Chilled ambient grooves never die; they just twist out of their old skins and assume different shapes. Late-night techno wizards Sounds from the Ground are hip to this, and FOOTPRINTS retraces some of their best steps down the trail and through some pretty attractive landscapes before fading back out through the headphone exit door.
It's a collection of ageless classics from the SFTG's first two albums: KIN and TERRA FIRMA, as well as the hard-to-find version of "Snow," that has a soulful vocal from RedJen (alias Jennie B. from the Belle Stars and Pigface).Tracks date from 1996 through 2000, with highlights including the drum-and-bass workout "Planted" and the pulsing Roland 303's and whispered female vocals of "Drawn to the Woman." If Jaco Pastorious were alive and playing bass for Orbital it might sound something like "Where the Wild Things Were." This collection stands tall as classic bleep and beat architecture, furnished with lush synth pad washes, snaking counter-rhythms, and sputtering rhythmic blasts, all merging hypnotically together for slow-motion dancing, deep headphone hypnosis, or walking confidently through a crowd of well-dressed singles at the local lounge.
Setlist captures 12 performances by country legend George Jones recorded live in Boston, Texas, Kentucky, and Tennessee between 1982 and 1987. All the performances are previously unreleased and include heartfelt versions of such hits as “Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” “She Thinks I Still Care,” “If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will),” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Recommended to both collectors and casual listeners of classic country.
At last there's a release that isn't copycat mbaqanga or mbube. Among the specialties of South African music have been: a uniquely glorious female lead-vocal style; a long-term openness to the U.S.; and the world's only truly naturalized jazz and soul styles. Mhlongo has all of that going for her, along with a super voice and a fine band that is somewhat in the polished Soul Brothers' vein.
Finian Greenhall, who records under the name Fink, has gone full circle at least once over the course of his music career, starting out as a guitar-playing indie popster, then immersing himself in techno, then picking up the guitar again and heading back into singer/songwriter territory. This four-track EP features dubwise remixes of four tracks from Fink's album Sort of Revolution; that album found him blending his songwriting skills with his techno background, and the remixes (by modern dubmeister Sideshow) take four tracks from the album and present them in stark, stripped-down versions that expose their skeletons while tearing Fink's voice into delicate wisps and blowing them around the room on wafting breezes of echo and delay. "Sort of Dubolution" is perhaps the most explicitly reggae-flavored of the four tracks, but all of them draw deeply on reggae's dub tradition by eliminating some musical elements, pushing others to the fore, and manipulating them in ways that can create an almost unrecognizable derivative of the original. In this case, the mix that works most beautifully is "Sort of Dubolution"; the one that creates the least interest is "Q&A." But all four are very much worth hearing.