Sunday, February 11, 2024

four favorite riffs

Not actually my four absolute favorite riffs (Lord alone knows where I'd start with that) but four of my favorite riffs, commented on for The Wire's Greatest Riffs feature of  2004 

KING SUNNY ADE -- “Eje Nlo Gba Ara Mi”, “365 Is My Number/The Message” (from Juju Music, Mango, 1982), “Synchro System” (Synchro System, Mango, 1983)

 The riff so good they used it thrice. Actually, that’s an underestimate. This twangy, twinkly rhythm guitar figure, mostly likely played by Ade himself, is all over The Best of The Classic Years compilation of 1967-74 material (notably “Sunny Ti De” and “Ibanujde Mon Iwon”), and I’m told it recurs throughout the man’s vast discography. Whether it’s creative thrift or a Zen-like exploration of the infinite inflectional possibilities within a few chords, who knows? In any given track, this crisp crinkle of scintillating Afro-funk serves a double function, operating as both audio-logo (this is KING SUNNY ADE you’re listening to) and intensifier, its flecked flicker tightening the surface of the music until it’s as taut as a drum skin.

NASTY HABITS--“Shadow Boxing” (31 Records, 1996)

Nasty Habits is the alter-ego of deejay/producer Doc Scott, one of jungle’s under-sung pioneers, and “Shadow Boxing” contains the most gloriously doom-laden and ponderous synth-riff in that genre’s history. Scott’s from Coventry, so it’s tempting to think he must have accessed the heaviness of this sluggish, scowling riff from the harsh West Midlands environment in the same way Sabbath did with “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and the rest. More likely, though, is that in the early Nineties Scott had his head rearranged at Coventry’s Eclipse raves and ever since then he’s been chasing down his own ultimate version of the miasmic “Mentasm” noise-riff, as heard on Joey Beltram’s early R&S tracks and Belgian hardcore anthems beyond counting. Beautiful and ominous like a cloud of poison gas looming on the horizon, “Shadow Boxing” is the culmination of a life’s work. Something drum’n’bass as genre most likely will never surpass.

RESILIENT--"1.2" (Chain Reaction, 1996) 

There’s probably any number of fabulous riffs strewn across the discographies of the Basic Channel/Chain Reaction label-cluster (Maurizio’s “M6” and Monolake’s “Index” spring immediately to mind). But “1.2” by the enigmatic Resilient takes the BC/CR approach of miniaturising the riff to the limit. Riffs exist at the intersection of melody and rhythm, the mnemonic and the physical, and the Chain Reaction aesthetic in part involved seeing just how reduced (in terms of notes) you could make a pulse before it became purely percussive, just another beat. I’m not even sure there’s notes as such in “1.2”, it’s more like this spasming ripple of texture. It’s as if Resilient has conducted an archaeology of house music in order to uncover the primordial geocosmic vamp at the genre’s core. The first half of “1.2” consists of a tectonic shudder, a tidal current, that’s so contourless it’s at the very threshold of memorability. Then roughly six minutes in (you do tend to lose track of time) it abruptly shifts gear to a more rapid flicker of amorphous radiance. At which point, the sensation of spongy amniotic suspension quickens to a flooding bliss, overwhelming enough to get your eyes rolling back in your head. You start to see why some wag* dubbed this genre “heroin house”.

KRAFTWERK--“Ruckzuck” (Kraftwerk 1, Philips, 1971) 

Given all the other choices available in the Kraftwerk oeuvre--the regular-as-carburetor pulse of “Autobahn”, the poignant heart-flutter vamps of “Neon Lights” and “Computer Love”, the eerie synth-shivers midway through "Home Computer"--it probably seems slightly perverse to pick the very first song on the very first album. Especially as the killer riff is played on a flute, not a synth. But the whole essence of Kraftwerk’s sound/feeling/Geist--serene urgency, Zen as the art of motorik maintenance--is distilled into Florian Schneider’s rasping flute lick. Or flute licks--at various points, it’s double-tracked so that Schneider is jamming with himself, the staccato patterns dovetailing to funky perfection. Flutes are usually a ghastly idea outside classical music, but here the instrument rocks--indeed, it’s hard to think of another instance of a woodwind being used to such percussive and propulsive effect. “Ruckzuck” is the missing link between Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and Area Code 615’s “Stone Fox Chase”--i.e. that harmonica-driven theme tune for The Old Grey Whistle Test. * "some wag"--Not sure but I think it was actually Kevin Martin who coined the term "heroin house". Nuff respeck.

Monday, February 5, 2024

ambient faves (2016)

votes for the pitchfork ambient list  

(with my blurbs for charting albums below) 

1/ brian eno - on land

2/ brian eno & harold budd - plateaux of mirrors

3/ aphex twin - selected ambient works vol 2

4/ seefeel - polyfusia

5/ laraaji - day of radiance

6/ Steve hillage - rainbow dome music

7/ cluster - II

8/ manuel göttsching - e2-e4

9/ brian eno - discreet music

10/ aphex twin - selected ambient works 89-93

11/ fripp-eno – (no pussyfooting)

12/ david sylvian - gone to earth (instrumentals disc)

13/ david bowie - low (side 2)

14/ mixmaster morris - flying high

15/ the orb - adventures beyond the ultra world

16/ edgar froese - aqua

17/ klaus schulze - mirage

18/ ralph lundsten - cosmic love

19/ seefeel - quique

20/ brian eno - music for airports

might have included if i'd heard them then

ernest hood - neighborhoods

k.leimer - music for land and water

michael turtle - phantoms of dreamland

arnold aard - electro-sonnances

ron nagorcka - loveregana: music from a tasmanian forest

knud victor - ambiances / images

kankyo ongaku compilation

angel rada  - upadesa

runners up/edge cases (e.g.with song element)

hugo largo - drum / meddle

spacemen 3 - playing with fire 

ar kane - 69 

eno - another green world

eno - before and after science

oneohtrix point never - rifts

budd / fraser / guthrie / raymonde - the moon and the melodies

other contenders

zoviet france, moon wiring club, focus group,ingram marshall, catherine christer hennix, jon hassell, thomas koner, huerco s, celer, dolphins into the future, orphan fairytale, cocteau twins,global communications, ann southam, other eno / budd / cluster / harmonia / laraaji / fripp-eno / seefeel, kwjazz, laurie spiegel,the caretaker, roj, ryuichi sakamoto, nik pascal, virginia astley,matsuo ohno, michel longtin,craig kupka, david pritchard 

Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works Volume II (Warp), 1994

With Selected Ambient Works 85-92, Richard D. James established “ambient techno” as a viable concept rather than a contradiction-in-terms.  But soon this serene offshoot of banging ravefloor music became its own New Age-y cul-de-sac.  Bloody-minded as ever, for his early ’94 follow-up, James switched from chill-out to chilling: ominously featureless soundscapes woven from abstract textures and eerily fixated pulses. Gone, for the most part, were those lovely Aphex melodies shimmering like dew-drops on a spider web. The project’s forbidding aura was intensified by the absence of track titles: all 24 tracks were identified only by texture-swatches (such as lichen or weathered stone) as if to deliberately exacerbate the listener’s sensation of being lost.  There was beauty here still, but of a peculiar and unsettling kind: the opener, for instance, modulates a voice into a baby-talk squiggle, then ripples it through hall-of-mirrors echo.  James trailed the project – which proved as influential as its predecessor had been, with similarly mixed results –by talking about the inspiration he’d drawn from experiments with lucid dreaming: techniques that allow the sleeper to steer the storyline of a nocturnal adventure. True or not, the effect of this music feels exactly like being inside a dream – not necessarily idyllic, more like the kind whose strangeness haunts you long into your waking day. 

Brian Eno, Ambient 4: On Land (EG), 1982

The climax of Eno’s supremely fertile New York period, On Land is ironically an attempt to leave – psychologically - the very city in which he’d produced so much astonishingly innovative work.   The working title Empty Landscapes reveals just how oppressive Eno had come to find Manhattan’s hyperactive bustle. Drawing on inspirations from film (Fellini’s Amarcord) and art (Pierre Tal-Coat’s pastoral paintings) Eno was above all working from personal memory: faded impressions of the unpopulous East Coast of England where he’d grown up. Some tracks are named after places (Leek Hills, Dunwich) he’d frequented as a child, while another (“Lantern Marsh”) gets it title from an evocative name he’d seen on a map. Aiming for “a nice kind of spooky” and a “feeling of aloneness, On Land pushes much deeper into abstraction than Music For Airports: Eno drastically processed the instrumental sounds until unrecognizable and wove in natural-world timbres such as stones and frog noises.  The glinting, amorphous result has barely any ancestors in music. On Land was a deeply conceptual project: Eno wrote 25 thousand words of notes to articulate what he was trying to do and invented a three-speaker system that listeners could set up to intensify the feeling of sonic engulfment.  But On Land ultimately works on a purely emotional level: a heartsick 34-year-old expatriate mentally prepares himself for the homecoming that will follow in a few years.  “On Land” is only a missing consonant and a shifted vowel from “England”.


Laraaji, Ambient 3: Day of Radiance (EG ) 1980

Serendipity was in full effect the day Eno strolled through New York’s Washington Square Park and came across Laraaji playing his plangently chiming autoharp.  The actor-musician had already released one album, 1978’s Celestial Vibrations,  but the note inviting him to make a record that Eno dropped into his busker’s hat gave Laraaji access to a much larger audience.  Born Edward Larry Gordon, Laraaji had explored the concept of cosmic music for some years using electrified and adapted versions of the zither and hammered dulcimer. He believed that these and similar metallophonic instruments like gongs induced a trance state that broke down the self’s boundaries and unloosed the bonds of Time.  Not that the first side of Day of Radiance is relaxing, exactly:  “The Dance” seems to flood your mind with almost-painful brightness. But the flipside’s two-parter “Meditation” gently unspools folds of glimmering texture in a slow-motion cascade.  Although Radiance was a career highpoint, Laraaji would record a bunch more wonderful albums (including Flow Goes The Universe for Eno’s latterday label All Saints). The fact that Laraaji’s other main occupation is working as a laughter therapist reminds us of the higher purpose – at once practical and mystical – behind Radiance. This is music for healing and making whole.   

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Atemporal Faves of 202?

Last year, for a change, I did "Atemporal Faves". The idea being to reflect the way that I'm more like a regular listener these days, a civilian, drifting across the archival space of streaming services, YouTube, and my own collection. As a result, what brings me delight in any given year will include some new records, as well as relatively recent releases (things from the year before, or the year before that, that I'd only just gotten around to hearing). Then there'd be new-to-me old stuff: reissues, but also just things from long ago I'd never heard before. And the final category: old favorites rediscovered, things heard once or twice long ago but returned to for a deeper listen with a different head.

 A true reflection of a year's listening would be weighted to the not-now. Hence, Atemporal Faves. 

Well, as it happens, I did hear more new releases in 2023 that I liked than has been the case for a while, most vaguely situated in  "experimental pop" / electronic music on the edge of the dancefloor / electronic music with a song or vocal element. Some are mentioned below; others are not, even though they impressed me on a first listen. The problem I find is that there's so many things jostling for attention - newer new things, plus the endless variety of  archival attractions - that often I never make it back for that second listen.  Maybe the solution would be to have a system, a list, that ensures you make that return visit.  But that would put everything into the category of work; listening would be trammeled with a sense of duty - something I'm inclined to avoid as much as possible.  

In the jumble below, I've tried to stick with what stuck - songs and albums where it wasn't a question of conscientiously returning for another go, where I was irresistibly pulled back.  

Various - Cease & Resist - Sonic Subversion & Anarcho Punk In The UK 1979​-​86 

The song I played most in 2023 was "Girl On the Run" by Honey Bane - a very old song that I'm not 100% I ever heard before. I think I would have remembered - it's almost impossibly exciting. The bass playing alone! 

The backing band on "Girl on The Run" is Crass - sounding better, musically, than on their own stuff.  But Crass sounded just great on the song that I played second-most in 2023: "Bloody Revolutions". That's a very old song that I know very very well - my brother had a copy, played it incessantly - but I hadn't heard in it decades. 

Both tunes appeared on this splendid compilation of anarcho-punk Cease & Resist - I blogged about it here, although the post quickly becomes a run-through of Honey Bane's career. As for "Bloody Revolutions", that got blogged about here, although the post largely focuses on the searing stridency of Eve Libertine's vocal.

June Tabor – "While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping", "Heather Down the Moor", "The Scarecrow"

Thinking about it some more, the single song I played most in 2023 might actually have been "While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping" - played in two forms: sung  live in a TV studio, and also on record. Right close behind "Gamekeepers"  would be "Heather Down the Moor". "The Scarecrow" - haunting and harrowed, as opposed to frolicsome and gamboling, as with the poacher and nookie-in-the-bracken songs - also got loads of spins.  "Gamekeepers" and "Heather," though, are the ones I would so love to be able to sing. If I could, I'd sing them exactly as June does, every last skip and ripple. Paean here

Lil Yachty, "The Ride", Let’s Start Here

"The Ride" is the most ecstatic piece of new music I heard all year. I know almost nothing about Lil Yachty, about his journey up to this point. Nor have I bothered to find out much about Let's Start Here, apart from picking up that it was a big career swerve and that it involves someone from Chairlift. Who I remember quite liking back in the whenever-it-was - early 2010s? - but feel reasonably confident in the belief that nothing in their past suggested they'd ever be capable of producing something as abandoned and let-loose as "The Ride".  Let's Start Here has loads of other great moments ("pRETTy") but it's this song that really sends me.  

Big Thief -  "Simulation Swarm," "Little Things," "Blurred View"

Indie gets ever harder to define. You can sort of smell it, as a sensibility - but the sonic parameters are wide and getting wider. It doesn't necessarily involve guitars anymore, at least as the dominant musical texture. Much of what's called "indie" nowadays sounds more like singer-songwriter music. "Indie" perhaps is less a genre than a demographic, one that reconstitutes itself year after year, and that has abiding needs. Writerly lyrics are prized, sensitivity is the supreme value. It's music for the gentle people, which sometimes is the same as the genteel people. Idealistic, and consequently disillusioned -  but it doesn't  rail directly against the state of things hardly ever (that would be too aesthetically clumsy). Unlike R&B and Top 40 pop, it's rarely explicitly sexual (if it goes there, it's done poetically, tastefully). It's not built for a dancefloor - although people who love it will dance to it.  A lot of the time it's about sadness, feeling hurt by life. But it can also brim over with bliss, try to capture fleeting moments of magic, when life becomes dream-like. 

That's all good then.  But of course indie has often been the lamest, take-this-to-the-knackers-yard-already sound around - and it's been like that for the past 30 years! Now and then, though, you'll hear something so surprisingly musical - so musically surprising - that questions of relevance become irrelevant.  From the year before last year, listened to incessantly through 2023, "Simulation Swarm" and "Little Things" slipped past my barricades. For that I must thank my youngest son Eli, for playing within my earshot music I might otherwise never have heard, out of sheer prejudice.  

Feeble Little Horse - "Picture", Girl With Fish, Hayday

After reading the two big end-of-year articles about the shoegaze resurgence I did something foolish and piled every 2023 / 2022 release mentioned into a gigantic playlist and then played it all the way through. Which took a couple of days. Probably not the fairest way to give these groups a chance. Any distinguishing qualities they conceivably possess got a little smushed.  

Out of all that saturated redundancy, just a few caught my ear as really having any reason to exist: Zoon, I liked a lot, and some bits by Hotline TNT.  Jane Remover and Yves Tumor had their moments.

But the group I liked the most was the one I already knew through Eli playing a tune or two: Feeble Little Horse. The first time that name flashed up on the car stereo I laughed out loud - such a ridiculously echt-indie name for a group, yet also so right for this fragile, jelly-legged sound.  I really like the droopy vocals, the curling girly melodies, the drifting off-tune guitar-tones, the shapely shapelessness of the songs. You have heard it all before, except you haven't, quite, heard it exactly like this.  

Alongside "Simulation Swarm", "Picture" might be the most sheerly beautiful, subtly inventive song I've heard in a couple of years.

patten, Mirage FM 

I mentioned that there were a lot of art-pop / experimental pop / edge-of-dance things that impressed me on a first listen but I never went back to. Mirage FM was one of the much smaller number that drew me back. It's a crinkly, spangly sort of sound poised pleasantly on a cusp between eeriness and ecstasy. Some tunes, like "Forever" and "Alright" reminded me of a less groove-functional, unsteady-as-she-goes Todd Edwards. A commenter at the Retromania blog said Burial - same difference, really!  This album is an extension of the vocal science / sample-choir aesthetic, but employing the latest technology, generative AI. 

Listening just now, again, I suddenly wondered whether I would have guessed that, if I hadn't read about the text-to-sound technique involved before I ever listened. Maybe I would have just taken it to be an extreme use of Melodyne or some other vocal design tool pushed to the absolute limit? I am not sure with AI-created music that I am able yet to hear the sort of oh-yes-that’s-what-they-are-using aspect that you get when you heard something that was e.g. pushing Autotune to its limits. (Something similar happened with the last Holly Herndon album, where my favorite track turned out not to involve machine-learning or Spawn at all but older forms of vocal processing). 

Perhaps it's a case where actually knowing more would enhance the experience, not diminish it.  So with Mirage FM, rather than simply presenting the outcome of the process for our disoriented delectation, it might have been more intriguing to know the precise instructions given to Stable Diffusion that resulted in the raw material of each track's make-up, and trying to identify the correlations.  

(This flashes me back to my thoughts about sampling in Energy Flash - that if you used the sampler in such an extreme, abstractified way that the sample source was unrecognisable, you might as well be using synthesis....  that what was idiomorphic about the sampler was the distortion or stretching of the known as opposed to the obliteration and obscuring of it .... "known" not necessarily meaning that you recognise it as a quote or citation, but that you recognise it as belonging to a genre or originating in an instrument. The analogy here would be the hall of mirrors, where what makes it unsettling is the grotesque deformation of the human face and form... if it was just a formless blur of flickering color, that wouldn't be perturbing)

Lee Gamble, Models 

Another arty electronic release that involves neural networks and abstractified vocals. And that got repeat listens from me.

Gamble appears to have reverted to the gaseous abstraction of his pre-polemical work - at least, I didn't glean a sense that there was a political point being made here, even obliquely. If so, all to the good, I think. Four years since the infamous article, I have moved further still from thinking there's much point to politicking-through-music. Preaching to the converted, critiquing for the predisposed - these are just points on a spectrum. 

Here, I seem to be part of something called The Aesthetic Turn. But really I have been there for a while. (It's also a return to how I felt about music in post-postpunk times). My gut feeling is that whatever it is music does for us, it's not really about education, enlightenment, "moral rearmament". But nor is music a particularly good vehicle for making us better informed. There are after all a superabundance of avenues and mechanisms out there to achieve that - whatever use being informed actually is, on its own

But music - music has other things to offer. 

(What about the other arts -  film, literature, visual art? I recoil similarly from the overtly didactic and sententious,  while acknowledging that there are books, movies, paintings, that have made me think - think differently.  And I suppose music has done that, in tandem with the  discourse around music - the writing, the arguing. Then again, I wonder whether I would have found a way to those sort of thoughts anyway. (Hence "critiquing for the predisposed").

(But what about "Bloody Revolutions"? Surely that's a case of music-as-politicking-as-excitement-as-potentially-lifechanging....  I guess, but I think the lyric content of the song - which I don't necessarily agree with anyway, anymore than I agree with Crass's "if voting changed anything they'd ban it" / "doesn't matter who you vote for, the government wins" worldview - the lyric content is a means to the excitement. It's their belief that fuels the engine, their fiery fervour that ignites the spark. The disconcerting thought here is that the conjunction of politics and pop has done far more for pop than it has ever done for politics. Listening to "Anarchy in the UK" and "God Save the Queen", even now - it feels like the world is shaking to bits. But step outside the space of the recording, and, nearly fifty years on,  King Charles III sits on the throne and it's a horde of anarcho-fascists who "wanna destroy" and are doing a pretty good job of it right now. 

Tom Caruana – Inner Space – Instrumentals 

An "idiomorphic" use of sampling, one of many types, here - a tribute through distillation / intensification. The source honored: Can. There's actually a non-instrumentals version of this with loads of rapping on top; it works, and is actually the primary version of the project. But I prefer the mental instros. Blogged here.  

King Krule – Space Heavy

Saw him by chance (I was there to interview Dry Cleaning) at Primavera late in 2022 and found it, at top volume, borderline unpleasant, yet also oddly gripping. This album, more subdued and whatever the opposite of in-your-face is, has some wonderful moments.  "Seaforth" and "If Only It Was Warmth" remind me a bit of A.R. Kane - the woozy, mumbled vocals, the barely-there feeling. 

Alwin Nikolais - Choreosonic Music of the New Dance Theater of Alwin Nikolais +++ 

Best of this year's bounteous crop of Creel Pones.  The first disc of this whopper falls into that small category that makes me so happy: Creels I discovered all by myself, well before the label reissued them. Choreosonic Music of the New Dance Theater I found  in a yard sale at the East Village apartment block over the road from us. Just $1! Here's something substantive I wrote about Nikolais from a few years ago.

Various - Música Electrónica Latinoamericana

Second-best Creel.

Richard Dawson, "Jogging"

My students often introduce me to things I have never heard of. That's not surprising, given how much music there is out there, and how young people get into things laterally (you would be shocked by the extent to which they don't read music journalism, like, at all), through word of mouth and the kind of social media they favor and algo-driven nudges.  However I was really surprised when one of my very-American students brought this Dawson tune in for a class we did on innovation in lyric writing: something so utterly British in its reference points and overall flavor. I guess the malaise the song anatomises is a transnational affect, even if the particulars are extremely UK-specific. In that respect, it's as harrowingly funny as Dry Cleaning. 

Jabu - Boiling Wells / Various - Always and Forever (Do You Have Peace)

Trip hop seems to be having a moment... These artists aren't exactly making trip hop, but they are very Bristol - either actually from the city or from a Bristol-of-the-mind. There's that distinctive blend of  sensuality, sparsity and sadness. "Dubby" - not in terms of specific techniques applied, but in a quality of subtraction, a not-all-there feeling.  Echoes of A.R. Kane in moments here too.

Vanishing Twin, Afternoon X 

Sometimes I think Vanishing Twin are just the Scarfolk of music - meticulously executed derivativeness. But they derivatate so consummately, mining this sweet seam between  Broadcast, Belbury Poly, Stereolab, that I can't help being seduced. 

Patrick McNee and Honor Blackman, "Kinky Boots"

What would you call this genre of dinky-yet-demented, fusspot-arrangement style of comedy-pop? I can't work out what it is sourced in. 

Much the same applies to this quite-different-sounding near-contemporaneous boot-themed tune. 

Mozart Estate Pop-Up! Ker-Ching! And The Possibilities Of Modern Shopping 

Some of Lawrence's funniest lines and catchiest tunes since that first Denim album. 

Moon Wiring Club, Sepia Cat City

Another year, another excellent Ian Hodgson album

A.R. Kane – A.R.Kive 

Q-and-A'd about here.

Dorothy Carter - Waillee Waillee 

Blogged about here even before I knew it was to be reissued - just something I stumbled on at YouTube.

The Criminal Minds – The Masterworks Remastered Volume 1 to 6 (Kniteforce)

Earth Leakage Trip - "No Idea", "The Ice Cream Van From Hell"

Blogged here.

Harmonia - "Walky Talky"

I worship Neu! and I worship Cluster (up to and including Zuckerzeit) but for some reason I've never fully clicked with Harmonia. It washes past me a bit. But then suddenly this year the golden rolling grandeur of "Walky Talky" ran me right over. 

Headhunters – "God Made Me Funky" 

One of the things about recorded music I love is when you can "see it" - diagrammatically, as blocs of sound distributed across space -  but it also has this totally somatic and haptic impact. This perfectly produced funk track works simultaneously as a mechanism whose moving parts you can gaze at in an almost distanced way and a seething fever reaching into your body, coiling its tightness inside your insides. 

Much the same applies to the next pair of tunes -  digitalized funk delirium.

Brown & Rhymeside - "Maniac Drummer", "Break Exploitation"

Blogged here

these also served

Andre 3000, New Blue Sun

Force of One Crew - Weekend Rush June 1993

Cocteau Twins, uuuurv complète (ou plutôt, presque complète)

Prince Far I & The Arabs, "The Right Way"

Jack DeJohnette, "The Right Time"

James Blake Playing Robots In Heaven 

Tek lintowe, "Ween wao"

Joel Gressel, "Points In Time, "Crossing", "P-Vibes" 

Public Image Ltd, "Hawaii",  End Of World 

Position Normal Modern And Unique 

Matmos, Return To Archive 

Catherine Christer Hennix,  Solo for Tamburium 

Lisel, Patterns for Auto-Tuned Voices

Lloyd Cole, On Pain

Piotr Kurek, Smartwoods

Playboi Carti – "No Time" 

D'Athiz, Summer Banger / Abashwe

Beatriz Ferreyra – UFO Forest +

Tirzah, trip9love...???

John Medeski, music in The Curse

Hidden HorseIncorporeal

Stereolab + Nurse With Wound, Simple Headphone Mind / Trippin With the Birds

Various Artists, Gespensterland

Kilkenny Electroacoustic Research Laboratory Anthology Vol. 2

Various Artists, Synthetic Bird Music

Low Tec,  Old Economy 

Lo Five, Persistence of Love

Grouper – Way Their Crept 

Oneohtrix Point Never, Again

Elizabeth Parker – Future Perfect 

Various - The NID Tapes: Electronic Music from India 1969​-​1972

Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs – Three Day Week (When The Lights Went Out 1972-1975)

Cherelle + Alexander O’Neal – "Saturday Love"

Stray Cats, "Runaway Boy"

Duster, Capsule Losing Contact

West Coast Pop Art  Experimental Band, "I Won't Hurt You"

Boredoms – Vision Creation Newsun

Monday, November 27, 2023

faves of 1983 #2

 This one is from earlier in the year - January 15

The Xavier doesn't ring any bell at all. Nor can I summon the tune of "Insecure Me" or "Dance Your Ass Off". 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

faves of 1983

May 1983 to be precise - a snapshot of my listening as a 19-year old, via an old letter that came into my possession again recently

Formative me...  on the cusp of leaving behind the teenage years...  discoveries and delights mostly indexed to critics I followed oh-so-closely....  but starting to scope out paths across the past all by myself: The Easybeats, reconceived as punk precursors; the strangeness of the Glitter-Leander sound....