toying with you

Robot purple

1 THe SToNe aND THe WoLF GaBLe
2 Speak & Spell Dopplereffekt
3 Fruit Machine Homelife
4 Kule Kule Konono No1
5 The Long Conveyor Belt Misty’s Big Adventure
6 Machine Toy Hexstatic
7 Terrible Angels CocoRosie

1 Arrête Là, Menina Cibelle
2 All Neon Like Björk
3 Tabla Toy Beats Antique
4 Balrog Boogie Diablo Swing Orchestra
5 Ms. Wilhelmina And Her Hat Pepe Deluxé
6 Goody Gumdrops Fog

The subject could go on and on in a weird never ending cycle of tracks with odd interpretations of what is unusual about an instrument – I guess a large selection of things I listen to have shall we say – nonstandard use of objects or instruments. But to me it’s quite normal.
I improvised with this selection trying to get artist that were having fun with their music – lots of toys used – or surreal vocals about the music making process – some are not as obvious as others with their outlandish use of ‘stuff or junk or plastic heirlooms’ as music accompaniment.
I’ve cut, pasted, collaged and sampled some words describing the bands output – it might become flowery.
I will star those that fit the theme of odd use of instruments BEST:

1 ***THe SToNe aND THe WoLF GaBLe
Odds and ends being picked up off the studio floor and haphazardly but expertly stuck back onto tape – the French three-piece’s obtuse approach to pop music, moving seamlessly between straight-laced pop, to spoken word, to electronics to full-on wig-out rock, no band quite destroys genre boundaries in such an accessible manner, and the results are absolutely exquisite.

2 ***Speak & Spell Dopplereffekt
Compositions are mostly based on short sequenced riffs/ loops, and the instrumentation is often based on the traditional scheme “drums + bass + main riff + background synth pads”. These traits (free form in some aspects, pop music tradition in others) are contradictory from a mainstream point of view – the mostly digital sound synthesis and processing, the implication of a connection of the band’s music to contemporary physics research via track titles and sleeve artworks is part of the Gesamtkunstwerk.

3 ***Fruit Machine Homelife
The Flying Wonders album creates the Homelife sound making it so distinctive due to two things: 808 State-alumni Graham Massey, deploying his wonderfully off-kilter woodwinds, and in particular Semay Wu’s cellos and Rosie Lawler’s violins, who lend wonderful, swaying Chinese strings.

4 ***Kule Kule Konono No1
They combine three electric likembé (a traditional instrument similar to the mbira) with voices, dancers, and percussion instruments that are made out of items salvaged from a junkyard. The group’s amplification equipment is equally rudimentary, including a microphone carved out of wood fitted with a magnet from an automobile alternator and a gigantic horn-shaped amplifier.

5 The Long Conveyor Belt Misty’s Big Adventure
Misty’s songs typically consist of Grandmaster Gareth singing in a deadpan, maudlin style accompanied by lively guitar, keyboards and brass players and include samples and toy instruments in their songs.
(not the best example for the theme but it fitted my playlist best)

6 ***Machine Toy Hexstatic
Specializes in creating “quirky audio visual electro – they collaborated with Coldcut for the Natural Rhythms Trilogy, including the critically acclaimed A/V single Timber.

7 ***Terrible Angels CocoRosie
Guitar, piano and harp, singing and manipulating various children’s toys, electronic and percussion instruments, as well as other exotic noisemakers.

8 Arrête Là, Menina Cibelle
Cibelle works by building tracks live on stage, a ”bric-a-brac DIY” sound with sweet vocals, creative playfulness and lots of instrumental experimentation.
Her tracks often have my little boys toy drum* in them bought for £12.99 from Oxfam – it is played – then live looped on stage. (*well, the same drum – not his actual one).

9 All Neon Like Björk
Glass harmonica to compliment the cold technology – this is the track needed when fixing your computer – ‘I can heal you’

10 Tabla Toy Beat’s Antique

11 Balrog Boogie Diablo Swing Orchestra
Swedish avant-garde metal band Diablo Swing Orchestra’s The Butchers Ballroom is FREE HERE – a most eclectic collection of instruments expertly adapted into a smorgasbord of vinyl excellence.

12 Ms. Wilhelmina And Her Hat Pepe Deluxé
I’ve mentioned Pepe Deluxé already they do like a good odd recording –
Spare Time Machine was recorded on chromium dioxide compact cassettes with microphones operating both in air and underwater using amplifiers that harness the fire of tubes and the clay of transistors. (honest)

13 Goody Gumdrops Fog
Surreal landscape of freeform music and thrift-store folk, a medley of slacker hip hop and electronics.
Atmospheric instrumentation break up the vocals, fuelled by drums from Martin Dosh, re-engineered by artist Cepia. I love Fog – it’s an emotional roller coaster.
Goody goody gumdrops that’s 13 tracks in a toying-with-you stylee – enjoy

7 thoughts on “toying with you

      • no worries – it’s was supposed to be a more challenging selection – as the theme warrants.

        I will have to try and get time to explain them more over on RR later – (but have a mid-night deadline for a whole host of artwork) – hopefully will be done soon.

        cheers for trying.

    • artwork is part of a robot set of greeting cards – part of my deadline – (this is my robot angel fixing Björk’s USB – I won’t mention that out loud)

      cards and postcards have been sent off beating the midnight deadline – by nearly 3 hours.

      I now have to adapt the designs into t-shits – but I print those myself – so I can relax into finalising those overnight – *deep exhalation of breath*

      where’s that devil playlist? – he’s been making these idle hands work.

  1. Homelife are my fave in the first set, but Hexstatic make me want to nom Anything with Stephen Hawking’s voice. Oh! And when listening to that Dopplereffekt track I’m always reminded of Desert Planet.

    DSW and PDL are just a perfect fit. I hope the guru’s playlist is as adventurous The second list is … er … quite trippy. I can well imagine that it might try the patience of others. Just listening to Fog and and hoping that Sparklehorse were nominated this week – CocoRosie made me think of Sparklehorse as well.

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