Categories
Festival Coverage

A Little Bit of Everything: A Comprehensive Hopscotch Playlist

This past weekend, I spent my afternoons and evenings bouncing around between the many different acts that performed at Hopscotch. Artists across genres put on shows which made for an interesting mix of performances. Listed below are some of my favorite tracks from every artist that took the stage this Fall.

  1. Hit Me Where It Hurts” by Caroline Polachek
  2. So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings (A.G. Cook Remix)” by Caroline Polachek
  3. Year Of The Spider” by Shannon & The Clams
  4. Where To Now” by Hippo Campus
  5. Humano – El Buho Remix” by Lido Pimienta
  6. Tiempo Ahora” by Lido Pimienta
  7. Fate Is…” by Wednesday
  8. Toothache” by Wednesday
  9. Gatekeeper” by Libby Rodenbough
  10. Probably No One” by Patios Counselors
  11. Let Beauty Be” by Patios Counselors
  12. Black Gold” by Flying Lotus
  13. Between Memories” by Flying Lotus
  14. Nellie” by Dr. Dog
  15. Frank’s Tune” by Makaya McCraven
  16. Won’t Be Long” by The Dead Tongues
  17. 2 Again” by Body Meat
  18. I Don’t Like You or Your Band” by Kate Rhudy
  19. Big Shot!” by Sonny Miles
  20. Falcor” by Sluice
  21. The Purple Bottle” by Animal Collective
  22. White Trash Heroes” by Archers Of Loaf
  23. Pais Nublado” by Helado Negro
  24. Berlin Got Blurry” by Parquet Courts
  25. In Our Talons” by Bowerbirds
  26. What Is Going On?” by Hannah Jadagu
  27. Gliding Through” by Garcia Peoples
  28. Fille de personne III” by Hubert Lenoir
  29. Don’t You Think I’m Funny Anymore?” by Dougie Poole
  30. Raleighwood Hills” by Lesthegenius
  31. Quarry Ate the Mountain” by Magic Tuber Stringband

Click HERE to check out my playlist on Spotify.

Categories
Concert Review Festival Coverage

Caroline Polachek: Concert Review

Going into Hopscotch, I had a base level knowledge of who Caroline Polachek was and her musical career. However, after attending her show last night, it is safe to say that I am a full on fan.

The Music.
Caroline of course played her most popular songs “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings,” “Door,” and “Hit Me Where It Hurts” which went over well with the crowd. However, it was the three unreleased tracks she performed that absolutely stole the show. “Smoke” along with two others I can not remember the names of were haunting, dark, and sultry. They definitely have me on the edge of my seat waiting for her next album release.

The Performance.
Overall, her performance was visually stunning. Caroline was surrounded by dark purple light and smoke for most of the tracks which set the tone for what I can only describe as an almost spiritual experience. From the lighting, to the smoke, to the music, to her movements everything was perfectly in-sync. Caroline’s performance was one of the most intentional and well thought out shows I have ever attended.

Her Voice.
If sirens from ancient Greek mythology existed today, they would exist in the form of Caroline Polachek. The range of her voice was absolutely insane and the way she slid between notes was almost inhuman. Caroline has a true talent and I am looking forward to seeing where she takes it.

All in all, Caroline Polachek put on a wonderful show and if she is ever playing in your city, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out.

Categories
Festival Coverage

Hopscotch: My Most Anticipated Performances

As I’m sure many of you know, Hopscotch–Raleigh’s annual music festival–is happening this weekend! As a Raleigh resident of the last 15 years, I have grown up hearing about Hopscotch and the many artists that have performed. However, I have never actually been (I know…shocking).

Since this is my first ever music festival, I have been in full on prep mode. I’ve planning my schedule around shows, trying to get all of my assignments done before-hand, and most importantly familiarizing myself with the artist that are performing.

In doing so, I’ve complied a quick list of the acts I am most excited to see.

  1. Caroline Polachek: Ever since I saw the “So Hot Your Hurting My Feelings” music video Caoline Polachek has occupied a space in my subconscious. From her voice to the production of her songs everything is perfectly in-sync. The tracks I am most excited for are “Hit Me Where It Hurts,” “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings,” and “Ocean of Tears.”
  2. Flying Lotus: Having worked as the Underground Music Director for WKNC this Summer, Flying Lotus is one of the acts I am most looking forward to seeing. The album Yasuke, which was produced to go along with the anime, is chock-full of crazy features and insane beats. My most anticipated tracks are “Between Memories” and “Black Gold.”
  3. Colin Stetson: In all honesty, before I began my Hopscotch research, I had absolutely no clue who Colin Stetson was. However, he quickly made it to the top of my most anticipated acts. The best way to describe his work is invigorating and primarily instrumental. He’s the brains behind the Hereditary soundtrack. The tracks I am looking forward to hearing most are “The righteous wrath of an honorable man” and “Welcome To The New World.”
Categories
Playlists

Dark Electronica: The Breakdown

As I have mentioned in many of my previous articles for WKNC, electronic music is by far my favorite genre, or more specifically dark electronica is. Acts like Arca, Boy Harsher and Machine Girl are a few that come to mind.

Below I have compiled a list of my current favorite dark/heavy electronic tracks. Some new, some old but regardless, I hope you enjoy.

  1. Opus3” by dapurr, The Hellp – Opus3 (2018)
  2. Life Is Perfecto” by CFCF – memoryland (2021)
  3. Tears” by Boy Harsher – Careful (2019)
  4. Pursuit” by Gesaffelstein – Aleph (2013)
  5. Out by 16, Dead on the Scene” by Machine Girl – Wlfgrl (2014)
  6. Judgement” by Kensuke Ushio – DEVILMAN crybaby (2018)
  7. Night Hawk” by Kensuke Ushio – DEVILMAN crybaby (2018)
  8. True Mathematics” by Lady Tron – Light & Magic (2002)
  9. Nu Horizons” by Lady Tron – Light & Magic (2002)
  10. Sketch Artist” by Kim Gordon – No Home Record (2019)
  11. Amant Maitresse” by Sexy Sushi – Cyril (2010)
  12. Reverie” by Arca – Arca (2017)
  13. Stealth Mass In F#M” by Apollo 440 – Electro Glide In Blue (1997)
  14. Ruban D’ Alpha” by Sie – Ruban D’ Alpha (1996)
  15. AS Crust” by Amnesia Scanner – AS (2016)
  16. Overcome” by Tricky – Maxinquaye(1995)

Click HERE to listen to my Spotify Playlist!

Categories
Classic Album Review

Album Review: Breath From Another

ALBUM: Breath From Another

RELEASE YEAR: 1998

LABEL: Sony

RATING: 9/10

BEST TRACKS: “That Girl,” “Superheroes,” “Country Livin’ (The World I Know)” and “Lounge”

FCC: Clean

“Breath From Another” by Esthero is an album that grew on me slowly but surely. It took me at least a month after discovering it to sit down and listen all the way through. However, even before I gave it a chance, it is an album I would visit at least once a day. My love for this record began with “That Girl,” then spread to “Superheroes,” then to “Country Livin’ (The World I Know),” and eventually the whole album.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post “All I Listen To Are Lady Voices,” I am captivated by the classically 90s sound of feminine voices layered over electronic tracks. I am not exactly sure what to call the genre but “Breath From Another” encapsulates the sound perfectly.

The album as a whole fits into the downtempo electronic category while still incorporating elements of jazz and pop making it enjoyable for a wide range of music enthusiasts. If you enjoy artists like Opus III and Morcheeba, then this album is for you.

Click HERE to check it out on Spotify.

Categories
Playlists

Songs I Will NEVER Skip

Putting my Spotify Liked songs on shuffle is one of my favorite things to do on a long car ride. Typically, I have no direction for what I want to listen to but without fail, I skip at least 10 songs before listening to one all the way through. Why? I could not tell you, because I like all of the songs in my Liked list. However, while I follow this pattern most times, there are a select few which I let play every single time.

Here is my comprehensive list of songs (in no particular order) I refuse to ever skip. They are not necessarily my favorite songs but something about them keeps me hooked.

  1. Linger” by The Cranberries – Everybody Else’s Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993)
  2. Ginseng Strip 2002” by Yung Lean – Lavender (2013)
  3. Meet Me Halfway” by Black Eyed Peas – THE E.N.Dd (THE ENERGY NEVER DIES) (2009)
  4. Black Sheep” by Metric, Brie Larson – Black Sheep (2010)
  5. Lemon Grass” by MF DOOM – Metal Fingers Presents: Special Herbs, The Box Set Vol. 0-9 (2006)
  6. BB” by Shygirl – BB (2019)
  7. That Girl” by Esthero – Breath From Another (1998)
  8. Miss Camaraderie” by Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste (2014)
  9. All The Things She Said” by t.A.T.u – 200 KM/H In The Wrong Lane (2002)
  10. Pulsewidth” by Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992)
  11. Duvet” by bôa – Twilight (2001)
  12. So Real” by Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)
  13. Ceremony” by New Order – Substance (1987)
  14. Laputa” by Panchiko – D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L (2000)
  15. I Kiss Your Lips – Radio Edit” by Tokyo Ghetto Pussy – I Kiss Your Lips (1995)
  16. Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer – Weezer (1994)
  17. KOMM, SUSSER TOD – M-10 Director’s Edit Version” by Arianne – Evangelion Finally (2020)
  18. Yikes” by Nicki Minaj – Yikes (2020)
  19. I’m God” by Lil B – 6 Kiss (2009)
  20. Prototype” by Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
  21. Hi High” by LOONA – [ + + ] (2018)

Click HERE to listen to my Spotify playlist!

Categories
Playlists

Forgotten Techno Sets Of The 90s

Back in May, I discovered something wonderful. A forgotten Sony webpage dedicated to educating the Japanese public on techno. On the site, you can access DJ sets, electronic concert venues, old interviews and more.

The night I found this webpage, I spent HOURS exploring, translating and listening. The content on it is truly endless. Below, I’ve compiled an hour’s worth of my favorite tracks I discovered on this internet adventure.

  1. Shangri-la” by Denki Groove – A (1997)
  2. Supernature” by Cerrone – Cerrone I, II, III (1977)
  3. Extra” by Ken Ishii – Jelly Tones (1995)
  4. Pulstar” by Hypnosis – Hipnosis (1984)
  5. Money” by The Flying Lizards – The Flying Lizards (1979)
  6. Cocoa Mousse” by Ken Ishii – Jelly Tones (1995)
  7. Push Eject” by BOOM BOOM SATELLITES – Outloud (1997)
  8. Hope We Never Surface” by Two Lone Swordsmen – Stay Down (1998)
  9. I m Not In Disco” by Popacid – I M Not In Love (1998)
  10. Polynasia” by Takkyu Ishino – BERLIN TRAX (1998)
  11. Bonny” by Popacid – Compact Disco Volume Four – Ladomat 2000 (1999)

Listen to my full Spotify playlist HERE.

Categories
Playlists

All I Listen To Are Lady Voices

The past couple of months I have been OBSESSED with a particular genre of music that was popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. I am not exactly sure what to label it as, but the best way I can describe it is entrancing feminine voices layered over intelligent dance music (IDM) tracks.

If you appreciate chill electronic music and soothing feminine voices then this post is for you. Listed below is an hour’s worth of my favorite tracks from this genre.

  1. It’s a Fine Day” by Opus III – Mind Fruit (1992)
  2. Breathe” by Telepopmusik – Genetic World (2001)
  3. Edge of The Ocean” by Ivy – Long Distance (2001)
  4. Sweet Child Of Mine” by Akasha – Cinematique (2006)
  5. The Sea” by Morcheeba – Big Calm (1998)
  6. That Girl” by Esthero – Breath From Another (1998)
  7. I’m In Love With A German Film Star” by The Passions – I’m In Love With A German Film Star (2006)
  8. Autumn Leaves – Irresistible Force mix” by Coldcut – Ninja Tune Retrospect (No.1) (2008)
  9. Overcome” by Tricky – Maxinquaye (1995)
  10. Day for Night” by Moloko – Do You Like My Tight Sweater (1995)
  11. Blue Jeans” by Ladytron – Light & Magic (2002)

Click here to listen to my playlist on Spotify.

Categories
Classic Album Review

Album Review: Twilight by bôa

ALBUM: Twilight

RELEASE YEAR: 2001

LABEL: Boa Recordings

RATING: 9/10

BEST TRACKS: “Duvet,” “Twilight,” “Fool” and “Deeply”

FCC: Clean

“Twilight” by bôa first entered my music realm after watching Serial Experiments Lain, a psychological mystery anime. Within the first few seconds of starting the anime, “Duvet” came on as the opening track and I was instantly hooked. Jasmine Rogers mesmerized me with her haunting vocals and ever since then, I have been bôa’s biggest fan.

The album itself is melodic, emotional, and perfectly captures the human struggles of identity and belongingness. The lyrics of every song are as deep as they are beautiful and each track makes for a meaningful listen.

“Duvet,” the first track on the album and also the most popular, has gained most of its attention from the anime, “Serial Experiments Lain.” It is about falling out of love with someone you once trusted. The lyrics are raw and the melody is entrancing. This song is hands down what made me fall in love with not only the album but the band.

“Twilight,” their second most popular song has an overall more upbeat sound to it. However, the lyrics are about unrequited love which makes for an interesting contrast. The vocals on this track are truly captivating and will have you coming back for more.

“Fool,” unlike the two tracks listed above, has a more aggressive sound to it. The lyrics are about feeling like you don’t belong which is an experience many people can relate to. This is one of my go-to songs for an evening drive.

“Deeply” was a track I didn’t give much attention to until about my third listen through. However, it has slowly but surely become one of my favorites. It has a more abrasive “rock” sound to it like “Fool” but it is equally as sensitive as “Duvet” and “Twilight.”

To summarize, this is an epic album that everyone should listen to at least once in their life.

Categories
Playlists

The Sounds of Shibuya-Kei

With the changing seasons and my re-emergence into the world post-COVID-19, I have found myself drawn to an entirely new genre of music, Shibuya-Kei. Shibuya-kei is a style of pop music that emerged in the Shibuya district of Tokyo in the late 90s. It was heavily influenced by 1960s pop music, American hip-hop, French Yé-yé and so much more. It is characterized by its electronic and jazzy, yet nostalgic sound.

Here are six of my all time favorite Shibuya-kei tracks:

painty pots” by 800 cherries – Romantico (1999)
“Romantico” by 800 cherries is a Shibuya-kei essential. The album is chock-full of sweet sounding hits with my all time favorite being “painty pots.” The lyrics are simple at first glance but upon closer inspection, they are about falling in love. Even on my toughest day, this track never fails to turn my mood around.

Afterglow” by Pine am – Pull the Rabbit Ears (2005)
While this album was released a few years after Shibyua-kei’s peak, “Pull the Rabbit Ears” fits into the genre through and through. “Afterglow” is another sweet sounding track; however unlike 800s cherries “painty pots” its lyrics are Japanese. Overall the track, is airy, light and something I would categorize as a “mood booster.”

Star Fruits Surf Rider” by Cornelius – Fantasma (1998)
Cornelius is one of the cornerstone artists in the Shibuya-kei music scene. His tracks vary across genres and never fail to keep the listener hooked. “Star Fruits Surf Rider” is no exception. From the get-go, this track grabs the listener’s attention and takes them on an electronic journey.

Moonchild” by Cibo Matto – Stereotype A (1999)
Cibo Matto is another group that ruled the Shibuya-kei music scene in the 90s. “Moonchild,” one of their more popular tracks, is one of my absolute favorites. It is jazzy, dreamy and simply a masterpiece.

LUV CONNECTION” by TOWA TEI – FUTURE LISTENING! (1994)
Like “Moonchild,” “LUV CONNECTION” falls into the more jazzy sub-category of Shibuya-kei. The track is upbeat and funky; however, it is contrasted with a sultry-sounding woman’s voice. This juxtaposition creates a truly delicious-sounding number.

come again” by m-flo – EXPO EXPO (2001)
I almost always follow “LUV CONNECTION” with “come again” by m-flo. Overall, the two tracks have a similar sound; however, “come again” has a much stronger hip-hop influence. Like “LUV CONNECTION,” it is funky and upbeat, but the track breaks ever so often for a rap cameo.