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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
♥ a track
Tagged by camellia_uk. (Don't make a habit of this, now.)

List five songs that you are currently digging - it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions and the five songs (with artist) in your blog. Then tag five people to see what they're listening to.

The meme doesn't mention writing about the songs in any detail, but I've got to make this more interesting somehow, if only for me. So, five tracks I'm "digging", as they call it, at the moment are:

1. Beats International feat. Lindy Layton, "Dub be good to me"

Who would have thought that mild-mannered Norman Cook would take the dance scene by storm? Answer: anybody who heard this. I first heard it on "Smash Hits 1990" -- the first chart pop album I ever owned, given to me for Christmas by one of my more trendy aunts. I expected to file this "pop" stuff (which involved putting posters of boys on your wall -- weird!) in the same category as all that "makeup" stuff that equally well-meaning relatives were starting to give me, but it was love at first listen, and this was one of the best tracks on the album.

At the weekend I picked up a cheap copy of "Let them eat bingo", the 1990 album by Beats International. None of it is quite as jam hot as the hit single, but it's all good.

2. "Closer to Mario" [MP3]

This. Is. GREAT. It's a mashup of a NIN song and the Super Mario theme. (Thanks to mobbsy for pointing me at it, and to all the people who explained to me what a "mashup" is.) It's simultaneously the best joke I've heard in weeks (yes, addedentry, this does include the one about the man with an orange for a head) and a huge, bouncy, crunchy bucketful of pure get-up-and-dance. Where can I find more like this? Who does this stuff?

3. Zimra Ornatt with Leon Rosselson, "Ashira Ladonai"

When Oxfam throws out a huge pile of battered and scratchy records in foreign languages, I'm there -- even if it means a half-hour trudge manhandling a bike and a rucksack along narrow pavements, struggling to carry a paper bag full of records that's slowly disintegrating in the rain. Among the predominantly Hungarian pickings (surprisingly intact after their journey home) was an LP of "Israeli Songs" by these two artists.

I know nothing about Israeli music, but to an uninformed Westerner this sounds like the best bits of the 1970s folk movement (a confidently clear-voiced female singer, accompanied by sensitive but precise and deliberate fingerstyle guitar) with added maturity, depth and passion. I've picked the first track on the album because it made me sit up and listen, but it's all good.

4. The Magnetic Fields, "Strange Powers"

I first heard the Magnetic Fields nearly a year ago now, playing live at the Royal Festival Hall. They were so fantastic that I fell in love with the boy who bought my ticket for me. :-)

"On a ferris wheel looking out on Coney Island / under more stars than there are prostitutes in Thailand / Our hair in the air / our lips blue from cotton candy / when we kiss it feels like a flying saucer landing / and I can't sleep / 'cause you got strange powers / you're in my dreams / strange powers"

Thomas Tallis, "Spem in Alium"

Having finally got my CD of Tallis back from a long-term loan to an infrequently-visited friend, I'm delighted to have this around to listen to again. It's breathtaking in its scope (with forty separate vocal lines) and in its sound, a shifting and shimmering kaleidoscope of closely interwoven melodic patterns and seamless, effortless harmonic progressions. When music reviewers start babbling incoherently about sonic cathedrals, this is what they're looking for.


I'm not going to tag anybody explicitly, but I'd be delighted if people wanted to follow up with something that's currently on their "must listen" list. Extra bonus points if they provide an mp3 link so I can listen!

Tags: , ,

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boyofbadgers From: boyofbadgers Date: September 13th, 2005 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's the second time Dub Be Good To Me has been mentioned on my flist today. As the young people used to say in those days: "TUNE!".
nja From: nja Date: September 13th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Minotaur Shock

I have also been listening to CDs of birdsong from The National Sound Archive - Lapwing! Florence Nightingale!1

1 N.b. Florence Nightingale was not an actual nightingale.

Hear also: Chris Watson
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: September 13th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't really 'get' audioscrobbler. It seems like it's only going to work if you're online and listening to music all the time, and I'm certainly not. The stuff I listen to on the computer is a fairly small and unrepresentative slice of the stuff I listen to overall.
d_floorlandmine From: d_floorlandmine Date: September 13th, 2005 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I tend just to get songs stuck in my head - especially when I've been listening to new albums (well, new to me) - so here are some recently listened tunes that I've liked ...

1. Mitch Benn & the Distractions - Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now
Well, it does! [grin] A well-measured parody from a master of the art, available as a CD single. The new album's out in October.

2. Bruce Dickinson - 1000 Points of Light
I've just got the extended re-release of "Balls To Picasso" and it reminded me of how much I liked that song.

3. The Creatures - Exterminating Angel
Excellent song which repeatedly gets stuck in my head. A dancefloor pounder which ended up in my set.

4. Young Gods - Skinflower
Another great track - long and reasonably musical.

5. Alice Cooper - The Ballad of Jesse Jane
A welcome return to classic Cooper on the new album, and this track is wonderfully daft.

Sorry for the lack of links!
uon From: uon Date: September 13th, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Where can I find more like this? Who does this stuff?

More like mashup, more like Wrong Music, or more like danceable videogame music? I've got a couple of mashups lying around (Kylie vs New Order - Can't get Blue Monday Out Of My Head ; Pink Floyd vs The Orb - Little Fluffy Crazy Diamonds ; "Bela Lugosi's dead" by Bauhaus vs every single rave cliche ever), but I found that the joke ran thin quite quickly. See also things like The Grey Album.
I rather like Shitmat for splendidly ridiculous butchery and perversion of once perfectly innocent songs, but he's possibly a bit jungley for some. "Closer to Mario" (which is brilliant, btw! Thanks for pointing it out!) reminded me a lot of "Powerpill Pacman" by Aphex Twin, but beyond that you wind up in the land of people who are constantly remixing obscure C64 tunes that weren't even written by Rob Hubbard.

I have mp3s of most of the above around if you fancy a listen.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: September 13th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
you wind up in the land of people who are constantly remixing obscure C64 tunes that weren't even written by Rob Hubbard

I would say "You say that as if it were a bad thing", but, on reflection, you don't actually make much judgment about it at all. Well done!

For things which err more on the video game side than on the real tune side, I direct you here. As to which game to try, depends of which games you have fond memories, but I always enjoyed this cheesy disco remix of Space Harrier, and know just what you (j4) mean about a song being funny. Oh, and yer C64istry.
uon From: uon Date: September 13th, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I do have slight reservations about C64 tunes that weren't written by Rob Hubbard, but that might be because I just can't remember any good ones offhand.

I have a strong suspicion that my taste in music (such as liking electroclash (whatever that means) despite never really liking eighties synthpop, and in particular my unreasonable affinity for space-alien psytrance) is a consequence of overexposure to coding demos at a vulnerable age.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: September 14th, 2005 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Fire up the Martin Galway directory in your local PlaySID, though David Whittaker has some good ones too, and lots of people like Ben Daglish. (etc. etc.)

Overexposure to coding demos? MTV. VH1, with all the relevant "ooh, I haven't heard that in years" thrills.
uon From: uon Date: September 14th, 2005 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)

demoscene conversion

"This content has moved" ?
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: September 14th, 2005 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: demoscene conversion

I have this nasty feeling that LJ regards some of these consecutive strings of characters as reserved magic words, so

http://www.demoscene.tv/p a g e . p h p ? i d = 2 2 9 & l a n g = u k


http://www.demoscene.tv/p a g e . p h p ? i d = 2 1 3 & l a n g = u k

minus the spaces respectively.
imc From: imc Date: September 15th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually it's because you are supposed to escape "&" to "&" in URLs¹ and LiveJournal [or actually Perl's HTML::TokeParser with the default settings] is too retarded to understand what you meant.

¹Hope you aren't reading the HTML source for that in the notification email, as that would be rather confusing…
addedentry From: addedentry Date: September 14th, 2005 09:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: demoscene conversion

Congratulations on that ap-Paul-ling pun.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 13th, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking more like mashup, but bleepy videogame music is also good (though addedentry has an entire CD of Spectrum game tunes, which is possibly going a bit far).

I've heard the Kylie vs. New Order, actually, but that was before I knew the word "mashup". (I'd've just called this sort of thing a "mix" before.) Would I be displaying an absurd level of naivety if I asked "who's it by"? Are actual people/bands behind these things any more, or is it all just usernames and downloads? I feel so old.

"The Grey Album" sounds like a fantastic idea and I'd be interested to hear it, though I don't know the, um, black half (that sounds awful, but YKWIM) of it.

mp3s of some/any/all of the above would be great (WLOG)! I'm currently listening to an absurdly long track (it's, like, a whole DJ set!) from Shitmat after following your link. Is that what jungle is like, then? I think I like it, but it'd make more sense if I was dancing.

The phrase "Little Fluffy Crazy Diamonds" has totally given me the giggles.
uon From: uon Date: September 13th, 2005 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have mail. Most of the mashup I've heard is attributed to "DJ <somethingEasilyForgotten>" rather than any particular band (apart from, say, 2manydjs). Lots of bootleggy stuff flying around the web though; see here and this MetaFilter thread, which in turn points at delicious mashup.

I don't know what Jungle is like, I just do what Ishkur tells me.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: September 13th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've heard the Kylie vs. New Order, actually, but that was before I knew the word "mashup". (I'd've just called this sort of thing a "mix" before.)

This is the first I've heard of that terminology, but then zorinth has already made it eminently clear that I'm staggeringly uncool and about as with it as the "Hey, what's this ? It's got a good beat... " guy from The Mary Whitehouse Experience.

I think the first time I heard this done was combining Serge Gainsbourg's "Je t'aime" with "Wild Thing". Weird but surprisingly good.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: September 14th, 2005 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I have Bob The Builder vs. Eminem, which makes both the original works obsolete, and I was just about to say "but who doesn't?" when it turns out that it's not available immediately any more. Copy on request. Request transitive to all Janet's Friends.

Lots of good silly stuff here. The Dad's Army theme tune remix in the TV Theme Remixes section is probably the silliest.
the_elyan From: the_elyan Date: September 13th, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
"69 Love Songs" by Magnetic Fields is one of the finest albums ever recorded - the breadth of styles and moods is stunning, and there's very little on it that isn't wonderful.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: September 13th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, where is that icon from ?

*wipes drool from chin*
lnr From: lnr Date: September 13th, 2005 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I should lend you my 2manydjs album.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 13th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
You should! :-)

Lunch soon? Catch me on irc...
juggzy From: juggzy Date: September 13th, 2005 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Right, as per instruction:

Currently number one in the dugness-stakes is something I came across through listening to Last FM; the indie station. Sad songs and waltzes aren't selling this year by Cake. I have renamed my user info in honour. I can't afford the CD, but I am now drinking a bottle of wine, so the money is on my having bought it by the end of the evening.

I like I predict a riot. How embarassing When it comes on the radio, I jiggle a little bit, and wave my elbows, and pretend that I'm back at a Clash gig in 1979. It's exactly like being there.

I like Jack Johnson, a lot, which probably shows my age, him being a current radio 2 staple and all. I believe they've had to invent a genre for him in order to differentiate him from the rest of the multitude of jangly guitared, nice voiced surfer boys out there. You've probably heard Good People, which was what first brought him to my attention. Situations is worth a mention, for it's zen like brevity, and Staple it Together is an anthem clearly written with the end of a gig in mind. However, the track I'm listening to the most there is Sitting, Waiting, Wishing. Cos it's jangly rock, innit? Like jangly rock.

Monkees. I have an ancient Best of Monkees CD, probably pirated somewhere in South AFrica, so I'm not even sure that the track titles are correct. Everything by the Monkees is great. The track of this CD that I sometimes listen to, just because is the very strange Goin' Down. Not yer usual Monkees.

And then, there's Nothing (but Flowers) by the Talking Heads. It's brilliant. It's not a psychopathic scream of rage, unlike most of the rest of Talking Heads, it's all about what happens when the Scream of Rage stops.

Sorry, very boring. I must have picked the wrong five minutes to answer. Lets pretend that if it had been a different five minutes, the answers would have been better.

From: besskeloid Date: September 13th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not a psychopathic scream of rage

Not to disparage Talking Heads, but that's the last phrase that could describe them. This is a PSoR.
juggzy From: juggzy Date: September 13th, 2005 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Page not found.
From: besskeloid Date: September 13th, 2005 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oops. Take the last forward-slash off the URL. Soz!
covertmusic From: covertmusic Date: September 13th, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Five songs at the moment? Hmm.

Tundra by Redpoint, although that's kinda cheating so it doesn't really count...

Szamar Madar, by Venetian Snares, from "Rossz Csillag Alatt Szuletett" (or something close to that, anyway), on Planet Mu.

180bpm drill-and-bass versus classical mayhem.

E Talking (Tiga's Disco Drama Remix) by Soulwax, off a compilation; it's a slinky, slightly-housey makeover of the original, and I *so* want to hear it in a club.

Me And Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard (LFO Remix) by the unpronounceable !!!, on Warp.

"People always ask me / what's so f*ckin'great about dancing, dancing / Well, how the f'ck should I know? Even I can barely understand it..." - punk-funk with an enormously dirty acid bassline. Again, club material.

Loads of stuff by Helios (have a listen - http://www.acre-c.com/helios/sound.html)

Shoulder to Hand in particular. Acoustic guitar, laptop beats, and a really beautiful sense of wistful melody.

Oscar See Through Red Eye, Boards of Canada, Warp/bleep.com

http://bleep.com/boc/ - 99p. Trust me.

Glosoli, Sigur Ros, from Takk (EMI).

Their new album (out yesterday) is as good as the hype says. Making the world safe for staggering pretentiousness.
arnhem From: arnhem Date: September 13th, 2005 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not mashup, but picking on the "Super Mario theme" bit - the soundtrack cd to "Katamari Damashii" is very strange and wonderful (and extremely silly).
arnhem From: arnhem Date: September 13th, 2005 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Listening to it again, I've realised I should probably re-emphasise the "silly", to avoid over-selling it ...
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