Monday, August 29, 2005

Music For Barbecues

tasty delicious music for barbecues

A Bent Primer
This week at SIART is devoted to the British duo Bent, and I will be sharing some of the rarer, less obvious stuff from my collection. Nail Tolliday and Simon Mills have released four albums as Bent. They craft gorgeous, organic sounding electronic music that is quirky, experimental. lush, occasionally very goofy yet always beautiful. They are master samplers, finding all manner of florid easy listening string and piano riffs and chopping them into dreamy pieces for their sonic stews. Their first album, 2000's Programmed To Love, is my sentimental favorite. It's noteworthy for several songs' vocals, largely sampled from Nana Mouskouri records - a rather unhip choice of vocalist whose vocals really make the songs memorable. It also has a delightfully funny song about anal sex on it - Chocolate Wings. It's a great album that I still listen to regularly. Their second album was an mp3 record, Downloaded To Love. Made available online in conjunction with the NME, a track a day was offered, as well as printable cover art. More on this record on Wednesday. Third album, 2003's The Everlasting Blink is a much slicker sounding record than the previous ones but retains the same sense of humor and quirk. It also displays a bit more of a pop song sensiblity as well as some higher profile vocal samples - David Essex and Captain & Tenille. There will be more on those two on Thursday & Friday. Their last album, 2004's Ariels, was a makeover in style, recorded with a live band and real singers on every track except Exercise 4, an instrumental. All Bent albums have a track called Exercise # on it, and though they share a title they are all musically different. I won't be featuring any tunes from Ariels this week - I listen to it a fair amount, but it doesn't hold my attention like the earlier stuff. I hope it was a one off experiment and that they return to the "two guys and a sampler" style of work - I like that stuff way better.

Today's tune is from the 12" EP Music For Barbecues. Released in November of 2000, it features four songs not available on the Programmed To Love album, and they are all good. K.I.S.S.E.S. kicks off side A in stellar style. It starts with some wind chimes, adds a deep guitar riff, then some bumping, shuffling beats, and suddenly you are being crooned to by a mysterious German fraulein. She sings in a pure voice, and though I don't speak the tongue to me it sounds like she's singing about kisses tasting like wine. This tracks is pure bliss, with a glorious break about a third of the way through - it's the strings, so melodramatic, yet so heart tuggingly lovely. In my opinion this tune is one of the best things they've ever done. Song A2 on the EP is Exercise 2. This song was originally unique to this EP, but when the album started to take off their label (Sport) reissued it, bolstered from the orignal 10 tracks to 13, one of which is Exercise 2. Since it's readily available it's not included today. Tomorrow's post will be side B's tracks.

3 comments:

rockinwiththepin said...

thanks - love their song Private Road

Anonymous said...

Ich träumte so gerne von den Freuden der Welt
Ich hatte manches Schöne mir vorgestellt
Und dann kam ein Tag und den vergesse ich nie
Viel schöner als meine Phantasie
So sind Küsse mmh süßer als Wein
So sind ooh Küsse süßer als Wein


Now you can sing the song with Fräulein Mouskouri.
The translation could be:
I dreamed a lot about the pleasures of the world
I had imagined many beautiful things
And then came a day which i`ll never forget
Much more beautiful than my fanatsy
Kisses swater than wine

Thanks for posting the beautiful song

Ralf

Anonymous said...

i love bent. everlasting blink is excellent. would love to hear more of ariels. thanks for the post.