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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[Guest Mix] – ‘Afternöön Röck Blöck,’ Mixed by The Harvey Girls (2009)

Posted in Mixes by Soundslike on August 24, 2009

After a long absence from Musicophilia, I’m very happy to be (almost) fully back to my normal geeky self.  To kick things back into action, we return to an ongoing series of mixes made by Hiram Lucke of The Harvey Girls which explores the wide-ranging influences of his eclectic, adventurous, and geeky-in-the-best-way band.  For the first mix and the story behind the series–and especially for samples of The Harvey Girls’ music–don’t miss ‘Good Morning.  For those about to rock, we present ‘Afternöön Röck Blöck‘.  I’ll leave the insights and the concepts to Hiram, as he’s provided a great personal essay on what all the music means to he and his partner in life-and-music Melissa (included with the download and quoted below).  I’ll simply say that if Musicophilia has ever seemed a little too earnest or cerebral or mannered, this mix gives the blog a nice kick in the pants while wearing a beaming smile from ear to ear.

Things start off back in your teenaged, pre-geek, pre-access-to-everything years with Led Zeppelin, (post post-punk) Mekons and Blue Oyster Cult.  But this is a mix made by an unrepentant geek, so while the music continues to rock, it quickly leaves behind strict genre-allegiance to Rock.  And so we visit Selda Bagcan, Howlin’ Wolf, the Tall Dwarfs, and Buck Owens.  Pre-streamled Flaming Lips hug close to Aretha Franklin, next to Adam & The AntsJohn Cale hangs out with Dennis Wilson, whose harmonies are echoed by ELO next door to glorious pop-mode Wire.  Things finish off with two old Musicophilia faves, Jonathan Richman (in acoustic Modern Lovers mode) and Robert Wyatt, blissfully kissing the afternoon goodbye.  It all makes sense when you know Hiram:

I spent my early childhood in the late 70s and early 80s, so my brain doesn’t really see what’s wrong with androgyny, polyester (as long as I don’t have to wear it), or overly-dramatic and completely overblown pop songs.  I love Black Sabbath as much as I love ABBA. I can listen to a lot of proggy goodness in the way of Guru Guru and then turn on the sixth Beatle Jeff Lynne and his bubblegumilicious candy-prog band ELO.

Download link with artwork and Hiram’s full thoughts are after the “more…” link.  Stay tuned for the beautiful conclusion to this series, ‘Night Time = Right Time,’ probably my favorite of the bunch.

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[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.

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[Guest-Mix] – ‘Good Morning,’ Mixed by The Harvey Girls (2009)

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on July 6, 2009

I’m pleased to present ‘Good Morning,’ Musicophilia’s third guest mix (with several more soon to come).  I recently had the pleasure of befriending a very talented musician, writer, and unrepentant music geek, Hiram Lucke.  Hiram and his wife Melissa Rodenbeek create beautiful, wide-ranging music under the name The Harvey Girls.  The numerous loves they share (for each other, for making music, and for hearing music) are deeply imbued in what they do.  I asked Hiram if he’d be interested in guest-mixing at Musicophilia after he asked to interview me for Circle Into Square and we hit it off, and after immersing myself in The Harvey Girls’ music, I suggested the loose idea of “an influences mix”.  Hiram came through in spades: he made not one but three excellent mixes–one for each phase of the day, perhaps for each phase of life–and while the “influences” in terms of music are apparent here, Hiram aimed also to express the bigger intertwining experience of music-as-sound with music-as-life-itself. Hiram’s written a lovely story-telling essay about the ways in which music permeates, informs, and reflects a musical and a literal marriage, excerpted below (and which is included in full with the download).  The mixes stand perfectly well on their own, with a nice blend of the sorts of music Musicophilia has already shared with a number of surprises and other faves (you’ll be amazed at how much sense TLC’s “Waterfalls” makes by the time you get there).  But to enjoy the “influences” aspect a little more, I’d like to share a few The Harvey Girls tracks, too.

To my ears, The Harvey Girls inhabit a similar sort of sprawling, genre-free world to His Name Is Alive, Beck, Family Fodder, Cornelius, Godley & Creme, Manitoba/Caribou, Flaming Lips, or The Homosexuals clan, with a hint of the enviable coupled sweetness of Yo La Tengo or The Innocence Mission (with a marriage-safe touch of the witty Quasi or Richard & Linda Thompson).  Playful catchiness, record-geek sound savvy, and emotional sincerity all meld equally as the duo skip and stroll and surf  through pure sunshine pop harmony, girl-group la la las, D.A.I.S.Y.-age hip-hop, sweet country balladry, synth pop and intimations of dub and musique concrete.  These examples tend toward the poppy end of their spectrum, but the darker and stranger and more contemplative moments of their albums always feel just as right.  They also happen to be after the mix-maker’s heart, as the albums are sequenced as journeys, so if you like what you hear I definitely recommend listening to the full albums, a number of which are available for pay-as-you-can donation.

“Hey Little Sprout!” (‘Nutate,’ 2007)

“Good Morning, Bubblegum” (‘Blabber ‘N Smoke,’ 2004)

“Girls Sing” (‘Wild Farewell,’ 2005)

“Resh Day Lo” (‘Nutate,’ 2007)

Now, back to ‘Good Morning,’ which is definitely part of a healthy breakfast: amongst others, there’s post-punk a la Liquid Liquid and Pere Ubu, funk love from Sly & The Family Stone and Al Green, and glamor courtesy of T. Rex to TLC.  There’s summer sounds from Tinariwen, De La Soul, Gilberto Gil, Paul McCartney; and things go deep with M83, King Tubby, and Bjork.  ‘Good Morning‘ is the first of three mixes, to be followed over the next few weeks with ‘Afternöön Röckblöck,’ which will finally bring a bit of the Metal to Musicophilia; and the lovely ‘Night Time = Right Time‘.  Here’s a bit of context from Hiram, but be sure to read the whole essay included with the download (after the “more” link as usual):

There’s a few things you can gather from these songs.  We like rhythm and we like solitary sounding singer/songwriters.  We have an inexplicable love of British pop from the 60s to the 80s.  We love noise and sweet sounding pop in equal measure.  We freaking adore the girl group sound.  And, finally, we’ve got a thing for strings.  Strings are proof of a higher power inasmuch as music is our religion.  And there’s a lot more stuff we’ve left out: no delta blues, no religious choirs, no Fela Kuti, no John Fahey, no Bollywood soundtracks, no Archies, not enough dub, not enough country, no Alton Ellis, no jazz, no kids records, no classical… you get the idea. . .

I spent my early childhood in the late 70s and early 80s, so my brain doesn’t really see what’s wrong with androgyny, polyester (as long as I don’t have to wear it), or overly-dramatic and completely overblown pop songs.  I love Black Sabbath as much as I love ABBA. I can listen to a lot of proggy goodness in the way of Guru Guru and then turn on the sixth Beatle Jeff Lynne and his bubblegumilicious candy-prog band ELO.  But it hasn’t always been that way.

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[Guest-Mix] – ‘Spring2009Mix’ (By Richard)

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on March 23, 2009

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And now, as they say, for something completely different: Musicophilia’s 2nd guest-mix, graciously crafted and contributed by my old friend Richard, singer and songwriter of Portland, OR’s dream-pop band The Subcons (newer music here).  As you might have guessed from Musicophilia’s usual content, I mostly left behind the current day a long time ago; but as a working musician, Richard has got his ear to the ground, and brings Musicophilia a bit of the new with this mix.  Almost all of it is completely new to me, and my trainspotter ears hear a lot of fun things: plenty of prime Beach Boys, bits of Scotland’s Orange Juice or New Zealand “Pink Frost;” a little Buggles and Telex and Trio; some Tiny Tim, Vashti Bunyan, The Zombies, Marine Girls, and any number of quality cuts from the ‘Rushmore’ soundtrack, Mark Mothersbaugh included; and finally, touches from the last time I was current with current indie-pop, like The Minders, Kings of Convenience and Belle & Sebastian.  But the point is: it’s great sweet pop music, and definitely evocative of the onset of more verdant days.  I’ll turn it over to Rich:

Strikingly both familiar and new, the onset of spring has always felt so welcome and relieving. I think some of this music may affect the same way. Mozart used the phrase “gleich alles zusammen” to describe how he heard all the parts of a symphony he was writing all at once. So lovely to imagine taking it all in—perhaps this mix can accompany an upcoming outdoor excursion, where new sights and smells abound, helping to catalyze the beginning of spring in your life. Musicophiliacs may find some of this to be familiar territory laden with new ornamental trim. Others may find it wholly refreshing and invigorating. Wherever it takes you, make a point to anticipate a renewal, a tribute.

From the Swedes (Melpo Mene) to the Scots (Camera Obscura) and Welsh (Super Furry Animals), the Euro slant on springy popness can be sublime. Likewise for the Americans: whether east coast (Animal Collective, AC Newman, Grizzly Bear), midwest (Ghosty, Bird Names, Papercuts, Deastro), southern (Dent May, Canon Blue), or west coast (Coconut Records, Mirah, The Long Lost, M Ward), each region holds its own version of spring and its own odes to the beauty and newness of this time of year. All tracks were released within the last few months or will be in the next few.

Rich has been making his ‘SeasonYEARmixes’ for going on six years, and they can be found here.  For the full tracklist and download link, click the “more…” link below. [UPDATE: tracklist file was errant in all downloads prior to March 24th, the correct tracklist is below; a new download link has been created with a corrected file.]

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[Blog Swap] – ‘Human Heads’ (Mixed by Ettiem)

Posted in Mixes, Talking by Soundslike on February 26, 2009

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Following my contribution from last week, ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris,’ I’m proud to bring you the second part of Musicophilia’s (first) “blog swap” from my friend and mix-making hero Ettiem of the Gris Gris On Your Doorstep blog: ‘Human Heads‘.  Ettiem has said he mixes “with a mind toward soundtrackiness,” and his mastery of narrative flow (both on mixes and live) certainly inspired me to put extra care into my mixes over the years.  But Ettiem has an ability to create a compelling structure while retaining a rawer, dirtier, thicker energy than my own mixes ever achieve.  So if ‘Tall Stories of Evil Gris-Gris‘ was a scary story whispered at 4am in a swamp shack, ‘Human Heads‘ is a 70’s party-horror-action flick set on the road from the shack to the French Quarter during Mardi-Gras.  Despite beginning with birdsound, things quickly take a turn for the weird, hot and funky, and the beats don’t stop.  So take the ride–and don’t forget to look around at Gris Gris On Your Doorstep, grab some of the choice cuts he’s offering there, and maybe drop him a note asking for more killer mixes!

Heating up the humid air on ‘Human Heads’ are Cheval Fou, Verne Langdon, the Temptations doing their best freak-out, hot-shit Ultrafunk, The Ventures, Parliament, James Last, Brain Donor, Coloured Balls, proto-Italo heroes Chrisma channeling Neu, Savage Ressurection, Tommy James + The Shondells in an Ettiem remix, and War.  If you love hard funky beats, if you love strings, if you love thick basslines and fuzzed-out psych-Kraut madness, if you love dirty-but-tight mixing: don’t miss this one.  Full download and tracklist after the “more…” link.

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