Random Access Memories (RAM) is the fourth studio album from Daft Punk and was released following an intensive promotional campaign, including teaser commercials on SNL. The campaign lead to much anticipation and hype and now we can finally listen to the result of five years of development.
Daft Punk has always been trying out new directions and have been at the forefront of EDM since their first record. This time they lead us both back, as well as forward in time. With funky songs that remind you of old disco classics and music from the seventies and eighties they try to – as one of their songs is called – “Give Live Back To Music”. They are definitely trying to make a statement with this album; by hardly using any samples and heavy use of real instruments they have tried to find a new form of dance music, maybe reflecting David Grohl’s words on the lack of a human element in EDM. One way they did this is by collaborating with many artists who have inspired them over the years. To name a few: Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams and Panda Bear are featured in one way or another during the trip that is this album. The song “Giorgio by Moroder” features a short interview with Giorgio Moroder and that serves as a great example to show the amount of detail that was put into the production of the record. From using the best available studios and equipment, to the tiniest details nobody will notice. For example 3 different microphones were used in the recording of the interview with Giorgio Moroder. One from the sixties, one from the seventies and a modern one. The one used is linked to the different time period he was talking about.
This sort of detail won’t be noticed by most of the (casual) listeners and that may be the only problem with RAM. This is more a listeners record than a club album and people who were fans mostly for the electronic part of or their portfolio might feel a little left out. But make no mistake, this is still a Daft Punk album. A lot of the recognizable elements are there including the synthesized robotic voices and funky danceable beats. Also the record closes with the song “Contact” (stemming from a 2002 performance) that is more in line with the previous work, like the TRON soundtrack. It’s just that RAM is so much more than that, what makes this the best Daft Punk album for me. I originally wanted to write that the album is very good, but not worth the full hype. But it just might be. It keeps growing on me the more I listen to it, which has been pretty much non stop the last week.
Unfortunately Daft Punk have announced they will not tour in 2013, but the album is out now and available from iTunes.
Derek Vincent Smith, otherwise known as Pretty Lights returns on the 2nd of July 2013 with A Color Map of the Sun, his first full length since 2009’s Passing By Behind Your Eyes. The first single Around the Block is already available as a free download from Pretty Lights’ website and is much in the trend of recent Pretty Lights tracks with glitchy electronic flourishes, deep bass and big beats; however it also returns to a slower more hip-hop focused sound with vocals from Talib Kweli. Continue reading →
This is old news if you saw it posted last week, but Bonobo makes a return this April with the release of his new album The North Borders. With the announcement he’s unleashed new track Cirrus as a free download. It’s got real groove and sounds a little more experimental than anything we’ve heard before from Simon. I’m especially looking forward to this one as it’s always been fascinating to see how Bonobo has evolved over the years. The artwork’s brilliant (click on the image to see the hires version for those who don’t want to ruin there eyes). The video for Cirrus is also worth a look with some great visuals that marry to the music perfectly. Don’t forget to do your music library a favour and grab yourself the free single.
The album’s due April 1st (2nd in North America), lets hope it’s not an April fools! There’s also some new live dates to accompany the new album, to make things easy head over to this link for a full (and fairly extensive) listing. Continue reading →
Here’s a nice midweek surprise, Emancipator will be releasing his new album Dusk to Dawn on the 29th January. Yes it really is that close!
The record drops on Doug Appling’s new imprint Loci Records (which had it’s debut release last month with the rather superb Tor – Drum Therapy). It’s been a while now since 2010’s Safe in the Steep Cliffs and after the extensive touring that followed the album it’ll be nice to hear some brand new tracks starting with the first single Minor Cause. The track is a free download over on the Loci Records bandcamp page and it’s a gorgeous slice of lush downtempo with beautiful instrumentation including the trademark strings, trip hop elements and electronics bubbling around in the background. It’s beautiful and if this is anything to go by January 29th will be an exciting release for Loci Records.
Check out Minor Cause below and head over to bandcamp to grab yourself a copy.
Update: The debut single from Archipelago has since been debuted on www.thelineofbestfit.com. It’s an upbeat and slightly more playful sound for the Hidden Orchestra yet retains the sweeping cinematic feel of their debut and live shows. The single is officially out in September, in the mean time have a listen on Soundcloud.
Hidden Orchestra have announced ‘Archipelago’ as the follow up to their inspired 2010 debut Nightwalks. It’s due October 1st on Tru Thoughts, which is tantalisingly close yet so very far…
Sadly there are no audio samples as yet. In the mean time check out Footsteps from the debut Nightwalks. Hidden Orchestra’s sound can be described as a sweeping,emotional and incredibly cinematic experience with strong jazz and classical influences layer with organic sampling.
On a side note, I’m particularly fond of the continuity between artwork which comes courtesy of Norman Ackroyd.