Monday, February 20, 2017

MIIKE SNOW-Miike Snow [Expanded Edition] (2010)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: February 20, 2017

Genghis Khan was the older brother of Kublai Khan.....or was he? Turns out my memory of Mongolian history from middle-school social studies class has faded over the years, as I would realize that what I thought was fact for so long is completely false after I accidentally stumbled onto my discovery of an indie electronic pop group that calls itself MIIKE SNOW. Yes, the 'MIIKE' in their name is misspelled intentionally, and there's even a short story behind it that relates somewhat to Far Eastern culture. But cool misspellings aside, the 'Genghis Khan' thing plays into all of this because, somehow, the great ruler and founder of the Mongol Empire and the grandfather of Kublai Khan (now those are facts!) popped up in my head when I went to do some leisure music exploring via Youtube, which has been my preferred choice of music streaming in recent days. Impulsively and without thought, 'Genghis Khan remix' got entered into the search box; without even expecting there to actually be such a remix of a song ever recorded, I would soon be watching an audio-only recording of the 'Louis The Child Remix' of a song called "Genghis Khan" by this MIIKE SNOW group. Found myself being instantly hooked to the soothing, easy-listening synthpop sound and the lead singer's equally soothing vocals (the actual words kinda got faded into the background), and as I continued onward with a complete MIIKE SNOW playlist (which never quite got completed), I would uncover a whole flurry of similarly-soothing electronic pop tunes to the group's credits—some remixes and some originals. Excitement then came over me; I knew that I had made yet another amazing music discovery—albeit in the quirkiest of ways—and becoming a new listening disciple of MIIKE SNOW was the next thing I needed to do. Though instead of starting with the proper album from which their original version of "Genghis Khan" was recorded (I usually start with the album containing the song that officially introduced me to the artist), I chose to jump back to the beginning of the discography with MIIKE SNOW's self-titled debut. That's when I would find out a few other cool facts about them: the lead singer, Andrew Wyatt, being American while the group itself was formed out of my favorite Scandinavian country of Sweden, plus their symbolic icon being the fictional antelope/rabbit hybrid termed a 'jackalope', as pictured on the cover artwork above. So fitting, then, that the opening song here on their debut is simply called "Animal". As with that "Genghis Khan" remix, I was so caught up in the bouncy, ambient synthpop rhythm and Wyatt's distinctively airy vocals that I lost the actual words to the song. Still, the song was an instant attraction to my ears, as was the haunting follow-up entitled "Burial" (this one totally reminds me of the 80's), where he talks about being the killer of both himself and another woman and reminding her to cry at her own funeral. It's equally fitting that they recorded two other tracks about animals on their debut: "The Rabbit", which is almost as haunting as "Burial" with the lyrical metaphors of him trying to defeat the devil and the woman's love being tragic magic, and the super-hit "A Horse Is Not A Home" (like the spin on the old adage 'a house is not a home'), where there's even more emotional haunt, as he sings about galloping along with a hole in his heart. Presently, I've gotten attached to the melancholy slow gem, "Sans Soleil", and especially the beautifully haunting (are you sensing a trend here?) tune about a lady named "Silvia", which is simply electronic chill-out bliss and why I've loved every remix of it that I've heard thus far:

1. Animal
2. Burial
3. Silvia
4. Song For No One
5. Black & Blue
6. Sans Soleil
7. A Horse Is Not A Home
8. Cult Logic
9. Plastic Jungle
10. In Search Of
11. Faker
12. Silvia (Ernest & Amz Remix)
13. Billie Holliday
14. The Rabbit
15. Silvia (Roboberget Remix)
16. Animal (Mark Ronson Extended Remix)
17. Burial (DJ Mehdi Remix)

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