October Album of the Month: Maribou State – Portraits

Welcome to October brothers, and my pick for the month “Maribou State – Portraits”.

I think it was around 2004 – 2005 that myself and brother Joey used to meet on a Sunday with whom ever else we could recruit and head into Chapel Allerton to Angel’s Share for what was aptly named Sunday Sessions. We’d eat, drink, talk lots of rubbish, drink some more and enjoy the usually top notch music that they used to play there. I loved those days that rolled into the very late hours and looked forward to Sundays more than the weekend Friday nights and Saturday nights. One week I made a mix inspired by those Sunday sessions, I loved that mix. I believe I passed around a fair few copies of it, but I have no clue where my copy is and I nobody else does either (I’m gutted by this yearly). When I first heard this album it really reminded of the feeling I was going for with that mix, and in-turn reminded me of those Sunday Sessions.

Maribou State were recommended by a friend in the early summer. The first track I heard was ‘Midas’ and was hooked right away. The album was ordered, I loved it, and it’s been in heavy rotation since. I like this album because it flows nicely, because they use different vocalists, because the pace changes, and because it takes me to the same place that mix CD used to.

I’d like to say this is a good album for October, when the pace slows, it gets chilly and everything seems a bit calmer. It does fit well, but I also think it worked well with the summer and might even fit with winter and spring though I’ve not had a chance to test it in those seasons yet.

Lets hope you get the same vibe off this as I do… enjoy brothers.

15 comments

  1. misterstory

    Ahhh. Sunday Sessions. Suspiciously cheap drinks bills. Suspiciously hang over free the following day. Good times. I recall the mix very fondly too Nolan. I’ve always said I thought it was your finest work my friend. I’ve only had a chance to listen tot this whilst working so not really a fair run of things. My first thoughts were that despite the long list of featured artists it feels coherent and like a proper album (you may recall my issue with electronica albums with numerous vocalists on – SBTRKT).

    Anyway, I look forward to getting into this a little more and coming back with some meaningful comments.

    Cheers Nolan. Good memories.

  2. David Allison

    Couple of listens in, and I’ll be honest, it’s not grabbed me so far. I wonder if sitting at my desk, having it on while I work is not the right way to listen to it. Ah, the Sunday Sessions: it would certainly work in that context. How long ago that seems now?….

    There is a moody, soulful end of downbeat electronic music that I sometimes struggle with – James Blake and the like. I can only cope with so much beat-driven introspection! I wonder if this falls a bit into that category.

    Anyway, it’s early days, it may well open to up to me as a listen. At the moment, I’m kind of longing for a bit more tune and a bit less groove.

  3. misterstory

    Hi Guys. I’ve had this on a fair amount as it fits what I am ‘able’ to listen to when working. I am finding it a little beige if I am honest. I did think David would struggle with it when I first heard it. I am not offended at all. Just not excited?

  4. nolankane706

    I think in a round about way this is why I like the album brother Joey. I like it on when I’m driving, and working and just wanting music on that I like that isn’t too taxing and lets me enjoy it.

    For me ‘The Clown’ is a great sunday track… chilled but also brings a nice mellow bounce to it. ‘Midas’ and ‘Steal’ have a similar feel and the vocals remind me of the collaborations of Aim and Kate Rogers. ‘Home’ has a mellow thump reminisent of moloko. ‘Wallflower’ has a nice Caribou feel to it. That in mind, that’s what they remid me of and it may not hit the same notes for everyone.

    I will say that this album isn’t in my top 5 albums of the year, but will easily be in my top 3 listened to.

    There is a fair bit of room in my life for different kinds of music. This fits the mellower end and has a solid place in my day to day.

    This album for me was instantly accessible where as I had to try allot harder for the likes of Roisin Murphy.

  5. misterstory

    Hi Nolan. I get your point brother. The 1st day I got this I was working from home and I had it on repeat for probably close to 4 hrs. It is ‘easy listening’ for that environment. I do tend to listen to mostly ‘calm and relaxed’ music these days due to kids and work and stuff like that. However, I don’t think I’d choose to listen when driving though?

  6. misterstory

    PS – also agree that there is often a difference between ‘best’ and ‘favourite’ and ‘most listened to’. Not every album can be No1 best album of the year!

  7. misterstory

    PPS – As always (I know I sound like a stuck record on this topic but …) I much prefer the instrumental tracks to the vocal tracks. I’ve gone through this twice today in one sitting – Natural Foods is the stand out for me by some distance. I could listen to an album of this all day. It is VERY similar to the Shlohmo’s bad vibes album, which I have considered for AOTM a few times.

  8. whyohwhyohwhy

    It’s nice on first listen, (sorry, phone to laptop issues, sort of resolved) and I sort of know one of the guys that does their live show (Johnny Cade). In fact when I was in Dublin at Metropolis, I had the chance to see them but didn’t manage to squeeze them in. Was great, by all accounts.

    It’s quite SBTRKT-y in places, very slick, modern, garagey. Definite summer album for me. But I’m going to give it a few whirls and see where it gets. I definitely see your angle Nolan.

  9. misterstory

    I think that the reactions to this one are interesting. Guy thinks its SBTRKT’y and the bloke who chose SBTRKT for AOTM doesn’t like it. I have similar reservations to the SBTRKT album … though I do think this hangs together better than that album. I don’t love it but agree with Nolan that it does have a place.

    • David Allison

      I get that SBTRKT is a funny album in some ways and all over the place. But it had so many ideas and it had EDGE. I don’t feel that about this. It’s got a solid feel and works as an album, but I can’t hear where the excitement is. And it sounds like so much other stuff – and you can’t say that’s true of SBTRKT.

      • nolankane706

        Ha, I’m loving this. Cards on the table I think the reactions are very much along the lines as I expected. I’m a bit dissapointed that brother Divid doesn’t get this at all as I think there are many tracks that I thought he’d like. I think saying this sounds like so much other stuff is like saying all rap music sounds the same or country sounds the same.

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