What a fucked up day! I had a friend get their Randy’s Donuts stolen by a Postmates delivery driver. Some ass-hat tool tried a power grab to steal control of my work project. And then there’s the whole Mueller debacle that’s demonstrating how apathetic and indifferent Americans are, when now is absolutely the time to be engaged and active.
Well … as shitty and outright intense as things have been in a short span of time, I anger-shuffled through a quantity of excellent, energetic electronic music today. It’s always been my go-to for powering through the muck of irritation and frustration … and today was especially thick. So let’s get started …
UNKLE (or U.N.K.L.E.) is multi-faceted electronic musician/producer James Lavelle’s free-flowing experimental and expansive creative outfit. He’s most often associated with the trip-hop movement, particularly for his work with DJ Shadow back in the late ’90s. But he’s also an avid collaborator, crafting unique tunes with diverse contributors like The Beastie’s Mike D, The Cult’s Ian Astbury, The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Nick Cave, as wells as members of Metallica, The Black Angels, and Massive Attack, to name a few. That’s quite a collective cornucopia of mixed talent to feature on UNKLE’s various releases. But essentially, that’s how he rolls. And every album is a little different because of that.
“Sunrise (Always Comes Around)” is from the 2017 LP “The Road, Pt. 1,” which is inspired by Lavelle’s curation of the London-based Meltdown Festival in 2014. And yes, there is a “The Road, Pt. 2,” if you’re interested. But you can explore that on your own. Anyhow, this track features another UK indie act that I happen to like, The Duke Spirit. They do a driving bass-pounding retro fuzz track titled “The Step and the Walk” that I really, really like.
This one is different from that. It’s a modern electronic melodica, crafty and catchy, slightly progressive and reminiscent of some of the dream house/trance from the early ’00s, like Chicane and Way Out West. There’s spacey open-air vocal effervescence that drifts in and out of phase, a simple piano track for warmth, some stringy synths, and a smooth rhythmic pulse that’s easy on the ears, yet suited to the early morning dance floor. It ain’t called “Sunrise (Always Comes Around)” for nothing. And it’s quite unlike anything that either UNKLE or The Duke Spirit have done before.
Curiously, TDS’s vocalist Liela Moss is part of UNKLE’s touring band, which unfortunately, we don’t get to see much of in the U.S. But I’m sure this one would really shine in the live setting.
So here’s the soothing beats of UNKLE’s “Sunrise (Always Comes Around),” offering some respite from my day’s prior shit-show. And perhaps, it can do the same for you … provided you suffer from the same affliction of being surrounded by crap human beings. Or maybe you just want something good to listen to. Whatever the case, let’s keep things positive. Enjoy!
“Sunrise (Always Comes Around)” from the 2017 album “The Road, Pt. 1 “
And because I brought it up, here’s The Duke Spirit’s “The Step & The Walk.” I think this track appears on one of my early playlists I’ve posted. But I’d have to check … maybe one of the “Dumb Disco Ideas” compilations … At any rate, it’s a groovy little psychedelic jam of retro ‘60s rock. I like it. And hopefully, you will too.
“The Step & The Walk” from the 2008 album “Neptune.”
The Duke Spirit: