Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quiet Village Disco Mix

Andrew L. sent me this, knowing I'm sure that me and my AC are long-riders for Quiet Village: Joel Martin turns in a serious disco voyage for Fact Magazine to accompany his highly informative article on the 20 best disco records. Including Cat Stevens' Was Dog a Donut? which is pretty much unbeatable in terms of weirdo disco classics. 

Joel Martin's Disco Mix for Fact Magazine
Martin's list of the 20 best disco records

New Optimo mix on Domino Records

Optimo's got a new mix coming out in October, called "Sleepwalk," on Domino records. Looks like a pretty somnabulistic mix indeed. more from Pfork here


01 Chris Watson: "No Man's Land (Extract)"
02 Nurse With Wound: "Funeral Music For Perez Prado"
03 Coil: "A Cold Cell In Bangkok (Exclusive mix by Peter Christopherson)"
04 Tuxedomoon: "In a Manner of Speaking"
05 Eden Ahbez: "La Mer"
06 Raymond Scott: "Sleepy Time"
07 Cluster: "Sowiesoso"
08 Eno, Moebius and Roedelius: "Broken Head"
09 Arthur Russell: "This Is How We Walk on the Moon"
10 Damon: "Don't You Feel Me?"
11 Karen Dalton: "Something oOn Your Mind"
12 Duke Ellington: "Moonbow"
13 Future Pilot AKA: "Terry Bina"
14 Mulatu Astatke: "Yègellé Tezeta"
15 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: "Nashville Blues"
 Lee Hazlewood: "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On"
17 Wall of Voodoo: "Ring of Fire"
18 Chris and Cosey: "Sweet Surprise"
19 The Lady Vanishes: "Sleepwalk"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Morgan Geist - Detroit

Morgan Geist from Metro Area has a new album coming out, Double Night Time, which is good news for everybody. It features alot of singing by Jeremy Greenspan from Junior Boys, who should basically sing on all techno songs. The compositions are always so slippery and organic, you're pulled along without being aware of it. The opener, "Detroit," is fantastic. Basically no one produces such warm and crisp sounds as Geist does, and this jam is suffused with a neon melancholia that's looking back all over the place - to some long-lost inner experience, to a golden age of electronic music, and even to Geist's own earlier work - the end of 'Detroit' slides neatly into an interpolation of one of his own b-sides, "24k." 

I first found out about Double Night Time from my associate Jonathan F, who mentioned it to me in an email exchange back in June. Here is an excerpt:

June 27th, 2008.

JF: Speaking of things that nobody else cares about, I just got the new Morgan Geist record in the mail and I really like it.

me: what is the geist record?? I don't see anything of it online. It is ungoogleable.

JF:I guess it's more techno-popish and the vocalist from the Junior Boys is on it a lot. Less strings and organic touches and more synths than Metro Area. I don't know, their press people sent it to me.

me: look, some of us haven't finished the internet yet

JF: It gets better at the end.

me: don't spoil it.

JF: Google dies.

The Songs of Laura Mars

Barbra Streisand - Love Theme from the Eyes of Laura Mars (Prisoner)
Michael Zager Band - Let's All Chant

The Eyes of Laura Mars is an 1978 American Giallo-horror film starring Tommy Lee Jones & Faye Dunaway. John Carpenter wrote the screenplay. Originally supposed to star Barbra who instead just sings the title song. I will acknowledge that I am posting a Streisand song on my blog, ok? Deal with it. It's a heavy sort of awesome quasi-Pat Benatar rock ballad. The rest of the soundtrack incorporates heavy doses of Sunshine band-style boogie disco, to match what may in fact be the worst collective set of hairstyles on any group of actors ever. Seriously Rene Auberjonis has this intense flowing mane, and Tommy Lee's locks are fairly creepy as well.

Dunaway's character is a shock-exploitative photographer obsessed with shooting pictures of violence and death. At the beginning of the film there's a gallery opening where they used Helmut Newton photos as her photos.

Here's a famous sequence where there's a photoshoot at Columbus Circle with models fighting and cars on fire:

"Let's All Chant" is a disco classic and I'm super-down with the song structure: bare, stripped and rhythm-centered, until all of a sudden there's a left-turn jolt and the chorus appears out of nowhere. A great jam that's been cover-version mangled a million times.

D-I-R-T-Y Sound System

My label of the month feature for RA on Paris' Dirty Sound System is up, check it out. They're a DJ/selector/label crew with a ridiculous amount of style. They get Pilooski to do edits and they have impeccable taste - the edit of Valli's Beggin' was basically an atomic bomb when it came out last year. Seriously it is like a dancefloor trump card, a burning blue-eyed soul rave-up, and if you ever get caught in a DJ duel just drop this and watch the other guy crumble - no one can resist.

Betty Botox / Optimo

Beginning of the Heartbreak - Love of Life Orchestra

Optimo are Scottish DJs for whom eclectic is both a complete understatement and kind of an insult. 'Eclectic' sounds dilettantish, instead of conveying how someone can be a total genre-warper but also have depth of knowledge to back it up. I've seen Optimo spin twice, at Studio B and at Fabric's Room Two, and both times they did stuff like go from abrasive Nitzer Ebb blasts to Donna Summer in the span of about 10 minutes, without sounding like schizo ha-ha opportunists. Their mixes can give you whiplash. 

Betty Botox is JD from Optimo's ridiculous pseudonym, and the new release is a bunch of insane edits. 

"Beginning of the Heartbreak" is an amazing orchestral disco number, mostly instrumental, with a great cinematic build, underpinned by little scratchy kraut guitars. Very good for starting a bike ride. It's also the opener on James Murphy & Pat Mahoney's Fabriclive mix. 

on the other end of the spectrum, there's an edit of some random Residents track, which is highly weird and industrial-psychedelic and sounds like it's being beamed in from another planet and you're hearing by mistake, or wrongly because it's designed for alien ears. The rest of the Betty Botox record has some other disco on it but largely it's a bunch of super out-there edits of really wonky non-dancefloor shit, the kind of stuff that makes you cock your head like a confused dog. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Disco Treatment

Grand Ferry Park, Brooklyn

Donald Byrd - Love Has Come Around
Chic - I Want Your Love (Todd Terje edit)

A very lazy Saturday afternoon was spent napping in the sun and reading "The Yiddish Policeman's Union." Two things became known to me that day: the first being that Grand Ferry Park is so named because prior to the construction of the Williamsburg bridge, a ferry connected the two Grand Streets on either side of the East River, and which are in fact parallel. This was told to me by my friend Annie, whom I encountered on the sidewalk yard-selling with her husband Doug. 

The second thing is that there is a thing called Fine Diving, and it is a New York entity dedicated to promoting electronic-experimental music, and whose Fine Diving 004 party, a many-laptopped affair, was enjoying the park that same luxuriously warm late September saturday as I was.  

A lost echo of summer like this is somehow even more beautiful than summer proper, because it's an unexpected, undeserved surprise, and those out moving under its spell seem even more enlivened than they would during August's punishing sweat-swamp. 

While people-watching and enjoying Fine Diving, I reflected on something that has long been a kind of, let's say, metaphysical anxiety. A looming dread about the disappearance of every thing that happens, realizing in an anxious way that it's impossible to preserve anything, and thus impossible to really know it, to do it justice, to experience or love it fully. That the world never ceases to slip by, eternally unredeemed. Thus engaging in art, in whatever form, is somehow the last ditch effort of a desperate race, which has little other recourse in hedging the inexorable flow of time.

One way of temporarily plugging up this flow is dance music. Because it offers a fleeting sense of fullness, of plentitude, of complete presence, and in its hypnotic rhythms, it makes you feel like the flux of time has momentarily ceased.  So if you find yourself made ill by time, let me recommend these tracks:

"Love Has Come Around" is a disco classic. Disco is not something I take lightly, because alot of it is garbage. But the bits of it worth keeping are so white-hot pleasurable that they can bypass all critical faculties, and you really have no choice whether you like it or not. Especially important in NYC, where people ask themselves "am I allowed to like this?" before they even encounter something directly. This track by Donald Byrd is a supremely powerful, joyful roller-skate masterwerk. 

Todd Terje's edit of "I Want Your Love" by Chic is top-shelf sultry narcosis, glamorous, suffused with erotic longing, tinged with trippy dub-edit touches. Just listen to the energies of each track: the celebratory burst of Love Has Come Around versus the edgier propulsion of I Want Your Love: it's an exemplary study of time and desire. Enjoy, dance, be therapized, avert your eyes from the inexorable flow of time and your helplessness to intervene. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Taj Mahal Travellers

Taj Mahal Travellers - August 1974

Two-disc face melter. No really. Don't lean in too close. This is a Japanese avant free-noise space-commune meltdown. Led by Fluxus artist Takehisa Kosugi. Eerily ceremonial, psychedelica-incantatory. Sinister and sublime. "trippy" doesn't really cut it, trippy sounds like lava lamps and those "Magic Eye" books. Behind the spare, delicate tremors of strings and hand percussion they've got some crazy distorted synths lurking like thunderclouds in the background, uncurling at you like immense demon snakes in slow-motion. They're really beautifully resonant and disorted, like gloriously feedbacking guitars. Record sounds like you're at an ancient temple, with the lightest tufts of snow still falling on the cedar, early spring on the mountain, and ancient beardos are summing down gods from outer space to begin a new era on this earth. The kind of record you can forget about for ten years and put on again and still get upset by how intense it is. I can't really think of many albums that are as simultaneously bugged out and beautiful as this one. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Post-Punk Dance Treats

Last Sunday, despite being seriously exhausted from an all-nighter at Studio B for the sake of the weekend-long Minitek techno festival, and in the interlude before I was to make it out to Coney Island for the fest's climactic Audion-Richie Hawtin showdown, I dragged myself to Fort Greene's Brooklyn Flea, where there was a special DJ record collection sale taking place. One of the few guys selling a substantial amount of interesting stuff was this dude, whose wares included a bunch of post-punk disco-not-disco records, and some Japanese bamboo flute album he swore was seriously fire, but which I passed on nonetheless. From him I did procure Shriekback's 1982 debut EP Tench. It's a group that includes a guy from XTC and a guy from Gang of Four. 

Rather than rip it digitally myself, I scoured a bit for a post, and came across Egg City Radio, which I can highly recommend as a tremendous music blog, plenty of post-punky / dancey / experimental whatever rarities, as well as copious amounts of lost horror movie scores, etc. The opener "Accretions" is a great wound-tight post-punky dance jam, all teeth-grating edges and steely paranoia. "My Spine is the Bassline" is from a later release and has more of a disco-ey fat booty that it bounces on in good spirits. 

PS at the Brooklyn Flea you can get tacos and stuff from the famed Red Hook Ballfield taco vendors, who've set up shop there, and who are basically angels on this earth.

"Fear No Fear" is the excellent debut single from the UK-based Detachments, on This is Not an Exit. It's got all the noirish electro-pop early New Order elements you want and none of the retardo sneering posturing that you don't want and that you might associate with Manchester revivalism. This is more technoey, with dense and echoing synths and a great hi-freq reverbed drum pulse. Trippy, claustrophobic, dancey, it's a killer, you want it. 

Podcast: Raw & The Crooked Vol. 3

More illness courtesy of AC cohort DJ Still Life. Plus you can never go wrong opening with "Orleans." In addition, Still Life would like to tell you this:

- Keeping the bumps bumping and the chunks chunky, here's the latest edition of The Raw & The Crooked.  Lots of nuggets of joy on here to carry you through the waning summer season, including a short Madlib set with some fresh noise.

1. David Crosby- Orleans
2. Autolux- Turnstile Blues
3. Alice Russell- Fly In the Hand
4. Flying Lotus- Camel
5. Arcade Fire- Neon Bible
6. These New Puritains- Infinity
7. Frank n Dank- Pause
8. J Dilla- Jungle Love
9. Brooklyn Academy- Back In Effect
10. Samiyam- Rap Beat 08
11. Guilty Simpson- Pigs
11. Madlib- Disco Dance
12. Wendy Rene- After Laughter
13. Lootpack- Crate Diggin'
14. Virtuoso- Incenerator
15. JEL- Diypartisan
16. Nas- Hero
17. Gaslamp Killer- Show Stopper
18. Stateless- Exit
19. Scott Matelic- Vaccine
20. Money Mark- Cry (Dust Brothers Remix)
21. Doves- Satellite

*My apologies in advance to the good DJ, as Google Chrome, despite otherwise being a solid browser, did not allow me access to the jpg sent. but can you really go wrong with an oil skull on canvas?

Beardos on the Mountain

Ozo - Anambra

I would love to explain in detail why a post titled this way with these songs is necessary and appropriate for this blog, but it should be so blindingly obvious by now that I won't waste both your time and mine. Into the breach:

1. 'Holy Jungle' is a new jam from Golf Channel Recordings, the New York label with ties to Whatever We Want and No Ordinary Monkey. It's the most beardo thing maybe ever. Here's my review of it on Resident Advisor. You'll note one of the comments says "What a pompous review! This record is FUN!" to which I would reply here, yeah, that's why I called it the most beardo song ever made. Sounds like fun to me, come on. Basically the track sounds like shamans clanging a bunch of metal together in collective narco-religious trance. And it samples Jodorowsky's 'Holy Mountain' where the guy unloads the cosmic myth of the nine immortals who rule the world from the mountaintop. 

2. 'Kismet (Pilooski edit)' is a whirling dervish Tibetany folk-psych jam by German space rockers Amon Duul II that's been cut for maximum hypnosis by the Dirty Sound System's beloved re-edit master Pilooski. The guys from dirty have seriously good taste, and I think they know it. Disco edits are a straight-up subgenre at this point, and the dirty crew stays really one step ahead and to the left of the rest by digging the deepest and the weirdest. 

3. Anambra by Ozo is a super-deep afro-cosmic commune jam from 1976. 
It's one of those stunning tracks that always sounds good with everything. It's so mystically narcotized, it could be a Popol Vuh jam. Loft disco impresario David Mancuso apparently plays this alot at the very end of the night. Classic wizard disco.

4. The Myth is from the Cat People soundtrack, and is easily Anambra's twin. In addition to singing on the single "Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)," Bowie intones wordlessly over ominous hand-drum atmosphere from Giorgio, an instrumental version of the single's intro. Could easily be a Berlin-era ambient outtake. It occurs in the film when they explain the foundation myth behind the cat people, who are an ancient mystic race. It's worth mentioning here that the Christian apologist Origen claims Joseph's patronymic was Pantheras, as his father Jacob was called Panther. 

Holy Mountain

Opening scene to Cat People, with vocal version

Bonus: Aguirre: The Wrath of God - Opening Mountain Awesomeness

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

National Black President is Real Day

Last Friday was National Official Black President is Real Day. We have our first order of shirts in. Site's been redesigned as well, along with the political blog. Enjoy.

Acid Symphony: "So Run the Tears As Wine"

Oh man. John M. sent me this. It is some tv bit about a Finnish electronic musician who composed an "acid symphony" for the classic Roland 303 bass synthesizer called "So Run the Tears As Wine." No really, that's what it's really called. And he performs it with like five dudes all in tuxes, sitting calmly and tweaking 303 knobs. I wrote back to J, "this is really funny" and he replied "dude in dracula cape is totally serious." There's a part two up on youtube as well that you should see.

I also must say that I really like that it's not in any way a symphony. It's like a parodic version of Manuel Goettsching's e2-e4, which is an acknowledged classic and something like rave music for people with season tickets to Lincoln Center. "So Run The Tears as Wine" pretty much sounds like, uh, some acid techno.

please enjoy

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ridin' High @ Savalas, this Thursday

Featuring the Weekend Prince Soundsystem

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weekend Prince Podcast: Ridin' High #1

Weekend Prince - Ridin' High #1

Franco Battiato & Juri Camisasca - Himalaya

Track List:

Fox - The Juggler
Faze-O - Ridin' High
Cole Medina - Love You Inside Out
Lee Ritenour - The Countdown
Stroer - Don't Stay Till Breakfast
Vivian Vee - Alright
Patrick Cowley - Mind Warp (Remix)
Tussle - Rainbow Claw
African Suite - Grass
Trouble Funk - Trouble Funk Express
Franco Battiato & Juri Camisasca - Himalaya

The WP podcast series is now officially named "Ridin' High" after the cosmic love stonker by Faze-O, brought to my attention by Zade. It's one of the horniest, most stoned-out escapist psychedelic jams I've heard. It sounds like you will never have any problems again, because it's 3am and you are in another world. I tried to do an edit of it once, except that you can't edit it, because editing involves taking out the not-cool parts of a song and looping the cool parts more, and "Ridin' High" is already just perfectly cool parts looped forever.

The mix ends with a looped break from DC go-go masters Trouble Funk underpinning a weirdo 1975 T.Rex-y mystical pop track from Italy called "Himalaya" - it's compellingly, hypnotically goofy-glam enough, with great two word chorus "Himalayyyaa.....Katamandu!" with a general misty-mountain hippie vibe, that it's one of my recent favorite dug-up oddball tracks, so I present it to you in full as a bonus treat from my heart. Plus the album cover is an awesome iron death ship. Or a gladiator mask, I can't tell.

Lindstrom Interview: Flight of the Navigator

Norwegian space-disco auteur Hans-Peter Lindstrom's first real full length, Where You Go I Go Too, is an expansive, symphonic sci-fi wonder. It's so bearded, it's astro-methuselah. The 30-minute titular opener was the perfect soundtrack to a vehicular ascent of the dizzying northern face of the Fagaras Mountains. Here's my interview with Lindy on Prefix: