• Top 5 Songs - Pure Shoegazing Bliss

    Nov 23 2011, 17h31

    I'm going to announce my top 5 shoegazing songs of the moment in a journal, purely because too many times I have had to reformat a hard drive, let someone borrow a CD that I never get back, or maybe I just forget because I have a memory like a sieve. So, without further ado, I present to you:

    zephranthes' Top Shoegazing Songs of the Now!


    1. For All Time - SPC ECO

    I don't know what it is I adore about this song, whether it's the almost nostalgic chiming driving through the song, the borderline heavenly vocals washing through my senses, or the crunchy wall of guitars that find a way to bitch-slap you.

    Yes, bitch-slap you. Right in the brain.

    Other songs I love by SPC ECO include Another Day and You're Alright.

    2. Go & Come Back - Fleeting Joys

    Fleeting Joys sadly get no attention. John and Rorika Loring (I have no idea if they're married, or are brother and sister) formed this band, and they're from Sacramento CA. Now I'm sure most shoegazers would just say "Oh, they just took My Bloody Valentine's sound and copied it."

    Well fuck you, you pretentious swine.

    Yes, they're similar (although I find Fleeting Joys to be much more song-based), but to be fair, Kevin Shields is never going to get his arse in gear. He'll probably grow old and die before MBV release a new album, so this is as much as you're going to get.

    Anyway, it's been a long time since a song made me have such an emotional reaction - And that's why I love this. The soaring guitars drift higher than I can imagine, the soft singing sounds like regret through sound, and the casual, relaxed drum beat seals the whole track together. If heaven sounds like anything, I'm sure it's this.

    That is, if heaven sounds like the death of hope.

    Other songs that are worth checking out by Fleeting Joys would probably be You Are The Darkness (The version that isn't the horrible US version - that was butchery), Cloudlike Mercury and The Breakup.

    3. Aquatica - Windy & Carl

    I heard this during the first (and only) time I used Shoutcast radio on Winamp. Ok, so Windy & Carl aren't actually shoegazers, but I'm using the term loosely. Aquatica is 15 minutes of uninterrupted bliss, it's a really beautiful soundscape. I especially love the almost oriental-sounding noises in the background.

    To be honest, I haven't listened to much else of Windy & Carl, but I own the album Depths - And I can say it's all really good. I lay on my bed and put this album on, and halfway through Aquatica I thought I had teleported to Lónghŭ Shān.

    4. Leave Them All Behind - Ride

    I was trying to write this list without going back to the classics, but I can't help it with Ride. I was thinking the other day how Andy Bell is wasting his talent with Beady Eye, and how he should get back with Mark Gardener, Steve Queralt and Loz Colbert. A man can dream...

    ...Anyway. Leave Them All Behind is a blistering opener for a sublime album, Going Blank Again. The lead guitar always amazes me in it's simplicity, the vocal harmonies between Andy and Mark are quality, the little acoustic break kicks major arse, and the whole song just builds up to the final minute and a half - A bombardment of euphoric noise.

    Other songs I'd recommend would be Seagull, Cool Your Boots, and Moonlight Medicine. Ok, so Moonlight Medicine isn't shoegazer in the slightest - But I still love it.

    5. Perfectly Crystal - Asobi Seksu

    A good friend of mine introduced me to Asobi Seksu with this song. He described it to me like this - "It just sounds like loads of bright colours!" And what a chap, he was absolutely right. It's like someone took Only Shallow and injected it full of steroids, and then made it take speed. Yuki Chikudate's voice blends perfectly with the guitars and keyboards, almost like another instrument. And I absolutely love the break, "Go down, down, down..."

    Like Windy & Carl above, I've only heard one album by Asobi Seksu - Fluorescence. I'd totally recommend it to anyone, It's a fine album. A truly fine album indeed.


    And that just about wraps it up. I know I'll forget a few of these songs over time, so I'm glad I'll have this journal entry to look back on and rediscover, and fall in love all over again. Also to cringe and feel embarrassed at my terrible writing style.
    However, I hope someone out there reads this and discovers something new and wonderful, because let's face it - nothing can beat that feeling of hearing a band you just know you've fallen in love with for the very first time.
  • So after a full moon...

    Jun 26 2010, 12h09

    ...I realised I wasn't able to sleep all of last night, must have been driving me crazy. So I sat up most of the night listening to IRM. My god, what an album.

    I downloaded the album yesterday because I stumbled upon a list of "albums you must own in 2010" (most of which were OH LOLZ PITCHFORK SEZ THEY R GEWD) but this one had a really nice album cover, and Beck produced it, apparently.

    I really can't even put into words what the album is like, it's so varied, yet something about it is so uniform, it's a whole entity.

    Sounds like sleep deprived rambling to me, the basic message is - go ahead and get a hold of the album, even if just for the fantastic opening track Master's Hands.
  • A true return to form.

    Mai 30 2010, 21h48

    Just have to say, Rise Up by Cypress Hill is a fantastic return to form, after Stoned Raiders and Till Death Do Us Part.

    Not going to go into a lot of detail, but the hip-hop is old skool, but really really fresh at the same time. Similar to the beats of La Coka Nostra. The rock tracks are actually well thought out, not like Stoned Raiders where it was "oh hey lets just throw them in a random place". - they all flow along with the album (with the album title track being top notch).

    All in all, check it out, or moan about how wrong I am and the album's actually rubbish, I love it.
  • Coming Up for Air

    Dez 13 2008, 20h10

    On 16th October 2001 at the John Henry rehearsal complex in North London, Andy, Mark, Steve and Loz all turned up, set-up, plugged-in and put together about an hour's worth of un-rehearsed sonic jamming to accompany the Channel 4's Sonic Youth Pioneers programme. As part of the idea for the show, the producer had asked Mark and Andy to play 10-15 minutes of guitar-based feedback which they wanted to film and use as a backdrop to the programme. It was Andy's idea that if he and Mark were going to get together to talk about Sonic Youth's influence on Ride then any "performance" to accompany the programme should feature all 4 ex-Ride members. Mark flew in from France for the day, Andy delayed his return to Sweden after the Oasis tour for a day and both Loz and Steve managed to juggle their existing commitments to make way for the day's filming. Everyone arrived about 11 and everything was set-up and ready to roll about Midday. Once the TV people had sorted their sound and camera positions out, the band started to work on a loose jam that they'd put together on the spot. It was a simple recording - one stereo mic for the drums, one bass mic and one each for Andy's and Mark's guitars. No vocals. The session was recorded. A section of this session was released as the limited edition Coming Up For Air EP in 2002.

    Ride. My favourite band. When they broke up in '96 before Tarantula was released, it seemed they would never get back together.

    They still arent, but, 2002's Coming Up for Air is the closest us Ride fans are gonna get. I wasn't the least bit apprehensive - Ride are artists after all, my musical idols.

    Obviously, I wasn't dissapointed.

    After about 6 minutes of soundchecking (which, are fantasic in their own right), they unleash a 32 minute long unrehearsed jam.

    I've listened to the whole thing through twice now, currently on it's third play. It's instantly recognizable as Ride, hell, certain points sound like the last minute and a half of Leave Them All Behind, pure shoegazing glory. Its astonishing to hear, ok, maybe not so if your not a Ride/ fan, but for me I can't get enough of it.

    But it's also quite sad that a band with as much talent as this won't reform. I mean, i'm not going to critisize them for not reforming, if they don't think it would work, then fine. But it's just such a shame to see 4 guys that create such fantastic music together spreading their talents so thinly with other projects. Ride is truly where their magic is at, and I still pray for the day when I find out that Ride have indeed reunited, and I know I'm not alone in wishing for this.

    But back to the point of this post, if you havent heard Coming Up for Air, do it - you won't regret it.

    And if you have never listened to Ride, I'm obviously gonna reccomend that, ain't I?
  • Project Pitchfork : ¡Chakra-Red!

    Set 16 2007, 13h12

    Chakra-Red is a true work of art within Project Pitchfork's discography. I love every song on that album, especially Human Crossing and 2069 AD.

    So to all those who have heard it (and if you havent, look it up now) I ask : What other bands/artists can I delve into with a similar sound to this album? I have already started looking into Covenant (not to be confused with Kovenant) and I gotta say, I like what I hear. I feel this kind of music I could really get into. So yeah, if you read this, could you drop me a reccomendation maybe?

    Thanks in advance!
  • Command & Conquer - Tiberian Sun Soundtrack

    Jul 18 2006, 17h24

    Futuristic, Ambient and Dark, I really enjoy listening to the music from the videogame that the title applies to. Composed by Frank Klepacki and Jarrid Mendelson, the overall atmosphere matches the game's settings perfectly. Songs such as "Dusk Hour" (one of my favourites) "Valves" and the Setup Theme in the menu's and the installation are fantastic.

    One simple question for those who happen to know the answer. Can someone tell me (or give me a link to a site that tells me) what kind of Synthesizers/Drum Sequencers/Samplers etc they used to make the music? Cheers.