NFR Guest Mix 01: Vision Air
(NFR Mix 07; January, 2011)
Been very excited about this moment since the idea was first hit on and now it's finally here. The first NFR mix this year has been specially made for us by Vision Air. I wrote about their incredible A Vision ep in December; a deeply textural cosmic trip around vintage tones which is still available for download, so go get it. Before that, get this. Richie and Niall have put together a mix of their influences and current favourite recent listenings, including remixes and friends - exactly the kind of thing I approve of! To give you more info about the music and insight into their own minds they've included some notes about each song to convey why they picked them, and artwork from their friend. The artwork at the top is by NFR's designer-in-chief band buddy Chris Prewett. So here you go, The first NFR Guest mix: VISION AIR
Mariah - Shisen
A couple of years ago, our friend Ross stumbled across a track from Mariah called Shinzo No Tobira. when we heard this Japanese band from the '80's we were fascinated by the uniqueness of their sounds esp. the drums (how do they make that sound??) also by the static beauty of their arrangements. before christmas last year we got the whole record and it lives up to the high watermark set by Shinzo No Tobira. it feels like they were a band in tune to the future and past and their ritualistic pop still hots up the heart.
Forest Swords - Visits
Along with Demdike Stare, Forest Swords are a new outfit that we really admire. the use of reverb and again ritualistic rhythms has been quite overdone recently but with Forest Swords there is a longing and sadness within that really resonates. this music seems to ask pertinent questions.
I Am The Cosmos - In Her Vision
I Am The Cosmos is a friend of ours from Dublin. the word we always use to describe his songs is 'surprising'. you never really know what kind of tune he will come up with but it always keeps your attention from start to finish, as demonstrated by this ballad from the stratosphere - In Her Vision.
Blondes - Spanish Fly
John from Solar Bears first played me this song a while ago and to see how it enraptured him was infectious. there is one point about two minutes into the song where a stabby organ/key riff comes in and he played along in the air in perfect time to the stabs, I've been trying to copy this but can never get the air keyboard rhythm right. I really like the kick drum sound in this song, the languid celestial feel of the drooping vocal samples and the hypnotic phasing.
Nosaj Thing - Fog
Having seen Nosaj Thing play an Akai controller with a laptop live it should be the kind of thing purely electronic bands aspire to. Nowadays it seems like the biggest problem electronic musicians have is trying to translate their sounds into a live setup that is actually worth watching. after a lot of trial and error the answer for us is that as long as you are controlling the elements of the track and can manipulate them and add feeling you will be okay. I used to have a strict no computer rule for live shows, but now I see that that was closed minded, watching Nosaj Thing perform was the tipping point for my conservative viewpoint. Sometimes a fog makes you realise how crucial it is to appreciate when it's not there.
Zomby - Digital Fauna
The thing about Zomby is that his production is always exciting. there is a serious edge to what he does and both he and actress have this strange ART feeling that goes with their music. The change in time from 4/4 to 2/4 in this track (which he gave away for free when he had a Twitter) is head-lifting.
Prefab Sprout - Desire As
Produced by Thomas Dolby for their Steve Mc Queen album this track is a fantastic border where technology and song-craft meet. Paddy Mc Aloon delivers the perfect opening line and the song happens away in the background. There was an interview a while back where he was talking about God and mentioned that although Richard Dawkins doesn't believe in God, Bob Dylan does, and Richard Dawkins is never going to win an argument with Bob Dylan. This is such a beautiful truth and listening to the questioning lyrics against the forceful and assured synths we are reminded of it.
The Blue Nile - From Rags to Riches
The second half of this Blue Nile song is really something, it's really quite astounding the choice of synth and drum machine sounds considering when this was recorded. in a way it sounds like three musicians doing completely different things but everything works together to make this tense and longing piece coherent.
Strands - Chow Bell (Vision Air Remix)
We got asked to remix this track by Steve from Strands, we tried to keep the first three quarters of the remix quite regimented and then the end section much freer to give it a lift and maybe make you get some kind of goosebumps. It worked with us anyway.
Demdike Stare - Hashshashin Chant
Demdike Stare would be a band we have only discovered recently but we've both been listening to them a hell of a lot. they are a band that really REALLY click on headphones walking around outside. So go and take a walk.
Thanks a lot for listening to a mix of our favourite tunes at the moment. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.Richie and Niall