music recommendations

line 18


The Books - The Lemon of Pink

I guess a decent enough place to start would be The Lemon of Pink by a couple of men known as The Books, started in New York, one American, one Dutch. Usually when I refer to something as electronic music, people tend to misunderstand me and recommend something awful in return. It's just that due to technology, musicians now have the capability to make something far more complex than what one would consider conventional. In turn, it becomes painfully difficult to pigeonhole, so we are reduced to classifying it according to how it was made as opposed to what genres it employs.

I guess folk would be the closest thing I could think of for what this album is, but that doesn't work at all either. Samples taken from any random number of places, pieces of phrases and chords carefully spliced and manipulated with great skill and care. Banjo, violin, guitar, etc. Rather hard to explain, there are few albums like this one. Sort of an album for pencil-necked music nerds.

I'd recommend someone hear "All Our Base Are Belong to Them" off of Thought for Food, a previous less accessible album, not as developed or organized. Ironically, they've become more organized and developed, as well as slightly less acessible, a bittersweet turn for any artist. The Lemon of Pink was kind of their "best of both worlds" moment.

from The Lemon of Pink:

take time

from the album that came after, Lost and Safe:

smells like content


DJ Shadow - Endtroducing...

As opposed to "found sound" as it is often called, there are the bargain bin basement junkies that troll through old record shops finding random shit to play with. A prime example is the hip hop album from the midnineties called Endtroducing... by DJ Shadow, based out of California. Not hip hop in the Jay-Z sense, more of the instrumental variety. There are no MC's, just the beat and influence, made out of God knows how many records that most people will never hear in their lifetime. "Midnight in a Perfect World" and "Changeling" alone are worth hearing. This was my favorite album back when i was sixteen, I thought I was the coolest kid in town because I was the only one who owned this. I believe one of the blurbs on the packinging had heralded him as "the Jimmy Page of the sampler.", whatever that means. He was never able to live up this album.

Other great tracks include "What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4)" and "What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1)". The rest are a litle more of a tossup for the individual. Most of these "older" albums get extra points for still sounding every bit as fresh as they did when they were released.


The Avalanches - Since I Left You

Speaking of sampling innumerable records, in this case rumored to be in the thousands, is Since I Left You by The Avalanches out of Melbourne, Australia, released in 2000. Simply fantastic, utterly enjoyable, unpretentious, apolitical, facetious, even precocious. It could simply be called a "party" album, but that would be missing the point. Employing genres and styles from all over the earth, and countless instrumental themes taken from anything ranging from torch songs to early hip hop. If you can lay down a Debbie Reynolds sample successfully, you're doing something special. I won't point out anything in particular, although I will say that the video for "Frontier Psychiatrist" is just brilliant, very well suited to the album itself, and Matthew Herbert's remix of "Electricity", titled as "(Dr. Rockit's Dirty Kiss)" is a far darker, more lascivious version of the original. Overall, one of the best albums of the past ten years, if only because its charm and accessibility had made it unanimously popular. Sort of the same reason imdb users have voted The Shawshank Redemption as the second best movie of all time.


Matthew Herbert Big Band - Goodbye Swingtime

While on the subject of Matthew Herbert, one of my absolute favorite albums is Goodbye Swingtime by The Matthew Herbert Big Band, the only album under this moniker, of which he has too many. Only appropriate because he has made way too much music. Along with Matmos, the appointed king of found sound or aleatoric music (mentioned above), his samples have taken on a more political context over the years. I won't explain, too erudite and tedious to bore you with. Thankfully, this album does not exemplify such things, not obviously. The electronic manipulation is there, but the band is center stage. Criticized as being self-indulgent by many, at the very least it is highly ambitious. At times jazz, at times big band, experimental and often engaging, I like to go back to this one from time to time.

personal contract for the composition of music [incorporating the manifesto of mistakes]

From the liner notes:

Track 4 contains sounds (referred to as "Noises" in the credits) of Mara Carlyle typing of the URL for the School of Americas' Watch website detailing American involvment in Latin American military dictatorships and printing of pages from the same website. Track 5 contains sound recordings of 16 supermarket shopping tills. Track 7 contains sounds (referred to as "Noises" in the credits) of a working paper guillotine operated by Christine Hadlow, courtesy of Catford Print Centre in London. Track 8 contains sounds of local phonebooks being dropped on floors by people around the world.


Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

While on jazz, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. If someone says they know jack shit about jazz and they don't know about this album, shoot them in the face with a gun, or at the very least a light bludgeoning. To people that don't know jazz, this is probably the best place to start. No reputable music critic on earth would have the nerve, better yet the balls, to criticize this piece of work. It's simply too good. I'd feel like a stupidass if I tried to explain why.

The way Miles Davis worked...........basically, he had a few general ideas, rounded up his musicians, went to the studio, and just fucking made it. No rehearsal, the musicians with barely anything to go on other than a hint or basic instruction. No big deal.

The end result is an almost effortlessly perfect work of art, one of the only perfect albums ever made.


Krzysztof Komeda - Crazy Girl

Before I leave jazz alone, Krzysztof Komeda, the king of Polish jazz. I got into this guy in a big way some odd months ago. Polish jazz has an interesting history, namely throughout the years of communist rule after the Second World War, yet ultimately, Komeda emerged as it's wunderkind (probably not the best choice of words). If you can find Crazy Girl, recorded in the 60's (14 tracks in all), it suitably exhibits his talents, although technically it is a compilation. In pop culture, he is most often recognized for his score of Rosemary's Baby, as well as many other Roman Polanski films. It seems that nobody quite knows where Polish jazz began. One of those things so good that no one can take credit, I guess.


Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children

Referring back to electronic music, I guess it would be more than prudent to mention Boards of Canada, a Scottish duo (brothers). They use a great deal of the sedated analog sound employed in educational documentaries made in the 70's, their music heavily laden with references to childhood, along with subliminal references to Satanism, the Branch Dividians, and other occult-oriented themes. "roygbiv" is a wonderful place to start if only strolling past this one (best to hear "bocuma" before it), perhaps "turquoise hexagon sun". Overall, this was their real debut and worth mentioning first.


Boards of Canada - Geogaddi

But, I like Geogaddi more. In very much the same vein, yet more of a journey as an album than the one that came before it, undoubtedly a darker one, but not by too wide a margin. Both albums are best heard with the shorter passages that sandwich the larger tracks, so recommending individual ones can prove misleading. Nevertheless, perhaps "sunshine recorder" or "1969" would pose as a suitable preview.

Also, listening back, "The Beach at Redpoint".


Boards of Canada - In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country

An EP released between these two albums, four tracks in all. I would recommend above all "Kid For Today" and "In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country". The first track mentioned is no less than gorgeous, a soft, sprawling piece of work. The second mentioned is of the same style and atmosphere, but not as sonorous. The obsessive (often overanalytical) fanbase they have is due to wondering what motivated the two of them to make tracks such as these. Most of these rabid jackasses remind me of the people that get wound up over this kind of shit:

random this, meaningless that

Overall, while I prefer many acts other than Boards of Canada, I often revisit them. They are without a doubt unique and I am still fascinated by them.

............the words are "come out and live with a religious community in a beautiful place out in the country."

Joanna Newsom - Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band

A wild card, Joanna Newsom. The type of music she makes I usually find sickening, too maudlin, too desperate to be natural or meaningful, the same reason I hate almost all poetry. That would be the reason that I am up at arms for what little poetry I love. She's an example. She is a harpist, based out of California if I remember correctly, and one of those types of artists I enjoy most because they are unaware of their significance entirely. Once again, a wild card, but she deserves mentioning because her lyrics are poetically amazing, her musical structure refined and all of it seemingly effortless, as though it was something she does between chores. I get wet over talented people that lack pretention, so I'm a bit biased. I have named an album and an ep. The two tracks I would recommend are the first tracks of either one, "Emily" and "Colleen". I won't be defensive or try to qualify my appeal to her. I think she's just wonderful.

joanna newsom - monkey & bear (11-16-06)

"but walk a little faster
don't look backwards
your feast is to the east which lies a little past the pasture"

Radiohead - [getting it out of the way]

Getting it out of the way, with the release of In Rainbows, I don't have to defend Radiohead anymore. There is a term that I have in regards of the arts called essentially good. Dark Side of the Moon is a good example. It doesn't matter if someone walks up and says that it's a lame, contrived, etc. album, it is good beyond opinion or conjecture. Radiohead has achieved this overall. A person is free to dislike Radiohead (Dark Side of the Moon), but at this point, they can no longer contest their significance or importance or sheer goodness. My favorite album is Amnesiac, but that's just me. It has the most songs I favor within one album of any they've made. They were good before OK Computer, but that album was when they became unmistakable. The Bends is a fine album and Pablo Honey is worthy, but OK Computer was hallowed for a reason. I've always thought it funny the way Thom Yorke had bitched about the attention that he and they had gotten over it. I'd have suggested not making an incredible album, would have saved them the trouble. Between OK Computer and what they have most recently made, there is a treasure trove of gems available within the catalog, chosen at will or according to taste. I'm the one yapping about them, so these are a few:

There There
Knives Out
Let Down
I Might Be Wrong
In Limbo

I could name plenty. Those are accessible enough. Suffice it to say that they have stopped being a rock band, they have long ago grown out of that. They will be our children's Pink Floyd.

"If you'd been a dog
they would have drowned you at birth
look into my eyes
it's the only way you'll know I'm tellin' the truth."

Knives Out

[from Kid A and onward, Aphex Twin and Autechre had been named as influences]


Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

While on anything rock-oriented, Neon Bible by Arcade Fire. It's newer, so I haven't gotten into it deeply enough to know if and/or why I like it so much. It's a frantic, fearsome, morbid album, harkening back to a lot of things (musically) that have already been done, but I like a lot of things that have already been done, and I'm always open to modern context. Honestly, I only listen to two tracks off of this album with any regularity, (antichrist television blues) and windowsill. I don't think they've done their "big thing" yet, but just wanted to point them out. They will undoubtedly make something immortal within the next ten years.
Windowsill, to me, is an absolutely miserable song. I know the lyrics, specifically, but envision domestic violence, drug overdoses, worry, whores in limos, revenge, it has a mood to it that is suitable to all sorts of fears and suffering. Sorry to admit my interest in those things, but nevertheless, this song serves them well. The album is worth a try.


Amon Tobin - Supermodified

I should start by saying that Amon Tobin is not the best musician on earth; he is only my favorite musician on earth, and it was due to this album that he became that. Getting off of a solid nearly three year Aphex Twin binge, it was high time that I moved on, and this album couldn't have come along at a better time for me. Between the age of 19 to 22, this album went everywhere that I did and I unashamedly pushed it on people, stealing every opportunity I could to introduce others to it. I'm probably making a mistake pumping it up so much, to each their own, but it still sounds as good today as ever to me, masterfully mixed, produced, edited, and refined. And danceable, not just in the pedestrian sense, but in terms of the professional artform of choreography. In fact, his music has been utilized a great deal to this end, and after looking through youtube, is curiously popular among belly dancing troops. I don't see why not, hahaha. Incorporating the styles of his early Brazilian childhood (samba, bassanova, etc.) with the more urban styles of his English upbringing and more formative years (jungle, drum and bass, hip hop, etc.), as well of a keen sense of ambiance inspired by such scoremakers as Bernard Herrmann and Ennio Morricone, prone to mysterious and portentous atmospheres, this is an example of a musician that knows exactly what they're doing, and that's a good thing.

With the exception of Precursor (the only track I had never been obsessed over) I would recommend every single thing on it, although Rhino Jockey has also never really spoken to me the way the others have. It covers a wide enough range while remaining true to the album as a whole, and I cannot say which one in particular would initially grab a person, but that isn't up to me, I suppose. Either that or they won't like it at all. Sucks for them.

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand

As an aside, I wasn't (and many weren't) prepared for this album. I am a resident Zeppelin expert, know their shit better than anyone I know, anyone, aaaannnnnnyyyooonnne, because between the ages of 11 and 14, they were pretty much everything that I listened to. I have simply at that time and since then cared way too fucking much. Their catalog and history are well memorized, although modestly I'm sure I've missed a scrap here and there. This album would appeal to people like myself that have followed Page and Plant post-Zeppelin (most of which has been deservedly disappointing), because this is the best singing that he has done since those times. And also because we were hoping that Led Zeppelin was the best that they had to offer. John Bonham is dead, case closed, and John Paul Jones has been curiously nonexistant, so it has been Plant and Page for the most part, who have on their own part been between nominal and embarassing, Page being far more of the latter. Plant has a much better track record as a solo artist.
In terms of this album, though, it's the best that Robert Plant has done since leaving said band. As far as she's concerned, she had since before become the Norah Jones of country (talented, fascinating, and boring). It works out for the both of them in this one.
But, the most important name of all to mention is T-Bone Burnett. T-Bone Burnett.
I honestly don't listen to the second half of the album often, but what I hear of the first half is enough for me for now.
This leans more toward country and at times bluegrass than most are comfortable with. "I like all kinds of music....except for rap and country" has come to be the mantra of people that simply don't know their music.
An important thing to reiterate, I wasn't ready for this album to be so good, if not for certain songs. I was and will continue to be prejudiced for this man, but that is why Raising Sand was such a pleasant surprise. They have managed to make something qualified beyond their individual careers and expectations. It's a relief that I don't have to defend it. Surprises do add something.

Rich Woman
Killing the Blues (just magnificent)
Please Read the Letter

Also, there may be a connect, perhaps disconnect between Australian or American interstates. The appeal of this album for me may be centered on that, roadside diners, west Texas shit towns, truck stops, dead AM radio. Polly Come Home exemplifies this, for instance. I've still been fascinated by the strange empty stretches of wilderness between place a and b. That is why I find a few of these songs to be useful. I'm not trying to be poetic or smarmy, but the craziest things happen between El Paso and Odessa. In Texas, for instance.

The Soft Pink Truth - Do You Party?

Skipping straight ahead into dance music, I have and currently do consider this the tastiest. Drew Daniel is one half of a San Francisco queer couple named Matmos. Their music is painfully cerebral, overwrought with meaning, every last fucking sound having some meaning or influence. Imagine electronic music made by a team of uptight Harvard professors.
Well, Matthew Herbert, as the tale is told, had challenged Drew Daniel to make a house record, and this is the end result. It pretty much harkens back to his days as a go-go dancer (scantily clad young man), although punk music was perhaps his first love (will clarify).
In terms of dance music, I abhor repetition, we're supposed to have grown past that. This album would border on glitch, but I don't entirely agree. It is wrought with variation, but this is not a matter of chance. Most producers of dance music only come close to this by accident. In this album, his beats are laid down no less than deliberately.
The most infectious dance tracks (for people who actually can dance worth a shit):

Over You (No Love)
Soft Pink Missy

But, beyond that, who could deny the classroom enjoyment of Gender Studies or the tasty krumpness of Big Booty Bitches. It'll be odd pushing this when I'm 64.


The Soft Pink Truth - Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth?

This was the album he had made after, I needed to mention it. They are all covers of classic punk songs in the same style as the album previously mentioned. It's only ironic if you remember the covered tracks, otherwise it's just a damn good time.

Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Vol. II

Before mentioning Autechre, I feel that this needs to be gotten out of the way. This has been my favorite album since I was seventeen. I have tried very hard to find an album that I love more than this one, but have not.
In terms of electronic music, Aphex Twin is rather a god of it, the most revered and ballyhooed (unnecessarily at times) of anyone else. He's put out tons of music, although a great deal of it was unfinished throwaway shit that capitalized off of his "unquestionable" genius. Ironically, we like that about him as well. I suppose we like the idea of someone with true genius being aloof half the time and farting out spurts of bullshit, leaving it up to us to us to honestly dictate what is treasure and what is not.
It reminds me of an SNL sketch where Jon Lovitz was playing Picasso sitting at a restaurant. At one point, he does an offhand sketch on a paper napkin and hands it to a woman, saying "Here, put your kid through college." It goes something like that.
He's notorious for lying in interviews, so there's no way of confirming this, but he has said that he wrote this album in his sleep. He had said that he has the ability of lucid dreaming, in which in a state of subconscious you have control of what occurs or what you experience. He had (allegedly) written this album in his sleep, composing there, then awakening and producing here. This is ultimately irrelevant, it doesn't matter what his methods were, it's some of the most gorgeous music ever made, or at least that I have heard in my time.
A nearly three hour long album, the tracks are titled with photographs, so the written titles are fanmade, as official as is possible.
Above all, I would recommend [rhubarb]. If there is only one thing you hear from it, this is undeniably it. It is achingly beautiful, the most beautiful piece of music that I know of or have to offer. It's beat structure alone is masterful. People just don't just make things like this.

[cliffs], the very first track on the album, is also a fine introduction.

Considering his personality and catalogue, one wouldn't be inclined to expect such dismaying beauty. I love prolific artists, and I fucking love idiot savants. But, the idiot aspect of Richard D. James is all show, he's an absolute genius, a godfather of music.
This genre (ambience) has reputably been coined by Brian Eno, a godfather in this respect:

"Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting."

Therefore, this album can easily be seen as boring or dumb. With almost every album I love now, when I first heard them, I dismissed them or ignored them entirely, including this. But as it goes, you hear it a few months later and it's alright, half a year after that and you catch something appreciable, half a year even then after and something clicks. Like Supermodified or ISDN (will mention later), the eventual respect for a great work is more rewarding than if you'd hit the ground running. The becoming of this album over time feels very much like an achievement, and that only slightly affects my judgment in lauding it.
Aside from being beautiful, it is also dark, brooding, difficult in contemplation, and at times very ugly. Tracks like these ([hankie], [tree], [tassels]) achieve the type of psychic conflict that death metal had attempted to over and over again, and this accomplishes far more.
Overall, its significance is mistakeable to many, but others like myself (right or wrong) obsess over this one. People just don't make this.

In case I don't get back to him, Windowlicker is probably the best culmination of his talent or style. It is also the best music video ever made. Don't you fucking dare watch it on youtube, download it or something, the higher the quality the better. The director, Chris Cunningham, has a dvd of his work, just to mention.


Neil Young - [an aside]

He's done so many good things, but I'll be brief. For one, there's the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, a damn good album, but if ever you were a rock and roll enthusiast, Cinnamon Girl is fucking gold. I would recommend the album just for this song. The "she's too much to handle" rock songs of the 80's have always been too eager, and even back before they rarely got it this right. This song really drives home the excitement of fast times and loose women. Loose women and the loose men that love them.

Another album by him is called Rust Never Sleeps, by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, as it were. Like the album previously mentioned, there is a song that is worth the full purchase.
Thrasher is an amazing song, it's lyrics are so unusually profound that I was broadsided by its sincerity when I first heard it. I heard this song hungover and being driven to work. I don't think that the driver had intended for it to be so important to me, but I had let them know that it had. It is very much like liking a person the moment you meet them. This is lyricism at its best, practicality and eloquence. I still don't know exactly what the words mean, but I don't care all too much. It shows that good lyrics can exist unto itself without the pressure of being revelatory or obligated, that they can just be good to hear. I suppose that with enough time I'll discover how revelatory or obligated they have been all along, but I can bide my time.

The Future Sound of London - ISDN

Named after a practically ancient mode of data transfer, this is an album compiled of transmissions sent to various radio stations across the earth via isdn circa 1993 to 1994. At this point, they had abandoned live performances in the flesh, proclaiming the death of rock and roll, in terms of the spectacle. The tracks herein are a mix of "live" tracks sent to stations and venues, strung together by interludes and ambient passages.
I won't go into detail about their history, although in electronic music, they are one of the most inspired, prolific, and influential acts there are. Their work in audio and video was unprecedented at the time and is still a set standard today.
About the album, post-industrial and beyond their electro and house background, smacking of their more ambient double album, Lifeforms, that had preceded before, but of persevering style on all accounts. This is when they had started to go dark.
The best track on the album is Dirty Shadows, but I'd recommend Slider as a start, the bigger the speakers the better. I prefer headphones for this album, but that's me, if only by a nose. It's probably because I can't afford suitable speakers (see Supermodified above, Amon Tobin is made for big fucking speakers, among other things).
Slider is a sloping, lumbering track, indicative of the album's morose nature and their determination as musicians. I've been listening to it all day for the past few days, trying to find reason to discount it as dated and not mention it, but dammit, it still works, and people should hear it, if only for the sake of research. I like the sample from Bram Stoker's Dracula (the woman's chant in the track).
I'd recommend also The Far Out Son of Lung and the Ramblings of a Madman to clarify the style of this "album", and Snake Hips is a right recommendation of their theme at this time.
Overall, it's a prerequisite to the even more morose Dead Cities stab, while still including the essence of their previous history.
I would consider this as their axle.

To be sure I knew what the word meant, I found this definition that I thought was just fucking great:

adj : slow and laborious because of weight; "the heavy tread of
tired troops"; "moved with a lumbering sag-bellied
trot"; "ponderous prehistoric beasts"; "a ponderous
yawn" [syn: heavy, ponderous]

autechre - tri repetae

I find Autechre to be the most amazing act there is. Complexity, density, beauty, more profound than anything that I have found as of yet.
This is a good place to start.
This is where they had no longer been one of the many. This is the "Rear Window" of them. The next album is the North by Northwest and the next is the Vertigo, but I'll get to those after.
These are masterful musicians, and however intimidated or mistrustful one may be of it, this is highly important music. I won't rail on about it now. Their best is after. I'd prefer to kiss their asses in those reviews. Later on.

Knowing that only a person will either download the album or never hear it, I'll not bother recommending any track in particular.

I'd recommend:

c pach (if you got moves)
overand (swarming harmony aside, everything is happening beneath it. listen for that)


autechre - LP5 or [self titled]

I should try to explain what they sound like. I didn't in the previous review. I should have.

Purely synthetic, if you went through their entire catalog (roughly a hundred hours or so forth, give or take), you'd find only a handful of resemblances to a human voice or physical instrument. They are religiously analog. It's basically like architecture set to music, physical, structural, and meticulously drawn. Even the things that seem random tend to expose themselves as part of some pattern or formula.

Every further release is a little more complicated (or cumbersome, I think, at times). The period that I am talking about (Tri Repetae, Chiastic Slide, and LP5) consists of their balance between their more conventional work of before and more indigestible work of after. I have skipped Chiastic Slide for now because it has less accessible tracks per capita than this album, which came after. This matters to me, because in terms of selling someone on Autechre, one has to be as delicate as possible.

Tri Repetae is a good place to start because of its allegiance to traditional beat structures. It's more user friendly and often ambient, so it's a good primer. In this album, the track "fold4 wrap5" is a prime example of their variation of traditional beat structure.

I worry that this is all pretentious, and thinking of everything I've written before, this wouldn't be the first time. But, that's alright.

Autechre is one of the most isolated and original acts that I would speak up for, out of anything that I have recommended. There are a number of tracks in these three albums that are difficult to listen to, nearly impossible in some cases. But, one day you hear it and something just catches. You could say this about any act, but it's much more difficult to jibe with when hearing a lot of their stuff, because it's often difficult to find the beat or the melody or the things that make it a working track instead of big mess of sounds. Some of their later stuff is too overwrought for me, yet I find myself (step by step) treading further into their most unbearable music with clearer and clearer understanding, as though it were a field of study.

Take the tracks "arch carrier" and "under boac", two tracks that stay formatted for the first half and then deconstruct throughout the second. The second half of both of these tracks involve all of the elements going totally out of balance and taking the proverbial wrong turn.

The first half of both tracks is what I had used to listen to before, and as of now, I skip to the last half. Chiastic Slide is a better album for finding a pattern within difficulty. They were highly criticized and dismissed for Chiastic Slide, and this album was their last appeal to such criticisms.

But in terms of a track that reveals itself over time, "corc" is the easiest example within this album. It's a soft track (for them) and probably isn't as cryptic as I'm trying to make it sound, but there are many things at work that become less random with repeated listens. Everything in it seems to be working off of something else. Common enough, but this is a good example.

What I have listened to the most times is "rae". I don't think that it deconstructs like the two tracks previously mentioned as much as it devolves and recesses. Once again, though, the last half of it (once upon a time the least appealing) is what I favor. It's my most personal favorite.

Their music takes a lot of getting used to, and there are plenty of people making music that sounds like theirs, rather in the way that Iggy had begotten a hair band, but counterfeits only live long enough to just go fuck themselves.

This music isn't ostentatious, it's very careful, almost considerate. I only say this because it can be a bit erudite and can come across as overconfident. But I can't speak for the two of them. I have never met these people, although I can safely enough say that their music is indulgent at times, lavish even.

Yet, they personally possess the same conservative stance as Richard D. James (Aphex Twin, another indulgent artist), that they are not as sensitive as their music lets on, as well as being sort of unassuming, gruff, scruffy looking dudes. Boards of Canada are the same way, just two scruffy dudes that just so happen to make good music.

I suppose if they were Americans, they'd be wearing eyeliner or just something awful.

They would not admit to harmony or delicacy. It's worth mentioning because much of their fanbase doesn't listen to their music because it's loud or obnoxious, but because it actually is very pretty, beautiful even. At first listen, that isn't often evident. It only seems odd to me, that their music is so articulate and interesting and these guys are extraordinarily average-looking.

It's getting harder for me to think of a favorite act that is flashy and famous-looking without having to dig further back into the past. Autechre, Richard D. James, Boards of Canada, these guys all look like that one guy that slept on your couch for a week because his girlfriend dumped him and he was late on the rent, and you knew him from high school so you had a hard time saying no, but you eventually had to ask him to leave because he ate all of the tortilla chips, which you had specifically told him are off limits.

They're the kind of people that would wear a shirt with a hole in it to a performance, and not one of those cool holes that people make on purpose, the type of hole that tells you that the shirt has seen hard times. Stitch that bitch up or throw it away is where I stand on that. So, in conclusion, they look kinda average.

I'm happy to find out that I don't necessarily "need" a rock star, but it's sad, because I wouldn't mind having one. Somebody that acts like they're just out of it and wears a bunch of ugly shit. Something flashy you can put on a poster and sell to somebody. Someone that you think is a much better person than they really are.

All of my current idols look like clerks at a gas station. Nevertheless, it's good to not have such high expectations of somebody. I lost a little respect for Led Zeppelin when I heard that red snapper story. That's just gross. What a trashy thing to do. I certainly hope that Autechre never has a red snapper story, because that's just dirty-nasty.

To give an impression of where they had gone since then, I'd recommend Gantz Graf. If you haven't the money or time, this will have to do:

video for gantz graf

The link above is of lousy enough quality (visually), full screen isn't quite necessary, but it's decent enough in showing what they have become.

If any of these three releases seems to be a bit much, I'd recommend starting from their first album, Amber, and moving on from there.

It's so weird for me remembering how unlistenable a lot of this was. I still have my limits, though. Much of the time since these three albums, they have gone so abstract that it's hard to sit through. I may feel differently in a few years, who knows?

Just an aside on Gantz Graf, if you have a top of the line television and top of the line sound system, that's what the video was made for. Seeing that youtube clip of it doesn't ruin it at all. If you ever manage to see it on a good system, it''s really nice. In fact, I'd compare it to seeing hard nipples under a blouse and then the actual bare tits. What the modern folk refer to as high definition.
This is an actual dvd release, with other things on it, but a review isn't necessary. This video is a fucking monument.
But, if one was gonna pay money to see it, I'd suggest they just get Warp Vision - The Videos 1989 To 2004.