Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Year in Music

In light of there not being much content on this site lately I have compiled a list of my top ten tracks of 2011. These are vinyl singles only- no album tracks. They are all dancefloor records made to be heard on a club system so don’t bother listening on computer speakers. Click the title of the song for a link to purchase.

MidlandThrough Motion. A beautifully executed piece of modern big room garage that I kept coming back to all year.

BlawanVibe Decorium. Everything this guy has done this year has been fantastic (Getting Me Down, Peaches, the Karenn records) but this slice of industrial techno is particularly heavy.

MoscaBax. Anthem alert. This massive club tune manages to incorporate everything great about UK dance music within the last ten years. Also a very fun record to play out and mix with, especially pitched down a bit.

Factory FloorTwo Different Ways. Both tracks on this release, as well as the Optimo mix of Real Love earlier this year, are totally amazing pieces of modern industrial dance music. FF have to be one of the most interesting and exciting bands out there right now.

Crazy PBeatbox (Breach Remix) . I’m not familiar with Ben Westbeech’s pop music (apparently popular in the UK) but his work under his Breach guise is some of the freshest music out there. Last years single Fatherless was an anthem and its B side Man Up was rinsed at every gig I played this year. Here he takes a mediocre Crazy P track and turns it into a bass heavy piano house epic. A masterclass in remixing.

Joe GoddardGabriel. The original and dub are amazingly well crafted songs but it’s the Seiji remix that really moves floors. That bassline is serious buisness. Also on the remix 12" is the Compound One mix- it has a nice old school UKG sound to it.

SlavaDreaming Tiger. A really unique record that grew on me throughout the year. I can only describe as some sort of primitive Balearic psychedelia. (i could only find the live version online)

Joy OJels. Joy O is unstoppable. This take on 90’s style house is straightforward and devastatingly heavy. Out of the six records he has released there hasn’t been one song that isn’t completely awesome. One of the most consistent producers out there.

Levon VincentImpression of a Rainstorm. All three tracks on this EP are equally as good. Thoughtful, epic, raw late night techno. And the B2 track is a nice throwback to early tracky house like Bluemoon productions. Essential record.

Being Borings - Love House of Love. A deep and funky house cut on Crue-L Records from Tokyo. I think this is a new project by Kenji Takimi/Luger E-Go but I’m not 100% sure.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ron & Chez D - Untitled B2

Here is a piece of masterful house from a couple legends. The untitled B2 track from their KMS release- Chicago 1994.

Click to download:

Ron & Chez D - Untitled B2

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nick Drake - Clothes of Sand

A mesmerizing piece of perfectly executed psychedelic folk.

Nick Drake - Clothes of Sand

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blawan Mix

Check out this mix from the best new producer out there- Blawan. He is taking the whole dubstep/2 step/techno thing and turning it on its head, making really hard rhythmic- almost industrial- style tracks. If you listen to his tracks by themselves, unmixed, their abrasiveness almost pushes them in to experimental territory. He has only a few releases so far but each one is amazing, I recommend them all. This mix was broadcast on Mary Ann Hobbs’ XFM show in London July 23 2011. It’s mostly unreleased stuff by him with some old techno and what not. Tracklist here. It's only 22 minutes but full of the most inventive dance music I have heard in a long while. Mental stuff, play loud.

Blawan - XFM mix

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pink Rhythm - Trust Me

This is one of my favorite records: the India 12” by Pink Rhythm. It's a beautifully produced 4 track EP from 1985 by John Rocca and Andy Stennett, the same gentlemen that brought you the Pictures LP. This track is a bit of a blue-eyed soul number and one of my all time favorite Rocca tunes. Ripped from my vinyl collection. Stream below or click here for download.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Luger E-Go - Path to Anacrchy Pass

Here's a track by Kenji Takimi who owns Crue-L Records in Japan. This is one of his weirder projects under his Luger E-Go guise. This is a ten minute experimental dance record he released as a one sided 12" in 2004. If you think it sounds low-fi/distorted/compressed I assure you thats just how the record is, as I recorded a clean vinyl rip. It's just a crazy record. Enjoy.

Lugar E-Go Path to Anarchy Pass Dead Can Dance by Kenji Takimi

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nick Sand

Nick Sand is a clandestine chemist that worked making high grade psychedelic drugs throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. I think it's safe to say he was responsible for most the LSD, MDMA, DMT, 2CB and other ethnogenic pharmaceuticals made in North America during those times. An important man to say the least. He learnt his trade from the recently departed master Augustus Owsley Stanley in the 60s. After getting busted in the 70’s he went underground and lived on the lamb for many years. At least for part of that time he chilled in Mexico for half the year and then worked out of a high tech lab in Vancouver, Canada the other half. He was eventually busted and sent to jail. Here, on parole in 2001 he tells part of his fascinating story. This was taken from the Psychedelic Salon podcast.

Nick Sand - Reflections on Imprisionment and Liberation

The The - Giant

An incredibly epic track by The The from their debut LP in 1983.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pictures LP

Here we have something a little bit special. John Rocca is one of my favorite artists- the prolific diversity of his work from roughly 81- 91 is nothing short of genius. This LP is an obscure album he made with Andy Stennett, his collaborator in the incredible bands Pink Rhythm and Freeez. It was recorded in 1983 for Editions EG and has never seen a CD or digital release... so I thought I'd rip the vinyl and share it here for prosperity's sake. The music itself is out there. For those familiar with Rocca- this is miles away from his dance classics, techno 12s, and early funk workouts. The music is experimental, ambient and dark with heavy electronics and Rocca's voice ruminating on weird childlike fantasies. The best way to hear this is at home with some spare time as this record definitely envelops and grows upon multiple listens. Rocca retired from music at 33 and I've heard he lives in southeast Asia somewhere- no one really knows... Stennett gave an interview about the record on the only other website i can find about the album. If John or Andy read his please get in touch I'd love to find out more about creating the Pink Rhythm records and everything else.

Side One:

A1 Lullabye
A2 Nursery Rap
A3 Dancing Mind To Mind
A4 Skrahs
A5 Battle Of The Leaves

Side Two:

B1 Black Tiger
B2 Loneliness
B3 Child In A Sweet Shop
B4 Adventure Lost
B5 Voodoo

Two from Thelonious Monster

Here we have two forgotten gems from the druggier side of the 1980's Los Angeles rock scene. Thelonious Monster were a live music staple back then along side bands such as Fishbone, Jane's Addiction, Chili Peppers, Pygmy Love Circus, Liquid Jesus, and so on. I never saw them live but i remember seeing their name in the Calender section of the LA times each weekend as a young teenager. Very cool band. Below are a couple songs ripped from the LP Baby, You're Bummin' My Life Out In A Supreme Fashion. (Click the "share" button to for access to download).


Union Street:

This is a cool little clip of Bob Forrest back in '93:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

David Crosby - Tracks in the Dust

This song is a poignantly timeless track from David Crosby's 2nd LP from '89, Oh Yes I Can, his "recovery" album. He recorded this after falling hard once a 20+ year cocaine bender eventually landed him in jail and left him with nothing but his sailboat, his wife, his life, and his music. Some of the tunes on the LP are diluted by semi-cheesy 80's production but the quality of the material shines through. Check out his first autobiography, Long Time Gone- definitely the best rock bio I have read. And of course his first solo LP from '71- one of the best records ever made. This is the LP version version ripped from my vinyl collection.

David Crosby - Tracks in the Dust

Monday, January 10, 2011

Best Films of 2010

Here is our annual top ten list. I hope you find something you like.

Didnt see: Last Train Home, Dogtooth, Film Socilism, Another Year, Inside Job, Four Lions, Tales From the Golden Age, Uncle Boonmee, Daddy Longlegs, etc......

Enter the Void
Bold, visionary and entirely original filmmaking. Some of the most inventive and intoxicating camera work I’ve ever seen. The best visual effects in cinema history. A deep sense of melodrama. The most psychedelic film ever made. Gaspar Noe has the strongest track record in cinema right now, with three complete masterpieces under his belt, and they just get better and better.

Animal Kingdom
Dang, this was good. The rare film that has a totally unexpected ending that changes the way you view the entire second half. Incredible acting from everyone involved especially the J and Pope characters. This is an dark epic crime saga based on the Pettingill family in Melbourne. I loved everything about it. That’s all I’ll write, just watch it.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
Finally we have a proper telling of Basquiat’s story. Julian Schnabel’s movie from 1996 was good but didn’t do the man justice. As we know, Basquiat is a giant of contemporary art but with this film we get a very intimate look into his mind: his ideas, creative methods, profound intelligence, and personality. Tamera Davis unearths an insightful interview she did with him in his prolific LA phase and anchors her film with it. Jean-Michel was just a kid that hit it big- huge in his life time. This is the fascinating and moving story of someone whose work will be cherished and remembered for as long as earth is around. Amazing.

I’m Still Here
A bold and unusual career move from Phoenix that resulted in a movie, that is not only hysterical, but a poignant comment on the Idiocy of our Times.

As many have noted, there are flaws with Inception. Among them, who would actually break up their families’ empire after a dream on a plane? The film suffered from too many “handsome actor” types that, you can tell due to the over-editing, weren’t even on set the same days they were supposedly doing a scene together. Way too much expository dialogue too, they could have scaled back one dream level. Never the less, this is an incredibly accurate and trippy dive into lucid dreaming and a whole-heartedly original work on a grand scale. Nolan could have squandered the money on crowd pleasing fair- he didn’t. A minor masterpiece, and a step in the right direction for Hollywood Blockbusters.

Black Swan
In many ways a companion piece to Aronofsky’s the Wrestler: the emotional hardships of dedication to an art. I really liked this one but felt it lacked some of the visionary magic of his earlier work like The Fountain or Requiem. Portman’s performance was indeed incredible. The scene where she runs to the bathroom to call her mom was one of the best of the year. My only complaint would be that the story is a little too repetitive (she hurt herself, she didn’t, she hurt herself, she didn’t) but this still towers above most other films this year. Solid.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The film works better thematically with its original title, Men Who Hate Woman. This is an unflinching look at the seedy side of rich sexual predators that get away with abuse. The film’s subject matter rings true, as a child porn ring was recently been discovered amongst government officials in Mexico . And, of course, Lisbeth Salander is the radest heroin we have seen in a very long time.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
I have an entirely new respect for Joan Rivers. She is an old school workaholic that will take any job she can get. Watching her make fun of her red carpet gigs and the celebu-tards is really something. And she is funny as fuck. This is 24 hour access to the mind of a comedy legend.

Like a solider says in the movie, whoever has the best offense has the best defense. In Restrepo, an army platoon tries to take Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley , a strong hold of the Taliban that had never been-and still hasn’t been- taken by invading forces. This is an interesting look into the front lines of imperialism. Watching these kids suffer through such a worthless war is painful- you can’t help but feel sorry that they got suckered into the army propaganda or were so broke back home that they had to do this. The footage is incredible, up there with PBS’ Frontline (see: Behind Taliban Lines). But, unlike that piece, this is yet another story from the side of the offenders- the US military, which is getting really old. Yet the raw footage alone makes this one of the years best. The platoon leader at the end of the film gives a speech about charging the front line and dying for one’s cause that is eerily similar to many great Hollywood movie war speeches, especially Kirk Douglas’ in Paths of Glory. Except his isn’t satire.

Brooklyn’s Finest
This film might seem out of place here but I liked it because it didn’t try to be anything it wasn’t. It was just a well acted popcorn movie about a tired clique: corrupt cops. Maybe I was really stoned but I enjoyed it. There were a couple other procedural dramas that weren’t bad this year like The Town.

Special shout out to A Serbian Film for being extremely twisted. The Art of the Steal was a an excellent doc about powerful greedy scumbag is Philly. uTrue grit was pretty good, though I preferred the Coen’s previous effort, A Serious Man. Home with French Goddess Isabelle Huppert was worth seeing- about a family that has an actual freeway in their front yard. Police Adjective was an interesting peek into a depressed Romanian town. Mother was OK. Winter’s Bone was decent. Unthinkable was fun. Exit Through the Gift Shop was dope but spent way to much time on Mr. Brainwash, who has been ruining streets of LA with his “art” for way to long. The sheep movie, Sweetgrass, was mellow in a stony way- worth watching. Vahalla Rising had potential but got bogged down in heavy metal cliques’. Shutter Island sucked. Green Zone was a let down- crappy propaganda. Human Centipede was beyond terrible- just sub-par filmmaking all around. I watched about 3 minutes of Alice in Wonderland before I realized it wasn’t for adults… Tim Burton is a studio hack without ideas... I Think We’re Alone Now, the movie about Tiffany super fans, was awesome. This year’s season of Frontline on PBS was amazing, I’d recommend going to their website and watching those before seeing almost any of the movies on this list….

Worst movie- Monsters
I heard from reputable sources this was an interesting and intelligent movie about Aliens. Not so. Bogged down by an incredibly cheesy and contrived story, the decisions these characters make are so irrational it completely ruins the movie. This isn’t a fun horror movie where dumb decisions are expected- this is a self serious picture about aliens… and immigration. Instead of waiting 6 months in a Mexican paradise, a rich girl wants to risk her life and drive through the dreaded “Infected zone” to the North. They are accompanied by a team of locals skilled at surviving the zone- yet every one of them dies except the two White People. There are way too many “contemplative moments” along the way and not enough dialogue. The filmmaking is almost condescending- we get it, the story is a parable about immigration, no need to shove it down our throats to the point that it insults our intelligence. The score is awful- trying way too hard to make you “feel something.” The movie is basically a cheese ball love story with a few scenes of CGI aliens attacking. They don’t really focus on the aliens at all. It’s not clear if they can sniff out life forms to kill or if they just systematically destroy everything. We do know that they rest during the day but attack at night. But, our characters decide to travel by night instead of hiding…Incredibly unrealistic and cheap.