Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Antonio Carlos Jobim

"Jobim has been described as the Gershwin of Brazilian music, which is an apt title for a man who contributed so many original songs to the jazz repertoire, adding a few standards along the way. Those who were inspired to follow his work after “The Girl From Ipanema” may have picked upWave, his most well-known solo record, but may have overlooked Stone Flower, a markedly better effort. The drippy strings on the former record brought out the quiet romanticism of the melodies, but makes the album sound dated today. Stone Flower marks a fresher approach, using musicians from the CTI stable, but don’t be misled by the personnel into thinking that Jobim has wandered into soul jazz. The quietly sensual melodies and beguiling bossa nova rhythms are as bewitching as ever, with Laws, Carter, and Green added sensual textures in the background. The title track says it all: Jobim on electric piano, heavily reverbed as if it was recorded underwater, with violin and trombone providing a warm tropical breeze overhead. No one could write bossa nova tunes as well as Jobim, and the songs on Stone Flower easily rank with his best work. Stone Floweris a fantastic record of quiet intensity." From

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Portishead is band from Bristol, a city west of London, in which trip-hop music was born in the early 90's. Along with Tricky, Earthling, UNKLE, Massive Attack, Portishead gave birth to Trip-Hop music.
" The term trip hop was coined by music journalist Andy Pemberton in the June 1994 issue of UK magazine Mixmag to describe the hip hop instrumental "In/Flux", a 1993 single by DJ Shadow, and other similar tracks released on the Mo' Wax label and being played in London clubs at the time. "In/Flux", with its mixed up bpms, spoken word samples, strings, melodies, bizarre noises, prominent bass, and slow beats, gave the listener the impression they were on a musical trip, according to Pemberton. James Brendall termed the experience of trip-hop with the combination of "computers and dope" Wikipedia.

This album is sincerely one of the best trip-hop album ever made. Raw beats and oppressing scratches blend with Beth Gibbons's unique singing. Really dark from the first to the last song, its listen [with headphones please] will force you to penetrate into these obscure atmospheres or other gloomy ambiences. Some of this music will take you to the corner of a dirty street on a cold winter night and for only light the moon. The smoky alley you just got yourself in could be a place for which this music was made. Please dare stepping into this world.
Definitely a musical experience that you will not forget :)

Below one of the album's highlight. Turn your volume + bass up a little.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Snowy days are coming. It's about time to pick up a smooth jazz album. This is one of my first jazz album. It's what we could classify as modern jazz. Easy listening and melodic compositions though quite long. The songs usually extend around 6 minutes in creating some intricate and evolving soundscapes.
E.S.T stands for Esbjörn Svensson Trio was a Swedish jazz piano trio consisting of Esbjörn Svensson (piano), Dan Berglund (double bass) and Magnus Öström (drums). Actually, Pianist Esbjörn Svensson passed away recently, in June 2008, in a scuba diving accident.
I would advice this album to anyone really. I think it's an album that could be a good introduction to jazz in general.

E.S.T. - The well-wisher

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Some really interesting pictures of Berlin during the winter. I stumbled upon them randomly and I immediately like their style, minimalistic and complex at the same time. The smart use of colors and geometry in the frame give them some real depth. You can look at them for quite some time and hardly express what you love into them. Those pictures were shot by Matthias Heiderich. I would recommend you checkin out his other projects that are really interesting as well.

Talking about Berlin, I thought I could share some of the amazing music that has been recorded there.
My pick is Bowie. That's a great thing since I haven't shared anything from him yet and he's been one of my favorite musicians who got me a lot into German music actually. That's how I first heard of Brian Eno too.
Anyway, Bowie started working with Brian Eno in the 70s and recorded three albums that were highly influenced by the German music of the time - Krautrock and electronic music - . Those three albums, "Low", "Heroes" and "Lodger" make up this trilogy.
I chose only to share "Low" for now. You'll see what you think.

An album that is definitely interesting to check out. If you know Bowie it's interesting to see the turn that he took over those three albums. "Low" turns experimental halfway through with mostly instrumental tracks. The excellent "Speed of Life" and "Sound and Vision" on the first half of the album are some of the tracks that are not instrumental. Some of the soundscapes in this album are oppressing and will be hard to grasp at first. Definitely an album that requires many listens, like any experimental or avant-garde music album. One of those albums that you end up loving and you would never have thought so.
Here is probably the most easy listening track of the album, an excellent track that you've probably heard before:

Sound and Vision

If you don't know Bowie at all, then I might have start at the beginning and to share a handful of timeless albums..

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bill Callahan

A really good folk/rock album that came out in 2009 and was released under his name instead of his usual nickname Smog. Often mentioned as being one of the best albums of 2009, "Sometimes I wish We Were an Eagle" is a brilliant album by a talented songwriter.

One Pic / One Song

Song by the band Blondie on which the guitarist Robert Fripp [originally the guitarist of the King Crimson] is featured. His guitar playing gives the song a real power.

Fade Away And Radiate

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Fingers is a 1978 drama film directed by James Toback.
The film features Harvey Keitel as a pianist who also works for his loan shark father as a "collector". He is a conflicted soul, torn between his art, his loyalty to his father, his sexuality, and his past. [Wikipedia]

Really good movie which was readapted by Jacques Audiard in the also brilliant "De battre mon cœur s'est arrêté" ("The Beat That My Heart Skipped" in english) starring Romain Duris.

DJ Vadim

Pretty cool album from that russian DJ. Sort of a downtempo album with some interesting melodies and beats.


Sufferin' Blues [Feat. Jill Green]

This next song is a killer:


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One pic / One Song

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Thievery Corporation ft. Lou Lou - Le Monde


I'm pleased to introduce you to some of the most fascinating artform related to music: album covers

It's been a long time since I first wanted to introduce Hipgnosis on my blog. Now that i figured out how to create a slideshow it's easier!

"Hipgnosis was a British art design group that specialized in creating cover art for the albums of rock musicians and bands, most notably Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, UFO, 10cc, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Yes, The Alan Parsons Project, Genesis, ELO and XTC. Hipgnosis consisted primarily of Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell, and later, Peter Christopherson. The group dissolved in 1983, though Thorgerson still works on album designs, and Powell works in video, most notably with The Who." [Wikipedia]
Indeed, Thorgerson has been working with Muse, Offspring or Audioslave the last couple years and still makes some amazing pieces. I got hooked by Hipgnosis's work right away because they designed covers of some of my favorite bands of the 70s.
However, what is truly interesting about Hipgnosis is that they gave music an image to which we could fuse the actual music to. The final record, LP at the time, ended up being a single piece of art including the cover, the music, the object. Try to imagine when in the 70s you would go buy a LP, which is a pretty big object by itself and you could actually stare at the cover for a long time and focus on details because of the important size. I wish I experienced that back in the day even though I kind of do since I started collecting LPs about 6 years ago.
Those guys were spending time to listen to the music first and then come up with an idea that would be inspired by the music itself. So knowing the music allows you to appreciate the creative process and inspiration they went through. It's fascinating.
Also, it's important to recall that in the seventies people wouldn't have access to technologies in order to create those images. Therefore, they would often come up with the craziest projects and ideas (ex: the Pink Floyd cover of A Momentary Lapse of Reason for which they brought tons of beds on the beach) in order to make their creativity come true. The result is astonishing. Those covers are truly the result of a boundless creativity and imagination and those guys truly gave rock music an image in shaping a certain iconography of their time. The Dark Side Of the Moon's cover is one of the most universal cover of all times.
Judging an album by its cover is wrong. However, wanting to listen to an album because of its cover is what happens when seeing Hipgnosis's work. And you would be amazed to see that it is a way to discover some of the most amazing and otherwise undiscovered music you'll ever listen to. I've done it a lot. Trust me.

The slideshow includes both works of Hipgnosis and Thorgerson after they split up.

Also I wanted to catch your attention on this one: those guys were creative and plus they had humor.

[Click on it if too blurry for you to read]

Monday, November 1, 2010

One Pic / One Song / One Thought

I always say that George Harrison is my favorite Beatles along with Paul and John. And then comes Ringo :)

Isn't It A Pity - George Harrison

One Pic / One Song


Silver Rider

From Robert Plant's last album "Band Of Joy" [2010]

Piers Faccini

Real good album of folk/rock songs brilliantly written.If you don't know about Piers Faccini this is highly recommended :)

To See is to Believe