The Morning Slap

(Almost) every morning a musical slap in your face.

François de Roubaix - Piste 23

Belgian excellent label WeMe Records recently released a compilation for its 10th anniversary including their greatest artists : Der Zyklus, Leyland Kirby, DMX Krew, Ceephax, etc. All members of the underground contemporary electronic scene. Among them, one guy that few outside France might know: François de Roubaix. Pioneer of the electronic film music, producer of one of soundtracks and rarities of a very high quality, he is currently being rediscovered by the young french generation, and no doubt that the re-issues of WeMe play a role in that. In this compilation, with a 30 seconds track, De Roubaix, who died at 36 years old in 1975, shows that we are right to consider him as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.

The Normal - Warm Leatherette

Here we have one of the most minimalistic tracks with the richest history ever. The Normal is actually the solo project from the great Daniel Miller, best known to be the founder of Mute Records, home of Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Nick Cave, Apparat, Add N To (X), Plastikman, Goldfrapp, Throbbing Gristle, etc. etc. etc. This EP (the only one by Daniel Miller) was the very first release on Mute Records. Miller used to play with his 150$ Korg 700s in 1978 and made the tracks T.V.O.D. and Warm Leatherette in his living room. This B-Side, today’s slap, is inspired by 1973 Ballard’s novel Crash. Far away to think that this release would work, he sold 30 000 copies, which would help to start the big history of Mute.

Damn, that’s great to start the week with a refreshing soundtrack. After a first remarkable EP called Divine Fashion. Arkia Jahani alias Makeup, musician and filmmaker, invites us again to his clean, aerial and atmospherical world, where he seems to feel at home. Through collaborations with the also Atlanta-based filmmaker Alex Zhuravlov, he has discreetly established himself as a strong newcomer on the underground electronic scene. No doubt that this new EP released for free by our friends of AVNL Records will bring him to the next level. If you don’t know what chilling-out is, then it’s time to download B Sides!

Madison, WI, duo comes back with an incredible release on Tranquility Tapes. We already talked about Joe Taylor and Xavier Kraal for their evocative soundscapes made of classic and popular instruments and electronics, remembering western soundtracks. With Wood Violet, they seem to have com a step further in the elaboration of their music, with a bigger presence of electronics and tracks written like chamber music. We are not in experimental music anymore but really in contemporary chamber music. Still dark, still intense, still beautiful and marvelously produced, the music of Rain Drinkers is one of this soundtrack quiet enough for your ears but exciting enough to stimulate brains in lack of imagination. One of my favorite release this year, so far.

Flying Lotus - “You’re Dead” Album Trailer

It’s here, it’s available for pre-order, it’s massive, it’s awesome, it’s not time to die. FlyLo is back!

Stian Gjevik, alias CN, alias EOD, alias Bloody Jumper comes back with a long-awaited CN album in the famous 313 series from WeMe Records (home of releases from Heinrich Müller, Dj Stingray, The Caretaker, etc.). Available in september, but already now for pre-order, this album announces something big when you listen to Isis. A pure Drexciya/Gerald Donald sound that all the space travelers should like.

Alain Clavier - Commercial “Parks Canada Northwest Territories”

Many people ask themselves where the inspiration of Boards Of Canada does come from. Of course, 1970’s tv shows soundtracks, krautrock and probably the landscapes of their home in Scotland. But if you look deeper, like in the National Film Board Of Canada (NFB) – a canadian documentaries and films producer that inspired their name –, you’ll find many natural documentaries soundtracks, like in Temples Of Time, who might have been a great source of influence for the sound of BOC. The guys from the forum Twoism shared this commercial from 1983 for the canadian parks promotion. The soundtrack is done by canadian psych-composer, Alain Clavier, who produced an entire album of soundtracks for the NFB in the 1970’s. And when you’ll listen to this short advert and look at the video, you might imagine what Eoin and Sandison have listened to in their youth…

Stephen Mallinder - Cool Down

"Sensoooriiiia! Sensoooriiiia! Sensoooriiiia!" Oh yeah, Cabaret Voltaire, 1984, Richard H. Kirk, Chris Watson and this voice… Yes, this was Stephen Mallinder, the one we talk about today. Beside being one of the pioneers of cold wave with his friends from Sheffield, he produced one solo EP (Temperature Drop in 1981) and one solo album (Pow Wow) one year later. And that’s where you actually hear all the talent of the 26 years old guy: this track from 1981, with its melancholic synth pad, electronic drums and manipulated snares is pure Warp electronica 10 years before Aphex Twin. Since this time, Mallinder wrote for several australian magazines, obtained a Ph. D in music and popular culture in Perth and still produce music, especially with Ben Edwards and Phil Winter as Wrangler. Now, time to cool down for the weekend.

Jan Hammer - Crockett’s Theme

You have here one of the most famous songs ever made for TV screen. Czech composer and keyboardist Jan Hammer, previously keyboard of the Mahavishnu Orchestra was asked to make the soundtrack for the 1984 NBC series Miami Vice. Crockett’s Theme is the song dedicated to the hero, James “Sonny” Crockett, played by Don Johnson. Massive 1980’s hit in Europa, its big synth soundscapes and typical sequenced bassline has inspired the development of electronic music in the 1990’s through movements like trance or progressive. A classic among the slaps.

L’Skadrille - On Doit L’Être

It was the first french hip-hop “mix tape” I bought by myself: it was in 1998 and I was 13. Among other big names of the french rap scene, the great Cut Killer mixed a selection of what I miss a little bit in the contemporary bands: beautiful samples, hard beats and subtle lyrics with intelligent meaning. L’Skadrille (duo composed of 13 Or and 16AR) never was that prolific, but every song was produced in such a high quality that I consider every of them as collectables. On Doit L’Être was released in 1998 and produced by Shean and Tony Fresh. “Remixed, scratched and improved” by Dj Cut Killer. Bam! 

Public Passion - Flash In The Night

There are a lot of awesome italo-disco tracks on internet and in the record shops. But only a few are worth being on The Morning Slap. With only one EP on Chapulin (home of Glen White and Den Harrow, among others), Public Passion is probably not the most unknown but for sure one of the most representative of this mid-1980’s era where dancefloor hits came out every day. Heavy analog bass, massive snares, great melody, these are all the classic ingredients that have used Margherita Artioli, Mirko Limoni, Valerio Semplici and the Villa d’Este crew to produce this 28 years old slap!

American new-wave-ambient musician Brian Pyle (Ensemble Economique) and french multidisciplinary artist Felicia Atkinson (Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier) joined their forces for an exclusive 2 tracks release on the excellent Peak Oil. Taking some distance with their respective musical backgrounds, they explore deep space, fat synths pads and minimal kicks that remain us of the golden age of trance and ambient techno in the mid 1990’s (The Age Of Love, FSOL, Astral Projection, etc.) to completely transcend you and your brain. At least for 17 minutes. 300 copies only.

Plaid - Wallet

Famous londonians Andy Turner and Ed Handley are back on Warp with their long awaited 10th album. Reachy Prints was released in may and belongs already to one of my favourite of the band, beside Not For Threes and Double Figure. The track Wallet with the wonderful video by the talented Sabrina Ratté mixes all the ingredients of Plaid receipes: subtle melodies, IDM bass, arythmic drums, but with an incredibly hypnotic touch that make you feel like you’re in a fall into infinity. Active since the end of the 1980’s, Plaid is with this album still more than just a legendary IDM band. It’s a creator, an avant-gardist and a wonderful vision of what mainstream music could be in 50 years.

Lewis - Love Showered Me

1983, Los Angeles. Randall Wulff, a supposed stockbrocker (more probably a con artist or a man from another planet, like the legends say), comes from nowhere with a white Mercedes Convertible, an incredible voice and a deep melancholy. He produces the album L’Amour with Bob Kinsey as engineer and Philip Lees at the synth : 10 delicate love songs you won’t hear anywhere else. Then he took some pictures (for the cover) with the famous Ed Colver, for portraits or with his girlfriend who looked like a model. The photographer said Randall was staying at the Beverly Hills Hilton, but nobody will ever know as he never paid the shooting and disappeared since then. Seattle-based label Light In The Attic reissued the album 30 years later, and even if the story makes it already exciting to discover, the music of Lewis is such a pure jewel that you shouldn’t need the legend to play it all day long.

Rrose - Pentagons

After several highly praised releases on Sandwell District and Eaux (label dedicated to his productions), Rrose puts out some new dark experimental techno beats. Excepting his name inspired by the fictional character created by Duchamp, Rrose Sélavy, we know almost nothing about this solo project. Not even sure if he is romanian or american or both or none of them. But what it’s sure, it’s that since his first release in 2011, he has been around the best places in the world to play his deeply sensual and mystical music. In october 2013, he released the incredible Monad XVI, and we had to wait until now to get this Eating The Other EP, but it was fucking worth it!