Posted by: Dominic Umile | 03/21/2009

March Commutes I: Leonard Cohen, Claro Intelecto, more

Unpredictable and a failure in inclement weather While being herded into Long Island City’s Court Square station this week during what sometimes felt like an epic commute, a handful of specific listening experiences lulled and, thankfully, distracted me juuuuuust enough.

I returned to Mark “Claro Intelecto” Stewart’s Metanarrative this week because I’ve been listening to the newly issued Warehouse Sessions on CD, which collects the 12″ series that the Manchester, England-based producer released between 2006 and 2008. I wrote about Metanarrative for PopMatters last year but I didn’t have a chance to address the impact of “Beautiful Death.” It’s evidently inspired by the death of a family member, and following the understated swells that open this passage, Stewart envisioned that the rippling pulse adjourning the piece would effectively mimic a heartbeat. It does, and it’s positively uncanny. Great stuff. Listen via Fairtilizer here, and collapse immediately afterward.

Songs of Leonard CohenLeonard Cohen’s “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye,” in my mind, is an absolutely magnificent work of art. Its lyrics and tasteful arrangement are among the finest I’ve known, and I hope to say a great deal more about this someday when I can better articulate how I feel each time I listen to Cohen’s debut album. Like Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me” or the Paris Sisters’ “I Love How You Love Me,” this work of Cohen’s is among my favorites from the decade, and there really isn’t better morning music. Listen here. Read Eric Alterman’s assessment of Cohen‘s current live performance here.

10-2010-20’s “Arcadeagle” is part sound collage, part bleep-ridden, sinister dubstep. Its frenzied mishmash of breathy pulses, swirling tones, and massive echo thickens incrementally, and by the time you’re halfway through, you’ll need to sit for the duration. Download here, and then check here to see how you can get the whole album. I don’t have it yet, but I can’t wait to hear it. (h/t SonicRouter)

Check for Part II (and possibly III?) in the coming days.


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