With the killer bassline and stabbing synth riffs still sounding as good as they did back in ‘81. This is one of those Larry Levan classics which one can’t hear often enough! Imagine this in a large early 80’s club with a big system and the reverb of the room… shivers!
“A onetime gardener and an experimental techno producer with minimalist leanings, Lawrence (Peter M. Kersten) produced for Kompakt, Ghostly, and Mule Electronic, but the majority of his output was issued on Dial, the Hamburg, Germany-based label he co-founded with Carsten Jost and Turner. As with the material from a fair amount of his contemporaries, the division between Lawrence’s rhythms and textures was often a blurry one, though he gradually embraced a cleaner sound with a broader instrumental palette. Throughout the years, his discography maintained a unique touch and downcast mood that mirrored the grayscale graphic design in which his releases were presented. His full-length works included Lawrence (Dial, 2002), The Absence of Blight (Dial, 2003), The Night Will Last Forever (Dial/NovaMute, 2005), Lowlights from the Past and Future (Mule Electronic, 2006), and Until Then, Goodbye (Mule Electronic, 2009), and he also issued dozens of 12” singles. Prolific in a remixing capacity, he took on tracks by Goldfrapp, Martin Gore, Superpitcher, Audision, and several others, typically with stunning results.”
“Like Aphex Twin, Autechre were about as close to being experimental-techno superstars as the tenets of their genre and the limitations of their audience allowed. Through a series of full-length works and a smattering of EPs on Warp, Clear, and their own Skam label, Autechre consistently garnered the praise of press and public alike. Unlike many of their more club-bound colleagues, however, Autechre’s Sean Booth and Rob Brown had roots planted firmly in American electro, and though the more mood-based, sharply digital texture of their update seemed to speak otherwise, it was through early 12”s like Egyptian Lover’s “Egypt, Egypt,” Grandmaster Flash’s “Scorpio,” and “Pretty” Tony Butler’s “Get Some” that their combined aesthetic began to form.
Booth and Brown met through a mutual friend, trading junked-up pause-button mixtapes of their favorite singles back and forth. Happening onto some bargain-basement analog gear through questionable circumstances, the pair began experimenting with their own music before they were out of high school. After some disastrous experiences with a few small labels, the pair sent a tape off to Warp Records, whose early releases by Sweet Exorcist, Nightmares on Wax, and B12 were announcing a new age in U.K.-based techno (and one in which Autechre would become a key component). Releasing a handful of early singles through the label, Autechre’s first stabs were collected on their debut full-length, Incunabula, as well as the 10” box set remix EP Basscadet.
Subsequent albums reached a wider audience through stateside reissue, first on Wax Trax!/TVT, later on Nothing (the label managed by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor), and finally through a stateside branch of Warp. Although stylistically rooted, affectations for the ponderous extend beyond their name and track titles (“C/Pach,” “Bronchusevenmx24”), with the basic premise of their approach being music without a whole lot of stylistic baggage but plenty of DSP’ed-to-death hyper-programming. Later albums like Untilted (2005), Quaristice (2008), and Oversteps (2010) were not as groundbreaking, yet Autechre easily retained one of the most distinctive sounds in the world of electronica.
In addition to Autechre, Booth and Brown released material as Gescom on their own Skam imprint and through the Clear label, most notably the Sounds of Machines Our Parents Used EP on the latter. The group also provided a number of memorable remixes (oftentimes more memorable than the original material) for artists including Palmskin Productions, Slowly, Mike Ink, DJ Food, Scorn, Skinny Puppy, Tortoise, Phoenecia, Various Artists, and the Black Dog.”
“Undercurrent has long been considered one of the classic piano/guitar duo sessions, pairing Bill Evans with Jim Hall. These studio dates were a jump start for Evans’ career, which he had placed on hold after the unexpected death of his bassist, Scott LaFaro, a few days following their historic Village Vanguard recordings were made. First reissued on CD in 1988, this 2002 edition features the same music, but remixed with gorgeous 24-bit sound and the songs re-sequenced into their original LP configuration, with the alternate takes and initially unissued tracks following them. An added bonus is the removal of the graphics from the striking cover photo, as well as the inclusion of a photo of Evans and Hall taken at one of the two sessions. The seamless way they swap between lead and supporting roles throughout gems such as the waltz-time “Skating in Central Park” adds to the overall appeal of the disc. Though the master take of “My Funny Valentine” has a smoother introduction, the alternate has more intriguing interplay between the two men. The other selections are every bit as masterful. Although Evans and Hall would later do a follow-up duo session for Verve, this memorable CD is the one to acquire first.”
“Haruomi Hosono, overshadowed by his Yellow Magic Orchestra bandmate Ryuichi Sakamoto, has still forged a unique path through ambient music, building on the advances made by the soundscapes of Brian Eno during the ’70s, though he recorded his first album before Eno had even joined Roxy Music. Born in Tokyo in 1947, Hosono studied sociology at Rikkyo University, forming several bands while still in school. His first band, Apryl Fool, released their self-titled LP in 1969.
Throughout the early and mid-’70s, he played the part of studio musician and bassist, and formed two fusion projects, Happy End and Tin Pan Alley. Later in the ’70s, he began recording tape and synthesizer experiments which culminated in the album Cochin Moon, released on the Japanese King Records. By 1978, his group Harry Hosono & the Yellow Magic Band had sprung into Yellow Magic Orchestra, with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi. Coming just a few years after electro futurists Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, YMO pursued a similar trail, later incorporating synth pop and new wave as well and becoming Japan’s most successful band during the ’80s — even though they had broken up by 1984.
Even while Yellow Magic Orchestra was still around, Hosono had been busy with other projects. With three labels to his credit (YEN, Non-Standard, and Monad Music) and releases on those labels under guises such as S-F-X, Mercuric Dance, and — most prolifically — F.O.E. (Friends of the Earth), Haruomi Hosono stayed active into the late ’80s. He composed scores for the films Paradise View and The Tales of Genji, but became disgusted with the industry and withdrew from music altogether by the turn of the decade. The pioneers of ambient house began to namecheck Yellow Magic Orchestra in the early ’90s — even producing a YMO remix album called High Tech/No Crime featuring the Orb plus many others — and Hosono returned with 1992’s Medicine Compilation From the Quiet Lodge. Albums for Creation and Polygram followed during the mid-’90s.”
“With a style similar to Moodymann’s take on Detroit tech-house as a melange of distorted disco-funk and boogie, Theo Parrish originally grew up in Chicago but moved to the Motor City by the time of his late-1996 Baby Steps EP on Elevate Records, a subsidiary of 7th City. From the EP, his Chicago tribute “Lake Shore Drive” later appeared on the Kenny Dixon/Moodymann release “Inspirations of a Small Black Church,” and Parrish also worked on tracks by Rick Wilhite, Dewayne Davis and Norma Jean Bell. He continued through 1997 with singles for his own Sound Signature label plus Music 15 and Filth. In late 1998, Peacefrog released two Theo Parrish LPs, both of which were issued on CD as First Floor. Also a stellar DJ, Parrish is renowned around Detroit for his sets of downtempo jazz-funk and disco.”
“Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren (1914 - 1987) revolutionized his field with his hand - drawn and hand - painted animated films. He also pioneered the use of pixilation - a filming technique that creates a stop - motion effect - which he used in his Academy Award - winning film “Neighbors”. McLaren created many of his projects for the National Film Board of Canada, where he was employed for more than 40 years.”
“James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News) directed this $50 million-plus romantic comedy, set in Manhattan. Dysfunctional, acid-tongued romance novelist Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson), who suffers from an obsessive-compulsive disorder, takes pride in his ability to offend. At a nearby cafe, the only waitress willing to stand up to his sarcastic tirades is Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt), a single mother struggling to raise her chronically asthmatic son. In Melvin’s West Village apartment building, talented contemporary artist Simon Nye (Greg Kinnear) lives across the hall from Melvin. Simon is the current darling of the New York art world, reason enough to draw Melvin’s verbal fire, but Simon’s gay lifestyle is further grist for the novelist’s malicious mill. These three New Yorkers, none of whom appears to have a chance in hell at finding true happiness, discover their fates intertwined because of the fourth complicated character in the piece, Verdell, a tiny Brussels Griffon dog (played by newcomer Jill, after a 15-week training program). Melvin seems to have no friends or family, and he lives alone, working on his 62nd book.
When Simon goes into the hospital after a brutal mugging, Melvin has to take care of Verdell, and the dog actually warms Melvin’s cold heart — to the degree that he sets up unsolicited medical care for Carol’s son. Eventually, Melvin is cornered into driving Simon and Carol to Baltimore, and during a hotel stopover, Melvin confesses to Carol, “You make me want to be a better man.” The trip becomes an odyssey of self-realization for all three. Locations included Brooklyn’s Prospect Park (Carol’s neighborhood) and Greenwich Village (where Melvin’s building is on 12th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues). Other exteriors were shot in downtown Los Angeles, where a dilapidated transient hotel at the corner of 4th Street and Main was transformed into the chic cafe where Carol works. Sets for the Simon/Melvin apartment interiors were erected on a soundstage at the Sony Pictures lot. Simon’s paintings were created for the film by New York artist Billy Sullivan, whose work is part of the modern art collection at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art.”
“Rare Bird came together in October 1969 when organist Graham Field, keyboardist Dave Kaffinetti, drummer Mark Ashton, and vocalist Steve Gould envisioned a two-keyboard rock sound without guitars. They released their debut before the end of the year, featuring the minor radio hit “Sympathy.” The next year they released As Your Mind Flies By, a dark and heavier album that put further emphasis on Gould’s melodramatic singing style. Field and Ashton left the group before Epic Forest, which saw new drummer Fred Kelly bring in guitarist Andy Curtis to revamp their sound into a more folk-oriented direction. Gould also picked up the guitar at this point, and the music became much more about their guitar interplay than anything else. By 1973’s Somebody’s Watching, interest had waned in their efforts, leaving the group with a dwindling fan base. Still, they managed to release one more album, 1974’s Born Again, which featured an entirely different sound than the progressive rock of their first two albums. The band’s demise was followed by a collection, Sympathy, which took its material from the first two albums only.”