The Weekly Chart ending June 3th

I got a little experimental this week, chasing tangents across the electronic realm. I discovered some new artists including Jneiro Jarel an American cross between Indie / Hip-Hop and Downbeat, very relaxed slick lyrics with a smoothie of airy beats. I was also exposed by a friend to her "guilty pleasure," Frou Frou: a taste of British female vocal pop sprinkled with electronic beats reminiscent of Björk. The Cinematic Orchestra was my third new discovery, with a taste of airy jazz and chilled electronic beats, aproved by independent music giants Ninja Tune.

Then came the old favorite, µ-Ziq. It truly is as hard to describe this music as it is to find the "µ" symbol on the keyboard. It is commonly termed IDM, Intelligent Dance Music. I however think the term is a misnomer since it isn't very danceable (compared to Merengue!) and the self-attribution of 'intelligent' can be interpreted as a pretentious holier-than-thou declaration, but it shouldn't. Maybe the "I" in IDM refers to the need to truly appreciate non-mainstream music qualities since it strays away from key popular music elements such as a predictable arrangement (sectional form) and a hook. Boards of Canada, another highly acclaimed Ambient / IDM act that has done much work with Warp Records, the essential label for IDM, also graced the chart with a back-to-back listen.

In the Psy Trance side of things I spent some time re-discovering the mostly Finnish Suomisaundi sub-sub-genre, if I am tracking it right. On another tangent, people love to complain about genres and how they just limit music and are marketing tools, but go ahead and try getting directions in a foreign city without getting the names of streets. At least with genres and similar artists you can triangulate enough to understand where the sound is coming from. I digress. Flying Scorpions (in my opinion, one of the coolest names ever for an artist) was an old favorite of mine with wacky otherworldly samples and a funny story about some Tshernobyl mutant flying scorpions that entrance you with the sound of their batting wings. Luomuhappo carries a powerful, funky, groovy, yet psychedelic and somehow organic sounding psy trance.

The only major Progressive Trance music I listened to this week comes from Gui Boratto, a Brazilian genius that mixes progressive melodies with Microhouse elements in a fantastic way, and he happens to be an architect as well. I predict he will be one of the biggest explosions this year with his overflow of euphoria without the usual accompanying fromage that most artists rely on (not all of us are 12 year old girls, people! Have a spine and leave the cheese out of it, nothing against the young ladies by the way, just at artists who expect us 20+ year-olds to appreciate music on that level and pretend we are that simpleminded). That last rant comes from the barrage of annoying requests (Green Day, Britney Spears , and you get the picture) by tweens at events, like the local school-held film festival I DJed for.

Finally, I dug out Digital Mystery Tour and the dig was worth every penny. This is classical Psybient touching many genres with musical psychedelics gluing them together. It makes for a great nap and I felt quite refreshed after that. The last top 10 listened artist of the week, done in no particular order, is Wombatmusic released on Chill Tribe. Although the name seems new, the project is done by Kristian Thinning, a veteran of the chillout genre for many years participating as parts or wholes of Elysium, Kaaya and Kailash.

It was a varied, exotic, relatively relaxed week and I am looking forward to get back into the floor thumping beats of the overwatted dancefloor.

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