May 31, 2019

Fat Roland's top ten comfort listens - 1: Richard H Kirk's Virtual State


Number 1 in my top ten comfort-listens is Richard H Kirk's Virtual State

Album nameVirtual State

Artist: Richard H Kirk

Additional note: This is the last post in this mini blog series - see all the rest here. I should have included Aphex Twin, The Orb and Global Communication in this list, but all three demand closer listening even if it's something I've heard a zillion times like Selected Ambient Works, and the whole point of this series is about background listening without paying too much attention. Also, you can pretty much shuffle this entire top ten. Righto - carry on...

Who they sound like according to Spotify's recommendations: A lovely pair of woolly trousers.... actually it doesn't say that, but Spotify's recommendations are pretty weak

Most comforting musical element: The memory of playing this on vinyl over and over again, alongside Autechre's Incunabula, without - at that stage - knowing much about either artist

Least comforting musical element: The fact that Kirk's had so many aliases and projects (Cabaret Voltaire, Sandoz, Electronic Eye, Sweet Exorcist), the chances are you're listening to Richard H Kirk AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW IT

What it's like being smothered by (in a good way): A lovely, heaving, moist Fat Roland, possibly lubricated with Lurpak

Comfort food it should be paired with: A lovely salad - you've had far too much comfort food during this blog series and you're looking a little green around the gills

Public figure I would recommend this album to so they can chill the heck out: None of them: I'm keeping this album all to myself, so important was it to me back in t'day

What the opposite of this album sounds like: A basket of puppies being poured into a shredder, or perhaps a baby hippo in a blender, or maybe a giraffe entangled in the mechanical jaws of a city-destroying megabot - basically, anything that's horrible

Click here to see the comfort listening series in full - thanks for reading.

Fat Roland's top ten comfort listens - 2: The Radio Dogma podcast


Number 2 in my top ten comfort-listens is The Black Dog's Radio Dogma

Podcast name: Radio Dogma

Artist: The Black Dog

Who they sound like according to Spotify's recommendations: Ah! Shut up! It's a podcast! Fooled you! In your FACE, stupid question-setter!

Most comforting musical element: The quality of the collated tunes, and the continual warmth even when they get dark

Least comforting musical element: When you're trying to concentrate, the talking gets in the way, but I'm sure The Black Dog don't sit in their studio thinking "better make sure we don't throw Fat Roland off his macramé"

What it's like being smothered by (in a good way): A couple of gruff old techno-heads from Sheffield, proper rubbing up against you, they are - one of them's wearing a really itchy poncho

Comfort food it should be paired with: A Sheffield egg, which is a Sheffield-centric egg encased in sausage meat, cheese, relish, breadcrumbs and steel dining forks

Public figure I would recommend this album to so they can chill the heck out: All those other bloody idiots who do bad things on podcasts: poor editing, poor mic control, eating on mic, going on mic with a sniffly cold, waffling on too long, not listening to answers, talking over each other, doing endless intro segments, bad music... you all need to be more like The Black Dog

What the opposite of this album sounds like: Nighttime on the New Zealand north island village of Papatowai, which is directly on the opposite side of the Earth to Sheffield (geography for the win)

Click here to see the comfort listening series in full.

Fat Roland's top ten comfort listens - 3: Sun Electric's Present


Number 3 in my top ten comfort-listens is Sun Electric's Present

Album name: Present

Artist: Sun Electric

Who they sound like according to Spotify's recommendations: Mariah Carey and Megadeth... only joking... Global Communication, System 7, The Orb

Most comforting musical element: It sort of glistens, like a beautifully packaged parcel of molten hot iron

Least comforting musical element: Aaaargh, too hot, aaaaargh, too hot, I'm burning, I'm burning

What it's like being smothered by (in a good way): This album was off my radar and I only really got into it a couple of years ago (Kitchen was always my preferred Sun Electric album), so it's like being smothered by a long-lost uncle who you're not entirely sure is your uncle but he has that look in his eyes so you carry on pretending he's definitely your uncle

Comfort food it should be paired with: A sausage and chorizo pasta bake thrown into the fiery heart of the sun

Public figure I would recommend this album to so they can chill the heck out: Normski - whatever happened to Normski? Or maybe Neil out of Art Attack. Someone you'd forgotten about but now really want to meet

What the opposite of this album sounds like: An overly-familiar part of your body, like the back of your hand, or your athlete's foot, or your gangrenous third nipple

Click here to see the comfort listening series in full.

Fat Roland's top ten comfort listens - 4: Autechre's Incunabula


Number 4 in my top ten comfort-listens is Autechre's Incunabula

Album name: Incunabula (rhymes with parabola) (probably)

Artist: Autechre

Who they sound like according to Spotify's recommendations: AFX, Squarepusher, μ-Ziq

Most comforting musical element: Autechre were so different here: just listen to those lingering chords

Least comforting musical element: The week this was released, Mr Blobby entered the charts for the first time - COINCIDENCE?!

What it's like being smothered by (in a good way): Something old and textured, like a very nice elephant or a grandpa dressed as a Christmas tree

Comfort food it should be paired with: A lovely slice of old pizza you found behind your oven (just blow the mould off, it'll be fine)

Public figure I would recommend this album to so they can chill the heck out: All the candidates in the Tory leadership contest, as long as they listened inside their own toilets and didn't come out ever again

What the opposite of this album sounds like: Blobbyyyy, oh Mr Blobby, if only you could make us understaaaand....

Click here to see the comfort listening series in full.

Fat Roland's top ten comfort listens - 5: Bicep's Bicep


Number 5 in my top ten comfort-listens is Bicep's Bicep

Album name: Bicep

Artist: Bicep

Who they sound like according to Spotify's recommendations: I'm not even going to bother because they don't mention Bonobo once, which is ridiculous

Most comforting musical element: Those icicle-sharp hi-hats that send a shiver up your nose

Least comforting musical element: The blokes from Bicep who have nipped round to poke an icicle up your schnozzle

What it's like being smothered by (in a good way): Nostalgia, but not creepy family photograph nostalgia: good nostalgia, like early MySpace or your YouTube uploads from ten years ago

Comfort food it should be paired with: That ice-cream with the marshallow chunks in, but nothing too salty, thanks, in fact I'll just have a Viennetta

Public figure I would recommend this album to so they can chill the heck out: Anyone overdoing the whole keyboard-warrior bullying on Twitter instead of using their significant following to celebrate their legacy such as, for example, IT-themed sitcoms

What the opposite of this album sounds like: A life without nostalgia: a country without a past, a person without a back-story, a computer without a search history

Click here to see the comfort listening series in full.

Fat Roland's top ten comfort listens - 6: Bola's Soup


Number 6 in my top ten comfort-listens is Bola's Soup.

Album name: Soup

Artist: Bola

Who they sound like according to Spotify's recommendations: Arovane, Brothomstates, Kettel (where really they should just list Boards of Canada)

Most comforting musical element: It's exactly the right level of chill

Least comforting musical element: The title pun (bowl o' soup)

What it's like being smothered by (in a good way): Soup, but room-temperature soup because a piping hot minestrone is going to take your face off

Comfort food it should be paired with: Soup, obviously soup, just plain old soup, not soup and a bread roll, just the soup, no you may NOT sprinkle it in herbs

Public figure I would recommend this album to so they can chill the heck out: Joey Essex because he once did a soup advert, which is very much something I just had to google

What the opposite of this album sounds like: What's the antonym for soup? Just some ingredients laid out in a line, entirely separate, i.e. some tomatoes or a mushroom, I really feel there was something else I was meant to be writing about here...

Click here to see the comfort listening series in full.

Fat Roland's top ten comfort listens - 7: B12's Electro-Soma


Number 7 in my top ten comfort-listens is B12's Electro-Soma.

Album name: Electro-Soma

Artist: B12

Who they sound like according to Spotify's recommendations: The Black Dog, Two Lone Swordsmen, LFO

Most comforting musical element: The completeness of the album, which is remarkable considering how it was patched together

Least comforting musical element: Nothing, shut up with your stupid question, this is a bang-to-rights classic, and slightly makes up for the face I've included no Aphex Twin in this list

What it's like being smothered by (in a good way): A hundred androids with their soft, stroking metal hands and tickly jagged antenna.

Comfort food it should be paired with: A nice bucket of circuit boards sprinkled with that spicy red salt everyone seems to like these days

Public figure I would recommend this album to so they can chill the heck out: Deckard out of Blade Runner because I believe he had trouble with a few androids and this album makes robots sound kinda okay

What the opposite of this album sounds like: This album is the diametric opposite of beardy folk music, which as we all know is the worst kind of music

Click here to see the comfort listening series in full.

Fat Roland's top ten comfort listens - 8: Kiasmos's Kiasmos


Number 8 in my top ten comfort-listens is Kiasmos's Kiasmos

Album name: Kiasmos

Artist: Kiasmos

Who they sound like according to Spotify's recommendations: Rival Consoles, Max Cooper, Jon Hopkins

Most comforting musical element: The sheer musicality of their classical influences

Least comforting musical element: The fact that I used this as intro music at my 2015 Edinburgh Fringe show, which was such an intense experience I have only just started to listen to this album again

What it's like being smothered by (in a good way): The endless stares of arm-crossed audience members with furrowed brows that suggest their one burning thought: "well, this is NOTHING like Michael McIntyre"... and then it turns out they quite liked it

Comfort food it should be paired with: A plate of deep-fried chips that's been marked up £3 because it's the Edinburgh Fringe

Public figure I would recommend this album to so they can chill the heck out: MICHAEL CRAPPING MCINTYRE

What the opposite of this album sounds like: My forthcoming 2019 Edinburgh Fringe show Seven Inch, showing 1.15pm every day at the News Room from August 1st to 13th (see what I did there?)

Click here to see the comfort listening series in full.