This week’s guest mix is a cut above. Not only has Bristol producer David Edwards – aka Minotaur Shock – spliced library music, doowop and Japanese electro in an Avalanches-esque melange, his extensive notes plot the mix with more charm and eloquence than we can offer. We’re really bowled over by the time and effort that’s gone into this! Please check out David’s most recent batch of homespun electronica, released under the Principal Participant moniker, and his frenetic soundtrack for theatre production The Noise. Sit back and enjoy.
The Dells – Please Don’t Change Me Now
I don’t know a huge amount about the “Mighty” Dells, but I’ve always found it pretty interesting that they randomly plonked a prepared piano at the start of some of their songs, and sprinkled the odd bit of tape delay around.
Caravelli – L’étrange Docteur Personne
This is off a record of library music – April Orchestra 16. I love the way the melody is so incessant, like a bucket of anxious eels, but eerie too. It has that kind of late seventies BBC period drama feel about it, something about a misty wood in Lancashire and maybe wolves.
LNRDCROY – Land, Repair, Refuel
I have got a big soft spot for simple, gauzy electronic music at the moment. I think it’s because the nights are drawing in. The crackle of a log on the fire, the knowing hiss of analogue tape, a warming glass of brandy and the gentle rapping of a familiar drum machine. 1080p are good for scratching that particular itch.
Yellow Magic Orchestra – Light in Darkness
Technodelic blew me away when I first heard it; I hadn’t realised that anyone made sample-based music like this back in ’81. Computer World came out in the same year, imagine that. This track is the most straightforward, but I love the drums.
John Roberts – Blanket
This guy’s ace, and Fences is a great album. He just seems to be able to put interesting sounds together in what seems like an obvious way except there’s nothing obvious about it. There’s always something organic going on, and he’s got a way with a melody.
Clap! Clap! – Universal Modulator (Kuhjmak)
Been listening to the Clap! Clap! album a lot lately, it’s a lot of fun. I like the lollopy rhythm on this; it manages to be a head-nodder and confusing at the same time.
Robert Mellin & Gian Piero Reverberi – Danger!
This is taken from the soundtrack to the French ’60s TV series The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. I never saw the series, but I knew the theme music because of the Art of Noise version. I tracked down the original theme on the soundtrack and got a bit obsessed with the whole album. It’s great, full of interesting bits, and someone needs to reissue it.
Lawrence – Films & Windows
This just sounded good with the previous track. I like Lawrence, he makes music that is perfect for train journeys. I guess it’s probably meant for dancing, but I’ll take the dozy-stare-out-the-train-window thanks. The synth in this track sounds like it’s doing some generative freeform business, and I always find that interesting.
Barbara Mason – Another Man
I was just mucking about mixing between this and Lawrence, and decided I liked it. I had never really listened to the lyrics before – poor Barbara
ESP – It’s You
Hackneyed, but when that ride cymbal comes in during the chorus it always goosebumps me up. Mr Fingers’ “Can You Feel It” does the same thing. Drum machine ride cymbals huh?
^L_ – Jesus Loves You…When Everyone Thinks You’re An Idiot (Hide Your Credit Card)
Don’t know much about this guy except he’s from Brazil, and I like the ballsy drum sounds and portentous chord progression.
Grenier Meets Archie Pelago – The Cartographer’s Wife
Similar to John Roberts, these guys know how to take organic sounds and put them in a nice order. There’s something about all their tracks that makes me think they are grinning the whole time they’re recording them. Except when they’re playing brass and woodwind instruments of course, as that would be hard I think.
TM404 – 202_202_303_303_606
This is from Andreas Tilliander’s love letter to the classic Roland music boxes. I like how he uses them to just create this soupy music that sort of sounds like acid but with something badly wrong with it. Like the machines used to be a married folk duo who have grown tired, distant and disillusioned with each other but still jam together out of habit.
Edward Williams – Man – A Choice for the Future of Life On Earth
I cheated with this one, as you can just sort of hear David Attenborough over the top of TM404. This is taken from the 1979 soundtrack to Life On Earth, which is a wonderful record. Trunk reissued it a couple of years ago – their website says that it was originally an elusive privately pressed record given to members of the orchestra who played on it. I’m guessing that because of Bristol’s links to the BBC Natural History Unit, a lot of the members of the orchestra must be from round these parts, as me and my mates kept finding the original pressing in charity shops during the nineties.
Jan Nemecek – Uncertainty
This started accidentally playing over the previous tracks and I didn’t notice for a while. I liked it though, so it stayed in. I’m a sucker for those Fairlighty vowel sounds too.
Babe Rainbow – Falling Apart
In the moody po-faced world of electronic music, it’s always nice to hear something almost too tuneful. Something that you can sing along to, even if there are no words. This is an example of that very thing, bravely balancing on a tightrope tautly stretched across cheesiness without faltering. I admire the steely determination in Falling Apart’s eyes and the confidence in its stride.
Oronzo De Fillipi – Chimica Industriale
Another library record. The chords in this are masterful. I’m a big Stereolab fan, and until the internet became really really popular, I had no idea that they “paid tribute” to a lot of tracks like this. By the time Chemical Chords came out, I had wised up, so I knew to keep an eye out. Stereolab are like an early version of a music recommendation algorithm and have led me down many wonderful sonic alleyways.
Disjecta – Cheekchops
With the excellent Syro just out, I’ve been going over a lot of old Warp stuff, and spent a bit of time with Mark Clifford’s solo stuff. I forgot how spooky some of it was, but also forgot how much fun it could be too. I like the odd slappy, knocky percussion sounds he uses, I can’t tell what’s doing them, machine or sample, but he does it a lot. I also like the title, although my favourite track title of his is “Timorous Bitser”.
Perfume Advert – Swamp Star
Something else simple, gauzy, and Autumnal. Thought I’d end with a foggy warm blanket. Got a bit of funk going on too. The mix went on for a bit after this, but it was going off on one so I stopped it here.