Chart for stowaways – 8 August 2015

Here’s the latest singles chart:

  1. Jean Michel Jarre – Remix EP (I)
  2. Röyksopp – I Had This Thing
  3. Moderat – Bad Kingdom
  4. The Future Sound of London – Point of Departure
  5. The Beloved – Love to Love
  6. Leftfield – Bad Radio
  7. Moderat – Last Time
  8. Jean Michel Jarre – Watching You
  9. Little Boots – Better in the Morning
  10. Hot Chip – Need You Now

Beginner’s guide to Asana

The chances are you won’t have come across Dave Barker‘s Asana project before, but if you like gentle, dramatic, instrumental electronic music, it has plenty to offer.

Key moments

His creative peak was probably with 1997’s Trikuti, his second album, which was produced by Andy Pickford.

Where to start

Definitely grab a copy of Trikuti, which is brilliant, either in its original form or the new remaster, which can be purchased directly from the Asana website

What to buy

If you can find Live at Jodrell Bank, that’s also worth having. Then there are two Cerulean albums from his side project to choose from – try Ectoplasm (2002). His debut album Shrine (1994) is good, but it isn’t as great as Trikuti. If you can find a copy, either of the original or the re-recorded CD-R version for not too much money, go for it, but don’t lose too much sleep if not.

Don’t bother with

There’s nothing to avoid as such, but do try sampling everything first so you can be sure it’s for you.

Hidden treasure

Despite what I said above, Shrine and Radiant are both great pieces from the first album, and East, from the live album, is very good too.

For stowaways

Goldfrapp – Supernature

After the enormous cult success of Felt Mountain (2000) and their first dabblings in the world of commercial pop with the sublime Black Cherry (2003), Supernature was Goldfrapp‘s third album, and remains their most commercially successful to date. Now that it’s exactly a decade old, this seems a good opportunity to reappraise it.

Supernature draws very heavily on the glam-electro side of Black Cherry, and does so with gusto. From the first track Ooh La La, you can immediately hear that they’ve found a whole lot of energy somewhere and channelled it into this album. What it lacks somewhat in places is the beauty of previous releases – ultimately there’s no Hairy Trees or Utopia here. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as Lovely 2 C U grabs you by the ears and gives you a very firm shake.

There’s little sign of the energy dissipating with third single Ride on a White Horse. It should be clear by now what the album is going to be, although for a moment it seems as though You Never Know might be the closest we’ll get to a downtempo moment here. The dark, grimey synth sounds are out in abundance – until Let it Take You, anyway. But sadly the one that actually serves as the slow number doesn’t quite seem to match the high standards set by the preceding two albums.

Final single Fly Me Away picks things up wonderfully, and the electro noises have been toned down too – they’re not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, but the break feels good. Ten years on, though, it’s hard not to feel Supernature might have been a little bit over-the-top.

Which is not to say the quality lapses at any point – both Slide In and Koko are great, but it’s difficult to view them objectively when you’ve already listened to half an hour of similar sounds. The exception is the glorious Satin Chic, which truly stands out as the best song on the album, as its honky tonk piano sounds propel it ahead of all its peers. For a long time, it was rumoured as a possible single, but ultimately that was never to be, and that’s definitely a shame.

The lovely, almost symphonic Time Out from the World leads us gently towards the end of the curiously both brilliant and flawed masterpiece which is Supernature. The final track is Number 1, which closes proceedings rather nicely in uptempo fashion.

As a postscript, the US version – released a few months later – also gets the b-side Beautiful, which seems a regrettable omission from the original album. It’s difficult to criticise, as the album seems a little too packed as it is, but Beautiful is a beautiful song, and really ought to be on here.

So Supernature really isn’t perfect – but it does contain a lot of great hit singles or potential hit singles, and with this Goldfrapp did, for a while, have a significant impact on the charts, with other acts drawing heavily from their sound. So, imperfect as it may be, listening to Supernature on its tenth anniversary has to be a good thing.

You can find the original UK or US releases of Supernature at all major retailers.

Music for the Masses 34 – 2 March 2005

For the second week running, the webcam was refusing to take pictures during this show. It did see a brief return of the Unsigned Act slot, with an entry from Subculture, and the many-talented William Orbit was the Artist of the Week.

Show 34: Wed 2 Mar 2005, from 6:05pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: William Orbit.

  • Gotan Project – Época
  • Rob Dougan – Furious Angels
  • Depeche Mode – I Feel Loved
  • The Space Brothers – Forgiven
  • Energy 52 – Café del Mar
  • Apollo 440 – Astral America
  • William Orbit – Via Caliente
  • Peach – From This Moment On
  • Jean Michel Jarre – Je Me Souviens
  • Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls (DJ Hell Remix)
  • Subculture – Dead in the Day (Demo) [Unsigned Act]
  • Erlend Øye – Every Party Has a Winner and a Loser
  • William Orbit – Million Town
  • Kraftwerk – Expo 2000 (Kling Klang 2002 Mix)
  • Manu Chao – Bongo Bong
  • Erasure – Don’t Say You Love Me
  • LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk is Playing at My House
  • Wolfsheim – Wunderbar
  • Jan Hammer – Crockett’s Theme
  • William Orbit – Satie’s Ogive #1
  • Bent – The Waters Deep

Chart for stowaways – 1 August 2015

As the charts liven up somewhat since the recent reshuffle, here are the top ten albums:

  1. Leftfield – Alternative Light Source
  2. Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?
  3. The Future Sound of London – Environment Five
  4. Röyksopp – The Inevitable End
  5. MG – MG
  6. Camouflage – Greyscale
  7. Moderat – II
  8. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  9. Lykke Li – I Never Learn
  10. Pet Shop Boys – Electric