Friday, March 19, 2010

Schatrax - First Heartbeat (Schatrax)

A deep one for Friday.

The mythical Schatrax (one of the only labels which I've ever fallen so in love with I've become a completist - mentioned once previously), and the amazingly deep and underdone "First Heartbeat".

I love this track - it's a gorgeous mood. I love the really muted bassline buried around the bass drum (works so well over a PA), and the synth sounds are just gorgeous, and that sort of early 90s UK-style shuffling hat/cymbal/brush thing going on - you're never sure what bit is what, but it grooves.

It was also one of the first tracks on the first DJ mix I ever did back in 98, which scored me my first DJ gig ever. Great times, great memories. Another label that stopped before they put a foot wrong (see also Bluespirit, Basic Channel, Emoticon). Schatrax - thanks for starting, and thanks for stopping.

Schatrax weren't always easy records - some of them were angular and difficult - but when they did sublime, they really did it perfectly.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rudder - "Floater" (live in Amsterdam)

I posted a while back about Rudder's great album "Matorning" - well here they are playing "Floater" live in Amsterdam...

Thunderous, driving jazz for the next century - turn it up... get some!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Maas - 911 Angel

Early Soma records had a sound. Some of them were tough, thumping even, but there was something about the synth sounds - always - sort of smooth. Sophisticated.

Some of them have dated a bit.

Some of them you could release tomorrow and they'd sound just as fresh.

Here's one of the ones immune to dating. Ewan Pearson aka Maas, in 1995, releasing an incredible EP of emotive electronics - and 911 Angel, a gentle odyssey in depth

The start is the thing - the winding portamento synth bass that practically talks to you, then the two-note breathy guide tones with the offbeat brush, with the filter on that winding synth still opening... then the chunky percussion, and the breathy tones moving higher again...

A break and into the 4-on-the-floor section (but with the kick drum ultimately suspended above an articulated percussion groove), and a clanging synth bell, and a crashing/reversing synthetic snare that rhythmically recalls the Positive Education handclaps. More on Positive Education some other time. Things seem getting tougher, more stripped. But then from above, those breathy chords, laid gently down on to the beat... and the chunky percussion, and the sinewy bass line starts grinding away again, and up and away you are taken.

Today is Bundoran, for the first time, and an 8 hour driving round trip to Tullan Strand. Small waves, clean, sunny, clear, and water temperature that should be hitting it's punishing annual low point.

A fragile tune, and a crisp early morning crossing Ireland oceanwards as the weather clears and people wind their way to work.

Ageless sounds for yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

For Sale - Soundcraft Ghost 24LE

I posted a few days/weeks back about my mixing desk for sale... all relevant details for interested parties in the previous post here.

Anyway, I finally got some pics of the desk itself, the actual one, the big kahuna, the evil wotsit.

So for anyone tempted, here's what she herself looks like...