|IN TRANSIT: Taken en route to see Mellowdrone in NYC. OPTPHOTO © 2004|
This gem of a CD is filled with songs from the California-based project-thingy Mellowdrone.
|Mellowdrone live in NYC OPTPHOTO © 2004|
M E L L O W D R O N E (as released on the first few EPs) is, quite simply, the shit. I first came along this band on a CMJ 1999 (?) sampler. A dark, pulsating little number titled Fall On Your Knees. In 2003, Mr. Jonathan Bates (aka Mellowdrone) released a new EP titled A Demonstration of Intellectual Property for free on his website. I immediately got a sense that these tunes were crafted with a certain integrity that spoke in volumes to my creative mind. All the tunes on this little EP seemed to build to a certain crescendo leaving me breathless, yet wanting more. This felt like the artist was more interested in expression over reaction. My eyes widened. My heart sank. I followed Mellowdrone forever.
OPTPHOTO x MELLOWDRONE: Ultimate Playlist
A Demonstration of Intellectual Property (2003)
02. Madison Box (2006) One of the few new songs attached to Box and paints a sad little picture of a girl deserving of a little revenge.
03. Logged Hours Angry Bear (2009) Synth-infused rock loveliness. One of a few times on Angry Bear my ears pick up on bit of The Virgin Suicides. Probably coincidence.
|Go Get 'em Tiger (2004)|
05. Motivation Go Get 'em Tiger (2004) This EP showed a different band aesthetic (as well as a bit of humor), but also introduced a new atmosphere which would remain on subsequent releases. motivation = love
06. Elephant Angry Bear (2009) The dreamy sway of this tune defines why I love this band. However, for unknown reason I think of that shirtless guy in that movie playing saxophone with the rad mullet.
08. Whatever The Deal Box (2006) This track just cruises right on through. Down for whatever... kinda like that time we got lost for like the thousandth time.
09. Fall On Your Knees (B) For Your Consideration (2005) This is one of the many songs Bates released quietly via mellowdrone.com. A throwback to bedroom demos inspired by existing hymns.
Maquina 7" (2008)
11. Amazing Box (2006) This solid rock groove alludes to poor style and ignorance. The kindest way of acting like you give a fuck. At least I think so... I like the bleep-blaap-bloops.
12. Big Winner Angry Bear (2009) I feel Angry Bear has many different dynamics. From big band and classic Americana to straight funk and (what some may be consider) a more formulaic mellowdrone sound. This tune shows all that. Also makes me snicker a lil too... yes at you.
|Angry Bear (2009)|
14. Lady In Her Underwear Angry Bear (2009) A nice change of pace and return to the ethereal bedroom-demo style tracks from earlier releases. That solid beat just feels right out in the summer air.
15. Orange Marmalade (D) demo (2005) Another track released via mellowdrone.com before Box was released. Smooth groove about a sticky situation. Dunno why I like the demo better. It's only like 1.5 secs shorter.
|Angry Bear Limited Editon Poster (2009)|
17. Pretty Boy Go Get 'em Tiger (2004) Sad little number. Not to sure what it's really about, but this song brings back a lot of great memories. One of those times where it feels a bit strange to be nostalgic for something so recent.
18. Button Angry Bear (2009) A nice little time-out. More haunting melodies delivered in ways effective of chilling the soul. This feels like the perfect way to lay it all out on the table.
19. It's So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday Box Itunes Exclusive (2009) Over the years Bates has released a number of covers from a piece of fucking shit banana lover. I make less sense out of that then you do, but this perfect-pitched cover is worth the 99 digital cents.
20. Anglophile Go Get 'em Tiger (2004) All good things come to an end. This chill little instrumental closed the Go Get 'em Tiger EP and seems more then suitable to close this mix.
Althought it seems Mellowdrone is on a bit of a haitus, Bates contines to capture unexplainable frequencies under the monkier Big Black Delta. Mellowdrone has served as an inspiration both musically and on set as I'm always likely to have them close by to keep things dark, introspective and even a bit sexy.
SMALL TEXT: I'm just a guy who likes music. This mostly based on opinion or my memory, which tends to fail me frequently. The Photographs above were taken by OPTPHOTO © 2004. All other content belongs to other people and stuff.