Some old records, some new ones

Alright on Top: Luke Slater

This came out in ’02 and doesn’t get enough play in my collection for the simple reason that the cd refuses to import into my iTunes. It could be a non-redbook cd, deliberately damaged by the record company to discourage digital duplication (without a complete barcode identifying what it is, some computer drives won’t recognize the disk properly, while cd players can read it just fine). It doesn’t seem like something Mute would do, though, so I remain baffled.

Anyhow, this remains the most exciting electronic dance release I’ve heard in the past, uh, 3 (!) years since it came out. Time is flying, musical trends fade in and out, but like the emergence of an old-growth forest, quality releases in any medium are eked out only occasionally and after many permutations. Blah Blah blah.

I like this cd.

Eveningland: Hem

The singer’s voice has a clarity that is softly penetrating. Quiet and beautiful, it goes through walls like a wistful x-ray, like a ghost. I’ve seen these guys twice, and, I don’t know how it’s possible, but the songs are even more fluid and cut from velvet when they play live than they are recorded. Who is actually that good at what they do anymore? These guys are. The first song is a bit evocative of Cowboy Junkies’ version of Sweet Jane, but that’s a beautiful song, too, so rather than the identification of influence somehow diminishing the merit of a particular work, the amount of beauty in the world is actually multiplied in a mystically mathematical fashion. Guaranteed to edge out the ugly in at least one corner of your life for the duration of the disc.

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