February 11, 2008.
For the past month I have been seeking a piece of music that I intensely need, but I haven't been able to find it. That isn't particularly surprising, because it isn't a song whose title I've heard but forgotten, not even a song that I momentarialy overheard on the radio or playing in a passing suv. It isn't the shopping music at the local grocery store, or the theme song to a new commercial.
I've never heard it, but I need it intensely. Now allow me to document my futile searching.
The first album on this quest was Classics by Ratatat. It has several excellent songs. Montanita, Lex, and Wildcat are the best three. This album is great, but it didn't silence the insistent need I feel inside. Lex was the song that came the closest, but it simply didn't have what I required--whatever that is--in the necessary dosage.
Following that lead I tried another Ratatat album, their self-titled first release. Unfortunately it wasn't what I needed either. It is a more consistent work than Classics, but the consistent quantity still lacked the unknowable quality I searched for. Ratatat has masterful production, but their light and poppish feel was grinding at my ears in a way it never had before. The stuff is exceptional, but not what I needed.
In a different direction I took a recommendation from my sister, and tried The Flying Club Cup by Beiruit. This album does a lot for me, in particular Nantes, A Sunday Smile, and Cherbourg had elements that I really latched onto. Cherbourg was the first that really struck me: a particularly melancholy song on an album charactized by melancholy. This time the feel of the LP was right, but it still lacked something else.
Next up was You Make Me Feel by Milosh. This is another great album, and it reminds me a lot of You Are Beautiful At All Times by Yppah (although, not as consistently amazing). The production is really remarkable, in particularly the title track: You Make Me Feel is a great track. Your Taste and Time Steals the Day are the other two songs I particularly took to. Unfortunately, it wasn't heading in quite the right direction for the dark inner craving I needed to satiate. Despite occasional tinges of melancholy, it is mostly a muted album about love. Not exactly right.
The next album kind of came out of nowhere. I grabbed Beat Space Nine by m-flo, which is the first album by m-flo I have listened to. The description of having a unique dance pop sentimentality grabbed me. What can I say, I'm a sucker for this stuff. The energy on the cd really grabbed me. The production is really unusual, with a persistent habit of completely morphing into different production midway through songs, and then shifting back to the original beats before drifting into something new yet again. A great album, in particular the second version of Tripod Baby (the first is mediocre), The Other Side of Love, and Taste Your Stuff are great. So, the energy was excellent, but the feel wasn't quite right. Time to move on.
Next were two singles off of Amerie's upcoming album. Take Control and Gotta Work are both quality songs. Great energy, but the wrong feel.
My next purchase is Rossz Csillag Alatt Szuletett by Venetian Snares. Holy hell is it close to what I want. A fusion of classical with electronic, it has a dark intensity that is genuinely frightening at times. It has a brilliant energy to it as well, and at times the complexities of the production meshed with the classical instruments create something with unfathomable depth. This violent energy appeals to me in a powerful way. Hajnal is an excellent flagship for the elements of the music which are captivating me. Points of this album are Intelligent Dance Music at its opaque best. An orchestrated cacophony that is a crucial step closer to brilliance than noise. This LP would be exactly what I am searching for, if only it was more consistent in its delivery.
So now I'm combing through the rest of the Veneterian Snares catalog, hoping to find the unknowable fix.