Fragile State were another one of those short-lived electronica collaborations like Lemon Jelly that seemed to proliferate at the turn of the millennium – a golden age for sampling and downbeat. FS were formed by two guys, one from Zero 7 – Neil Cowley - and Ben Mynott. This is from their second 2004 album “Voices From The Dustbowl” – they only released two all told. Shame!
“Cleo” is an example of their downbeat style, but the two albums – the other’s called “The Facts and the Dreams” - also feature some great compositions which are filled with clever riffs, sound bites, samples and catchy melodies. Check out “Four-Four-Four” from this same album or “Song of Departure” from “The Facts and the Dreams” released in 2002.
An interesting sideline about Neil Cowley is that he played the keyboards on Adele’s “21” album…. He now fronts a band called the Neil Cowley Trio. (Who were featured on the Music to Love Piano playlist a while back!)
You can learn more about Fragile State here:
About the Curator: Richard Parsons
I grew up listening to music from the late 60’s onwards. Pirate pop radio; swapping LP’s with friends; exploring genres; daydreaming over the latest woofer and tweeter.
In reality I spent thirty years imparting imperfect knowledge of English literature and drama to young minds in school. Regrets? No. I loved teaching; loved the interaction with the pupils, and made lifelong friends as a result. And what better way to keep up to date with music? I always played stuff in my lessons, and as a result, I’d be bombarded with suggestions from my flock! “Sir! Have you heard…?”
Breathe It In – Ambient Jazz Ensemble
6 February 2019
I love it when a musical connection is made! I’ve been banging on about Zero 7 and then their offshoot, Fragile State, on this curation and then what happens? I come across someone new with a name that sounds like I should like them – Ambient Jazz Ensemble – and who’s central to them? None other than Neil Cowley…
Big Time – Hardage feat. Peter Gabriel
30 January 2019
I can barely believe that I’ve let this curation go so long without more than a passing reference to the legend that is Peter Gabriel – though Genesis feature here with “Cinema Show” from “Selling England By The Pound” which has him on lead vocals…
The Suns of Afterlife – Bliss
22 January 2019
In keeping with the “world” themes of this curation, Bliss hail from Denmark, though their collective owes as much to influences from Guinea and Sweden! They first appeared in the early 2000’s which really was the halcyon period for ambient chill stuff it seems – a golden age? …