Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Later: Later Lounge & Serve Chilled 1 & 2[#660, 661, 662 & 663]

In the year 2000, the internet was fledgling and untrustworthy and magazines were still a thing. While wanting to attract the vast untapped market of the non-sex obsessed laid back single male twenty something professional demographic, some magazine publishers chucked buckets of cash at producing magazines aimed at them.

Yes, FHM was a thing but that was more laddish than most men felt comfortable with reading in public, with covers often boardering on the pornographic. Esquire was often too sophisticated – aimed at those confident in their presense and appearance. Empire was just about films and GQ had that metrosexual vibe that just didnt appeal to a lot of heteronormative types. Later bridged the gap – stylish, hip, with a cheeky undertone of implied sauce. It was the reading matter for gents who just wanted to stay in touch with what was cool in the world and how to portray that coolness without looking like a catalogue model or an overtly sculpted waxwork with clearly coded sexuality markers.

I loved Later. It appealed to me. I still have copies of every edition of the magazine mouldering in my loft along. It spoke to men like me and offered a guiding hand in the puzzling world of business, style and culture. It’s sad that the publication ended and more sad that nothing really replaced it. Sadly, it seems, people don’t read magazines the way they did preferring social media, websites, podcasts and Substacks instead

Perhaps the most prized possession from this time of my life along with the magazines themselves, are the free CDs that came with the publications. Two Serve Chilled volumes were released over the lifetime of the magazine, with two Later Lounge volumes.

The CDs were compilations of cool, hip music from across the ages, that would delight and provide the owner with that sense of “Hey I listen to cool hip quality music”. It was the kind of music you could pop on at a dinner party or perhaps after the night out at the club to impress that young lady you had brought back to the pad – stylishly decorated of course thanks to the guidance from the magazine .

Later: The Later Lounge Volume 1 [#660]

Track#Track NameArtist
1Blow Up A Go-GoJames Clarke
2This is SoulPaul Nero
3Bring Down the BirdsHerbie Hancock
4Secret Agent ManHugo Montenegro
5Theme from Mission ImpossibleBilly May & His Orchestra
6What a ManLinda Lyndell
7Whole Lotta LoveIke & Tina Turner
8Theme from BullitWilton Felder
9Down Here on the GroundGrant Green & Dianne Reeves
10TrampLowell Fulson
11Light My FireShirley Bassey
12Love Potion No. 9The Coasters
13I Can See For MilesLord Sitar
14James Bond ThemeLeroy Holmes
15The Look of LoveThree Sounds
16Moon RiverNancy Wilson
17Do You Know the Way to San JoseRichard “Groove” Holmes
18Party 7Big Boss Man
19Save MeNina Simone
20Spinning WheelPeggy Lee
Track listing for Later Lounge Volume 1

Later Lounge Volume 1 latched onto that late nineties/early noughties 60’s revival vibe heralded by the likes of Oceans Eleven, Austin Powers and the remastering of old Michael Caine films. Not a great hit with me, I was far too dirty old goth by this time, but there was some Herbie Hancock, who’s music had already passed my ears on yet another Compilation cassete/CD conversion, the erroneously named Seventies Shit.

If ever I wanted to out hipster Hipster Nick, I’d whack this on, put on a cravat and moan about “bloody beatniks” and now you too can pretend to be a lounge lizard by playing the entire playlist via the magic of Youtube below 🙂

Later: The Later Lounge Volume 2 [#661]

Later Lounge Volume 2 came some months later. I think possibly after Serve Chilled but definately after Later Lounge 1 and Serve Chilled 2. I think by this point Later, as a magazine, had become a little flaky. Not as stylish as it once was, perhaps the chaps in the office had been told there and then that the magazine’s days were numbered. Either way, I felt then that there wasn’t as much thought put into this particular compilation. However, with more mature ears, I can now appreciate fully what sort of vibe they were trying to create.

If you fancied pretending to be some 1970’s caberet club owner with your over priced cigars, chest hair and ladykiller white shoes – you know the kind of way you wouldn’t have dressed to impress in the year 2000 – driving through the rain soaked streets of a cosmopolitan and exotic city like say….Bradford (Detroit being too far away)…in your vinyl roof Ford Cortina Mk1 (1973 Oldsmobiles are too big for UK roads)….then this is the compilation for you.

Track#Track NameArtist
1The Hanged ManBullet
2Stiletto Chico Rey
3Here Comes the JudgeLarry & Tommy
4The OrganiserThe Organisers
5The Night Rider Alan Hawkshaw
6Brasilian BeatLos Brasileros
7ComeEddie Warner
8Love You WholeheartedlyJackie Dee
9Bass in LoveGuy Pedersen
10Son of a Preacher ManBobbie Gentry
11Blarney’s StonedAlan Hawkshaw
12NightingaleDee Felice Trio
13Vision-On Theme (Accroche-toi Caroline!)Claude Vasori
14Les Copains De La BasseGuy Pedersen
15Gimme ShelterCal Tjader
16SuperflySynthesonic Sounds
17The HeistBullet
18Sea GrooveBig Boss Man
19Marriage is a State of VibesDave Hamilton
20Soul FunkChico & Buddy
21Mach 1Ray Davies and His Funky Trumpet
Again, I’ve recreated it on Youtube because I love doing this kind of thing. I should really do a podcast but you know…it’s no good if it’s just me talking….

Later: Serve Chilled Volume 1 [#662]

Serve Chilled Volume 1 became the soundtrack to the early noughties for me. I had multiple copies made to play on my car stereo to accompany long car journeys to and from Yorkshire and I also had it ripped to MP3 when I got my Creative Jukebox 2. I cannot politely express how much I loved this compilation and still do.

A soundtrack to every summer trip to Wales, Brighton, Yorkshire and beyond with Mrs Gnomepants v1.0 who, I hope, reads this and remembers the music as well as I do.

Track #Track NameArtist
1EstelleA Man Called Adam
2DiabolusThe Cinematic Orchestra
3Cylons in LoveBent
4Happy HereDanmass
5Hammock IslandKinobe
6SolitudeNick Faber
7Brown SugarAkasha
8Bahian B-BoyDynamic Syncopation
9Dakota (Kidk Degiorgio Mix)Mainline
10I Want YouDusted
11Dismantling FrankBonobo
12Inside My Mind (Blue Skies) (Elephant Remix)Groove Armada

Later: Serve Chilled Volume 2 [#663]

Finally the December 2000 edition carried Volume 2 of the Serve Chilled compilations. Blissful audio earwashes to carry away the winter chills and return memories of warm summers in Ibiza. However I wasn’t an Ibiza kind of youth prefering more sedate trips to Wales over roudy lads weeks away getting STDs, drunk and regrettable tattoos so this just makes me think of driving through Snowdonia.

Track #Track NameArtist
1Sunshine of Your Love (Bigga Batucada Mix)Rockers Hifi Meet Ella Fitzgerald
2Fusions AlrightRoyksopp
3Recipe fro the Perfect AfroFeature Cast
4Harry the GuitarDr Rubber Funk
5Happiness (Ashley Beedles West Coast Beach Bossa Vocal Mix)Shawn Lee
6Sky Holds the SunThe Bees
7Dive into YouHefner
8Woman in BluePepe Deluxe
9One Night SambaTim Love Lee
10No More TearsBent
11Drunk CountryMidfield General
12AmoursRob
13Get a Move OnMr Scruff
14Nothing to be Afraid OfLazyboy
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In a Moment…Ghost Box – Various Artists [#619]

Unknown-1Ghost Box. The stable from where delights such as Belbury Poly, Broadcast and Focus Group hail. In a Moment…Ghost Box is a compilation of some of the most awesome hauntological music you’ll ever hear. If you’re looking to relive those summer holidays in Scarfolk or those school gatherings around the TV in a cabinet on stilted wheels, then this is what you want to listen to.

Invoking memories of a prenuclear holocaust society, crap video graphics and lots of nylon sweaters, the album is a showcase for many different bands that come under the Ghost Box label’s protective cloak. An excellent starting place for people wanting to explore music of its type.

This album is definitely a gateway album. Though probably to another dimension rather than hard drugs. I suppose that depends on your outlook on life. It is also one of the main reasons why there was a hiatus of the Music Project last year. Having obtained the compilation, I then discovered I had actually bought more albums since starting the project and they had been omitted because they didn’t show on my list. Frustrated by not having a completely alphabetical list of albums, I’ve now decided it doesn’t really matter and only a few OCD readers will be upset by the out of sequence post that will follow this but I’m sure you’ll forgive me when you hear how awesome From an Ancient Star is.

 

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Classical Chillout – Various Artists [#278]

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 08.20.08Classical Chillout – Various Artists

And so I am now near the end of the week of compilations. Sometimes you get a week with a nice mix of artists, other times you get a week of crap. Sorry. That’s just the way it goes.

Today we have Classical Chillout. It seems that in the late nineties/early noughties there was a massive demand for Chillout. No idea why. It wasn’t exactly a stressful time. I guess it was just people liked to chillout. Possibly with drugs. Maybe with a bath. Whatever floats your boat.

Baths usually.

Anyway, today is Classical Chillout. A nice mix of classical music and modern chillout, which, if anything, I approve of, purely for the inclusion of Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus and FaurĂ©’s In Paradisum and Cantique de Jean Racine. Which is why it is in my collection; I was looking for songs I used to sing when I was in Bishop Eton church choir.

– Barber* Adagio For Strings 9:31
–Satie* Gymnopédie No. 1 3:12
–Jenkins* Adiemus 3:57
–Sakamoto* Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence 4:46
–Puccini* O Mio Babbino Caro 2:03
–Albinoni* Adagio 5:48
–Beethoven* Figlio Perduto 4:37
–Pärt* Spiegel Im Spiegel 4:00
–Delibes* Flower Duet (Lakmé) 3:26
–Nyman* The Heart Asks Pleasure First / The Promise 3:11
–Fauré* Cantique De Jean Racine 5:44
–Ungar* & Mason* The Ashokan Farewell 5:06
–Debussy* Clair De Lune 4:54
–Allegri* Misere Mei, Deus (vv 1-4, 17-20) 5:44
–Horner* My Heart Will Go On 4:19
–Jeffes* Perpetuum Mobile 4:28
–J. S. Bach* Concerto For Violin & Oboe In D Minor (BWV 1060 – II: Adagio) 5:52
–GĂłrecki* Symphony No. 3 ‘Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs’ (II: Lento E Largo – Tanquillissimo) (extract) 4:27
–Vaughan Williams* The Lark Ascending (Opening) 6:21
–Satie* Gnossienne No. 1 3:23
–Reich* Nagoya Marimbas 4:51
–Bruch* Violin Concerto No. 1 In G Minor (Op. 26 II: Adagio) (Opening) 4:21
–Tavener* Song For Athene 6:08
–Morricone* Gabriel’s Oboe 2:11
–Armstrong* / Del Naja* / Vowles* / Marshall* Weather Storm 6:02
–Morricone* Chi Mai 5:04
–Fauré* In Paradisum 3:25
–Catalani* Ebben? Ne Andrò Lontana (La Wally) 4:49
–Vivaldi* Winter (The Four Seasons – II: Largo) 2:29
–J. S. Bach* Piano Concerto No. 5 In F Minor (BWV 1056 – II: Largo) 3:24
–Mozart* Ave Verum Corpus 3:22

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The Chillout Room Volume 2 – Various Artists (#265)

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 16.42.29The Chillout Room Volume 2 – Various Artists

Enough people must have bought The Chillout Room to warrant a second volume of chill out choons and chonging. Perhaps it’s the way that chill-out is synonymous, to me, with mental images of my contemporaries jetting off to Ibiza to get wasted in horrific nightclubs and catching some sort of STD from I think her name might have been Sharon.

Of course that is not to say I don’t like the genre. I do, it’s just that it’s tainted by the reminder that there were more confident people who were my age that went on holiday abroad in their early twenties while I ended up going camping in Wales if I was lucky.

This compilation has artists like Smoke City, Groove Armada, Talvin Singh and Moby. The usual “missed the Chillout boat” artists are there but most of the songs are forgettable. But then maybe that’s the idea…..

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Big Big Movie Themes – Geoff Love & His Orchestra (#184)

Big Big Movie Themes - Geoff Love & His OrchestraBig Big Movie Themes – Geoff Love & His Orchestra

Geoff Love was the king of easy listening. Forget Mantovani. Forget James Last. Love was Royalty.

Over several years under the MFP (Music for Pleasure) label, Geoff Love released several LPs featuring orchestrated theme tunes from film and television. Some good. Some bloody awful. Big Big Movie Themes is a kind of “Best of” but actually features some reworkings of some of Love’s best arrangements. Still good stuff though.

It now appears that these golden greats from the 1970s have been rereleased as CDs and are also available on iTunes so hopefully a whole new generation can experience Easy Listening to the full.

This album features:

The James Bond Theme
The Big Country
Somewhere My Love (Dr Zhivago)
Jaws
The Way We Were
A Man and a Woman
Lawrence of Arabia
The Magnificent Seven
Goldfinger
What’ll I do (The Great Gatsby)
A Summer Place
Colonel Bogey
Love Story
Warsaw Concerto (Dangerous Moonlight)

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#165 – The Best of Era – Era

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 14.02.16 The Best of – Era

No. I’d never heard of them either. It seems that I must have liked one of their songs and downloaded all of their music in the hope of finding something original.

This is like a poor man’s Enigma. Lots of Gregorian Chants (Popular in the 1990s) and new age fiddle faddle. The kind of music you might hear in one of those shops that sell floaty vaginas, tofu knitting kits and yogurt weaving tools.

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#137 – Beauty – Vargo

Beauty - VargoBeauty by Vargo

Sometimes you just want to chill. Sometimes you want some nice make out music. Sometimes you want some music to make lurve to. Sometimes you want to all the above.

This is an album you probably wouldn’t want to listen to when carving up families in the back garden or for those awkward moments between genocidal massacre and slaughtering kittens. Unless of course you’re a bit strange.

Vargo, it appears, are a European chill out artist. I’ve go no idea how I ended up with this album though. Completely off the scale of my music tastes. But it’s an ok soundtrack for a bit of romantic hows yer father..

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