Friday, May 26, 2017

Of synths and synthesis

Episode 17 of Sounding Bored finds a panel consisting of host Rob, returnee Brian and debutant Pete aka Kid Kin chatting about rock's embrace of (and resistance towards) electronics.

Each panellist begins by choosing a band/artist with a foot firmly planted in both camps, with Brian choosing Japanese maverick Cornelius, Pete enthusing about 65daysofstatic and Rob deliberately looking beyond the narrow Anglo-American field to select Russians Gnoomes. (Personally, I would have been tempted to choose Battles, but I can't think of a much better example of the complete synergy between acoustic and electronic elements than Holy Fuck.)

Other bands/artists discussed include Bon Iver, Muse, Radiohead, Mogwai, David Bowie and Animal Collective. As a practising musician himself, Pete's observations about the joys and challenges of working with electronics, and the opportunities that new technologies bring, are particularly interesting. (If I'd been on, I'd have mentioned looper pedals, which in around 2006/2007 seemed to me to be a complete game-changer with regard to solo musicians like Voice Of The Seven Woods and Ill Ease.)

The episode's featured album, Forest Swords' Compassion, blurs the boundaries between acoustic and electronic elements, though edges more towards the electronic end of the spectrum, and gets a unanimous thumbs up from the panel.

Meanwhile, in the news section, there's reaction to the death of Chris Cornell and anticipation for the forthcoming soundtracks to the revived Twin Peaks and the Netflix film War Machine, the latter created by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

Episode 18 is set to follow towards the end of June - and, if all goes to plan, will see me clambering back in the saddle to record a Music Cities episode on location here in Cardiff.

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