Something about the recent sunny weather has been reigniting my love of Trip-hop and chilled out electronica. Golden days call for lazy beats and dreamy sampling. I think over the last few days I’ve played my Lemon Jelly albums to death. Add to this my recent discovery of Spotify and I’ve been finding so many new electronica bands (and loads of others as well but thats for another time) which are really great and that I’ve previously missed out on. So, I thought I’d give a quick run through of my recent finds.
Mr.Scruff was one of those artists I’d heard a couple of tracks of before but never really got around to investigating until now. He specialises in electronica with loads of funk and jazz samples, made with a genuine sense of humour and a slight fixation with fish. Most of his albums are pretty consistently good but Trouser Jazz is probably my favourite and the best one to start with.
Daedulus, (named after the greek mythological figure who designed the minotaurs labyrinth and whose name literally means cunning worker) has really mastered the art of fusing analogue and digital sounds together to create quite an original although slightly melancholic sound. Sampled sounds next to beep-beep 8-bit style noises combine to make him quite distinctive. Of Snowdonia and Daedelus Denies the Days Demise are the albums of his I’d go for.
I found out about Four Tet through a Super Furry Animals remix album (Phantom Phorce, he does a really great remix of The Piccolo Snare) I had. Four Tet uses a lot of organic sounds, like acoustic guitars and strings, and also a more sparing use of drum beats to make a really chilled out sound which I think is pretty accessable to anyone even non-hip-hop fans.
Wagon Christ was the only one on this list which I had never heard of before last week but found through the similar artist links in Spotify, I’m glad I have though as his music is really interesting. Even in the space of one album he goes from chillout into experimental hip-hop. He also finds the weirdest samples of speech to overlay on his tracks and can create some really spooky atmospheres.
Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb has been one of my favourite tracks ever since I heard it on Radio 6 a while back and it was one of the first things I went to check out once I got Spotify. The Orbs Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld is an absolute classic of Trip-hop and electronic music. Its utterly spaced out and completely mental. Its trip-hop which has obviously been inspired by the likes of Pink Floyd in its use of soundscapes and long drawn out compositions, and the track Back Side of the Moon is an obvious nod as well. It masterfully creates a real sense of atmosphere and over the 2 hour length of the double album it never once gets dull.
Theres a few other artists that deserve a mention as being quite interesting but that I haven’t really listened to enough to comment on yet. Boom Bip, Coldcut, Kid Koala and pretty much anything off of the Ninja Tune record label which is pretty fantastic.