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Old 05-22-2010, 10:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
Janszoon
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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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25. Land of the Loops—Bundle of Joy (1996)

When you first hear the news that the Earth-Moon collision is imminent this will be a good album for you to turn to for solace. Its warm cocoon of somewhat trippy lo-fi beats will be a comforting thing to wrap yourself up in as you await your impending doom.

Released in 1996 by Boston-area loop dude Alan Sutherland, this little gem of an album has never really received the recognition it deserves in my personal opinion. This is great rainy day music, something fairly uncommon among turntablists and beatmakers in the mid-90s. That's not to say it's a downer by any means—it's actually pretty happy and upbeat—it's just that it's filled with that reassuring nesting feeling you get sitting inside with a cup of hot chocolate when it's crappy outside. And there's something so incredibly innocent about it, that's one of the album's big draws for me. It always seems to conjure up vague childhood memories of summer storms and coloring books.

It's appropriate that the one single released from this album was entitled "Multi-Family Garage Sale" because there's something about the aesthetic of this album that is very garage sale like. A sizable chunk of the samples, for example, seem to be from old children's records or in some cases maybe even actual old toys. And when Sutherland isn't kicking it pre-school he's grabbing some pretty random samples from all over the place—retro sci-fi sound effects, a snippet of Motorhead, wobbly old answering machine messages, you name it. All of this is mixed together with a decidedly indie sensibility that was very much at odds with other beat-oriented music of the same era.

While I was writing this review, what started off as sunny late spring morning has gotten dark and cloudy, threatening rain. I think that's my cue to put on Bundle of Joy and get out the coloring books.

Edit: Whoops, I meant to add this video too.

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25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


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