Mark Isham – The Bliss of Evil (Bad Lieutenant Suite) [Listen]

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It’s probably been about four years since I saw this film, and I enjoyed it as much – if not more the second time last night. Werner Herzog is one of favorite directors, his ability to make great narratives as well as documentary films is something I admire greatly. Last night watching The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, I picked up on something I hadn’t noticed before, the suite composed by Mark Isham. It’s very subtle in the film, and only comes in a few times in the film .

Mark Isham is probably best known for the score he did for Crash (2004), which had some of the most heartfelt, tear jerking tracks, (remember that scene with the little girl and the cloak?). I didn’t know that Mark Isham had written anything for Bad Lieutenant, but now I know it makes sense. This suite is called This Bliss of Evil, and this segment is so beautiful and so fitting for the reflective scenes in the film – I just had to share it with you all.

Just in case your eyes are a bit dry…

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Daft Punk – Random Access Memories [Review]

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

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.

Random Access Memories

Unfortunately Daft Punk have announced they will not tour in 2013, but the album is out now and available from iTunes.

  1. Give Life Back to Music
  2. The Game of Love
  3. Giorgio by Moroder
  4. Within
  5. Instant Crush
  6. Lose Yourself to Dance
  7. Touch
  8. Get Lucky
  9. Beyond
  10. Motherboard
  11. Doin’ It Right
  12. Contact

Nick Urata – Ruby Sparks [Listen]

It’s safe to say Little Miss Sunshine was a huge and well earned success, but who would have thought it would take the directing duo, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris six years to make another film?  I wasn’t aware they had a new film out, It was only when I was flicking through movies on an in-flight entertainment system that I saw that Ruby Sparks was the product of these filmmakers. The storyline goes: Continue reading

Jasper Byrne – Hotline Miami EP [Listen]

I’ve been dabbling in the seedy 80’s neon criminal underworld of Dennaton Games’ superb top down, 2D, PC killathon Hotline Miami for the last couple of weeks and along with being essentially the playable version of the motel/lift scene from Drive, it also has a killer soundtrack that’s more than a nod to Nicolas Winding Refns slick thriller. There are more than a few artists involved with the soundtrack including a wide range of styles and genres, however the title track from Jasper Byrne is one of the best. The Hotline Miami EP is, although sadly a little on the short side, a fantastic slice of electro with deep bass and 80’s style synths that moves between sounding upbeat and almost positive to menacing and grimy. Check it out! Definitely for fans of the 80’s revival we’ve been hearing the last couple of years.

The Hotline Miami EP can be grabbed for $4 over on bandcamp

Tom’s ‘recently found & loved’ playlist

I started compiling this playlist for a friend, but then realized I hadn’t posted for some time and so I thought I’d share it here too. What I’ve got here, (besides a couple of tracks) is a mix of new music I’ve found while sifting through blogs and music sites.

TV Girl:

A band from LA, they’re slowly on the rise, give them a year and they’ll touring the states, and hopefully Europe. It’s feel good electronic, indie shoe-gaze goodness. I’ve been enjoying pretty much all their releases.

Tyler Lyle:

This is my favourite track from his album, it’s got a good pace that seems to get more enjoyable as the song progresses. The other songs on his album are worth checking out too.

J:

I dug and found gold with this guy, he’s from Czech Republic even though he sounds very American. I love this track, it’s part of a series from his EP that all seem to be about childhood. His album is free, and it’s very good.

surely i come quickly:

I don’t even know how I found this guy, but his music is really enjoyable. It comes from an album called, you never wanted me. I believe the artist is from Saskatoon, Ca. The low-fi recordings really do add to the atmosphere of his music.

Soko:

This girl is pretty well-known around the blogs, and I believe made an appearance in the charts. She’s got some nice music vids, one directed by Spike Jonze. I love her voice, and even though this is a pretty sad song, It takes you on an ‘enjoyable’ journey I think.

Birds of America:

An American artist from Oakland, described as Dub/Folk. This track is super chilled and builds nicely, it sounds like it was recorded in a barn after a good party. It’s been on repeat for a while on my iPod.

Tom Eddy:

A folk band from Seattle. This track comes from their album called, The Bread Maker’s Blues. I think it’s the plucking and soft vocals that makes this track fun to listen to. Reminds me a bit of Herman Dune’s stuff.

Cass McCombs:

This is a pretty well-known artist in folk scene. He’s from Baltimore and has toured with a bunch of folky/rock artists. This track comes from his 2009 album, Catacombs.

Cotton Jones:

I love duets, XX are a good example, and these guys execute this song so nicely. This is an alternate version of their song, Gone The Bells, which they released on Soundcloud, I actually prefer it to the original. The dreamy guitar and bells sound beaut.

The Oh Hello’s:

These guys have an EP on Bandcamp which you can ‘name your price for’. They’re working on a full length album which looks promising as this song demonstrates a lot of talent. They say they’ve taken a lot inspiration from Mumford and Sons, personally i think they sound better.

Grand Salvo:

He’s known as ‘Australia’s Iron & Wine’, Grand Salvo has a knack of writing original songs about everyday observations. This is a song that triumphs on its simplicity. You might find you won’t take in the lyrics until the 3rd or 4th time since the acoustic instruments glide through your ears so gracefully.

Of Monsters And Men:

Time to pick up the tempo, this is another boy/girl duet. For me this is Edward Sharpe and XX mixed together. Of Monsters and Men is a 6 piece band from Iceland. This track is from their EP that was released in 2011, they’re currently working on bringing out a full album. They’re one to keep an eye on I feel.

Angus Stone:

I first heard of this artist back in 2007 when he released a single called Mango Tree with his half-sister, Julia. Definitely check out the song if you don’t know it. This track comes from his new album, Broken Brights, I hadn’t really been following his solo venture, so this album came to be a nice surprise.

Helios:

One of my all time favourite instrumental/ambient artists. He’s usually playing in my car during long drives through the countryside. literally love everything he produces, and somehow i missed this track from his last album, which resulted in a nice surprise.

Tallest Man on Earth:

Tallest Man on Earth hit the ground running with his 2008 debut album Shallow Grave and has been impressing fans and critiques since. This track comes from his newest album There’s no Leaving Now. It’s my favourite on the album – and no, he’s not putting on a Bob Dylan voice….

To Just Grow Away by Tallest Man on Earth

Alt-j:

I’ve started to spot adverts around London for Alt-J’s debut album An Awesome Wave. They’re a British band and have been gathering a lot of hype with their indie/electronic sound. I’m not gonna say I heard them before they got big because I don’t think I did. They’re playing at End of Road Festival this year which should be a treat.

Blackbird Blackbird:

Another of my favourite artists. I got to see Blackbird Blackbird play this year in the UK which was amazing. This guy constantly puts out great sounding music. This is one of his newest tracks, and it sounds like he’s far from losing his touch – nice one Mikey.

Fortune Howl:

I found this on some blog, it’s a remix of one of the songs from Wes Anderson’s new film Moonrise Kingdom. It’s a really enjoyable track to listen through.