The time has come to lie in the park and gaze up at petal and hue. And feel it’s so wonderful, this commonplace, that it must be shared with you. The park is peppered with exploding paint bombs of vivid pink and vibrant white. Like a still from an epic action scene, nature in fast forward frozen, hanging, momentary. It’s kind of zen, this appreciation of a slow motion explosion. Boom. So here it is, the traditional annual blossom shot, picture perfect, in all it’s transient glory.
More stuff about the music and stories on this weekâ€™s Melodica. All the shows are archived on the Chris Coco page at Mixcloud. There’s a new Melodica chart on Juno Download: here. Follow Chris Coco on MixcloudTHAT FUZZY FEELING: TOWARDS GREEN – LAST PAGE Buzzin’ Fly, best known for electronic dance music goes decidedly downtempo for it’s latest release. Towards Green is a guitar player from Tenerife whose real name is Anatol Rivero Brito. The press release compares his work to 80s guitar genius Durutti Column, and you can hear why. BERKMAN HOUSE Old friend of Melodica, David Dale, lives in Berkman house in Austin, Texas. Every year he puts up a collection of British musicians during the SXSW music event. The deal is you get to stay in the house as long as he can record some of your music. This year he hosted Skinny Lister. You can hear the results of their live session on the show. Here is the band with David and his pick up truck. Here’s the Skinny blog about SXSW. And here’s the video of the band performing the song. SYNKRO ON APOLLO Melodica favourite Joe Synkro is set to release a new EP, called Broken Promise, as the relaunch release for R&S offshoot Apollo. It’s typical Synkro, spacy, moody, atmospheric and generally rather good for playing out at sunsets and listening at home at dawn or dusk. Apollo was originally set up as the ambient arm of electronic dance label R&S and release work from Biosphere and Aphex Twin in it’s earlier incarnation. CONCRETE LOVE As promised here is the lump of concrete featured on the cover on the new LP from Area, coming on Francois Kevorkian’s Wave Music label. And here, Area’s DJ mix from Deep Space:
Chris Coco’s weekly radio broadcast. An eclectic selection of brilliant new music starting with house and moving on to electronica, downtempo, acoustic and all sorts of other styles loosely connected to dance and electronic music. Let tastemaker Chris Coco guide you through his selection of the week’s best new music. This episode is packed full of hot new tracks, the best in cutting edge electronic music, some downtempo gems, some club moments and some live acoustic from SXSW in Texas. Is all here and it’s gone global. [setlist] 1 Maceo Plex – Frisky – Crosstown Rebels 2 Sasha & James Teej – Night Track (MANDY Remix) – Last Night On Earth 3 Metronomy – Loving Arm (Soul Clap’s Shake A Leg Mix) – Because Music THAT FUZZY FEELING (TUNE OF THE WEEK) 4 Towards Green – Last Page – Buzzin’ Fly 5 Durutti Column – Madeleine – Factory Benelux 6 Pavla & Noura – Don’t Owe Me A Thing – Clown & Sunset 7 Airhead – Wait – R&S 8 Synkro – Broken Promise – Apollo 9 Area – moving Away – Wave STRINGS, WOOD AND A BOX OF AIR from SXSW 10 Skinny Lister – Colours – Digital File 11 Voices Of Black – Atom Bomb (Tanner Ross Remix) – Double Standard 12 Etienne De Crecy – Am I Wrong (The Shoes Sol Mo Remix) – Pixadelic 13 Gang Colours – To Repel Ghosts – Brownswood 14 Soul Clap – Islands In Space Part 2 feat Greg Paulus – Wolf & Lamb
I spend most of my work time listening to music, playing music to other people, trying to make music or trying to get music I have made used for various things, including advertisements. In the last couple of years I have also spent a lot of time trying to work out why music doesn’t seem to be as important as it used to be. Now, I think that it is partly to do with the ease with which it can be acquired. A digital file that can be copied infinitely will ultimately have no value. When music was hard to find and had to be bought on a physical format it was much more something to be treasured. It was a rare commodity with a high value, and that high monetary value added to the emotional impact of the limited number of songs that you could listen to. When you found something that resonated with you, you listened to it again and again, from beginning to end. It’s also because we live in a visual culture. Most of our interactions are on a screen and a screen, by definition, needs images. Sound is good too, but it’s not essential. Music is often an add-on to enhance the image rather than the end in it’s own right. Look at any serious review of Lady Gaga and it is likely to say – well, her music is gash electropop, but what about her image. Wow, she wears different clothes each time she goes out. Then there’s something less tangible, harder to define, something to do with cultural force, something to do with mindset, something to do with outlook and integrity. Music has often been used to make, or at least been a soundtrack to, a cultural shift. The most obvious example of this was in the 1960s, the folk movement that spawned the protest songs of Bob Dylan and the anti Vietnam war movement. There were also the hippies of course with their peace and love, then punk and the acid house lot, who thought they could dance their way to nirvana, and plenty more. Now everything is available from the history of music, all the time, a new song with a message, or an old song that had a particular meaning, is so quickly assimilated and decontextualized, it’s hard to find stuff that hits you in the guts. Stuff that really connects with the feeling of the times. In 1962 Malvina Reynolds wrote a simple folk song called Little Boxes. It was about suburbia, the sprawl, about rows of houses “all made out of ticky tacky,” rows of houses that “all look just the same.” It was about a life mapped out before it starts, kids being groomed for the ‘right’ kind of future, going to university, going into the professions, getting married, raising kids and the wheel spinning round again with nothing really changing. It was, perhaps, more of a satirical song than a protest song. If you were being critical you might call it a little smug, beatniks in bad jumpers giving it to ‘the man’. Nonetheless, it had an impact, it made it’s point and, on top of that it was really hooky and stuck in your head for days. In 1963 Reynolds’ friend Pete Seeger had a hit with his cover version of the song and one or other of these versions somehow resonated through my childhood, first because of it’s simple tune, then, when I was older, because if it’s simple message. I grew up in a very little, very English version of one of those little boxes, a little estate on the edge of a small town, and it somehow felt like the song was about the people around me, following the rules, trying to get on, not really thinking for themselves. It summed up, in a few words, something understood about growing up and going to grammar school and watching the posh people do their posh thing. This year, the song has been adapted for an advertisement by the 02 telephone company. Now the song is no longer about people, or society, or the way we live. It’s about how you can get some sort of deal on stuff from shops if you do something with your phone. It’s called Moments, like getting stuff is a memorable, beautiful thing, or something. Perhaps this ad worries me because I try hard to get my music used by those same advertising people. Perhaps it’s the the ad execs being double ironic and really rather clever. Perhaps they are taking the piss out of 02 and all their subscribers, perhaps it’s saying, look at you, following the rules, the wheel turns, you do as you’re told, same as it was in the 60s, same as it is now. Either that or the song, like so many songs before it, has lost it’s cultural impact, it has become another piece of hooky, background fluff, with pretty images and no meaning.
[setlist] 29.03 The Player, London 30.03 Bedroom Bar, London 08.04 Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth 26.06 Ovum @ Space, Ibiza 06.07 Nova Festival, Sussex 02.08 Stop Making Sense, Croatia 08.09 Bestival, Isle Of Wight [/setlist]