[Mix for Blowing Up The Workshop] #73

Honored to contribute a mix to Blowing Up The Workshop, which is a very useful archive of mixtapes including many from my own musical and curatorial heroes. I was thinking about escapism, cinematic déjà vu, anime soundtracks, hyper-optimistic fantasy about the experience of tourism, courtyards, commercials, and ruins as I put this together. If you like it, you can download it here. Thanks for listening!

1. Jun Miyake – Good Morning Yamanashi
2. Giovanni Venosta – Woman In Late
3. Lena D’Água – Tao
4. Nuno Canavarro – Untitled 8
5. Forrest Fang – The Luminous Crowd
6. Einojuhani Rautavaara – Cantus Arcticus I: Melancholy
7. Kurban – Masto A Iran
8. Maria Marquez & Frank Harris – Canto Del Pilon
9. Iury Lech – Barreras
10. Marcel Pérès & Ensemble Organum – Offertoire “Diffusa Est Gratia In Labiis Tuis” (comp. Machaut)
11. Masami Tsuchiya – Never Mind
12. Pale Cocoon – Sora
13. Connie Francis – Siboney
14. Kenji Kawai – Nightstalker
15. Jansen / Barbieri – Breaking The Silence
16. Hiroko Yakushimaru – Tomeina Churippu

Patricia Escudero – Satie Sonneries, 1987

Another one from the Grabaciones Accidentales treasure trove. Virtually nothing online about the artist or the record, but suffice it to say that these are synthesizer reworkings of Satie compositions, except the synths sound more like music boxes that have been splashed around in dirty puddles in a dark alley. Hard to say how much of the murkiness is a product of deliberately damp reverb vs the quality of the rip, but either way, the crackly, sinister nostalgia is a major selling point. For fans of synthetic reworkings of classical pieces in the vein of Tomita or Wendy Carlos, except this one is way less shiny and could easily score an art horror movie.

Note that I spliced this together from two different rips of differing quality, and the tracklisting on Discogs is a little confusing (and possibly incorrect), so let me know if you notice anything off about the song titles.

Jabir – Vuelo Por Las Alturas De Alhambra, 1988

Hazy old-world meanderings from Spanish artist Jabir. The songs are simple, composed of repeating sand-swept synthesizer motifs and improvised violin, ney (flute), bendir (frame drum), and acoustic guitar. An intimate record from the rich hotbed of synth-based music that arose out of Spain in the 80s. All the instrumentation and tunings were inspired by Al-Andalus’s Arabic culture. Released by the label named after the infamous industrial band Esplendor Geométrico (who incidentally went on their first US tour last year).

[Mix for NTS Radio] Getting Warmer Episode 5

Listen to my fifth episode of Getting Warmer for NTS Radio below. I wanted it to feel like an ideal limousine fantasy soundtrack. If you like it, you can download an mp3 version of it here. Image by whtebkgrnd. Enjoy!

1. Cantoma – Maja
2. Interior – Hot Beach
3. Paul Hardcastle – Return of the Rainman
4. Tabo’s Project – Feel
5. Ice Choir – Unprepared
6. Regrets – L’avion
7. Colin Blunstone – Touch
8. Joan Bibiloni – Sa Fosca
9. Billy Mackenzie – In Windows All
10. CFCF – Fleurs Laisses Dans Un Taxi
11. Software – Island Sunrise

Randomize – ¿Como Se Divertiran Los Insectos?, 1986

Other-wild experimental electronic industrial ramblings from the Spanish group later renamed Mecanica Popular. A range of feeling, but the entire album sounds like the soundtrack to a film that takes place in a factory on an alien planet. This record (whose name translates to “How Do Insects Have Fun?”) stands out on its musical merit, but this proto vaporwave/net art cover is also pretty amazing. This group was part of the same Spanish electronic scene as Orquestra de Las Nubes, who are featured on this Música Esporádica record.

[Mix for NTS Radio] Getting Warmer Episode 3

Listen to my third episode of Getting Warmer for NTS Radio below. Zheng, classical guitar, dilruba, harp, violin, piano, tambura, flute, vibraphone, synth, lots of tabla, a bit of drum machine. Mostly instrumental, and hopefully well-suited for background music while working. Made this while it was raining; I think you can hear it. If you like it, you can download an mp3 version here. Enjoy!

1. Forrest Fang — Meditation
2. Luis Paniagua — Neptuno
3. David Sylvian & Holger Czukay — Flux (A Big, Bright, Colourful World) (Excerpt)
4. Francesco Messina — Fine Novecento
5. Vincenzo Zitello — Nembo Verso Nord
6. Kate Bush — Watching You Without Me
7. Toshifumi Hinata — Sarah’s Crime
8. Satoshi Ashikawa — Still Park Ensemble
9. Yoichiro Yoshikawa — Nube
10. Sth. Notional — Yawn Yawn Yawn

Música Esporádica – Música Esporádica, 1985

A dense and dream-like collaboration between members of Spanish avant-garde trio Orquestra de las Nubes, Spanish guitarist Miguel Herrero (on synths well as electric guitar throughout), and American percussionist, four-time Grammy winner, and John Cage collaborator Glen Velez. Soprano vocalist María Villa (of Orquesta) is featured in the first two tracks in a more textural, compositional way, with short crescendos and light, whispery Sprechgesang before returning on the third track to a more improvisational, avant-garde style. Much of the recordings’ dynamism relies on Velez’s virtuosic performance on the Irish frame drum, the Bodhrán, with its signature scraping and clacking. As in his other recordings, he uses the drum as a resonant instrument, not simply as a tool to move the music along
Recorded in Madrid for the Spanish label Grabacionnes Accidentales (“Accidental Recordings”), this was released in 1985, the same year as another gem from the same label, Prima Travesia by Finis Africae.

[Mix for NTS Radio] Listen To This!

We made a two hour mix for NTS Radio. Tracklisting below. If you like it, download it here. Enjoy!
0:00 Richard Burmer – Physics
3:31 Masami Tsuchiya – Nevermind (Excerpt)
6:28 Carlos Maria Trindade – The Truth
9:09 Joe Hisaishi – The Winter Requiem
13:49 Bill Nelson – Pansophia
14:41 Anna Homler & Steve Moshier – Celestial Ash (Excerpt)
20:09 Toshifumi Hinata – Chaconne
24:45 George Wallace – Electric Night
31:23 Danyel Gérard – La Vieux de la Montagne
35:41 Steve Tibbetts – 100 Moons
40:50 Hector Zazou & Dead Can Dance – Youth (Excerpt)
42:26 Codek – Tim Toum
46:22 Şenay – Doy-Doy-Doymadım
51:57 Joan Bibiloni – Sa Fosca
58:45 Jaco Pastorius – Okonkole Y Trompa
1:03:00 Blue Gas – Shadows From Nowhere
1:06:58 Rasta Instantané – Kylyn
1:11:56 Boban Petrović – Zajedno Srećni
1:16:52 Saâda Bonaire – More Women
1:21:51 Christy Essien Igbokwe – You Can’t Change A Man
1:25:34 Hiroshi Sato – Awakening
1:29:06 Love, Peace & Trance – Hush – A Mandala Ni Pali
1:33:15 Asha Bhosle & Ghulam Ali – Roodad-E-Mohabbat Kya Kahiye Kuchh Yaad Rahi Kuchh Bhool Gaye
1:38:52 New Musik – Areas
1:43:00 CFCF – Vermont
1:47:45 Hiroshi Yoshimura – Time After Time
1:56:27 Gervay Briot – Science

Joan Bibiloni – Born, 1989

Really difficult to pick one record from Mallorcan guitarist Joan Bibiloni, as his body of work is unusually diverse, ranging from boogie-funk to jazz to ambient. For a more inclusive collection, pick up the excellent Music From Memory’s excellent compilation, El SurBorn is an experiment in combining classical guitar with subtler synth textures. Though Bibiloni is first and foremost a guitarist, Born hits its peak when synth shares center stage on stunner “Sa Fosca,” which sounds like an outtake from Wally Badarou’s Echoes. Elsewhere, find Indian drum textures and saxophone (“Born”), sunny jazz-flecked meandering (“Una Vida Llarga I Tranquil·la”) and moody, nimble-fingered bravado (“El Sur,” “Water Drops”). Heavy rotation on this one. Enjoy!