Years ago, when I was learning ins and outs of dating, I would sometimes encounter beings I called “Black People”. That’s not a race by any means, that’s a lifestyle, not sure if consciously chosen, an attitude. That’s the choices and perspective of someone, who in my experience, has gone through enough shit in their life, barely to stay afloat.
They could tap into their innate sensitivity to experience things with extraordinary depth and insight. In this post I tribute these people with this collection of music which was compiled over more than 15 years.
What is “Black Beauty”?
I like the saying:
Music has no memory
As you will soon find out, Black Beauty – is what I call a particular playlist for particular mood, or even people. It’s no doubt will be found most expressive in the context of depression, sadness, periods of staggered self confidence, but I would like to propose you attempt to feel immense Power and Beauty in these compositions, because I can assure you from multiple accounts – it is there.
So there it is…
Suffocate For Fuck Sake – They Try to Cheer Me Up by Saying I Did Once Live a Functioning Life.
Band from Sweden. Metal, post-rock mainly, but among the heavy banging, there are two compositions that are… captivating. Mainly evolution of emotional intensity. Note, that composition has no drums (metal band…).
Suffocate For Fuck Sake – Blue Lights and Sunshine
Lyrics are said to be taken from swedish radio show where Linda Boström (now Linda Boström Knausgård) talks about her mental breakdown. At one point she tells:
Today I saw the end of time
Iceland might as well be called a separate music genre. Home to so many great artists…
Sólstafir – World Void Of Souls
Black/Post metal band. Another composition with exceptional built-up.
Sólstafir – Ótta
At half of playtime…
Hjaltalín – Ethereal
Another Viking band – Indie-rockers Hjaltalín. The title corresponds with the feeling. The volcal is next level. Indeed Ethereal.
Ben Frost – Theory of Machines
It’s one of the most fascinating things I have ever encountered in musical world. Noise conceals the melody, change in tones, complexity, masterpiece in my humble opinion.
This takes me some place else… don’t even know where i am anymoreJulia Curez
It’s been a looong time since i put on my headphones and had to close my eyes to be taken far away by some sonic experience as this one. –Alfred Rivera
Tool – 10 000 days (Part1 + Part2)
Cultish rock band. This particular piece was written for main soloist (Maynard James Keenan) mother who died after ~10 000 days (27 years) in wheelchair after suffering a stroke in 1976. Lyrics paint half the picture.
Both parts are best experienced in junction.
Bohren & der Club of Gore – Dead End Angels
Jazz men from Germany brings calmness and delicacy. Rain sound in the end? Intentional.
Zbignew Preisner (Poland)
Zbignew Preisner, polish composer revived Lacrimosa from the hands of Mozart, which was originally written in end of 18’th century. Classic.
Another composition with heavenly vocals: To Know
Rain, lack of sun. I’m sure if it wasn’t for the depressing surroundings, we would not have such deep emotions embedded into these compositions…
Massive Attack and Burial collaborative works
Burial is a mystic anonymous artist from UK, national treasure. Excerpt from rare interview:
[…]Kode9:What don’t you like just now?
Burial: fiending and fakery. Sometimes you get people who don’t seem to really enjoy tunes theyre just checking what other people are into and ripping it or slating it . just because..no reason. some people just talk mostly about things they hate like it matters, like they are fighting through a crowd that isn’t there. i liked the world before it was so easy for people to find out stuff and get at it. i like it when people are genuine, they like tunes, they want a dance.. i don’t get it when people are ploughing in with negative claimage to something. Sometimes you just want music to stay where it is from.
Kode9: Why don’t you want to do pictures?
Burial: Same reason. I like the old records, where you didn’t know who made them and it didn’t matter. You got into the tunes more. I don’t want anyone knowing i do tunes.[…]”
No ego bullshit. Pure art.
More about technical details on Burial’s Untrue Album to learn more about the genius.
Anyway, Massive Attack and Burial released 1000 copies of album containing two compositions. Sold within a day and today it’s clear it has value:
I have no further comments… Paradise Circus:
Four walls. Listen closely, and you will hear water, fire, earth and air.
Sébastien Tellier – La Ritournelle
Totally different from what you have heard before. Another great build up, however the only thing bothering me is vocal line, which I deem unneccessary.
DSCRD – The Dawn
Electronic with samples from Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979).
Morphing into Cinema
Compositions here have stronger impact in their visual company.
Alessandro Cortini – Scappa
Although not an official movie, which I intended this section to be, I would like to begin with this incredible black and white footage which blends with music perfectly. 10 Minutes of travel.
Clint Mansell – The Last Man
One of the best Director – Compositor duo’s in Cinema: Clint Mansell and David Aronofsky have produced an underrated (imo) movie “The Fountain” in 2006. Clint was nominated for Golden Globe that year. The whole soundtrack is a masterpiece of its own, but The Last Man is an exceptional composition.
Rebekah Del Rio – Llorando
Shot from David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. One of 2 or 3 compositions in my playlist, that has absolutely no instrumental line. Pure vocal power.
Sarah Flower Adams – Nearer My God To Thee
Finally a piece you have heard before for sure. In not pleasant circumstances perhaps…
Steve Baker and Carmen Daye – For Whom The Bell Tolls
Last but not least, the summon of dark powers in an otherworldly composition by Steve Baker and Carmen Daye. Classic minor.
Used perfectly in Donnie Darko (2001) mind-fuck masterpiece by Richard Kelly, which one day I hope I would be mature enough to write a review of.
Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?
Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
Alert: if years later you stumble upon this list and some of the recordings are missing (deleted uploads, made private, etc), please write me an email so I can update it.