Tag Archives: London

From Bowie with love: A book list

Just about anything Bowie does is cool– this now includes opening up the dusty old spine of a musty book. He’s now invited the world to check out his book list.

My blog post many moons ago mentioned David Bowie’s exhibit at the V and A in London. The “David Bowie Is” exhibit now resides at the Art Gallery of Ontario. A story about the exhibit is here.

This poster probably graced your local library back in the 80s.

This poster probably graced your local library back in the 80s.

As part of the exhibit, curators Marsh and Victoria Broackes released a list of 100 of Bowie’s Must-Read books. Besides the fact that a global musical pioneer is letting us know what he likes to read, the list is an eye-opener simply for its variety.

The list runs chronologically, starting with “Black Boy” by Richard Wright, from 1945 and ending with “The Age of American Unreason,” by Susan Jacoby, from 2008.

It includes well-known classics and music-based books, mysteries and obscurity.

There’s poetry and beatnik stories; stories on Kafka and Francis Bacon. The list even includes British crude-comic mag “Viz.” The only details are that the magazine started in 1979 — Does this mean he’s read the roughly 266 issues since its inception?

Be like Bowie: Read.

Be like Bowie: Read.

A few highlights:

Well-known classics: George Orwell’s “1984”;  Vladimir Nabokov‘s “Lolita.”

Music-based books: “Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom.”

True mysteries: Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

Bizarre titles: Arthur Danto‘s “Beyond the Brillo Box”; Howard Norman’s “The Bird Artist.”

And the corker: “Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson,” by Camille Paglia.

Your own well-rounded cosmopolitan library, built by Ziggy himself.

vintage book poster

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With a new release and tour, Mount Kimbie is climbing the ranks

Mount Kimbie: Cold Spring, Heart Less Youth

Mount Kimbie: Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

The house-spun sound of Mount Kimbie‘s latest release, “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth,” has a quiet power about it that is somehow calming and colorful.

Each song is boldly original yet it’s all cohesive. It’s full of a labyrinth of different percussion sounds incorporated around a dance-house beat. Moody inflections meander throughout the tracks, while the lyrics take a comfortable back seat to rhythm and melody.

Mount Kimbie is a British electronic-music group with two people – Dominic Maker and Kai Campos. They are known for putting their mark on the post-dubstep sound, which  uses instruments like sequencers, turntables and personal computers. Back in 2011, Mount Kimbie was listed among 10 influential post-dubstep artists.  For new listeners to the genre, picture a technically clean sound landscape with precise tonal details in its rhythym and melody.

Mount Kimbie is Dominic Maker and Kai Campos

Mount Kimbie is Dominic Maker and Kai Campos

Their full-length debut, 2010’s “Crooks & Lovers,” appeared near the top of many critics’ must-have lists. Along with a string of EPs, released mostly through vinyl or download, they’ve been planted squarely at the epicenter of this burgeoning electro-techno sound.

The music on “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth” at times sounds like the music you hear if you were shopping in the type of high-end clothing store, with security guards and pocketbooks under glass. It’s classy. This does not in any way mean their music is artificial, just that it’s peaceful and introspective.

The young indie singer-songwriter King Krule provides help on two tracks. He deadpans on the song “You Took Your Time,” as the organ lays over it all. His voice then moves into another realm in the song; continuous cymbal tapping adds a level of funk.

The tune “Meter, Pale, Tone” has Krule singing dark and deadpan against a backdrop of tribal drum and frantic tone. Check out Krule and Kimbie’s collaboration on a recent BBC session.

“Blood and Form” also contains weird percussion, a stark single drum echoed in a dark room, like a heavy footstep or a deliberate stomp. By contrast, “Sullen Ground” is dueling percussion, as if someone is knocking on heavy metal doors. Competing tempos on “Fall Out” offer more variety amid an already vibrant set of tracks. Sounds morph into other sounds, like synth and guitar, such as on “So Many Times So Many Ways.”

On “Lie Near,” drums sound like a heartbeat as the song closes. Throughout “Cold Spring,” sounds are woven together in an electronic tapestry of bass and cymbals.

“Made to Stray’ portrays more weird but vibrant percussion; it’s as if the drumbeat is in the room with you. The organ provides a thin veil of calmness; the tone, almost primal as it builds toward the chorus. Listen to “Made to Stray” here.

The sounds in “Home Recording” hearken to the days of typewriters and tape decks. A homey organ spreads out spiritual notes.  When those notes and lines are on repeat, it almost becomes a holy chant, as if in a cathedral.

Mount Kimbie has now embarked on a world tour through December, hitting LA, Boston, NYC and a lot in between through October, before trekking through Denmark, London, Italy and a host of other countries to round out the year.

You can find “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth,” released May 28, on Warp Records.

Mount Kimbie seems very sure of their future and their music reflects that confidence and style. With all the cookie-cutter sound that floods the airwaves, it’s nice to know these guys are here to break down those barriers.

Dig It or Ditch It: Definitely dig it.

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Filed under Dubstep, Electronic, Indie, Post-dubstep, Uncategorized