Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Mix '11

"Why Must the People Cry?"

LISTEN - Stream, 30 minutes

DOWNLOAD - Mediafire, 25 mb


Monster Rally - "Cuban Velvet"
I've been listening to Monster Rally's tape-loop instrumentals since the summer, and although their southern-hemispheric beat-work seems out-of-season here, I've always thought the best time to soak in tropical art is in the dead of winter, if only for the sake of escapism. All of their releases, especially their debut LP--Coral--come highly recommended. See also - "The Wolf"

Robb London - "Gloria"
Reverb soaked snare drum rattles, snarly guitar ricochets and audience response banter from this no-name south Texas one-record band is yet another grainy gem from the incalculably rad website Garage Hangover. Obviously, this song was covered to death in the 1960's, but here it sounds more vibrant than ever due to production values well ahead of its time. (via)

Ty Segall - "Caesar"
One of my favorite albums 2010, (a lackluster year in independently released music) wasTy Segall's Melted. Formerly a one man band, Ty harnesses noise and pop, heavy riff-work and the most rad use of an acoustic guitar I've heard maybe ever. "Caesar" also features the out-of-tune piano solo the world has been missing since White Light/White Heat. But best of all, it is the ebbs and flows of tempo that reel this one in and out several different grooves for an overall effect of post-garage rock renaissance insanity. Fucking brilliant stuff.

Smith Westerns - "All Die Young"
Smith Westerns sound like the house band from a John Hughes teen-movie prom on their newest, I can just hear Molly Ringwald engaging in meaningful dialogue during an slowdance beneath confetti and a disocball to this. I can't believe it, these guys are only 18 years old. Their first release, (which came out while they were still in high school, evidently), was a low-fi pop classic but with a real production budget they are able to achieve a unique blend of pop nostalgia (and a feature on NPR.)

Kurt Vile - "Jesus Fever"
I saw Kurt Vile at The Shank in the summer of 2009. I didn't know much about him then, but I remember being blown away by his 2:45 A.M. set performed for a gangly bunch of insatiable East-Williamsburg twenty-somethings. Since then, he's been signed to Matador and has more or less gone viral in the indie music-blog world (read: is under profound pressure to deliver an artistically and monetarily viable LP). It's relieving to hear his new song, Jesus Fever, unveiling his unusual casio-folk style in faster tempo and in higher-fidelity.

Aphex Twin - Fingerbib
I was listening to this album at the coffee shop I work (Update: "worked") at, and while making lattes for a French couple I noticed they were sort of nodding their heads. They placed what I later found to be a five dollar bill in the tip jar and said, "this is for the great music." I figured, in light of that, posting this song would be worth something. Aphex Twin hasn't released an album in 10 years, but some say that's going to change this year.

James Blake - "Sparring the Horse"
James Blake has been called "post-dub", and although "Sparing the Horse" is probably the most formulaic song that I've heard from him, (most everything else has been closer to Kraftwerk B-sides), it establishes him as a sonic pioneer. This song possesses a mixture of fidelity that I've never been exposed to, a great use of tension-building rests, and a vocal loop that floats and haunts. But this song truly caught my eye because of its intellectual superiority to most generic dubstep I've been forced to hear, and promises intrigue not only for Blake but for the genre in general. Hear more.

Star Slinger vs. Teams - Punch Drunk Love
A sped-up sample of this classic provides the foundation for this beat, so as a lover of doo-wop and southern rap drum machines, I'm sold. Star Slinger really hits the contemporary hip-hop instrumental void on the head. Further listening - "Longtime".

Madvillain - Avalanche
A preview of the upcoming Madvillain album from the Stones Throw website. Madvillainy is probably my favorite indie-rap album ever, and I've always been fascinated by DOOM's verbal weirdness and dadaist non-sequitors, all spat over some of the best looped music ever assembled. Madlib's compositions rival Donuts in my mind as beat-making at it's highest-art. Here's another one from their forthcoming Madvillainy 2 - "Paper Mill".

Billy Swan - I Can Help
Bizarre one-hit-wonder from disturbed pop genius (this can't be his realy name) Billy Swan. I have always been a sucker for ironic use of pop music in films, and this song played over a murder interrogation scene in the most recent Gus VanSant movie, and I was sold on it's spooky pop-appeal. As far as CBS F.M. 101.1 staples, this has got to be the holy grail, next to this of course.

Winter Review '10

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Halloween is far and away my favorite holiday. This year I've been working on a DJ set for the Halloween party at the House of Love, where James Barnes will be installing a mind-scrambling video system, projecting clips from slasher flicks, horror favorites and spooky ambience. In the spirit of the day of the dead, I've put together a very, very long mix (clocking in at nearly 2 and a half hours) of spooky sounds, ghost-synth, drone-beat, ambient dance music (much of which owes it's sound to horror movie scoring), all punctuated with sound clips from such classics as A Nightmare on Elm St, The Shining, The Golden Arm, Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Meyers, Vincent Price's "Great Ghost Stories" and many, many more. So, when the big day comes, open up your windows, put this on blast, let the ghostly sounds resonate through the fallen leaves and jack-o-lanterns and get into the halloween spirit. Listen now or download (if you dare!)


More halloween mixes here and here

Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sweet Soul Mix

I have been collecting soul music recorded in the 60s/70s for a while now, starting more or less in the spring of 2007. At first it began as a quest for drum samples because at the time I aspired to produce beats, but as my affinity for hip hop waned my love for sweet soul flourished. I reached a point, the winter before last, where I literally did not listen to anything else. I felt at the time that there was something more poignant, meaningful and heartfelt about sweet soul than anything that was being recorded in the modern age. The production quality of these songs possesses a richer emotion, the recordings were conducted in specialized rooms, with reels, tangible instruments and vocals, as opposed to contemporary recording, where sounds are proceessed through an endless series of digital compressions. At any rate, this is a mix I wanted to share, with the best of the best soul songs I have come across. Download it, put it on a mix CD, and let that sugary soul get right in your heart.

Download ZIP

freddie scott - got what i need
archie bell and the drells - green power
the manhattans - follow your heart
the charmels - as long as i've got you
garland green - i cant believe you quit me
ruby andrews - you made a believer out of me
marlena shaw - california soul
the persuaders - trying girls out
honey and the bees - come get it
the impressions - man oh man
irma thomas - it's raining
the escorts - i can't stand to see you cry

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Late Summer Mix

The sun is starting to hang higher in the sky these days, but still the haze of summer washes over the city of Port Chester. In this early phase of autumn, there is some vague, purgatorial mood, a ubiquitous feeling of nostalgia, reflection and somber anticipation. Beaches are closing and town pools are being drained. And although there is bittersweetness in the cooling air, most of us cherish these fleeting, elusive last breathes of August. Sonically, though, there is certain music played that aims to bottle up that last day of summer. That's what these songs do for me, I soak them in and save them for winter. Exp. date - 9/21/2010. 

Late Summer Mix (51:22)

Download (71mb)



Javelin :: goal/wide

A proper requiem for summer--Javelin's George Langford and Tom Van Buskirk harness seizing microsamples and assemble them into a spooky, melodic march. The cuts and pastes are sequenced in an off-kilter rhythm, with the intent to scramble brains, but the sounds themselves are so rich that a sugary streamline is achieved. Fantastic. 

Neon Indian :: (if i knew i'd tell you)

The synth-sounds in this 45-second interlude from Psychic Chasms evokes 1980's prom slowdances, but also the melancholy, pink-dusk pangs of early Autumn. A great late summer slow burner. 

Daft Punk :: Make Love

Despite it's elevator music undertones, the grand piano loop that supplies the foundation for this cut from 1997's Human After All possesses weighty drama, while the wet guitar plucks give it bounce. Beyond that, the airy vocal loop soars and is nailed to ground by a minimalist Casio drum-machine pattern. Perhaps their most tearful jam. 

Nite Jewel :: Falling Far

Here's a buoyant glo-fi sizzler from Nite jewel, who takes us on a submarine ride through gold-coast galactic seas. Dreamboat pop brought to life by used keyboards dipped in late 70s glitter.  

John K. :: What Music Makes Us Do

First heard John K. on the Twin Sister "International Dust" micromix. Upon inquiring with bassist Gabe, I learned that, "John is the bomb. a friend of mine, he pumps out albums, does everything himself. I recommend his newest one: "Lost in the Beat" , and a self titled one: , which is my personal fav. She's Got The Eye is on one called "At The Moment". I think he has all of them up on his myspace,". His self recorded/released albums are like strawberry milkshakes for the ears. Inspirational, especially if you're a musician attempting home recording.  

Dem Hunger - excerpt

This is a clip from a Dem Hunger mix, culled from "dirty 45s". There was a time when I listened to this mix multiple times daily. It always put me in a strange and wonderful stupor. I suggest you dig in to Dem's digs, you won't be sorry. 

Los Amparito :: Por Medio De La Lectura

Don't know much about Los Amparito, but this South American rainmaker is like Avery Tare x Jorge Ben. I can't get over how good these tropical tones sound when saturated with sunny electronic manipulators. A fruitful blend of time and color. Bask in it. 

Dolphins into the Future :: On the High Seas

This song will lull you into a watery daze about psychedelic whales and breezy clocks. The swirling synths makes wakes in kodachrome pools. Highly visual music, I recommend taking a dive into all of Belgian scapist Lieven Martens' material, who took the name for the project from this book

Arch M :: rapid transit

I just can't get over how accurately august afternoons are captured by this and everything else from Land Huxt. It makes my heart melt with longing for the days of my youth spent wandering aimlessly in Rosendale, in swimming pools, backyards, riding bicycles in slow motion. The album plays like deep streams, you'll have to come up for air. 

Beach Boys :: All I Wanna Do 

I've been listening to a lot of Brain Wilson this summer, Smile demos, things like that. They (the Beach Boys) really mastered the art of sluggish, loving pop songs in the early 70s. This one is a gold-toned standout from the Sunflower album. I listen to this on repeat, just to dig in to the introductory keyboard chordal riff, it's worthy of accentuation.

Beach Fossils :: Youth

One of my favorite songs from last summer was Beach Fossil's "Vacation". I posted it for last year's summer mix on mediafire and I recently discovered that the hit count has ballooned to over 1500 downloads.  Their blend of pop guitars and underwatervocals has swept the blogosphere, evidently. This new one, though, slower and wispier, fits in here for its youthful-lament. 

Family Portrait :: Mega Secrets

This is my favorite song of the last few years, so I figured I stop hogging and post it. Anyone who has played music with me recently will now know that I am guilty of red-handed burglary of this song's A major scale bounce (and for playing surf pop without laughing). I've listened to this song, one of the only releases from New Jersey's Family Portrait) a million times and the ardent crescendo gets me everytime. 

Beach House :: Some Things Last A Long Time (Daniel Johnston cover)

Out of all the haphazard Daniel Johnston covers in the world, this is the only one I've found that even comes close to reaching the emotional heights of the original

Department of Eagles :: Therapy Car Noise 

From In Ear Park, an opalescent jewel of an album.

Dum Dum Girls :: Baby Don't Go

A haunting cover of a Sonny and Cher song. The spare, swelling, reverberated electric guitar strumming paired with airy and vocal harmonies make for an unnerving cover. From I Will Be.  

Washington Phillips :: Lift 'Em Up, That's All 

This is one of the most beautiful recordings I've ever heard. It remains uncertain what instrument is being played (sources say that most likely the instrument was entirely handmade by Phillips), or when it was recorded, but the way the song sounds on the grainy tape-reel of the time has a poignant dustiness incomparable to any other music recorded in history. "Lift 'Em Up", a truly powerful gospel song, sung with chilling sincerity. 

Jon Brion :: Row

Kate Bush :: Army Dreamers

The more I listen to this song the more I realize how amazing it is. Lore surrounds her recording career, notorious for perfectionism she didn't not allow her visions to go underperformed. Kate Bush records have also been in heavy rotation this summer, so her inclusion here is fitting.

Television :: Days

The lyrics of this song ache my heart in the same way watching leaves start to change does. Surprising how underlistened Adventure is--Marquee Moon is the best debut LP of all time, but they by no means disappointed with their follow up. Check out a compilation of tropical Adventure covers, curated by the Aquarium Drunkard.

More late summer mixes here and here

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Mix

"Move Your Feet from Hot Pavement and into the Grass"

Greetings from Port Chester, NY--that forgotten suburban city, thorn in the side of Westchester County corporate developers. Once the site of a pulsating music scene now is a trashed outer-borough wasteland lined with shabby shops and potholed pavement. It's late July and the heat makes waves in the air, the asphalt bakes in the orange sun and King Street pressurizes under my feet. These are the songs I listen to most when walking hot sidewalks. Like icy lemonade in dixie cups, these songs cool me down.

Summer Mix (45mins)

Download (40mb)


1 - Ach M :: "cave grill"

Arch M records meditative EPs that evoke sonic july. Spaced out, peculiarly tropical and decidedly psychedelic, heart strings are pulled and thoughts provoked while minds and muscles are turned to mush. The thumping bassline nails the ambient wa-wa phrases to the ground. Captures lackadaisical summer in a bottle.

2 - Beach House :: "Saltwater"

Dissonant, harmonic. heartwrenchigly low-fi. Casio chords run through a broken amp, drum machine on loops in a dusty cellar. This material will lull you into a aural daydream while you picnic in an abandoned meadow in rural Maryland. It's effortless, simple, far more poignant than anything else I've heard from them.

3- Deerhunter :: "Rainwater Cassette Exchange"

Bradford Cox and his shoegazing co. get beachy on this one, turning the reverb all the way up for californian delight, sounds like a 60's pop quintet broadcasting from a sewer in Pasadena. Deerhunter, Lotus Plaza and Atlas Sound aside, Cox's blog is worth following as well, his charisma as a musician is matched by his taste in doo-wop, micromixing, and youtube videos. New Deerhunter record coming soon, evidently.

4 - Yuzo Kayama :: "Black Sand Beach"

Japanese surf rock The interpretation of the beach formula on the other side of the pacific is a wonder to behold. Arguably superior to U.S. bands in execution and heart, surf rockers from japan turned the genre into a blistering, up-tempo pre-thrash powerhouse. Listen to Yuzo Kayama, Dick Dale of Tokyo, tear up the frets.

5 - The Drums :: "Let's Go Surfing"

The contemporary surf-rock renaissance can be spotty, but The Drums really nail it. Unlike bands that incorporate folk and shoegaze into the surf sound, they are are more roots-surf, literally singing about the beach with facetious lyrics about "the new kid in the town." "♪ Down down baby down by the rollercoaster ♫". Pop gold.

6 - Jacuzzi Boys :: "Island Avenue"

Menacing garage rock from Jacuzzi Boys, shakin down punks at the arcade. Grisly guitar strumming and gnarly wet lead riffs, this one's a real firecracker. Irreverent lyrics and snarling vocals, yeah, a real gem.

7 - The Love Language :: "Lalita"

Feel good summer jingle jangle pop song, stripped of sappiness thanks in part to mean, screeching guitar line, a monstrous pop hook, and catchy lyrics with a fantastically animalistic percussion part. Gets your feet stomping.

8 - Brilliants Colors :: "Over There"

No-fi San Francisco songstresses Brilliant Colors harness noise nicely on "Over There". Sounds like b52's x thurston moore x neon boys. Pear shaped and grimy.

9 - The Babies :: "Meet Me in the City"

CAN NOT get this song out of my head. Loving the open chord rockabillie folk-core pop sound and lyrics that resonate with all new york subway hoppers. Members of Woods and Vivian Girls. (If u ask, me, this band outshines both) These guys played Purchase recently. Can't believe I slept on that.

10 - Wavves :: "Gun in the Sun"

Infamous one man band Wavves. This isn't something I talk about alot, but this music is phenomenal. The hissing guitar thrashes and the tape recorder hanging on for dear life make "gun in the sun" far and away his best cut. I don't know how the fuck he achieves that falsetto doo-wop melody, it's unhuman.

11 - The Crystals :: "He's a Rebel"

Here's a phil spector record from the early sixites. The wall of sound really pounding on this one--that thundering drum line. Been on a huge doo-wop kick these last few months, barbershop quartets are like Mr. Softee ice cream cones for my eardrums. Thing about this song, it's bubblegum lyrics over and instrumentation that's mean as a snake.

12 - Public Nuisance - "Please Come Back"

I picked this up from a mix that Avey Tare of Animal Collective made for the Deerhunter blog, (check out mixes from all three current members HERE), the harmonies on this are haunting, the strumming pattern chopped up with the drums makes for a wildly original garage rock record. Public Nuisance were an unsigned sixties pop group in California, forgotten by all save for lost vinyl collectors. Check out more lost garage bands at Garage Hangover, (site is incredible)

13 - Real Estate :: "Suburban Dogs"

Real Estate This song sends me slowly spiraling into a daydream about Bergen County dogs running away. I grew up in the country, so suburban life holds a kind of mystique for me, and this songs epitomizes the ennui and dog day afternoon beauty of it all, the ways that suburbanites humanize themselves, seeking out meaning in cookie cutter cinemascopes.

14 - Arcade Fire :: "The Suburbs"

The new Arcade Fire single. (Only band that could pull off such a heavy handed title). That crash cymbal rollicking piano line intro gets me going. "The Suburbs" possesses some novelistic qualities to it, encapsulating a weighty dramatic arch, using only 5 minutes of analog tape. Again, the commentary on suburban weirdness resonates with me, not only as a resident of a particularly of wacky suburban city but also as someone who finds a twisted prettiness in what Win Butler calls "the walls that they built in the 70's." A record and a half, the drone of the descending guitar line in the chorus keeps me up at night.