Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's still Ray Day, nigga...

If you don't know the story yet go here to catch up. Abridged version - dude was living in the woods in a log cabin he built himself, ready to commit suicide after working 65 hours a week in a shoe factory, heard a Stephen Stills song one morning on the radio and set off to become a musician. Now he probably has lots of money but still always sounds depressed.

I think the guy is great, saw him in Edinburgh a few months ago and he blew me away, one of the few artists to sound so much better live than they do on record. All the songs posted today are unreleased so if you like them then buy the stuff he has put out here and here.

I would write more about Ray but the songs are more than able to speak for themselves.

From the Green Demo:

MP3: Back on the Mountain
MP3: Water from the Well
MP3: Isabel

From Introducing Raycharles Lamontagne:

MP3: Trouble
MP3: Burn in my Skin
MP3: Shelter

From a collection of live & unreleased tracks:

MP3: Still can't feel the Gin
MP3: Simple Consolation
MP3: She's your Girl

And for a little extra somethin' somethin', check this duet with Damien Rice. Ray kills him.

Comment is free

Electro round-up #1...

There is an absolute surplus of quality electro around right now so here are some of the hottest jammy jams from the main boys Ed Banger and some other stuff that's been rolling round my stereo in recent weeks. There is some blatant blog-thievery going on from my end but here at the Hermit i try to steal from the very best and give to the poor... slash lazy. Check out the links on the right for more immense postery. I don't need to tell you that all the tracks are mind-blowing but i will point out Shakes, Para One and The Gossip as my current favourites. Shakes, WTF! Oh yeah also Dead Disco representing Leeds, Yorkshire what!

Black Ghosts - Face (Switch mix)
Busy P - Rainbow Man (K. Christmon's Slight Tamper)
Chromeo - Fancy Footwork (Guns N Bombs Remix)
Dead Disco - The Treatment (Metronomy Mix)
Kavinsky - Testarossa Autodrive (SebastiAn Remix)
Para One - Dudun-Dun (MSTRKRFT Remix)
Peter, Bjorn & John - Young Folks (OrtzRoka remix)
Shakes - Disneyland (Part One)
The Gossip - Jealous Girls (NYPC 12" Remix)
Uffie - Pop the Glock

Bonus - the perfect indie-disco track?

DJ Shadow - Six Days (Soulwax Mix)

Sorry for not providing links so you can find all this stuff elsewhere but it's late and google is a magic tool.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm your pusher when you need...

'Sugar man met a false friend
On a lonely dusty road
Lost my heart when I found it
It had turned to dead black coal.
Silver magic ships you carry
Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane'

MP3: David Holmes - Sugarman

Perhaps best known for his musical meanderings through cinematic soundscapes, mixes and urban samplings, David Holmes changes tack for this album and produces it under the name of The Free Association, bringing a slightly different flavour and jazzing it all up a bit.

The Sugarman track is a cult classic, originally recorded by Sixto Rodriguez on his anti-establishment album Cold Fact. There is also a version of it on Holmes' album Come Get It I Got It. Personally I prefer the version that uses Rodriduez's vocals although this one is still a beauty. First heard in January of this year on a ski holiday, it quickly became the tune of the trip. I sometimes lie awake at night fretting over the songs that i've missed that might change my life but thankfully i caught this one in time.

MP3: David Holmes - (I Wish I Had A) Wooden Heart

This is some pretty funky shit. Driving bass and rythms combine with tweaked-out vocals and Holmes' production really comes to the fore. I went to your house but I couldn't find the door.

If you have any lost classics to share, let me know so i can sleep easier!

Monday, April 23, 2007

M is for Minimix...

Well at least if you're going to be late, make them good. And these two mixes are goooood. I don't feel the need to sell this post to you cos if you like Yoda or the Warriors then... actually, why don't you have them already? To the uninitiated, you can't get fresher than this.

MP3: DJ Yoda - Minimix for Annie Mac 19/05/2005


MP3: Stanton Warriors - Minimix for Annie Mac 18/08/05

Yeah so what? It's old but i can't bear to think of someone not having these. Back on the bleeding edge next post.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

You go POW! They go OW!...

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MP3: Hadouken! in the Mix

Bloc Party- ‘The Prayer (Hadouken! Remix)’ (Wichita)
Like Woah!- ‘Oh I Like (Woah!)’ (Unknown)
David E Sugar Feat. Ears- ‘First OK’ (Brikabrak]
Wiley- ‘Eskiboy’ (Boy Better Know)
Plan B- ‘No More Eatin’ (Hadouken! Remix)’ (679 Recordings)
Virus Syndicate- ‘Red Eyes’ (Dubplate)
TNT- ‘Transmission’ (Outlaw Breaks)
Skepta feat Wiley, JME, Creed- ‘Duppy’ (Boy Better Know)
The Klaxons - ‘Atlantis to Interzone (Hadouken! Remix)’ (Merok)
Bolt Action Five - ‘Tree Friend Tree Foe (Kissy Sell Out Remix)’ (No Pain In Pop)
Hadouken!- ‘Tuning In (Re-Rub Dub)’ (Surface Noise Recordings)
Uffie - ‘Ready To Uff’ (Ed Banger)
Kate Nash - ‘Caroline is a Victim’ (Unknown)
Mr Ozio - ‘Flatbeat’ (Unknown)
The Klaxons - ‘Golden Skans (David E Sugar Remix)’ (Polydor)
Justice - ‘Phantom’ (Ed Banger)
Fox N Wolf- ‘Youth Alcoholic’ (Unknown)
Radioclit - ‘Mature Macho Machine (Solid Groove and Sinden Remix)’ (Unknown)
The Gossip - ‘Standing in the Way of Control (Soulwax Remix)’ (Unknown)
Test Icicles - ‘Catch It’ (Domino)
Jixilix? - ‘Go!’ (Dubplate)
Hadouken! - ‘That Boy That Girl (Demo)’ (Surface Noise)

Comments, like, dislike, Shoryuken! - Give it up

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Does it offend you, Yeah?

Riding the wave of youthful interest in the matters of the world, The Guardian is blazing a trail into the (limited?) future of print journalism. Their music writers are excited about Ratatat remixes of big rap tunes and downloading them from blogs is like five years worth of Christmases to them (and me). Their five to listen to this week includes the new Kidz in the hall set 'School was my hustle'; the staff and readership of Hip Hop Connection will be nodding in agreement at this recommendation. The cover of the Observer magazine for tomorrow is covered by a naked Dizzee Rascal who is harbouring the cheesiest grin in hip hop. All this is great, get that music out there, but are the writers penning articles about the music of the younger generation that are aimed at people slightly outside of that category? You decide.

MP3: Does it offend you, Yeah? - Battle Royale

Here, tipped off by the guardian in their article about the rise in interesting band names are Does it offend you, Yeah?. These 'three blokes with various computers and old synths' provide us with a wicked bit of electro type badness here. With dirty synths galore and insanely lovely blips and computerised solos this track breaks down, builds up, adds and takes away in all the right places. This track is eclectic in itself, it will take you through many stages of robotic and euphoric dancing that you may wish to do in the privacy of your own home.

MP3: Glass Candy - Rolling down the hills

On a slightly different tip are the laid back grooves of Glass Candy with 'Rolling down the hills'. You need to put this on at your desk, close your eyes and let yourself be transported to a summery place, in the late afternoon after an amazing day with someone you love. The slow, soothing strings are reminiscent of the avalanches, the funky guitars and horns gently remind you of why the summer is beautiful and the softly sung vocal washes over every inch of your face leaving you feeling refreshed.

I hope you enjoyed my debut on Eclectic Hermit, hit me up over at Certified Banger and show me some love.
Much love to Palms out and Gorilla vs. Bear for these audio files.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Certified Banger...

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All wheat, no chuffin' chaff!

4 weeks of terrible sound later I finally realise there's a subwoofer under the PC desk and that some afflicted fool had turned it to full treble, no bass. I had been living a bass-less life and can't tell you how good it is to hear deep, rich, rounded sounds again. So to celebrate this new found vibration i'm posting the best of the Certified Banger mixtapes, currently up to volume 3 and mashed together in a novice-like way by me. Keeping it eclectic as always, there are new songs, remixes and much randomitry throughout, but every tune is an absolute Banger. Warning: Be careful to stretch before listening as your body may be subject to involuntary jerking.

MP3: Knightlife - Ambopop

Yes it was posted not too long ago but it's the perfect track to kick off with. Australians are rocking da haus right now man. 3:24 on the clock is the musical equivalent of orgasm. Absolute monster.

MP3: The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health (Live at Gothenburg)

Best album of 2006 for me and soon to release a live DVD along with all sorts of bonus shiznit, this track is from that DVD and contains an intro that blows me away everytime and makes me feel like Howard Moon. 'Yow, feel that bass'.

MP3: Klaxons - The Bouncer (South Central Bootleg)

I have the original of this on Hits '92, man what great taste for an 8 year old! The double CD contains other classics such as The Prodigy - Everybody In The Place, The Shamen - Ebeneezer Goode, SL2 - On A Ragga Tip and Undercover - Baker Street (feel that Sax). However it also contains monstrosities like Right Said Fred - Deeply Dippy and Simply Red - For Your Babies. Not all good in the hood then but near enough. Anyway, Klaxons have bang updated Kicks Like A Mule's song and brought it screaming into the new century. Yer name's not down yer not comin in.

MP3: Arctic Monkeys - This House Is A Circus

Best track i've heard off the new album and if it ever gets released i'll grow to hate it, but for now it's pretty sick. Hope the web sheriff doesn't get all high-noon on my ass. I like the band when they're being fast and loud and this certainly fits the bill. Full of witty lyricisms blah blah blah... go read somewhere else for reviews.

MP3: Kano - Layer Cake

Nice samplage from otherwise poor film Layer Cake. Kano takes this notion of social standing and turns it into the soundtrack for a futuristic film that never got made. Downbeat, Grimy and full of references to making it to the top, Kano sounds angry at a British industry in which he can't see a way through and can 'never sell more than a indie band'.

MP3: Wu-Tang Clan - Aint nuthin' to fuck with (Bird Peterson Remix)

Another YOW! for the Wu which i got from Missing Toof. Not much to say except that it starts hard and gets harder. I wouldn't fuck with Bird Peterson after listening to this. Tiger style.

MP3: Kanye West - Diamonds (Ratatat Remix)

I don't like Kanye West as a rule. I don't identify with the dude and don't really care that he got his face mashed in and learned to rap again (take note Mr Cent). However, I do like Ratatat and this version of Diamonds. Realising when to back off the beat and when to bring it right back with all 43 flavours, it seems Ratatat can do now wrong right now.

MP3: Cocorosie - Noah's Ark

Not a banger in any traditional sense (is there a traditional banger?), this was on in the background while i was working yesterday but after a couple of minutes i realised i was just staring out of the window listening to the song and drifting off into daydream. It could do with a less insipid beat but all the hooks and melodies are there in abundance. Someone described the video to this track as: Gwen Stefani + Way more drugs = Cororosie.

MP3: Justice - Waters of Nazareth

Wait... isn't this the tune that started to break Justice? Then how have they gone from this to the bag-o-shite D.A.N.C.E.? Shocking. Thankfully this one is still a beast.

MP3: The Faint - Posed to Death

I can't decide if The Faint are pretentious as hell or just make quality tunes dripping in beats and melody. Either way, listen and pose away.

MP3: Ratatat - Wildcat

A lot of songs are reminding me of Summer recently and this is no exception. Perfect for cruising about in yer whip, the cat sample may have sounded wack in less capable hands but the Tat crew pull it off nicely. Chilling and indeed Distilling.

MP3: Product 01. - Heart Ov Glass (Original Mix)

Electroclash eh? Sounds gay but then all new mashed-up genre titles do these days. Forget what it's pigeonholed into and float away on synths, beats and Debbie Harry's supoib vocals.

MP3: Bloc Party - The Prayer (Hadouken Remix)

I'll admit, I was a fan of the Bloc Party when their debut album dropped, their spiky brand of pop was pretty exciting at the time and tracks like 'Helicopter' and 'The Price of Gasoline' were damn good, but i should have seen the warning signs. 'The Bluest Line' and 'Luno' were morose, boring songs but i put that down to the fact that it's near impossible to like every track on an album, but it turns out that Bloc Party's newest offering is just as morose and wank as the these two aforementioned tracks. And 'Another Weekend In The City', the album of b-sides? Argh i wanted to strangle myself with a fork. The Prayer was the only glimmer that The Party could produce something half decent but even that turned out to be Kele singing about getting divine power and using it to pull girls. Fairplay though when your head is as comically-mishapen as his. Anyway, Hadouken have managed to salvage something from the wreckage and bring their tales of drugs, parties and dance to the mix to create something pretty smart. Whodathunkit.

MP3: Venetian Snares - Szamar Madar

What if, for just a day, we could both be pigeons?

Aaron is bringing the Funk on this one. This post couldn't have ended on a much higher note than this cut taken from Snares' 2005 album 'Rossz Csillag Alatt Szuletett' (damnit I wanted to include it in the best of 2006). An album of love songs and grief songs, Szamar Madar would be the standout track if it weren't for the quality of the rest of the album, which ranges from jaw-droppingly immense to brown-trouseringly awesome. Haha maybe that's a bit much but yeah the album is a banger from start to fin.

The track begins with shrieking horns and ominous strings, building your expectations before busting out into some amazing breakcore which then precedes to break out AGAIN into a full orchestral melange of beats and a haunting melodic motif that makes you want to skip back to the start and ride the rollercoaster all over again. Bang.

If that wasn't enough then your appetite for tunes is unsatiable and I suggest you check out some of the links on the right to other time sensitive scribblings.

Or go here.

Okay I thought it was funny.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

DOOM's got Da Boom...

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For the first hip-hop post on Eclectic Hermit i've picked the man in the mask, MF DOOM. If you don't know much about DOOM i suggest you check out Berkeley Place who just did a great post about him and pales mine into insignificance. However, there are a couple of tracks here that don't feature there, so the two combined will give you all the DOOM you need.

Clutchy Hopkins & MF DOOM - Untitled 01

Clutchy who? No me neither, but this legendary figure continues to put out the sweet beats so who are we to complain. From their untitled collab comes this mysterious track. With private-eye samples and DOOM's never faltering rapid-fire rhymes, there isn't much else to say but enjoy. If the pants fit sport em but rock em low.

Zero 7 - Somersault (Dangermouse remix ft. MF DOOM)

Laid-back, relaxed Zero 7 beats meet laid-back, relaxed lyrics from sir DOOM on this one. Not the most likely collaboration but yer man Dangermouse pulls it out of the bag laced in steez. DOOM often sounds like he's freestyling when he aint, but this track is crafted from the start and comes out smoother than Tom Selleck on holiday(?). Great for summer.

MF DOOM - Yellowdock (Instrumental)

The first 5 seconds of this track sounds like the intro to an early 90s TV show, which is no bad thing but it soon kicks into the meat of the beat with horns-a-plenty and a rolling bassline that carries along nicely for the duration. Perfect for chilling to or perfecting your bedroom freestyles over, i'd like to hear what DOOM could do with it himself. It comes from one of his many Special Herbs mixtapes.

Dabrye ft. MF DOOM - Air

Rough and epic with futuristic synths and agressive rhyming from DOOM, this track bangs on your face from the start.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Songs that make you go 'Hmm'...

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The Decemberists - Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect

and here i dreamt i was a soldier
and i marched the streets of Birkenau
and i recall in spring
the perfume that the air would bring
to the indolent town
where the barkers call the moon down
the carnival was ringing loudly now
and just to lay with you
there's nothing that i wouldn't do
save lay my rifle down

Maybe I haven't been looking in the right places, but there's not enough poetry in popular music these days. Well, that's not true but i'm too lazy to list any artists apart from Ray Lamontagne who write really beautiful songs. The Decemberists aren't a new band but they do make amazing songs with rich melodies and intelligent lyrics that you can either whistle along to or get involved with. Fresh.

Carl Orff - O Fortuna

Not much needs to be said about the opening to Carmina Burana, but I have recently been using it to get me out of bed in the morning. I can't see anything working much better, save an electric shock to the face. Rousing, exciting, and menacing in equal measure.

Angus & Julia Stone - Sadder Than You

Oh! The triple. If there's anything diometrically opposed to O Fortuna then it must be this track by Australian brother and sister duo Angus & Julia Stone. Simplicity is your friend here. The guitar part never rises above a slow finger pick that sets the tone like a funeral march, and the subdued vocals carry the sentiment of the song perfectly. If anything, this song makes you want to go to bed and cry. Haha.

LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great

I'm kind of late getting on the LCD bandwagon, but this track not only got me on board, it got me driving the damn thing. My flatmate had the first album but back then I was into different music and didn't pay much attention, even when he said 'Listen to this album it's fucking amazing.' More fool me. Well now i'm posting this track so if you haven't heard or haven't got the new album yet, as your attorney I advise you to do so. Someone Great is one of the standout tracks and it definitely makes me go 'Uhh?' then 'Mmm'.

That's it for now. Warning: next post may contain tunes that will bash your face in.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Albums of 2006 - Various Production...

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"See you later, I'd hate to see you soon"

Dubstep meets Folk. If that thought puts you off then don't bother with this post, it'll only scare you. Sounds good? Then read on.

The thing is though, that description is far too simplistic for the type of tunes that Various throw out. Grime rythms, haunting, melancholic folk-like vocals, beguiling melodies and a rough edge that takes you to dark places while telling you that 'Everything's going to be OK'.

While it's taken Portishead 8 years to come up with a follow-up to their self-titled second album, Various have snuck in there and produced some of the most vital 7" and 12" records of recent times and still nobody really knows who they are. Media-shy almost to the point of arrogance, this collective, led by two producers with a smorgasboard of vocalists in tow, are not to be slept on. Their debut album 'The World Is Gone' is at times beautiful, menacing, driving and at all times, wholly indispensable. Buy.

Various - Deadman
Various - Hater
Various - Sir

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Knightlife for yer nightlife...

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Knightlife - Ambopop (demo)

Man this tune is so fresh that it's not even finished, but what a monster it is already in demo form. If you've been thinking to yourself 'I wish i could hear some great Australian electro/pop/concrete music' of late, as i have, then this is sure to quench yer thirst. Beware though, it's highly addictive and there's no way to play it quietly. Recently signed to Cutters Records, go here to find out more.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

London etcetera?...

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'Stupid people think it's cool, smart people think it's a joke; also cool.'

LDN is a Victim

I got this musical tidbit straight from todays Guardian (ahead of the curve) but the satire on the track is so spot-on i had to post it. Taking a pop at everyone on the London scene from Lily Allen to Just Jack by way of the Audio Bullies and Kate Nash, the song rips on those people who have started to make their careers out of singing in affected southern accents to fit in with the scene. It's a novelty record but i hope the guys behind it are working on some other stuff because this track shows much promise. 'None of that Staars in their Eeeeyyes'. Myspace.

Ratatat - Seventeen Years

The problem I have is that my mp3s are split up into 7 or 8 different folders and as such tracks will get downloaded and then forgotten about. I-tunes could well prove to be the solution but until then i shall enjoy looking through old folders and finding tracks like this one by Ratatat, which i got months ago and filed away in an obscure part of my C drive. Good job i did find it though because it's a bit of a corker.

This tune represents the essence of what Eclectic Hermit started out to provide. Filled with cut-up beats and loping synths, electro-claps and samples, I couldn't want much more from a tune.

AFX - Windowlicker (Run Jeremy's X-rated Lick)

Nicked from the Electric Collective, this track has become part of the staple diet my car radio enjoys. A very original take on the original (?), when the beat switches gears around the two minute mark and a French lady starts mumbling something about '...j'aime faime les croquettes au chique' some serious head-noddage goes down.

Always interesting, this track takes me on a musical journey from Cornwall to the south of France via a Belgian farmhouse producing only the finest Moloko.

Keep it foolish...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Summer, what?...

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Three tracks to get your barbecue blasting.

Man Man - Engwish Bwudd

I haven't done much research on Man Man, but i do know that a) they seem mental b) they have made a track that got stuck in my head for three days and c) putting them on the stereo will liven up any situation, even a funeral. If the poor dude in the coffin wasn't 100% dead then he would most likely get up and start singing 'FEEE FIII FOOOO FUUUUM'.

If you want to learn more about them go here.

New Young Pony Club - The Bomb

It seems like the theme of this post should be about songs that burrow into your mind rather than summer, but i've started so why not finish. Currently making waves and other cliches in the UK music scene, NYPC have hooked me in with their synthy beats, melodies and that voice which sounds like a tramp being scraped down with a brillo pad after setting himself on fire with matches too many times. Or does it? Either way, tuuuuune.

Stereo Total - L'amour a 3

Hmm the French are taking over Eclectic Hermit today it seems. Stereo Total have crafted this perfect gem of a song using ingredients straight from the cupboard marked 'Get this on in the summertime or your life will contain considerably less meaning'.

Yes, the song is about having a threesome but if you don't speak French you can forget about that and listen to the awesome melodies instead.

Anyway, a great ending to any summer day, feel the vibes... c'est communiste!


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Kavinsky died in 1986. However, while on the operating table after crashing his rare Ferrari Testarossa, he came back as a zombie, pulled his car out of the scrapyard and cruised away into the night, only to re-emerge 20 years laters as a purveyor of fine French electro-house with more than a little nod to the decade in which he snuffed it.

His new EP 1986 is out now. Do yourself a favour and buy/download it then wait until it gets dark, put it on in your car stereo, dip your headlights and cruise along at top speed, wishing all along that you were in fact Knight Rider or Axel F.

Kavinksy - Flashback

Kavinksy - Dead Cruiser

Kavinsky - Wayfarer

Kavinsky - Testarossa Autodrive