Monday, April 16, 2007

Blogariddims 20 / Shwantology : 3

So - Blogariddims 20. It seems like a long time since the first edition, but its only been 10 months or so since the series began. As you may have noticed, episode 10 featured a CD length special from the Heatwave crew, and as the extra time allows for more thorough explorations we decided to repeat this format every 10 casts, with this mix being the second 74 minute set. You can subscribe to the cast here if you havent already, or simply download the episodes you want (thats all of them by the way) here.

This fortnights contribution is a revisit to the themes of that first episode and comes courtesy of The Fear - AKA, myself, Slug, and production and DJng wunderkind DC with whom we sporadically operate the label of the same name. Since Slug and I recorded the first Shwantology set at the beginning of last year, we've been pleasantly surprised by the amount of positive attention it's received. For a project that began as a fairly throwaway and personal endeavor (see Shwantology 1 notes), this series has grown organically in both concept and technique and has stimulated expansions into areas of music that we had barely touched upon in the past, despite our (so called) pedigree in the area of ambient electronic music. This is partly due to the deliberately improvisational and instinctive nature of these sets, which severely cuts down the practice time required and allows us to focus on selection and method over time consuming practicalities, and partly due to the encouragement and patronage we've received from our peers over the last year and a half (most generously from the National Gallery here in Dublin).

Now, both Slug and myself have written at length about the method behind these sets here, here and here, so Im not going to bore you with repetitive talk of aleatoric approaches and sound soups - but I do have a few thoughts about the creative development of this process and how it fits in to the whole ambient milieu if you'll just bear with me.

The exciting thing about this process for us is the unpredictability and novelty of it all. When we start one of these sets we really dont know what the end result will sound like, and theres an unquantifiable element that seems to make the sum more than the parts - an intangible quality which is all the more interesting to us as our traditional approach to DJng depends so much on close analysis and micro auditing of technique. Without any implication of equivalence with 'real' musicianship, I'd liken it more to freeform jamming than the standard linear approach to mixing - Ive described it as 'pure' DJng before, and that description certainly seems apt from our point of view. Theres a real feeling that we're doing something that we've never done before, and it's all the more exhilarating as we cant pin down exactly what it is that makes it work.

Consider this: There are 3 basic ways to perform an ambient set. 1) You can treat it like any other genre and beatmatch the tunes - most ambient music has a tempo if not an audible rhythm. Despite the obviousness of this approach it's rare you'll find DJ's who attempt it. 2) You can simply fade each track into the next with no real technical method - more selecting then mixing and by far the most common approach. 3) You can layer tunes over each other to create a kind of m̩lange effect. This requires a very good ear and is difficult to do well when playing 'solo' on just 2 decks. Now all of these approaches have their merits, and can sound good when done properly, but each presents their own problems and restrictions. Exclusively beatmatching cuts out the possibility of playing a whole range of non-electronic and non-sequenced tunes, fading doesnt offer any opportunities for harmony between tracks, and layering means you cant play tunes with audible rhythm and only sounds good when done with a huge amount of care and consideration. With Shwantology we've tried to combine all of these methods and add some of our own - deep layering of 3 or more tunes is achieved by classifying a range of material in advance - drones, soundtrack, minimalist and atmospherics for background washes, avant, concrete, field recordings and industrial ambient for organic texture, classical, world, spoken word, and heavily melodic for linearly sequenced 'events' and the 'top' layer. Rhythmic pieces are beatmatched where necessary and the fades between layers are blurred through the use of timestretching, pitching and FX.

A major advantage to this utilitarian approach is that it drastically increases the scope and range of music you can fit into a set. So much so that even after 3 studio mixes, 2 live performances and nearly 10 hours of recordings In total (with almost no repetition of material), It seems like the surface has barely been scratched. As we've flirted with multi-genre DJng for many years its immensely gratifying to be able to draw common threads through almost a century of modern music. Subotnik rubs shoulders with Takemitsu, Carpenter plays a duet with Phillip Glass, Aphex Twin has a drink with Penderecki, Throbbing Gristle chats up Joe Meek in a dark alley... you get the idea.

This brings me to my next point. Do a search for ambient mixes and youll find about a million and a half links - of course not all go to DJ mixes, but its surprising to see just how many sets are out there. Unfortunately (with the odd exception) they're mostly insipid 'chillout' mixes, conforming to the Cafe del Mar Ibiza sunset post-rave definition of ambient - all soft sounds and rounded corners, texturally deficient, with no dissonance, darkness or dirt to unsettle the comedowns of their intended audience. This is 'Big chill' mixing with no contrasts, just a restricted range of complimentary colours - in many cases a sickly palette of pastels perfectly suited for soporific consumption. Given the general level of quality on display it's no surprise that many of the best ambient sets come from people who arent bound by these ludicrously narrow genre definitions - non-DJs such as Blogariddims contributors Tim Rambler or Soundslike. In fact one of the main motivators for this entire project was the seemingly utter lack of ambient mixes with any kind of edge or bite to them...

Now - as for the execution of the mix itself. Obviously the addition of a third DJ required an adjustment in our setup. This time round I was mixing using 1 Technics 1210, 1 CDJ800 my XP10 MP3 deck hooked up to a laptop and a Chaoss pad for FX. Slug was running Traktor with 2 channels, hooked up to extensive digital selection of tunes along with some custom built effects in Max MSP alongside a 1210, and DC had to get by with 1 deck, 1 CDJ and no effect unit. All of this was put through a desk and recorded onto PC. Its surprisingly difficult to get us all into the same room for any length of time, so this all had to done in one very cramped (see pic) night. We recorded two takes with almost no rehearsals, and the finished product consists of the first take with two inserts from the second were we felt they enhanced the flow of the set. Roughly speaking, my selection consisted of mainly industrial ambient alongside some concrete, avant garde and more recent electronic sounds, Slug Indulged his Krautrock obsessions along with some contemporary classical and electronic pieces, and DC served up some ambient oddities and slices of traditional folk music. Given the density of the first 2 Shwantology's, you might think that 8 sound sources and 3 DJs might be pushing things a bit too far, but after reviewing this set over the last few months I think the opposite is true. We've actually cut down on the amount of tunes played, and theres a bit of a contemplative air about this one compared to the slightly frantic moodswings of the last two. It seems that DC's presence has actually been a calming influence (for once ;)) allowing us more time to breathe and imbuing some much needed space into the structure of the set. In many ways I think this is the best one yet as the overall effect is somewhere in-between the studio mixes and our more drawn out live performances at the National Gallery - more conducive to the traditional idea of what ambient listening should consist of without sacrificing any of the textural diversity of the previous sets.

As usual you can judge for yourself by downloading the mix below or getting it via the podcast. We've decided against doing the usual thorough blow-by-blow account of the set, the original purpose of which wasnt simply to showcase our genius(!), but to give the listener an idea of exactly what they were listening to in the mix at any one time. Describing technique in such detail was never something I was entirely comfortable with anyway as its somewhat tedious and time-consuming and it puts a bit too much emphasis on the DJ over the music itself. Its also true that it wouldnt exactly be an easy job this time round as the set is much more integrated and amorphous than previous excursions, and spending a few of hours every day for a couple of weeks painstakingly identifying and describing individual mixes isnt exactly a task that any of us anticipated with relish. Instead we're offering a selection of short notes (collating as we speak) about each tune along with the usual time-codes for those of you who want to know what tune is playing when. Photos of the session are courtesy of Renaissance man DC, and there's a slim possibility we might get some cover scans up over the next few days as well.

Enjoy.

The Fear - Blogariddims 20/Shwantology : 3 (109mb.mp3)

1. 00:00 Kenneth Young - Edinburgh, Nursery Playground (www.soundtransit.nl)
2. 00:00 Popol Vuh - To A Little Way - Egg (Nosferatu O.S.T)
3. 00:00 Slug - Piano rec remix - The Fear - (Unreleased)
4. 00:00 On the J.Z. in Yugoslavia The world of steam Argo/Decca (Sound effects LP)
5. 00:02 Krystof Penderecki - Polymorph - Warner Brothers (The Shining OST)
6. 00:04 Ilhan Mimaroglu - Prelude for Magnetic Tape II, 1966-67 - AGP30 (Turnabout TV 34177)
7. 00:04 Tangerine Dream - Auferstehung - Ohr (Electronic Meditation LP)
8. 00:04 Davey Spillane Lament for the dead of the north Realworld (Lament LP)
9. 00:05 Deaf Center - The Clearing - Type Records (Pale Ravine LP)
10. 00:08 Supersilent - [Bonus Track] - Rune Grammofon (Supersilent 7 DVD)
11. 00:08 Joe Zawinul In a silent way Atlantic (Zawinul LP)
12. 00:11 Cotom - Loscil - Loscil.com (Stases LP)
13. 00:12 Svarte Greiner - Traditional Wood on Trees - Miasmah (Silva Comp)
14. 00:13 Alexander's Annexe - Push door to exit - WARP (Push door to exit EP)
15. 00:13 Brian Eno - Music for I Dormenti - Opal (Music for I Dormenti CD)
16. 00:14 Weightless Reconciliation Liquid records (Interaction LP)
17. 00:16 Unknown Concrete piece - Unknown - Unknown (Unknown;))
18. 00:16 Slug - Harp - The Fear - (Unreleased)
19. 00:17 Biosphere - Translation - Touch (Autour de la Lune LP)
20. 00:17 Slug - Zeta remix - The Fear (Unreleased)
21. 00:17 Jacob Druckman - Incenters - Nonesuch (ANIMUS III, synapse>VALENTINE LP)
22. 00:17 Mestre Geraldo e sua bateria Mistura #2 Soul Jazz (Capoeira LP)
23. 00:17 The Soul Gun Warriors Computer skit (Unreleased)
24. 00:19 P16.D4 - He's afraid of the way the glass will fall.... - Oddsize (Kuhe In 1/2 Trauer LP)
25. 00:20 Shankar Twilight Mood Angel/ EMI (Improvisations-west meets east- album 3 LP)
26. 00:21 Library Tapes - Broken piano pt.2 - Resonant(Alone in the bright lights of a shattered life LP)
27. 00:22 Rachel's - 4 Or 5 Trees - Quarterstick Records (Systems/Layers LP)
28. 00:22 pt.Bhimsen Joshi - Raga:Gaud Sarang Khayal Vilambit Ektaal - EMI (Musical genius LP)
29. 00:23 The Theatre of Eternal Music - The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys - Bootleg - (The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys)
30. 00:24 Ryan Teague - Study for Prepared Violin - Miasmah (Silva LP)
31. 00:27 Lull - Long Way Home - Sentrax (Cold Summer LP)
32. 00:27 Thomas Koner - Untitled (5:06) - Barooni (Nunatak Gongamur LP)
33. 00:27 Peter Goodchild/Tony DAmato A guide to better listening (excerpt) decca (A guide to better listening LP)
34. 00:29 Caldara Make me carry the death of Christ Buddah records (Stabat mater LP)
35. 00:30 Pete Namlook - Silence - Rising High (The definitive Ambient Collection)
36. 00:31 J.K. Randall - Mudgett: Monologues by a Mass Murderer - Nonesuch (Computer Music LP)
37. 00:32 VVM - Disc 1 Track 3 - VVM (The Death of Rave LP)
38. 00:32 Ensemble Nipponia - Echigojishi - Electra/Nonsuch (Dances of the world LP)
39. 00:35 Slug - Slowsic remix - The Fear - (Unreleased)
40. 00:37 Colleen - The Happy Sea - Leaf (The Golden Morning Breaks LP)
41. 00:37 Church bells Cambridge surprise major (8 bells) - EMI (Sound effects LP)
42. 00:38 V/A - -̱̹ - BMG Pacific (Ancient Music in Imperial Court LP)
43. 00:40 Esmerine - Ebb Tide, Spring Tide, Neap Tide, Flood - Madrona Records (Aurora LP)
44. 00:40 James Eloy - Fushiki-e (75' environ) - AGP19 (Gaku-no-Michi LP)
45. 00:40 Antranik Askarian and Khatchadour Khatchaturian Song of complaint Realword (Passion-sources LP)
46. 00:42 Rachel's - With More Air Than Words - Quarterstick Records (The Sea and the Bells LP)
47. 00:44 Mira Calix - Eeilo - Warp (Eyes Set Against The Sun LP)
48. 00:45 Tortoise - Cobwebbed - Thrill Jockey (A Lazarus Taxon LP Disc 3)
49. 00:46 Ennio Morricone Hamlet (version1) Virgin (Hamlet OST)
50. 00:46 Hans Peter Haller - Workshop II - AGP39 (European Electronic III (Freiburg, Utrecht))
51. 00:48 Fennesz - City of light - Touch (Venice LP)
52. 00:48 Tangerine Dream - Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares - Virgin (Phaedra LP)
53. 00:50 Colleen - Will You Gamelan for Me? - Leaf (Colleen et Les Boites a Musique EP)
54. 00:52 Unnamed Ney flute musician Le Berger solitaire Arion records (Algeria field recordings LP)
55. 00:54 Battles - Uw - Warp (C EP)
56. 00:54 Riehn - Chants de Maldoror - AGP39 (European Electronic III (Freiburg, Utrecht) LP)
57. 00:54 Deasy The open door The Fear (unreleased)
58. 00:55 Biosphere & Deathprod - Twin Decks - Rune Grammofon (Nordheim Transformed LP)
59. 00:57 J.K. Randall - Mudgett: Monologues by a Mass Murderer - Nonesuch (Computer Music LP)
60. 00:57 Na Miola Mora Reconciliation Natural Symphonies (Two stories in one LP)
61. 00:58 :Zoviet*France: - Moresca - No Mans Land (Gris 10")
62.00:58 By midnight - Deasy - The Fear (unreleased)
63. 00:59 Popol Vuh - Vergegenwrtigung - Kosmische Kuriere (Aguirre O.S.T)
64. 00:59 Ryan Teague - Seven Keys - Type Records (Coins and Crosses LP)
65. 01:00 Rachel's - Seratonin - Quarterstick Records (Handwriting LP)
66. 01:00 Tommy Potts The dear Irish boy Ceirnini Records (The Liffey Banks LP)
67. 01:01 Toru Takemitsu - KWAIDAN Ki - AGP24 (Kwaidan OST)
68. 01:01 Rachel's - Expect delays - Quarterstick Records (Systems/Layers LP)
69. 01:01 Battles - BTTLS - Warp (B EP)
70. 01:02 Deathprod - Cloudchamber - Rune Grammofon (Morals and Dogma LP)
71. 01:04 Aphex Twin - Side D Track 4 - WARP (SAW2 LP)
72. 01:04 Ashkhabad Ketshpelek Real World (City of love LP)
73. 01:05 Encre - Plexus II - Miasmah (Plexus II LP)
74. 01:06 Dieter Schnebel - Schubert-Phantasie - AGP15 (Bearbeitungen Nr. 5 LP)
75. 01:06 The Timberwolf Enviroment Ryko records ('Timberwolf' field recording)
76. 01:08 Phil Niblock - A trombone piece (1978-94)- XI Records (YPGPN LP)
77. 01:08 Cluster - Part 7 - Gyroscope (One Hour LP)
78. 01:10 Supersilent - 4.7 - Rune Grammofon (Supersilent 4 LP)
79. 01:12 Lustmord - - Heresy IV - Soleilmoon Recordings (Heresy LP)
80. 01:14 Rachel's - Night at Sea - Quarterstick Records (The Sea and the Bells LP)
81. 01:15 Aphex Twin - Side C Track 4 - WARP (SAW2 LP)
82. 01:16 Planktone - Borgerhout, thunderstorm (www.soundtransit.nl)

Finally! Here's the notes for the tracklisting as promised. Slugs notes are in a nice shade of teal, DCs are in puce, and mine are in manly blue. The timecodes are marked from when each track was brought in, but theyre only accurate down to the minute, as the only way we could do it is to all read from my crappy clock radio which doesn't have a third hand.

1. 00:00 Kenneth Young - Edinburgh, Nursery Playground (www.soundtransit.nl)

Childrens voices from the fantastic soundtransit website - will we ever tire of the recordings from this excellent site?

2. 00:00 Popol Vuh - To A Little Way - Egg (Nosferatu O.S.T)


Florian Fricke's Popol Vuh soundtrack for Herzog's rat infested 70s version of Nosferatu.

3. 00:00 Slug - Piano rec remix - The Fear - (Unreleased)

Me messing about with an old piano piece I did in my 'file play' MAX patch.

4. 00:00 On the J.Z. in Yugoslavia The world of steam Argo/Decca (Sound effects LP)

A steam locomotive recording made in the 1970's - the horse-shoe curve at skofljica tunnel on a rainy night at Lupoglav.

5. 00:02 Krystof Penderecki - Polymorph - Warner Brothers (The Shining OST)


Discordant and haunting atmospherics from Kubrick favourite Krystof Pendrecki from this faultlessly selected OST.

6. 00:04 Ilhan Mimaroglu - Prelude for Magnetic Tape II, 1966-67 - AGP30 (Turnabout TV 34177)

More early discordant tape experiments from the Iranian avant garde composer featured in Shwantology 1. Taken from the pre-eminent source of out of print modern music - Avant Garde Project.

7. 00:04 Tangerine Dream - Auferstehung - Ohr (Electronic Meditation LP)


Lovely brand new re-issue of TD's first lp - can anyone say space rock?

8. 00:04 Davey Spillane Lament for the dead of the north Realworld (Lament LP)

From the album 'Lament' by the performance artist Nigel Rolfe, originally commissioned by Derry city as a performance and latterly collected as an album featuring Spillane, Christy Moore, Michael O Suilleabhain, Alanna O'Kelly and others.

9. 00:05 Deaf Center - The Clearing - Type Records (Pale Ravine LP)


From the most recent LP of one the best contemporary ambient acts around at the moment.

10. 00:08 Supersilent - [Bonus Track] - Rune Grammofon (Supersilent 7 DVD)

Crazy Jazz on Norwegian label Rune Grammafon with Deathprod (Helge Sten) on production.

11. 00:08 Joe Zawinul In a silent way Atlantic (Zawinul LP)

By the master/god of jazz Joe Zawinul, writer of opus epics for such luminaries as Cannonball Adderly and Miles Davis, and head honcho of the best thing 1974 ever saw; Weather Report.

12. 00:11 Cotom - Loscil - Loscil.com (Stases LP)

Best known for his work on Kranky, Loscil aka Scott Morgan is a drone artist whose work sometimes leans toeards minimal techno. Theres loads more info on the link above.

13. 00:12 Svarte Greiner - Traditional Wood on Trees - Miasmah (Silva Comp)

Svarte Greiner ( Erik Skodvin ) one half of Deaf Center on his labels' first CD release, and a marvellous compilation it is too.

14. 00:13 Alexander's Annexe - Push door to exit - WARP (Push door to exit EP)

43 minute track on WARP from Mira Calix, sound designer David Sheppard and pianist, Sarah Nicholls.

15. 00:13 Brian Eno - Music for I Dormenti - Opal (Music for I Dormenti CD)

A fagment of this 1999 gallery piece by Eno.

16. 00:14 Weightless Reconciliation Liquid records (Interaction LP)

I don't know anything about these guys, but liquid records is a net-label specialising in chill-out and 'psy-trance' (!). There site is down but there's some info here:

17. 00:16 Unknown Concrete piece - Unknown - Unknown (Unknown;))


What can I say. Unidentified tunes on a mix are a big no-no for us, but I just cant track this down. It came from a CD of concrete I compiled last year for random selection purposes, and unfortunately I have no details on the tune at all and with hundreds of albums to go through to find it, I have little hope that it will be identified.

18. 00:16 Slug - Harp - The Fear - (Unreleased)

Me and MAX again.

19. 00:17 Biosphere - Translation - Touch (Autour de la Lune LP)


A tune taken from the recorded version of this concept piece, originally commissioned for French radio. In his own words: "Radio France Culture contacted me some time ago and proposed a commission that was to be premiered at the Le Festival de Radio France et Montpellier. I was granted access to Radio France's archives and given permission to use this vast source of audio material. I settled on this early '60s dramatization of Jules Verne's De la Terre la Lune that totally captivated me. The story is quite amazing -- Verne wrote it in the nineteenth century; still he managed to describe a manned space flight in such detail one is stunned. In De la Terre la Lune Verne describes a space mission that sees the astronauts launched from Florida and returning from space to land in the Pacific Ocean -- exactly the same procedure that the US space program would follow many, many years later. I have sampled bits and pieces of the dramatization's dialogue, coupled it with sounds recorded at the MIR space station and then incorporated it with my own compositions.''...

20. 00:17 Slug - Zeta remix - The Fear (Unreleased)

Another unreleased droid + slug classic reworked in MAX.

21. 00:17 Jacob Druckman - Incenters - Nonesuch (ANIMUS III, synapse>VALENTINE LP)


From the essential Avant Garde Project site: "Druckman is highly regarded for his sense of timbre and sound combination. He produced many brilliant orchestrations in a style somewhat reminiscent of Luciano Berio's. His electroacoustic compositions also explored a rich tonal pallet, largely avoiding the more hackneyed electronic sounds of that time."...

22. 00:17 Mestre Geraldo e sua bateria Mistura #2 Soul Jazz (Capoeira LP)

Brazilian capoeira music released by Britains genius Soul Jazz label.

23. 00:17 The Soul Gun Warriors Computer skit (Unreleased)

:This is a piece of 'virtual theatre' by the superhero theatre group
The Soul Gun Warriors. Check out www.myspace.com/thesoul;gunwarriors for
more.

24. 00:19 P16.D4 - he's afraid of the way the glass will fall.... - Oddsize (Kuhe In 1/2 Trauer LP)

Taken from the 1982 debut LP of Industrial Post-punk tape loop experimentalists Roger Sch̦nauer and Ewald Weber.

25. 00:20 Shankar Twilight Mood Angel/ EMI (Improvisations-west meets east- album 3 LP)

An improvisation based on the 'Puriya Dhanashri' raga played by
Ravi Shankar and featuring Yehudi Menuhin on violin.

26. 00:21 Library Tapes - Broken piano pt.2 - Resonant(Alone in the bright lights of a shattered life LP)

Beautiful lp on American lable resonant - think field recordings, disjointed orchestration and the sound of broken machines.

27. 00:22 Rachel's - 4 Or 5 Trees - Quarterstick Records (Systems/Layers LP)

Amazing ensemble band from the US. This is from their last (and my favourite) LP.

28. 00:22 pt.Bhimsen Joshi - Raga:Gaud Sarang Khayal Vilambit Ektaal - EMI (Musical genius LP)

Hindustani master vocalist, details of his works and life can be found here.

29. 00:23 The Theatre of Eternal Music - The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys - Bootleg - (The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys)

Epiphanal mid-60s drone masterpiece from La Monte Young and friends. There's some essential notes by the man himself to be found here (PDF).

30. 00:24 Ryan Teague - Study for Prepared Violin - Miasmah (Silva LP)

Amazing track from type records' Ryan Teague - characterised by a huge sweeping string section.

31. 00:27 Lull - Long Way Home - Sentrax (Cold Summer LP)

From one of the ambient outlets of former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris.

32. 00:27 Thomas Koner - Untitled (5:06) - Barooni (Nunatak Gongamur LP)

Typically sparse atmospherics from the giant of German minimalist ambient. You can check in on the maestro's continuing projects at his official site here: http://www.koener.de/menu.html

33. 00:27 Peter Goodchild/Tony DAmato A guide to better listening (excerpt) decca (A guide to better listening LP)

From a goofy 'You got ears, but we know how to use em' album, the type avidly released, if not purchased, throughout the 70's

34. 00:29 Caldara Make me carry the death of Christ Buddah records (Stabat mater LP)

Stabat Mater is a thirteenth century Roman Catholic sequence attributed to Jacopone da Todi. Its title is an abbreviation of the first line, Stabat mater dolorosa ('The sorrowful mother was standing'). The hymn, one of the most powerful and immediate of extant medieval poems, meditates on the suffering of Mary, Jesus Christ's mother, during his crucifixion, sung here by a bunch of mooged up robotmen. Off one of the best labels of history, Buddah Records, home of both Curtis Mayfield and
Captain Beefheart. Fffffresh.

35. 00:30 Pete Namlook - Silence - Rising High (The definitive Ambient Collection 2)

Some ominous electronics from the post-rave Fax master. Taken from the seminal 'definitive Ambient Collection' series.

36. 00:31 J.K. Randall - Mudgett: Monologues by a Mass Murderer - Nonesuch (Computer Music LP)


See woebot's nice description of this LP here.

37. 00:32 VVM - Disc 1 Track 3 - VVM (The Death of Rave LP)


From VVM's much celebrated but slightly tedious Death of Rave LP:"...An expanding series of rave flashbacks spread over a massive ten zip-files. This is the sound of a distant Northern wharehouse a now abandoned venue. A celebration of the death of the original rave movement. Stripped bare and oozing with sweat, ecstacy and constant smell of Vicks Vapo rub. The beat has long gone. You grab the odd fragment via the odd sound from time to time, mostly recollections are clouded. There are moments of beauty in amongst the audio here, it's an unsettling ride...."

38. 00:32 Ensemble Nipponia - Echigojishi - Electra/Nonsuch (Dances of the world LP)


Excerpts from a piece of Kabuki, a form of traditional Japanese theatre. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of it's drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by its performers. And, as can be heard here, it's abrupt percussive soundtrack.

39. 00:35 Slug - Slowsic remix - The Fear - (Unreleased)


More of us being twisted in MAX.

40. 00:37 Colleen - The Happy Sea - Leaf (The Golden Morning Breaks LP)

I discovered this artist a few months ago and used 3 of her tracks from different releases in this set.

41. 00:37 Church bells Cambridge surprise major (8 bells) - EMI (Sound effects LP)

Church bells from an LP of church bells. Bangin.

42. 00:38 V/A - -̹ - BMG Pacific (Ancient Music in Imperial Court LP)

Contemplative plucking frm this 1989 LP of Chinese Imperial court music - some of the compositions on this album are apparantly over a thousand years old.

43. 00:40 Esmerine - Ebb Tide, Spring Tide, Neap Tide, Flood - Madrona Records (Aurora LP)

From this Godspeed offshoots' second LP.

44. 00:40 Jean-Claude Eloy - Fushiki-e (75' environ) - AGP19 (Gaku-no-Michi LP)

From the wonderful avante gare project: "AGP19 includes five selections from a long electroacoustic work by Jean-Claude Eloy, called Gaku-no-Michi (Les Voies de la Musique), or in English "The Ways of Music". Gaku-no-Michi was realized in 1977/78 at the electronic studio of Radio NHK in Tokyo. The complete work lasts 4-5 hours, of which 5 selections comprising 117 minutes were included in the 2-LP release".

45. 00:40 Antranik Askarian and Khatchadour Khatchaturian Song of complaint Realword (Passion-sources LP)

A beautiful piece of 'doudouk' music, a traditional Armenian double reed flute, describing the forced emigration of a peasant on account of his poverty. Part of the 'Passion Sources' album released by
Peter Gabriel to illustrate the music's that inspired him to create his incredible 'Passion' soundtrack album for Scorsese's 'The last temptation of Christ' film.

46. 00:42 Rachel's - With More Air Than Words - Quarterstick Records (The Sea and the Bells LP)

From Rachel's third LP - The title The Sea and the Bells was inspired by the book by Pablo Neruda.

47. 00:44 Mira Calix - Eeilo - Warp (Eyes Set Against The Sun LP)


Brand new mira calix lp (bought it the day we recorded the set) great stuff - lots of field recordings mixed in with her usual niceness.

48. 00:45 Tortoise - Cobwebbed - Thrill Jockey (A Lazarus Taxon LP Disc 3)

One of the more ambient tracks from Tortoises' amazing compilation.

49. 00:46 Ennio Morricone Hamlet (version1) Virgin (Hamlet OST)


A piece from the soundtrack to the 1990 Franco Zeffirelli directed movie 'Hamlet'.

50. 00:46 Hans Peter Haller - Workshop II - AGP39 (European Electronic III (Freiburg, Utrecht))

"...AGP39 is the third of three installments devoted to electronic and electro-acoustic music from six different European countries. This one features productions of electronic music studios in Utrecht and Freiburg, created between 1965 and the late 1970s..."

51. 00:48 Fennesz - City of light - Touch (Venice LP)

"..."Venice", the fourth studio album by Christian Fennesz, finds electronic music at a crossroads between its early status as digital subculture, and the feeling that there has to be something more, an emotional quality that rises above noise and moves towards melody and rapture..."

52. 00:48 Tangerine Dream - Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares - Virgin (Phaedra LP)

More TD - this time from their oft-dodgy "Virgin" period.

53. 00:50 Colleen - Will You Gamelan for Me? - Leaf (Colleen et Les Boites a Musique EP)

From the LP she was commissioned to do by national radio station France Cultures Atelier De Cr̩ation Radiophonique. The whole thing is made from sounds of old music boxes.

54. 00:52 Unnamed Ney flute musician Le Berger solitaire Arion records (Algeria field recordings LP)

A 'ney' flute recording (made by Gerard Kremer) of a Sheperd on the hills overlooking the Algerian town of M'Sila.

55. 00:54 Battles - Uw - Warp (C EP)

First track from battles - a new york 4 piece band - this and the other track played are nice glitchy randomness.

56. 00:54 Riehn - Chants de Maldoror - AGP39 (European Electronic III (Freiburg, Utrecht) LP)


Another track from this excellent compilation.

57. 00:54 Deasy The open door The Fear (unreleased)

Another piece by me, this is the beatless mix of 'the closing door' from my debut album 'MUSIC IS NOT HYGIENE'.

58. 00:55 Biosphere & Deathprod - Twin Decks - Rune Grammofon (Nordheim Transformed LP)

Biosphere & Deathprod team up for this quite amazing LP - it's a reworking of Arne Nordheim's Electric LP (another Norwegian Rune Grammofon artist).

59. 00:57 J.K. Randall - Mudgett: Monologues by a Mass Murderer - Nonesuch (Computer Music LP)

So good we played it twice.

60. 00:57 Na Miola Mora Reconciliation Natural Symphonies (Two stories in one LP)

A return to the hiberno- antipodean antics of 'reconciliation' this is off their second album.

61. 00:58 :Zoviet*France: - Moresca - No Mans Land (Gris 10")

"Zoviet*France: is an collective of anonymous experimental dronologists. Their investigations have taken them into fictional cultures where nothing is easily located and reality often slips into the hypnagogic. Having secluded themselves in Newcastle, England since their inception in 1982, :Zoviet*France: have developed a radical relationship with the cheap technologies of old fashioned tape recorders, homemade acoustic instruments, primitive looping and sampling devices, and basic dub trickery. From these machines, the collective has crafted a distinctly unique vocabulary of experimental sonic hypnosis..."

62. 00:58 By midnight - Deasy - The Fear (unreleased)

This one's by me. Its an amalgam of recordings from the fevered reporting on the 9/11 incident, recorded from the TV on the day itself, up to the midnight hour. Heavy.

63. 00:59 Popol Vuh - Vergegenwrtigung - Kosmische Kuriere (Aguirre O.S.T)

A track taken from the amazing Herzog film Aguirre. Popol Vuh at their finest

64. 00:59 Ryan Teague - Seven Keys - Type Records (Coins and Crosses LP)

Modern classical on the excellent Type records.

65. 01:00 Rachel's - Seratonin - Quarterstick Records (Handwriting LP)


This one's taken from their first LP.

66. 01:00 Tommy Potts The dear Irish boy Ceirnini Records (The Liffey Banks LP)

An air by master Irish fiddle player Tommy Potts.

67. 01:01 Toru Takemitsu - KWAIDAN Ki - AGP24 (Kwaidan OST)

"...Takemitsu's score for that story (the third movement in the suite) makes extensive use of a performance of that piece by Kinshi Tsurita, a renowned singer and biwa player who Takemitsu also worked with on "November Steps"... "

68. 01:01 Rachel's - Expect delays - Quarterstick Records (Systems/Layers LP)

Some train station recordings and another appreance from Rachel's

69. 01:01 Battles - BTTLS - Warp (B EP)

Another tune from this flavour of the month four piece.

70. 01:02 Deathprod - Cloudchamber - Rune Grammofon (Morals and Dogma LP)

Taken from the fourth and supposedly final LP from Deathprod (not including the 4cd boxset).From wiki - "Deathprod is a musical pseudonym used sometimes by Helge Sten for his ambient-influenced music. On recordings, he is usually credited with "Audio Virus," a catchall term for "homemade electronics, old tape echo machines, ring modulators, filters, theremins, samplers and lots of electronic stuff."

71. 01:04 Aphex Twin - Side D Track 4 - WARP (SAW2 LP)

We get a track from this LP into nearly every ambient set we play. This ones a dark number with some unsettling bells.

72. 01:04 Ashkhabad Ketshpelek Real World (City of love LP)

Translating as 'bitter flute' this is a work by Turkmenistan's supergroup 'Ashkhabad'. Its about an eloping husband mourning his newlywed wife because her family just chased after the nuptial duo and killed her. Jeepers.

73. 01:05 Encre - Plexus II - Miasmah (Plexus II LP)


Second to last cd on miasmah - don't know much about this guy.

74. 01:06 Dieter Schnebel - Schubert-Phantasie - AGP15 (Bearbeitungen Nr. 5 LP)


"...consists of an arrangement for orchestra of the first movement of Schubert's Piano Sonata in G Major, D. 894. Overlaid with the arrangement is a screen of harmonically dense music for strings, that Schnebel insists is implied in the music that Schubert actually wrote. In the first (live) version, a portion of the screen music is presented alone for the first four minutes or so, followed by the overlay of Schubert and screen music. In the second version, the screen music is performed in its entirety, followed by a full repetition with the Schubert overlay. The mic-ing of the strings is somewhat different in the two recordings, bringing out the overtone frequencies of the strings differently, thus affecting the subjective experience of the relationship between Schubert's music and Schnebel's".

75. 01:06 The Timberwolf Enviroment Ryko records ('Timberwolf' field recording)

A 1990 recording of a Timberwolf environment in Minnesota

76. 01:08 Phil Niblock - A trombone piece (1978-94)- XI Records (YPGPN LP)

"Niblock's works typically consist of thick, loud, atonal drones of music, filled with microtones created by layered instrumental timbres that generate overtones by pulsing against each other in the performance space. Simultaneously, he generally accompanies performances by presenting his films/videos that look at the movement of people working, or computer-driven, black-and-white abstract images floating through time. Since the mid-1960s, he has been making music and intermedia performances that have been shown at numerous venues around the world. His musical works are notated (if at all) as actual frequencies (cycles per second) and often transform slowly from consonance to dissonance or the reverse"

77. 01:08 Cluster - Part 7 - Gyroscope (One Hour LP)


From Cluster's 80's concept LP - one hour.

78. 01:10 Supersilent - 4.7 - Rune Grammofon (Supersilent 4 LP)

Crazy Jazz on Norwegian label Rune Grammafon with Deathprod (Helge Sten) on production.

79. 01:12 Lustmord - - Heresy IV - Soleilmoon Recordings (Heresy LP)


A sample of the frightingly dark lustmord.

80. 01:14 Rachel's - Night at Sea - Quarterstick Records (The Sea and the Bells LP)

Beautiful sea themed track off the Rachels maritime LP.

81. 01:15 Aphex Twin - Side C Track 4 - WARP (SAW2 LP)


Redemptive sweetness from one of our favourite ambient LPs. The last musical number of the set.

82. 01:16 Planktone - Borgerhout, thunderstorm (www.soundtransit.nl)

We end as we began with the traditional field recording.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Wii-ve of the Future

Something Ive been meaning to link to for a while is this interesting development in DIY mixing technology (looks like even 'The Gadget Show' beat me to it!). Wii-J uses the cheap and accessible wireless controllers of Nintendos Wii console to control to control Djng software running on a PC - plus its all freeware and downloadable! Have a look at the videos to see the potential of this burgeoning system.

Another musical Wii application here -
The Wii Loop Machine. This time the controller is being used to play loops in a sequencer rather than tracks in a DJ set.

You might say that this is all just bells and whistles, but even a DJng Luddite like myself can see the potential here - anything that allows 'hands on' control of tunes and gives more flexibility for live performance (and doesnt cost a fortune) is to be welcomed. Im tempted to give it a go myself - but I really dont think Id have the time to do it justice...

Monday, April 02, 2007

Blogariddims 19 / Bounce me back to 98

Blogariddims favourite John Eden takes the mantle once again for episode 19 of the cast, bouncing us back to a years worth of music that I have a particular attachment to. '98 was when I started to seriously get into dancehall - I'd hoover up every 7" that came into Dublin (not many), mix the fuck out of them and play them out whenever I had the chance. As a result Ive got a nostalgic/intimate connection with a lot of these tunes and hearing a selection like this is a journey into reminiscence for me...
....So here is my tribute to that year. Id love to be all cool and say that I bought all these on the day they came out, but the truth of the matter is my buying patterns have been somewhat erratic. Quite of bit of back filling has been required to get this tracklist together, which has involved me at my most nerdy. After taking the piss out of trainspotters with their spreadsheets and matrix numbers, I found myself getting deep into excel after realising that greensleeves alone released over a hundred seven inches in 98, most with exactly the same stock labels....
Feel the clammy (and somewhat feeble) grip of the nerd hordes on your mind Eden - you are now one of us!