Volume 30 – Revival
- I Tcho Tchass – Akofa Akoussah [3:54]
- Jagwar – SHELLS [3:32]
- Film Noir (feat. Holy Oysters) – Pyramid [3:52]
- Eyes on Fire (Zeds Dead Remix) – Blue Foundation [5:20]
- Give Praise – Dub Terminator & Ras Stone [4:02]
- Risingson (Otherside) – Massive Attack [5:30]
- Voodoo in My Blood – Massive Attack [4:01]
- Kumiko Rides the Underground – Fish Sauce [2:29]
- If I Had a Heart – Fever Ray [3:50]
- Fylgija Futhorck – Heilung [12:45]
While compiling and organizing this archive I started to wonder what the show would sound like if I was still doing it today. I haven’t kept up with music quite as closely as I did then; I’m down to three or four new bands a year instead of a couple dozen, and my focus isn’t as deliberately international as it used to be. Akofa Akoussah was a Togolese singer whose work blended jazz, funk, and traditional styles into something haunting and timeless. She passed away in 2007. The album “I Tcho Tchass” is from was recorded in 1976, but thanks to streaming services became briefly popular in North America in 2019. SHELLS is the stage name of a singer-songwriter from a small town near Kent whose work blends dreamy vocals and mellow electronic sounds with acoustic instrumentation. Pyramid is a French DJ whose tracks cross genres, but can probably best be described as living in some dark corner under the synthwave umbrella. Blue Foundation are a Danish pop band going back 20 years, but this particular lovestep mix of “Eyes on Fire” owes a considerable debt to the chiptunes movement. Dub Terminator and Ras Stone are based in New Zealand and produce some absolutely mind-blowing dub/dubstep/reggae hybrid tracks. I was introduced to them during Massive Attack’s 21st anniversary tour for Mezzanine. Speaking of Massive Attack, the mix of “Risingson” on this set list is nearly identical to the reworked version they were touring with in 2019, and is more heavily focused on the groove. It almost feels like a different song. “Voodoo in My Blood” features the Edinburgh-based Young Fathers, and is the most driving, intense track from 2016’s Ritual Spirit, Massive Attack’s best release since Mezzanine itself. “Kumiko Rides the Underground” is my own track, recorded in early 2020. It was inspired by a scene in William Gibson’s novel Mona Lisa Overdrive, and was written in an effort to make a sampled drum kit sound a bit more human. Fever Ray is pretty mainstream by now, but Karin Dreijer’s work always continues to feel strange and innovative years after its release. Finally we have Heilung, an experimental folk band trying to create a kind of cathartic Northern European Iron Age experience. “Fylgija Futhorck” is from their live album Lifa. The video I’ve linked to is from the concert at which that live album was recorded.
There are a number of other acts I’d have included, given the space and if they’d fit with the overall flow of this set list. Catl, a Toronto-based rock ‘n’ roll dance party band with heavy blues-punk influences would top the list, alongside acts like True Widow, Elder, Graveyard, Vitalic, Tender, The Dad Horse Experience, and Emilíana Torrini.
The image used for this cover is a digital recreation of an analog art project I made for a friend in late high school, combining the photographs I used for the covers of Volume 14 and Volume 15.