Stars and Rabbit – Attic No.7 (Live in Jakarta)
For me, the greatest thing that trip-hop managed was to create a new form of cut-up art. Other musicians had struggled to develop similar ideas. The music was supposed to not just tell a story but interject elements that ordinarily make it onto the editing room floor.
See, what James Joyce or William S. Burroughs understood is that any story, no matter how heroic or lousy it may seem, contains a lot of boring elements. The protagonists are not merely thinking of the plot, but their minds are endlessly drifting towards a million unimportant details. Characters come in and out of these stories seemingly for no reason. And, in real life, stories that begin in dramatic fashion may end up not meaning much. Trip-hop found a way to show both the plot and the stage being built and taken down.
Indonesia group Stars and Rabbit capture this perfectly on their live number Attic No.7. Part of the song is extreme realism, and part of it is a dream that makes sense only if you really want it to. The singing, the repetitive vocal sample, and the stylish guitar work create a David Lynch-like atmosphere that, by the end of number, leaves you fascinated and drained.
Huron Lines – Older Now
Rock n’ roll and politics are very much alike. Both of them are games that are won by withholding the truth and misdirecting attention. In both music, as well as in politics, there are two essential ways to acquire power. None of them are right. Both of them work.
The first is to get people to like you. This is not easy since the majority of those in a similar position are already using the strategy, and likability-inflation is created. This may require you to develop actual skills to help win you the electorate. The second option is to scare people. It’s a tactic that has helped sell records and earn public office across generations and throughout cultures.
Huron Lines shoots for the first of these on debut single Older Now and, fortunately, has acquired the chops to back up his plea. The production is stark and clean. The mood of the record echoes 90s lesser-known alternative acts. The vocal tone is good and feels weighed down by the burdens of the world—a very strong start from the Canadian quartet.