Sounds of the Season is the new series highlighting some of my favourite records of the current season – albums only, no single tracks! And while this year progressed rather fast before I really enjoyed a record, the Spotify playlist starts at eight LPs and will be updated throughout this season.
You can press play, but make sure to scroll down for some details about each record!
Clark – The Last Panthers (Warp)
The first record to conquer my heart this year, the soundtrack to British television series The Last Panthers.
So far this year, there aren’t actually that many albums in my favourites yet. Among them are true standout records, The Composite Moods Collection by Dalhous and Clark’s soundtrack for The Last Panthers. Taken from the latter, Chris Clark has posted a video on his website, a medley of songs from the album recorded during a live session in Copenhagen.
“The Last Panthers” was released in March 2016 on Warp Records. It’s available in all major formats on the Bleep store, as well as Boomkat, HHV or Clone
Only today, Warp released a new EP by Chris Clark, a two tracker going by the name of Superscope. Following the previous oscillator video for the title track, Vincent Oliver and Steve Bliss made a new one for “Riff Through The Frog”, the record’s most lovely b-side. Get your copy at Bleep, iTunes and every great record store.
When Fact Magazine posted their twopart series The greatest techno albums you’ve never heard, that got me thinking. The first thought that came into my mind was Clark‘s seminal record Lofthouse, a record which I think should’ve made it into such a selection. But let’s get two things out of the way first: this particular Clark is Mark Bell (opposed to Warp-signed Chris Clark), one half of LFO and producer involved in several of Björk’s records, among other things. Secondly, the album was anything but unheard of at the time when it came out in 1995 on the Planet E imprint. I remember hearing tracks from the album on Claude Young’s and Carl Craigs DJ-Kicks mixes, an accolade from two Detroit legends that few European artists have received (Maurizio did, too!) However, it seems that Lofthouse has become a record many have forgotten about over the years (or don’t know at all!), so here’s a little reminder.A1. Jak To Basics
* just to be sure you don’t miss the links
I don’t recall many records that start with their weakest track and in a way I even wonder how Jak To Basics ended up on it, it’s so terrible that I’d almost understand if people didn’t bother to listen any further. From there on there are no fillers on the album, the fact that I have trouble picking a favourite should be a good indication. If you’re old enough, it would be hard to believe that you haven’t heard Clip or the title-track Lofthouse before, they were part of many sets. By today’s standard I’d pitch them both down just a bit, but well, those were the nineties! As for the rest of the record, you’ll mostly hear pleasantly warm machine music, that so-called High Tech Soul people keep reminiscing about. Especially Christo and Knowledge share the qualities of some of Carl Craig’s finest, Elements or Neurotic Behaviour, both taken from a record we incidentally wrote about today.
If you’re after this fine record, which you should, your only way seems to be the second-hand vinyl market, try Discogs or MusicStack. There is no and never has been a digital version of Lofthouse and as far as I can tell it’s not even on Planet E’s own streaming service. Good luck!