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

Posted in Albums, Talking by Soundslike on June 21, 2009

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[UPDATE: Great news–the album is set to be reissued in 2010 on the Bureau B label (home of Faust, Cluster, Wolfgang Riechmann, et al) on CD and 180g LP, as per a representative of the label in the comments below.  If you downloaded and enjoyed the album, please support them and Jaki Liebezeit & Co. by buying the reissue when it’s available.]

This is a very unusual post for Musicophilia, but it’s one I think needs to be made.  For the most part, the out-of-print albums I’d like people to hear are already shared at places like Mutant Sounds, Egg City Radio, the Library Hunt, Never Enough Rhodes or Decoder Blog.  My primary objective in sharing music at Musicophilia is to encourage the further discovery and support of featured artists, by getting you the listeners to make new purchases.  But for (very) out-of-print music, this is not an option–if you bought the overpriced LP on eBay nothing goes to the artist anyway–so all bloggers can hope for is to foment enough interest that a (legitimate) reissue eventually happens.  This is one of those cases of an album being severely out-of-print (going for $150+, if you can even find it for that; or on a similarly rare bootleg “twofer” CD), and amazingly this wonderful album doesn’t seem to have been shared on the blogosphere.  I simply ask that you support Jaki Liebezeit and Phantom Band by purchasing the one album that remains in print, 1984’s equally good ‘Nowhere.

Phantom Band, as featured at Musicophilia Daily and in the recent post-Can compilation here at Musicophilia, was Jaki Liebezeit’s principle ongoing project after Can.  On this, their first LP, they were in many ways a direct extension of Can, further developing the fusion of art-rock, Afrobeat and South American and African pop, reggae, spacey funk, and disco and electronic dance music that the former band originated on ‘Saw Delight‘ and ‘Out of Reach‘.  In my opinion, though, ‘Phantom Band is a stronger and more cohesive album than any of the late Can albums.  It’s definitely a better showcase of Can collaborator, vocalist and bassist Rosko Gee.  As I mentioned previously, it reminds me most of Hamilton Bohannon‘s warm-but-spooky disco-funk. It will also appeal to fans of the Rail Band, King Sunny Ade, Magazine, Maximum Joy, A Certain Ratio, Tony Allen or Fela Kuti, ET Mensah, fusion-era Miles Davis; 70s soundtrack work by Alain Goraguer or Roy Budd; or the funkier side of 70s sound library recording, like Alan Parker‘s ‘Afro-Rock’ LP or Janko Nilovic‘ ‘Supra Pop Impressions’.  The music is shimmering, serpentine, catchy, joyous and often wonderfully melodic.  It is rich with delectable beats, judiciously polyrhythmic percussion, slinky and bouncing basslines, glistening Rhodes and shimmering synths, minimalist funk rhythm guitar and Karoli-like leads, and unexpected flourishes like harmonica, dub production or brass arrangements, all stitched together by Rosko Gee’s sweet vocals.   It desperately deserves a reissue, and I can only assume there’s some sort of legalistic hang-up preventing Mute from getting it (and its fairly disparate but very good follow up, ‘Freedom of Speech‘) out there.  Regardless of the Can connection, this is an album that should be much more broadly heard.  Full tracklist and download link after the “more” break.

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

Posted in Albums, Talking by Soundslike on March 30, 2009

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Before spring wins out, winter gives it one last shot, and the night can seem colder than ever.  And so this album seems to fit, inspired by vast open spaces of a Southern winter night.  ‘A Where Was And Isn’t Anymore‘ is partly the sound of hiding in a cocoon of winter bedding, partly the sound of lonesome sojourn drives away from distant love; this brief album reflects the feeling of a transitional time and place in life.  If you have not heard ‘The Irish Sea‘ and ‘Complicity,’ I’d recommend you start with those more fully-formed works (previews of which have been added to the original posts).  But if you happen to enjoy them, you’ll probably find worth in this one.  Like those others, this is improvised music, created by impulse and instinct in my youth, when a lack of any ability to create music that reflected my tastes didn’t stop me.  I was beginning to listen to more expansive music, but I had no skill to replicate or reflect expanding influences.

Perhaps that was an advantage, as this music has no direct musical inspiration, but rather bypasses intellectual channels and reflects emotional (in)experience directly.  The music is spare, open, unadorned, with flashes of fire and ice; it was never really intended for an audience, but it might find a home with those who place value in simplicity and emotional honesty.  Improvised on an inexpensive Danelectro guitar and a cheap Korean acoustic over the course of three days in December, 1999, this album contains nine tracks over 25 minutes.  The track “Sleep” is previewed below.  Full tracklist and a download link are found at the “more…” link.

Sleep” (1999)

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

Posted in Albums, Talking by Soundslike on December 7, 2008

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The most surprising result of the recent Musicophilia poll is that in response to the question of what Musicophilia should cover next, “pretty stuff, in general” was tops, with double the votes of the next closest option.   Emboldened by that result, I’ve decided to post the second full album (and a remix project) of my own work.   Like the first album posted, ‘Complicity,’ ‘The Irish Sea‘ was improvised by adding one extemporous layer of sound to another over the course of a couple days.  (So determined was I to record that you’ll hear a couple of unmuffled sniffles from a cold I was suffering—there could be no second takes.  It was always my pattern to record in a flurry of days, and then most likely not touch an instrument for months till the next session.)  The similarities more or less end at the improvisational methodology.  Whereas ‘Complicity’ is a dark, largely electronic, slightly wide-screen and nocturnal affair, ‘The Irish Sea’ was created almost entirely with a cheap acoustic guitar with some borrowed piano, and it paints a winter day on a small canvas.  Though created ad-hoc, it is entirely listenable, simple, spare and inescapably “pretty”.  I am not a song-writer, but this album turned out to be a collection of songs (even including a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather”).  It is an intentionally small creation (running just under 28 minutes), but it has stuck with me because it is emotionally evocative and feels whole and self-contained.

As a counterpoint to the unabashed English midlands- and Irish east coast-inspired prettiness of ‘The Irish Sea,’ I have also included in the download ‘Full of Blue-Green Blood‘.  Created several years later, this was an experiment in using only the final mix-down of one of the tracks from ‘The Irish Sea’ (“Full of Blue-Green Doubt,” an acoustic build in a canon-like form), tearing it apart and pushing and pulling it back together to see how far from the original sound and feeling I could end up.  So from the gentle original, using primative wave editing software and no additional sound sources, I created twelve short pieces totaling 24 minutes.  Some are unrecognizable, harsh or menacing rhythm pieces; others more clearly stem from the original but are altered completely in mood and feeling.  ‘Blue-Green Blood’ is not meant to be a proper companion to ‘The Irish Sea,’ but I find it most interesting in direct comparison and contrast to its source material.   The results are not for the most part as ugly as I’d first intended, but I felt the modest experiment was a success—you probably wouldn’t know this album came from one finished song without being tipped off.  Full tracklists and the download link after “more…”.

Full of Blue-Green Doubt” (2001)

DNA” (“Full of Blue-Green Doubt” Remix) (2004)

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[Full Album] Soundslike – ‘Complicity’ (2001)

Posted in Albums, Talking by Soundslike on October 22, 2008

As a break from the usual mix/compilation focus of Musicophilia, this morning I’m posting a full album.  And it’s one full album I have full confidence I’d never be sued or jailed for posting–because it’s one of the improvisational albums I recorded at the beginning of this decade.  This particular album is predominantly electronic, but too untrained (and manually created) to qualify as “IDM” or any sort of dance-rooted-music.  It’s rough, organic, sometimes a little ambient, spooky, menacing, disappointingly pretty, and despite all my intentions when I began recording, emotionally resonant above all else.

I post ‘Complicity’ simply because listening to it for the first time in a long while, it surprises me: it does seem to capture something about when it was recorded (10th-12th September, 2001) and the feeling of creeping uncertainty and desperate hope I have felt over the last eight years.  It may reflect none of that for anyone else, I don’t know.  On the eve of beginning as a people the process of healing and moving forward, while as deeply mired in the excesses and failures of our time as ever–the album feels surprisingly relevant to me, and it’s also not quite as musically trivial as I thought at the time.  I am not a musician, so this stuff was all improvised, cobbled together bit by bit with no existing framework, working on a feeling for sound alone.  Despite that fact, it’s surprisingly (annoyingly to me, at the time) song-like and listenable.  More rambling, tracklist and the download link follow the “more…”.

Sideways” (2001)

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