It's been over two years since the last guest mix was published on this blog (Otis Fodder's "Wordless Vocalizations Mix", March '14), so I'm very excited to share a new mix put together by Candelaria Saenz Valiente (Candi) of Pictorial Candi. The Warsaw-based Argentine has been on the scene for a while, formerly with noise pop outfit Paristetris and presently as Pictorial Candi - the name under which she has recently opened for Deerhoof and R. Stevie Moore. The second Pictorial Candi record was released earlier this year and is home to one of the year's best tracks, the triumphant 'Rhoda'. On this mix Candi takes us on a tour of contemporaries and classics, beginning with German transcendentalists Popol Vuh and ending with DIY queen of southern England Keel Her. Along the way we're treated to tunes by Warsaw group Xenony, Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti and Brazilian duo Gal Costa & Tim Maia.
Pictorial Candi presents...
Sunday Mood Nr.1 Mix:
Popol Vuh - Aguirre Part 1
Keel Her - Roswell
R. Stevie Moore - I See Stars
Ed Wood - Yeti Crab
Xenony - David H (Remix of "Chaos Engine" select screen theme by Richard Joseph)
Com Truise - Sundriped
Macintosh Plus - Lisa Frank 420
U.S. Girls - Navy & Cream
Lucio Battisti - Amarsi Un Po
Gal Costa & Tim Maia - Dia De Domingo
Keel Her - With Me Tonight
This is the stuff this blog exists for! I found this incredible CD in Exiled Records in Portland the other day and knew I'd struck gold as soon as I started reading the liner notes. Product Music Vol 1 (the first and seemingly last volume in the 'series') is a compilation of songs from 'industrial musicals', the stage productions put on by corporations to boost morale and sense of team spirit among employees. Limited to a run of only 1000 copies, what the listener of this CD is privileged to is an experience of creepy, capitalism-at-play. Each song is an ode to a company or brand, a hymn of consumption, a song for corporate worship. The whole record is mind-boggling: Who wrote and sang these songs? How did employees react? Were the songs effective? The song featured above is one of the less sinister offerings on the album, a nonetheless eerie piece of showtune muzak, to be looped over a store's PA system until time's end.
Label: Honest-Abe Disc!
Genre: Consumer Crooner, Easy-Listening, Showtunes, Muzak
I came across I Am Just A Pupil's tape 12 Hours FULL RELAXATION a few weeks ago when my tastes were at an intersection of glitchy, restless electronica and placid, minimalist composition. Described by label 1080p as "New Age / Comedy", the tape weaves together ambient and impressionistic music with chaotic and comedic vocal samples. Album opener is a conversation between a child and Siri, warped by vocal manipulation and set to a soundtrack of new-age pan-flutes. The album's second - and strongest - track is 'Family Dollar', a Satie-esque piece enhanced by samples of what appear to be a domestic argument and a Youtube gun review. I think Hank Hill even makes an appearance. The piece is slowly submerged in reverb, as rounds of bullets are fired and cicadas come to a rest. It is strangely affecting, the beauty of the music juxtaposed by its decontextualised violence. Balanced and thoughtful, the music reaches a sincerity that so much post-modern, web 2.0 music fails to realise. I was, and still am, very taken by this track - by how harmonious its dissonance is and how sensitive it is in its absurdity.
Genre: Ambient, New Age, Electronica, Experimental, Comedy
I picked up this CD (Akelaletew) in the small and charming Kukulu Market in Edgewater, Chicago last week. The shop had about a dozen different albums stocked under the counter in a glass cabinet, and the shopkeeper guided me through the various titles. He explained to me that younger generations don't have much interest in oldies music and so was pleased and a little surprised when I pointed out the Alemayehu Eshete CD that I wanted to add to my basket. For balance I also bought a Ketema Mekonnen album (traditional music performed on krar) and the Alem Kebede album (a new release by a younger artist) featured here. This song, Shemma Tal, is the album's opener. It kicks off with a synth ostinato that pops up throughout the track and buries itself in the memory of the listener. Synthesised horns weave in and out of Kebede's vocals, themselves treated with a panned delay that makes the melody all the more mind-bending.
Genre: Ethiopian pop
Prum Manh is a Cambodian comedian whose act typically involves stand up in the form of conversations with another performer interspersed with musical humour. This recording is included on the Sublime Frequencies release Cambodian Cassette Archives. The following is from the album's liner notes:
"This collection was culled from over 150 ravaged cassettes found in Oakland, California at the Asian branch of the Public Library during the late 1990s and early 2000s... the Public Library's collection of tapes served the local Khmer community during the 1980s and early 1990s. They were found in various stages of disarray and decomposition in a drawer... a considerable amount of audio restoration was required."
Label: Sublime Frequencies (reissue)
Year: 198?, 2004 (reissue)
Genre: Khmer Pop, Rock N Roll
Last night I was back on Resonance Extra after a two month break. I span tunes from Myanmar, South Africa, Pakistan, Niger, Vietnam and Italy, covering a whole lot of stylistic ground along the way. I started with a live version of an old favourite, Aster Aweke's 'Segno', and ended on a track from Let's Eat Grandma's brand new debut record, released only on Friday. Other highlights included Nedelle Torrisi's raw new track 'Cathartica', The Fore Thoughts' slick rock n roll, Roy & Roe's Hawaiian funk, Maxo's glitched out semi-love song 'Not That Bad', Pastor TL Barrett's powerful gospel and Naked City's rapid, style-a-second 'Speedfreaks'. I also dropped a mix from my parody dance alter ego DJ Kurt Vonnegut.
Resonance EXTRA (21/6/16)Aster Aweke - Segno (live)
Jake Thackray - Lah Di Dah
Avi Zahner - She's Leaving Home
Irama Trio - Bengawan Solo
Lil Data - Wondercoin Pt. 1
Naked City - Speedfreaks
DJ 光光光 - Beats From... Banaspati
Roy & Roe - Just Don't Come Back
K Leimer - Ceylon
Lewis - Even Rainbows Turn Blue
Phong Thuyet Nguyen - Ly Ngua O
Julian Lynch - North Line
Phong Thuyet Nguyen - Cum Num Cum Niu
~ DJ Kurt Vonnegut ~
Deerhoof - Green Cosmos
Conlon Nancarrow - Study For Player Piano No. 2
三毛猫ホームレス x happy machine - ペパーミント脱走計画
Dux Kidz - Nightspeeder
Zinja Hlungwani - N'wagezani
DJ Rashad - Petrone In My Cup
Perfume - 時の針
Eartheater - Homonyms
Nedelle Torrisi - Cathartica
The Fore Thoughts - Shahbaz Qalander
Kyaw Thet Aung - Min Hnitpar Pwe Taw
Lil Data - Wondercoin Pt. 2
Maxo - Not That Bad (feat. GFOTY)
Hama - Torodi
Unknown - Untitled
Piero Umiliani - Sophisticated Lady
Ludus - My Cherry Is In Sherry
Pastor TL Barrett - Nobody Knows
/please/ - Phantom Fireworks
Let's Eat Grandma - Chimpanzees In Canopies
For the 200th post to be published on this site I thought I would delve into my library and pick out something truly rare and special. A few years ago I came across a Soundcloud page with a half-dozen or so recordings under the title of Rosielou. Looking back I do not remember much, although I do recall that there was almost no information on the page. (I later discovered that she was from the south coast of England, but that is it). The recordings ranged from abstract electronic experiments to (very) low-fidelity and vulnerable folk songs consisting of just voice and acoustic guitar. Rosielou's vocals were hushed to the point of whisper and her instrumental arrangements minimal. There is something about the recordings that I found - and still do find - completely captivating. The songs are vivid and her voice beautiful. But there is something more to it. These recordings feel so lonely and lost. That they are so under-produced and quiet makes them feel vulnerable and temporary. It is apt, then, that at some point in the years since I came across the Soundcloud page, Rosielou deleted her entire online presence. I had messaged her on Soundcloud and even briefly chatted on Facebook, but suddenly, almost suspiciously, she was gone. Before the digital era, it was possible for an artist to record a song to vinyl and for all copies of that record to then disappear. Physical records, by nature, can become obsolete. They can break, be lost, even melt. A song could be recorded only once, to one single physical item. But online, recordings are shared to everyone. They spread, are copied, downloaded, imitated. Online, ownership is not physical, nor is it exclusive. Yet Rosielou's songs, as though they were recorded to single physical copies, have disappeared almost entirely. Almost. In the autumn of 2013 I managed to download a couple of the recordings from Rosielou's Soundcloud page in order to play them on my second ever Resonance FM show. I sent it to her afterwards and she seemed happy. The songs got a great reception from friends of mine, too. Other than the two that I managed to get a hold of and play on my show, all traces of the songs seem to have gone from the internet. It feels weird posting this music to Youtube but, at the same time, it feels weird leaving the music unheard! I hope to hear from Rosielou again, because this music really is wonderful.
Genre: Folk, Outsider Music