Lyrically, her latest album Wheel can get pretty dark, but musically some of the songs—"Runner" and "Sink, Swim" especially—sound just like summer to me. So with summer songs on my mind, I asked Laura if she could share her own summer playlist with us. Have a listen, and maybe these morning clouds will burn away.
(Glad someone else still appreciates "Semi-Charmed Life," too—doo do do, doo do do doo!)
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 9:50 AM
Alan Bishop—Sublime Frequencies co-founder and leader of the Cairo-based band the Invisible Hands—has a new podcast up on Seattle's Made Like a Tree blog. It includes an interview that I conducted with the former Sun City Girls bassist about Sublime Frequencies’ working methods and goals and the origin of his Uncle Jim alter ego. The mix includes highlights from SF's worldly and wildly diverse roster, Bishop’s solo recordings as Alvarius B., and a smattering of classics culled from Sun City Girls’ vast and twisted catalog. It serves as an illuminating introduction to Bishop and SF's aesthetics. You can listen to the podcast and read the interview here.
Tracklist 1. Alvarius B - Dirty Angels [Abduction] 2. Jo & The Magnificent - Sunshine [Silent] 3. Boutaiba Sghir - Malgre Tout [Sublime Frequencies] 4. Artie Barsamin and his Orchestra - Nene Aman [Ilissoss/Kathreftis] 5. Group Doueh - Zayna Jumma [Sublime Frequencies] 6. Omar Khorshid - Raksat El Kheyl [Sublime Frequencies] 7. Group Inerane - Kuni Majagani [Sublime Frequencies] 8. Neung Phak - Beng Touyib [Abduction] 9. Omar Souleyman - Shift Al Mani (I Saw Her) [Sublime Frequencies] 10. Sun City Girls - Ruby Soul Lao [Abduction] 11. Sun City Girls - Nights of Malta (Live 1992) [Nashazphone] 12. Sun City Girls - The Imam [Annihaya Records ] 13. Sun City Girls - Blue Mamba [Majora] 14. Sun City Girls - Sev Archer [Dub Ditch Picnic] 15. Sun City Girls - Cruel and Thin [Abduction] 16. Umni Nadra - Senjah Indah [Sublime Frequencies] 17. Uncle Jim's Superstars of Greenwich Meantime - Graduation Day [Black Velvet Fuckere Recordings]
At the peak of Britpop, Blur lost the goddamn plot.
Conventional wisdom, you old dog.
In the second of the band's most discredited albums, 1995's The Great Escape was at first welcomed with the galactic warmth of fascist-busters on parade, only to be later blowtorched at the stake, and for the exact same reasons.
While the album — a 'baroque masterpiece', as bassist Alex James recently described it — is over-bearing in idea and sound and it just goes on and on, it's always retained a sense of music-hall fracture and New Labour British regret. Of deep, dark confidence and, in "The Universal", total Orwellian, era-defining beauty.
Outside the insanity of the time, putting the pieces back together, you realize there's always been greatness here.
A farewell to the unequivocal core of Blur.
Ignore history's snigger.
Stereotypes* Country House Fade Away Topman Best Days It Could Be You Globe Alone Entertain Me (Live It!) [Remix] Yuko & Hiro The Universal
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Remember that post from Jan. 7 about Finders Keepers label boss Andy Votel’s top 15 horror-film soundtracks? Of course you do. Now Votel has uploaded a continuous mix of music from those giallos gialli over at the Red Bull Music Academy’s site. If you’re a connoisseur of spooky soundtracks, you probably can’t find a better guide than Votel to expose you to the most marrow-chillingest obscurities. If you're not a connoisseur of spooky soundtracks, The Applehead Crepaxian Interligne Mixtape ought to set you on the path to becoming one.
We've been looking for an excuse to pass along something from York, England's Kymberley Kennedy ever since she put out last year's charismatic and red-herringly simple, 21st-Century-Sade ear-turner "Blackout" and a tear-off-the-curtains take on Portishead's "Glory Box".
But now that she's piled up a fair amount of material and even a recent mix-tape — one with enough Big Beat peaks to charm the grump off the wet weather — there's no reason not to now.
Kymberley Kennedy : "Four Leaf Clover [BurntSpaghetti Remix]" Marlena Shaw : "California Soul [ASkillz Remix]" The Incredible Bongo Band/Grinny Grandad : "Apache"+"Keep Your Hands To Yourself [Feat. Kymberley Kennedy]" Ashes : "Dubvine" Chemical Brothers/Grinny Grandad : "Block Rockin' Beats"+"Good Girl" Scanty Sandwich : "Because Of You" Kymberley Kennedy : "That's What He Said [Mighty Moog Edit]" Fatboy Slim/Kymberley Kennedy : "Rockafeller Skank"+"All I Wanted"
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 3:41 PM
Local label Knightriders has been one of the region's strongholds for high-quality techno over the last couple of years. One artist in its stable I think has breakout potential is Gunnar Lockwood, who put on a devastating display of intense, libidinous techno at Electric Tea Garden last December. He made a believer out of a lot of people that night.
Lockwood has a new podcast up on KRecordings' site called Less Talk More Plok. It's full of motivational, uptempo techno tracks geared to make you move more elegantly and purposefully than you're used to. And it's always welcome to be reminded of the greatness of Surgeon and Space DJz. Tracklist after the jump.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM
Not sure if you're aware, but it’s Valentine’s Day, and seemingly everybody and her mother-in-law is making mixes to commemorate this occasion. I've not listened to every blessed one of these, because days aren’t 72 hours long, but it seems safe to say that nobody except the Sight Below has done a mix composed entirely of My Bloody Valentine gems ranging from their mid-’80s cutey-pop phase to 2013’s sleeper hit, m b v. The selections include "Only Shallow," “Slow,” “Cupid Come,” “Kiss the Eclipse,” "Soft as Snow (But Warm Inside)," and “Loomer.” This is a connoisseur's endeavor, made out of true love(less). A Totally Awesome Valentine Mixtape* is 86 minutes of dream-pop bliss, no matter the status of your personal life.
* Calling MP3s uploaded to the web a "mixtape" makes the linguistic fundamentalist in me go crazy, but I realize trying to stop this ubiquitous usage is futile. I get it: People love to fetishize analog formats, but making a mockery of meaning is a weak way to do this.
UPDATE: The Sight Below (Rafael Anton Irisarri) writes to clarify a few things about this post.
for the record: a "bunch of mp3's" were not used in the making. even the new MBV tracks are high resolution .wav, which I acquired when I purchased/ordered the vinyl+CD version off their website.... I was very dissatisfied with the album's mastering however - did you notice how unbalanced the levels are? I'm no fan of the volume wars, but this particular record overall volume is really low - it's My Bloody Valentine for crying out loud, if anyone if going to have a loud album it's them! So being the tech nerd I am (and a mastering guy myself), I spent two days remastering it to my own liking, the results I used on this mix. Rest of tracks came from my own collection of cd's, etc. I sat down in my studio the other night and went through my MBV collection, figured out the key signature and/or tempo for each track (some I know by heart of course); then determined which ones could work well together and curated the so-called "mixtape" afterward.
Friday and Saturday this weekend and Fridays and Saturdays for the month of February, FRED Wildlife Refuge will be hosting FHYSICAL GRAFFITI, an audio/visual dance happening with installations by street artists Weirdo, Baso Fibonacci, NKO, and Kevin Krow. Original musical landscapes are mixed live by Kirk Huffman (Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground/Wild Orchid Children), which include material from Mad Decent's Schlachthofbronx. Sari Breznau (Circus Contraption) also contributes, and there’s a full band, with special guest New Orleans bounce artist Vockah Redu.
10PM doors – 3AM close. RSVP Required: HERE. 128 Belmont Ave East, across from Captain Black’s. Picture yourself inside Andy Warhol’s balls staring off a cliff 500-feet high at a kaleidoscopic ocean, with aerial artists. Kirk Huffman and Chris Snell spoke:
What is this Fhysical Graffiti? There’s so much shit going on. Music, dancers, and visuals. What’s happening? Is it all a metaphor for sex?
Kirk: Anything at any given time can be a metaphor for sex at FRED. I've had trouble explaining the evening to folks myself. I'll let Chris give you his grand idea breakdown, but I will say that you will be thoroughly entertained and in a way that is unlike anything going on in Seattle right now. Side note: this shit is ideal for psychedelics, just a heads up.
Chris: It's an enormous conceptual-art piece with visual, both painted and digital, music and dance elements all combined to create this experience we are calling Fhysical Graffiti. To put a cherry on top we brought bounce poster boy from New Orleans, internationally renowned artist/dancer, VOCKAH REDU. Dance and aerial artists include Liza Rose, Paris Original, Trojan Original, and Amy Clem, with choreography by Ellie Sandstrom, Liza Rose, Amy Clem, and Fae Phalen. Massive 60 x 20 projected visual wall designs and installations were create by Jonathan Womack.
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Local electronic-music label Knightriders is hosting a fantastic podcast titled Bassment by Seattle-via-the-Netherlands techno producer/DJ Phaedrus (aka Joris Kamma). It's an uncompromising excursion through some of techno's darker and more mind-expanding quadrants, geared for that stark, vast warehouse rave of your sickest fever dreams. (Check the tracklist below.) “I’m always looking for that special track that doesn’t sound like anything else,” Kamma says, and he largely keeps his word here.
Phaedrus also has an EP, Anno Patris, dropping Jan. 12 on Knightriders. You can hear clips from it here. His second EP on Knightriders Recordings is due out later in 2013.
Knightriders Podcast | 001- Phaedrus Dj mix “Bassment”
Soundstream – Wenn Meine Muttie Wusste Gingy & Bordello – Iron & Water Barker & Baumecker – Schlang Bang Leeon – The Outsider (Conforce remix) Dense & Pika – Mooger Fooger Das Glow & Strip Steve – Calcium Sigha – Scene Couple Indigo – Wake James T Cotton – Press Your Body Locked Groove – Different Paths Blawan – Tuesday’s March Norman - Dunkel Wars Der Mond Schien Grelle Measure Divide – MD5 (Yan Cook Dub mix) Thomas Smith – Retina Scan (SCB edit) Marcel Dettman – Push Indigo – Kali Tom Dicicco – 9926 Matt O’Brien – Without Warning Claro Intelecto – X Sleeparchive – Hospital 01
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 11:27 AM
DJ Turquoise Wisdom (aka Zach Cowie, former Sub Pop employee and the catalyst behind Light in the Attic’s excellent Country Funk comp) has started a new website called Play It As It Lathes on which he digitizes gems from his extensive vinyl collection every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Cowie’s one of my favorite DJ/record collectors, and if you explore his mixes and this page long enough, there’s a good chance he’ll win your heart and mind, too.
Today’s selection is “Everyday” off William Onyeabor's Anything You Sow LP, and it’s as charming and quirky a song as you’ll ever hear by a Nigerian messing with synth pop. Love at first hear!
Turquoise Wisdom also has a deeply poignant and beautiful new mix up at Aquarium Drunkard for your early-January/post-holidays blues, titled Like a Coat From the Cold. Track list after the jump. Ah, my favorite Talk Talk tune!
If the world is ending, let's have a rave: Heatwave have made you a dancehall soundtrack to Armageddon. Spend your last hours on earth having the wildest party since Mayan times. Featuring the biggest party tunes ever: from Sean Paul to Sizzla, Biggie to Bob Marley, Michael Jackson to Mavado and R. Kelly to Rihanna.
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Scottish DJ duo Optimo (Jonnie Wilkes and Keith McIvor) did an expansive, eclectic, and exciting set at Q Friday December 14, and the good people at Trouble recorded it all. Settle in for 340 minutes of trippy deepness, starting with the great Arthur Russell and Peter Zummo and finishing with a Slayer/Nina Simone mix. Yes!
From prolonged stints in the capsule of their van, El Ten Eleven has chosen some songs for us to listen to. Long interstate stretches mean quality van time. Quality van time means time to listen to music (and Aziz Ansari) and eat banana chips. From their choices, I've audibly fed on and gleaned Chicago's Lujo Records-released Yourself and the Air. See them tomorrow, Saturday with El Ten Eleven at the Crocodile.
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Seattle DJ Jimi Jaxon (aka Trevor Walker) recently put up a sweet mix on Soundcloud that captures the spirit of our brief but brilliant Indian summer. Now that fall’s kicked in with a vengeance, this salubrious and seductive collection of house-music Vitamin D is most welcome. [Track listing after the cut.]
Just in time for Hallo—oh, wait. Um, well, better late than never, here’s a mix of intensely harrowing music by horror/sci-fi-flick auteur John Carpenter, who wrote his own scores, often in tandem with the superb library-music composer Alan Howarth. With impeccable timing, the Death Waltz label reissued in mid October the soundtracks to Halloween II and Halloween III that Carpenter created along with Howarth; their score for They Live is due out on Death Waltz in December. Think of this mix as getting an early jump on Halloween 2013. Yeah.
Originally released in 1991, the band's initial full-length is a frustratingly malformed, black-sheep debut album harassed by premature international attention, behind-the-scenes battles with their label, lopsided tempo shifts and gusts of noise, an apparently drunken track-listing — which remains different for three different countries — and an overall sick feeling of a band already devolving from promise to punch line.
Question is: By scrounging the archives of B-sides, demos, and fantastically chaotic live clips of the time, thanks to the recent Blur 21 box set, can an album like this be fixed? Or at least given another go?
She's So High Bang [Extended Version] Uncle Love Explain Repetition Berserk Birthday Day Upon Day [Live] There's No Other Way [Extended Version] Sing
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM
You may have seen me babbling in these pages about Motor, an event held every other month by Sam Melancon of Debacle Records that focuses on unconventional electronic music. it’s one of my favorite new nights in Seattle and now DJ Slow, a frequent performer at Motor, has constructed a 64-minute mix of artists who’ve played it. It's a vigorous, stimulating blend of mainframe-busting techno, cosmic disco, heavenly ambience, and razor-edged IDM.
The next Motor takes place Sat. Dec. 1 at Lo-Fi Performance Gallery with Goodwin, Dr. Troy, DJ Slow, and the live debut of TJ Max (Jayson Kochan and Timm Mason of Midday Veil).
Tracklist: Patternmaster - DM3 Mood Organ - 10 Hearts A Airport - Sweat HOM - Cult of Sleep Black Hat - #000000 Crystal Hell Pool - Visionaire TJ Max - Quintesson UWE 60D - Strung Out on Zen Panabrite - Atoll Megabats - Ill Eagle Goodwin - Surface (edit)
Check out this mixtape that dropped yesterday in advance of Chimurenga Renaissance's (Tendai Maraire) forthcoming album. It's a promo piece put together by Tendai himself with help from Brooklyn DJ Chief Boima.
Both artists were born in Africa, and raised in America (Boima in Sierra Leone and Brooklyn, and Maraire in Zimbabwe and South Seattle), and the tape seamlessly merges the sounds of Tendai's hip hop with traditional and contemporary Chimurenga music. Boima goes deep into the record crates and pulls out music from Western to South Africa to include such folk heroes as Thomas Mapfumo and Youssou N'dour, and even uses some of Tendai's father Dumisani's music for the mix.
If you weren't already familiar with Tendai Maraire's lifetime of music (literally) through his family, his performances, or his production, you most definitely heard his work from under your rock on Shabazz PalacesBlack Up in 2011. His chime toned mbira solos have been salient contributions to the rest of his Shona style rhythm section, and were part of the woozy mystery that made Shabazz Palaces the stand out hip hop act of the year. They introduce themselves again to you, along with a guest spot from Palaceer Lazaro himself, on the first track of the tape A Toast To Frame and Ro.
The rest of the tour through this brief history of African revolutionary music, is guided by a Tendai himself under his rap moniker Fly Guy Dai who aggregates a lifetime of worldly wisdom on the soulful Help Me Out, and professes scornfully on the street wise F U, over the very music that he so ardently embodies. Just like the music of Africa is neither a performance nor an art but a participatory event for all, Maraire is neither proposing revolution nor pitching a cultural ideal; he's relaying his life to you in song, and on extremely personal on tracks like Boom he's the Chimurenga Renaissance incarnate.
In quick second-wave grime news, Rinse FM's recent acquisition Royal-T shoved a mix out the door for XLR8R earlier this week to help set up his debut album next month, and it's striped with a spectacular and urgent suggestion of the genre's new future, even in the face of how the sound's been on the brink of counter-cultural irrelevance ever since it finally conquered the British charts around four or five years ago.
Highlight: besides the first half's full-throttle, it's the mixture of 2000's "Nicole's Groove" by Phaze One and the too-forgotten, commendably over-the-top "Shoot 2 Kill" by U.K. garage's Oxide & Neutrino, who were just about the pre-dubstep equivalent of early Joker, which isn't a slur.