Wow, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. I got a bunch of non-prog Christmas loot and am only now getting back to the genre that this site covers, which is a partial explanation for that little hiatus. The other reason is simply that I like to be lazy over Christmas break.
For anyone interested, I re-designed my personal home page in my spare time. Probably isn’t much there of interest, but I figured I’d mention it.
So anyway, what non-prog stuff have I been listening to the most? Let’s see:
- Grant Green - Idle Moments - nice, melodic, accessible jazz
- Massive Attack - Mezzanine - sleepy yet engaging
- Mogwai - Young Team - the first track is absolutely stunning
- Mogwai - EP+2 - truly a work of genius
- Squarepusher - Music is Rotted One Note - eh. Quite interesting, but I prefer the MP3s I have from Hard Normal Daddy.
- STSI, Musicians of - Music of the Gamelan Gong Kebyar - not the best introduction to Balinese gamelan, but not bad overall
- Sun Ra - When Angels Speak of Love - “sounds like a train wreck”, one of my friends said. I like it.
Why do I like Mogwai so much? I think it’s their potential energy, as I’d put it: that is, most of the time their music is simmering quietly, seeming very relaxed yet also seeming on the verge of exploding into a powerful wall of noise. What should be sleep-inducing actually keeps me on my toes more than lots of other music, just because it seems like things are about to blow up. Also, it seems Mogwai are one of the few bands that realize that loud-fast and soft-slow aren’t the only ways to make music: there are a lot of loud-slow parts that seem novel to me. Some of the feedback manipulation on EP+2 - the last track has a particularly touching bit - almost makes tears come to my eyes, it’s so effective. I really can’t explain it… it’s just that some of their pieces (”Yes! I am a long way from home” from Young Team, or “Rage:Man” and “Small Children in the Background” from EP+2) are some of the most beautiful things I’ve heard in a long, long time. Funny, I don’t find the same joys in Come On Die Young. I’ll have to give it an extra spin to figure out why.