I had my doubts after the UK duo’s efforts with “Yeah Ghost” but they certainly deliver on this beautiful track made available today from RCRDLBL.com. The track is part of a “Track Track” double cover album effort featuring well established artists like Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Orbital, Underworld, and others and will be released on September 3rd along with a book about the English synth pop legends.
Since “The Colour of Spring” is a cover song, it can’t stray too far from the original, but Binns and Hardaker strip it down to a simple piano melody and place it alongside the beautiful vocal work of “Only Girl” (Ellen Murphy) to add a sense of urgency at the beginning. There are some additional beautiful spacey synth sounds that wander in and out and a simple, repeating deep bass line (think Massive Attack’s “Protection”). A gradual fade out at the end of the track adds to its mystique. It is really a great emotional piece.
I think what this track has that was missing from “Yeah Ghost” was that mystique of previous efforts as well were the beautiful vocals of Sia who went solo and then hit the charts on David Guetta’s “Titanium.” There just wasn’t that iconic moment like they hit with on tracks like “Destiny” and “Somersault.” Perhaps the closest they came on “Yeah Ghost” was Martha Tilston’s performance on “Pop Art Blue” but that track itself isn’t anything close to those Z7 standbys. Only Girl’s vocals provide that mystique on this awesome cover track. I just hope they can parlay that mystique over to their next full release!
Thanks to the fine folks at Phonosaurus Recordings out of Montreal, I was able to preview an amazing new effort from Raycord. Raycord is from the “Great White North” of Canada and from all of the press I’ve read, I can’t find out where other than “in the countryside” of Quebec. I suppose that is fitting due to the darker tone of the album where it seems one could get a feeling of solace.
From sampling some tracks from his previous album “L’hiver Blanc” on his Soundcloud page, this new album seems to be a more ambitious and experimental. “Ruban Ruban” which means “Reel to Reel” in French is a fitting title for the album as it took what must have been five painstaking years recording with analog reel to reel tapes with the aid of Steve Cloutier to get this project out.
As mentioned, “Ruban Ruban” seems darker in tone with some great trip hop beats. Raycord uses a lot of abstract sounds and samples, then weaves them in between those trip hop beats making for some very lush soundscapes.
Although the main focus seemed to be those trip hop beats with abstract chords and sounds there is a good variety of musical ideas in this album. “Morning Rhodes” for example, was one of my favorite tracks but was a shorter interlude that I wish he spent more time on. It has a great hypnotic melody of which I could just not get enough! I also loved the very interesting violin sample on “La Station Secrete” which reminded me a bit of Dust Brothers’ work on the Fight Club soundtrack. It ranged from tough and masculine to very delicate at the end. Just breathtaking!
Finally, the closing track “Flute a Ruban” ends the album on a very dark and eerie note and had more of a new age feel. Perhaps the inspiration for this one was that feeling of solace in the cold Canadian countryside. I’ll have to ask him when I send him some interview questions and will post either here or over at The Couch Sessions.
I could go on and on about the amazing sounds on this album, but you’ll have to pick it up and listen for yourself! “Ruban Ruban” drops on September 12th at Phonosaurus Records’ online store. In the meantime you can check out this very well done video (an ode to an electric piano) for his track “Wurlitzer a Nu” below.