The Essential Two-Four (Vol. 1 of 4)

Posted by on Mar 18, 2017 in Music, Posts | No Comments

I often find it difficult to articulate what type of music really sinks it’s teeth into me, but ultimately of the thousands of albums I have listened to date these are the 24 most impactful on me. I’ve worn out many of these entries over the years, and yet find myself continually drawn to them as if there is no such thing as listening fatigue. These albums will forever be connected to me.

Rules of ‘da’ Game

I broke the list into four segments, with a “sixer” in each (fittingly Canadian). There is no particular order or rank to each entry and you’ll find a variety of recordings including, live records, film scores, mixes, and greatest hits albums. There will even be some instances of multiple LP’s. Multiple LP’s are basically two albums released during a similar period which share same the same artistic qualities, evoking a similar listening experience.

This is a little project I’ve been wanting to get of my system for a while, and I’ve finally scratched out some time to complete. Enjoy.





Bob Seger • Greatest Hits (1994)



Growing up as a Canadian in the pre internet years (late 80’s early 90’s) it was difficult to avoid being inundated with an over-saturation of Canadian content (cancon) on terrestrial radio. So I never took for granted the fact that I was raised about an hour drive from one of the greatest music cities in the world, Detroit Rock City. Detroit’s megahertz stations such as 96.3, 94.7 and 104.3, became a sort of refuge of unregulated sound for me, and I wouldn’t nearly have the appreciation of music that I do today without access to those stations. I have always housed strong sentiment against the Canadian government forcing content on it’s citizens. My feeling is this harbours a cultural bubble, which creates a certain artificial influence, in-turn this could stifle creativity for future generations. But I digress, this battle is perhaps best for another blog post.

Back to the music, Seger’s sound naturally embodies the rock n’ roll spirit. There are a number of greatest hits albums out there but none do it start to finish more than this particular set. “Mainstreet” is perhaps the greatest ballad ever. 





Orbital • Snivlisation (1994) + Insides (1996) 



Nestled comfortably between the more dance friendly Ortbital 2, and their more big beat entry, Middle of Nowhere; Snivilisation and In Sides mark a favourite period in the Orbital dossier. These two albums may as well have been released together as a double LP. They share similar lush textured melodies, sampling, and layering of such high quality that to this day I hear something new with each listening.





Cut Copy • Fabriclive. 29 (2006)



If someone were to ask me how a mix set should flow I would look know further than this. Recorded at a time before Cut Copy cut their teeth as the talented song crafters they are today, from start to finish this album is unrelenting with each track complementing the next. There are plenty of unique sounds that seems like only Cut Copy could pull off, except for one other band….


If fello Aussies, the Avalanches were to have properly released the following GIMIX mix it would have supplanted this entry. Recorded on July 24, 2001, only 800 copies were released and it also marked what the Album “Since I Left You” would have sounded like if the fellas didn’t have to worry about copyright infringement, which was relatively new at the time. The following is arguably one of the greatest mixes ever made and must be heard at least once by all from start to finish. The unrelenting artistry on the decks is unprecedented, even to this day. Since I Left You was a seminole release, challenging the big studio conventions of recorded music, and paving the way for the future of renegade internet driven home studio’s across the world. It’s sad that this mix has never received the proper recognition it deserves.



GIMIX Set List

The Avalanches – Since I Left You
Madonna – Holiday
Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone
The Avalanches – Stay Another Season
The Avalanches – Two Hearts In 3/4 Time
De La Soul – A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays”
Blowfly – Rapp Dirty
Old Dirty Bastard – Baby Got Ya Money
Roy Ayres – Running Away
Kid Creole And The Coconuts – Stool Pigeon
The Avalanches – Close To You
Jimi Hendrix – Crosstown Traffic
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
The Smiths – The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Thomas Bangalter – Turbo
Madcatt Courtship – The Kitty
Men At Work – Down Under
The Avalanches – Electricity
De La Soul – Ring Ring Ring
A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation
Daft Punk – Oh Yeah
Detroit Grand Pubas – Sandwiches
Hall And Oates – I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)
Fatboy Slim – Fucking In Heaven
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Jurassic 5 – Jayou
Dee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart
West Street Mob – Break Dance Electric Boogie (Jon Carter Mix)
Gonzalez – Real Motherfuckin’ Music
The Avalanches – Little Journey
The Avalanches – Diners Only
The Avalanches – A Different Feeling
The Avalanches – Pablo’s Cruise
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
Paperclip People – The Climax
Fela Ransome Kuti with Ginger Baker – Ye Ye De Smell
Instant Funk – Got My Mind Made Up (12” remix)
Electric Light Orchestra – Livin’ Thing
Mickey Mouse Club – Mickey Mouse Club Theme
Michael Wycoff – Looking Up To You
Fern Kinney – Together We Are Beautiful
The Avalanches – Tonight May Have To Last Me All My Life
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams



Below is the Live Cornerstone mix.  Recorded in 2000 as a precursor to the epic GIMIX mix but a rival in nearly in every way.


Cornertstone Set List

The Beach Boys – Cool, Cool Water (Capitol)
Arthur Lyman – China Clipper (Rykodisc)
Van Dyke Parks – Sweet Trinidad (Warner Bros.)
Lord Hawk – Sharing Yo Rice (-)
Lord Kitchner – Get Up And Get (Ice)
Van Dyke Parks – Jack Palance (Warner Bros.)
Lord Kitchner – Cricket Champions (Ice)
America – Ventura Highway (Warner Bros.)
George Sivaro And Orchestra – Where Or When (-)
Electric Light Orchestra – Confusion (Epic)
Andre Kostelanetz – Are You Lonesome Tonight (Sony)
The Osmonds – Let Me In (Curb)
The Beach Boys – Hawaii (Live) (Capitol)
The Beatles – Fool On The Hill (Parlophone)
The Hi-Lo’s – A New Dream (Collectables)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Carry On (Atlantic)
Edmundo Ros – Aquarius (Decca)
The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist (XL Recordings)
Ennio Morricone – Addio A Cheyenne (RCA)
The Avalanches – Little Journey (XL Recordings)
Xavier Cougat – Green Eyes (Harlequin)
Louis Armstrong – I’m Crazy ‘Bout My Baby (Columbia)
Neshoma Orchestra with Ella Adler – Warm Up (Jewish Aerobics) (MA Productions)
Jurassic 5 – Swing Set (Interscope)
The Four Freshmen – Swingin’ On A Star (Disney)
Edmundo Ros – Felicidade (Decca)
OS Mutantes – Desculpe Babe (Omplatten)
Azzido Da Bass – Dooms Night (Edel)
Los Llamas – Y No Soy Insensible (-)
The KG’s – Find A Friend (-)
The Jackson Sisters – Why Do Fools Fall In Love (Motown)
The Avalanches – Since I left You (XL Recordings)
The Jackson 5 – I Want You Back (Live) (Motown)
The Avalanches – Pablo’s Cruise (XL Recordings)
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle (Geffen)




Weezer • Blue Album (1994)



The fun playful garage sound nurtured in the 60’s with the likes of Count five, The Trashmen, The Ventures, The Kingsman, and Tommy James and The Shondells was revitalized and supercharged in California by the likes of Weezer in the mid 90’s. Not much needs to be said about this album that hasn’t already been said. There really isn’t any let up on the album, with tons of fun hooks that have kept me coming back over the years, as I can imagine to be same with many of you out there. 




Jonny Greenwood • There Will Be Blood OST (2007)



It feels like the score could have easily accompanied a silent film of the same era the movie is set in. Haunting and hypnotic it seems to flow in and out of the subconscious. Rarely does a score impact me as much as this one and Stephen Thomas Erlewine of sums things up perfectly. This is magnificently unsettling music, whether it’s used within the film or heard on its own terms; either way, it’s impossible to forget after it’s been heard.





James Brown • Sex Machine (1970)



This album was released at the apex of James Brown’s super charged funk & soul extravaganza. James’ studio recordings have never really done justice to capture his real talent, his stage performances. Sex Machine was recorded at a transition point in James’ career, not long after he had sour break up with his studio band, the JB’s. This recording encapsulates Brown with the JB’s which includes the likes of Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Bobby Byrd and a young Bootsy Collins. It’s still raw, and brimming with as much energy as the day it was released.

The following was a live recording of James Brown at the Olympia, in Paris in 1971. This just may be one of the greatest live recorded performances ever captured on film and it gives a true indication of the relentless raw energy Brown commanded on stage. It marked a short window in time at which Booty’s Collin’s was with the band before jumping ship to join George Clinton’s mammoth Mothership known as Parliament. Booty’s base alone can be felt more than heard in most of this recording.

Ain’t it funky now!


BTW this performance is worth the full screen treatment.







The Essential Two-Four (Vol. 2 of 4)