The Essential Two-Four (Vol. 2 of 4)

Posted by on Mar 25, 2017 in Music, Posts | No Comments

Nick Drake • Bryter Layter (1970) + Pink Moon (1972)



Nick is like a drug, or some sort of “Parasite”, I often find myself drawn back for a fix every few months. His sound is so distinct, his vocals are as whimsical as his guitar. Unfortunately his catalogue is far too small. Both Bryter Layter & Pink Moon are amazing works and seem to be getting better with age.







Wash Out • Life of Leisure (2009) + Within and Without (2011)



In about 2008 I first discovered fragments of Washed Out (Ernest Greene) scattered throughout various blogs, with each passing track I ran into I became more intrigued. This was the first I had heard of a new developing genre known as “Chillwave“. Chillwave was warm sonic sound that seemed to perfectly compliment any lazy summer day. Greene essentially created an entire new genre of music from his home studio in Perry, Georgia. Chillwave was a sweet sound that seemed encapsulate what I had been yearning for many years earlier in the form of more guitar heavy bands such as Spiritulized.

Eventually six fragments of his original bedroom recordings were compiled into what is known as Life of Leisure, as well as some being incorporated on his feature release Within and Without. There were actually a number of other excellent tracks during this period that seem to have been lost on the internet, never realizing a proper release. Highlights being Feel It All Around (see below) and New Song





CSNY • So Far (1974)


I remember my dad having this on cassette laying around the house when I was young. I would essentially listen to it on repeat on his super sweet Hi-Fi Pioneer SX-1010. The album was released in 1974 as a promotional tool for the their now famous 1974 tour. It was basically an accumulation of tracks from their first two recordings, Crosby Stills & Nash and Deja Vu and for me this compilation is all I really need. Very few bands can rock out and harmonize the way these cats do.






Deadbeat • Wild Life Documentaries (2002) + Something Borrowed, Something Blue (2004)



I first heard Deadbeat’s (Scott Monteith) stuff while waking up one morning in stimulant induced haze at a camp site during a summer music festival. A local renegade DJ was playing “Organ in The Attic Sings the Blues” outside the trunk of his camper van, I instantly became hooked. It’s was a perfect compliment to a warm summer Sunday morning in the wilderness. Monteith was raised in Windsor Ontario and had similar musical influences to myself, such as the minimalist sound of Richie Hawton (As Pastikman) and the sample based sounds of Public Enemy.

Deadbeat is basically a brand of slow rhythmic ambient dub that is meant to be absorbed in long listening sessions rather than short sittings. There is a warm scratchiness to the recordings that hearkens back to dub plates of Reggae’s past, or for those familiar, the sound of some dusty old scratched vinyl.

Below is a brief Coles notes on the Dub sound for those unfamiliar.





Rolling Stones • Hot Rocks 1964-1971 (1972)



Once again not much needs to be said about to this LP, it’s the Rolling Stones after all. The fellas draw from their deep crates of Chicago’s Chess Records. It’s just plain, simple blues infused rock and I have definitely worn out my copy over the years. An essential album if I were placed into the ‘ole deserted island scenario.




Atmosphere • Lucy Ford (2000)



Back in the day, before the DMCA (The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Est. 1996) police scrutinized every sample, true hip-hop was all about mixing anything and everything as long as it sounded bad ass. Artists such as Eric B &Rakim, The Bomb Squad of Public Enemy, and Black Sheep could splice together gritty beats without looking over their shoulder for fear of reprisal.

Now a days one half of the renegade sense of hip-hop, the sampling, has been cut up and scrutinized leaving much of hip-hop today bland, monopolized by only the producers who can afford to pay for those expensive samples. The DCMA has ultimately hurt the overall creative vitality in the Hip-Hop industry (See video below). 

“Lucy Ford” was one of the last of a dying breed, it was the type of independent hip hop that just felt right to me. A combination of incredibly unique lyrics with equally moving arrangements and grooves, ultimately creating what feels like very deeply personal and gritty EP. Stanton Swihart of AllMusic gave the album 4 stars out of 5, commenting that “its stronger moments are among the most forward-thinking hip-hop ever made.

Below: De La Soul explains the common pitfalls artist face producing hip-hop post DMCA.



The Essential Two-Four (Vol. 3 of 4)