Yellow Magic Orchestra

April 9, 2020

Good morning.

Today we’re listening to Yellow Magic Orchestra, a Japanese band that formed in Tokyo in the late 1970s. They were three pioneers of electronic music, who brought synths, samplers, and drum machines to pop, jazz, and progressive rock music. They quickly attained Beatles-level popularity in Japan, and released Solid State Survivor at the height of their fame. It’s such a fun album, experimental and feel-good at the same time. “Behind The Mask” is our favorite track on it. 1979’s YMO shows their love of Giorgio Moroder’s driving disco kicks and basslines. Both albums show the band’s vast inventiveness and musical playfulness.

Solid State Survivor by Yellow Magic Orchestra (30m, some vocoder) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

YMO by Yellow Magic Orchestra (70m, occasional short vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Enjoy your Thursday.

Nils Frahm

April 8, 2020

Good morning.

Today we’re listening to Nils Frahm, German pianist and composer. His 2011 album Felt collects some of his early minimalist and ambient pieces that helped put him on the map. Next is Frahm’s soundtrack for the 2015 film Victoria, which is an amazing heist movie shot completely in one take. His score begins with DJ Koze’s club edit and then settles into his beautiful piano and synth works – ending with two more club tracks. Empty, which came out last week, features soft, somber piano pieces, whose simplicity and lightness expresses absence. All three albums create what this newsletter is always looking for: an atmosphere of profundity.

Felt by Nils Frahm (40m, no vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Music for the Motion Picture Victoria by Nils Frahm (50m, vocals in second half of first track) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Empty by Nils Frahm (40m, no vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Have a great Wednesday today.

Sarah Davachi

April 7, 2020

Good morning. Another free rec this Tuesday in light of the times.

Today we’re listening to Sarah Davachi, a Canadian electroacoustic composer. Her music combines vintage synths with processed strings, piano, and organ. It’s “drone” music, and listening to it decelerates experience. Gave in Rest was recorded while Davachi was touring cathedrals across Europe, which explains the tracks’ majestic and meditative feel. That album has our favorite composition of hers, “Evensong.” Qualities… and Let Night Come… are two of our other favorite albums. We hope you like them.

Gave in Rest by Sarah Davachi (40m, processed voice) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Let Night Come On Bells End the Day by Sarah Davachi (40m, no vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Qualities of Bodies Permanent by Sarah Davachi (50m, no vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Have a really good Tuesday.

Bill Withers

April 6, 2020

Good morning.

Today we’re listening to Bill Withers, the great American singer-songwriter. Usually on Mondays we send out pure ambient recs, but after Withers’ passing last week we felt compelled to share his music with you today. 1973’s Live at Carnegie Hall shows the strength of his voice and includes interesting performances of his songs we know and love. His 1971 debut LP, Just As I Am, has the legendary “Ain’t No Sunshine” as well as the lesser-known but equally trenchant “Hope She’ll Be Happier.” 1977’s Menagerie opens with our favorite Withers song, “Lovely Day.” We’re playing Withers all day today at the office, to celebrate the fact that our lives are all the richer from the music he made with his.

Live at Carnegie Hall by Bill Withers (80m, Bill’s vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Just As I Am by Bill Withers (40m, Bill’s vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Menagerie by Bill Withers (40m, Bill’s vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Have a good start to your week.

Mall Grab

April 3, 2020

Good morning.

It’s Friday so we’re listening to something more upbeat. We’re playing a new two-hour album from Mall Grab, an Australian house producer and DJ. The album, Worship Friendship, came out a couple weeks ago and collects a bunch of demo tracks and unreleased edits. It’s heavy-bass dance music that could score a rave. Its Bandcamp profits go to those in need right now. We’re also including a live set he performed from his apartment as part of Boiler Room’s “Streaming from Isolation” series.

Worship Friendship by Mall Grab (110m, vocal samples) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / SoundCloud / Bandcamp / Tidal

Streaming from Isolation by Mall Grab (60m, vocal samples) YouTube

Have a good Friday and fun indoor weekend.

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