In a world currently obsessed with bass music, it’s quite nice to hear something that revolves almost exclusively around Melody and rhythm. So I decided to plonk up Harmonious Thelonious – Angewandte Muziek from today’s playlist today.
I’m not really sure how I stumbled onto Harmonious Thelonious, and I really don’t know a lot about Stefan Schwanders project other than the sound bites floating around on the internet. Sound bites such as “american minimalists vs. african drumming vs. european sequencing”, whatever….. in my opinion makes it all sound pretentious and a bit too “World Music” for my liking.
The thing is, the reason I picked it up is because it sounded fun, I heard Angewandte Muziek somehow, somewhere, and it just kind of made me smile and chuckle a bit. As a result I searched out the album from 2010, and it’s essentially traditional African Rhythms and melodies combined with modern Electronica. It’s not anything new to take African music and Westernise it, in fact it’s worth noting how much African music has also taken on board from western music such as influences from Calyspso to Reggae and assimilated it into the traditional Clave style rhythms. Talking Heads, Paul Simon and a ton of other people have delved into the dark continents musical wares, but most of them either take it and use small elements or opt to make a wishy washy watered down version of it made palatable to the western audience.
With Harmonious Thelonious the western influences you would expect to come to the fore to sell it seem to take a back seat, and the music seems to revolve around the melody first and foremost, and Angewandte Muziek really shows this.
Like I said it’s fun, and while it's easy to dismiss on first listen try and stick with it, as it certainly grows on you and while it may not convert you to the world music lifestyle, it certainly didn't me, it will hopefully make you smile.
Playlist Monday 6th February 2012
Like most of Europe it would seem, there was snow in Paris this weekend. Fortunately, or not depending on your view, it didn’t really settle. So unlike a lot of places come the tail end of the day the roads were clean as a whistle and the pavements while a little icy were not un-walk able.
It is however still bitterly cold, although it is getting warmer, and leaving the house when it’s still dark I needed to get some sunshine into my day, so I opted for the Afro-EDMS of Harmonious Thelonious – Angewandte Muziek. Leaving it a bit Alt to recent listening I let the player choose it’s own path and it came up trumps going onto to Tycho’s Adrift, followed by feat Blacktronics – Ugly and then Swede:art's – I'm a R.O.B.O.T feat Blacktroniks a cracking hip hop/electronica track. Went house with Basic Soul units in the trunk and then finished with Goinswimmin by Alias – one of the better tracks on a disappointing and thoroughly self indulgent album from the Anticon producer.
Playlist: Harmonious Thelonious – Angewandte Muziek, Tycho – Adrift, Blacktroniks – Ugly, Swede:art – I'm a R.O.B.O.T, Basic Soul Unit – In the Trunk, Alias – Goinswimmin.