Tuesday, February 19, 2013

P021: Cabeza de Vaca – Christopher Rau.

After a couple of heavier techno shows we make a return to the smoother, sultry world of deep house and Christopher Rau for the new Cabeza de Vaca show  on Scanner FM this week.

Quite a simple story behind the man which you can find elsewhere, which is not to say that the music is dull or predictable. Quite the opposite. Simple broad strokes and an impressionistic finish are the signature of his sound here, but the elements are always well chosen and in balance. For example, you can find the usual elements of jazz, velvet and crimson piano bars and the hour permanently poised close to midnight, but they are invariable always used with restraint and at the right moment. But much like Manuel Tur’s album “Swans reflecting elephants” there wasn’t much press around “Two” which is strange given the very high profile afforded to “Asper clouds” two years ago. Moreover, Smallville ended up with quite a good critical score at the end of the year, despite the relative lack of focus.

We have a lot of different shows planned for the near future, hopefully with some interesting treats, but we will see what will fall into place and when. So stay tuned to Cabeza de Vaca and Scanner FM!!!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

P020: Cabeza de Vaca - Shifted.

New Cabeza de Vaca  show on Scanner FM with a focus this week on Shifted. Not much known about the UK-born, Berlin-based artist, by his own design, but there is plenty of analysis to be made of the music. There are a number of interesting stylistic features that Shifted uses. The most obvious is the repetition and the shimmering, droney finish to the sounds that give them a more vital energy. The enveloping space is cloudy and stable and resists all the kinetic energy immersed within it. Small additions to the mix change the balance and focal point completely. One thing I forgot to mention in the show is that quite a lot of Shifted’s tracks just plug in. There is no build up, no warning, no subtlety. You arrive in the middle. It was interesting being a non-DJ and assembling them in the studio and just seeing their raw, blunt ends plugging one into the other, almost like Lego.

There was an interesting article on Resident Advisor  about heavy UK techno this week too if you need more information.


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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

P019: Swedish electronica and Kontra-Musik special.

New show is up and this week we are all about Sweden!!! We have a triple special: firstly Kontra-Musik, secondly female electronic artists and thirdly the late and great film director Ingmar Bergman. You can find all this only on Scanner FM and Cabeza de Vaca.


First some thanks: firstly, “tack” to Jimi Disco at Subwax BCN for putting me in contact with Ulf Ericsson at Kontra. Ulf duly put me in contact with Johanna Knutsson at Klasse Recordings who helped tracking down some female artists, some of whom I couldn’t get tracks for in time for the show, sadly.


Secondly, in an earlier, deleted take I gave a shout out to my old housemates Peter and Johanna who are in Malmö, but in a subsequent version I omitted to say hi. So “Hallä” to them and their family.

A few little points. Definitely worth looking at the videos of Andreas Tilliander aka Mokira and TM404. Here are two of them just to compare. New album was out too close to the show date to get a track in, but it looks killer.


I also mention Andreas previous foray into Ingmar Bergman territority with his Mokira moniker. His “Persona” album cae out in 2009 on the Type label and it somehow manages to mix influences as far afield as Bergman and Spacemen 3!


“Persona” is not only one of Bergman’s greatest films, but one of the best films of all time. So many levels of meaning and complication and also tricks of technique that are only possible in the medium of film. A true masterpiece.


The only other incidence of Bergman occurring in electronic music that I know was [Sebastian] Seidemann’s self-released “Ice and snow” album and the track “Moder och dotter” which featured a sampled dialogue from “Autumn sonata”


The Ingrid Bergman of the film is the legendary Ingrid of "Casablanca" fame, but no family relation to Ingmar.


In the radio show I erroneously refer to this film as a splendid example of one of Bergman’s colour works. It is a colour film and a good one, but the one I was meant to mention was “Cries and whispers”

Bergman’s other masterpiece and one that is less often mentioned is “The Hour of The Wolf”. An absolutely devastating and utterly paranoid and nearly delusional film with some of the greatest scenes and characters in cinema history.



Maverick noise/techno trio Frak have been around the traps since 1987 and there are plenty of archive videos on Youtube for the hungry. Here is one or two just for a teaser and to highlight their oddball stage presence and their synth pop origins. Masterful!



Finally, Johanna Knutsson has just made a nice mix for Discobelle:



And La Fleur is on the road as far afield as Sydney in the month coming. Show your support!

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