Monday 30 November 2015


PARKGOLF's moniker no longer appears in all caps on his SoundCloud page so I'm really not sure how to address him anymore. For ease (since I am not much of a caps lock user and can't be bothered to hold down shift every time I type his name) I will refer to him as Parkgolf. Eeesh, but it doesn't look as good, does it? It's ok. This is change and progress probably.

If you don't know: PARkgolf is a musicmaker from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. He first caught the attention of YES/NO after he remixed 'I Don't Care', a brash and sweltering iridescent reworking of the Tofubeats original that appeared on the latter's remix version of his album Lost Decade back in 2013. Since then he's been dropping ever more electrostatic pearls of plasticine playfulness, sometimes in the form of originals, other times in the form of remixes, always jittering with untetherable energy.

And with that, here's his latest: a remix of 'City Lights' by Tokyo duo HyperJuice; maybe I'm just a sucker for a Seinfeld-esque bassline, maybe this is just the kind of music to sate my overstimulated mind – either way: expect nerf gatling gun bass popcorn laced throughout.

It's safe to say that this is an out-of-control ferris wheel of fun, turning the original track into a fireworks celebration of the vocals by EVO+ (unless they have exactly the same name and I've got this wrong, she is an utaite, which means she's predominantly, or at least started out by, posting cover versions of mostly VOCALOID songs on Nico Nico Douga), with gentle piano belying the jet takeoff that awaits with Parkgolf's mastery of plasma beam chords, a decoction of pulsing rhythmic-explosion dynamism and crystalline fluidity.

The drums are full-bodied, thick, like the sound of that thing astronauts train in as it spins WHOMP! - WHOMP! - WHOMP! The scree of bass notes jumbling with complexity, a wonder of virtuoso sonic storytelling and summoning energy in the listener – who with each phantasmic blast of synth sound sets our minds and bodies aglow with rainbow frequencies, careening dopamine hailing from neurone to neurone in orgasmic succession.

  • There's a free download of the track via Dropbox right here (clicking).
  • 'City Lights' appears on recent HyperJuice release, Lights.

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Friday 27 November 2015


  •                          The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
  •                          Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
  •                          Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
  •                          Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it

This is what sprang to mind when I began writing this post. It is the Quatrain 51 from The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, a translation by Edward FitzGerald of poems by Persian poet/mathematician/astronomer Omar Khayyám. Something about it relates both to the track which is the subject of this post and also to the long, desolate and pointless hiatus of YES/NO these past weeks.

'Highway Of Bygone Minds' is by a Belfast-based producer CM88 (irl: Charles Mullan). He's originally from Limavady which amongst other things is famous for being the place where the tune for 'Danny Boy' ('Londonderry Air') was collected from a fiddle player in the mid-19th century. But this is all beside the point. 'Highway Of Bygone Minds' as a title suggests loss, loneliness, a lament for something long fallen by the wayside: and the beautiful ambience of the music itself helps to illustrate this sentiment further.

Beginning with the sound of cars streaming up and down a road, the undulating synth at the heart of this track rises up like an all-encompassing fog, rolling along unrelentingly until it meets a steady, lightly bouncy, gradually more-and-more shuffling beat with ticking hi-hats that drives it onwards. Screaming distorted abrasions of synth lance out of the dank mind-melting fog like lightning from clouds, occasional ornamentations in the form of chimes ringing out like something half-forgotten at the back of the mind. It's a slice of intense, living-and-breathing electronica that reminded me of something Jon Hopkins might make.

The mood is wholly and wonderfully elegaic, almost triumphally so, conjuring stretched-out landscapes hemmed in by iron-coloured clouds, heavy monochrome days, endless rain; the condensation of inside blurring the drowned world outside the window. Bass booms and grinds, thickening the inescapable hubbub of the track, robust, more concrete patterns taking shape from the initial, thinner sweeps of sharpened noise that cuts through your mind. This is a huge Turner-esque oil painting, stamping and storming as much as it bursting with sadness to such a degree that it has become vague, indistinct.

  • You can download the track from CM88's Bandcamp.
  • It's taken from an upcoming EP called V which will arrive in January 2016.

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