Musicophilia

[Guest-Mix] – ‘Somniloquies’ (1931-2009) [By Love, Execution Style]

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on July 20, 2009

Today I’m very happy to present ‘Somniloquies,’ mixed by our fourth guest contributor, the sound-obsessed mind behind the truly uncategorisable Love, Execution Style (described on one website as making “”Music” for those who love sounds just as much as songs,” which is almost exactly how I’ve classified myself).  L,ES is, in the best possible way, close to what you’d get if you took every good track ever shared on Mutant Sounds and hit random–perhaps on several stereos at once.  (For a quick sense of at least the non-musique concrete side of what I mean, check out the “WAWL Local Show Theme Song” on L,ES’s MySpace page, which expertly runs through surf rock, early jazz, dub, disco-funk, indie rock, country, metal and chamber pop in an incredible 49 seconds.) I’m very honored that the mix L,ES has crafted is envisioned a “sequel” to ‘The Somnambulist,’ one of my ‘Sensory Replication Series‘ mixes (which are my favorite mix undertakings: densely mixed, spacial, cinematic, seeking unexpected synergy in new combinations and de/re-constructions of tracks).  L,ES’ unabashed love of sound is the perfect match to the Sensory Replication approach, and he’s coalesced a heady blend of thirty tracks by thirty artists in exactly 30 minutes.

Among the artists found here in previously unheard contexts are such Musicophilia favorites as La Dusseldorf, Edgar Varese, Sun City Girls, Jean-Claude Vannier, Z’Ev, Muslimgauze, The Flying Lizards, Faust, Boredoms, John Fahey, Nurse With Wound, Derek Bailey, Can, and Family Fodder, amongst many others.  The full tracklist and download link are after the “more” link.  Here are L,ES’s thoughts and narration for his rich nightmare/dreamscape:

“Thomas Edison would unlock his creativity by entering a “twilight state” between sleep and consciousness, and during these sessions, he would hold a handful of ball bearings.  If he fell into a deep sleep, his grasp would loosen, and the resulting racket would awaken him, allowing him to vividly capture the current state of his wandering mind.  A previous entry in the Sensory Replication series, ‘The Somnambulist,’ was an absorbing, sleepwalking journey through “an immersive aural environment,” and I strived to make ‘Somniloquies‘ a worthy sequel to ‘The Somnambulist,’ beginning with a shared fascination with unconscious states.  However, this time the focus is on spontaneous creation—sounds, melodies, syllables—all arranged with Edison’s twilight state in mind.  Quiet, lulling passages are punctuated with startling jabs, intended to be the equivalent of ball bearings, to stir the listener from a slumber, and such arresting moments are scattered among the mix, including the blood-curling shrieks of “Black! Black! Black!” from Patty Waters or the disruptively played piano tone clusters in “Giving Up” by Stock, Hausen & Walkmen.

The mix begins with actual recordings of Chad Vickery talking in his sleep, from his cassette-only release Sleep Talker, and his short, nonsensical exclamations are the first of numerous odd vocalizations in the mix.  Best known as a percussionist, Z’EV is also a seasoned audio manipulator, and he stretches and warps spoken-word pieces from artist Bryan Lewis Saunders, making them sinister and inhuman.  Although Col. Bruce Hampton is a figure in the jam-band world, many may not be aware of his fruitful avant-garde side (for example, his early group, Hampton Grease Band, is on the Nurse With Wound list) and bizarre vocal work.  String Trek is the duo of violist LaDonna Smith and guitarist Misha Feigin, but “Tribal Reverberation” is a vocal piece, revealing the two trading off animalistic outbursts.

‘Somniloquies’ also contains a fair amount of drone, noise, and free improvisation, which is improv with no specific genre in mind; as guitarist Derek Bailey put it, it is “playing without memory.”  Davey Williams is a veteran of free improv and is also on the Nurse With Wound list for the Trans Museq albums he made with the aforementioned LaDonna Smith; here, he uses an electric screwdriver in the vicinity of his guitar pickups to simulate the sounds of aircraft.  A brief track from quintessential free improv musician Derek Bailey is paired with a John Fahey tune, creating an improbable duet from guitarists with nearly opposite approaches; although the two songs uncomfortably rub up against each other, careful listeners may notice a few fleeting moments of unlikely synchronicity.

‘Somniloquies’ is not ambient music, at least by Brian Eno’s definition; in the liner notes of Ambient #1 Music for Airports, he wrote, “…Ambient Music is intended to induce calm and a space to think…It must be as ignorable as it is interesting.”  Instead, think of the frog fishing scene in ‘The Triplets of Belleville,’ where the aging title characters use a hand grenade to not-so-gently harvest the unsuspecting frogs from a serene pond.  If it is to serve its purpose, ‘Somniloquies‘ must not be ignorable, as it periodically lobs grenades for small musical explosions to help capture any subconscious ideas that may be lurking about.”

Various Artists – Somniloquies (1931-2009)
Mixed by Love, Execution Style

[00.00 - 04.23]   01   La Düsseldorf – “Sentimental” (1981)
[00.00 - 11.40]   02   Chad Vickery – “Sleep Talker” (excerpt) (2008)
[00.22 - 06.29]   03   The People Under the Sun – “Hell and Earth” (2006)
[01.03 - 06.54]   04   Edgar Varèse – “Ionisation” (1931)
[01.32 - 06.05]   05   Lau Nau – “Pläkkikanteletar” (2005)
[01.59 - 15.56]   06   Patty Waters – “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” (1965)
[03.25 - 17.00]   07   Sun City Girls – “Nibiru” (2002)
[06.11 - 10.04]   08   Rainy Day – “Holocaust” (1983)
[06.48 - 09.59]   09   String Trek – “Tribal Reverberation” (2007)
[07.55 - 14.50]   10   Jean-Claude Vannier – “Les Garde Volent au Secours du Roi” (1972)
[09.31 - 11.03]   11   Olhon – “Entrance” (2008)
[09.38 - 22.50]   12   Z’EV & Bryan Lewis Saunders – “Embracement” (2008)
[11.15 - 14.10]   13   Muslimgauze – “Gilded Madrasa” (1995)
[11.34 - 15.39]   14   Ryoji Ikeda – “Test Pattern #0101” (2008)
[11.52 - 15.39]   15   Unrest – “Los Desasosiego” (1985)
[12.21 - 15.23]   16   The Flying Lizards – “Purple Haze” (1984)
[13.57 - 17.40]   17   Faust – “Party 1” (1972 or 1973)
[15.39 - 17.23]   18   Boredoms – “Magic Milk” (1994)
[15.48 - 17.16]   19   Davey Williams – “At the Air Show” (2008)
[16.39 - 19.36]   20   Killick – “Stereo Diabolical Hems” (2008)
[16.46 - 20.34]   21   Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret. – “Tunnel” (2008)
[17.57 - 20.34]   22   John Fahey – “Sligo River Blues” (1967)
[18.21 - 25.08]   23   Nurse With Wound – “Soliloquy for Lilith” (excerpt) (1988)
[19.19 - 20.09]   24   Derek Bailey – “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone” (2002)
[20.34 - 24.19]   25   Moonshake – “Girly Loop” (1993)
[20.39 - 25.35]   26   Neon Viking Funeral Vs. Secret Guilt – “Untitled” (excerpt) (2009)
[24.00 - 26.12]   27   Can – “LH 702 (Nairobi / München)” (1972)
[24.55 - 26.32]   28   Shaking Ray Levis – “Bubble Nose & Needle D” (1992)
[25.53 - 29.44]   29   Family Fodder – “Le Grand Méchant Loup” (1979)
[26.36 - 30.00]   30   Stock, Hausen & Walkman – “Giving Up” (1993)

[Total Time:  30:00]

Download Here | Subscribe to Musicophilia | Cover Photo by Robert Warren Parker

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  1. [...] [Guest-Mix] – ‘Somniloquies’ (1931-2009) [By Love, Execution Style] [...]


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