Sunday, 27 December 2009
SubVersion Stop 50: Muttley - Back To Mine Pt.3 - Dark Days, They Make Us Believe We're Someone Else
The 50th SubVersion instalment brings a special New Year gift into circulation...
Muttley - Back To Mine Pt.3 - Dark Days, They Make Us Believe We're Someone Else
Well here it be: my opus to end 2009. The first 'Back To Mine' - "Overshadowed" - was heralded as a return to being myself. The second - "Reflections" - a home listening catch-all for mental disorders. This, in its unhurried incantation, is for putting the past behind me, revisiting, and travelling to and from my chosen occupation.
Around this period I furthered my inquisitivity for classical and ambient music, speaking to a 60-nearing friend there of his passion for opera. "Dark Days, They Make Us Believe We're Someone Else" is an aid to get myself in the right mindset to guarantee I don't have ensuing apothesis'.
"Where Are You?" I discovered via Paradigm X's excellent 15 Minutes Of Fame debut - "Vocalisms". I decided I needed a rhetorical buffer to maximise the changing of styles early in the set, and the calming of textures with the musical. The transition isn't smooth - I aimed to undercut the subsidence to a minimal drone, where synchronizing written with aural was a conduit - "How To Catch The Right Thought" (track 4)?
This is what awaits us, subjectively - a well of despair and self-destruction, where our true self is disconnected, and defective behaviour longs for spiritual manna. Favourites that have stayed with me through thick and thin resolve the loose ends. Koen Holtkamp's "Night Swimmer", Richard Skelton's "Shore" and Mogwai's "Chocky" are emotionally poignant enough to heal impermanent silences.
The last tune on this, Sigur Rós' "Viõrar Vel Til Loftárasa" I'd like to have played at my funeral. I have sat up until early hours on NYE with this serenading the room and it always activates shivers when the crescendo hits. I hope you have a productive 2010 and that "Dark Days, They Make Us Believe We're Someone Else" won't dim your lights, those which I hope will shine brighter towards the good in the coming echoes.
01. Coil - Where Are You? (from Musik To Play In The Dark CD 2)
02. Zelienople - Slaving (from Gone OST)
03. Oophoi - Dimensional Passage (from Night Currents)
04. Hildur Gudanottir, BJ Nilsen & Stillupsteypa - How To Catch The Right Thought (from Second Childhood)
05. Fennesz - City Of Light (from Venice)
06. Milieu - Six Fourteen (from Brother)
07. Aphex Twin - SAW Untitled 1 (from Selected Ambient Works Vol.2)
08. Lawrence English & Tom Hall - Lines Twine Oscillation (from Euphonia)
09. Koen Holtkamp - Night Swimmer (from Field Rituals)
10. Obfusc - Alto Piano (from the split w/ David Tagg)
11. Atomic Skunk - Suspended Ascent (free download - www.atomicskunk.com)
12. Inverz - New Found Lands, New Found Sounds (from Slow)
13. Richard Skelton - Shore (from Marking Time)
14. Mogwai - Chocky (from Come On Die Young)
15. Lamenter - Kinski For Halloween (from Sleeping Me)
16. Inverz - Everything In Order (from Slow)
17. Greg Haines - Caesura (from Slumber Tides)
18. Mono & World's End Girlfriend - Trailer 1 (from Palmless Prayer: Mass Murder Refrain)
19. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Blaise Bailey Finnegan III (excerpt) (from Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada)
20. Arvo Part - The Beatitudes (from Part)
21. Sigur Rós - Viõrar Vel Til Loftárasa (from Ágætis Byrjun)
Friday, 25 December 2009
I obtained a SubVersion exclusive from this outing: Code's contribution for the night, representing dubs from Dak, old classics like Blu Mar Ten's "She Moves Through", and a crate of gems bigger than stocking fillers would breach.
01. Blu Mar Ten - She Moves Through (Good Looking)
02. Intense - Eastern Promise (Good Looking)
03. Breakage - The Look (Scientific Wax)
04. Deep Blue & Blame - Transitions (Moving Shadow)
05. Axis - Solution (Good Looking)
06. Skitty - Bennies (Scientific Wax Digital)
07. Jubei & Cern - Black Hole (Ingredients)
08. Optical & Ryme Tyme - Headhunters (Virus)
09. Fracture & Neptune - Killerwhat? (Astrophonica)
10. ASC - Fresh (Offshore)
11. Total Science - No Smoking (Advanced)
12. Skitty - City Of Quest (Scientific Wax Digital)
13. Dak - Coffee (Unreleased)
14. Fanu - Orient Dawn (13 Music)
15. Marcus Intalex & ST Files - Lose Control (Metalheadz)
16. Fushara - Alien Technology (Unreleased)
17. Jonny L - I Let U (XL Recordings)
01. Fushara - Breakbeat Sign
02. Fushara - Digitalism (Make:Shift-from forthcoming album Tales from A Concrete City)
03. Fushara - Sharpy
04. Fushara - Rate Control
05. Fushara - Element
06. Fushara - Distorted Thinking
07. Fushara - 3am London Borough (Make:Shift-from forthcoming album Tales from A Concrete City)
08. Fushara District 10
09. Fushara Urban Decay part 1 and 2
Mixed in Serato Scratch.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
"Life Support" is the third and final set of 2009 that's dedicated to the people of Bridewell Gardens. As an alternative to sending out Christmas cards, giving each of my friends there a specially made CD seemed the best option. I will be handing "Life Support" out tomorrow at the Christmas meal. Not contrary to the goodwill, it's a free event put on by the Bridewell staffers.
"Comets" by Piano Magic carries the underlying message of this excursion: "you should always tell them, you love them, in case you never see them again". I also aspired to showcase Rameses III and Greg Haines, two artists I will be working with towards spring 2010.
01. Rameses III - All Shall Be Well (from I Could Not Love You More)
02. Global Communication - 4-14 (from 76-14)
03. SpeaK - Drowning Peacefully (from Once Nomadic)
04. Peter James - Flight Of Tears (from Holding On - Letting Go)
05. David Tagg - Magic Interval (from the split with Obfusc)
06. Drowning The Virgin Silence - Beneath The Sulfur Sky (from Beneath The Sulfur Sky)
07. Greg Haines - Arups Gate (from Slumber Tides)
08. Mogwai - Friend Of The Night (from Mr.Beast)
09. Piano Magic - Comets (from The Troubled Sleep Of Piano Magic)
A body that lives a long time, accumulates debris. It cannot be avoided. Partly inspired by Dave @ Low Light Mixes with his "A Solitary Sea", I chose tracks based on circumnavigating the drowning condition - whether it be your sorrows, tears, or loneliness.
Unlike "Weathering" and "Gravitation To Resolution", I wasn't rooted by track names. Bat For Lashes' "Sleep Alone" is the sole track with national radio play. I saw them live in October and was staggered by the quality of their second album, particularly Natasha Khan's haunting voice. "Sleep Alone" is based on the relationship I lost, and if I will start all over again - which I surely will, in 2010.
Conjoining tenacity for creation with artists receiving scant attention, "I Shall Not Drown" is the second Muttley set built in Acoustica Audio Mixer, which I can see myself using ever greater as the years roll on.
01. Drowning The Virgin Silence - To Reach The Clouds (from Beneath The Sulfur Sky)
02. Rameses III - Across The Lake Is Where My Heart Shines (from I Could Not Love You More)
03. Eluvium - All The Sails (from When I Live By The Garden And The Sea)
04. Peter James - Adrift (from Holding On - Letting Go)
05. Stars Of The Lid - The Evil That Never Arrived (from And Their Refinement Of The Decline)
06. Herzog - Our Friends Save Us From Drowning (from First Summer And The Running Dream)
07. Fennesz - Rivers Of Sand (from Venice)
08. Arovane - Seaside (from Tides)
09. Seafar - New Town Dreams (from Hegira)
10. Black To Comm - Trapez (from Alphabet 1968.)
11. Bat For Lashes - Sleep Alone (from Two Suns)
12. Atomic Skunk - Liquid Dharma (free download - www.atomicskunk.com)
13. Global Communication - 12-18 (from 76-14)
14. Bitcrush - To Drown (from Epilogue In Waves)
"The Eyes, They See An Ominous Pillar": designed to soundtrack Thursday 17th - Sunday 20th December. The title references magnifying of small happenings affecting my mindstate, and their consequential broadening and minimizing.
I visited the county I grew up in with my family this past weekend. It was to attend my cousin's wedding reception, and have a meal with old friends. Upon anticipating this I decided to put my feelings to music. The first section supplants a mantra via track names - I felt like I was "Alone In The Rising Fog", and the progress was "Like A Slow River". "The Low Falls" and "Saltwater" are precursors to "I Shall Not Drown", the mixtape that will follow.
When in the venue surrounded by new faces and relatives, I hallucinated mildly. I thought pictures on the wall were rolling their eyes (windows and varying sizes of gaps). Different positioning of shutters on an adjacent image promoted disorientating factors to flourish. The lyrics of "Rough Hands" I used to consolidate word counts, and it proved useful.
The closing three tracks are touchstones from environment altering. I desired to sculpt a contrasting sequence where demons are welcome to wither ("Everybody's got your back" from Zelienople's "Pajama Avenue"), and humanness is dissipated from the ether (see Metric's "I've seen all the demons that you've got / If you're not alright, now, come on baby, I'll take you where, take you where you want"). Ultimately the result is a file with a plentitude of moodswings stitched into it.
01. Aquadorsa - Alone In The Rising Fog (from Cloudlands)
02. Lull - Like A Slow River (from Like A Slow River)
03. Jasper Leyland - The Low Falls (from Carbon Series Vol.5)
04. Last Days - Saltwater (from Sea)
05. Peter James - Aurora (from Holding On - Letting Go)
06. Stars Of The Lid - Another Ballad For Heavy Lids (from And Their Refinement Of The Decline)
07. Max Richter - This Picture Of Us. P (from 24 Postcards)
08. Alexisonfire - Rough Hands (from Crisis)
09. Peter Broderick - A Glacier (from Float)
10. Zelienople - Pajama Avenue (from Pajama Avenue)
11. The Caretaker - Long Term (Remote) (from Persistent Repetition Of Phrases)
12. Metric - Twilight Galaxy (from Fantasies)
"Head In The Clouds": constructed to celebrate my folks' 30th anniversary from meeting, in 1979. All blends don't synchronize totally, while the theme - having one's head in the clouds - is presented by the contemplative mood.
01. Quosp - Submerged (from Soundscapes II)
02. Herzog - Congratulations, Here's Your Mountain (from First Summer And The Running Dream)
03. Carl Sagan's Ghost - Into The Light I (from Darkness And The Light)
04. Stars Of The Lid - Dopamine Clouds Over Craven Cottage (from And Their Refinement Of The Decline)
05. Rameses III - Clouds Kings (from I Could Not Love You More)
06. Grouper - Wind And Snow (from Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill)
07. John Foxx & Harold Budd - Raindust (from Transluscence)
08. Biosphere - As The Sun Kissed The Horizon (from the album Substrata)
09. The Lights Galaxia - The Last Lights In The City (from Global)
10. Leyland Kirby - And At Dawn Armed With Glowing Patience, We Will Enter The Cities Of Glory (Stripped) (from Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was)
Movement is tried and tested artistically. It facillitates growth opportunities, frees stangnancy and liberates matters from a rigid structure. However, there are also phases that benefit from being 'stuck'. "Caught In Static" accrues such temporality.
A companion piece to "Mind Over Matter", we've had the sleep selection "Threshold", sequenced to revitalise, now is the turn of specifically chosen tracks that have a time-lapsed feel to them, which, paradoxically, condenses my concentration into a small block and appertains to reap rewards of dedication and perserverence.
01. Sawako - Cloud No Crowd (from Hum)
02. Apalusa - Live From The Dry Valley's (from Live From The Dry Valley's)
03. Stars Of The Lid - Arch Song (from Music For The Ballasted Orchestra)
04. Marow - Hadar (from Scintillation)
05. Last Days - Nothing Stays The Same, Nothing Ever Ends (from The Safety Of The North)
Monday, 21 December 2009
Photo: Richard Lainhart's "Threshold" disc
There have been an array of online comments foretelling that music can be good for sleep, breathing, anxiety reduction et al. There have also been a multitude of mixtapes that put that stigma to the test. And we all have thresholds that limit our conscious perception of living and dreaming. "Threshold" is an excercise in assuaging these statements and reproducing their fruits.
Muttley - Threshold - December 2009
01. William Basinski & Richard Chartier - Untitled 2 (from Untitled 1-3)
02. Richard Lainhart - Threshold (from Threshold)
03. Fennesz & Sakamoto - Oto (from Cendre)
04. Felicia Atkinson & Sylvain Chaveau - How The Light (from Roman Anglais)
05. Richard Lainhart - Cranes Fly West 040706-2 (from Threshold)
06. David Tagg - Cave Light Spectrum (from Dulcimer Studies)
07. Ian Hawgood - Ginseng & Polaramin, And One Long Slumber (from Before I Let The Sunshine Rot)
08. Quosp - Night Coast (from Soundscapes I)
09. Aphex Twin - Blue Calx (from Selected Ambient Works Vol.2)
10. Leyland Kirby - Tonight Is The Last Night Of The World (from Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was)
I use "Threshold's" timeline as a measure of how active I've been that day. I then estimate what I can do to improve my sleep. By sharing this I trust there are individuals that believe in meditation, inner calm and replacing nothingness with something to treasure for years. The tracks may or may not resonate with the listener, but what they do achieve is lulling the brain and causing panic to subside.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Photo: Leyland Kirby
There are all manner of things we have to overcome as we exist. Whether it's baby steps, speech, refraining from urges, balancing work with love, or simply bypassing the tumultuous chaos around us, everything is valid, yet somehow, the mind is not strictly as it seems. With the advent of technology doing more of the work for us, drifting and distracting ourselves can increase.
"Mind Over Matter" is a cornerstone for such behaviour. It sprouted from procrastination and my attention span waning when studying for my Open University course. I'm presented units each week, and listening exercises on accompanying CDs demand me to focus in a variety of ranges.
Active and passive listening, timbre, structures and forms, texture, writing about sound: it's a budding music journalists' paradise.
I like every Muttley mixtape to have a theme. This one is obvious. You can do it. You can pick yourself up and face the hardships, frustrations and enigmas the world throws at you. Even if you're singularly partaking in discovery, you are never just 'you' - but you're ideally welcome to be yourself. There is likely a fourth dimension in the panoramic distance, one that we all uncover when the mists of grey vanish and we're left with achievement or failure.
Whatever the outcome, sometimes we need an informal push, and I hope this selection will help incentivise and inspire a few people to remember that memories live longer than dreams.
01. Robert Haigh - Tomorrow Never Came (1989) (from Notes And Crossings)
02. Leyland Kirby - Memories Live Longer Than Dreams (from Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was)
03. Goldmund - Light (from Two Point Discrimination)
04. Sylvain Chaveau - Staring (from Nuage)
05. 36 - Inside (from Hypersona)
06. Arlo Bigazzi & Arturo Staleri - Stregatto (from Zaum Vol.1)
07. eDIT - Twenty Minutes (from Crying Over Pros For No Reason)
08. Krzysztof Orluk - Beautiful Mind (from Blurred Reflection)
09. Boards Of Canada - Dawn Chorus (from Geogaddi)
10. Skindred - Who Are You? (from Shark Bites And Dog Fights)
As a celebration of 20000 views and 350 posts in my "Ambient lovers" thread, I've uploaded "Dreamscape". It's dedicated to my friend dwarde, who once said he listens to my mixes when he goes to bed, but consequently misses most of the music. The theme here is life-affirming sounds. They are also partly ghostly. "Dreamscape" begins beatless with long blends, then traverses classical, downtempo and drone influences. I'm trying to break the habit of building sets to crescendo levels, and instead making a proper sleep selection where perception is motionless; a strong segment of the caveat.
01. Bruno Sanfilippo - Imagined Reality (from Auralspace)
02. Oophoi - Night Psalm (from Hymns To A Silent Sky)
03. Seafar - Dr.Catchlove (from Hegira)
04. Philip Dickau - I Am With You, I Am Happy (from This City, And You)
05. Stars Of The Lid - The Daughters Of Quiet Minds (from And Their Refinement Of The Decline)
06. Eluvium - Reciting The Airships (from Copia)
07. Slow - You Can't Say No To (from Dual Box)
08. Black To Comm - Hotel Freund (from Alphabet 1968)
09. Fur - Friends (from Black Castles)
10. Repetition / Distract - Ghosts On Our Train (from Not Even In Sleep)
11. Breakage - Unireverse (from This Too Shall Pass)
12. Noah And The Whale - Instrumental II (from The First Days Of Spring)
01. Asher – 1.1 (from Landscape Studies)
02. Seafar – Yob Data (from Hegira)
03. Netherworld – Jostedaal (from Zaum Vol.1)
04. Mindspan – Conversations (Unreleased)
05. Fennesz – The Point Of It All (from Venice)
06. Svarte Greiner – Ullsokk (from Knive)
07. Olafur Arnalds – Raein (from Found Songs)
08. Jasper TX – Better Days To Come (from A Darkness)
09. Autechre – Outh9x (from Quaristice)
10. Antony And The Johnsons – Daylight And The Sun (from The Crying Light)
11. Sawako – A Last Next (Instrumental) (from Bitter Sweet)
12. Peter Broderick – And It's Alright (from Home)
Dedicated to friends Conor and Louisa; a soundtrack to when I visited Ireland on November 7th. It begins with layered drones that border on lachrymose, overlaid with snippets of voice that aren't quite quantifiable. My battle against compulsions tripping me up, confusion, forgetting, and deluded thinking are all captured in this doctrine.
This episode within finishes at 13:45, where the mood is very melancholic. "Better Days To Come" then progresses to positive reminiscence with piano, female singing and strings. There's a happy ending through the darkness - I was told to re-recognise that things will always pass, as they do. I have Conor to thank also for introducing me to Brian Hartnett, a founder of Hearing Voices Ireland, and ASC (aka Mindspan) for "Headspace", his second foray into ambient and minimal techno, currently unreleased.
Originally posted by Dave Trax on djtrax.wordpress.com
"This blog was set up to host News, Mixes and Videos from DJ Trax. However, Muttley has given so much support to the underground scene and therefore I'm proud to host his latest mix."
01 - ICR - Misspent (Misspent Music)
02 - Probe-One - Protocol (Covert Operations)
03 - Silent Witness - Amazon (DNAudio)
04 - Hipnotic - White Horizon (D:Art Recordings Unreleased)
05 - ASC & Subwave - Storm System (Covert Operations)
06 - DJ Trax - This One (Subvert Central)
07 - Cloak & Dagger - Soul Sauce (Subtle Audio)
Download exclusively at djtrax.wordpress.com
"White Horizon" is ordinated for clubs at peak or primetime, when handled with enough discern. The health of dancefloors worldwide survives on variation, but you won't encounter selections like this at the majority of drum and bass nights. I view the problem like film transgression. If we call punter satisfaction crucial, most events are Hollywood blockbusters, where trailers fabricate longevity, and idiosyncracies are wasted. With "White Horizon" I chose a cross-section from digital and vinyl labels, that are either today defunct, or running on subscription protocols.
You get a package that's a labour of love, and not commodified - as is your average big-buck flick. The Hipnotic track remains the sole tune with a two-step beat. It highlights that as a DJ, you don't have to revert to heavy-hitters.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Friday, 27 November 2009
SubVersion Stop 36: Subvert Central's favourite albums podcast: Part 1 (Subvert Central Podcast 047)
This is part one of a special Subvert Central Podcast, put together by Nozkram, documenting the best albums owned by members of the SC community. From protest-heavy hip-hop via Public Enemy, right through to twinkling, melodramatic shoegaze from My Bloody Valentine, it's an uninhibited snapshot of an underground network's cream of the crop, hosted by the oh-so-sweetly-spoken Subvert Bot.
01. Virgin Prunes - A New Form of Beauty (1981) - 6 Beats (Seven Bastard Suck) - chosen by shift
The Virgin Prunes was an Irish gothic rock band. The band formed in 1977 and disbanded in 1986 after the departure of member Gavin Friday. The rest of the band continued on without him for a while as The Prunes, but they too ended activities by 1990.
02. Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul (1969) - Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic - chosen by loris
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008) was an American singer-songwriter, actor and musician. Hayes was one of the main creative forces behind southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served as both an in-house songwriter and producer with partner David Porter during the mid-1960s.
In the late 1960s, Hayes became a recording artist, and recorded successful soul albums such as Hot Buttered Soul (1969) and Black Moses (1971) as the Stax label's premier artist. In addition to his work in popular music, Hayes was a film score composer for motion pictures. His best known work, for the 1971 blaxploitation film Shaft, earned Hayes an Academy Award for Best Original Song (the first Academy Award received by an African-American in a non-acting category) and two Grammy Awards. He received a third Grammy for the album Black Moses.
03. Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet (1990) - War at 33 1/3 - chosen by Cycom
Public Enemy, also known as PE, is a hip hop group from Long Island, New York, known for its politically charged lyrics and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community.
In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Public Enemy number forty-four on its list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Acclaimed Music ranks them the 29th most recommended musical act of all time and the highest hip-hop group. The group was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
04. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme (1965) - Resolution - chosen by Dodz
A Love Supreme is a jazz studio album released by John Coltrane's quartet in 1965. It is generally considered to be among Coltrane's greatest works, as it coalesced the hard bop sensibilities of his early career with the free jazz style he adopted later in his life.
05. Kimmo Pohjonen - Kielo (1999) - Emboli - chosen by Naphta
Kimmo Pohjonen (born August 16, 1964) is a Finnish accordionist, whose singular mission is to expand the capabilities, sound, scope, performance and experience of the accordion to levels never before attempted, seen or heard. Accordion, voice, effects, surround sound and light show combine to make a unique and captivating performance event.
06. Genius/GZA - Liquid Swords (1995) - Labels - chosen by Concept 81
Gary Grice, better known by his stage name GZA (pronounced /ˈdʒɪzə/) and The Genius, is an American hip hop artist best known as a founding member of the seminal hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan and for his inclusion on their group albums, his groupmates' solo releases and a successful solo career.
07. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (1970) - Inner City Blues - chosen by Rondema
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr., better known by his stage name Marvin Gaye, (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer-songwriter and instrumentalist with a three-octave vocal range. Starting as a member of the doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late fifties, he ventured into a solo career after the group disbanded in 1960 signing with the Tamla subsidiary of Motown Records. After starting off as a session drummer, Gaye ranked as the label's top-selling solo artist during the sixties.
08. Peter Gabriel - Security (1982) - Kiss of Life - chosen by Rooster
Peter Brian Gabriel (born 13 February 1950) is an English musician and songwriter who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flutist of the progressive rock group Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career. More recently he has focused on producing and promoting world music and pioneering digital distribution methods for music. He has also been involved in various humanitarian efforts. Gabriel was awarded the Polar Music Prize in 2009.
09. King Crimson - Discipline (1981) - Frame by Frame - chosen by Theeborn
King Crimson are a rock band, originally founded in 1969 by guitarist Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles. Typically categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band has in fact incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during its long history, drawing from jazz, classical and experimental music to psychedelic rock, heavy metal, new wave, hard rock, gamelan, folk music, electronica and drum and bass. Originating in England, the band has had a mixture of English and American personnel since 1981.
10. Melvins - Houdini Live (2006) - Joan of Arc - chosen by clinton
The Melvins are an American band that formed in 1982. They usually perform as a trio, but in recent years have performed as a four piece with two drummers. Since 1984, singer and guitarist Buzz Osborne ("King Buzzo") and drummer Dale Crover have been the band's constant members. They have made contributions to creating grunge music and sludge metal. The band was named after a supervisor at a Thriftway in Montesano, Washington where Osborne also worked as a clerk. "Melvin" was despised by other employees, and the band's members felt it to be an appropriately ridiculous name.
11. Ministry - Psalm 69 (1992) - Corrosion - chosen by Nozkram
Ministry was an American industrial metal band founded by frontman Al Jourgensen in 1981. Originally a synthpop outfit, Ministry changed its style to industrial metal in the late 1980s. Ministry found mainstream success in the early 1990s with its most successful album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992) and touring as part of the Lollapalooza festival. After 27 years of performing, Al Jourgensen decided to retire the band as of 2008.
12. Helmet - Meantime (1992) - in the Meantime - chosen by silent wolf
Meantime is the second album and major-label debut by Helmet, released in 1992 on Interscope Records.
Meantime has continued to sell consistently well in the years since its release, and in 1994 was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Helmet released one single from Meantime, "Unsung", which was a charting success on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, and remains their best-known song. The album itself reached #68 on Billboard's Top 200; an unexpected success for the band. Music videos were also made for "Give It" and "In the Meantime".
13. Therapy? - Caucasian Psychosis (1992) - Loser Cop - chosen by Macc
Therapy? are an alternative metal band from Northern Ireland. The band was formed in 1989 by guitarist–vocalist Andy Cairns from Ballyclare and drummer-vocalist Fyfe Ewing from Larne, Northern Ireland. The band initially recorded their first demo with Cairns filling in on bass guitar. To complete the lineup, the band recruited Larne bassist Michael McKeegan.
With keen pop sensibilities, a skewed sense of humour and a willingness to draw inspiration from diverse sources (notably punk rock), Therapy? came to attention in the early 1990s rise of alternative rock, but have endured for two decades since.
14. Henry Cow - Leg End (1973) - Bittern Storm over Ulm (from Unrest, 1974) - chosen By Statto
Henry Cow were an English avant-rock group, founded at Cambridge University in 1968 by multi-instrumentalists Fred Frith and Tim Hodgkinson. Henry Cow's personnel fluctuated over their decade together, but drummer Chris Cutler and bassoonist/oboist Lindsay Cooper were important long-term members alongside Frith and Hodgkinson.
An inherent anti-commercial bias kept them at arm's length from the mainstream music business, enabling them to experiment at will. Critic Myles Boisen writes, "their sound was so mercurial and daring that they had few imitators, even though they inspired many on both sides of the Atlantic with a blend of spontaneity, intricate structures, philosophy, and humor that has endured and transcended the 'progressive' tag."
15. Amebix - No Sanctuary (1984) - Battery Humans - chosen by Erbanta
Amebix are an English crust punk band. Formed as "The Band with No Name," Amebix's original run was from 1978 to 1987, during which time they released three EPs and two full-length LPs. The group has reunited as of 2008.
By being one of the first bands to blend anarcho-punk and heavy metal music, Amebix are often cited as one of the key bands that helped to create the crust punk style. Such notable bands as Sepultura, Neurosis and Deviated Instinct have paid homage to the band.
16. Borax - Mikroрайон (1999) - Laava - chosen by widzhit
Borax was a legendary indie-rock-pop band in the middle of 90's, involving many talented musicians, who now have all moved to their solo or other projects.
Laava is bit different from rest of the tracks on this album, Mikroraion, that was last for Borax. Slow tempo, no vocals, more guitar sounds. Mood changes from mellow flow to desperate and melancholic.
17. Autolux - Future Perfect (2004) - Blanket - chosen by Missy Swanker
Autolux is a Los Angeles-based trio comprising Eugene Goreshter (lead vocals, bass), Greg Edwards (guitar, vocals) and Carla Azar (drums, vocals). The trio formed in 2000 and has since recorded one promotion EP, Demonstration, and released one full-length studio album, Future Perfect, in 2004. Autolux is currently working on a second studio album.
18. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (1991) - only when i sleep - chosen by Safetyboy
My Bloody Valentine are a shoegazing band formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1984. The founding members are guitarist/singer Kevin Shields and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig. The band's lineup during its heyday also included singer-guitarist Bilinda Butcher and bassist Debbie Googe, when the band were predominantly based in London.
19. The Young Gods - The Young Gods (1987) - Fais La Mounette - chosen by Kontra
The Young Gods (TYG) is a Swiss Industrial music band. The band's lineup has generally consisted of a vocalist, a sampler operator and a drummer. Their instrumentation often includes sampled electric guitars, drums, keyboards, and other samples. The lyrics are a mix of English, French and a bit of German.
20. Tarentel - Ghetto Beats on the Surface of the Sun (2007) - A Crystal the Size of Our Moon in the Heart of a Pulsating White Dwarf - chosen by Little Nemo
Tarentel began as a post-rock band, making extended, LP-side length instrumental pieces similar to those of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai. Over the course three full-length albums and a number of singles and EPs, Tarentel has gradually shifted their style to a looser, more improvisational form that incorporates genres such as noise and drone as well as having a strong psychedelic element.
21. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992) - Heliosphan - chosen by muscavage
Richard David James (born 18 August 1971), aka Aphex Twin, is a British electronic musician described by The Guardian newspaper as "the most inventive and influential figure in contemporary electronic music." He founded the record label Rephlex Records in 1991 with his friend Grant Wilson-Claridge.
Friday, 6 November 2009
Monday, 2 November 2009
Koelsch et al. (see Current Biology vol. 19, 2009) carried out a study where parts of classical piano sonatas were played to people who considered themselves non-musical. The sonatas were played either by professional musicians or by computers. The sound from human or computer was almost indistinguishable however the subjects' brains showed considerably more electrical activity and their skin had a bigger conductance response (which varies with sweat production as a result of an emotional response) when listening to music played by a human.
The volunteers' brains showed clear electric activity in response to unexpected chords and changes in tonal key, which indicated that, despite not playing instruments or knowing music theory themselves, their brains were able to respond to the musical grammar in the sonatas. This response was enhanced, however, when the sonatas were played by musicians rather than a computer. If emotional reactions to musical changes were stronger when played with slight musical expression, the musical performance of other individuals could be viewed in the same way as interpreting language, or may even have some connection to the part of the brain which responds to language. It is interesting that a musical piece can naturally be perceived as emotional even by people who claim to have no musical training.
Sunday, 1 November 2009
01 - Brian Mcbride - The Guilt Of Uncomplicated Thoughts (from When The Detail Lost Its Freedom - Kranky)
02 - Philip Jeck - Wholesome (from 7 - Touch)
03 - Rameses III - The Kindness Of Letting Go (from I Could Not Love You More - Type)
04 - Mogwai - Waltz For Aidan (from Come On Die Young - Chemikal Underground)
05 - Hilmar O Hilmarrson & Sigur Ros - Degradation (from Angels Of The Universe - Import)
06 - Olafur Arnalds - Lost Song (from Found Songs - Erased Tapes)
07 - ASC - Highbrow (from the Warm008 12' - Warm Communications)
08 - Autechre - Nil (from Amber - Warp)
09 - The Drift - Noumena (from Ceiling Sky - Temporary Residence)
10 - The Alpha Rhythm - The Return (from Proof Of Concept - Seedknowledge)
11 - The Cinematic Orchestra - Diabolus (from Motion - Ninja Tune)
12 - Badmammal - Sending And Taking (goodluck/badluck unreleased)
13 - Glint - Double Vision (from Sound In Silence - www.glintonline.com)
14 - A Silver Mount Zion - The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes (from Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward - Constellation)
Download @ Low Light Mixes
Friday, 30 October 2009
Artwork credits: cordani @ est00.com
Download exclusively at The Hydrogen Cafe:
01 - Lull - Illusion Of Unbroken Surface
02 - Hildur Gudanottir, BJ Nilsen & Stillupsteypa - The Direction Was Foggy Or Cloudy
03 - Klute - Untitled
04 - Grouper - Close Cloak
05 - Stars Of The Lid - Hibener Toujours
06 - Massimo Liverani - Primavera
07 - Lamenter - Bleeding Riverbed
08 - El Heath - Epick
09 - Xela - Her Eyes Sparkled And She Walked Away
10 - Ulrich Schnauss - Molfsee
11 - Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Providence
12 - Hakobune - The July Skies Followed Us Here
13 - Kettel - Halt Him
14 - Mogwai - Punk Rock
15 - Bark Psychosis - Burning The City (Alt mix)
16 - Jodi Cave - For Myria (2)
17 - Lezrod - Digi4
18 - The Alpha Rhythm - Long Road Ohm
19 - Klute - Torrential Pain
20 - Pilote - The Dialogue
Collaging music very personal to my existence; upheld as a return to being myself, and catalysed by an explosion of innacurate surmising towards me, each track in "Overshadowed" signifies through titles a soundtrack to meetings, and departures which have never taken place.
What can overshadow failed friendships by symbolism: rebuttal of society, depth-charge fathomages, stones of universal change gathering moss, and returning with surplus details, or the juxtaposing of rational and irrational lust, leaves the participant with a subconscious dialectic for advancement.
The end of a relationship or marriage can be a difficult and painful experience. It can leave you feeling confused, lonely and lacking confidence in yourself and the future. Feelings of betrayal, guilt or rejection are common. Anger, sadness and confusion are often intense. Moving forward can be hard when trust, self-confidence and self-esteem have been shaken. All I hope for is that "Overshadowed" can be an aural springboard to assist and heal those in darkness, that which I'm slowly exiting, one step at a time.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Thursday, 22 October 2009
A further implication is that these early Europeans may have used the same musical intervals as are in use in the world today, suggesting that ideas of musical metre and harmony are universal. Fossil musical instruments are extremely rare since they decompose very easily and it is not known what other types of instruments were used, nevertheless this finding allows us to attach an earliest date to the invention of complex music. Before that, it is still assumed that percussion was the most ancient form of music, and probably developed concurrently with language as a means of communication over longer distances than speech.
Monday, 19 October 2009
01. High Lonesome Sound System – We’re go (Exist Dance)
02. Mundo Muzique – A Cluster of Movement (R+S)
03. Revelation – Synth-it (Atmosphere Records)
04. The Octogan Man – Spiritos Dementico (Vinyl Solution)
05. Mundo Muzique – Altered Envelope (Opus Records)
06. The Rhythm Masters Volume 3 – Sending out an SOS (Underworld Records)
07. Revelation – Odyssey (Atmosphere Records)
08. Mundo Muzique – Welcome (Opus Records)
09. Intelligent Communication – Drive (Jumpin’ and Pumpin’)
10. Revelation – Resurgan (Atmosphere Records)
11. EZE OZO – Kick the Break in (Beatfreak Music)
12. High Lonesome Sound System – Love Nights (Exist Dance)
13. Brainstorm – Move the Colours (Instinct Records)
14. The Shamen – Possible Worlds (Deep P.S.I mix) (One Little Indian)
15. Voodoo Child – Slight Return (R+S)
16. Frank De Wulf – Cinemascope (Mikki House)
17. EZE OZO – How to Stay Alive (Beatfreak Music)
18. Mundo Muzique – Albido (R+S)
19. The Shamen – Hear Me O My People (One Little Indian)
“I used to spend most evenings huddled around my little radio cassette player in my early teens scanning different frequencies searching for new music, and all of a sudden I found music like this. I was hooked from that day. This selection is a tribute to those radio stations, the crackle over the airwaves, the discovery of new sounds, which I have tried to re-create as much as possible. It’s like listening back to the old pirate radio tapes for me all over again and takes me back to that time. It features aliases of Moby, Technical Itch and Future sound of london, amongst others. A time when all this music went under the same banner. Techno to house to breakbeats to bleeps, all of which still influence my own music to this day.”
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
“Transference” is the result of the first collaboration between fellow mixtape creators Muttley & nrvnet. Transference began as an exercise in association. Muttley started rummaging through his monthly archives one day, for tracks with titles that suggested an action of transference in the composition of a message. Given the biggest percentage of his collection consisted of beatless audio, the rigidity of tune choices remained, but the limitations decreased.
Influenced by the low-high penchant of groups like Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the consequential recording clocked in at 12 minutes, featuring dense soundwalls from Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd, Beef Terminal, Bitcrush and Broadway Project; going from tranquil piano motifs to a downtempo behemoth.
During this period, fellow ambient mixtape maker nrvnet had contributed two sets to the "15 Minutes Of Fame" mix series. Muttley emailed nrvnet to ask whether he'd like to collaborate on a joint mix. With passion for the cause, both were obliged, and an ongoing conversation was established. The result that you see today is an 83-minute exploration into soundscapes, ambiences, crescendos, and, critically, a bucket-load of emotional credence.
Muttley and nrvnet contributed three sections each following a guideline of 10-15 minute sections. Upon completion of a section, the completed piece was “transferred” to the other. The piece went back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean several times until the message was complete. We won't tell you who did what--that's up to you to decide. The piece represents a conversation between people—both literally and figuratively. It also reflects a transference of state—from quiet to loud; from ambience to dissonance; from drift to beat. What Muttley provides in unconventional selections, nrvnet matches with tapestries of sounds. Transference will be cross-posted at Muttley’s Subversion blog and nrvnet’s Hydrogen Cafe blog.
It was an honour for Muttley and nrvnet to engage in this musical conversation together. We hope this transference of sound will be enjoyable.
- Muttley & nrvnet, October, 2009
D O W N L O A D S (right click, save link as):
Transference MP3 (83:27) (320k) (200 mb)
Artwork (800k Zip file)TRACKLISTING
01 - Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd - Hidden Message
02 - Beef Terminal - Passing Secrets Through The Window
03 - Bitcrush - Prologue
04 - Broadway Project - Message From The East
05 - Porcupine Tree - Russia On Ice (excerpt)
06 - Andrey Kiritchenko - Let Oneself In
07 - The Radio Dept. - Gibraltar
08 - Amusement Parks on Fire - So Mote It Be
09 - Radiohead - Meeting in the Aisle
10 - The Caretaker - Unmasking Alzheimer’s
11 - Skare - To The Other Shore
12 - Emma Cora - Parcels Carrier
13 - Milton Cross - First There Came A Letter From A Tree
14 - Helios - Signed I Wish You Well
15 - Porcupine Tree - Metonia Pt 1; Mesmer Pt 3 (excerpts)
16 - The Gentleman Losers - Weed Garden
17 - Jónsi & Alex - All the Big Trees
18 - Max Richter - lonosphere
19 - Arca - Baixa
20 - Jacaszek - Orszula
21 - Con Cetta vs. Antartica - Thank You
22 - Stars Of The Lid - A Meaningful Moment Through A Meaningless Process
23 - The Alpha Rhythm - Escape Velocity
24 - Peter Broderick - Something Has Changed
25 - Hreda - Knowing How To Carry
26 - Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I (02)
27 - Underworld - Pizza for Eggs (excerpt)
28 - Archive - LeMans
29 - The Last Days - Nightlight
30 - Auburn Lull - Blur My thoughts Again
01 - Marek Brandt - Versailles Castle
02 - John Tenny - French Quarter Walk
03 - Figowitz - Kantine01
04 - Cognito Perceptu - AM Band Static
05 - Stomp - Factory X Operatios
06 - Sal Randolph - Grand Central Station
07 - Connum - Bakery in a German Train Station
"When that transference between beings does occur it is the result of some very strong unbroken karmic connection from the past." - the Dalai Lama
Thursday, 24 September 2009
02. Brian Mcbride – Silent Motels (from When The Detail Lost Its Freedom – Kranky)
03. Renderizors – Stranger At Your Party (Band version) (from Submarine – Last Visible Dog)
04. Jasper Leyland – Taken (from Carbon Series Volume 5 -12X50)
05. Marcus Schmickler – Cue (from Param – A-Musik)
06. The Drift – Nozomi (from Ceiling Sky – Temporary Residence)
07. Robert Haigh – Lost On A Train (from Notes And Crossings – Siren)
08. Burial – Night Bus (from Burial – Hyperdub)
09. Dario Antonelli – ZX-21 Part 1 (from Zaum Vol.1 – Psychonavigation Records)
10. Eluvium – I Am So Much More Me That I Am Perfectly You (from Lambent Material – Temporary Residence)
11. Stars Of The Lid – Requiem For Dying Mothers Pt.2 (from The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid – Kranky)
12. Burial – UK (from Untrue – Hyperdub)
“Lost In Thought”: dedicated to my mother, whom I have left home from, to build ledges of ascension, with my old place of residence.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
It's been seen before in some older studies (e.g. Nisbett et al., Psychological Review. Vol 84(3), Mar 1977, page 231) where very similar but essentially indistinguishable items (such as clothes, electrical items, household objects etc.) were put on the right or left of viewers, and they were asked to carefully reason out which one they like best. Almost all of the participants chose the items on the right, but they gave a variety of complicated reasons as to why they had chosen the better item.
This shows that we are totally unconscious of why we do a lot of things, and are pretty good at convincing to ourselves that we have made a reasoned logical choice, when in fact we have just taken the route that was pre-determined by something deep and uncontrollable to do with our individual physiology. It's much more comforting to think that we are carving our own destiny, but maybe even the things that we like, the jobs we want, the people we think we are similar to, are all chosen a priori, and we make up comforting a posteriori logic to convince ourselves that we are our own masters.
It might be interesting to remember these things the next time we try to work out why some music sounds good (maybe we think it sounds exciting but actually the record was displayed at the right of the shop), or why we fall in love with a particular person (maybe they have mannerisms or often wear some colour which resonates strongly with our bodies, but of course we'll put it down to some profound mutual attraction).
Saturday, 5 September 2009
02. Ramadanman - Humber
03. Orien - Outer Galaxy
04. Martyn - Vancouver (2562's Puur Natuur Dub)
05. Synkro - Wasting Time
06. 2562 - Third Wave
07. Marco Bernardi - Mystery of Nazerus (2562 Remix)
08. Silkie - Spark
09. Truth - Lost At Sea
10. Vista - Neptune
11. Skream - Hitch
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Glint was conceived by Jase Blankfort (NYC) and Mateus Tebaldi (Brazil) in New York City. This self-titled EP sees them issuing an electro-rock amalgam of Kraftwerk-meets-Muse, unfinished symphonies, taunted by paranoid guitar flex and forlorn lyrical passages. The epic "Kernel Panic", a graphically rich maelstrom of orchestral strings, percussive post-rock poise and vocal intrepidity, continually peaks and troughs as the opener, breaking down for a total of four, jolting your apex upward and downward like a see-saw.
The casual stroll / dilligent sprint meshing of (mislabeled) "Freak" squeezes oil from the painting as Mogwai encapsulated in a perpetual motion machine, Blankfort whining like an alchoholic, at odds with himself, over driving percussion, and rope-swing guitar.
The output appears tinted by asymmetrical structures that are once lopsided as they are angular, blending like rice with curry sauce. It's this spicy homogenity that populates the entireity of the EP, the poppier "Hold Still" exiting a dust-blown compartment to crash down with force on the listener, the rippling analogue, arpeggiated synth arching like a rainbow bridge from the underbelly of the procession.
Lyrically there's much to scratch beards over, particularly "I've tried this times before / I can't wait / Counting the steps I take / The hearts I break / I'm counting mistakes I make, the lies I fake / I'm willing to change my ways, take me away".
"Friends" rises from a pool of Detroit Techno glue to supplant a weighty cheerleader-wave of automated guitar persistence, searing like a lengthy burn. "Damaged Goods" which follows it, is hook, line and sinker to the record's mission statement: to prove "my love is true". There's strong backing to Blankfort's gruff deliveries, pauses for breath, with a machine-gun grunt propelling the longing onward.
If there's one thing that's lacking from this EP, it's that the barriers to enlightenment are blocked by a tendency to be oppressive. "Sound In Silence", their 2008 LP, proved they have the scope to implement lighter textures instead of a doom-engulfed emotive smog. I have a feeling that if Glint can capitalise on this fact and sow sweetness in the lining, on the same release, they will be onto something very special indeed. As it is, they don't require to trade old ideas for innovative ones; just a gentle glance at the world wouldn't go amiss.
Purchase: "Sound In Silence" and Self-titled EP
Saturday, 29 August 2009
"Veer On The Side Of Caution" is the second in a series of mixes dedicated to Bridewell Gardens, which I enrolled for earlier in 2009 to attempt work in the fields of conservation and decoration. It's a cross-application of mellow and meaningful music that is themed on tracks that use piano for longer than two minutes. I partake in pricking out and potting on at Bridewell and this is my soundtrack. Lifting sowed seeds from their beds, putting them into trays, lifting tray-bound plants and placing them in pots; sound like fun?
I've integrated ominous narratives of L-r & Radiomentale's "I Could Never Make That Music Again" LP, ala "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie", to creep in and out. It is a relay of musicians talking of their personal hardships, methods of using music as healing agents, and this contextualising opens idioms to more adventurous areas. E.g: "There are freaks that are created, either through accident or disease, and then there are freaks that create themselves. We get laughed at, it was a joke. We got laughed at for years, so we had to really believe in ourselves, because we could have given up. A freak is really a metaphor or a symbol for someone whos on the outside. And in a lot of ways, they've always seen themselves as outsiders...as freaks, if you were."
Monday, 24 August 2009
01. Jasper TX & Anduin – Where A Star Once Was (SMTG)
02. Robert Fripp & Brian Eno – Evening Star (EG Records)
03. Kettel – An Inky Moon (DUB Recordings)
04. The Drift – For Grace And Stars (Temporary Residence)
05. Sawako – Purple Sky Coming (Anticipate)
06. Gordon Giltrap – Sad Skies (La Cooka Ratcha)
07. Johann Johansson – Fordlandia – Aerial View (4AD)
08. Quosp – Stars (U-Cover)
09. Seeland – Station Sky (LOAF)
10. Peter Broderick – Below It (Type)
11. Neil Halstead – The Finer Points Of Flying (Brushfire Records)
12. Glint – Boy And The Stars (Rely Records)
13. Mono – The Sky Remains The Same As Ever (Temporary Residence)
14. Need More Sources – Sun (MOTEER)
15. Badmammal – Skydive (goodluck/badluck)
16. Bird Show – Clouds And Their Shadows (Kranky)
17. Christopher Willits – Clouds Form (Ghostly International)
18. Slowdive – Blue Skied An’ Clear (Creation)
19. Boards Of Canada – Skyliner (Warp)
20. Burial – Forgive (Hyperdub)
21. Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent) (EG Records)
"'Gravitation To Resolution’: tracks that represent an ascending of consciousness, in their respective progressions, all connatural to the sky; objects of, motions in, from night to day, in whatever custom fits.”
Sunday, 23 August 2009
02. MF Doom "Hey!"
03. MoodSwingawz "The Blessin'"
04. Reflection Eternal ft. Mos Def & Mr. Man "Fortified Live"
05. Medina Green "Crosstown Beef"
06. Mos Def ft. Talib Kweli "History"
07. Guilty Simpson "Coroner's Music"
08. L.E.G.A.C.Y. ft. Phonte, Chaundon & Sean Price "TKO"
09. Che Grand ft. Tanya Morgan "People Bowling"
10. Tanya Morgan "Bang and Boogie"
11. Elucid "Whirlwind Through Cities"
12. MAGr "Come Home"
Made with ACID Pro 4.0.
What inspired you to make "Strictly 4 My Negus"?
It actually came from what I've been listening to. About two weeks ago I went on a Rawkus kick, finding the "Crosstown Beef" CD single, as well as a digital copy of "Fortified Live". I have been wanting to use that "negus" audio bit, just because it makes me laugh, and it spiralled from there. Notice the 12" version of "Hey!", which differs from the Operation: Doomsday version.
This mix is pretty much what you'd find me listening to, Hip-Hop wise, on a sunny Saturday afternoon. When I do mixes for other sites, it makes me really try to string a cohesive statement... we go from the surprising lyrical skill of Doom, through some classic Rawkus flavor, right into some new Mos Def and Kweli, and then shine on some MCs I feel need exposure, like L.E.G.A.C.Y., Che Grand, Tanya Morgan and Elucid. We cap it off with MAGr; "Come Home" is a great way to end things off, both sonically and content-wise.
How does it differ from your RTD radio mixes?
Well, its shorter, and its more focused. When I do RTD Radio, I'll pack two hours with fresh music alongside some classics. This mix is more personal, more about stuff that I love personally, and artists I want to push.
Can you assure RTD newbies of content they'll enjoy if they like "Strictly 4 My Negus"?
Trust, if you dig that mix, rockthedub.com features a ton of material like that. I've built relationships with the Lessondary crew (Che Grand, Tanya Morgan, Elucid, etc.), MAGr and others, so I periodically post new content from them. I'm a sucker for quality Hip-Hop, and this mix is a prime example of what you can expect from my site.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
We are influenced by many: groups which we affiliate ourselves to, then others. Whether the landscape is academic, spiritual, financial, or familial, powerful rewards and punishments are proposed, from personal thoughts to lovers, and our graft. This may demean or discourage effort that is not preferred. Did you take all of this into account when guaranteeing Lightless Recordings a Subvert Central affiliation?
Wow, what a monster of a question as a starter here, heh!
I'll say I'm definitely a subvert junglist for life and that's how it's going to be. Me and Lightless are definitely 100% down with the subversive movement. It totally helped me in terms of exposure as well as inspiration when it started.
Personally I was enamoured by events like "Is It Just Me, or...". There were passionate individuals with varying ideals coming together to discuss the nitty gritty, the serious and silly, all in the same cache. Do you feel empowered as being part of the Subvert Central community?
Well, I think I had all the drive, creativity, grumpiness (heh) etc needed even before I joined SC, but SC definitely connected me with so many like-minded producers and DJs. It also exposed a lot of people to my stuff as well as others', and it continues to do so.
I can recall you posting your tracks in the Beat Ranch. Back then, in 2002-2004, Paradox had coined phraseology for what he produced - 'drumfunk'. If the categorisation of your music as 'drumfunk' is antiperspirant, how and where would you like it sprayed?
I'd have it sprayed at all the big drum and bass events at primetime.
Homing is the instinct to return, to go to the place we remember. It is the ability to find, whether in dark or in daylight, one's home place. Did your relationship with your parents spread fruitful seeds with this in mind?
Yes, definitely. And I still go see my mom a few times a year. She lives where I grew up.
I love that little town, as life has a different pace there. They hardly have 8,000 (eight thousand) people there. It's a good place to go to if you want to distance yourself from your everyday life in the city.
Where are you from, and where are you currently?
The town I just mentioned is called Haapavesi. It's 500-600km north of Helsinki, roughly. I've been living in Helsinki since January 2000.
I always got the impression that you're a friendly guy, very approachable and warm-hearted. Photographs in your gallery and selected party out-takes (ICHiOne, The Cavern, Exeter and the US) confirm this. Has your temperament calmed with age?
I'm hardly temperamental. I've always been a nice, mellow dude.
In the interim of your travels around Helsinki, have you found the drum and bass mainstream to be lacking the breakbeat-heavy styles you engender?
I would have to say so, yes.
I remember you saying that some of the well-known DJs in that scene, liked your beats, but wouldn't drop them in clubs. Can you understand why?
Well, yeah, I can. That style of drum and bass doesn't really get played here.
However, my flatmate, who goes by the artist name of Trisector, is doing a monthly event in a bar called Loop, and they're exploring the deeper, breakbeat-oriented sounds there every month, and that shit kicks ass.
What is the scene like over in Helsinki, and how has it developed in recent years?
The scene is small, yet pretty lively. There's events all the time, and international DJs are being brought here on the regular. I started going to events here in 2000, and I think it's got livelier since. I have a lot of respect for the guys who do all the events here.
Lately you're planning to tour the US.
I've done three US tours already! The first one was short, the second one had around twelve gigs, and the last one – which I finished on June 19 – had ten. They were all organized and put together by mister Chad Simer aka Olcyrus from Mukilteo, to whom I'm immeasurably indebted for making it all happen. A good person with a huge heart and lots of musical passion. Gotta love him.
On that note, the drum and bass scene becomes a puddle of mud. What do we do to clean it up?
Wow. I don't know. Drum and bass as a whole is quite disintegrated in a way, so if it became a puddle of mud where everything mixed together pretty seamlessly, it might be a good thing. Heh.
A soulless world means some people are ruthless in getting what they want, without compromise. However in a lot of cases, things take time - time that they won't put up with. Do you subscribe to the ideal of the ruthless human, or are you more sensitive in the relationships you partake in?
Can't say I promote any ruthlessness in my actions. Even if you do something in your own terms, you shouldn't be selfish in your actions. This world would be so much better if we all were just a little less selfish. A little good goes a long way.
Then, if you could command the attention of millions of people for five minutes, what would you say?
Be a little less selfish. Care about the people around you. Try to do something nice to them, as it goes a long way. Love others like you love yourself (I'm not religious or anything, even though some of that may sound religious...).
In folklore, the drummer becomes integral to reverberation of life. In drum and bass' golden era (subjectively 1995-1997) this would explain the overflowing talent that married the breakbeat to atmosphere, depth to detrimentality, and operations that condensed material as such. Do you miss those years?
I do miss those years in a way. Material similar to that of those years still is being made, no doubt – it's just that that material isn't in the spotlight anymore. That music was the dnb mainstream back then, but now it's in the very marginal, and the mainstream dnb of today is motherfucking awful. It's simply crap music.
I miss the adventurousness of the 95-97 dnb and how open people were about it; breaky or not, it was simply good music.
When Ed Rush And Optical begun the overwhelming techstep assailancy, with "Wormhole" pivotal exposure, breakbeats subsequently maintained regimented ideals instead of syncopation, perplexing rhythmic passages shunned over inherent power that comes with flattening the dynamics, and cranking up the mids and highs. I recall you started a petition to get Danny Breaks back into d&b. He, for me was someone who straddled the range of these contrasting styles very well. Do you wish more heads today were exposed to such productions, and were you influenced by the intersection?
I do wish more people got exposed to such productions for sure. The styles I push are in the marginal, and I don't think the main reason is that it's drastically less accessible to the junglists of today: it's mainly because people simply don't get exposed to those styles unless they go digging quite deep – which a lot of people fail to do, and I can't blame them.
In the last few years, I've heard a few people who dropped out of dnb and then tried coming back say "I haven't been following jungle for some years but I wanted to check out some and I did, and dear god, what has happened? I checked out some clips and it's all awful shit”.
It's those people who can't find their way back to the kind of stuff that they loved: it may have been way more mainstream many years ago, but these days, it's very underground, and they can't find it very easily by going to the "major” dnb sites or events.
I remember reading how DJ Fracture tried to strike up a conversation with a bored Photek at Technicality. How was your meeting with Bill Laswell in comparison?
Those meetings can't be compared.
I first did some beats for me and Laswell's collabo album, ”Lodge”, after which I made some beats for him that he used in his "Vessel” remixes for Nine Inch Nails that came out on the "Year Zero Remixed” LP (I'm not credited on the album so I'll just mention it here, so you know, hehe!).
I went to NYC for a few days after a US tour I did and he paid for my hotel in Manhattan, paid for my drinks, showed me some nice food joints in NYC etc and we just hung out and talked about music. A real good guy, super down-to-earth, funny as hell, and all.
Also, for the record, Photek's beats today are lame as heck, while Bill Laswell is into the wild breaks, man.
If by looking in a mirror you turn into a superhero, what is his name and what does he do?
He finds, samples and mangles all the wickedest breaks in the world, making them speak his language.
Did you ever get into producing to earn money, or was it just a motivation for you to prolong your studies?
Money was never in my mind...making music has always been – and still is! – a hobby I do for fun.
I've ALWAYS done it for myself, and myself only, and I'm being dead honest here. I've never done one single compromise in my music with the market/fans in mind. If all my recordings stopped selling completely today, I'd still do it for myself and enjoy it as much as I always did.
From adolescence, what tools have you used to carve a life for yourself?
Doing the things I love – to nourish the soul and maintain the zest.
Where did the Fanu name originate? Some names are fridge magnet-esque; I'm intrigued to know where this stemmed.
An old friend of mine used to give people the silliest nicknames when he was young, and when we were kids, he noticed I had a sticker of an elephant with the word "HappyFant” on it. In his twisted nickname-making mind, he made "Fanu” out of that. So there you have it! :D
Cool. Now, a lot of people will know you for "Siren Song", which sold over 500 copies on Subtitles. However, it was one of Subtitles lowest selling releases, and took plenty of gumption to be repressed. Do you feel proud of that accomplishment, do you look back and wish you'd released it yourself, and what was the emotional input like in comparison to your Lightless highlights?
Geez, this stuff is old! :D
I doubt it's the lowest-selling one: it was pressed twice and it sold out both times. I do feel proud of getting a release on Subtitles and I'm grateful to Teebee for putting it out for sure.
I wouldn't go back and change anything: getting a release on Subtitles, one of the biggest dnb labels out there, makes people check it out, and if I had released it, I don't think that many people would've heard it.
Emotional input? You mean rewarding, or...?
I was thinking more along the lines of how much you put into a track, but sure, why not.
I'd say it's more rewarding now: things are more in my own hands, and I've matured in terms of being an artist (and see, I'm still not making clownstep!!), whatever that means.
Despite this achievement, I recall you having a fracas with Teebee, who once said "You ain't doing anything new. Man I see like 50 of you come and go in every year." Has such critique hardened you to hatred or malignation, or do you take it with tongue firmly in cheek?
Believe it or not, I don't care about any criticism, be it from anybody. It's easy, because I've never done one thing to impress others or to appeal to anybody...I only do it for myself.
If I can manage to impress myself in my own studio space, I've reached my aim for a short while, and what comes after that, it's OK, whether it be positive or negative or from fans or the big heads who think their opinions count more than those of others'.
That's the STS soft synth on "End Of An Era", am I right?
Highly likely it is...I've sampled the synth back when I had a PC.
I remember sending it to you and you consequently selling your Virus. How has the transition from hardware to software been for you, are you in the middle of major changes, and how settled are you with your setup?
I'm still using my Akai s5000 every now and then, as well as my Soundcraft desk...they will never go away.
Logic 8 is the sequencer I use.
Just trying to mix them all...it works nicely. Sometimes I make all-software tracks, but they are more or less mixed on my Soundcraft.
You once told me you don't get inspired to write music in the summer. Do you think there's a direct correlation to wistfulness inside you, and the surroundings you produce in?
Yes, it's true I can't really make music in the summer. First, it doesn't inspire me at all for some reason. I grew up in the dark, cold parts, and that did shape my musical unconsciousness.
Second, I started skateboarding again two years ago, and that's kept me out for most of the summer so far: I haven't stayed much inside. Come autumn, the beats will start rolling in!
What do you do to revive the senses - sleep, caffeine, sport, sauna?
I skate – and I work out daily now. The latter is part of me dramatically changing the way I live, which I started last December. I've lost a lot of weight and I feel so much better now and my health has improved so much.
I O.D. on coffee every day, though, heh.
In the grey mists of morning, are you usually busy honing music production, or tucked up in bed?
These days, I try to get up at decent times – between 8 and 10 – and just drink mad loads of coffee and work out while doing it, or just go skate right after the first cup of coffee.
Some people's daily practice is prayer. Do you have your own recurrent cycles?
Exercising a bit in the morning and/or in the evening. Having my coffee as soon as I open my eyes, haha.
As a one-man operation with Lightless, I imagine you must be a very busy man. What do you do to help yourself unwind?
I'm not nearly as busy with music as many people think. I've been lucky to have it all pretty easy: doing gigs and getting paid for other music stuff, too.
However, skateboarding is what makes me forget the everyday mundanity.
Well, skateboarding: Ollie or kickflip?
Damn! My ollies go definitely higher than any of my flips, but kickflip has been in my repertoire for almost as long as the ollie.
If I have to let one go, I'd keep the ollie for sure as it's the foundation of so many other tricks.
If I was a budding producer looking for a Lightless signing, what would your criteria be?
Original music. Period.
Please, no tracks with 1) pretentious über-chopped breaks executed with no real sense of rhythm, 2) bleeps and minimal sounds run through delay, or 3) forced movie samples before the drop...I'm getting sick of those demos.
What were your primary inspirations for starting the Lightless label - was it a case of being let down too much by external delays, or do you think of it as a natural extension of your name and agenda?
Mainly the former. I just wanted to have it all in my hands...it's worked like a charm, and I'm super thankful to S.T. Holdings for letting me do it.
It feels good having a personal outlet for my productions so I don't have to shop around anymore.
So you've launched a rawrip page with over half of your catalogue available as Mp3s. What are your thoughts on the digital revolution?
Simply, I think music should be available to people who are willing to pay for it. Not everyone wants to buy vinyl, so it's good that they can get their music in digital form. I still want to support vinyl, but you want to be realistic, too: let everyone willing to buy your stuff do it. I'm not into the "vinyl-only” way of thinking of releasing music at all.
It's good to acknowledge you've kept your eyes open. A baby gets newly born into the world, alive with a background of classical music his mother plays him. What track from the Lightless catalogue would you present as a gift?
"Poltergeist", of course, to fuck the baby up.
Haha, well, maybe something from the "Daylightless" CD2...something mellow and beautiful, I think.
Can you take us through how you produced a chosen track on "Homefree" - how you start, whether you lead with your emotions, how you got things to a level you're happy with?
It starts with picking a sound that suits how I'm feeling. Everything gets built around that. It can be a bass sound, for example, but most often it's a pad sound or a simple melodic thing. It's never a break, however, that I build a track around. That's how it goes, in a nutshell.
What musical ventures would you still like to embark on - singular, or in collaboration?
Well, Polar has been saying we should do a collabo, so I think that has to be made reality sooner or later...
If you were granted a day with any producer, who would it be and why?
Amon Tobin. It's his samples and atmospheres and the rich sound textures I'd like to see get made.
If you could keep just one record in the world, what would it be?
Questions like this are evil...if I *really* took that question seriously, all the pondering might take five pages, so I'll just be a partypooper and say I couldn't choose just one.
You've sent me this picture of you with the book "The Golden Ass". What does it touch on - philosophy, science, or a hybridisation?
I don't have a clue what it is about! It's a total joke...I was just hanging out in New York (with awesome Mr. Cordani from Subvert Central forum), and I spotted that book and wanted to make a photo of myself with it.
Great! Re-investigating your past, you were born with a twin brother. Has there been any sibling rivalry between you, are you worlds apart in interests, and do you foresee any collaborations on projects in the future?
There's never been any rivalry between us. We're both pretty creative (he's an extremely talented tattoo artist) but I can't say our works could be combined – unless we're going to use a tattoo as a record cover...now that's an idea!
What are you afraid of?
My biggest fear would be realizing I've lost my creativity, dreams, and passion. My soul is made of those things.
Do you have dreams which have affected your reality, and do you think there is more to life than our climate change driven, self-fulfilled prophecy? (the world's ending)
If dreams here mean dreams you have when you're asleep, no, but as in a dream that keeps you going, yes.
The whole music thing – being a somewhat successful producer and a DJ in my own terms – was a dream, but it slowly started becoming reality, and I've already achieved so much more I ever dreamed of.
Dreams are what keep your soul alive. As long as you have dreams, you'll be able to take the daily grind and see further.
Ambient pioneer Brian Eno has developed a new interactive application for Apple Iphone. 'Bloom' allows users to create their own ambient compositions via the Iphone's touch screen. What are your views on technology - is it more of a hindrance than a help to us?
Can't be a bad thing, really. Whatever helps people to get creative, make more good, original music, and enjoy music in general, is a good thing in my book.
Heh, I'm just getting the new iPhone – for the music apps...
Could you name three recordings that have had pivotal influence on your life so far?
I have to mention ”Logical Progression 1” at least. It was spectacular in terms of being good MUSIC, let alone being good jungle or having good breaks.
FSOL's ”Lifeforms” taught me all I ever needed to know about electronic ambient music, and I still think that record was light-years ahead of its time.
It's hard to name the third!
If there was a possibility for paradise, what would make paradise for you, and would you take it?
I think part of every man's paradise is getting to do what he likes to do. I guess I can say doing the music thing, which has made it possible for me to live a life of not having to take a 9-5 job, has let me taste some of that paradise. I'm planning to start ”a real job” of being a teacher maybe next year, so I can't feast on my paradise forever, heh.
You graduated to teach English in 2007, completing an MA thesis. Are you passionate about English, or have the nuances of Finnish eclipsed your interest in literature?
I wrote my MA thesis on the use of African American Vernacular English (sometimes referred to as "Ebonics”) in the rap lyrics of some Finnish rappers. I am passionate about English for sure. It was the only thing that interested me in school, and I was always pretty good at it. And, for the record, I am the least literature-minded person ever...I hate literature, I guess. Heh.
I still haven't graduated fully, to be honest, but I'm literally one essay away from finishing my studies for good...I need to write 10+ pages about the history of Finnish schooling system, how it's changed and how the way it's been perceived by students has changed over time...see why it's the last thing I gotta do?
I remember reading your interview with Knowledge Magazine, where you said the culture of samurais had influenced your conscious decisions. Can you elaborate on that?
It's about never feeling you're good enough at what you do...about practising constantly, trying to get better at your craft.
I think that's testament to your high quality control.
As for being a samurai...I'm more of a "ronin”, as I don't work for anyone, really.
Your track on "Daylightless", "Hagakure" contains the vocal "when the samurai's head is cut off, he will still be able to perform one action with certainty". If you were the samurai, what would that action be?
Do a nollie frontside 360 shove-it on my skateboard. If the day ever comes that I can't do that trick, I'll be dead.
Something you served in 2000 was six compulsory months in the Finnish army. Have you taken any influence from the discriminatory factors of this work?
Hell no. That shit was useless as heck. The most useless six months of my life for sure. Army blows.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Some sweets every now and then. No matter how healthy you wanna live, you gotta have some chocolate every now and then!
I concur. So, are you a regular contributor to the SC 'Snax Creux'?
Haha, no, but I guess I should be! Banana + peanut butter milkshake with added protein...killer!
Contrasting, if you were out and caught a fish, would you leave the hook in, or let it go?
Well, I do eat meat and I like fish, so depends on the purpose.
If I was out fishing for nourishment, I'd keep it, but if it was for the sport of it (never done either, actually), I suppose it could go.
Do you have any childhood crushes you've held onto?
No, but I've turned one childhood aversion into love: mustard. Used to hate it, now I love it.
All this talk of food is making me hungry. Let's change the subject. If you had to disappear without a trace, where would you go and why?
Helsinki, Finland, is a remote enough place, I guess. But, I'd go to where I grew up: the Finnish countryside.
Twin Peaks: favourite episode?
Too hard a question! From my childhood I can remember Bob crawling over the sofa and Mike (the guy with one arm) getting interrogated...that's some unforgettable shit right there!
Finally, what are your aspirations for the year to come?
Improve my skating. I've been so hooked on it all year. Calling it an addiction is very true. I simply have to do it every day. I'm not even good, honestly, but it's the most fun I've done. I'm so glad I started doing it again in 2007 after a six-year break.
I also plan to start making loads of new music when the summer turns into fall...as that's when the inspiration kicks in. Expect some darkness and deepness.
Big thanks for talking to SubVersion Janne. All the best with your 2009.
Lightless Recordings: MySpace
Lightless Recordings is Subvert Central affiliated.