Friday 24 February 2017

BEST AND WORST TRACKS OF THE WEEK 24/02/2017: Opal Blue, Steve Lacy, Linkin Park and more...

Do you like instrumental electronica? My inbox has become so flooded with it in recent weeks I’ve been practically drowning in synths and 808s – expect a lot of it from here on in. Plus other musical madness.


‘Nile’ – Opal Blue

Opening with oriental flutes, warm pianos chords and synths-that-sound-like-oriental-flutes this track floats weightlessly in air for a minute before jumping into a satisfying groove of clickety percussion. It's as ambient as it is effervescent - as suitable for meditating to as it is to running on a treadmill to. Not that I'd do either.

‘Acid tide’ – Spiders Eat Vinyl

Spiders Eat Vinyl is quite a badass band name. I was expecting a metal group. Instead, the Sheffield synth-wizards seem to specialise in zenned-out retro-flavoured soundscapes more suited for an aquarium or a planetarium. That said, this is much more textured and interesting than your usual Barnes & Noble music, plus I'm loving the nostalgic New Wave vibes. 

‘Seen’ - Bruce Cohen

The cacophony of synths in the background never really settles for a melody, and yet I can’t help but find the din all weirdly hypnotic as it hums and whirrs against the looping percussion in the foreground. For all I know it could just be a dude smashing random notes on a keyboard, although I'd like to think it's more calculated than that.

 ‘Dark Red’ – Steve Lacy

All the members of r&b collective The Internet are releasing solo albums this year. Syd and Matt Martians have already dropped LPs – now third member Steve Lacy has decided he doesn't want to be left out. ‘Dark Red’ is our first taster of things to come. It’s a twangy forlorn soul track that opens with the singer contemplating ‘something bad’s about to happen to me’ and ends with him pleading ‘don’t leave darling/ don’t leave’. I can see why this single didn’t drop over Valentine’s week – it’s basically a pre-breakup song. Hits me right in the feels.  

‘Pasta Solo’ – Myles Manley

What starts as a dainty folk ditty swiftly trails off into left-field lunacy involving pitch-shifted doops, descending pianos and a separate vocalist called Nobody who appears from nowhere. It’s absolutely crackers. I’ve still got no idea where the pasta fits in.


‘Heavy’ – Linkin Park

The problem isn’t that ‘Heavy’ isn’t heavy, or the fact that Linkin Park have ‘sold out’ – I’m pretty sure they did that years ago. The problem is that for pop-EDM this is utterly bland. It’s enough to make even The Chainsmokers yawn.