Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Jardin D’Eden – Arom [#647]

Album Cover Back before the great internet download free for all of the early noughties and way before iTunes, Amazon Prime and Spotify, pioneers of the internet created diverse websites which fostered creativity instead of stifling it. One such groundbreaking website was called Peoplesound which encouraged and facilitated unsigned bands to release their music through the site who would curate and aggregate their works to potentially new fans.

For many bands this would be their first foothold into the world of music, indeed, a number of former Peoplesound artists went on to be hugely popular for example Sugarplum Fairies to name one. But more on Peoplesound in the future.

One of the Peoplesound artists I fell for was a french group called Arom. Now, if you’re ever thinking of starting a band, can I suggest that you use a word or phrase that is Googleable because Arom brings up all sorts of results, very few if any, relate to the band Arom. Or, for that matter, the band Arom I’m writing about, as it appears there have been several other bands with the same name.

The particular itteration of Arom we’re interested in today is one, possibly from France, maybe Canada or Belgium,  who have a bit of a “Bjork meets Portishead” sound. I actually have two versions of the album – the Peoplesound EP and the official album which is available on Apple Music.

The Peoplesound EP (2000ish) features 5 tracks, 3 of which, after much post-production, made their way to the official album (2007) which features 11 tracks – all of which have been heavily processed and, in my opinion, have lost the haunting focus of the EP.

Jardin d’Eden by Arom is available on Apple Music and Amazon

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Formica Blues – Mono [#491]

Mono_Formica_Blues_album_coverYears ago, before it was ruined by Spotify I used Last.FM to stream my music. Using Liverpool University’s superfast internet connection, at a time when to most scousers the word “Broadband” met something to do with being fat, I would stream new music, scribble down those I liked and then try and download it all buy it legitimately.

Back in those early days, the algorithm used by such sites couldn’t cope with my eclectic music tastes and would regularly throw a spaz or start playing stuff it thought “I should like”. One such band was Mono which, it turned out, I actually liked.

Mono were a British band whose appearance on the world stage was brief and shared only by a few in the know. THE ultimate nineties/noughties hipster band. Many hipsters will know only of Mono through the inclusion of  Life in Mono on the soundtrack of the fabulous 1999 film Great Expectations and other might know them because they were related some how. But I know them because technology said to me I wasn’t cool or hip enough to know them before anyone else.

Formica Blues is one of my most favourite albums. It crosses many genre boundaries whilst also paying homage to both John Barry and Lulu. Much akin to Sneaker Pimps, Portishead and Massive Attack, Mono fall neatly into the Triphop genre but with only one, highly acclaimed but hardly known album under their wing, the band disbanded in 2000;  Lead singer, Siobhan de Mare, later working with Cocteau Twin, Robin Guthrie.


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Forever Faithless: Greatest Hits – Faithless [#490]

Forever_Faithless_–_The_Greatest_Hits At this point, anyone who knows me personally will no doubt be thinking “Hang on, Dance/Trip hop? Isn’t Stegzy a hairy die hard Prog fan?”. Indeed, but sometimes, with every record collection, you find a “loved genre” busting album or band.  Faithless are one of those bands.

Please don’t think I’ve gone and burnt my Yes t-shirt or thrown out my Roger Dean posters, far from it. I liked a couple of songs by Faithless. Happy cheery dance numbers with a dark and foreboding political message for the youth of the day, which, no doubt, was lost on many. I liked those songs sufficiently to try a few of Faithless’ other albums, this one and Back to Mine.

I left it there. My two favourite songs appeared on the album, Insomnia and Mass Destruction but the other songs were a little bit too beyond my cultural tastes. While similar to Massive Attack in some respects, the later dance tracks take me out of my cultural safety zone. A prime example of when getting a greatest hits album will give you a good idea of whether or not you’ll like a band’s other works too.

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