a walk in the rain

Argh, things have been hectic. However, I will not be as ungodly busy for the next few weeks, so more frequent posting shall be happening.

Today, we start off with a track by a friend,Mario Diaz de Leon, who is currently studying under trombonist and composer George Lewis at Columbia. He is also one of the latest signings to John Zorn's Tzadik label. Needless to say, he is one of the most exciting young composers around, as well as a wonderful guy. (He's been known to stay up very late dancing to techno, too!)

"Drops of Rain" is a 'cover' of sorts, but not really. Originally done by Blink-182 (!) under the name "Down," de Leon used software to slow down the original, poppy-yet-melancholic song file to create an astounding, epic track. What did he do? He played the slowed-down track using an open guitar tuning, and found that it suited what he was looking for. Full of gorgeous washes, processed guitar and vocals, "Drops of Rain" sounds nothing like Blink-182; in fact, it sounds so little like Blink-182 that the track is a bit of a mindfuck. Its ambience is engaging while maintaining a multi-layered, ethereal beauty.

Originally recorded live using processed guitar and vocals with minimal post-processing, "Drops of Rain" is taken from an unreleased record called Mira, a five song disc whose other 'original' tracks build on compositional ideas that arose from the process of creating the Blink-182 'cover.' Mario calls the style 'megatone,' with a bit of tongue in cheek. Below is a short video of the album's title track, taken live in Birmingham this past August.

And here is "Drops of Rain." Do keep an eye out for future releases from de Leon, as his compositions are diverse and far-ranging.

Mario Diaz de Leon- Drops of Rain

Next up is a new track from Berlin's Kiki & Sasse. On Moodmusic, "Grand Cru" is an irresistible, deep tech-house number with a wonderful 1-4-5-3 synth loop running lushly throughout. Along with a wriggling, high-mixed bass line and perfect percussive bits, the 120 bpm track is a perfect late-late floor-shaker. Originally purchased at Halcyon, where there was discussion of how killer Sasse's recent output has been. "Grand Cru" is yet another fantastic tune with his name on it, so get on it.

Kiki & Sasse- Grand Cru

Next time? More new techno!


Steve said...

Hell yes to "Grand Cru," it definitely makes my (forthcoming) chart.

][ said...

hey thomas! that mario diaz de leon track has blown me away. thanks for breakin from the beats with that magic. i see that he is playing the stone here next week. gonna try and check it out

trees said...

glad you enjoyed! Mario's work is really amazing, and even more amazing live. Though I don't know what his set-up at the Stone will be, if he's doing anything from Mira, it is guaranteed to be a wonderful experience-- eyes-closed, wall-of-sound beauty.