The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.
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Trip Hop - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company
Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1995 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Electronic/Dance - Released June 15, 2015 | Parlophone France
Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1997 | Island Def Jam
Electronic/Dance - Released February 23, 2014 | Kif music
Taking their name from a line in the 1968 Peter Sellers film The Party, French DJ quartet Birdy Nam Nam's music is equally obscure and backward-looking: created entirely on turntables, the quartet's music consists of expertly manipulated shards of old records combined into new configurations that sound not like the usual turntablism grooves and displays of scratching prowess, but actual composed pop songs. The six-minute "Abbesses" sounds like post-rockers Tortoise jamming with a gypsy violinist and the drum section of a marching band, and the melodic drive and rhythmic swing of this track is testament to the skill with which these pop song collages were created. Elements of jazz, classical, funk, sound effects records, and unidentifiable bits of world music can be heard in instantly appealing, poppy songs like "Body, Mind, Spirit" and "Rainstorming." ~ Stewart Mason
Electronic/Dance - Released June 3, 2013 | Domino Recording Co
Electronic/Dance - Released April 15, 2013 | Ninja Tune
On his 2013 release The North Borders, British producer Simon Green (aka Bonobo) continues along the organic-meets-electronic path that his 2010 release Black Sands followed, but this walk takes place as it's turning to dusk, and there are varying degrees of mist and chilliness along the way. Opener "First Fires" with Grey Reverend (singer/songwriter L.D. Brown) sounds like it could be quite warm, but it's entirely autumn-minded sweater music that wistfully wonders what to do with "faded dreams" as Green allows bits of glitchy sunlight to shine through his cloudy synth construction. "Emkay" is the clangs and echoes of a seaside port at night that wonderfully shuffles its way up to a lighthouse tune, then there's majestic songstress Erykah Badu wonderfully vibing ("We don't need no truth/Got plenty/Now it grows on trees") on "Heaven for the Sinner" over Bonobo's deep version of the broken beat. "Towers" suggests sleepy urban buildings in twilight with a vibraphone representing the little bits of life and light that will sparkle through the night, while "Don't Wait" is just before the dawn, as innocent chimes chase away the eerie things that lurk in the darkness. Still, it's not all drifting as the great "Know You" drops a jazzy breakbeat while the high stepper "Ten Tigers" struts to something sounding like an inverted handclap, although there's little here that will make sleeping cats jump off the couch. Fine song structure and an overall album flow that's nearly perfect are things Bonobo regulars might expect at this point, but his discography hasn’t offered up a rainy day soundtrack so fitting until this one, so hope the weatherman has bad news and plan on staying in. ~ David Jeffries
Electronic/Dance - Released June 25, 2012 | Parlophone France
Electronic/Dance - Released February 27, 2012 | [PIAS] Recordings Catalogue
A Meat Beat Manifesto album is a special thing, since it usually manages to encompass the styles of other acts while still having a distinct voice of its own. Satyricon features the sample-trippy goofiness of the Orb, the sharp, rock-flavored house of the Chemical Brothers, the streamlined trance of Orbital, and the well-oiled angst of Nine Inch Nails, and that's just for starters. Long-term frontman Jack Dangers truly has a producer's ear, which gives his blend of dance music a considerable advantage: he takes a musician's approach into a programmer's territory, and his use of vocals actually upgrades a song's impact rather than diminishes it. There's more song structure here than in any of the aforementioned acts, making this something like a pop group for sworn enemies of the genre. The infectious electronica and obscure samples create an almost constant (and successful) tension between groove and anxiety, between clubber's abandon and confused introspection. Musical partner Jonny Stephens takes on an almost equal workload as producer/engineer/mixer and multi-instrumentalist, and his lap steel guitar contributions add a wonderfully bizarre layer to the album (comparable to the pairing of Luke Vibert and BJ Cole). Songs like "Mindstream" and "Edge of No Control Pt. 1" add just the right amount of Stephens' Hawaiian space cowboy to the mix -- kind of like a warmer alternative to Theremin. Several other high points along the way in this stuffed-to-the-gills album include: "Your Mind Belongs to the State," a nightmare funky channel-surf through the fractured minds of mental patients and social outcasts, and "Original Control (Version 2)," a wicked laboratory of robots gone amuck, rave/house sirens, and acid-soaked sequencer riffs, making the whole thing sound like an ugly (and wonderful) catfight between Moby and Squarepusher. Again, with all the soundbites, Dangers must shop flea markets and bad video stores two days a week; his vast arsenal of obscure samples range from failed sci-fi to closed-door psychoanalysis to British TV commercials. There are only a few times his "sample cup" runneth over in excess ("Brainwashed This Way/Zombie/That Shirt," "Untold Stories"), but even these diversions are fascinating. This album still sounded good ten years later, and it's probably why they were still respected then. One for the books. ~ Glenn Swan