End Of The Year

Despite what I wrote a fortnight ago about this being a good year for music I’m not sure that 2017 will go down as a good year. Brexit continues to be a monumental mistake which will fuck this country over for the foreseeable future. It is divisive, regressive and blinkered, a country committing a slow suicide. My only hope is that it eventually screws the Conservative Party over completely- who created this mess and have to take the blame. In the US Trump continues to normalise views and opinions which should have been long dead and buried, not to mention deliberately provoking an unstable dictator in North Korea, in some kind of nuclear dick-measuring contest. As the year went on a succession of stories of men abusing their position and power flowed out. If 2017 has been grim, 2018 looks like being just as bad, if not worse.

Still, there’s always music to cheer us up. When I wrote my list two weeks ago I missed a couple of things out which I should have included. Paresse’s slow motion Scandinavian house has been a favourite of mine for a few years now and this year’s Sloth Machine ep was no exception. This is the closing track.

Quiet Light

Matt Johnson and The The returned to the fray with a vinyl only Record Shop Day release, a tribute to his brother Andy who died earlier this year. We Can’t Stop What’s Coming is a beautiful song, moving and genuine.

It seems right to mention the response in May to the bombing at Manchester Arena. The response was solidarity and strength, standing together not apart. It was also musical- from honorary Mancunian Ariana Grande putting together a massive concert at short notice at the cricket ground (just up the road from here) to the adoption of Don’t Look Back In Anger as a sung two fingers to terror.  My old school, Parrs Wood High School, provided the choir at the One Love concert and a host of pop stars sang their hearts out. We watched on TV through tears.

When the Supersonic documentary was on the other night my Twitter timeline was mainly full of people expressing the view that ‘I never particularly liked Oasis but this documentary is really good’.

Lastly, in early May an event took place which confirmed my belief that people are essentially good and that bloggers are generally wonderful people. And that sometimes taking what seems like a risk is the right thing to do. A bunch of us- me, Brian (Linear Tracking Lives), Dirk (Sexy Loser), Walter (A Few Good Times) travelled from respectively Manchester, Seattle and Germany to Glasgow to meet the locals-Drew (Across the Kitchen Table), JC (The Vinyl Villain) and Stevie (Charity Chic Music), plus a few of JC’s mates (Aldo, Comrade Colin, Strangeways). It was a risk- none of us knew if we’d get on or what would happen- but it paid off. We all have a new set of friends (real life friends now as well as internet friends) and I feel sure it will happen again. And everyone else is welcome too.

I was trying to think of a song that might find approval from the whole Glasgow bloggers collective, the international chancers (as Drew dubbed us), a song that we would say ‘aye, that’s a belter’. 80s indie looks likely. Early Primal Scream seems to fit the bill.

Velocity Girl

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Temple

I’ve written before about Swedish producer Paresse and his slow motion, glacial tracks, landing somewhere between Balearic house and Italian disco via Stockholm. He has a new ep, Sloth Machine, out soon on Belgium’s Eskimo records- truly criss-crossing Europe here aren’t we? The four track ep has been led off by this one, Temples, a throbbing bass, some cosmic synths, plenty of atmosphere and a general sense of forward momentum.
The artwork, from 1896, is titled La Paresse. In French, a propensity to do nothing, a reluctance to work or make an effort. Lounging around on the bed with no clothes on tickling a cat would qualify. I guess it also explains the title Sloth Machine.

La Paresse

Here’s something brand new from Swedish producer Paresse, whose stuff I’ve really enjoyed before (Hunters In The Snow, The Night Before You Came, Rosarita, Phantoms Are Waltzing- he’s got a way with song titles). His new ep La Paresse is out now on Magic Feet, four new tracks the lead one being this one- Let Me Out Of This Studio (another winning song title). Hypno Hips, La Flaneur and Zen Fishing make up the rest of the ep, absorbing and sultry techno, electronic music with depth and heart. The Balearic influence is there, to keep it on board with this week’s posts and as Echorich said on Tuesday’s post Balearic is a feeling rather than a sound, but this also has a definite Scandi air to it. You can buy it at Bandcamp.

Apne Slusa

Scandinavia has been producing some very good house and electronic music for some time now- classy stuff with a smidgeon of disco, warm electronics, chuggy basslines, pitter-pattering drums, a gentle slow motion throb. I’ve written several times about Paresse (from Stockholm) whose sound I love and who makes very evocative balm for the ears and brain. Norwegian DJ and producer Prins Thomas has been doing his thing for well over a decade, honing his sound, always inventive, precise and absorbing. This long but never dull track came out in 2014 and is here today to welcome in February. I think everyone’s glad to see the back of January 2016.

Apne Slusa (lang Versjon)

Rosarita

Rosarita is from a brand new ep from Pareese, straight outta Stockholm. A dreamy, moody way to ease into Sunday. Kettle on.

Stockholm Syndrome

Towards the end of last year I posted a song called Hunters In the Snow by Paresse which went down very well with some of you- a slow moving, atmospheric house track with a throbbing bass, that conjured up images of hunters and snow. Many, many months before I also posted Paresse’s The Night Before You Came, which was futuristic, quite Bladerunner. I found Paresse’s Soundcloud page the other week which doesn’t give away much information (Paresse is Ivan Berggren from Stockholm, Sweden) but does have a good number of songs, a couple of remixes and some lengthy radio show mixes. The most recent upload is this one, Phantoms Are Waltzing. It’s John carpenter-esque, but as if Escape From New York had happened in Scandinavia. There are some lovely distorted synth sounds on this.

I’m also taken with this one, Trans Am, still pretty slow with a hint of disco…

Hunters In The Snow

This is a gorgeous, brooding piece of electronic music from Paresse. Throbbing bass, icy atmospherics, slow tempo. Driving to and from work in the dark this kind of thing makes the miles disappear (frighteningly sometimes I cannot remember parts of the journey at all, even major stuff like joining the motorway).

Hunters In The Snow