A Malian's Musings about Music and Mali…
Currently Browsing: Electronica

“Sparks” by Royksopp

Pleasure and melancholy are not often used in the same sentence.  With this song, Royksopp is able to establish a positive relationship between the two.  While the lyrics are born out of a painful situation (the loss of a loved one), the music itself is so exquisite that you have no choice but to find pleasure the song’s melancholy.  It’s a case of celebrating past good times, instead of grieving the painful reality of the present.

I could probably write a thousand words about how amazing the production of this song is, but for now, I’ll just point to the amazing drum breaks and gorgeous pads that drive the song.  The drums are “dusty”, understated and even tentative, but they pull you into the song and the melodies from the pads keep you trapped.

The vocals on “Sparks” come courtesy of Norwegian singer and actress Anneli Drecker who blesses the song with her poetry…

Title: Sparks / Artist: Royksopp / Album: Melody AM (2002)

Listen on Apple Music


“Dance Naked Under Palmtrees” by Mo Horizons

Despite the rather ominous bassline, I can’t help but feel reinvigorated by this track.  The sequencing of the instruments is pure genius.  The cloudiness of the dark bass undertones slowly makes way for some brighter sounds….Sort of a slow escape from captivity.

To “Dance Naked Under Palmtrees” sounds to me like a metaphor for a newfound sense of freedom. 

 But what do I know?  I’ll let you call it.

Title: Dance Naked Under Palmtrees / Artist: Mo Horizons / Album: Remember Tomorrow (2001)

Listen on Apple Music

“Dreamy Smiles” by The Dining Rooms

There is an infinite number of formulas used to create music.  Truly great musicians have a knack for coming up with new formulas rather than staying in the tried and tested creative lanes.  It is in this spirit of experimentation and innovation that bands like “The Dining Rooms” shine the brightest.

Jazzy, sensual and dripping with emotion, “Dreamy Smiles” is a friendly reminder of how incredible “that smile” was. 

This song is beautiful enough to take you back in time, but short enough to let you to move on.  

Nostalgia without the sadness.

Just how it should be.

Title: Dreamy Smiles / Artist: The Dining Rooms / Album: Tre (2003)

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“Diferente” by Gotan Project

How does one combine Argentinean Tango and Electronica?

See below.

Different.

Title: Diferente / Artist: Gotan Project / Album: Lunatico, 2006

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“In my Head” by Psapp

I’ve used to be a fan of the TV show “Nip Tuck” because of its outrageous story lines, its Miami setting and its incredible soundtrack.  “In my head” is from a Nip Tuck episode in the second season of the show.  It took me a few weeks of research to finally track down the song but it was definitely worth the effort.  

Psapp is most famous for having produced the theme song for “Grey’s Anatomy”.

“In my head” has the classic Psapp sound which consists of plucky violins, guitars, lavish electro-pop melodies and sultry vocals.  The song was released on the band’s “Early Cats and Tracks” EP which was made available exclusively for digital download in 2006.

The most interesting thing about Psapp is that they are credited for having invented a new musical style known as “Toytronica” which is a type of electronica that involves using Toy instruments. The band uses toy guitars and flutes as well as real ones.

Original.

Title: Always in my Head / Artist: Psapp / Album: Early Cats and Tracks, 2006


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