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Fionn Regan

Ah, there’s so much that could be said about Fionn Regan… but I don’t feel like saying any of it, so I took this from Last.fm:

“The Irish singer-songwriter who hails from Bray, Co Wicklow enjoyed a warm response from the media and general public alike with the release of his ‘Hotel Room’ EP in 2004, which highlighted the captivating rawness of both his songs and his performance in a way that was both refreshing and inspiring. Better still, Regan has repeatedly proved that he can better his records when he plays live.

Citing his musical influences as Leadbelly, Howling Wolf, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Neil Young, The Velvet Underground, The Pixies and Nirvana, Regan has drawn comparisons to Young, Woody Guthrie and John Lennon. He has supported the likes of American Music Club, John Prine, Turin Brakes and rising newcomers Joanna Newsom and Willy Mason, to name but a few. Turin Brakes’ Olly Knights has said that Regan’s “ability to paint weighty and sublime imagery with words is untouchable and very rare, yet it’s combined with a sweet charm that renders all cynicism impotent.”

With his debut album, “The End Of History”, Fionn has taken a DIY approach to the sessions, using analogue equipment and recording in houses, a shed and a barn to try and capture a live sound.

On February 15th, 2010 Fionn Regan swept all expectations with the release of his sophomore effort, the more rock influenced “The Shadow Of An Empire.”

The End Of History [2006]: DOWNLOAD

The Shadow of an Empire [2010]: DOWNLOAD

He’s one of my favorite artists — The End Of History is my most played album (according to Last.fm). Great songwriting, intricate guitar, and great music overall. Give him a shot, he deserves far more recognition than he gets (his newest album isn’t even being released in the US, for now). I’d say more, but I am le tired.

-Brennan

The Origins of Sampling: The Light and the Dark

Today I bring you two of the earliest and most influential albums in the formation of sampled music…Except these albums come back from a time before sampled music became commercialized. Like any other genre, once sampling became popular, creativity and innovation went downhill. Now contemporary artists like Kanye drop a clip of Steely Dan into a song and people think they’re virtuosos. Instead, imagine entire albums being constructed purely of vinyl samples and you will arrive upon work of the Avalanches and DJ Shadow. These groups were the true virtuosos.

At first I did not mean to complicate the post with two artists but I simply cannot mention the Avalanches without also mentioning DJ Shadow. For me, these two are like Ying and Yang. And in a way, that metaphor perfectly distinguishes their sounds – Light and Dark. Which one should we look at first? Light it is.

2000’s Since I left You is the Avalanche’s only LP. And you’ll soon find out why – it took a paramount degree of effort to put together. The story has it that one day the band’s two main members, Robbie Chater and Darren Seltmann, were cruising around a garage sale looking for old vintage instruments. In their search they came upon a stack of hundreds of vinyl records being sold at bargain prices. After discovering some really cool riffs and beats while listening to many of these no name artists from the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, Robbie and Darren started looping and sampling segments of the albums into single tracks. What began as an experiment soon became an obsession and Since I Left You slowly emerged from a pile of forgotten albums. Explains Chater, “the more rejected and unwanted the record that a sample comes from, the more appealing it is”…The band estimates that the album contains over 3,500 (!!!) different samples, ranging all over the place from drum beats and vocal cuts to recordings of horse neighing. From the opening track, the album is uplifiting in its positive, danceable vibe. Its many layers combine to create a rich pallet of buoyant optimism. I agree with the band in that the album sounds almost like a type of international love story – a lighthearted flirtation with the entire medium of music. Highlights include “Since I left You,” “Close to you,” “A Different Feeling,” and “Frontier Psychiatrist.” Check out a music video of the title track below, you cant help but smile.

If the Avalanches represent the light side of sampling, DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing is its darker, more moody cousin. Released in 1996, Endroducing is actually a couple years older, and is commonly held to be the very first album to be constructed entirely from samples. Similar to the concept behind Since I left You, DJ shadow compiles recordings from all over the place (old tv shows, jazz, hip-hop, etc) except his music has a much different story to tell. Shadow’s music takes on a much more Trip-Hop like sound, emulating and building upon earlier artists like Massive Attack. The dance-ability of the Avalanches is replaced with a brooding, contemplative outlook – the type of music you would chill to at the end of the night in a downtown loft. Even the name, DJ Shadow, induces listeners to investigate the darker aspects of life. It is a much more heavy and spiritual experience than the Avalanches offer – the type of album that has a time and a place but is always rewarding. You probably won’t be putting this on your party playlist, but it definitely should occupy a coveted spot in your music collection. Highlights include “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt,” “Transmission 1 (and 2)”, and my personal favorite (its sooo good) “Midnight in a perfect world.” Enjoy both these fantastic albums

DOWNLOAD THE AVALANCHES

DOWNLOAD DJ SHADOW

-Chris

Travis Vick

If you have ever heard of Manteca California, you would probably know it used to be the home of the glorious “Manteca Waterslides.” However, another equally remarkable thing has come forth from this quaint farm town located in the central valley. His name; Travis Vick. So moving beyond this incredibly lame and cheesy introduction, the artist I introduce to you is simple in style, yet exceptional in talent.  (I went to high school in ol’ teca town with Travis. I know…HBB *holler big baller*) He uses an array of instruments in his music including, Piano, Guitar, Accordion, Banjo, Bass, Mandolin, Harmonica, Ukulele, Trombone, Clarinet and Drums. (My personal favorite being the banjo. I love that “twangy” sound and ever since I found out that Steve Martin could play, I have grown a certain fondness for the instrument. I just love Steve.)  On his myspace music page he classifies his sound as “melodic folk rock.” His melodies are intriguing and voice is soothing. His falsetto is beautiful and delicate  (“October 31st”) while the notes he hits in the lower register are rich and pure (“Box”). It is powerful while still remains an endearing quirkiness. Also, being a big fan of harmonies, the parts he interleaves in his songs are perfectly blended, smooth and warm. Some of the harmonies are a layering of his own voice or other singers, including his sister. I just love this artist and I would try to relate his sound to other artists in order to give you a feel for his sound, but due to my lack of musical knowledge…and laziness, I will let you see for yourself. I recommend the songs “The Hedges” and “Seamus Fruitfridge” from his EP, “Player Piano” and the songs “Box” and “Bees Don’t Bite” from his music myspace. You should give him a good listen, a real good listen.

MUSIC MYSPACE

DOWNLOAD HERE

-Courtney

The King Khan & BBQ Show // King Khan & The Shrines

I love The Beach Boys. I love Otis Redding. I love Iggy Pop. Many a night I have laid in bed, dreaming of how glorious it would be if they had a threesome and miraculously produced one singular musical entity. My dream has come true. I give you: THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW aka KING KHAN & THE SHRINES.

Originally from Montréal, QC (and called ‘The King Khan & BBQ Show’) but currently based in Berlin and called ‘King Khan & The Shrines,’ — you know what, on second thought, I don’t really have anything to say about them or their history. I listened to these albums on vinyl at my friend’s house last weekend, and I just managed to get copies of them for myself today. Their music tells a completely different history than that of the musicians themselves. I don’t want them to be from Berlin or Montréal. I want them to be from a garage in 1962 Detroit.

I’m too excited about this right now to write anything poignant, but I also don’t think this music needs any great words to describe it. It’s low-fi, it’s full of soul, and it makes you feel good inside — that’s really all that needs to be said.


The King Khan & BBQ Show (2004)

DOWNLOAD

Invisible Girl (2009)

DOWNLOAD

The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines (2008)

DOWNLOAD

Long live soul.

-Brennan

Radiohead – Lost Treasures

Everybody loves B sides and Rarities. Everybody (or least they should) loves Radiohead. How about we combine the two?

The resultant offspring is Lost Treasures, and what a beautiful child it is. An excellent double disk album, Lost Treasures offers probably the most comprehensive listing of non-LP work from Radiohead between 1993 and 1997. And while I would hesitate to call some of the tracks “treasures” and the album is annoyingly scatterbrained in composition, Lost Treasures is nonetheless an invaluable source for some real radiohead gems. It also does a brilliant job of chronicling change in the band’s sound from Pablo Honey –> The bends –> OK Computer.

Be sure no one else is around when you take a look at the track listing because contained within the confines of this treasure chest is enough rare material to make any RH fan pop a chubby…Sorry, I recently heard that expression from an Aussie friend and really wanted to use it. ANYWAY, lets look at what this the album has to offer:

1. Yes I Am  
2. Inside My Head
3. Pop Is Dead
4. Thinking About You
5. Killer Cars
6. Creep (acoustic)
7. Trickster
8. Lewis (mistreated)
9. Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong
10. Permanent Daylight
11. Lozenge of Love
12. You Never Wash Up
13. Maquiladora
14. Planet Telex (Hexidecimal Mix)
15. India Rubber
16. How Can You Be Sure?
17. Subterranean Homesick Alien
18. My Iron Lung

1. Street Spirit (acoustic)
2. Killer Cars (acoustic)
3. Wonderwall
4. Blow Out
5. Pearly
6. Melatonin
7. Meeting In The Aisle
8. Bishop’s Robes
9. A Reminder
10. Polyethylene (Parts I&II)
11. Lull
12. Climbing Up The Walls (Zero 7 Mix)
13. Climbing Up The Walls (Filia Brazilia Mix)
14. Palo Alto
15. How I Made My Millions
16. Wish You Were Here
17. Talk Show Host

As you can see, the album has a bunch of acoustic takes, live cuts, remixes, covers, and Studio tracks. The acoustic takes of “Blow out,” “Subterranean Homesick Alien,” and “Street Spirit” are all fantastic. I also really dig the Zero 7 remix of “climbing up the walls.” But by far the most interesting inclusions are the rare studio tracks. Many of these are from the Iron Lung EP but Lost Treasures also has some sick tracks that are hard to find elsewhere. Definitely check out the Iron Lung songs, but I also highly recommend: “Lull,” “Pearly,” “Bishop’s Robes,” “India Rubber” and “Talk show host” (written for the 1996 Romeo + Juliet movie). On second thought, please just listen to everything – this is some great stuff.

-Chris

DOWNLOAD LOST TREASURES

Selling Out

I can’t stand Supertramp. Well, that isn’t entirely true…I just can’t stand the Supertramp that most people know. You know, the “Dreamer” and “Breakfast in America” Supertramp. I mean there are a couple popular songs that are pretty decent, like “School” and “Rudy,” but for the most part the band created nothing but crap after 1970. The reason I’m going on this tirade? Supertramp is THE biggest sell out artist I know.

In 1970, there was a band called Supertramp that released a self-titled debut album that was incredible. It was a raw and unique pioneer in the relatively new genre of progressive rock. Its songs featured intelligently structured and stimulating instrumental breakdowns with powerful and driving lyrics. Now, compare this album to the band’s highly produced and often cheesy 1974 release Crime of the Century. The albums sound like they came from completely different artists. Cementing this fact is the coincidence that Crime of the Century was actually released in the United States before the 1970 debut album. When Supertramp- the album was finally released in the US in 1975, people hated it because they had grown accustomed to the band they knew from Crime of the Century. Two entirely different bands. Because that’s basically what happened. Supertramp gave into their producers and morphed into a band that wrote music that sold rather than unleashing their true musical abilities. That’s why I can’t listen to the studio bitch “Supertramp” everyone knows, because it’s not really supertramp.

Supertramp's 1970 Debut

Just look at that album cover – totally retro and definitely not aiming towards being commercially successful. I love it. In this self-titled debut, you can hear a young band pushing themselves towards new musical boundaries, leading an obscure and uncharted progressive movement along with other artists like King Crimson. It is a strange world to be sure, at times serenely subdued and at other times angry and aggressive. But most importantly, it feels right – a group working from their true roots and reveling in the music they are creating together. Sit back and enjoy a treat not many are even aware of. Highlights include “It’s a long road,” “Maybe I’m a beggar,” “Nothing to show,” and “Try Again.” It’s a unfortunate and sad story when artists sell out but at least there’s always that all-too-short period when their music was authentic right?

-Chris

DOWNLOAD THE REAL SUPERTRAMP

Body Riddle – Chris Clark

 

sometimes known as Aphex Twin's next disciple

Probably one of the greatest influences for my music recently has to be Chris Clark of Warp Records. With about 6 LP’s released, his sound grows tremendously with each release and has become one of the driving forces for this new style of IDM. I’ve listened to almost every single one of his albums and have been blown away each time by his meticulous sound design and production value, two things that are generally unappreciated but — when done right — can create soundscapes of epic proportions.

In his 2nd to recent album, Body Riddle, Chris Clark employs the use of his own homemade samples and an MPC to generate his complicated beats. As much as it is to say that Flying Lotus‘ beats are just as crazy, Clark’s style is just that much different. He started off producing in his dorm, but his style stays very archaic using his own samples, tape machines, and an old computer to work it all out (Squarepusher-esque ain’t it?). He loves to dabble with samples, usually taking a 1-2 second clip and mangling it until he doesn’t even recognize it anymore. In an interview, he mentions that he’ll dabble with a sample he can’t even remember how he got there in the first place…but it still sounds good!

Body Riddle (he shortened his name to Clark since this album)

Take songs like “Night Knuckles” or “The Autumnal Crash” for example…the sheer audio soundscape that he creates as you put your headphones on to these two songs just take you for a ride on its own. In songs like “Ted”, the nice jingling melody over a jazz-infused percussive rhythm — not to mention listen to that kick THUMP in contrast to the melodies!

As a quick taste for his style…I’ve included an awesome music video of one of his songs, “Ted”, below. Please try and use headphones (and don’t skip ahead of the song, you impatient fucks ;))!!

Hoping to give you guy another great album this week. Here is Body Riddle. Enjoy.

Chris Clark MYSPACE

Download Body Riddle

His newest album, Totem’s Flare, is tripper if not MORE than this album and I highly suggest it to anyone into this kind of music, but please let me know what you guys think of this album so I can upload more to your guys’ liking in the future!

Tomio


*This blog does not upload or store any copyrighted music. The site provides links to, but is unassociated with, file hosting sites such as Mediafire, Megaupload, and Rapidshare. From the Fringe is intended to be used for music discovery purposes only. Please support the featured artists by purchasing their albums. - From the Fringe © 2010

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