Tuesday, June 05, 2007

More Songs To Learn And Sing #5

Adding his voice to the growing list of personal recommendations today, Saam from Keep Hope Inside:

Rob Dougan - Clubbed To Death

Choosing a song for this feature was a real challenge and in fact, I effectively missed out half of the brief by picking an instrumental track. Never mind. However, as a predominately indie-guitar-pop type blogger I thought it would be a refreshing change to focus on another genre or as it happens, an incredible mix of vastly different genres. You're even likely to have already heard Clubbed To Death without realising it.

If you mentioned the name Rob Dougan to your friends, you'd probably get a lot of puzzled faces. Yet his music has reached far and wide, mainly through its use in advertisements but also in soundtracking scenes in The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded. In fact, many consider his Furious Angels album to be the second most licenced album after Play by Moby. Before the elitists run away in droves at the news of his "selling out", Rob used the money to self-finance the production of his 2004 Grammy award winning album in exactly the way he intended. The album is a progressive fusion of classical and electronica music, complemented by hip hop beats and at times, brooding vocals.

By far the highlight of the album and his career is Clubbed To Death. An epic track which first emerged in 1995 when Rob (known as Rob D at the time) was still in his formative years as a DJ and remixer, it even inspired an eponymous erotic French film about techno. The form in which Clubbed To Death is best known as however is the Kurayamino Variation, a remix which has become so well known that it is now simply called Clubbed To Death with the original demoted to
First Mix status. Kurayamino is Japanese for darkness and this haunting adaptation fits this title perfectly.

I neither have nor need a wonderfully witty story to illustrate the poignancy of this song to me. My spine still tingles every time I hear it. From the soothing opening (utilising Elgar's Enigma Variations) which give way to pounding beats, to the shimmering effects, to the beautiful piano compositions, this track is amazingly coherent and engaging. Quite honestly, no words (how fitting that the track should have no vocals) could do justice to just how captivating
Clubbed To Death is. Its crossover success despite the fusion of polarising styles is testament to its beauty. So, tell your mates to submit themselves to seven and a half minutes of the most progressive track they've ever heard. Probably.

The complete collection

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