My musical inspiration for April is We Are Wolves, an indie band from Montreal, Canada that not only inspired me spiritually in art but also life. If you’ve ever wondered why a West Coast girl like me ended up in Quebec, well to be honestly I would have never thought of it myself without knowing this band and being intrigued enough to check out their hometown. When I started thinking about what specific record to share I decided to go with their 3rd release Invisible Violence from 2009 as it’s still feels very modern where the first two you can really tell were from that certain time in music history when electro was big and there was tons of other artists on the rock scene with that element to them, a bit more raw and of a certain time. My favourite album is actually their first one but Invisible Violence is such a solid record with so many great addicting songs on it, and it is probably the best gateway to their sound. The mix of multilingual on the record is also the best they’ve done, seamlessly going from English to Spanish in one breath and then into French for almost an entire song. That element of their band and their diverging musical interests has always made them stand out. I could go on but We are Wolves are simply put my favourite band since the moment I first heard them, when they opened up for Bad Religion (I was actually seeing the other opener The (International) Noise Conspiracy not BR). My life was changed that moment, and every time I’ve listened to them since I get chills. They are such a phenomenal band that is still to some extent not that well known outside of Quebec. Which boggles my mind. I can’t even describe what effect they have playing live, it’s just an out of body experience every time and the three original members had such a dynamic together. Much in the same vein as Fischerspooner when it comes to not just being a band with music, but also being living breathing art and incorporating that into their shows. Even if their music doesn’t hook you right away, I’d still say worth checking them out live just to live it once…I could go on and on but I think their music speaks for itself…
Listen to Invisible Violence:
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My mixtapes now have their own post but if you missed it check out April Trances mixtape, here!
When it comes to music there is nothing more I obsess over than a good Aphex Twin song. I once listened to the song Windowlicker for 6 hours straight on loop which clearly shows you something about him as an artist and me as a person. It’s to the point that once at the Mutek music festival I identified Windowlicker 5 seconds into another dj dropping his song in the middle of their set…but now I`m just boosting. Having said that it may surprise you (as that son others under varies identities (or rogue Soundcloud accounts). For that reason alone, I chose to share Syro over his other albums and it doesn`t hurt that it`s his newest and has some of my personal favourites electronics songs in the last few years. As for trying to explain why you should listen to Syro and what it sounds like, nobody says it better than Mr. Richard D James himself `I’m feeling really horny about it [laughs]. And very smug.` His music is entrancing, sexy, twisted and a bunch of adjectives that are meaningless the seconds you hear the first hook off of `mini pops 67`. It`s a solid electronic album, great for dancing, and many other things. I personal edit photos while listening to it, and every once and awhile when the rift is too good get up and dance. And of course play back that one hook or drop that captures me and listen to it again, again, and maybe again so it can wash over me and take me on its journey. That`s why you should listen to Aphex Twin, for that one part of a song you can let go of.
Listen to Syro:
Another way to jump start your journey into Aphex Twin is by listening to this list complied of his top 50 songs (their opinion) by Fact Mag.
This month’s mix tape is a mix of electronic music like Villalobos, Squarepusher, and this month’s musical inspiration Aphex Twin and a small amount of pop like Drake and Zayn. It also includes my mister, who makes really mellow minimal music under Vic Mella (website here if you want more).
Inspiration for me whether it’s for my art or just for getting through the day has always been music. There was a time when I couldn’t even fall sleep without passing out to the sweet sounds of a good punk/rock album. I even had my own radio show for 4 years at a local university (CJSF at SFU) and I occasionally DJ’d events, I love it that much. For some reason though I’ve always struggle to incorporate my love of music and inspiration into this blog. Sure I’ve mentioned it in my 52 Weeks project but I wanted to find something more I could do to share my music love and inspiration with you. So I thought once a month this year I’d share you an album that inspired me, that gives me the butterflies still and hits me to this day even after perhaps listening to it 1000 times before. And I am going to start monthly mix tapes as I really want to get back into sharing musical artists I love and this way I can share a good hour of music with you much like I did in my dj days. This month’s mix tape is a random selection of favourite tracks by At the Drive-In on Spotify (next month I might consider doing a Youtube, or Soundcloud version as well). This month’s music inspiration…
At the Drive-In Vaya
At the Drive-In was always going to be the first band I shared, not only have they provided me with endless inspiration over 15 years but in my teen years they literally got me through nights when I didn’t think I would. That sounds dramatic but as teenager I was highly dramatic and the fact remains they did keep me going at times when all I could do was cry and sing along to their songs on full blast. They also just recently got back together after 14 years and are touring this summer (I have my tickets for the Toronto show – couldn’t be more excited). I first started hearing about them in 2000 after they released Relationship of Command, their first mainstream record, although technically their 5th. It’s the album everyone knows, if they heard of them and the sound was new, political, and post-hardcore with elements of punk. The music hit a nerve and I immediately felt the connection. The moment I really started getting into them, they had already broke up which is weird way to start getting into a band. In fact the first ever interview I saw of some of the band members was about the break up. Regardless of the band breaking up I couldn’t get enough and tracked down every record and song they had ever made and for years they become the soundtrack to daily life including their new projects Sparta and the Mars Volta who I’ve seen live many times and listened to since their inception. They have 5 albums total but I decided to share Vaya, the EP that was release just before Relationship of Command, in 1999. Over the years the songs have never changed in how they make me respond, timeless as ever and one of those records where you want to listen from the first song to the last and experience it all in one sitting. This record just feels special to me, and beyond that I could not quantify why I chose it over their other records. My recommendation is to listen to them all if haven’t already but start with Vaya. My suggestion is to listen in proper order as the record as a whole gives a different feeling than its individual parts. My personal favourite track is 198d.
As you can see my Vaya cover sleeve has gotten a little love, and yes I do own cds, like a grandma. I just can’t get rid of my collection that I slaved away for in high school and college, although who the hell knows that last time I’ve listened to one.
Listen to Vaya here: