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(How I hate short posts, must be a psychological disorder)

Ah, Cold War Kids. They’re relatively new in the music scenario, started in 2004, practicing on Jonnie Russell’s (vocalist/guitarist) apartment, just above the Mulberry Street restaurant. Shortly after, their first EP was released, named after the restaurant (I wonder if the restaurant is good or not, damn I’m hungry). After two more EPs, the band released their first album by 2006, Robbers & Cowards, and with this, one damn good track:

Their entire album was well-regarded amongst critics, which means they either have good connections, or are just that good. I bet on the latter. It’s incredibly good, and it has a nostalgic feel to it, can’t quite point it out where or how, it just does. If you enjoy good indie music, just give this album a try, it’s a good one.

Moving on, after this album, more EPs were released, but nothing quite major. Until, of course, their second album, Loyalty to Loyalty, in 2008. They even released this song before the LP’s release, available on their website:

Vocals aren’t what they appeared to be in the first album, and the overall quality isn’t as good as it was, but it’s still to listen to.

And then, after one more EP, comes Mine is Yours, launched on January 25th 2011, denoting a great change in direction and even –although slightly– style. I’m not saying it’s a bad album, just that it somewhat lost it’s influence and rhythm from their previous first work, which was, in my opinion, amazing.

Then again, I’m a sucker for this kind of melody:

See, it’s not that bad. Just the chorus that gets a tad repetitive soon, but that aside, it’s a good song and, if you get the time to listen, you’ll see it’s a good album. Not awesomely good, but good.

Plus, I really like that cover art.

(I own none of the videos above)

Considering on another quick review,

Arthur Müller.

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(Not for people who dislike ambient/experimental/electronic music.
And there’s close to no information on Kashiwa Daisuke online God damn it.
)

Shush Ariel, not everyone is as hipster as y---DAMN IT I'M ONE TOO!

You know when there’s this really obscure or quite unknown artist you think people should know better? Well, there you have, a great, artistic mind when it comes to composing songs. Born in Hiroshima, Daisuke started out in 2001, as a guitarist and composer for Tokyo-centered “yodaka”, which used to be a Post-rock, Electronic act, but then disbanded. Slightly later, by 2004, he went solo and toured Germany through 2005. Which doesn’t seem like much, granted, until the year of 2006, when he released his first album, april.#02, shortly followed by april.#07, which consists of the same album, but remixed (with help from olive oil and Takeshi Nishimoto).

From his album, you’d expect something way more aggressive, or at least close to “normal” when we think about his past genres, but thenyou listen to musics like this one (the first music I ever heard from him, actually), Rabbit’s Quartet:

We all can name countless works that join Post-rock and Electronic music, Kashiwa Daisuke’s composition itself is something impressive, to say the least. How he proceeds, though, specifically on this one –starting with rain sounds, piano high notes, quickly introducing deeper ones and followed by a violin and a string of harmonious beats-, is amusing. Quite sadly, this is the only actual song that makes any actual sense (from a style point of view), since the rest of his musics from this album are kinda halted by arrhythmic sounds (like Do Re Me?, which even has a dog’s bark, not complaining though). However, april.#02, overall, is a really good work.

Moving on, Daisuke released his (commonly considered) masterpiece, Program Music I. Although it only has two musics in it, Stella and Write Once, Run Melos, it’s an excellent album, if not his best work so far! It has more rhythm, makes more sense and it’s not as spastic as the last one (but I can’t say that for the second music, which’s a tad more random and erratic than the first one).

Here, if you feel curious for about ~36 minutes, you can listen to Stella:

Listening to this again after a long, long time, I thought to myself that I wouldn’t last the first five minutes. As of now, I’m fifteen minutes in and I’m craving for more. Granted, you can’t look at Daisuke’s music without being open-minded or without, at least, liking this genre in the first place.

And then comes the second music, ~26 minutes, Write Once, Run Melos.

See what I mean with “more erratic”? It gets a nice rhythm after a few minutes, but then that gets distorted. Nevertheless, this is –as already stated tons of times– an incredible album! Truthfully worthy of the expectations placed upon Daisuke’s shoulders, who started to be viewed as one of the biggest and most promising Electronic composers so far. Now, moving on after this release, he walked in a new direction with 5 Dec., not to say this is entirely bad, but let’s just say he tried on a bit too much, going on farther than what was expected, thus making the whole experience sound a little… Odd. Not quite so, it’s still a good work, but… Here:

In Requiem you can notice a bigger use of voice fragments and, although not awful, they do break a little bit from what one of his regular listeners would be used. Then again, one can never stop being surprised by Daisuke’s sheer creative power.
At least, as always, in my humble opinion.

(I own none of the pictures/music/videos above)

Signing off, at home, due to a mysterious chain of events,

Arthur Müller.

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Shush Ariel, you're the popular one!

Yes, I like it, do you have a problem with that, Ariel? In fact, I like Synthpop very much so! But when did it all started? Good question. I think it was with curiosity, a few years ago, about 10 or so, I heard the name “Blue Monday” quite often, looked it up on channels and so on until this came in:

Thank you past-MTV-when-you-were-good! But that’s me and my liking on Synthpop. The genre itself, though, started way back in the 70s, almost 80s, as a mix of Kraftwerk‘s synthetizers, David Bowie‘s Glam Rock and Roxy Music‘s style, existing as part of the New Wave musical movement. Weird? Not quite so if you ask Donna Summers, who, with her album “I Remember Yesterday“, made something of retrospect on genres, going from the 40s to the 60s and ending in the 70s with this music:

Granted, it’s more a disco music than anything else, but these beats also influenced many, many bands. Plus, it became a gay anthem if I recall correctly, but never mind that. Thing is, from here on, it was all about diversification. And it spread worldwide, it wasn’t stuck just to the British “music circle”, which, if you know, created the very foundations of many other genres. Look at this, for instance:

Yellow Magic Orchestra, a Japanese band which released its first album as Synthpop, and then went on to Electropop (pioneering in this, mind you), also gave a good head start for the genre, allowing more and more music to be produced, like Tubeway Army‘s “Are Friends Electric?“:

And then band member Gary Numan went solo with “The Pleasure Principle“, reaching the top of music charts with his single, “Cars” which is, in my humble opinion, a very good song. Here, have at you (God why there are so many videos in this post I feel like it’s empty, but then I hear this songs and all is well in the world):

Quite other artists appeared, but to spare you all on more and more videos, let’s move on. Later, came the already-mentioned New Order and other bands that are truly amazing as well, one of which you probably heard without even knowing: Depache Mode, A-ha, Pet Shop Boys and Erasure. The latter stared one of its songs, mixed, in a very, very popular flash game:

Now don’t tell me you never played Robot Unicorn Attack! That aside, Synthpop declined a tad bit in popularity, but it still is one of my favorite genres ever (yes I do have tons of favorite genres so what?)!

(Quite sadly, I own none of the pictures/videos/games above)

Off to live in harmony harmony oh love,

Arthur Müller.

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