Musicophilia

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Monde du Funk ’85’ (1983-1985)

Posted in Mixes by Soundslike on March 14, 2017

[Musicophilia]_00_Various_-_Le-Monde-du-Funk-85_COVER-Disc-01

Last year’s ‘Le Monde du Funk Vol. 9‘ explored funk, jazz/fusion, R&B, pop and art rock in the mid to late 70s that paralleled disco, all linked by an emphasis on rhythm and warm, fuzzy synthesizers.  ‘Le Monde du Funk ’85‘ follows the trajectory into the middle of the next decade, as analogue synths gave way to solid state synths, Farlight samplers, and 808 drum machines, weaving together strands of 80’s Funk, R&B, Boogie, Electro, Hip-hop and even a bit of Post-Punk/New Wave.  Where ‘Vol. 9’ lead into the sounds of the Daft Punk tribute, ‘The Gold and the Silver Dream,’ ‘’85‘ picks up where it leaves off, with perhaps an even more pronounced sci-fi/robots/the-future-is-now emphasis.  This is the famous French compilation label Musique du Monde, moving into the digital era!

[Musicophilia]_00_Various_-_Le-Monde-du-Funk-85_COVER-Disc-02

Le Monde du Funk ’85‘ spreads across two roughly themed compact discs: Disc 1 focusing on the up-tempo evening; and Disc 2 getting into the late night, down-tempo hours.  The tracks are more than most Musique du Monde compilations by Americans, but the UK is well represented, and Japan makes a convincingly funky appearance, too.  Artists Musicophilia has traced from the late 60s, like Herbie Hancock, David Bowie, and Hamilton Bohannon adapt remarkably well to this new 80s world, along with others previously featured, like Lime, Zapp, The Cure (as The Glove), Cybotron, and Depeche Mode.  But most here for the first time, including D-Train, Change, Mantronix, Toshiki Kadomatsu, Afrika Bambaataa, Krystol, Human Body, Shalamar, Newcleus, Unlimited Touch, 52nd Street, Tones on Tail, Run-D.M.C., Gwen Guthrie, Mtume, Loose Ends, Kashif, Patrice Rushen, Andre Cymone, This Mortal Coil and S.O.S. Band.

Spending the last few months listening especially to this music (and its immediate precursors from the early 80s, to be featured on a forthcoming mix) has really buoyed my spirits in this new dark era.  These musicians were celebrating the human spirit in their own dark days of Reagan, Thatcher, the Cold and hot war, AIDs, etc.  This isn’t “protest song,” by most definitions; but the joy and creativity they express are a source of much-needed strength that runs counter to the dead-souled hate and myopic fears that plague so many (including most in power) today.  I hope you’ll enjoy, and find yourself similarly uplifted.

At the “more…” link below you can stream the mix, check the full tracklist, and download the mix. As always, if you like what you hear, please pass it along and support the artists and labels who made all this fantastic noise.

(more…)

[Post Post-Punk] – ‘The Dawning’ (1981-1989)

Posted in Mixes by Soundslike on November 15, 2015

As autumn becomes winter, here’s a new mix that’s been slowly percolating for the last couple months.  It follows some of  the artists of Post-Punk and New Wave as they developed into the later 1980s, as their music–still empowered by the artiness and intelligence of Post-Punk and the popular ambitions and joy de vivre of New Wave–began to become less self-consciously futurist, also drawing inspiration both pan-culturally and from decidedly pre-Punk, even classical and folkloric traditions.  These artists deftly blend state-of-the-art electronics, sequencers and samplers with organic acoustic and electrified instrumentation, confidently in control of their means of production always toward a greater end.

Perhaps this music can be described as post-Modern, but unlike its architectural or academic/art world counterparts that superficially tacked on non-Modernist references at random (always with air-quotes-implied irony) to a fundamentally Modernist framework that rejected accrued culture and understandings, this is music that has moved on from abstraction for its own sake, and is whole-cloth human and humane, unashamed to be deeply concerned with conveying emotional truth by all available means.  It is music that is unafraid to be more than simply “new,” and to declare that Beauty is a good and worthy pursuit.  And the music is indeed beautiful, speaking equally to the body, mind, soul and heart.

This music is the work of mature artists, including The Blue Nile, Heaven 17, Dif Juz, Tears For Fears, Thomas Dolby, Talk Talk, Scott Walker, Scritti Politti, Arthur Russell, David Sylvian, This Mortal Coil and others.  I imagine they were inspired by artists like Brian Eno, Sly Stone, Joni Mitchell, Bernard Parmegianni, Marvin Gaye, Erik Satie, Van Morrison, Haruomi Hosono, Mike Cooper, Vangelis, Astrud Gilberto, Milton Nascimento, Nina Simone, Brigitte Fontaine, Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, et al; and likely serving as inspiration to people who would follow a similarly sophisticated humanist vision, like Bjork, CFCF, Matmos, Antony and the Johnsons, Fennesz, Junior Boys, Caribou, Earth, Joanna Newsom, The Knife, Anja Garbarek, Erykah Badu, Massive Attack, Stina Nordenstam, Burial, FKA Twigs, Matthew Herbert, Sade, Portishead and countless others.

I imagine this music will serve you equally well on a last-of-Autumn walk through the woods and as the soundtrack to a late-night walk through the empty city streets.  For me, this music inhabits the ethereal and the physical, the cinematic and the intimate, the pastoral and the urbane, the orchestral and the synthetic, the nocturnal and the dawning light.

Full tracklist, stream and download after the “more” link.  As always, if you like what you hear, pass it on, and please support the artists and labels who made the music!  A very special thanks to Eric Scheidt for allowing me to use his gorgeous photography for the cover art.  If you like this one, I recommend you check out the ‘1981 – Heart‘ mix, which is the spiritual forebear of ‘The Dawning;’ and the other “Post Post-Punk” mixes which follow the more angular and more electronic paths of Post-Punk.

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: