Though everyone who contributes to the Late Night Tales series understands the vibe that is required of them, Röyksopp dim the lights just a little bit further. Blowing the dust off love song curios and synthesized outpourings kept in storage, the Norwegians scan the AM band for companionship through nomadic small hours. Marginally landing on the side of sunkissed as opposed to the fireside, both locales have a dated futurism or zest to them, your preferred room temperature comparing and contrasting Vangelis and Richard Schneider, Jr. Putting new wavers, including Röyksopp’s own cover of Depeche Mode, and R&B smoothies such as Byrne & Barnes on ice while folk and bluegrassers croon and weep ‘til dawn and soft rockers strum patiently in the corner, it’s a beautifully executed, paced and poised collection to get wrapped up in, as tender as it is kitsch.
The cool gained and luxury projected is done out of what sounds, not irrationally, unfashionable; in parts, it achieves a Homer Simpson description of approaching ‘wuss rock.’ However, it’ll open ears to back catalogs — another LNT rule of thumb — and makes tracks such as Tuxedomoon’s “In A Manner of Speaking” and Thomas Dolby’s “Budapest by Blimp” the center of your wooing with well-intentioned irony atop of genuine endearment. Acker Bilk’s “Stranger on the Shore” is romancing done the old-fashioned, gentlemanly way, showing that a good heart flutterer will go on and on.
File under: Prelude, John Martyn, Johann Johannsson, Popol Vuh
There aren’t many other places you’re gonna find an eclectically personal, non-zany selection by relevant artists in the spotlight, who can chronicle the common ground held by Bibio, SBTRKT, Cocteau Twins and Olivia Newton-John. All held together with a sparkle hovering around the UK band’s post-party pot pourri, even when its funking the hardest (Renee’s “Change Your Style”), Friendly Fires can be found dancing around their living room having cracked open the after dinner mints. Flailing to the camp disco of Dennis Parker takes care of the guilty pleasures, before sensual deep house from Iron Galaxy restores decorum, reaches for the holiday slides and acts like the previous outburst should be filed confidential. Or a different set of substances have just kicked in.
Chunky sunset beats see Bibio and Stereolab easing you down with conviction, as FF begin burning candles at both ends, all the while staying proactive and moulding their miscellany with gentle thought. After a touch of fantasy from Laurel Halo, it’s obvious that the question “you know what we need right now” has entered conversation as DJ Sprinkles gets the party re-energized. But once the back end of the mix is coddled by ethereal shoegaze and baggy floweriness from Grouper, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Slowdive, the band are back in their rocking chairs with heads swimming. Thanks to Friendly Fires, here’s something you’ll be reaching for when a party becomes a sleepover.
James Mount of UK electro outfit Metronomy has curated the next installment of the Late Night Tales compilation series. In addition to selecting cuts by OutKast, Cat Power, Chick Corea, Autechre and Dr. Octagon, the 20-track compendium also includes an exclusive Metronomy cover of Jean-Michel Jarre’s “Hypnose” and a spoken word track by Paul Morley The album drops September 3. Full tracklisting is below.
1. Outkast – Prototype
2. Tweet – Drunk
3. SA-RA Creative Partners – Cosmic Ball
4. Chick Corea – El Bozo (Part 1)
5. Dr. Octagon – Blue Flowers
6. Lonzo & The World Class Wreckin Cru – Cache Vocal
7. Metronomy – Hypnose (Exclusive Jean Michel Jarre Cover Version)
8. Alessi Brothers – Seabird
9. Autechre – Fold4,Wrap5
10. Mick Karn – Weather The Windmill
11. The Alan Parsons Project – Eye In The Sky
12. Geneva Jacuzzi – Love Caboose
13. The Lone Swordsmen – You Are…
14. Tonto’s Expanding Head Band – Cybernaut
15. Pete Drake – Forever
16. Appaloosa – The Day (We Fell In Love)
17. Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Complainte Pour Ste Catherine
18. Herman Dune – Winners Lose
19. Cat Power – Werewolf
20. Paul Morley – Lost For Words Pt.4 (Exclusive Spoken Word Piece)
The Late Night Tales series regularly pays homage to the long forgotten, the previously thought lost, the criminally overlooked and most key to the concept, and what’s personal to the selector in charge. With Tom Findlay of Groove Armada seemingly suffering from a midlife crisis longing for ’70s/’80s standards in songwriting and campaigning for the bringing back of AM radio, this could make Father’s Day gift buying a piece of cake.
On Music for Pleasure, we’re not talking dust-crippled obscurities, mash-ups, B-sides or alternative takes. Just recognizable (some might say overplayed) blue-eyed, red-blooded pop-soul originals from Robert Palmer, Michael McDonald, 10CC and Gerry Rafferty, as Late Night Tales takes on the guise of a Desert Island Discs-style selection just as likely to be referenced in Family Guy as they are held dear. Fascinating as to the inner workings of a dance music producer’s mind (or should that be how bold they are as to owning up to dirty little secrets in their record collection, Findlay revisiting mixtape protocol that he probably hopes will get him laid), the franchise has either lost the plot or broadened its appeal as it aims for the open, middle of the road (you can tell there’s a bit of satire going on with its promises of “Yacht Rock!” on the sleeve). Joking aside, a neat compilation featuring big stars and a few names to do some research on. File under: Hall & Oates, The Doobie Brothers, Steve Miller Band