Some things are just meant to be.
In 2005, Lethal Weapon and Last Boy Scout screenwriter Shane Black directed his first feature: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The film combined two supremely powerful catalysts to explosive effect, namely Black’s ear for hilariously snarky banter amidst violent gun-play and the phoenix-like post rehab Robert Downey Jr. Whilst not a huge blockbuster hit, the film has gone on to be a widely loved cult favourite and directly led to Jon Favreau’s casting RDJ as the titular Tony Stark. Meanwhile, in comic book land, Warren Ellis was writing his “Extremis” arc for Iron Man. Extremis is recognised as the point at which a previously silly, 2nd tier Marvel hero was given a Grim’n’Gritty new millennial reboot and has been cited as a major influence on Favreau’s Iron Man movie.
Jump forward 8 years and we find ourselves with quite the delectable compote – Shane Black writing and directing Downey Jr in his iconic role, whilst utilising plot mechanics from said role’s most pivotal printed storyline. .. And boy does it taste great.
Set in a post-Avengers Marvel Universe, Iron Man 3 is freed of the franchise-building shackles that so hindered Iron Man 2, and whilst the events of New York are directly referenced, there is never any fear of an eye patched Samuel Jackson leaning out of the shadows and grinding the momentum to a halt. The film is frenetic, relentless, and all the better for it.
The film is surprisingly violent for its rating, but it is all presented in that bloodless, brightly lit Marvel style that audiences of all ages will be able to enjoy with only the odd flinch. The special effects enjoy that similarly glossy sheen that conveys a sense of tangible reality that is ever so slightly removed from our own. A post conversion to 3D means that the odd scene of textured depth pops, be it in a snowy field or a number of holographic maps that call to mind Prometheus’ star-chamber, but other than that it is largely negligible. See it in 2D if that’s your preference.
The action is exciting and lyrical in a way that Stark’s earlier run-ins with Russian Mickey Rourke really failed to be. There is a huge amount of imagination and invention at work here, to the extent that the Iron Suit literally has its own personality that is separate from but complementary to Stark’s. Remember that Cool Trick at the end of The Avengers? These tricks are way, way cooler, and an early scene’s “hands up” sets the bar for an impressive array of tech deployment that only continues to escalate until the grand finale’s jaw dropping mech-fetishistic orgy of robo-carnage.
Undoubtedly what every audience will be talking about afterwards will be Sir Ben Kingsley’s breathtaking performance as The Mandarin – a comic book arch-nemesis who is deployed here with staggering panache and deftness of hand that will potentially define him as THE 21st Century cinematic supervillain to beat. Comments about his Heath Ledger-esque vocal delivery are entirely warranted. Kingsley’s character will undoubtedly prove to be another cultural touchstone in the evolution of Bad Guys.
There can be no doubt whatsoever that the real star of this movie is Shane Black. A disembodied narrative voice-over, prolonged opening flashback sequence, and Christmas setting are all direct lifts from his own KKBB and have been deployed to similarly powerful and emotionally resonant effect (the VO has a wonderful payoff in the obligatory after credits scene that you will want to hang around for). An unexpected alliance in the 2nd act feels like an abbreviated form of The Monster Squad, and the 3rd act even references Lethal Weapon as the Marvel versions of Murtaugh and Riggs go on a lo-fi undercover adventure. Every pithy put-down that Stark utters is pure quotable Black, and there are many to choose from. One of The Avengers’ saving graces was that Joss Whedon had the sense to imbue his players with a sense of humour, making it one of the funniest films of 2012. Well, Black might just have outclassed Whedon because this film is hilarious. Not only is the film funny, it has genuine heart – we buy the characters’ motivations because we care about them, and when the stakes are raised, so are the audience’s anxieties. Considering how apathetic most responses to Pepper Potts seem to be, it’s another alchemical wonder of Black’s to bewitch us so and earn our investment in her once more.
Cinema audiences have become quite attuned to the conventions of Superhero Movies over the last few decades – we think we know how it’s all going to end, so the trick is to make that journey interesting. Iron Man 3 is anything but predictable, it has enough twists and surprises to keep the keenest audience guessing; it has relentless ass-kicking action, a plethora of the coolest toys you will see all year, a compelling and terrifying nemesis, legitimate stakes, and a finality to it that very tidily rounds off both the trilogy and Marvel’s Phase One.
We all like to be cynical and pick holes in things – after all, isn’t that what a critic does? Genuinely, it’s hard to find any fault with Iron Man 3.. maybe we should deduct a star just for the potentially-headache-inducing 3D, but other than that, this film is a blast.
Summer Blockbuster Season is here, and the competition will have to have some serious tricks up its sleeves because this is the film to beat. Outstanding.
This review was originally written for Lost In The Multiplex.
Friday 19th April 2013 is the fifth birthday of this very website you’re reading – Clockwork Shorts.
I originally started this site as a reaction to the dying embers of MySpace and wanting to have a permanent online record of my so-called creative output, namely DJ mixes & movie reviews. Well, here we are 5 years later, and not much has changed on that front! Hah!
Admittedly, the focus has shifted somewhat in favour of the mixes. Speaking of which, allow me to introduce you to my Blog-Birthday Present for you all to enjoy:
Please click on that link & have a look. You may be pleasantly surprised!
The thing is, it turns out that The Beast contains my 100th recorded mix to date (not including long-lost cassette tapes) so I have another special Blogday Treat for you to get stuck into, namely:
Yes, that’s correct, 100 mixes of lovingly curated modern electronic dance music – running a total of 127 hours and 52 minutes, that’s long enough for Aron Ralston to listen to the lot, then enjoy the final chill out mix on his trip to the hospital (which I dare say he’d need).
Alternatively, you could hit play at midnight on a Monday morning and listen all the way though until just before 8am on Saturday. Go on, do that.. Do that every week and see what random sounds may surprise you when you return to your computer. Deal?
Anyway, before I sign off, I’d like to impart my gratitude so some folks: Kev & DK at Ninjatune Solid Steel for hosting not one but 2 of my more upftont mixes; Headphone Commute for hosting 2 more chilled affairs, as well as a couple of album reviews - I’ve said it before, but having over 10 thousand hits on one of my efforts is a staggering & humbling achievement. I’d also like to thank Bazooka Joe at Solipsistic Nation for hosting a laid back house mix of mine, as well as the rather surreal experience of being interviewed for the site.
Jimmy Swaggart (via PWEI) said it best when he proclaimed that ”
Music is a powerful and perhaps the most powerful medium in the world." Well, yes perhaps it is, but it would be utterly powerless without people to enjoy and share it with.
My role as a DJ is a prismatic one, refracting the tunes from the creators & producers into the ears & feet of the audience, and I thank you all for enabling me to enjoy performing that function for you.
I’m not entirely convinced I have another 100 mixes in me yet to gestate, but who knows what time will tell. Certainly, I intend to keep updating this site with new output, but with a wife & two beautiful daughters now tugging at my headphones for attention (and stamping on Serato control vinyl in one instance) perhaps the pace will slow down a bit.
Thank you for visiting my site. Thank you for listening to my mixes. Let’s hope that new Daft Punk lp is worth all the hype.
*To be honest, the movie reviews have largely fallen by the wayside other than for the erratic write-up or End of Year rundown, but should you be interested you can see my movie-viewing diary on Letterboxd where I write a kneejerk reaction mini-review for each entry. Oh, and there’s definitely an Iron Man 3 review coming on Wednesday 24th. *Spoiler* It Rawks.
To celebrate the 5th birthday and 100th mix on ClockworkShorts.com I present to you a set containing my full archive of DJ mixes recorded to date.
Please bookmark this page & feel free to dip in at your leisure.
Grab what you like, and maybe try a bit of something you may not be familiar with.
Comments, likes, shares, retweets and all forms of micro-blog perpetuation are actively encouraged.
The 100 Mixes are arranged in chronological order, stretching way back in time, right up to the 5 “Best of” mixes I have recorded as part of the birthday celebrations.
Early mixes were exclusively vinyl recorded to minidisc and there is an progression all the way up to contemporary serato & laptop sessions.
IF you are unfamiliar with Soundcloud, you may be interested to know that there are numerous ways to enjoy the music via this versatile platform.
Click on the following link to find what best suits you:
Or simply via clicking the embedded widgets you will find if you scroll down.
If you have a a Blackberry phone, wellI can’t help you.. Why on earth do you have a Blackberry anyway?
You can of course register if you like, in order to follow content providers *ahem* and leave scathing comments in each mix’s timeline.
1. 1998: Chill out, why don’t you?
2. 1998: El Lectro
3. 1998: Jedi Breaks
4. 2004: Breaks Mix
5. 2004: Party Beats demo
6. 2005.01 The House of Symphony
7. 2005.02 From Hoxton to Berlin
8. 2005.03 Xmas Mix
9. 2006.01 Acen megamix
10. 2006.02 Dirty Techno Trousers
11. 2006.03 Drumrolls and 303s
12. 2006.04 Harder than your Mum!
13. 2006.05 Funkier than a Mosquitos Tweeter
14. 2006.06 Lay down some ardkore and build me a jungle
15. 2006.07 Old Skool Ardkore
16. 2006.08 Old Skool Drum and Bass Vol.1
17. 2006.09 Old Skool Drum and Bass Vol.2
18. 2006.10 Returns to the Jungle
19. 2006.11 Robot Computer Monkey
20. 2006.12 Xmas.1
21. 2006.13 Xmas.2
22. 2007.01 28 quid can get you a long way
23. 2007.02 Bring the Noisia
24. 2007.03 Bring MORE Noisia
25. 2007.04 Xmas.1
26. 2007.05 Xmas.2
27. 2008.01 Dust off those Winter Blues
28. 2008.02 R1 Ambient & Chilled beats
29. 2008.03 February lovers’ mix . . for the ladies
30. 2008.04 R2 Minimal House & Techno
31. 2008.05 R3 Fake Blood & Mad Decent
32. 2008.06 Bassic Techniques
33. 2008.07 R4 Nu Rave Bass
34. 2008.08 R5 Electro Breaks
35. 2008.09 Space Disco (Tribute to Lindstrom & Prins Thomas)
36. 2008.10 R6 Minimal Tech House
37. 2008.11 R7 Bliss House
38. 2008.12 A Skillz Party
39. 2008.13 Xmas 1
40. 2008.14 Xmas 2
41. 2008.15 Xmas 3
42. 2008.16 Xmas 4
44. 2008.17 Xmas 5
45. 2009.01 BASS mix for Ninjatune Solid Steel
46. 2009.02 R8 Cosmic Disco
47. 2009.03 R9 Ghoststep
48. 2009.04 R10 Mad Decent Breakz
49. 2009.05 R11 Thugstep
50. 2009.06 R12 MOAR BASS
51. 2009.07 R13 Winter Disco
52. 2009.08 R14 – Girly Dancing
53. 2010.01 R15 – Wonky, Chill-Step & Joytronica
54. 2010.02 R16 Do the Funky Robot
55. 2010.03 R17 Deep funky
56. 2010.04 R18 Broken Beat & Bass
57. 2010.05 R19 – Mellow synthwave
58. 2010.06 Lazy Disco Mix
59. 2010.07 R20 – Funky House
60. 2010.08 Big Room House
61. 2010.09 Four Tet remix mix mix
62. 2010.10 Funky Bass music & d’n'b
63. 2010.11 Xmas 1
64. 2010.12 Xmas 2
65. 2011.01 Techno & house
66. 2011.02 Wobble hip hop
67. 2011.03 GhostStep II
68. 2011.04 Bass mix for bangface
69. 2011.05 Percussive Funky & Tropical Bass
70. 2011.06 Rottun Jelly Brostep Dubstep
71. 2011.07 Epic Chill Out Mix for Summer Barbeques
72. 2011.08 100bpm mix
73. 2011.09 Bliss Drone Ambient Chill Mix
74. Solid Steel Radio Show 18/11/2011 Part 1 + 2 – Orangewarrior
75. 2011.11 House & Techno
76. 2011.12 Ghoststep III
77. 2011.13 Xmas (Best of 2011)
78. 2012.01 January Juke
79. & 80. (Epic) Live Party Mix
81. 2012.04 Ghoststep IV
82. 2012.05 Booby Trap Trap Trap
83. 2012.06 Horizontal House mix (for Solipsistic Nation)
84. 2012.07.1 Novation comp – EDM Rave mix
84b. 2012.07.2 Bestfest drum n bass mix
85. 2012.08 Cosmic Bridge & Om Unit
86. 2012.09 Lazy Mix of John Talabot Remixes
87. 2012.10 SlowFast Melodic Footwurk
88. 2012.11 Warm Up & Bassy Wobblers Mix
89. 2012.12 Funky house & Hessle Audio
90. 2012.13 Angry Dubstep & Brostep
91. 2012.14 Cosmic Disco mix
92. 2012.15 Four Tet & Daphni related mix
93. 2013.01 Winter Chill Mix
94. 2013.02 Warm Bassline House
95. 2013.03 Spring Bass
96. Best of Clockwork Shorts pt.1
97. Best of Clockwork Shorts pt.2
98. Best of Clockwork Shorts pt.3
99. Best of Clockwork Shorts pt. 4
100. Best of Clockwork Shorts. pt.5
So there you go.
As part of my site’s 5th Birthday celebrations, I have put together a mix in 5 parts for you to enjoy. . . a Quintych, if you will.
Each individual part slots perfectly into the next to create one Epic length mix – a Gestalt entity “more powerful than you could possibly imagine”.
All of these tracks have featured in previous mixes to be found on this site, but these are my picks for the biggest, brightest & best tunes that have featured on Clockwork Shorts over the last 5 years.
Part 1: Chunky Funky house
Part 2: Breakbeat house, B’More, and a bit of Wobble
Part 3: Dubstep & Old School Hardcore
Part 4: Drum ‘n’ Bass & Jungle
Part 5: Downtempo Odds & Sods
You can play the mix in the widget above, or scroll down to each individual sub-mix that forms part of this beat-based behemoth.
I’d hope that this mix is a solid reflection of my Orangewarrior / Clockwork Shorts project – a fun, lighthearted precis of my passions for modern dance music in all its mutoid shapes & forms. ..
It’s possibly a little scrappy around the edges at times, but imbued with enough enthusiasm that we can let the odd fluff slide.
Hopefully the subtlety of the embedded mix artwork isn’t lost on you too!
Please, listen & enjoy!
00:12 Adam Freeland – How To Fake Your Own Life (Om Unit Remix)
01:26 Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka – Creeper
05:46 Green Velvet & Harvard Bass – Lazer Beams
09:13 Bart B More & Harvard Bass – The Funky One
11:38 Bart B More & Harvard Bass – Listen To This
14:00 Don Rimini – Let Me Back Up (Crookers Tetsujin Mix)
16:20 Armand Van Helden – Je T’Aime (Switch Remix)
19:34 Duke Dumont – When I Hear Music
22:04 Drums Of Death – Let No Shadow Fall Upon You
24:01 Zombie Disco Squad – Esperanto (Solo Remix)
27:12 Drop The Lime – Set Me Free (Zombie Disco Squad Remix)
29:13 Pearson Sound vs Rod Lee – Let Me See Refix
31:15 Ladybox – Got It Right Here (Dubbel Dutch remix)
33:45 Soil & Pimp Sessions – Pop Korn (Doc Daneeka Remix)
34:25 Doc Daneeka – Kushday Soundboy
37:15 Venom & Damage – Deeper (Doc Daneeka Remix)
38:33 Breach – Fatherless (Doc Daneeka’s MRR SNRZZ Remix)
41:37 Breach vs T Williams – 2 Bob Note
42:43 T WILLIAMS – People’s Choice
44:26 Uncle Bakongo – Maasai (Original Mix)
46:07 DVA – Natty
48:21 DVA – Ganja
49:19 SCB – Hard Boiled VIP
51:28 Scuba – NE1BUTU (SCB Remix)
52:39 Scuba – Hardbody (Original Mix)
59:01 Man Like Me – London Town (Foamo Remix)
00:00 Breakage ft. Jess Mills – Fighting Fire (Foamo Remix)
02:02 Foamo – Ocean Drive
04:33 The Count And Sinden – Beeper (Fake Blood Remix)
07:30 justice d.a.n.c.e. (tittsworth remix)
10:02 Salva – BBQ
11:37 Chelley – Took The Night (Rico Tubbs Acid Fix)
13:30 Rico Tubbs – Boom Riddim (Sharkslayer Remix)
16:03 Dre Skull Feat. Sizzla – Gone Too Far (Rico Tubbs Ravehall Remix)
18:24 Ctrl Z & Freestylers Feat Navigator – Ruffneck 09 (Racknruin Remix)
19:50 MJ Cole – Thekla Riddim
25:12 MJ Cole & Wiley – From The Drop (MJ’s Drop Dubb)
26:54 Primary 1 – Princess (MJ Cole remix)
27:49 Tinashe – Zambezi (MJ Cole Remix)
30:35 L-Vis 1990 – United Groove
32:38 L VIS 1990 – United Groove (Cosmin TRG remix)
35:23 Seiji – Elevator
37:58 Drums Of Death – Wont Be Long (Seiji Rerub)
39:25 DJ Slink – Vibrate
40:10 Dj Sliink – Put Cha Back In It
00:00 Tipper – Deal With It
00:40 Mike Ink – Paroles (Original)
04:27 Blame – 2 Bad Mice Take You
07:15 Phuture Assassins – Future Sound (2 Bad Mice Remix)
09:41 Omni Trio – Feel Better [Foul Play Remix]
11:39 Bassnectar – What (ft. Jansten)
13:52 TC – Where’s My Money (Caspa Remix)
16:27 Caspa – The Terminator – Original Mix
17:32 Cookie Monsta – GINGER PUBES
18:19 Skism – Rise Of The Idiots (FuntCase Remix)
20:38 Foreign Beggars – Contact (Trolley Snatcha Rmx)
22:54 Bare – Silent Pterodactyl
26:45 Benga – Go Tell Them (Prod. By Benga)
28:06 LA ROUX – IN FOR THE KILL (SKREAM’S LET’S GET RAVEY REMIX)
31:01 Magnetic Man – I need air (Redlight remix)
34:17 REDLIGHT feat MS DYNAMITE – MDMA (original mix)
35:03 Wiley – Electric Boogaloo (Find a Way) [Roller Express Remix]
36:54 Altern 8 – Armageddon
38:09 The Prodigy – Jericho
40:31 The Prodigy – Ruff in the Jungle Bizness
42:03 Renegade & ray Keith – Terrorist
43:59 Two Fingers – That Girl (Spor Remix)
00:00 Two Fingers – That Girl (Spor Remix)
00:25 Spor – Aztec
01:34 Noisia – Machine Gun (Spor Remix)
03:05 Noisia & Phace – Imperial
04:36 Mark Knight – Nothing Matters (Noisia Remix)
07:32 Noisia & The Upbeats – Dustup
10:23 John B & Exile – Broken Language (Exile Mix)
12:34 Space Cube – B1 – Big Bam Bam
14:18 Red Alert & Mike Slammer – Gotta Release
16:37 Uncle22 – 6 Millions Way To Die
18:42 Remarc – Drum N Bass Wise (Remix)
19:46 Sound of the Future – Lighter
21:34 Bizzy B & Equinox – Merda Style
2004 22:50 Bizzy B – Deep In My Soul
24:58 Origin Unknown – Valley Of The Shadows
25:44 Origin Unknown – Truly One (Remix)
27:11 Netsky – Gravity
30:06 Fresh – The Gatekeeper
31:13 TC – TC – New Style – Dont Play
32:14 Africa Hitech – Out In The Streets (VIP)
34:06 Fracture – The Limit VIP
36:02 Machinedrum – Clissold VIP
38:34 Jazzsteppas – Raising the Bar (feat. Foreign Beggars) Stray Remix
40:46 Ms Dynamite – Neva Soft Nu:tone Remix
42:43 High Contrast – The Basement Track (HCs Upstai
44:29 EPROM – Shoplifter
47:15 Harmonic 313 – Scar feat. Wiley
48:13 TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke x Lunice) – Higher Ground
49:48 TNGHT – Acrylics
00:00 Kuedo – Shutter Light Girl
00:27 John Talabot – El Oeste
01:18 iTAL tEK – War Of The Ants
04:03 Ghostpoet – Survive It (Koreless Remix)
08:23 Telepathe – Chromes On It – Gold Panda Remix
10:57 DELS – Trumpalump (Joe Goddard’s Quiet Remix feat. Ghostpoet)
13:53 Com Truise – 84′ Dreamin
16:12 Nightmares On Wax – da feelin (rapscallions got jah feeling remix)
22:04 Tipper – Puzzle Dust
23:43 AlunaGeorge – Attracting Flies (Baauer Remix)
26:27 Amon Tobin – Delpher
31:14 Jets – Sin Love With You
33:09 Fever Ray – Triangle Walks (Tiga’s 1-2-3-4 remix)
34:45 Grace Jones – William’s Blood (Aeroplane Remix)
38:02 FRIENDLY FIRES – Paris (Aeroplane remix)
44:36 The XX – Chained (John Talabot & Pional Blinded Remix)
48:51 Burial & Four Tet – Moth
55:21 Ochre – Dustlands
1:00:29 Boards Of Canada – Happy Cycling
Well, the sun has Finally got his hat on, so let’s warm things up a bit!
In honour of the TempoClash party that I’m very excited to be going to shortly I’ve put together an hour’s mix of heavy bass riddims and dancefloor heat.
Here we have new bangers from Rustie, Doshy, and iTAL tEK before a step sideways into Thom Yorke’s new Atoms For Peace project and some speaker-troubling old school jungle & hardcore from Photek and DJ Rashad. A slight change of pace calls to mind Roots Manuva as Fulgeance brings the hip hop swagger before we turn things up again with dubstep wobblers from Two Fingers, Koan Sound & Posij. Accelerating into the final act we have tearing darkstyle drum’n'bass / footwork from King Cannibal’s new House of Black Lanterns, and Dub Phizix, before winding down with a sultry Om Unit remix, wonky abstract beats from Submerse, and one final ethereal send off, courtesy of Kuedo.
This one deserves to be played LOUD.
Allow me to introduce my new Soundcloud widget..You can stream or download the mix from there, post comments in the timeline, and even “follow” my mixes on there (should you so desire). You can also grab the Soundcloud app for iOS or Android for use on your phone or tablet:
I’ll update soon with more information about the move to Soundcloud..
Tracklisting / Info:
0:00 Krampfhaft – Marram
00:29 Auntie Flo – I Want To Blow Your Mind
03:09 Rustie – Slasherr
04:30 SATURATE!RECORDS – Doshy – Toys
06:59 Doshy – Phases
09:25 Throwing Snow – Nott Such
10:19 Druid Cloak – Blue Flame (Slick Shoota Remix)
12:52 iTAL tEK – Hyper Real
14:23 iTAL tEK – Hyper Real (Deft Remix)
15:14 Atoms For Peace – Default
18:13 Studio Pressure – Presha III
22:54 Hardrive – Deep Inside (Sideswipe Edit)
25:51 J Majik & Kathy Brown – Love Is Not A Game (Sideswipe Edit)
27:25 DJ Rashad – Let It Go
31:04 Danny Corn – X Rhythm
33:00 Fulgeance – Break Them Down featuring MC Yinka (Vocal)
34:20 Two Fingers – Vengeance Rhythm (KOAN Sound Remix)
38:08 Posij – 28Hz Scream
39:25 Reso – Coronium (Doshy Remix)
41:16 Krampfhaft – Twin Prime
42:25 House of Black Lanterns – Truth and Loss (Fracture’s Astrophonica Remix)
44:31 Dub Phizix & Skittles – I’m A Creator
48:57 Deadboy – Nova
51:20 V.I.V.E.K – Over My Head (Om Unit Remix)
53:57 Submerse – This Combo Could End Us
56:34 Grown Folk & Main Attrakionz – Double M.O.B. (Kuedo Remix)
I may have accidentally recorded my most Mainstream mix to date!
128bpm house music – nice warm, fat basslines to get you shuffling along.
Not much more to add really!
Please enjoy responsibly and feel free to share.
Tracklisting / Info:
00:00 Dauwd – Heat Division
02:00 Julio Bashmore – Pelican
05:38 Justin Martin, Eats Everything – Feather Fight (Original Mix)
10:40 Breach & Dark Sky – Fallout
14:00 Gorgon City – 10 Below
17:50 Yadi – Blow (Joe Goddard Remix)
22:47 Boohgaloo Zoo – No Joke (Seiji Remix)
29:21 Star Slinger – Bondax – Gold (Star Slinger Refix)
32:29 Charli XCX – You’re the One (Deadboy Remix)
35:35 Disclosure – White Noise (feat. AlunaGeorge)
38:57 George FitzGerald – Thinking Of You
41:58 Dusky – Atone
48:39 Boddika & Joy Orbison – Mercy (Boddika’s VIP)
51:38 Salva – BBQ
54:32 Eloq – C’mon (Slugabed Remix)
57:39 Rhye – Woman (Eprom Remix)
Runtime 1Hr 3mins, 30secs
320kbps, File Size 145Mb.
January 2013 has already seen an embarrassment of riches when it comes to downtempo, chilled and ambient music. There’s a lot of my “old favourite” artists in this mix, and if you like what you hear, you really do owe it to yourself to pick up the new lps and eps by all of those involved.
This is 90 minutes of horizontal listening music for you to get lost in – spacious soundscapes with the odd delicate melody tinkling away like snowdrops falling from the sky. Starting off with some drone from the likes of Mountain and Heathered Pearls, it gently builds up to a near subliminal 120bpm pulse, reaching a climax with Falty DL and The XX before winding back down with Four Tet, Burial, and then the “bell trilogy” of Snow Palms, Bonobo and Pantha du Prince before one final euphoric jolt of Nosaj Thing’s Moderat-flavoured Eclipse/Blue.
I hope you enjoy this mix, and encourage you to share it. Soundtrack the long dark nights and enjoy getting lost in the music.
Header picture is taken from Mistercharlie’s Flickr Stream
Well, the year draws to an inevitable close, prompting everyone and their grandma to post a list of their cultural highlights of the previous twelve months.
Rather than drag things out in a series of posts, I’m just going to keep things brief this year and link to each of my choices on Letterboxd wherein you can find my initial reactions to viewing, and any further peripheral information that you may require.
There are 2 points I’d like to make before we go any further -
1. These are all films that were released to the general public during 2012, irrespective of their imdb release date.
2. Obviously I haven’t seen every film known to man, and this list is not exhaustive, it is merely a reflection of films I’ve hugely enjoyed. I could (and probably will) write a top ten list of movies from 2012 that I still wish to see but haven’t . . . Last year I didn’t see DRIVE until Boxing day, which is a shame as it would have glided easily into my top 5 from last year.
Right then, let us commence:
10: Sound of Noise (click for review.. ditto the subsequent 9!)
A sharp & kinetic oddball film about drummers who’ll stage “terrorist attacks” by turning random vignettes into musical events.
Speaking as someone who is constantly tapping whatever’s to hand to make rhythms, this spoke to me on a primal level. In fact I made a short film about 12 years ago that had people doing the same in a pub, so there you go.
9: The Revenant
It’s not a zombie movie, it’s not a vampire movie, it’s something else. Initial dark mood gives way to hilarious & tragic undead buddy adventures which somehow reminded me of the best bits of Shaun of the Dead.
Essentially a modern version of Slap Shot, Goon is a Canadian Ice Hockey comedy about an amiable, stupid guy who is hired to play after demonstrating his ability to take many many punches. Goon has a genuine heart and is also very funny, not to mention eminently re-watchable. Funny comedy movies seem to be in short supply but this is my pick of the year, pipping TED and 21 Jump Street at the final hurdle
7: The Bay
“Found footage” utilizing extensive CCTV so that the facade is never compromised or dropped (take note, End of Watch!)
Unsettling body / eco horror that is all the more worse from it’s creeping feasability.
Inexplicably dismissed by the majority of the audience who ought to have loved this, a lovingly hand-crafted Aardman claymation movie packed to the gills with Python-esque surrealism and stalwart voice acting talent. The best fun with Ham you’ll have in the cinema, and Hugh Grant’s best performance in aeons.
2nd choice for animation of the year would be ParaNorman. As for Brave, Pixar needs to get its groove back right now I think.
5: The Grey
Somewhat erroneously marketed as “the guy from Taken fist-fighting wolves,” The Grey had a lot of disposable or sub-par elements that were all blasted out of the frame by one utterly barnstorming and heartbreaking performance from Liam Neeson. It’d be great if he is rewarded not forgotten by Awards Season.
Mesmeric & hypnotic ’80s-flavoured “midnight movie” that plays like Stanley Kubrick had an Instagram app and was addicted to the music of Boards of Canada. A glacial pace out slow-burns Drive, and the analog synth soundtrack hits all the right notes. Definitely not for everyone, but very much for me.
A frenetic pace that makes Scott Pilgrim feel like Beyond the Black Rainbow in comparison. Older viewers will need to concentrate as every teen / high school movie trope is furiously mashed up, ingested, regurgitated, commented upon, and stripped for parts. Probably the 1st film to push the idea of 1990′s aesthetics as retro or niche, which as a teenager of the 90′s I found profoundly satisfying.
*Edit: there’s a cracking blog about Detention to be found HERE *
Whilst I generally try and avoid the more obvious choices in a list such as this, (let’s be honest – everybody has already formed their opinions on Batman 3 or Alien -1 or Bond 23) Cabin is an “obvious” choice that merits inclusion. Languishing on a shelf for far too long, the Whedon-scripted 4th wall smashing, post-post modern adventure speaks directly to every fan of the horror genre, and rewards them for their passion. The 2nd half of this film in particular is one for the ages.
Bearing in mind that opinions are subjective, I’m not saying that Dredd is THE best crafted, best acted, or best directed film of the year, I’m saying that DREDD is a film that I instantly fell in love with, enjoyed the hell out of, and could happily watch with the frequency of my all-time favourite action movies, such as Robocop, Predator, Aliens, and so on.
A lean, brutal, and extremely violent film, Dredd doles out buckets of respect for the fans of the 30-year-old ultraviolent comic book character in a way that makes recent “comic book” or superhero movies seem anodyne or self-censoring by comparison.
Financially, the film flopped: hindered no doubt by lingering memories of Stallone & Danny Cannon’s 1990s travesty. This of course means that thoughts of a sequel are to be dashed on the rocks – if you are a fan of any film where there hero fires a gun and drops a snarky one-liner, you owe it to yourself to spend 90 minutes in Mega City with a genuine icon.
The Next Ten:
Not every film can make it into a list of ten, so here is a sampling of the near-misses, in no particular order.
Chronicle / Avengers: 2 very strong superhero movies with distinctly different aesthetics. Both air-punching crowd pleasers of the highest calibre.
Skyfall: deconstructing the Bond mythos and then rebuilding in it’s own image. A bold & beautiful entry for 007′s 50th birthday
Prometheus: stunning cinematography fuzzled by incoherent plotting and frustrating, unsatisfactory character dynamics. Hope the sequel fixes this.
The Dark Knight Rises: my most anticipated film of the Summer ended up being an overlong damp squib with an incoherent nemesis. Gotta applaud the scale & effort though. In retrospect I think i rate Nolan’s Bat-trilogy in the order they were released, making this a brilliant film but the weakest of the 3.
Lockout: B-movie trash curated by Luc Besson. The best 90′s action movie you never saw, with brilliantly hammy leads from Guy Pearce channeling Snake Plissken, and Joe Gilgun as a terrifying weegie psychopath.
Argo: a rabble rousing pro-America adventure involving Hostages & Hollywood. seems a shoo-in for awards recognition, some of which will be warranted.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: a post apocalyptic sci-fi that looks like the wake of hurricane Katrina. Lachrymose finale and a stunning debut performance from the young lead.
Red Lights: channeling early-era Shyamalan (when that was a good thing), a handsomely shot & crafted paranormal creep-fest with De Niro laying on the ham.
The Muppets: yes, we didn’t get this until February, remember? Truly a joy and a loveable re-energising of a formerly moribund childhood favourite.
Other notable mentions: Moonrise Kingdom, Looper, Klown, Rec 3, The Raid, Safety not Guaranteed, Bernie, Killer Joe, Intouchables, End of Watch, Queen of Versailles, Ruby Sparks, Headhunters, God Bless America, Get the Gringo, Casa de mi Padre, John Carter, Sound of My Voice.
The Bottom of the Barrel:
I try not to dwell on negativity, lord knows there’s enough of that online, but some films just need to receive a slap..
Project X: one of the most wilfully offensive & crass films I’ve ever seen. If this appeals to a teenaged audience then Xenu help us all.
A Few Best Men: odious attempt to pastiche The Hangover with the guy from the BT ads and Kevin ‘bloody’ Bishop cast as groomsmen causing havoc at an idyllic Australian wedding. Having been integral in an idyllic Aussie wedding myself, these so-called hi jinks just grated horribly.
Savages: a film that did everything in its power to make me turn it off. After 45 minutes, I succumbed. The voice over alone deserves a Razzie.
V/H/S: film festival hype does not always translate into a coherent, enjoyable, clever or interesting 90 minutes.
Cosmopolis: This David Cronenberg fan was horribly bored.
The Lorax: an infuriating and self-contradictory cautionary tale from the makers of the equally horrible Despicable Me.
Battleship: there’s an argument that a film like this could only be a self-aware satire on cheesy, cgi-laden blockbuster movies. Personally I’m not buying it. Still better than BayFormers 3, mind.
Men in Black 3: an expensive exercise in wheel-spinning. Enjoyable enough, but hugely unmemorable other than for Josh Brolin’s TL-J impersonation.
American Reunion: like flicking through somebody else’s facebook photos of when they were 16. Crushingly unfunny & unneccesary.
The Sweeney: don’t, just don’t, alright?
Should you so desire, you can browse my movie viewing diary and knee-jerk reactions HERE on Letterboxd.
Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013!
Some 126bpm afro-influenced wonky house from the 2 great men and some of their associates..
Tracklisting / Info:
some relaxing cosmic / disco tunes
Tracklist / Info:
Header picture is taken from Cris Rose’s Flickr Stream and used with a lot of affection.