Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Unspecified Compilation #2: MONUMENTAL/INSTRUMENTAL

Here we go again ladies and gentlemen!

It's always an intriguing thing trying to come up with themes for compilations like this. It's always fun when you begin to rack your brain coming up with simple and often obscene ideas, but then the realisation of actually compiling the songs hits you and that can be quite tedious at first. Once you get in to the groove though, it becomes equally as fun. You start adding too many songs to your initial playlist and then you are constantly playing songs on repeat to see which songs work and don't work together. The order changes, it gets better and you carry on until you have something that (hopefully) works well!

For the second compilation I thought I would enter the world of the instrumental. I could have used so many songs, but to challenge myself I came up with a couple of rules:

1. You can't pick songs from an artist or band who solely produce instrumental pieces of music.

2. It can't be a demo or an instrumental version of a song that has lyrics.
So without any further or do, here's a rundown of what's in store:

1. Lifebeats/Prelude - Jethro Tull (Taken from A Passion Play (Steven Wilson mix))

We're kicking things off with something a bit quirky. Don't you hate people who use that word? This fun little piece of prog insanity is taken from one of my favourite Jethro Tull albums. Got to get the ball rolling and get your attention.... if you like this sort of thing of course...

2. To Woo Lady Kong - Chaz Jankel (Taken from My Occupation: The Music Of Chaz Jankel)

Ah, Chaz Jankel. I think the world of indie dance and electronica owe a lot to this guy. Most will know him from his wonderful work with Ian Dury & The Blockheads, but people forget just how funky and dancey he can be. This one is take from the great best of compilation from Strut / Tirk. A really uplifting jazzy number that has enough synths to drown in.

3. Hawkeye - The Alan Parsons Project (Taken from Vulture Culture)

This was a tough choice! If you are a fan of The Alan Parsons Project you will know that each album has at least a couple of fantastic instrumental tracks. Keeping with this uplifting mood (which may or man not change!), I thought was a perfect follow up.

4. Love 30 - The Stranglers (Taken from Off The Beaten Track)

Changing the mood a little, we're going for something a little bit tricky with a track that boggles the mind when listening to it in headphones late at night. The Stranglers are far from conventional and this is a standout piece of music initially appearing as a b-side to the tremendous Golden Brown. I wonder if the band were watching a lot of tennis whilst on heroin?

5. Walk Evil Talk - The Clash (Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg)

From one of my favourite bands to my ALL TIME favourite band and one of their most overlooked pieces of music. The simple, yet effective piano combined with some of Topper Headon's best drumming make this a must that is just as mysterious and atmospheric as the previous track. I think we're starting to go down a more sinister track...

6. Mountains of Mars - Electric Wizard (Taken from Electric Wizard)

Ah, Electric Wizard! If you love fuzz and classic horror imagery, these guys are the band for you. I'm not a massive metal fan, but when it comes to doom (or the many other names for the genre.), it takes a lot to disappoint. This is mellower than what you can expect from the band, but its equally as powerful as their fuzziest numbers. I told you we're getting dark!

7. I Misses You - The Smiths (Taken from Demos & Outtakes)

Yes, there was a Smiths track in the previous compilation, but this is an essential piece of music for the band. When Morrissey allowed his band to let rip, they delivered. It really shows you just how talented Marr, Joyce and Rourke really are. This is a little lighter, but still has that classic Smiths gloom.

8. Yellow Moon - Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (Taken from The Night Creeper)

Going back to the psych / doom thing for this one. Just when you thought things were brightening up, right? This an odd little number that instantly reminds me of obscure euro horror flicks from back in the day. A great little album from a band that deserve more exposure.

9.  B + A - The Beta Band (Taken from The Three E.P’s)

The Beta Band are one of those bands that where before their time and split too early, but at the right time. They are sorely missed too. They're one of the many bands I got in to thanks to my dad. This track is super laid back with an almost constant soothing cymbal that transports you to wherever you and your joint want to go. I thought it was only fair I perked you up before...

10. The Brooding Side of Madness (Taken from Walker)

I have to admit, as much as I adore The Clash and Joe Strummer, I really didn't care much for Joe's pre-Mescaleros solo work when I first heard it. Thankfully, I have grown much older (can a 28 year old really get away with saying that!?) and my tastes have developed. This is just as the title suggests. An atmospheric, moody number with a simple, but devastating use of piano that makes you feel uneasy, yet comfortable at the same time. A truly beautiful way to close a compilation. We miss you Joe.

Well, that was a little darker than I was intending, but there's a lot to enjoy here and you there will be a part 2 soon.