As far as electronic albums go, I can't think of too many that top this one in terms of personal treasures. Amalgamating the synth-driven mystique of Tangerine Dream, the in-your-face bass+drum punch of 80's Rush and foreboding atmospherics of guys like John Carpenter and Italian proggers Goblin, this is one instrumental act you do not want to miss. And although they now have four major albums to their name (including a release this year), this is by far their best and most realized set of opuses.
Good Looking Records is an atmospheric drum & bass label under 90's D&B pioneer and accomplished DJ, master LTJ Bukem that produced some of the best drum & bass compilations on the planet from 1999-2000. Tonight, dear fellows, I have compiled a special one-of-a-kind personal 8-track mix from these various compilations at the highest possible lossy bit quality and put them together here in Points In Time X. Hell, I even created my own version of the various compilations' trademark cover art -- looks awesome eh?
If you dig fast, fat jazzy beats, deep synths and heavenly soundscapes, then this is will be your crack from now until the end of eternity.
Although the grave has held him long and lonely since his unfortunate passing a few years back, everyone favorite bark-voiced English bard has finally gotten his final studio recording out into the presses for us, the fortunate living, to inhale and appreciate from pulse to pulse. Slick funk broods along the boogie blues of a swampy bayou, and its a ride that will be remembered long after the works of lesser singer-songwriters are left in the dust of yesterday's zeitgeist.
Love J.M. or hate him, these are some final bits of timelessness to add to his already rich and everlasting sonic hoard of riches. Let his soul wash over yours so that you may come out a better beast tommorrow.
Along with Karnivool's Sound Awake and Cog's Sharing Space, this here is one of the defining masterpieces of Brisbane, Australia's nu-prog. scene, and it's pretty fuckin' catchy stuff regardless of whether you decide to let it sink in or not. Then again, I guess if you don't like music that can simultaneously appeal to the mind and body alike then you wouldn't be here to begin with. Go figure!
Early 90's progressive metal classic everyone should own, and another one of those life-changing records that got me interested in music as a young schmuck. And yes, I know how "meh" this band's reputation is, but even the wank kings themselves had a few good shots in the barrel before they lost their musical minds. This was the second of three such gems in this group's discography (the others being When Dream And Day Unite and Awake), and its a helluva trip for anyone who digs metal with a big of emotional flavor and a sense of atmosphere. Highlights include 'Surrounded', the single best power ballad in the history of fancy metal, MTV metal one hit wonder 'Pull Me Under' and axe-shred staple 'Under A Glass Moon'.
With the exception of most of The Rippingtons' early output, I am of the humble opinion that this gem from 1995 is the best smooth jazz record ever made. The album is a grand culmination of cool beats, a vessel of minimalistic piano-guitar laden voyages where the warm tides of the occasional synth-wash will carry you to new, undying places in your mind.
Every corner of the jazz genre multiverse has a Love Supreme, a Kind Of Blue, the sort of penultimate statement that can stand permanent in time even as other albums, other trends, other ideas, etc. fade to nothingness or are warped beyond recognition.
This, my friends, is that kind of statement made in a lite-jazz context, and you need it in your collection pronto!
Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) didn't all used to be the wannabe alt. rock shitstorm people know it as today on radio: there was a time when pop sensibility, jazz-rock, funky R&B and the westcoast goodness of groups like Steely Dan and America were just as prominent in the minds of the devoted as Christ himself, and that proficiency of craft shows off in spades in this near-perfect pop release from CCM oldtimer Roby Duke.
Orchestral, embellished as fuck, and genuinely moving, enjoy another jazzy pop classic from moi.
An Egyptian-born musician who later migrated to Canada at a young age, Keven Jordan only cut two albums in the early 90's before retiring from the music industry permanently, which is a real damn shame if you ask me: the man has a godly voice and a real knack for songwriting, both of which are apparent in spades on his lush 1991 debut No Sign Of Rain.
That said, this is one of the best sounding 80's-esque rock albums I've ever heard: the production must have cost a king's hoard in and of itself. Deep keyboard lines and drumming give the recording something of a skyward feel, complimented by the high-mixed languid vocals of Jordan himself. Depending on how you look at it, this is pop-rock nirvana: from the worldly tribal beat of 'True Believers' to the shimmering anthem 'There Is A Reason', there's nary a bad song to be had.
People who like 80's AOR/pop, deep production and a post-punk melancholic sensibility will eat this gem right the hell up, and with good reason to!
Probably my favorite of the various groups Jorn Lande has fronted for, Ark play a brooding, hellbound brand of exotic prog. metal, with atmosphere and force alike stirred in with real panache. It's not the heaviest shit you'll ever hear, but the debut certainly sounds awesome, as well as being a solid introduction to the group's small but fantastic discography.
Neo-progressive rock, at least for me, culminates as a genre in two perfect releases which lack the flaws that pervade most of their peer bands/albums. The first is Milliontown, the 2006 debut release from U.K. supergroup Frost*. Very industrial, but also quite gorgeous and well-written. The second album is this one, a mid-90's release from Polish proggers Collage.
This is the kind of stuff Marillion might have done if they had a better ear for production and had decided to debut a decade later than they did. However, don't let the whole theatrically inherent to this kind of music scare you off -- the stuff present on Moonshine is far lusher and more interesting to listen to than most of Pendragon or IQ's output. ("leading" bands in the genre" *laughs*).
In retrospect, hearing this record for the first time was amazing -- it was as if everything I hated about "new" progressive rock post-1979 had been screened out of this ensemble's DNA at the very foundation of their sound. Instead what I got was Pink Floyd with Deep House production aesthetics and a vocalist who actually knows a damn thing or two about varied delivery. Or maybe just a really good progressive rock/shoegaze hybrid without all the alt. rock bullshit. Either way though, fuck if all this isn't a treat at the end of a monotonous day at the grindstone!
This is the remastered edition with a bonus track, so snap it up quick folks!
A singer/songwriter from Canada with a fantastic voice who was taken under the wing of David Foster (Chicago) after some initial success, Tim Feehan is one of those quintessential 80's guys who did his thing so well during his brief shot in the spotlight that he makes pretty much everyone else in his radio friendly corner of the genre spectrum seem utterly irrelevant in comparison. Because when it comes to cheesy, L.A. sounding pop-rock, you can't get any better than this 1987 self-titled.
Part of why this stuff works is a consistent, catchy execution of songcraft coupled with some punchy production values. Opening cut 'Where's The Fire', for example, is a master stroke of late 80's commercial rock, careening forward at high speed with an excellent drum machine led crunch and a memorable-as-fuck chorus that makes it an anthem beyond anthems for its era. It doesn't hurt that it's the main theme from cult classic The Wraith either. On top of that monster, the ballads have some kick as well: 'Listen To The Heartbeat' is an exercise in Westcoast perfection, while 'Loveline' is the kind of atmosphere-laden hit Mr. Mister wanted to write after 1985 but never quite managed to cut.
Beyond the rather solid songwriting though, Feehan's voice itself is top stuff, and possibly the best of the crop of singer-songwriter "rock stars" who tried to storm the FM market between '79 and '90: warm, expressive, and possessed of more range and power than you'd expect from some Canadian pretty boy.
Not every song here's a keeper, but the ones that are count among the best material ever written and performed within the context of "cock rock". Thus, a heartily recommended record...and then some.