Musicophilia

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

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

sensory-replication-series-no-6

[NOTE: This mix is now available to download from Musicophilia here.]

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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11 Responses

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  1. jack said, on February 19, 2009 at 10:04 am

    so looking forward to this..

    cant wait to get home and download.

  2. Soundslike said, on February 19, 2009 at 10:09 am

    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 : )

  3. jack said, on February 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    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.

  4. […] around with their loose style fits effectively, adding a great deal of atmosphere. [Low is mixed here, here, and here at […]

  5. […] also like to let everyone know that I’m always open to possibilities for guest-mixes, blog-swaps, etc., so if you’ve got an idea, let me know in a comment and I’ll write back to you as […]

  6. […] Kweli sounding as good as I’ve heard him) and a great organ sample.  [J Dilla is featured here and here in very different contexts at […]

  7. […] that resulted in this amazing guest mix and one of my favorite Musicophilia mixes, ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris;’ and finally, the first ‘Sensory Replication Series’ mix, of which I’m […]

  8. […] You’ve got to be doing something right if you make a sufficient impression to draw both Robert Wyatt (known for working his Midas’ touch) and the sadly elusive Mark Hollis (Talk Talk) to work on your album.  Neither appears on this track, but the Spirit of Hollis is evident; and Wyatt payed the further compliment of covering this track brilliantly on his last album.  She seems to be regularly compared to Stina Nordenstam and Bjork, but I’d hardly take that as an insult.  This track begins a nicely spooky build of organ, nearly-spoken vocals and electronic-interference noises, but the clincher is the ecstatic release into its lush, seductive chorus (of sorts).  [Anja Garbarek appears on the Musicophilia mix ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris’.] […]

  9. Stuart Argabright said, on May 12, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    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

  10. Soundslike said, on May 13, 2009 at 7:31 am

    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?

  11. […] to exist ex nihilo.  [Kode9 & The Spaceape are featured in an appropriately spooky, rich mix, 'Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris,' at […]


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