Albums of the month: September

 

 

 

 

Hope you are all well. I’m busy at the moment moving house so the music I listened to recently was mostly ambient/instrumental. I didn’t have energy to concentrate on lyrics and I needed something calming. I also have been bothered by ringing in the ears of late, due to the stress of moving, and after having my ears rinsed out by the doctor, so I’m a little hesitant to listen to louder music as my ears are not protected by wax. Decided to buy Alpine MusicSafe Pro ear plugs which are for musicians and concert goers. The idea is you can reduce the impact on your ears and still be able to listen. I have only used them once so don’t know if they are helpful to me yet but I like the idea of protecting your hearing. Obviously I don’t want to have ringing in my ears after listening to an album. Anyone else tried these special ear plugs or have spells with tinnitus? I suppose the best medicine is not to listen to any music (or a limited amount at least).

 

 

 

 

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin (1992).jpeg
Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin 
(1992) 
*1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die*
An important instrumental release for its influence on electronic and dance music. I didn’t realize it’s actually ambient techno as the title doesn’t allude to this fact. Prefer ambient without the techno aspect. Running for 74 minutes a lot to process in one sitting, so I listened in stages. Isn’t really my thing but did find a couple of tunes I liked in We Are The Music Makers and Xtal. I could imagine hypnotic songs such as Ptolemy getting played at clubs in the 90s. A classic album I respect more than I enjoy.
6/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koyaanisqatsi by Philip Glass (1983)
Koyaanisqatsi by Philip Glass (1983)

Probably works better together with the accompanying experimental film. As a stand-alone listen the music is dark and ominous, and while Philip Glass has his own unique style, I just don’t really enjoy this soundtrack. Perhaps it isn’t meant to be enjoyed in the usual sense? Unfortunately the fast tracks are nauseating. Prefer his film score for The Hours (2002)
4/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Has the Right to Children by Boards of Canada (1998)
Music Has the Right to Children by Boards of Canada (1998)

*1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die*
The mellow atmosphere and electronic sound is at the forefront, with lyrics of minor importance. There’s quite a bit of repetition. Aquarius is the most memorable with the child voices and distinctive “orange” lyric. The other keeper is Roygbiv with its beautiful synth melody.
Not an album that lingers afterwards yet nice to have on in the background while busy with other tasks. I could easily accept never hearing it again so that tells you I wasn’t overly excited. You’d assume with a name like Boards of Canada that they are Canadian? Wrong. A Scottish electronic music duo consisting of brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin.
7/10

 

 

 

 
Spinner by Brian Eno and Jah Wobble (1995).jpg
Spinner by Brian Eno & Jah Wobble (1995)
Spinner isn’t Brian Eno’s most popular work but a personal favorite. I can’t get enough of this collaboration. The perfect relaxation when dealing with ringing in the ears/tinnitus.
I don’t know much about the music of Jah Wobble, he’s been active since 1980, any album suggestions readers?
10/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Age of Consent by Bronski Beat (1984).jpg
The Age of Consent by Bronski Beat (1984)

Included as #191 on Pitchfork’s recent 200 Best Albums of the 1980s list. I love the synthpop classsic Smalltown Boy, especially for the iconic instrumental parts. Jimmy Somerville can do spectacular things with his towering vocal, which he demonstrates throughout the album. Would I listen to the LP again? I doubt it. As impressive as the music is, the high-pitched singing gets on my nerves after a while. Definitely an acquired taste. I Feel Love is a powerful cover of the Donna Summer original. I can’t help thinking he should be singing opera instead of pop.
6/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigo by Wild Nothing (2018).jpg
Indigo by Wild Nothing (2018)
Letting Go and Partners in Motion are two of my favorite dream pop songs of 2018. Another highlight is the single Canyon on Fire which is rockier and reminds me of The Cure.
The rest of the album is pleasant although forgettable. His style isn’t breaking any new ground, most of the songs could be described as retro and second-tier 80s music. I suggest just listening to the singles.
6/10

 

 

 

 

What do you think? As always, comments are welcome

12 thoughts on “Albums of the month: September

  1. I imagine that soundtrack might be enhanced by the film. I found that with ‘Shaft’ – I wasn’t crazy about it as a stand-alone audio experience but then I quite enjoyed it in the context of the film.
    Hope the move goes/went well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @stephen1001: Yes, there are many examples of soundtracks that fall short as stand-alone listens. Shaft has a great theme song. Don’t think I ever listened to the entire album.

      Thanks. I’m taking it slow with the move. I rarely throw stuff away so a massive undertaking.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually liked those albums by Aphex Twin and Philip Glass. I love anything by Boards of Canada. I haven’t heard that album that Brian Eno did with Jah Wobble though I do have it in my music files. The thing I’ve been getting into are a couple of new songs from David Bowie’s Never Let Me Down 2018 in the new versions of “Beat of Your Drum” and the cover of Iggy Pop’s “Bang Bang” as what Mario McNulty has done is incredible. The songs have a new sense of life. I’m getting really excited for that album.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @ninvoid99: I like Boards of Canada but not as much as you. Spinner by Brian Eno is an all-time favorite and one of those comfort records I guess.

      Nice you can enjoy those new versions despite his passing. Think I need a break from Bowie right now as I spent the summer going through his peak albums. The classic 70s albums by Iggy Pop are high priorities.

      Like

      1. @ninvoid99: The 1969 and 1970 Stooges LPs I haven’t got to yet. Really liked 1973’s Raw Power. Seems all the music Iggy did in the 70s (solo as well) is worth paying attention to!

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  3. No tinnitus, thankfully, just hearing aids. I probably should take them out before I put headphones on over the top…. but I don’t always remember to do so. Hope your hearing sorts itself out soon and that the move wasn’t too stressful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Rol: Thanks for the well wishes, 2019 is shaping up to be a year for reading instead of albums! Hopefully I’ll feel better soon by giving the ears a rest. I haven’t listened to music via headphones in at least 5 years though I know a lot of people do.

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  4. I’m not familiar with much here. Boards of Canada have been on my list forever, but I’ve never properly listened to them. I’ll get to them soon (likely starting with the album here). It’s been a long time since Aphex Twin is the only one here I know, though it’s been at least 15 years since I listened to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @J: The 1998 LP by Boards of Canada is worth a spin if you like downtempo ambient/electronic music . I think it’s best consumed as background music. The follow-up Geogaddi (2002) is rated highly as well.

      I think I’ll like Aphex Twin if I find an album of his where he abandons the techno and just sticks to ambient

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Syro album is pretty good if you’re looking for something a bit less techno. I’m not sure how ambient it is, cause it can be quite… glitchy? Really nice, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. @J: Thanks for the tip on Syro. I like something in the vein of Rhubarb (from his 2nd LP) which is a really tranquil track. Some may find it too boring though!

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