Monday, March 24, 2008

Border Community and beyond

James Holden's Border Community Recordings was created in 2003 for some of the best reasons any group of people can get together and start a project: to present new ideas, produce high quality work the creators are passionate about, and blur boundaries.

Five years on, Border Community seems to have hit its stride, finding itself at the forefront of what is almost sure to be the sound of '08. I kind of hate to make statements like that, but can't help it. I could call it "electro-shoegaze" or something easy to digest like that, but would rather just leave it as "other". What it is, is music of equal parts intellect, emotion and danceability. We've seen this recipie before: most notably from electro-shoegaze [there, I said it] luminaries M83 and our dear friends at Ghostly International - who've been doing this longer than just about anyone.

Why now? It's a simple matter of a glut of this kind of music coming from all directions, all of a sudden - and it's all really sophisticated and accessible at the same time.

M83's brand new single Couloures is possibly their best work to date, and Ghostly's recent and upcoming releases by acts such as The Reflecting Skin and Tycho represent exciting new territories in "Avant Pop".

Over the past several months Border Community has released some of my favorite new records. Actually, endless thanks go to my beautiful partner in crime for turning me on to Ricardo Tobar's El Sunset EP, Nathan Fake, and Fairmont's [a.k.a. Jake Fairley] new LP Coloured In Memory - which is totally different, but the most amazing work Jake has done since Touch Not the Cat.

Border Community has been pegged by some journalists as "new trance", which Holden not only rejects, but I think is the product of very myopic views held by those who can't see beyond the electronic dance community and the oxymoronic world of "club culture". It's the same reasons many people in that community don't understand acts like Justice and Vitalic... or even LCD Soundsystem for that matter. Such ignorance is not worth worrying about, and certainly won't keep us from enjoying great music - whatever you want to call it.

Nathan Fake - You Are Here [2007]

Nathan Fake - The Sky Was Pink (Icelandic mix) [fan video, 2007]

M83 - Teen Angst [2005]

Tycho - The Daydream [fan video, 2008]

1 comment:

toybreaker said...

Thanks for finally putting into proper words what I've been thinking about for a long time. This still somehow ties into the Guilty Pleasures bent of weeks before; I'm pissed off that I bought into some of the other critical commentary and just played these on repeat to myself only.