Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

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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