Smiles With New Electro Styles


26. Jan. 2009, 1:28

Lately, my taste in electronic music is changing. For a long time I've confined my ears to, for lack of a better word, 'serious' electronic music. What I mean by that is deep, thought-provoking, personal music where it would feel more appropriate to sit and listen through headphones than pump it up and dance throughout the house. I'm not really a fan of this tag '' as 'Intelligent Dance Music' would suggest that other genres are not intelligent. I'd prefer to think of it as my friend once described; electronic music you can't dance to.

But now, I'm starting to find the 'fun' in music that I've subconsciously neglected. I've came to a realisation that not all music has to sound 'intelligent' to be good, and sometimes obviousness can be even more powerful in music than unexpected twists or creative embellishments.
I may be saying nothing new to you, and I know I've certainly heard similar words spoken before, but as it's a new development for me I thought I'd voice it (after all, that's what these journals are REALLY for, aren't they?!).

So I'd like to share with you just some of the artists and albums that have converted my way of listening, and I'd welcome any recommendations you may have for me in response.

The Knife - Deep Cuts (2003)

Best to start from the start. Deep Cuts has been in my collection for a while now and it was pretty much the beginning of my branching out to more vocal based music. Karin Dreijer's voice and style is so unique that she immediately caught my attention. Everyone should know Heartbeats but my favourite track after that would be We Share Our Mother's Health off their intensely engaging album Silent Shout.

Other superb tracks :
We Share Our Mothers' Health (Ratatat Remix) | What Else Is There? by Röyksopp, featuring Karin Dreijer.

Rex The Dog - The Rex The Dog Show (2008)

I heard the Heartbeats Remix off this album sometime in 2007 (a while before the albums release) and having not heard of Rex The Dog, I foolishly thought it would be the highlight of the album. Oh, how I was wrong! Nearly every track has now crept into my favourite iTunes playlists and I strongly regard it as one of the best electro albums of 2008. It's such a favourite of mine that I could write a whole journal about it, so I'll leave it at this: If you check out only one thing from here, make it this album!

What's Good?
Gecko | Prototype | The Knife: Heartbeats (rex the dog remix) | I Can See You, Can You See Me? | Itchy Scratchy - Fucking ALL of it!

Chromeo - Fancy Footwork (2008)

I've always had a soft spot for the 80s and these guys get it so right. I remember first hearing Needy Girl off She's In Control in a club and I mistakenly thought it was a track from the 80s that I overlooked! They've masterfully reinvented the spirit of that era and keep it incredibly melodic with simple textures that often remind me of Prince's arrangements. Seriously, every track on this album has a hook, and oh yes, it will catch you.

My choice tracks are :
Fancy Footwork | Bonafied Lovin' (Tough Guys) | Call Me Up

Various Artists - This Is Not the 80s (2002)

Keeping with the 80s theme, 'This Is Not the 80s' is a Nu-Wave Electro compilation that I've discovered quite late (released 2002), but it sounds so fresh that I can't see it ageing for many years. The lengthy 2 disc album features some amazing remixes of 80s classics like Sweet Dreams (originally Eurythmics, remix by Miss Kittin & The Hacker) and also some great contemporary originals, with a full throttle 80s vibe of course. I'm not normally a fan of compilations, but the driving motivation throughout makes for a more than worthy exception.

One to check out :
17 Ways To Break My Heart by DMX Krew
also : Sweet Dreams Remix

MGMT - Oracular Spectacular (2007)

Now, this may seem like a strange album to be featured alongside all this electro, but there are two tracks in particular that I like, well actually, LOVE. They are Kids and Electric Feel. The rest I don't really bother listening to.

Kids was the first MGMT song I heard and it's always disappointed me that none of their other tracks sound anything like it. It's quite an important track for me as well; listening to It obsessively made me realise how unnecessarily serious my listening habits were. It's such a happy tune! <3

Lo-Fi-Fnk - Boylife (2006)

'Happy' just isn't a strong enough word for this album. This is at it's gayest, and I'm loving it. The highlights are so high that the Kitsuné synths and junior vocals have me smiling almost instantly, and the lows are the type of sing-along that 4 AM was made for. It feels like genuine naïveté, undergirded by a healthy dose of enthusiasm, and comes out sounding like Daft Punk with hearts.
Love it.

Pick me up's :
Adore | What's on Your Mind | Change Channel | Steppin' Out | Heartache | The End - That's almost all of it!

Evil Nine - They Live! (2008)

Three words to describe this album : Stomping electro horror!
They Live! has to be one of the most uniquely driven conceptual albums I've heard in a while. Some tracks feel like they could have easily fallen into an electro house vibe if it wasn't for the unquestionable and creepy undertones of a pounding rock menace. A surprising like for me, but something this fascinating should not go unheard.

Get these freaks on :
All The Cash feat. El-P | They Live! | Dead Man Coming feat. Toastie Taylor

The Presets - Apocalypso (2008)

From stomp to pump, Apocalypso is one of those albums that will get you and your mates up and ready for a night out on the rinse. It's fist-pumping, bassline throbbing, hip-grinding output is all compiled into a perfect flowing album that seems to be one classic after another. This kind of piston-charged electro is surely meant for the dancefloor, but I find myself shaking my arse uncontrollably everytime I stick it on in the house. For me, this is also one of the best electro albums of 2008.

Get these pumpin' :
Kicking and Screaming | My People | Talk Like That

Telefon Tel Aviv - Immolate Yourself (2009)

To finish off this journal entry, I'll leave you with my most recent indulgence. For many, Telefon Tel Aviv's newly released album Immolate Yourself has been a shock. Their previous releases are considered to be high quality examples of 'I.D.M.', yet their newest instalment has more elements of and than any T.T.A. album. In fact, many liken it to a mixture of Apparat and M83. While some dislike the new direction, I absolutely love it. It compliments perfectly my new found listening habits and I'm sure I'll be listening to this album a lot more in 2009.

The Goods :
The Birds | Helen Of Troy | Stay Away From Being Maybe

The End

For those who read all that, thanks for reading! If you have any recommendations I would love to hear them, or even just your opinions on the music.


- Carl


  • DeBiLast

    You sir, have impeccable taste in music! The only thing I didn't already know and love was Evil Nine "they live", but I have since reading your journal taken measures to ensure my further education on this very album. I am sure that by now you have heard the shocking and heartbreakingly sad news that Charles Cooper, one half of Telefon Tel Aviv, has suddenly passed away, at an age far to young for anyone to be leaving the community of mankind and the hemisphere of mother earth. I agree that TTA's new direction was a great way to go, and I believe that with time it will come to be remembered as their best album. Sad, so sad. But I really came here to compliment on your great taste in music. Of course "great taste" equals "close to my taste".

    31. Jan. 2009, 19:33
  • Harringay

    Thank you very much :) I guess you're right; as subjective as music is, that's all a compliment on musical taste will ever be. But I like to think that you're just a little right :P They Live! nearly didn't make it into this list actually. It's not normally the sound that I like (a few rock elements to it) but the title track wins me over every time. What do you think of it? I read about Charles Cooper's untimely passing the other day, here at Very ill news, may he rest in piece. Do you happen to know how it happened? With the title of their new album being 'Immolate Yourself', I've been curious to know if there is any kind of tie-in. It's quite a shock also because this new album really feels like a new start and to not see them progress with it is a real shame. No doubt I'll be revering this album so much more now.

    2. Feb. 2009, 4:35
  • jazzo83

    like the revues dude. I know what you mean by the MGMT album, aside from the 2 tracks you mentioned the rest of the album doesn't come close. I still don't own the Rex the dog album but it's definitely on my list of things to listen to. Aside from that i'll be looking into the rest of the stuff you posted about. You should definitely think about putting a site together about your music collection, i think you owe it to the world. I'll be back here leaving comments about the rest when i've been through and listened to your listings. Safer than safe

    10. Mär. 2009, 10:31
  • Harringay

    Cool man. Hopefully I made it easy enough; just click on the copious amount of links ;) Actually, I'm starting to like Time to Pretend again. But I think we can agree that the rest of the album is just bunk. Looking forward to your reactions bro. I can imagine most of this music isn't what you'd normally listen to.

    10. Mär. 2009, 18:05
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