November 17 – Defy Everything (Epic 2017 #189)

The Epic 2017 Project #189: 170708

November 17 – Defy Everything (1999)

N17 (sometimes known as November 17) were an Industrial metal band from Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Formed in 1993, they were one of the original crossover electronic/metal They released two albums and were signed to Slipdisc Records (a division of Mercury Records) until the label closed in late 1999. They were also signed to Spitfire Records until the band’s split in 2001.

The band took its name from the November 17, 1973, student uprising at Athens Polytechnic University. Twenty students were killed when Greek army tanks suppressed the protests, and the group was formed in part to retaliate against the ruling military junta.

Moby – Play (Epic 2017 #179)

The Epic 2017 Project #179: 170628

Moby – Play (1999)

Play is the fifth studio album by American electronica musician Moby. It was first released on May 17, 1999 by Mute and V2. Recording of the album began in 1998, following the release of his fourth album, Animal Rights in 1996, which deviated from Moby’s electronica style; his goal for Play was to return to this style of music. Originally intended to be his final record, the recording of the album took place at Moby’s home studio in Manhattan, New York.

While some of Moby’s earlier work garnered critical and commercial success within the electronic dance music scene, Play was both a critical success and a commercial phenomenon. The album introduced Moby to a worldwide mainstream audience, not only through a large number of hit singles that helped the album to dominate worldwide charts for two years, but also through unprecedented licensing of his music in films, television, and commercial advertisements. It eventually became the biggest-selling electronica album of all-time, with over 12 million copies sold worldwide.

In 2003 and 2012, the album was ranked number 341 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was nominated for both a Grammy Award and Brit Award, was the UK’s biggest-selling independent album of 2000, and certified platinum status in more than 20 countries.

Massive Attack – Protection (Epic 2017 #172)

The Epic 2017 Project #172: 170621

Massive Attack – Protection (1994)

So, for mid-summer’s day 2017 we have Massive Attack’s second studio album, released in 1994 and the last to feature Tricky as a member after going solo with his album Maxinquaye in 1995.

Protection was featured in the top ten of Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘Coolest Albums of All Time List’, calling it “great music for when you’re driving around a city at 4 am,” due to the ‘chill out’ nature of the album. Like most of Massive Attack’s albums, the music often defies categorisation, ranging from R&B to hip hop/rap (like Karmacoma) to reggae-tinged synthpop to classical-influenced electronica instrumentals like ‘Weatherstorm’.

The album follows Blue Lines structurally, to the point that the font used on the cover of the album is the same, Helvetica Heavy Italic.Now there’s a useless bit of information to weave into conversation!

Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Epic 2017 #171)

The Epic 2017 Project #171: 170620

Massive Attack – Mezzanine (1998)

Massive Attack’s third album, released on 20 April 1998 by Circa and Virgin Records. It was the first album to be produced by Neil Davidge, along with the group. The entire album was provided on their website for legal download many months before the physical release was announced, one of the first major uses of the MP3 format by a commercial organisation.

Mezzanine topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, becoming the band’s most commercially successful album. It saw the band expanding their trip hop sound to electronica stylings with diverse influences from rock, hip hop and dub genres.

Leftfield – Leftism (Epic 2017 #163)

The Epic 2017 Project #163: 170612

Leftfield – Leftism (1995)

Three anecdotes about this album. First anecdote – we caught the band on the first leg of the Leftism tour in Brighton on the year of its release. Two things about that gig; (1) it started at 02:00 in the morning – after the preceding three hour DJ set! and (2) when the bass hit it you – it hit you! It was a tangible thing – like a pressure wave. First (and to be honest) only time I’ve experienced that. Second anecdote – the band have just this year released a remastered version of Leftism as a double album; Leftism in all its remastered glory and Leftism as done by a host of respected other artistes and DJs including Quiet Village, Ben Sims, Dungeon Meat and Skream. I have both the original and the new one of course. Third anecdote – for around 11 years from the late 1990’s I played in a South Coast based samba band called Beach Bateria. Amongst our repertoire was a number called ‘Song of Life’ which was loosely based around the rhythm part of the Leftfield song and a sample I’d taken (and embellished) from the track.

Leftism, the first studio album from Paul Daley and Neil Barnes aka Leftfield was first released in January 1995 on Columbia Records. It contained a mixture of new tracks along with reworked versions of previous Leftfield singles together with guest spots from musicians not associated with dance music at the time such as John Lydon from Public Image Ltd. (and formerly of Sex Pistols) and Toni Halliday from Curve.

The Knife (Epic 2017 #150)

The Epic 2017 Project #150: 170530

The Knife (2001)

The Knife is the self-titled debut album by Swedish electronic music duo The Knife, released on 5 February 2001 by Rabid Records. The album’s recordings started early in the summer of 1999 in a cottage on the Swedish island of Tjörn. The duo also recorded it in their flats in Gothenburg and Stockholm, and in a rehearsal studio in the Hökarängen district of Stockholm.

On 31 October 2006, Mute Records released this and The Knife’s second album, Deep Cuts, in the United States, marking the first Stateside release of both titles.