Musicophilia

[Musicophilia] – Visual Mix Index

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on September 13, 2009

Musicophilia’s 1st birthday is coming up soon, and by then the blog will feature over 50 mixes! In order to make them easier to find, I’ve created a Visual Mix Index. I’m posting it here as a blog post, but it will be permanently available (and updated) at this page. So if you’ve missed some mixes–go grab them, and I hope you’ll hear new sounds to love. Thanks so much for listening!

[Musique du Monde]

Musique du Monde is a faux-reissue series focused generally on the music of the 70s, bleeding slightly into the 60s and the 80s. Across the “LPs” from the “label” you’ll find an eclectic but carefully crafted blend of the well known and the unknown, from around the world. On any one “side” you’ll find funk, pure pop, psychedelia, fusion and electric jazz, prog, proto-punk, progressive folk, singer-songwriter, sound library recordings, Euro-funk, art rock, early electronics, musique concrete, and on later-era mixes, disco, proto-electro and a bit of post-punk. The Musique du Monde label never existed–but it should have.

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Tour du Monde, Volume 5′ (1967-1971)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Tour du Monde, Volume 7′ (1967-1973)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Tour du Monde, Volume 4′ (1968-1971)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Les Miniatures, Volume 12′ (1971-1975)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Les Miniatures, Volume 3′ (1967-1971)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Les Miniatures, Volume 14′ (1972-1975)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘The Best of Les Rythmes du Monde, Volume 1’ (1977-1981)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘The Best of Les Rythmes du Monde, Volume 2’ (1977-1981)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘The Best of Les Rythmes du Monde, Volume 3’ (1977-1981)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘The Best of Les Rythmes du Monde, Volume 4’ (1977-1981)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Mystère de la Musique,’ Volume One (1973-1977)

[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Mystère de la Musique,’ Volume Two (1974-1977)

COMING SOON: [Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Mystère de la Musique,’ Volume Three (1972-1977)

[Sensory Replication Series]

The ‘Sensory Replication Series‘ mixes are my personal favorites at Musicophilia. My aim is to create a new whole from existing parts, inspired by cinema and binaural field recordings, that hopefully offers a new listening experience even if some of the music is familiar. These are by far my most intricately constructed mixes, weaving together up to half a dozen elements (songs, tracks, and custom-made remixes, versions, and new additional sound) at any given time, spanning decades and cross-pollinating genres, and creating a seamless journey. Headphones recommended.

[Sensory Replication Series] – ‘Collide\Coalesce’ (1950-2004)

[Sensory Replication Series] – ‘Gloaming’ (1731-2005)

[Sensory Replication Series] – ‘The Somnambulist’ (1908-2007)

[Sensory Replication Series] – ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris’ (1915-2007)

[Sensory Replication Series] – ‘Adrift’ (1969-2001)

[Post-Punk Mixes]

These mixes explore the endlessly innovative, past-gobbling and future-seeking world of “post-punk,” a term so meaning-stretched as to be almost meaningless that you nevertheless know-it-when-you-hear-it. My aim with post-punk mixes is to give the well-loved names their due but to celebrate the unadulterated fecundity of the years 1977-1983 (or so) through equal exploration of the much less well-known names and sounds.

[1981] - 'Feet' (2005)

[1981] - 'Convertible' (2005)

[1981] - 'Brain' (2005)

[1981] - 'Amplifier' (2005)

[1981] - 'Heart' (2005)

[1981] - 'Cassette' (2005)

[1981] - 'Computer' (2005)

[1981] - 'Fire' (2005)

[1981] - 'Ice' (2005)

[1981] - 'How To Say 1981 In German' (2005)

[Miniatures] - ‘Post-Punk No. 1′ (1977-1983)

[Miniatures] - ‘Post-Punk No. 2′ (1975-1983)

[Miniatures] - ‘Post-Punk No. 3′ (1976-1983)

[One-Off] - ‘Post Post-Punk′ (1983-1994)

[Women of Post-Punk] - ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 1′ (1978-1983)

[Women of Post-Punk] - ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 2′ (1979-1983)

[Women of Post-Punk] - ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 3′ (1979-1983)

[Post-Punk Covers Classics] – Various – ‘No Heroes’ (1982)

[One-Offs and Albums]

While Musicophilia tends to concentrate on creating curated series, there’s always room for one-offs, single-artist mixes and other excursions. I’ve also shared a few albums of my own, very tiny music as Soundslike, which might appeal to fans of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Christian Fennesz, or Nick Drake.

[Soundslike] – ‘Complicity’ (2001)

[Soundslike] – ‘The Irish Sea’ (2001) + ‘Full of Blue-Green Blood’ (2004)

[Soundslike] – ‘A Where Was And Isn’t Anymore’ (1999)

[One-Off] – ‘Get Off My Lawn, 2008!’ (2008)

[One-Off] – ‘Still’ (1630-1999)

[Miniatures Series] – ‘Lullaby No. 1′ (1957-2004)

[Miniatures Series] – ‘Lullaby No. 2′ (1903-2004)

[One-Off] – ‘Musicophilia Daily - Week One Sampler

[One-Off] – ‘Electromance’ (1969-2006)

[One-off] – Can – ‘The Church of Latter-Day Can, Book One’ (1975-1979)

[One-Off] – Can – ‘The Church of Latter-Day Can, Book Two’ (Beyond Can, 1977-1984)

[Full Album] – Phantom Band (with Jaki Liebezeit) – ‘Phantom Band’ (1980)

[Guest Mixes]

Musicophilia has had the honor of hosting a number of fantastic guest-mixes put together by talented musicians who also happen to be passionate listeners. These mixes dovetail nicely with the Musicophilia sensibility, but add their own much-appreciated flavors.

[Guest Mix] – ‘Human Heads’ (Mixed by Ettiem)

[Guest Mix] – ‘Spring2009Mix’ (Mixed by The Subcons)

[Guest Mix] – ‘Good Morning,’ (Mixed by The Harvey Girls)

[Guest Mix] – ‘Afternöön Röck Blöck’ (Mixed by The Harvey Girls)

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

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[Post-Punk Covers Classics] – Various – ‘No Heroes’ (1982)

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on June 2, 2009

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[Update:  5/3 Download Link is down again.  If you are an artist or label responsible for a particular work but do not wish it to be featured, please let me know and I will remove it.  My sincere intention, as always, is to promote the artists' work and help people discover it and purchase what is available.   So listeners, as always, the music shared here is not intended to replace purchased music.  Please support the artists involved, especially via independent shops like those linked in the right-hand column. ]

[Check out 'No Heroes'-style bonus tracks, with links to the originals, as part of an ongoing series at Musicophilia Daily.] For a bunch of supposed futurist Marxist Modernist post-historical art-weirdos, the post-punk/New pop set were actually remarkably affectionate toward the music they grew up loving, “I Hate” graffiti t-shirts notwithstanding.  And not just toward their Can and Roxy Music and Lee “Scratch” Perry albums that they all had, naturally, when they were 13 years old proto-Art School students.  Sure, there’s an LP worth of voidoid Rolling Stones anti-covers of varying quality that can be pretty backhandedly complimentary in a Warhol sort of way.  But at least in music, if not rhetoric, there was a lot of love for the radio of recently-lost youth: for Motown, for psychedelic bands and garage (the “first punk” kind) rock, for the Beatles, even for the occasional movie theme and crooner standby.  The covers on this “newly discovered 2xLP” compilation “from 1982″ are certainly not reverent, and few are straight (most are decidedly a little bent, befitting the zeitgeist), but few of them are detached, (wholly) ironic, or dismissive.

Post-punk is often quite catchy in its way, and so there’s plenty of singability, listenability, pop ability on display–some of which actually had some popular impact in the grand tradition of the commercial cover tune.  The Beatles get channeled by Yellow Magic Orchestra, The Feelies, and Hecter Zazou.  Lee Dorsey and Al Green are both faves, fueling Devo and Trio, Talking Heads and Orange Juice, respectively.  There’s Motown and funk love to spare, with A Certain Ratio, Flying Lizards, Soft Cell and The Slits being careful to avoid direct theft they can’t pull off, but honoring the sources with their own quirks firmly displayed.  Straight-up pop is in evidence with Lydia Lunch, Tom Tom Club, Lene Lovich, Plastics and Antena joining the Oldies parade–and even Psychedelic Furs tackling “Mack the Knife”.  As for the “I Hate Pink Floyd” sentiment, Dolphins aren’t having it, and The Pretenders clearly don’t hate the Kinks.  Lizy Mercier-Descloux and the Selecter take you to the movies, and XTC and The Cure of all people show Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix love.  The Gun Club reach back to Robert Johnson, and Siouxsie’s Creatures laud The Troggs.  Only Bauhaus and Japan cover material you’d think of as post-punk-approved–Eno and The Velvets–but they do it with aplomb.  I can’t say most of this music eclipses the originals–be sure to check below for links to all of the source tracks–but it’s all a lot of fun.  Full tracklist, artwork and download link–along with those originals links–at the “more…” link.

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[1981] – ‘How To Say 1981 In German’ (2005)

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on March 19, 2009

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How to Say 1981 in German‘ is a Musicophilia’s first “addendum mix” to the ’1981′ box set (and is based on a mix I put together partially from tracks in the ‘1981 Briefcase‘ in 2005).  It explores the tip of the iceberg of Deutsche Neue Welle and DNW-inflected music, and in terms of quality could well have been the 10th “main disc mix” in the box.  If DNW is new to you, this should serve as a reasonable introduction, despite being limited to just one year: ’81 was as peak for Germanic-speaking synthy, dark, reassuringly non-virtuosic  pop as it was for post-punk at large–though like Italo Disco, DNW seems to have carried on strong longer than non-New Wave/New Romantic post-punk in Britain and the U.S. did.  Within basic parameters described above, this compilation reveals the considerable breadth within the DNW umbrella: songs of tuneful joy; sultry saxed-up rockers; dubby or D.A.F.-lite dance-pop; playful squelchy synth-funk silliness; sentimental romanticism; minimal ambient horror-shows; odes to evil robot CIA/KGB; precient proto-house (if Pole tackled house instead of dub); “dance-punk” that you’d swear came from 2003; and of course a good dash of pre-apocalyptic rumination, as expected from the front-lines of the cold war, but offset by an equal measure neo-kosmiche optimism.

Few generally recognised names are found here (unless they’re better known in Germany): Neonbabies are sort of the German Bush Tetras; theres Absolute Body Control, Grauzone, Palais Schaumburg, Beranek, Geisterfahrer, Pyrolater (perhaps the best-known name here); Klopferbande, Sudenten Creche, Din a Testbild, Kitchen and the Plastic Spoons, Metro Pakt, Kosmonautentraum, Mythos, 1000 Ohm, Les Vampyrettes (actually Holger Czukay & Conny Plank, but which fits right in); and Deutsche Wertabeit, Matthais Schuster, Van Kaye & Ignit, Starter, Exkurs, and Weltklang.  Not a great deal of this stuff is readily available, though there are a few scattered “best ofs” and the occasional CD reissue of some of them; others are still waiting for their due.  As a couple of these tracks have been shared from the ‘1981 Briefcase‘ at Musicophilia Daily, I’ll stream them below as a preview of the mix.  Full tracklist and download below the “more…” link. [This mix is presented in its original form, as individual tracks, non-mixed.]

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[Women of Post-Punk] ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 3′

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on February 7, 2009

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Completing a triology (for now) of mixes focusing on leading female artists of the post-punk milieu, here is ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Volume Three’.  Taken with volumes One and Two, the mix serves as an introduction to what is arguably the least male-centric, most maleable and voraciously all-encompasing form rock and roll has ever taken in post-punk of the late 70s and 80s.  I generally view post-punk an extension of the artistic sensibilities of outre music of the late 60s and 70s (from the Velvet Underground and the Stooges to Can and Faust to Kraftwerk and Roxy Music, but also infused with heady funk, dub, Afrobeat and even musique concret); but even these predecessors tended to work in male-dominated idioms (though giving us major post-punk fore-mothers like Nico, Yoko Ono and Brigitte Fontaine).  One could argue for both a political and artistic “feminine/feminist” quality in post-punk (as made by women, but also by many men); and music on these mixes could be cited as evidence of newly heard female qualities brought to an interpretation of rock in these years.  But what’s interesting to me is that the women of post-punk seem to have felt completely free to express their feminine and masculine and simply human qualities freely. Few female musicians of post-punk seem to be “playing a man’s game,” nor presenting a “version” of the main channel, nor catering to male expectations of the Rock Chick (certainly not in an unproblematised, unironic way).  These figures stand as central to my understanding of this sort of music as any men.  And I feel they’re recognised broadly as pillars of the music.  But having presented these mixes, I’d be very keen to hear your ideas: had you ever thought particularly one way or another about women in post-punk; are there identifiable ways in which women shaped post-punk, or was post-punk simply rock’s first androgynous embodiment; do you agree women are central to the story of post-punk, or were they in fact marginalised at the time? (I’d be especially curious to hear the experiences of those of you who were “there,” and not in diapers like myself.)  As for ‘Volume Three’ specifically: this mix is perhaps slightly spookier, more off-kilter, and a little darker than the previous two mixes.  And yet–I think you’d be hard pressed to fit much of it into a traditional “femme fatale,” “chanteause” mold.  There are as many unique and individual voices here as there are artists.

Included artists this round are the Creatures, Siouxsie’s percussion-centric vehicle; early Eurythmics and Phew, both featuring the ryhthm (and loops) section of Can; beat-happy ESG, Maximum Joy, and Los Microwaves; ever-enigmatic and very underrated Ludus; scuzzy electro-weirdos Crash Course in Science, primed for rediscovery; Grace Jones at her most post-punk, making her own thing of Iggy Pop; New York queen Lydia Lunch with her own inimitably cracked and macabre take on “Gloomy Sunday;” under-heard Marilyn & The Movie Stars of the fecund post-No Wave scene; the quietly forceful Young Marble Giants; and the unabashedly epic and “rock-y” Pretenders.  Full tracklist and download link follow “more…”.  [I'd like to welcome the readers of the Typical Girls mailing list--I'd certainly love to hear your take on what all this music means!  Your intro page alone captures the bulk of the remaining artists I've got in mind for future volumes of this series.  You'll also want to check out the '1981'  and 'Post-Punk Miniatures' series and the 'Post Post-Punk' mix, if you get a chance--but I imagine you'd find a lot to like in the pre-punk material on which Musicophilia also focuses.]

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[Women of Post-Punk] ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 2′

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on February 2, 2009

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Volume Two of ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook’ continues an exploration of some of the contributions of women to post-punk sounds and culture begun with Volume One, and which will be continued in a third volume.  As I stated previously, women don’t seem to be outside of or secondary to the main artistic and cultural thrust of the post-punk milieu, and so this mix is just as much an introduction to post-punk’s variety and energy as it is any sort of sub-story.  That said, several tracks on this mix can be heard as a feminine/feminist perspective on a number of the central ideological concerns of post-punk: questioning of the centrality of binary romantic love to life and society; gender inequality and its parallels to racial and economic inequality; and an ambivalent relationship with notions of hipness and “cool,” among other themes.  The titles might suggest a politicised or satirical reading: “It’s Obvious,” “Love und Romance,” “52 Girls,” “Boy,” “That’s The Way Boys Are,” “But I’m Not;” and they will likely reward such a listening.  But the post-punks were focused on the artistic, the musical, the visceral at least as much as the political and the polemical: they’d learned the lesson Fela, Bob Marley, or James Brown taught: that the message goes down best with a groove (even if that groove tended to be a little bent, with the post-punks).  If this is political music, it certainly isn’t po-faced politics.

Over a 45-minute mix, you’ll find Family Fodder, one of my top five post-punk bands who rarely fail to excite new listeners; Chris & Cosey (with the only track repeated from the ’1981′ set); Japan’s goofy-fun Plastics; Georgia’s Pylon and the B-52′s; The Slits, the Au Pairs, Vivien Goldman and less-heard post-No Wavers Y Pants with wickedly subversive skewerings of traditional gender expectations and concepts of romance (as well as of the traditional electrified masculinity of Rock); the slinky Swamp Children; the earliest, maddest Cocteau Twins; the smooth bossa-post-punk of Antena; and electro-tinged tracks from Siouxsie & The Banshees and Thick PigeonBe sure to grab Volume One if you have not already, and be sure to grab Volume Three in the near future.  Full tracklist and download link after the “more…” link.

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[Women of Post-Punk] ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook, Vol. 1′

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on January 27, 2009

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The first mix of a three-part series, Volume 1 of ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook’ is Musicophilia’s first mix-by-request, based on a 2-disc set I put together several years ago [here are 'Volume Two' and 'Volume Three'].  Yet another reason I view “post-punk” as both distinct from and superior to “punk” is that it has little need for the traditional machismo of hard/arena/punk rock; indeed, it might be argued that a degree of political feminism and personal androgyny were prized or even required qualities of the ideal post-punk artist.  While I’m sure the ideal was rarely achieved, it would be hard to deny that seldom in its history has the Boys Club of Rock and Roll been more infiltrated by women as equal participants.  In a way, it seems slightly odd to explore “the role of women in post-punk” because I don’t want to ghettoise or marginalise it–women were so central that there is none of the feeling of searching for exceptions to the rule here: many of the artists featured are Big Names, who’d make any top-40 list of Most Important Post-Punk Bands.  However, singling women out only illustrates their centrality: you could play these mixes for a post-punk neophyte, and they would come away with a good sense of the breadth and depth of the fertile era/ethos; but they might not even notice, if you didn’t point it out, that the mix focuses on women.   So listen with your Gender Studies and Subaltern Political History caps on if you want–but you certainly won’t have to.  As long as you’re enjoying the music–and there’s no shortage of top-shelf tracks here–you’re getting what is important about the shifts post-punk brought to art-rock music.

‘Volume 1′ features performance artists, No-Wave inheritors, gentle proto-indie singer-songwriters, ska revivalists, dance-funk-disco popularizers, artsy weirdos, west-coast pop-punks, agit-prop art-punks, and more from between 1978 and 1983.  You’ll find Laurie Anderson; Delta 5; The Go-Go’s revealing a more pensive side; Raincoats deconstructing rock; X; Flying Lizards; Jane Hudson; Crass; Blondie; very early Sonic Youth; Selecter; Marine Girls; Lizzy Mercier-Descloux; and the lovely post-Young Marble Giants project Weekend.  Further volumes feature Family Fodder, Au Pairs, Pylon, The Slits, B-52s, Y Pants, Cocteau Twins, E.S.G., Lydia Lunch, The Pretenders and others.  These mixes make a nice companion to the ‘1981′ series, and I’ve avoided any track overlap with that or other post-punk mixes.  Download link and full tracklist (along with an update on upcoming mixes) after the “more…” link.  [Update: and here is 'Volume Two' and 'Volume Three']

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