Windsurf – Coastlines (Internasjonal)
Nu-balearic LPs are like shite jokes about busses, you wait ages for one to come along and then two come together; hot on the heels of Hatchback’s ‘Colors Of The Sun,’ Sam Graw and Dan Judd’s respective Hatchback and Sorcerer aliases have fused for the first Windsurf longplayer. As with Lindstrom and Prins Thomas’s joint efforts, it’s difficult to see where Sorcerer ends and the Hatchback begins. To help us, each co-surfer has listed his own influences in the shape of a ‘cosmic ven diagram’; Sorcerer gives us the likes of Arthur Russell, Ned Doheney, Gabor Szabo, Hawaii, kung fu, dolphins, old drum machines, Todd Rundgren, Fleetwood Mac and Xanadu. Hatchback provides Vangelis, David Axelrod, Brains Eno, Conny Plank, ELO, white blazers, Fender Rhodes, Steely Dan, flea markets and Cluster.
Together, they are Windsurf and they make the kind of epic electronic AOR, some (OK, me!) have christened ‘Callyearic.’ As the title suggests, this records evokes languorous, hazy evenings with the waves lapping gently against the shoreline. With tracks called Moonlight Sun, Light As Daylight, Bird Of Paradise and The Big Island, you pretty know much what to expect. Returning home from a weekend in Wales with the September sunlight shining off the lakes and mountains of Snowdonia, it all made perfect sense (although the missus classed it as ‘boring’). It’s no coincidence that this LP is being released on Prins Thomas’s ‘Internasjonal’ imprint. If you’re tired of the cosmic-nu-balearic-scando-cally-earic hype, then I’d swerve this but if, like me, you find another wet and windy summer is only made bearable by music this warm and optimistic, then seek it out.
Release date – 27th October
The Art Of Chill – Bent (Platypus)
Would you buy a compilation called The Art Of Chill? No neither would I, so it’s lucky I got sent this from the good folks at epm. Bent are one of those bands who always appear on the zillions of ‘Now That’s What I Call The Very Best Of Ibiza Sunset Chill Bar Grooves 5’ CDs in Asda but that’s not their fault. Along with Boards Of Canada, Lamb, Groove Armada et al, Bent have become a Chill-By-Numbers outfit which is a shame because their music is often sublime and beautiful in its arrangement. This compilation provides a stunning insight into Simon Mills and Neil ‘Nail’ Tolliday’s tastes. Each Bent-ster (as we at Swine call em) ‘curates’ his own compilation and whilst the tone is similar on both, Nail’s is the more avant-garde and the more interesting. Make no mistake; there is music on this compilation that will amaze and surprise you, whether that’s minimal abstract classical, spooky disjointed electronica or perhaps one of the most remarkable singing performances I’ve ever heard; The Bulgarian Female Vocal Choir’s ‘Kalimankou Denkou.’ No shit! As the man says himself in his notes;
‘My old friend Katty played this to me about 14 years ago and I was sceptical at first. I’m glad she insisted because after about five seconds I was in floods of tears, I’d never heard anything before quite as beautiful.’
So, ignore The Art Of Chill as a brand name and seek this magnificent compilation out, you won’t be disappointed.
Release date – 13th October
Café del Lar Jukebox
Listen The Snow Is Falling – Yoko Ono & Plastic Ono Band
I Betray My Friends - OMD
Molde Canticle Pt 4 – Jan Garbarek
Never Say Never – John Martyn
Beauty & The Beast – DJ Taylor
Love Aint An Easy Thing – Neil Sedaka
Call Me (Instru) – Blondie
Livin’ For The City (Bullring Mix) – Cook da Books
TVOD – The Normal
Perfumed Garden – Rah Band
Voila – Francoise Hardy
Ice Cream Van - Glasvegas
Pigs (In There) – Robert Wyatt
Time Becomes/Planet Of The Shapes - Orbital