The Albums of 2011 – #6 Sun Glitters – Everything Could Be Fine
I have to be honest, picking album #6 of the year for me has been the most difficult choice of this entire top ten.. The reason being that the top 5 are pretty solidly locked down, but as I homed in on the top of the list I realised how many albums I had truly loved this year that weren’t going to make it. The bulk of my album listening is of the chilled out variety – as far as I’m concerned, an album is something to be played from start to finish and absorbed.. Something for your head & heart more than your feet I suppose. Naturally, mixtapes provide the dancier flip side to that same coin.
What I’m getting round to saying is that 2011 has had some wonderful examples of chilled out albums – Ghostly International seem to be incapable of releasing anything at all that is sub-par, and indeed Aeroc’s “R+B=?” album on Ghostly was had fisticuffs at dawn with Sun Glitters’ for this spot on the list. Washed’s Out’s Within and Without was another highlight of chilling, Com Truise’s Galactic Melt was an 80’s tinged, equally absorbing opus of synth-heavy relaxation (That was on Ghostly too? Jeez – let the other labels have a go, guys!) and Giraffage’s Comfort lp (available for free download here) very nearly bumped the rest of the contenders here.
What a lot of these albums have in common is that theyve been rather lazily lumped under the collective adjective/name of “Chillwave.” Genre definitions are useful shorthand as they help people to decide what they don’t like before bothering to listen to it </sarcasm> and it seems that somehow this C-word has become a dirty one. I can’t keep up with whether this is one of those musical genres that is accused of swarming with Hipsters (but to be honest, that is increasingly becoming a word for any scorn-balls to disparage anything they don’t like and see as a threat by being Cooler Than They) – it seems myopic to dismiss something purely down to snobbery about a word though. So, allow me to concentrate on the musical output of Luxembourg’s one Victor Ferreira, aka Sun Glitters sometimes aka sug(r)cane…
I somehow stumbled upon Sun Glitters’ lp in March and it hasn’t left my mp3 player since – Ferreira is quite prolific and seems to regularly add to his oeuvre with remixes and stand alone tracks popping up on his bandcamp blog on a fairly regular basis.. As each track bubbles to the surface, the lp effectively grows a few minutes longer (3 cheers for the crossfade function!). Upon inital listening I raved to those who would listen, describing Sun Glitters as “like Boards of Canada making house music” or “probably quite good with Nitrous,” but dont take my word for it – the official line is that it’s “an ocean of lush melodies, pitch-shifted vocal samples, ghostly digi-diva choirs, warm bass melodies driven by alternately dense and relaxing beatwork combinations between downtempo and wonky beats.” Okay, Gottit?
Why, you may ask, have I picked this album over the aforementioned others? Well, it comes down to timing really – having had this music with me for 9 months, it really has soundtracked some memorable moments of my year.. When I went to the Bangface Weekender, this is what we would wake up to in the early afternoon; when my baby daughter had an hour’s nap, this would be the musical archipelago that would soothe & calm me until she arose; when we drove to a week’s holiday at the seaside, this was the soundtrack I’d play in the car; when I have to get up at 5.30am to go to work, this shuts out the noise of the London Underground; when we had a summer barbecue, this was the album to play as the sun waned over the horizon. When ambient blog Headphone Commute asked me to do a podcast mix for them this summer, it was no fluke that I featured several Sun Glitters tracks & remixes.
So yes, it’s only fair that Sun Glitters trounces the other ambient bedfellows in my estimation. It’s at this point that I should point out that you too can get his album for free, simply by visiting the Everything Could Be Fine Bandcamp page.. I really think you should.
You can watch the video to Sun Glitters – Too Much To Lose here:
Whilst googling for that video, i discovered that the Guardian named him as New Band of the Day back in August, so read that too if you like.. doesn’t bother me!
Please come back at the same time tomorrow to see my pick for Album #5 of 2011. Things start heating up now.
The Clockwork Shorts 2011 retrospective can be browsed for your pleasure right HERE