The Bubble Playlist No. 23: Train Ride

Check it out here!
No quiet coach. No overpriced shortbread. No mobile office space invaders. With the end of term looming ahead, this playlist has been put together to fit with the commute home, the short hop to Newcastle or the visitation of friends further afield.

F.U.Y.A. – C2C
This musical offering from the Nantes based ‘C2C’ is perhaps one of the most ambitious, commercially viable electronic compositions I’ve listened to this decade thus far. The use of sampling and rhythm is masterful; the closest approximation I can find for this track is DJ Shadow with a sense of theatricality.

Van Dijck Brown – Killing Skills
There’s not much to say about this track other than it has a definite ‘Parliament-Funkadelic’ feel to it with the backbeat and ethereal synthesis which pervades the track.

Alone in Kyoto – Air
The main reason for the inclusion of this track, is the fact that it appeared in a scene from ‘Lost in Translation’ with the young Scarlett Johansson sitting on a train to Kyoto. This track with its minimalist approach and transient styling makes for perfect music to watch time pass at the window seat.

Retrograde – James Blake
The first single from his upcoming album Overgrown is an intense, soulful dirge. Blake’s vocal performance is mature and mesmerising; from solemn hum to pained expression “…suddenly I’m hit…” cutting through a maelstrom of synthesisers. With the production being inflected with 90’s neo soul influence, it is a statement of intent – Blake has transcended the oft utilised hang-up of the 1960’s that is assigned to solo performers, the ‘singer-songwriter’.

On Your Own Again – Scott Walker
Scott 4 was an album that was panned by critics of its time, but it marks an important development in the artistic career of Scott Walker: the moment that he escaped the “Brelosphere”. In later years, the album has garnered a following, and it was the first Walker song that I came into contact with while watching the deterioration of Thom Yorke in the Radiohead documentary, ‘Making Friends Is Easy’. This song although short and suffering from too much orchestration, showcases Walker’s ability to convey yearning and lamentation.

Une Fille Et Des Fleurs – Claude Francois
Although it could be construed as an odd choice, and on the surface could be considered a run-of-the-mill francophone cover, Francois takes these well known soul melodies and makes them his own, by subversion. His ability to take the essence of a song and make the lyrics his own (quite literally rewriting them) and providing a vocal performance that rivals the originals makes him a one-off. For darker times, listen to his rendition of “Comme D’Habitude”.

Iplayyoulisten – Odesza
This piece of music from two producers from the Pacific North-west (Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight) is surely going to be the sound of spring this year. What it lacks in any sort of imaginative progression, it makes up for with its sun-trickled melodies; the only downside is that it has to end at some point.

Honourable Mentions:

jasmine (demo) – Jai Paul
For those who find themselves on rail replacement:

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