January 10th, 2013

stegzy

A Music project

It's probably not going to be of interest to most readers of this now low traffic blog but I couldn't think of anywhere else to put it for now. I might CP to stegzy.com. Haven't entirely decided.

Anyway, the project. Over the years I have accrued over 182Gb of music. A great deal of which I have not listened to, mostly because of protests from people in the same room but also because it would take me 92.7 solid 24 hour days to listen to the entire lot (figures accurate). So, towards the end of last year I thought I would listen to each album in its entirety and post a small review of what I have listened to.

Like I said, probably of no interest to most readers of this journal. But still maybe of some interest to a few.

So far I have listened to 9 albums from various ends of the music spectra so it makes sense that I start my reviews now, so I don't end up with gout in the hand or something.

Oh yes. One more thing. I will be listening to the albums alphabetically. Buckle up. It's a long ride.
stegzy

Music Project - Album #1: 69-95 by Lemon Jelly

'69 - '95 - Lemon Jelly

I must have first heard of Lemon Jelly when I was living in Huskisson Street in Liverpool, so that must have been about 1999-2000. I most certainly had some of their other albums on my battered old Creative Jukebox 2 and that died when I worked at Liverpool University.

Anyway, in this, the first of several Lemon Jelly albums that I "own", the artists have used samples from their own record collection to piece together a tidy package of eclectic and eccentric electronica. The first track launches us into a rousing maelstrom of sound that whips us back in time style wise. At times the thumping beats can be a bit exhausting but the album maintains a consistent form. By the middle track '79 The Shouty Track the listener is cheekily reminded of their time travel through the archives by a heavily Doctor Who influenced track. Curiously, I actually have a mix of the same track where the creator has mixed in the Doctor Who theme which works really well. Then further in, we reach a track where William Shatner does his "talking" to great effect. I understand that in return for this favour, Lemon Jelly provided some of the music for Shatner's Has Been.

If, like me, you like variety in your modern music then you might like this album. For me, it's a grower. It used to be my least favourite Lemon Jelly album, but continued listening has made it act like a dose of thrush which has spread across my musical taste buds. Even so, I couldn't listen to it every day. Maybe occasionally.
stegzy

Music Project - Album #2: ...All This Time by Sting

  ....All this Time by Sting

   I think this must have been one of Clair's. You'll notice as this project goes on, that I have a lot of unusual unconnected music tastes. This is one of them. Personally I can't abide the bloke. Some of the Police songs are ok. But I've never liked Sting as an artist. If you were to ask me to delete some of my MP3s, I would probably delete this. But then sometimes there are moods where all you want is some Stingesque sounds.

If I lived in New York in an apartment overlooking the city in a re-purposed warehouse and it had been a sweltering hot day that had ended with a bit of rain.  I would probably swing open the massive windows, pop this on the old MP3 player of choice and listen to it. Perhaps with a nice glass of red wine and some cheese with them nice little crackers with the pepper sprinkles.


I'd probably then invite some dark female media type round. We would listen to it together over some rent-a-pasta dinner and chat shit about media and wankery before she either calls me a boring twat or takes me to the bedroom for some Olympic sports.

The album is a bit of a live affair. One of those live affairs where the artist takes over some gentleman's club (no billzy not the sort you frequent) and performs to the diners who hoot and coo in approval in an attempt to appear well cultured when in reality they are as cultured as three week old yogurt. It takes you through some of Sting's caterwaling before dipping into some Police classics and spitting you out the other side wanting to tipsily head off to bed with a dark sultry media type with big knockers.

Like I say, one for the fans. Or those in lofty rain soaked New York apartments.
stegzy

Music Project - Album #3: ....the Last Embrace by Arcana

 ....the Last Embrace by Arcana

Ok, so before the pedants start, J River Music Center orders punctuation before numbers and the letter A.

Anyway. Arcana is one of those bands I heard once and thought "Oh that's a good tune, I'll download their back catalogue because surely all their other stuff must be the same quality". This is a stupid idea. Do not fall for such tactics. Building your musical library with albums from artists based on one track (which incidentally you can't find now) is a stupid thing to do.

To be fair, some of this is alright if you're into spooky doom laden misery. This is the sort of album you might listen to if you wanted to scare the wits out of a complete stranger you have just invited into your house. Or maybe you are a moody twenty something with a penchant for dark clothing, pentagrams, red candles and joss sticks. I know I always wanted to be that person. Unfortunately when I was that age, the internet was just two computers and a jam jar and my goth friends thought I was too "normal" to be involved in their regular Sunday night listening to dark music while smoking pot and talking about Aleister Crowley sessions. If that's the kind of thing you're into though, you'll like this album.

Moreover, if you are a Dead Can Dance fan in a really bad mood, you might also be drawn into this album with gusto. Arcana mix dark atmospheric synths with tubular bells and wailing women. And probably a few glasses of absinthe with goats blood. Be warned though, this isn't the darkest album in my collection. This is the kind of darkness where you can still make out shapes. Good to morris dance to. In the dark. With good shoes on.

Of course, it has only taken me three reviews to realise that most people will not have heard of some of the bands I like, so what I should do is somehow link to a sample to give you a flavor. Furthermore, should you want a copy of the music yourself, I suppose I could set some sort of Dropbox thing up. Meh. Listen to it yourself here. Tell me I'm right and that it's truly the stuff of nightmares. I like this album. It makes me want to eat raw chicken.

http://arcana.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-embrace