Category Archives: James Blackshaw

Hero is Gone

Featuring : James Blackshaw + Pechenga

Here at 20JFG we quite obviously find music an incredibly evocative experience.  We dabble in what appear, quite often, to be ludicrously extended and intricate metaphors — but what are in fact despatches from our hyperactive subconscious…that also serve as ludicrously extended…

Occasionally, a nameless force reaches out to us.

My Frozen Spirit begins with the aeons-old bass thump from deep beneath a looming cyclopean peak — transported from the rocky continent of Antarctica to the more geographically convenient region of the Artic.  A growling electronic oscillation rises with it, like the Elder Ones, spreading their latticed wings to catch the rush of ancient air surging into a still night.  Strange melodies float over from the distant mountains of snow, pipes transmitting unfathomable warnings across the interceding, icy plateau.  Their plaintive song lost among the bass heft of shifting ice shelves making their way slowly, but with purpose, away from the enormous Antartic mountain of madness, placed sinisterly in their midst.

Pechenga – My Frozen Spirit

Pechenga is Rune Lindbæk and Cato Farstad.  The story goes that after recording this album in 2007 at Lindbæk’s grandmother’s house they self released the record in Norway where it sold 57 copies.  Evidently one to found its way to Smalltown Supersound‘s Joakim Haugland because that label’s just re-released it.  Thankfully.  It’s an incredibly beautiful ambient work, full of a sense of infinite blank vistas and silent winter light.  Where Thomas Köner traverses beneath the ice, here we often soar above, watching our perfect black shadow dance along the white sheets below.

Gatto’s Pick

James Blackshaw – Transient light in the twilight

I used to work with James…..lovely boy….long fingernails.

I would say that I’d give my right arm to be able to play like him…..but that’d defeat the object of making such a bargain in the first place.


20jazzfunkgreats best of 2010: Those cracks in time

It was as if, glimpsed from the right angle, all of the attempts at categorisation had but cascaded into one. Moving the three lists back into their proper position temporarily solved this issue but the great list-master remained disturbed. For what could this mean, he thought. What were the semantic implications of this perilous discovery? Were the three lists secretly as one? What would the creators of the lists think of this? A year’s work, carefully separating and categorising reduced, by a tilt of the head, to a universal soup.

Darkstar – North. In the best possible sense, the synth-pop album of the year.

Echo Lake – In Dreams. Metronomic dream-pop for Black Lodge parties.

Echo Lake – In Dreams (posted May 20th)

Future Islands – In Evening Air. The house band for a desert plateau from which you can see only stars.

Future Islands – Inch Of Dust (posted May 13th)

Girl Unit – Wut.  Minimalist mirrorball-Bass. A torch song for the drop.

Girl Unit – Wut (New Post)

Guido – Anidea.  Soundtrack to lone walks through a metropolis you’re falling back in love with.  Until this ends…

Guido – Tantalized (New Post)

Hotel Mexico – Its Twinkle.  Teaching us how to love the guitar overdose once more.  Like falling on psychedelics.

Hotel Mexico- Its Twinkle (posted August 3rd)

James Blackshaw – All is Falling.  An album of serene beauty that performed a feat of alchemy by making travelling back from London at 3AM a pleasurable experience.

James Blackshaw – Part 4 (New Post)

Night Gallery – Constant Struggle.  In a world of (reanimated) Cold-Wave we nuzzle in the warm embrace of an anglo-centric synth-pop…that includes songs about child killers.  What darkness lurks in the heart of synthesisers?

Night Gallery – Real Normal (New Post)

No UFO’s – Soft Coast.  A cascade through the experimental heart of early dance music. A transmission picked up from the desert wastes of a future built on Kaotic Harmonies.

No UFO’s – 00/00/2010 (posted July 1st)

Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal.  Universally praised culmination of an epic journey of minimal synths into the night desert skies –  criss-crossed by star patterns that resemble a patch-chord diagram.  This is what happens when someone wires that up.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Where Does time Go (posted July 1st)

Solar Bears – She Was Coloured In.  “The metronome of this song swings with the circumference of a horizon beheld from high above, where the clouds glow with a tincture which is both the warmth of the sun, and the deep blue of the space above, it makes me wanna cry for everything we have forgotten”. – Florian

Solar Bears- Neon Colony (posted July 12th)

V/A – Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa.  Without a shadow of a doubt the compilation of the year.

Zinja Hlungwani – N’wagezani My Love (New Post)