[Blog Swap] – ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris’ (1915-2007)


Musicophilia is happy to announce a first with this mix: a blog-swap of custom-made mixes (and hopefully not the last).  I’ve created this mix, ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris,’ specially for my friend and musical role-model Ettiem and his ‘Gris-Gris On Your Doorstep‘ blog–and following shortly, he’ll be presenting Musicophilia with a special mix of his own.  I’ve had a long-standing desire to use the Dr. John track ‘I Walk on Gilded Splinters’ as the cornerstone of a mix.  When Ettiem proposed the blog-swap idea, I took the murky, slightly dark, beat-oriented tendencies of Ettiem’s blog and music and my desire to revisit the heavy-mixing techniques of the ‘Sensory Replication Series‘ but with a focus on songs (music with vocals and lyrics) and realised I had the opportunity I’d been waiting for.  The title of his blog clinched the deal.  Other ‘Sensory Replication’ mixes have been largely instrumental, immersive but hazy soundscapes, abstract scores to imaginary films, often involving upwards of six tracks brewing at any given time.  With ‘Evil Gris-Gris,’ I wanted cracked scary stories, spiritual folk tales, cautionary legends told at a witching hour in a shack on stilts in a swamp (though one that’s incongruously filled with beeping, half-broken technology).  In terms of mix method, I wanted to restrict most of the overlapping to “duets” between a storyteller and a complimentary (or tension-producing) instrumental work of pure sound.  I’m very happy with the results, and hope that people will let the slight madness creep in and rest awhile.

Contributing the ‘tall stories’ (a phrasing borrowed from the included dubbed-up Leadbelly track) are such modern folklorists as David Sylvian, The Spaceape with Kode 9, David Thomas (of Pere Ubu), Muddy Waters, Low, The Knife, an ancient-sounding Shona folk musician, The For Carnation, Stina Nordenstam, Arto Lindsay, Disco Inferno, Charles Dodge‘s early electronically-created voices, Hector Zazou with Bony Bikaye, Anja Garbarek, Brigitte Fontaine and Areski, and of course, Dr. John.  Making the roux of sound around the stories: David Byrne, Pierre Henry, Scanner, Pole, J Dilla, Ike Yard, Edgar Varese, Shriekback, Charles Ives, Squarepusher, Tangerine Dream, Iannis Xenakis, and Gruppo D’Improvvisazione Nuova Consananza.  Hopefully the end result is a way-in in either direction for those who favor lyric-based songs, or those who obsess over sound itself (and it should be a comfortable, if haunted home for the freaks like me who’re equally obsessed with both).  From a “avenue for creative energy” perspective, this mix (and the other ‘Sensory Replication‘ mixes) is what I most enjoy and put the most time and energy into creating.  So I hope you’ll head over to Gris-Gris at the link below the “more…” and give it a (headphones-on) listen–and while you’re there, do yourself a favor and explore the gumbo Ettiem’s got cooking.

Various Artists –  ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris’ (1915-2007)

01  [00:00 – 03:00]  David Byrne – ‘Ghost” (Knee Plays, 1984)
02  [02:05 – 07:25]  David Sylvian – “The Only Daughter” (Blemish, 2003)
03  [02:30 – 12:25]  Pierre Henry – “Dislocation” (Le Livre Des Morts Égyptien, 1988)
04  [07:10 – 10:20]  Kode 9 & The Spaceape – “Correction” (Memories of the Future, 2006)
05  [10:20 – 19:55]  David Thomas & Two Pale Boys – “River” (Surf’s Up, 2001)
06  [19:00 – 23:10]  Disco Inferno – “Love Stepping Out” (Summer’s Last Sound EP, 1992)
07  [19:50 – 24:00]  Scanner – “Emily” (An Anthology Of Noise & Electronic Music Vol. 2, 2003)
08  [23:20 – 28:30]  Muddy Waters – “My Captain” (Folk Singer, 1964)
09  [24:15 – 28:35]  Bernard Parmegiani – “Kaleidoscope II” (Pour en Finir avec le Pouvoir d’Orphee, 1972)
10  [28:35 – 31:40]  Low – “Balarus” (Drums & Guns, 2007)
11  [28:40 – 31:45]  Pole – “Fohlenfurz” (3, 2000)
12  [31:45 – 33:35]  J Dilla – “Lightworks” (Donuts, 2006)
13  [32:50 – 36:20]  Ike Yard – “NCR” (Ike Yard, 1982)
14  [33:20 – 36:30]  The Knife – “Still Light” (Silent Shout, 2006)
15  [36:00 – 40:35]  Shona Folk Musician – “Nyamaropa yeVana Vava Mushonga” (The Soul of Mbira, 1973)
16  [36:45 – 40:55]  Mnemonists – “Nailed” (Nailed/Tic EP, 1983)
17  [40:55 – 47:00]  The For Carnation – “A Tribute To” (The For Carnation, 2000)
18  [41:00 – 48:35]  Edgar Varèse – “Poeme Electronique” (Music of Edgar Varèse, 1958)
19  [46:40 – 50:10]  Stina Nordenstam – “This Time John” (Dynamite, 1996)
20  [47:15 – 51:20]  Shriekback – “Hapax Legomena” (Lined Up EP, 1983)
21  [49:35 – 53:50]  Charles Ives – “Section A: Earth & The Firmament” (Universe Symphony, 1915)
22  [52:00 – 55:45]  Arto Lindsay – “Unsure” (Prize, 1999)
23  [55:30 – 60:40]  Squarepusher – “Iambic 5 Poetry” (Budakhan Mindphone, 1999)
24  [55:35 – 57:20]  Charles Dodge – “The Days Are Ahead” (Synthesized Voices, 1976)
25  [55:40 – 60:45]  Tangerine Dream – “Birth of Liquid Plejades” (Zeit, 1976)
26  [60:35 – 62:20]  Iannis Xenakis – “Concrete PH” (Electronic Music, 1962)
27  [60:40 – 62:25]  Leadbelly – “Yes, I Was Standing in the Bottom” (Last Sessions, 1948)
28  [60:55 – 68:30]  Gruppo D’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza – “Soup” (Nuova Consonanza, 1975)
29  [62:15 – 66:15]  Zazou, Bikaye & Cy 1 – “Lamuka” (Noir et Blanc, 1983)
30  [66:05 – 69:50]  Anja Garbarek – “Blinking Blocks of Light” (Smiling & Waving, 2001)
31  [69:10 – 71:55]  Brigitte Fontaine & Areski – “La Tête Bandée” (L’Incindie, 1974)
32  [71:45 – 79:20]  Dr. John – “I Walk on Guilded Splinters” (Gris-Gris, 1968)

[Total Time: 79:24]

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12 thoughts on “[Blog Swap] – ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris’ (1915-2007)

  1. Ooh, I’d love to know what you think of it, Jack. Glad you’re trying it out. If you do like it, check out the ‘Collide/Coalesce’ one, that’s definitely got some parts you’ll dig, assuming the Can I played you all those years ago burrowed in there : )

  2. oh ive been listening to collide/coalesce for a while… i think you posted it long ago on your old myspace blog posts..

    ive always liked it.

  3. Hey if I knew you were going to do some Gris Gris –
    I would have gotten you some Voodooists … Real 5th Gen Haitian Voudou priest & his mambo’s singing with our musik, bts. Warlock 12″ 1992 / J Demme sdtk “Married To The Mob” , soon to be rereleased on my label REC.

    Cheers , Stuart from Ike Yard

  4. Whoa, that sounds fascinating! I’ll be on the lookout for the reissue. And you’re right, it would’ve been ideal for this mix–I hope you don’t mind the unorthodox contextualisation of your Ike Yard track. Are you still posting over at Dissensus?

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