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Talk Talk - Laughing Stock (flac 211mb)
Talk Talk began as a quartet consisting of Mark Hollis (vocals), Simon Brenner (keyboards), Lee Harris (drums) and Paul Webb (bass). Hollis was the brother of Ed Hollis, manager of Eddie and the Hot Rods, and had started out in a punk band called The Reaction. They were generally associated with the New Wave movement; more specifically, in their early years, they were often compared with Duran Duran, as both bands not only featured a double-barrelled name and a Roxy Music-inspired musical direction, but also a record label (EMI) and producer (Colin Thurston). Talk Talk's first line-up released a self-titled debut EP in 1982 which was quickly expanded into a full-length album entitled The Party's Over. The band charted in the UK Top 40 with the singles "Talk Talk" and "Today", both produced by Thurston.
Brenner left after the 1983 non-LP single "My Foolish Friend", which was produced by frequent Roxy Music collaborator Rhett Davies. At this point, the band added unofficial fourth member Tim Friese-Greene, who became Talk Talk's keyboard player, producer, and Hollis' frequent writing partner. Although a major contributor to the band's studio output, Friese-Greene did not generally play with the band during live shows or appear in publicity material. Talk Talk stopped playing live in 1986.
Talk Talk had a huge success in 1984/85 internationally (and particularly in continental Europe) with the album It's My Life, the single "Such a Shame" became a major hit . Strangely, this album and its singles were largely ignored in their native UK
They shed the New Wave style completely with The Colour of Spring in 1986. This became their biggest studio album success in the UK, partly thanks to the Top 20 single "Life's What You Make It", and was again a hit album in Europe.By this time, all Talk Talk songs were being written by Hollis and Friese-Greene.
The success of The Colour of Spring got the band an open budget and schedule for the recording of their next album. Spirit of Eden was released in 1988, on EMI's Parlophone label., it was assembled from many hours of improvised instrumentation that Hollis and Friese-Greene had edited and arranged using digital equipment. The result was a mix of rock, jazz, classical, and ambient music. While critically praised, the album was not as commercially viable as its predecessors, and the band declared they would not tour in support of it.
Talk Talk released Laughing Stock in 1991, by this time, Webb had left the group and Talk Talk had morphed into a brand name for the studio recordings of Hollis and Friese-Greene, along with a bevy of session studio players. Laughing Stock crystallised the experimental sound the band started with Spirit of Eden (which has been retroactively categorised as "post-rock" by some critics). Laughing Stock adopted an even more minimalist style than its predecessor, but this did not stop it achieving a respectable Top 30 showing in the UK Albums Chart. Like Spirit of Eden, the lyrical themes are often religious, and album is widely considered (along with Spirit of Eden) as one of the first records to be classed - retroactively - as within the post-rock genre. Laughing Stock has consistently risen in critical opinion as a result of post-rock's rise to relative popularity during the late 90s. After Laughing Stock, Talk Talk disbanded. Paul Webb rejoined Lee Harris, and the two went on to form the band .O.rang, while Tim Friese-Greene started recording under the name Heligoland. In 1998, Mark Hollis released his self-titled solo début Mark Hollis, which was very much in keeping with the minimalist post-rock sound of Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock.
01 - Myrrhman (5:14)
02 - Ascention Man (6:01)
03 - After The Flood (9:28)
04 - Taphead (7:02)
05 - New Grass (9:40)
06 - Runeii (4:58)
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Jóhann Jóhannsson - Virðulegu Forsetar (04 flac 214mb)
Jóhann Jóhannsson (born 1969) is an Icelandic-born musician, composer and producer. He also runs the record label Kitchen Motors in Reykjavík, the art organization/think tank/record label which specializes in instigating collaborations, promoting concerts and exhibitions, performances, chamber operas, producing films, books and radio shows based on the ideals of experimentation, collaboration and the search for new art forms. His stately, slow-building and hauntingly melodic music has been quietly bewitching listeners for the last few years - and IBM 1401, a User´s Manual, his most ambitiously-orchestrated and appealing composition to date, is sure to expand his audience still further.
Johann Johannssons first two solo records Englabörn (2002) and Virthulegu Forsetar (2004) were released by the singular British independent Touch label. Despite limited promotional resources, both found plenty of fans, receiving glowing reviews in music media around the world; Virthulegu Forsetar found its way onto many critics end-of-year lists.The Englabörn album was derived from music that Johann wrote for an Icelandic play of the same name, written for string quartet, piano, organ, glockenspiel and percussion. These elements were processed and manipulated, adding delicate electronic accents to the otherwise entirely acoustic recordings. One song, "Odi et Amo", is a setting of the famous poem by Catullus.
Johannsson’s many other projects include membership of the group Apparat Organ Quartet - hailed by Neil Strauss in the New York Times as being “as innovative and meticulous as Sigur Ros, but who sound nothing like it”. Although Apparat Organ Quartet formed as far back as 1999, they only released their debut album internationally in 2006. Johann has also produced and written music with other artists; he’s worked with Marc Almond (on the Stranger Things album), Barry Adamson, Pan Sonic, The Hafler Trio, Jaki Liebezeit and many others. After the success of IBM 1401, A User’s Manual, Johann’s collaboration with the internationally renowned choreographer and dancer Erna Omarsdottir continued in 2005 with a new piece entitled Mysteries Of Love.
Music for films and theatre figure prominently in Johann’s work. Johann has composed music for no fewer than 5 feature films in his native Iceland. His most recent, for the film Blodbond (2006) by Arni Olafur Asgeirsson, features (like IBM 1401, A User’s Manual) a symphonic score for a 60 piece string orchestra. Johann´s soundtrack album for the film Dis was released in 2005 in the US and in 2006 in Japan.In addition to the feature films, Johann has written music for numerous documentaries, theatre productions and several contemporary dance works.
01 - Part 1 (14:51)
02 - Part 2 (14:14)
03 - Part 3 (14:45)
04 - Part 4 (21:45)
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Susumu Yokota and Rothko - Distant Sounds Of Summer (05 flac 239mb)
Susumu Yokota is a leading Japanese techno composer who began his international career at Berlin's Love Parade in 1993. The German albums Frankfurt - Tokyo Connection (Harthouse, 1993) and Zen ( 1994) were followed by the Japanese album Acid Mount Fuji (1994). He was also active as Ringo, with the album Plantation ( 1995), as Prism, with the albums Metronome Melody (1995) and Fallen Angel ( 1997), as Anima Mundi, with the album Anima Beat ( 1996), and as Stevia, with the album Greenpeace ( 1997). So far Yokota's career had been merely a commercial summary of the trendy dance genres, an activity that continued successfully with the albums 1998 (1998), 1999 (1999), Zero ( 2000), which are repetitive at best.
But Cat Mouse And Me (Harthouse, 1996) was his first experimental album, and it established Yokota as more than a beat generator. The album's intricate grooves, that quoted from acid jazz and hip hop, were elegantly woven in a continuum of sonic bliss. Yokota turned to ambient house on Magic Thread (1998 - Leaf, 2000). Images ( 1999), a collection of old recordings in the ambient/trance vein (Counterfeit Song) was coherent with the new direction. By the time Sakura (2000) was released, Yokota had become a disciple of Brian Eno's impressionistic music (Saku, Gekkoh). Unlike most of his competitors, his foray in this genre is articulate and eclectic thanks mainly to his background in techno (Genshi) and jazz (Naminote).
Continuing in his evolution towards more and more abstract structures, Grinning Cat ( 2001) nods at the minimalism of Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass (Lapis Lazuli) and at his old passion, acid-jazz (So Red). The mostly piano-driven tracks employ simple melodies the way a falling feather employs the friction of the air. The Boy And The Tree ( 2002) uses ambient house to create an impressionistic journey which could also be the soundtrack to an anime movie. But Sound Of Sky (2002) is soft melodic muzak pretending to be avantgarde dance music. Symbol ( 2005) is built around samples of classical music:
Distant Sounds Of Summer ( 2005) collects the EP Waters Edge (2002) and new collaborations with bassist/composer Mark Beazley (once of Rothko, by this point he was Rothko) -- with occasional vocal contributions from Caroline Ross of Delicate AWOL, who has also worked with each of the collaborators individually -- Distant Sounds of Summer tends to favor the eclectic, layered, sometimes overly busy sample-based approach of the former's mid-2000s work, but the latter's ever-graceful playing helps create a welcome point of continuity and calmness. Exploring an expansive array of textures and sounds (temple bells, harmonicas, bamboo flutes, droning synths) on top of Beazley's soothing bass tones, without always resorting to Yokota's familiar but somewhat intrusive percussion loops.
01 - Deep In Mist (4:33)
02 - Waters Edge (4:30)
03 - Path Fades Into Forest (5:59)
04 - Lit By Moonlight (5:40)
05 - Brook And Burn (5:12)
06 - Sentiero (5:17)
07 - Clear Space (5:23)
08 - Reflections And Shadows (5:00)
09 - Distant Sounds Of Summer (5:20)
10 - Floating Moon (2:29)
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