of an invisible wind but as soon as you try to capture the damn thing in your hands it’s gone. You’ve taken your dirty little paws and ruined such a magical, delicate thing. You should be ashamed of yourself. We were all having such a wonderful time watching that little orb. Next time chill out, stop trying to bottle it up and just behold its angelic splendor while the gettin’s good.

"From listening to records I just knew what to do...mainly I taught myself. And you know I did pretty well...there were a few mistakes that I have just recently cleared up. I'd just like to continue to be able to express myself as best as I can. I feel like I have a lot of work to do still. I'm a student of the drums and I'm also a teacher of the drums too. And I would like to be able to continue to let what is inside of me, which comes from all of the music that I hear, I'd like for that to come out, and it's like it's not really me...the music's coming through me."

What’s truly incredible about Endtroducing is how it was composed. You have to remember that this was created in 1996 and if anyone even had a laptop it could maybe hold a gigabyte of files, if you were lucky and rich. In addition, music manipulation software like AudioMulch or Adobe Audition hadn’t been invented yet. So, Shadow had to use an Akai MPC-60 music sampler/beat machine to cut, splice, and melt his tracks together. If you then take into consideration exactly how much trial and error of listening to thousands of big vinyl discs it took to find the necessary sounds for the album it becomes evident that either a miracle was performed in the making of Endtroducing or Shadow’s some sort of DJ genius. I prefer to believe the latter, especially after taking watching the following video.

So if you haven’t heard this album, regardless of what music you’re into, you need to get in the boat and get your float on. If you’re a fan you can always use a higher quality rip. And, if you really want to get deep, pick up the vinyl and take a voyage into the continental divide…of your mind!!!!

Click here to download Endtroducing

Tracklist

A1 Best Foot Forward 0:49
A2 Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt 6:40
A3 The Number Song 4:40
B1.a Changeling 7:51
B1.b **Transmission 1
B2 Stem/Long Stem 9:21
C1.a **Transmission 2
C1.b Mutual Slump 4:02
C2 Organ Donor 1:57
C3 Why Hip Hop Sucks In ’96 0:43
C4 Midnight In A Perfect World 4:57
D1 Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain 9:23
D2.a What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1 – Blue Sky Revisit) 7:28
D2.b **Transmission 3

*Vinyl Re-Ripped and Updated 12/6/10*

I’m really excited to finally have the opportunity to share this online.

This album was one of the first I heard after the Miracle at Aural Canal–aka when I finally regained full hearing in my left after a mysterious year-long drought.

Anyway, I’ve had experience with Portishead in the past but always thought their tracks sounded a bit too much like Xanax-popping James Bond theme songs that are prevented from nodding off with repeated slaps by a cruel snare druminatrix.

However, Third completely broke out of this box. And thank the Lord Above.

This is what I envision when this disc drops and the lights dim.

I stand in a greyish-green, abandoned amusement park which lies dormant in the middle of rolling countryside.  Nothing fancy, no big rollercoasters or log flumes–just a lonely carousel, a spinning swing, and a popcorn cart sitting derelict upon the side of a cobblestoned walkway. A thick, greasy film covers everything. Countless years have passed since the park’s seen any people. Now, the only visitor is the constant, frigid wind. It’s silent, bleak, and ever-so-lonely.

Suddenly, everything in the park springs to life.  The carousel, with its faded pine fauna, begins to spin wildly.  The giant swing whirls with rusted chains entangled in a dangerous waltz.  It’s a terrible clash of sight and sound from which an ominous hum seeps. Sickly notes emerge in D Minor to give the  attractions newfound voices in a ghostly chorus.

There’s a tug on my leg.  At my feet stands a tiny doll with wooden hands, glass eyes and a paisley-printed dress. She grinds furiously to the throbbing sound.  The feeling to punt her like it’s fourth and thirty is quelled as she speaks in a shrill, hollow voice. “Hello, sir. It’s been ages since I’ve seen a strapping buck like you. Will you be my kissing friend?”

Her ruby lips look warm, very warm. And I oblige as she tugs my hand all the way to the crawl space under the carousel.

Kissing turns to necking.  Necking turns to petting. Petting turns to coitus. Coitus leads to baby. And of course a man and doll must marry once she’s with child. The Parish would be in an uproar if it were otherwise.

In a flash it’s 10 years later and I’ve fathered a litter of doll babies who’ve overrun the park and cater to my every need.  It’s not easy to keep the townsfolk at bay, with their pitchforks and torches and whatnot, but I’d do anything to protect my tinderbox family. They are so a tiny and their lips are so, so warm.

You are the softest Daddy I know!

You are the softest Daddy I know!

What it boils down to is that this album creeps me the fuck out…in exactly the right way.

>>>Click here to download Third at 320 kbps from vinyl

The following video uses “Plastic” from this album.

Tracklist

A1 Silence 5:01
Cello – Charlotte Nicholls
Voice [Spoken Intro] – Claudio Campos
A2 Hunter 3:59
A3 Nylon Smile 3:20
B1 The Rip 4:31
Bassoon – Wendy Bertram
B2 Plastic 3:31
Clarinet – Team Brick
B3 We Carry On 6:28
C1 Deep Water 1:33
Vocals [Additional] – Ben Salisbury , David Poore , Somerfield Workers Choir, The , Team Brick
C2 Machine Gun 4:46
C3 Small 6:47
D1 Magic Doors 3:32
Electric Piano [Rhodes] – John Baggott
Hurdy Gurdy – Stu Barker
Saxophone – Will Gregory
D2 Threads 5:48
Bass – Jim Barr
Cello – Charlotte Nicholls
Drums – Clive Deamer
Guitar – Beth Gibbons
Saxophone – Will Gregory