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Preng's Random Albums


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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Dec 13 2013 04:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Welcome! I have been meaning to try something like this months ago, so forgive my tardiness. The setup is simple. I post a random album that I believe is enjoyable and noteworthy; immediately provide you with a web link where you can listen to the entire album in a convenient manner; and hopefully don't get modded for having bad taste.

The only real gimmick is this, but it relies on you: I begin an album recommendation with the title, genre, and links. You can probably scan this and make a quick determination whether it's something to demo or not. If it sounds good, click the link and begin listening before reading my additional commentary.

Let us start with a "safe" choice for these forums in general!


Rockman X (Mega Man X) Arranged
Game Arrangement with Jazz and Soft Rock tones.
Start playing from track one or see the entire playlist.

Additional Comments:
Some nerds on the internet decided that 1993's Mega Man X was one of the ten best games on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. In 1994, Capcom's house band Alph-Lyla up and released an arranged rendition of some of the game's tracks.

There is certainly a strong jazz influence in this album, and most arrangements are much more mellow than their original versions. Overall, it has a very smooth and relaxed vibe, and there is plenty of guitar, piano, and percussion to spare.

Your mileage may very depending on your preference of slower versus faster music. However, I feel the majority of us have played this game, and this frame of reference alone should allow most to enjoy the album.

In order, the album covers the following ten stages/themes: Opening; Sting Chameleon; Boomer Kuwanger; Chill Penguin; Flame Mammoth; Armored Armadillo; Spark Mandrill; Sigma Stage 2; Sigma; and Credits.

I am very sad to see that Storm Eagle wasn't invited, but must admit that it seems difficult to come up with a slower, jazzier version of his theme. That said, the chosen tracks were handled quite nicely by the Alph-Lyla crew, and I am particularly fond of the different direction Sigma Stage 2 was given.
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@om*d
Title: Dorakyura
Joined: Jul 10 2010
Location: Castlevania
PostPosted: Dec 14 2013 03:45 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I have had this album for years and I thoroughly enjoy it. Alph-Lyla has done some very nice work over the years.


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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Jan 01 2014 06:17 pm Reply with quote Back to top


Sólstafir - Svartir Sandar ("Black Sands")
Icelandic Post-Rock; includes varied instrumentation with and a slew of slow- and fast-paced tracks.
Sample the entire album in condensed form.
Stream the entire album at Bandcamp.

Additional Comments:
This nearly 80 minute long album was released in October 2011 and has quickly become one of my favorites. Though perhaps I should begin with a fair warning - the vocals are Icelandic and some tracks have long to very long introductions. If those qualities do not bother you, I implore you to give this album a try.

The album constantly switches between slower, brooding tracks and faster, wilder tunes - and it handles these transitions superbly. Personally, this is one of those rare albums that I can play from front to back without skipping past a track or two. The musical composition is very well done, and for having no clue what the vocals represent I believe they match the instrumentation quite well.

There's some somewhat unexpected stuff in the mix, including a saxophone; piano; Wild West vibes; what I imagine is a newswoman reading an alert; and some vicious album art (below for the curious). I believe it all comes together quite well.

Sólstafir is comprised of four Icelandic gentlemen with names that I cannot pronounce. They seem to have a penchant for taking photos in the Icelandic countryside whilst wearing cowboy hats:

Aðalbjörn Tryggvason: Guitars, Vocals
Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson: Guitars
Svavar Austmann: Bass
Guðmundur Óli Pálmason: Drums, Percussion

Album Artwork
[SPOILER:a9f91f8c37]
Front

Booklet






CDs


Inlay

Case Back

[/SPOILER:a9f91f8c37]
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Mar 29 2014 07:23 pm Reply with quote Back to top


Neighourhood - The Enchanter
Swedish jazz. Six men with keyboards, bass, drums, and brass. A nice mix of energetic/upbeat and lingering/laid-back arrangements.
Stream the entire album at Soundcloud.

Additional comments:
Jazz doesn't have much presence on these boards - though the opening track is very well-done and might be all you need to get started. I really enjoy the synchronization that these guys command. My favorites are The Last Dinosaurs (the intro, each member seems to have a solo of sorts, and it comes out quite nicely); Nocturne, and Johnny the Doubter.

Neighborhood is comprised of six Swedish musicians whose names I cannot pronounce, a tradition continued from my previous post. Well, most of them, anyways.

Kristian Persson: Trombone
Jonne Bentlöv: Trumpet and flugelhorn
Jens Filipsson: Saxophones and flute
Edvin Nahlin: Keyboards
Aleks Brdarski: Electric bass
Sebastian Ågren: Drums
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Jun 20 2014 02:55 pm Reply with quote Back to top


Broke For Free - Petal
This album is offered as a free download (but cool people donate).

Stream at Bandcamp.
Chillout, electronic.

A nice, summer-themed album. Nothing too wild here - just a relaxing mix of guitar, percussion, and other computer shenanigans.

Broke for Free (Tom Cascino) is a splended sir from California. My favorite track, Juparo, was used in this GoPro video.

He also maintains a neat art website.
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Rycona
Moderator
Title: The Maestro
Joined: Nov 01 2005
Location: Away from Emerald Weapon
PostPosted: Jun 20 2014 08:12 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'm going to check these out tonight at work. I have a buddy that put up a lot of jazz stuff in a group on Facebook... and I need to dig in there too.


RIP Hacker.
 
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@om*d
Title: Dorakyura
Joined: Jul 10 2010
Location: Castlevania
PostPosted: Jun 20 2014 10:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I really enjoyed the Neighborhood stuff you posted. That album would be great for taking a nice weekend drive.


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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Jun 22 2014 06:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the interest, dudes. Rycona, I hope you find something you like! @om*d, I have relaxed to that Neighbourhood album on many a weekend, it has certainly been a worthy purchase. Their first album, Maybe Tomorrow, has a great track named Husvalla Bygata which might also interest you if you were into the slower-paced offerings. You can see them play it live on YouTube or possibly listen to it on Spotify (I don't have an account there so I can't confirm). I just float away while listening to this one.

Also. I previously forgot to include a link for Broke For Free's Petal album. This has been rectified!
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Count_Akula
Title: Sir Galahad
Joined: Dec 19 2014
Location: Taiwan
PostPosted: Dec 20 2014 09:44 am Reply with quote Back to top

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIgSiB6UELU

Bout as random as they come....
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Oct 18 2015 12:40 am Reply with quote Back to top


Larvae - Exit Strategy
Electronic, downtempo, experimental

Stream or purchase at Bandcamp

A personal favorite. Guitars, drum kits and sine wave bass are prominent, but the limelight may belong to the remarkable level of detail behind the computer-based effects. Each track is diverse and presents its own unique soundscape - most have subtle touches that reward the focused listener. Yet collectively, the tracks remain cohesive with the album's underlying concept. The album tone ranges from (what I perceive to be) states of melancholy to pure despair. The album cover seems to imply this. However, underneath the surface I detect a great sense of optimism, as though the artist realizes that his struggles will be overcome in the long run.

Years ago I spoke with the artist through Facebook about this album. He answered my questions, elaborated on the underlying concept, and described his motivations and circumstances for writing it. I am very thankful for the dialogue we had. It was truly one of those moments where I just had to sit back and reflect on how much I appreciate the internet, and how much I take its communication methods for granted - since it opened up opportunities that otherwise might not be possible. Just like these forums.

The opening track, Locked From the Inside, might be one of my top ten favorite songs. Simple but profound. I seem to mentally conjure new illustrations each time the second half kicks in.

Finally, the artist made three music videos for the album. Our very own Not Sure shows up in the third one! Well, sort of!
[SPOILER:e3413fe81e]





[/SPOILER:e3413fe81e]
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wirelessrouter
Joined: Nov 01 2015
PostPosted: Nov 11 2015 09:05 am Reply with quote Back to top

There's some somewhat unexpected stuff in the mix, including a saxophone; piano; Wild West vibes; what I imagine is a newswoman reading an alert; and some vicious album art (below for the curious). I believe it all comes together quite well.
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Nov 11 2015 12:28 pm Reply with quote Back to top

No one has ever quoted me back to me before.
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Nov 16 2015 10:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top


Trigg & Gusset - Adagio for the Blue
Slow jazz ("Adagio" being Italian for "slowly"), darkjazz, instrumental, ambient

Preview the first six tracks on Youtube
Stream or purchase at Bandcamp

Noir vibes. Very minimal. Features a beautiful blend of woodwinds, pianos, bass, and minimal synth. There's even a flamenco guitar in one track, and despite the album's established pace it totally works. Strewn with subtle minor touches, which I always appreciate. A nice, early addition to my jazz album collection for the upcoming winter.

Trigg & Gusset are two Dutch gentlemen, though they are assisted by various session musicians. This album is one week old as I write this. I randomly came across it while surfing Bandcamp and I'm very fortunate to have demoed it.
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Oct 23 2016 11:51 am Reply with quote Back to top


Pyramidal - Frozen Galaxies
Progressive/space rock

Stream or purchase at Bandcamp

Delicious space-themed, psychedelic, progressive rock. Solid guitar, bass, and drum work. Though there's also some jazzy undertones (saxophone) and even some well-fitting sitar. The final track approaches 24 minutes but continually switches across various melodies and tones.

Pyramidal consists of four dudes from Alicante, Spain.
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LeshLush
Joined: Oct 19 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
PostPosted: Oct 29 2016 01:31 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I got some very strong Pink Floyd vibes from that Pyramidal stuff, Preng.
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Oct 29 2016 03:00 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Same! Their From Other Spheres EP is also good, and its "Dream Waves" track reminds me of Pink Floyd's "Us and Them" in some ways.

Glad you enjoyed!
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Mar 30 2018 09:23 pm Reply with quote Back to top


Prep - Futures EP
Pop with funk and jazz undertones

Stream or purchase at Bandcamp
Twitter

Despite only lasting ~17 minutes across four tracks, this EP is all-in on upbeat vibes, fun lyrics, and some excellent production value - especially for the first release out of a crew that, as far as I can tell, came out of nowhere. Pop's not typically my jam, but the sound is infectious and the EP has been a frequent play since I bought it in Winter '16.

PREP is comprised of a hip-hop producer, a classical composer, a house DJ, and a singer songwriter - all from the UK - with other supporting artists. They've seemingly come out of nowhere and will soon be releasing a second EP, for which one track/music video has been released.
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Feb 10 2019 03:24 pm Reply with quote Back to top


Ian Humberstone (formerly Tissø Lake) - Paths to the Foss
Folk, outdoorsy

Stream or purchase at Bandcamp

This album feels like a peaceful walk into the wilderness, and a cozy fire in a winter cabin.

Below is a description from the artist, who resides in Edinburgh, UK:

Paths to the Foss is a set of songs (and three instrumentals) that washed through Øvsthusfossen; a towering waterfall in Hardanger, Norway.

Most of the songs were written in 2012 when I worked on a farm a few miles away. Others are older, with two dating to my first visit to the area in 2005. I keep going back there for reasons that are not entirely clear to me.

The field recording that introduces the record is melting ice on the lake path to the foss [waterfall]. One morning, hundreds of thawing stalactites fell from a rocky overhang above and smashed at my feet, with the track ahead buried in mist.


Instrumentation largely consists of guitars, drums and strings, juxtaposed with Ian's low-pitched but soothing vocals. Most tracks move very slowly, in a relaxed pace. I've personally found it to be a perfect accompaniment when driving across the wintry countryside, as well as nighttime reading.

It's a shame that track 5, Let Us Go, is unavailable for free streaming, as it is one of my favorites from the album.
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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Mar 03 2019 04:35 pm Reply with quote Back to top


Kamaal Williams - The Return
Jazz, broken beat, funk

Stream or purchase at Bandcamp

A big recommend for anyone with even a passing interest in jazz. It's a lovely blend of keys, drums and bass guitar; most tracks are fairly upbeat (High Roller, Rhythm Commission) while others are much more laid back (Medina, Salaam). I really dig the broken beat and funk aspects, which give the album an experimental vibe, without it becoming too overbearing or distracting.

Kamaal Williams (keys), Pete Martin (bass), MckNasty (Drums), and Richard Samuels (engineering) are based out of London, UK.

If you dig this album, also check out Yussef Kamaal - Black Focus (Bandcamp with blocked tracks; YouTube with unblocked tracks), which Kamaal Williams also participated in.
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Vert1
Joined: Aug 28 2011
PostPosted: Mar 11 2019 11:34 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for posting about Kamaal Williams. Got his albums in the mail today.

Have you listened to Neon Phusion?


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Preng
Title: All right, that's cool!
Joined: Jan 11 2010
Location: Accounting Dept.
PostPosted: Mar 12 2019 08:00 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Not yet - Kaidi Tatham's involvement is all I need for a future peek. If you have a specific album in mind, feel free to share. Thanks!
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Vert1
Joined: Aug 28 2011
PostPosted: Mar 14 2019 07:47 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The group only made one album: The Future Aint The Same As It Used 2 B. The album is more uptempo than Kamaal's music. Great for night driving.


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