“That We Can Play was recorded with a single stereo Pro Tools track and “outboard, secondhand vintage synths and sequencers”. Ford explained the process of making each song in an interview with XLR8R: “It’s almost like we just sit down with gear and are like, ‘Whoa, this sounds sweet,’ and then we’ll make a beat, and be like, ‘What if we do this?’ and something comes out and we move from there. Where it gets really complex—and you can’t be a slacker—is you have to inventorize all these tiny sounds and constantly be trying to fit all of these moving parts together and see what sticks—and it’s a lot of repetitive, careful-listening kind of work.”
The writing, recording and mixing of That We Can Play is rooted in 1980s power pop. On a technical level, according to Steve Shaw of Fact magazine, Games’s instrumentation includes everything expected in 1980’s music and is executed correctly: bass lines, strings, keytar and arpeggiators. Instead of merely reproducing the sound from that era, the band pushes the music into unfamiliar territory. According to Pitchfork Media’s Joe Colly, the EP has a nostalgic sound – due, in part, to the analog synths (“not just vintage but almost aged” instrumentation) and their “glitchy electro jams.””
Dunno if it’s everything this review hypes it up to be, but I dig it.
“At the crux of American-born, Shanghai-based producer Eli Osheyack’s debut album, Sadomodernism, is a question of agency. Borrowed from film theory, the album title was originally coined by writer Moira Weigel to describe a waning European art house tradition that vehemently rejects ‘naïve pleasure’—the tranquilizing comfort of conventional cinematic narrative, like mainstream Hollywood—and opts for violence and pain, with the aim of shaking audiences out of cinematic manipulation and into their own position vis-à-vis the malaise of contemporary life.
Echoing the work of sadomodernist auteurs, Osheyacks’s Sadomodernism is a deeply political project with critical ambitions. The smashing and blending of genres, from techno, industrial, noise and gabber to ballroom and metal, even opera, and spontaneous percussion arrangements, sometimes mixed with distorted spoken word, do not mean to please, but provoke through disorder and chaos. Laden with Brechtian alienation affects, Sadomodernism interrogates the notion of autonomy in contemporary music, club culture, and social-political life.”
Non-acoustic version is also great:
“Satie wrote six Gnossiennes in all, the first three in 1890 and the remainder during the next seven years. The name “Gnossienne” refers to the palace of Knossos on Crete, which was being excavated at the time the pieces were written. Satie’s pieces contain his characteristic witty commentary and directions to the pianist: instructions such as “wonder about yourself,” “don’t be proud,” “with amazement,” and “lightly, with intimacy.” These short, simple piano works, with overtones of Romanian folk ensembles and Gregorian chants, predate Satie’s famous “Gymnopedies.”
Eric Satie (1866-1925) studied at the Paris Conservatory and supported himself in his early years as a cafe pianist. His early works used simplicity, repetition, and original, modal harmonies to evoke the ancient world. These early works (Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes) had an influence on Debussy who, along with Ravel, brought Satie to the attention of the general public by performing his piano pieces in concerts. Cocteau admired Satie’s modest, absurdist works and the two collaborated with Picasso and Massine on Parade for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1917.”
More about Anne Queffélec