Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Places Of Light





1. Jane Weaver - "My Soul Was Lost, My Soul Was Lost, And No One Saved Me"
2. Gila - "Sundance Chant"
3. Uilab - "St Elmo's Fire"
4. Claude Perraudin - "Incantation"
5. Globus - "A.R. Machines"
6. Cybotron - "Suite 169th Floor"
7. Moon Wiring Club - "Concealed Throughout England"
8. Brainticket - "Places Of Light"
9. Heather Trost - "Me & My Arrow"
10. April March - "Mickey et Chantal"
11. Hong Kong In The 60s - "All At Sea"
12. Ian Neal - "Sinfonia"
13. Martin's Magic Sounds - "Beware, Beware"
14. Michael Rother - "Karussell"
15. Jane Weaver - "Mission Desire"
16. Seefeel - "Plainsong"
17. Cluster - "Rosa"
18. Eno, Moebius & Roedelius - "Foreign Affairs"
19. Gwenno - "Nefolaidd"
20. Imitation Electric Piano - "Blow It Up, Burn It Down, Kick It Til It Bleeds"
21. Lights - "At Midnight..."
(Longer than my usual mix; the length is specific for a reason and is hopefully still listenable and enjoyable.)
Yeah, yeah - I couldn't make it a week without doing one of these.  There are Reasons.  (There always are.)  This one, as I noted with the tracklist above, runs long - a specific length, for a reason.  I like it.  I hope you will too, despite the length.  

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Electric Mountain



The description from Mixcloud:

(A sort of "Part 2 / companion piece" to the mix Electric Rainbow - while bearing similarities but quite different.)
Featuring Jane Weaver, Broadcast, Harmonia, Emerald Web, Alan Hawkshaw, Roedelius, Stereolab, Jean-Pierre Decerf, Peter Howell, Sven Grunberg, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Testbild!, and more.

The only reason I'd consider it a companion to Electric Rainbow is that they were made basically at the same time (or, this one was finished within 12 hours or so of the other one).  This one contains a lot of songs that might have worked on Rainbow, but I wanted one to be a bit more relaxed and largey beat-free, and one to be a more exciting companion.  One is a lot more relaxed and beautiful; the other more energetic, possibly a bit more experimental, though no less beautiful.  If one had two and a half hours to spare, I imagine they would work decently one after the other.  (Though probably in reverse order to how I released them.)

I like this one a lot.  Just as I've been obsessed with Virna Lindt lately (though she's not on either of these mixes), I've been a bit obsessed with Jane Weaver for a long time.  She does extremely consistent, amazing music, with a foot in 70s and 80s electronic / komische / Krautrock and bits of psychedelia, but without any real hint of retro "posturing" for lack of a better term, or without seeming obvious.  A quality that someone like David Bowie had; taking the trappings of a certain style but making them their own to an extent that you don't feel that awareness of "oh this is so-and-so doing such-and-such."  Even when Weaver is, as she does on the track that names this mix, taking a pretty complete sample of the Hawkwind song "Star Cannibal," the sample is so seamlessly made a part of Weaver's style that the first time I heard the track I, even being a big fan of Hawkwind (or I guess in the case of that sample, Church Of Hawkwind?), I thought "That a pretty great riff there; sounds familiar but I can't quite place it."  I actually have the LP that "Star Cannibal" is on.  And of course I figured it out quickly enough, but she has such a unique and established style and is so consistent in that unique individual style that it didn't jump out at me as a sample (and saying "consistent" is absolutely NOT damning with faint praise or to say the songs all sound the same - quite the opposite; Weaver manages to work with quite diverse and varied song styles across each album).

The Silver Globe is a prime example of that, as is her new album Modern Kosmology (both massive albums and highly recommended by me), as is The Fallen By Watchbird, etc., and she makes those diverse styles WORK.  I'd again compare Bowie, and that is about the highest comparison I could make - I always say, like with Doctor Who, the era of Bowie that grabbed a Bowie fan seems like it is the era most beloved to that fan.  I had Space Oddity, but because of my geographical location and lack of access and whatnot, I didn't know a lot about the later 70s work, so Bowie was a glam artist who then went new wave; I completely missed the greats like Station To Station and Low and Lodger etc. until I was a bit older.  But in 1994, as a 13 year old looking for what album I was going to use my allowance on that weekend, I decided to pick up Outside (or if you're a purist, 1.Outside).  I wasn't necessarily expecting much; "Bowie does industrial" wasn't a great selling point to me (I was a pretentious 13 year old who had already gone through my industrial phase, where industrial wasn't Nine Inch Nails or Ministry or KMFDM - though I'm not saying I didn't like some of that; I spent a very bizarre 1992 being pen pals with En Esch from KMFDM, who used to send me drawings he made on notebook paper that he obviously then tore out of a spiral notebook and put in the mail and sent to me, or he'd send postcards from exotic - to me anyway - locations where they were on tour, but I digress -- My industrial phase was Neubauten and Throbbing Gristle and early Skinny Puppy etc).  But I was completely blown away by Outside, and really I still am.  I don't listen to a ton of the music I listened to at age 13, but I revisit Outside fairly often, at least a few times a year.  And after that I bought and loved Earthling (and again, "Bowie does drum and bass" isn't necessarily on paper a huge selling point; but you can't deny a song like "Battle For Britain" or my personal favorite, "Seven Years In Tibet," which goes from Fleetwood Mac to Pop Will Eat Itself in a matter of seconds).  Outside was more twisted jazz and quirky, melancholic ambient electronics with tracks that may have been at home on a Warp Records release more than the wall of guitars, heavy metal with a drum machine stuff you'd expect on most popular "industrial" records of the time, and then other tracks that were just utterly unique to me, like "Thru These Architects Eyes" - I imagine fans of NIN and that sort of thing, who Bowie toured with at that time, picking up Outside and being disappointed; I was absolutely not disappointed and was in fact floored by it.  (Anyone remember Stabbing Westward?  Gravity Kills?  If you don't, God has truly blessed you.)  I was certainly floored by "A Small Plot Of Land," perhaps my favorite track on the album, when I first heard it.  I hadn't heard anything like it.  Now I can perhaps compare it to Scott Walker or some such, but it's just astonishing to me even now.  (I could write pages on the wonderful celestial orbits Bowie and Walker seemed to maintain with respect to each other; it's quite fascinating, and clear those two held each other in extremely high regard.  (Look up on YouTube the time Bowie got a birthday message from Scott Walker; Bowie apparently began to cry.)  They were two sides of a coin in so many ways, sometimes almost nearly literally.)  It's a beautiful bit of business, with a busy jazz piano to open with a killer, off kilter drum beat, which goes on for some time before gorgeous synth stings make their way in and Bowie's incredible voice comes through, with a truly impressive vocal performance, and the song twists its way through a few passages before it turns into a goddamn nightmare.  I hit repeat for a few hours sitting on the floor of my bedroom at age 13.

Some albums, especially for a kid who grew up in the bible belt with only a Walmart and a K-Mart to buy albums from, could truly transport me.  I was so unbelievably grateful when that happened.  And "late period Bowie" became my Bowie.  (And I consider Outside through The Next Day to be one Bowie era; Blackstar stands alone.)

I got off on a Bowie tangent, but I'm saying that Jane Weaver shares that rare quality with an artist like Bowie - not a musical similarity, but a way of making an album An Album, with a cohesiveness that I find frankly incredibly impressive, while exploring whatever style she damn well pleases, and never not hitting the mark.  There's not a boring moment or a bum note on the entirety of her last two albums.  I suppose if I was going to peg it into a genre, at this point I might say "space rock," but that's far too limiting.  I hear something new each time I listen to her, and her work is utterly transporting.  And that's the other piece to the puzzle of her work - she works in concepts, which could be completely annoying (and I will admit that I find that aspect of Outside to be that - I applaud the batshit crazy nerve it took for Bowie to turn that piece of work in).  All of Weaver's albums, beginning with The Fallen By Watchbird, are basically concept albums, with storylines and arcs.  (The Fallen By Watchbird even has a companion book, which I own, which tells the story of the album in basically fairy-tale fashion, and is quite beautiful, really.)  There's an interview out there where Jane goes track by track on The Silver Globe and very openly and refreshingly tells of what each song is about and the concept behind the album as a whole.  And it works.  You don't need to know it - there's no interstitials to listen to or storytelling passages.  The music absolutely stands alone.  But for someone like me, I love the fact that she's also working on a conceptual level, and her concepts are quite out there.  Maybe that helps her in some way when it comes to composition.  I know it does for me with my own stuff.  And certainly there's perhaps a tradition when it comes to some psychedelic and space rock albums of years past.  I could go on all day about how much I adore Jane Weaver.  And I neglected to write out a track list to this one (if anyone has a question about a track, I will be happy to figure out what it is and answer), but I broke a mixtape rule here, too: There's more than one Weaver track on this mix.

After two in two days, I'm going to probably take a rest for a little while as I move into the next stage in my own work. I may have some interesting news coming up, and I may have an interesting treat for fans of long lost psychedelia.  And bear with me - I'm told I should do more writing on the blog.  I'm not always terribly inclined to do that - I don't know if what I would write is interesting at all.  Maybe it isn't for me to judge.  For now, I hope you enjoy this mix, and if you should like a copy of it, or have any questions, or insults, or suggestions, including rude ones, feel free to get in touch.


Electric Rainbow



Lost in space; No real desire to be found.
1. Sven Grunberg - "Avamaeng"
2. Geoff Bastow - "Tomorrow's City"
3. Mike Vickers - "Surf Rider"
4. Tony Hymas - "Final Inspection"
5. Jacques Siroul - "Midway"
6. Anthony Hobson - "Vega"
7. Sven Libaek - "...And Beyond"
8. Sauveur Mallia - "Double Polygone"
9. Alexander Goldschieder - "Astral Planes III"
10. Alan Hawkshaw - "Sky 2"
11. Brian Bennett - "Electric Rainbow"
12. Suzanne Ciani - "Birth Of Venus"
13. Sven Grunberg - "Valged Hommikud"
14. Mister K ("The Synthesizer") - "NASA Answering Service"
15. Francis Monkman - "New Technology"
16. Farlocco - "Superpotenza"
17. Richard Hewson - "Deserted Starship"
18. Wolfgang Kafer - "Transponder"
19. James Asher - "Forgotten Time Cycle"
20. Rick Miller - "Future Directions"
21. Sven Grunberg - "Teekond"
(Of a spacious beautiful electronics vibe, though not without beats and darker shades ; "Part 1 of 2"; Some tracks used in other mixes but fit here too well to not use)

That qualification above speaks to the fact that a few of these tracks were on other mixes.  Which is something I actually do fairly often with a song here or there.  I remember years ago knowing what "the rules of a mixtape" were - I think the book "High Fidelity," which I was maybe 19 when I read it, lays some out there as well; Don't use the same band twice; Start with an exciting/surprising/whatever song as a sort of mission statement and then have some cooling off songs so you can place another surprising/exciting/intense song after that so it has more impact etc. etc.  And if you're making multiple mixes, don't use the same song more than once.  I remember thinking I couldn't use a song, even if it fit, because I used it once.  I have a massive collection - why would I need to use a song twice?  Makes it seem like I don't have any new ideas or much of a collection or imagination.  Sod that - sometimes it just works.  I generally look at each mix as its own entity.  If it makes sense to use a song that I already used, who cares.  Hell, a lot of the time I don't always remember what I used before and getting forensic about it and going back through older mixes is boring to me.  I don't generally plan these out.  I might have an idea - for this, it was electronic library music, generally from the early to mix 80s with some 70s, and with a few great non-library tracks in there that fit (this was not meant to be a library mix; it ended up heavy in that direction).  With this, I really, listening to a playlist that I had and had drawn from for some other spacey mixes, I found the beauty and, for lack of a better word, flow of them to work wonders for me.  I wanted to make a mix like that.  I'm going for a vibe here, and at the end of the day I want the mix to be something I want to listen to myself.  It's great to end up on charts and have people listen and send me very lovely and sometimes quite touching messages, but if Mixcloud didn't exist, I'd be doing this anyway.  Why did I go off on this hunk here?  I don't remember.  But I very much like this mix.
I had a lot of tracks set aside, and I ended up separating a lot of them into two "piles."  This mix is much more of a spacey, "relaxed spacious" (to steal the title of a song) vibe.  There are beats and some more "exciting" things woven in, but mostly this one I wanted to be much more of a slow, floaty ride.  It works very much for me - the first half hour or so of it contains some of what I would not hesitate to claim is some of the most absolutely beautiful library music ever made (I'd probably even take the "library" out of that statement, especially with Cianni and Grunberg - who more people really should investigate!).  I hope this mix is enjoyed by some.  As always, feel free to get in touch for whatever.  

Charted

Nonsense!

Congratulations
You're 16th in the Psychedelic chart!
 
Mount Hopeless is now 16th in the Psychedelic chart and 34th in the Downtempo chart.
My Death is now 23rd in the Folk chart and 25th in the Psychedelic chart.
I Was is now 26th in the Folk chart and 26th in the Psychedelic chart.
Ticker-Tape Of The Unconscious is now 44th in the Downtempo chart.
Electric Rainbow is now 79th in the Experimental chart.

I am on the Psychedelic chart three times and the "Downtempo" chart twice.  Five mixes (the last five - I wonder if they limit it to five?).  The only reason I put "Downtempo" as a tag sometimes is because the mix in question probably qualified for that description but also because as an OCD person I have to give it five tags since that is what they allow.  I can't have only four.  Doesn't fee right.  Brain cooties.  But how many people am I competing with?  I wonder what the numbers are for total mixes.  I mean, I'm 34th and 44th on the Downtempo chart, which means there are at least 42 other mixes with that tag.  Out of 100 would be my guess.  I don't want to do too much digging there because I don't want to burst what flimsy ego bubble I have.  (Ha ha.)

My favorite detail here is that on the Psychedelic chart, I am 25th and 26th.  With two mixes that I would consider to be twinned or companion-mixes.  Nice.  Speaking of companions...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

More Charts!

I now feel valid and important in the world - I am back up to five mixes on the charts.  (And those five mixes are on eight charts total.)  That's just pants - the pool of mixes must be small for me to be in there.

Congratulations
You're 19th in the Psychedelic chart!
 
Mount Hopeless is now 19th in the Psychedelic chart and 41st in the Downtempo chart.
Cosmosis is now 21st in the Experimental chart and25th in the Psychedelic chart.
Ticker-Tape Of The Unconscious is now 27th in thePsychedelic chart and 50th in the Downtempo chart.
I Was is now 33rd in the Psychedelic chart.
My Death is now 36th in the Psychedelic chart.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CHARTS!

I don't know how this is determined, I don't know what the rubric is or how many people each mix is competing with, but I find this pretty insane and kind of hilarious:

Walk On, Buy is now 20th in the Experimental chart,22nd in the Psychedelic chart, 83rd in the Jazz chart and 98th in the Electronic chart.
Cosmosis is now 28th in the Experimental chart and32nd in the Psychedelic chart.
Mount Hopeless is now 30th in the Psychedelic chart and 62nd in the Downtempo chart.
My Death is now 31st in the Folk chart.
I Was is now 42nd in the Folk chart.

Maybe there's something to overdoing it!  Though I think I have a sort of niche "listener base" (oh God) and I fear that the more I do, the less people listen to them just out of time commitment.  It is a bit hilarious to me that I can have five mixes on the "charts."  These charts are probably suspect.

UPDATE:

Here's today's:

Mount Hopeless is now 23rd in the Psychedelic chart and 51st in the Downtempo chart.
Cosmosis is now 24th in the Experimental chart.
I Was is now 28th in the Folk chart and 49th in thePsychedelic chart.
Ticker-Tape Of The Unconscious is now 50th in thePsychedelic chart and 82nd in the Downtempo chart.

I've gone down in the world.  Only four.  Though two are charting on two charts.  How is this even possible?  Maybe Mixcloud is now slim pickings.  Most of these genres are kind of arbitrary anyway.  But I went from five separate mixes on the chart to now only four.  That's a blow.  I must go do something rash to make myself feel like I still matter.

Ticker-Tape Of The Unconscious



Dream logic.
1. The Dragons - "Sandman"
2. David Mccallum - "Communication"
3. Harumi - "What A Day For Me"
4. Moon Wiring Club - "Everything's Backwards"
5. Testbild! - "Rain And Air"
6. Stereolab - "Ticker-Tape Of The Unconscious"
7. David Axelrod - "A Dream"
8. Gьnter Kallmann Chor - "Daydream"
9. Broadcast - "Dave's Dream"
10. High Llamas - "Triads"
11. Claude Lombard - "Les Enfants Perle"
12. Jane Weaver - "Did You See Butterflies"
13. The Focus Group - "The Gone Outside"
14. Shuggie Otis - "Happy House"
15. April March - "Charlatan"
16. The Sea And Cake - "Two Dolphins"
17. The Dragons - "Are You There"
18. The Electric Prunes - "Flowing Smoothly"
19. Virna Lindt - "I Beat The System"
20. David Bowie - "Bring Me The Disco King"
This is me, back to "normal," I think.  I'm going to try to make this the last one for at least this week!  When I get excited about music I tend to make mixes when I'm winding down - which is usually when I've been working on music, which I have been; I don't have news beyond I'm 1/3 of the way through but I will hopefully have news in the near-ish future; It is difficult while juggling a day job, commutes, responsibilities, etc.  I hope this mix is to someone's fancy even if I'm over-egging the pudding lately.  Any requests (and I'll put this out there: Want me to make a mix in a certain theme or some such? Feel free to suggest it! I would probably love that.), comments, put-downs, etc. - let me know!

Turn Me On, Dead Man



A theme!  A mix about death / destruction / annihilation / etc. - a cheerful, happy subject.  Actually, though, this mix isn't necessarily dark or melancholy - there are some upbeat songs about death.  Have a listen.  Here's the tracklist:

1. Scott Walker - "The Seventh Seal'
2. The Sun Also Rises - "Death"
3. The Free Design - "An Elegy"
4. Strawberry Alarm Clock - "They Saw The Fat One Coming"
5. Barry Adamson - "Death Takes A Holiday"
6. Jimi Tenor - "Total Devastation"
7. Second Hand - "Death May Be Your Santa Claus"
8. Lee Hazlewood - "The Girl On Death Row"
9. Laetitia Sadier - "One Million Year Trip"
10. Continuum - "Dance Of Destruction" 
11. Conventum - "Le Piège"
12. Boards Of Canada - "Come To Dust"
13. Jacques Thollot - "Watch Devil Go"
14. Barry Adamson - "Walk The Last Mile"
15. The Association - "Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies"
16. Peter Paul & Mary - "Flora"
17. (From OCR of Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris) - "My Death"
18. Strawberry Alarm Clock - "Eulogy"
19. The High Llamas - "Calling Up, Ringing Down"

I actually really very much wanted to include this song, but I couldn't figure out how to get it how I liked it, so I'll just post it here for your listening pleasure:




Now I can't recall why I thought I couldn't fit this in.  How embarrassing.  It's fantastic.  Scott Walker of course has a fantastic version of this (which you can YouTube if you'd like) and Bowie did this live quite often as far back as 1972 if I recall, which I'm sure you can YouTube many times over as well.

A companion piece to that mix is this bit of nonsense and insanity:




A mix devoted entirely to the Paul Is Dead conspiracy theory; at the time, for a brief period, when this "story" first "broke," a handful of 45s came out that were specifically about Paul being dead and how sad.  With fabulous titles, too.  I was going to incorporate them into the prior mix but that one was running long already, so I decided to do this on its own, which is what I really wanted to do, and I went a bit dead in the head and sort of collaged it with some of the radio broadcasts I have from the time this was a big deal.  (I have way too many of these broadcasts saved.)  I was not sure I would leave this up, or how it would be taken (it was also done late at night, I should add), but, I kind of like it.  It's maybe a bit wrong but anyway, the songs themselves are actually pretty good - I forgot how mostly decent these tracks are.  So here's your tracklist:

1. Zacherias & The Tree People - "We Are All Paul Bearers Part 1"
2.
3. Terry Knight - "Saint Paul"
4.
5. The Mystery Tour - "Ballad of Paul"
6. Billy Shears & The All Americans - "Brother Paul"
7.
8. Werbley Finster - "So Long Paul"
9.
10. Zacherias & The Tree People - "We Are All Paul Bearers Part 2"
11. Zacherias & The Tree People - "We Are All Paul Bearers Part 1 (reprise)"
12. The Mystery Tour - "Ballad of Paul (Follow The Bouncing Ball)"
13.

When I was very small my father told me about the whole Paul Is Dead thing and played some records backwards and scared me sh*tless.  He always referred to it as a "publicity stunt."  I was always obsessed with it a bit because it was a very early instance in my mind of the idea of music being so much more than just "songs."  (I was probably 3 when my Dad did this to me - not great parenting perhaps.)  Hopefully some other possibly deranged people enjoy this bit of nonsense.

As always, any requests, comments, threats, etc. - let me know!

Mount Hopeless



Oh God, not another one?!  This may as well be "Cosmosis Part 2" but I try to hover around an hour on these.  And I quite like this one.  That's dumb to say - I quite like them all.  (The ones I find I don't like, I delete!)

Tracklist:

1. Stereolab - "Contronatura"
2. The Dragons - "Sunset Scenery"
3. B. J. Ward - "I Don't Know Where I'm Going"
4. Peggy Lipton - "Wear Your Love Like Heaven"
5. Tara King Th. - "The Hum And The Hiss"
6. Beautify Junkyards - "Rainbow Garland"
7. My Bloody Valentine - "Is This And Yes"
8. Melody's Echo Chamber - "Mount Hopeless"
9. Angelillo & Hamel - "Je Veux Te Dire Une Chanson"
10. Heather Trost - "Agina"
11. King Crimson - "Matte Kudasai"
12. Virna Lindt - "Underwater Boy"
13. Mariah - "We Are The Same"

It goes a bit pear shaped at the end, perhaps - never thought I'd put King Crimson out there (and 80s King Crimson!), but I love that song and what the hell, it fits.  The end goes a bit 80s.  This one actually, now that I look at it, is a bit more modern than usual - only three tracks prior to 1980 (I'm actually not entirely sure what year the Angelilo & Hamel track is from - will have to refresh my memory later).  I don't necessarily plan any of these out very meticulously or anything unless I've a specific theme in mind.

As I said, I've been obsessed with Virna Lindt.  If you've not heard the album Shiver, get thee to where ever (it's pretty available on CD or electronically; an LP will cost you).  I've also been obsessed with The Dragons (aka Daryl Dragon, Dennis Dragon, and Doug Dragon), which you'll know from an old post I was already obsessed with and didn't even realize it.  More on that story hopefully soon.

If you'd like an mp3, want to tell me I'm doing way too many of these and need to chill, tell me I suck, have any questions - let me know!!!