Thursday, June 29, 2006

Merle Haggard

From the man that sang Oakie From Muskogee over thirty years ago, which became an anthem for the "Silent Majority" against the 60s flower children, comes some interesting thoughts about life in today's United States:

You had a duet out this year with Gretchen Wilson called "Politically Uncorrect." The lyrics go, "Nothing wrong with the Bible, nothing wrong with the flag, nothing wrong with the working man." That doesn’t seem to be particularly controversial or politically incorrect.
Yeah, but what is nowadays? Everybody’s twisted around. Freedom ain’t free no more. What America was and what America is is a totally absolutely different country.

It’s a different country now compared to when and what?
Fifty years ago there was as much freedom in San Quentin as there is in the streets of New York today, with obvious exceptions. You’re just as likely to have a police officer throw down on you with a .30-30 [rifle] in New York as you are in San Quentin.

There was certainly a lot more political music a generation ago than there is today. And your songs have always had a bit of a political edge. Do you see music as political force or tool?
I wrote songs like “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” “Okie from Muskogee,” “Are the Good Times Really Over”—several different politically oriented things. I’m actually not afraid to do things of that nature nowadays, but my wife and family are. You have to take seriously one’s wife who says “I know you’re not afraid, but consider me and the family. Please don’t say those things.” That is how much we’ve changed in this country. If you do something like Springsteen did, they’re liable to come and bring the IRS in on you. That’s the absolute truth, and everyone knows it.

Read the whole thing.

A Guy Called Gerald

I can't begin to do justice to the influence this guy has had on techno, drum and bass, and electronica in this little post. Suffice it to say that he was there at the beginning of the acid house sound in England, writing tracks that made the Hacienda the legendary club that it has become. He was also a founding member of 808 state and after working with them on their first couple of albums went on to inspire entire genere's with his solo albums.

Recently he has moved to Berlin and joined in the minimal crusade to overtake the universe. I am going to post a few tracks from his many albums ending with his most recent minimal anthem. Study and enjoy.

A Guy Called Gerald - Vodoo Ray (arguably one of the first acid house tracks produced in UK)

A Guy Called Gerald - Cybergen (from Black Secret Technology)

A Guy Called Gerald - Fever(or a Flame)(feat. Wendy Page) from the album Essence

A Guy Called Gerald - Time to Jak (off his most recent Sender Records 12") killer track

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I have kind of a strange personal history attached to Gong and more specifically System 7 (who were former members of Gong). Long ago and far away in London I used to hang around a certain record studio where Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy did some work and on occassion would hang out.

I have one memory that stands out in particular of doing a party at the nearby Brixton Academy and then retiring to Butterfly to chill out. Mixmaster Morris manned the decks in the house and wouldn't let anyone else close while Hillage, Giraudy, Youth, and the usual cast and crew rolled up and chatted as a rare beautiful English morning unfolded outside. Glorious times.

In any case, having met Hillage and Giraudy I always wondered about the music they created under Gong but not really having the temperment to explore Prog rock at that time remained fairly ignorant of their accomplishments. Fast forward 8 or 9 years and I discovered this track online. Coming off of Delia & Gavin's last album I was very receptive to the arpeggiated sequence that starts the track and was finally moved enough this weekend to buy the whole thing.

Gong - A Sprinkling of Clouds

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"A market system has not worked in terms of poor people,"

In a time where most political maneuvering is done to increase the wealth of a select group of already wealthy men and women, this view is refreshing in its reaffirmation of America being the land where everyone can have the chance to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps without the ceiling of an aristocracy (inherited by birth or wealth).

In regards to his decision to donate 31 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Warren Buffet the world's second richest man has said:

A market system has not worked in terms of poor people," Mr. Buffett said yesterday, in an interview taped earlier in the day for "The Charlie Rose Show" on PBS.

As for any thought he might have had in giving the bulk of his billions to his three children, Mr. Buffett was characteristically blunt. "I don't believe in dynastic wealth," he said, calling those who grow up in wealthy circumstances "members of the lucky sperm club."

Its refreshing to read something nice in the business section.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Now this is really odd. I picked up a few tracks this weekend including this euphoric builder from Minilogue. I had been hearing good things about them for a while and already had their "Girl from Botany Bay" single. As I am doing some more research on them I discover that they are from Sweden and that in a previous incarnation they were known as Son Kite (check out some of their mixes under other stuff).

Now most people don't know this but Sweden was the home of a HUGE Psy Trance scene during the late 90s and early 00s and Son Kite was one of their biggest exports. I find it funny that they have moved in a progressive/minimal direction (appearing on Traum no less) because I have been trying to convince one of my old PsyTrance mates, Richard, to put out some music in this direction.
Seems as if these guys saw the connection even before I did.

Check out the track though. It is a long smooth builder that will put hands in the air and fits the glorious sunshine that has been peeking through the fog here recently.

Minilogue - The Leopard

Thursday, June 22, 2006


The first stop on the link bar to the right goes to aquarius records, an entity I came across online but which resides in the Mission District of San Francisco. The diversity of their music is only surpassed by their reluctance to embrace techno as an art form. Thus, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the shop. They have turned me on to tons of cool stuff on one hand and then gone on to slag personal hero's such as Justus Kohnke on the other (more on him on an upcoming post).

One of my first discoveries through Aquarius was this band The Blithe Sons. Obsessed with ambient sound, much of their work is recorded on location along the coast of Northern California. Various acoustic and local sound sources are recorded and occassionally processed to create a hypnotic drone based music. A friend i forwarded some of their work to compared it to a "blasted soundscape," which just might be what I find soothing.

The Blithe Sons - Sea Glass

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Classic album. Lush orchestration, a beautiful voice along with the analog recording process of the time combine to form a beautiful whole. Son of a Preacher Man is probably the most well known track off this album but there are plenty more great nuggets to choose from.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Originally uploaded by mezzaluna arcana.
Sometimes Flickr is a delight. The more I explore this resource the more convinced I am of its wonderfulness.

...and now for something completely different

Recently my mind has been wandering from its usual dance based moorings in search of hooks and choruses to chant along to. Nothing like screaming out songs from your youth to make you feel tribal again.

Big Boys came from close to my original neck of the woods, Austin, Texas. I grew up a little further south but when possible we always drove up to the weirdo capital of Texas to catch live shows and bask in the atmosphere of a truely liberated town.

These guys played a hardcore based rock and roll that also took influeces from funk and whatever else caught their attention at the time. Here are a few songs that take me back to high school and driving around town with nothing better to do than drink and sing along.

Big Boys - Hollywood Swinging

Big Boys - Fun Fun Fun

Big Boys - Sound on Sound

Thursday, June 15, 2006


If you have been loving on SleepArchive spare a little thought to his predecessors. In interviews he often mentions the debt he owes to the Sahko label. In particular to Mika Vaino of Pan sonic, who previously recorded under the name OM or Ø.
If you listen to some of the tracks off this album, Tulkinta, you can hear the references that come up so often in the language of minimalism today.
Check out Boomkat's article on Sahko and what label founder Tommi Gronlund has to say about the recent resurgance in interest in minimalism.

Ø - Helium

Ø - Atomit

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I have been waiting for this compilation with baited breath (that was a lame choice of words, lets just say I was excited) and thus far it has not disappointed. The sound of min2max is, as the name implies, strictly minimal. Stripped down rhythms and finely tuned sound design make up the stock and trade of this album. Since my first introduction to techno the aphorism "do more with less" has alway struck me as highly appropriate. Like a painter who, only using the barest brush strokes, is able to suggest more than is actually there minimal techno functions best when it is suggestive rather than leading.

This particular track by Loco Dice best exemplifies this aesthetic on this compilation. A stripped down groove is the basis for the track which over time is added to and expanded bit by bit till before you know it you are jacking. Listen and enjoy.
Chantilly Bass is hosting another incredible and maybe even more vital track from this compilation over at her blogspot address. Sample the joy and then purchase.

Loco Dice - Orchidee

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Shoes at Undefeated

Shoes at Undefeated
Originally uploaded by hector.
This has nothing particularly to do with music other than they were playing what sounded like ragga at time I walked into the shop. This has more to do with my increasing facination with sneakers. Although I have not started standing in line to purchase the latest limited run of nike's, I find the culture facinating. The consumerism is so pure. It almost makes us record collectors look like pikers in comparison.

This is really the entirety of the store as well. The other wall is blank and is about 5 feet to the right of the end of the picture. The utilitarianism of the shop also reminds me a lot of a record store. In particular the new shop Turntable Lab on Fairfax has an almost identical set up with records lining the walls as opposed to shoes.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


One nice thing about being a packrat, (or at least as much of one as my wife will allow me to be) , is that when the inspiration strikes you can go digging throught the collection for precursors and influences. That compilation on the left was released around 1995. Ifach was a label run by Baby Ford who was already almost a decade into his musical career by the time this came out. Ford's style by this time had already evolved into a strain of dark minimalism that would be an example for today's minimal scene. In fact, Perlon records was founded by one of his early collaborators, Zip.

Ifach Vol.1 collects the early 12"s released on his legendary label by Ford himself as well as a who's who of English techno. Ed & Andy from Plaid do a number of tracks under the alias EcoTourist and Mark Broom contributes a few tracks, as well as collaborations with Ford.

The packaging resembles nothing so much as a contemporary cdr. The artwork is photocopied and the sleeve is a flimsy piece of plasticine. Still to a budding explorer this cd was a monumental find. Along with Sahko Records output and Rob Hood's work on Tresor and M-Plant, the mid 90s provided many chances for mind expanding alternative views of what Techno could be.

Baby Ford - Dead Eye

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Hey today only comes around once a millenium so lets give the devil his due. The most recent thing I have read on this subject, (which is contained in the wikipedia entry connected to the title of this post), says that 666 is actually a numerlogical reference to the Roman Emperor Nero who prosecuted the minority Christian community so vociferously during his reign. Therefore, hell was itself an analogy for the Roman Empire. Not exactly METAL but interesting.
All historical research aside the devil and by extension horror has made for some great tunes. Today we will celebrate The National Day of Slayer and throw in a few other choice cuts to keep things interesting.
First off the classic:

Slayer - Reign in Blood

Then from a slightly different perspective of the devil is Dies Irae. They see the devil as a contrarian rebel in heaven. Lucifer as the light bringer. The style is all over the place but very satisfying. Blues/Rock/Progressive/Krautrock etc...

Dies Irae - Lucifer

Finally, one of my all time favorite bands, The Misfits, who don't really belong here but I have been looking for an excuse to post one of their songs, so here is.

The Misfits - Night of the Living Dead

Monday, June 05, 2006


Just for your info.
Never thought I would be reccomending a purchase of mixmag, but last month's issue had a top mix cd by Hawtin on it. The tracklisting is as follows:
1 2000 & One Leaf 2
2 Cosmic Sandwich Man In A Box (André Kraml Remix)
Remix - André Kraml
3 Sleeparchive ACD-Voice
4 Shane Berry For A Moment
5 Audio Werner Trust
6 Heartz4 Intimacy Girl (Someone Else Remix)
Remix - Someone Else (2)
7 Tadeo Granade Granate
8 Troy Pierce 25 Bitches (Gaiser's Too Many Bitches Makeover)
Remix - Gaiser
9 Fraktion This Fever Works
10 Marc Lansley & Falko Brocksieper Popa Wheely
11 Sebo K Horizons
12 Alex Under El Encuentro
13 LocoDice Seeing Through Shadows

Its a great mix for the cost of the magazine and it has a nice continuity to it. After hearing the last few mixes by Hawtin I expected something more fractured and intellectual but this is a great mix for just dancing to, without any particularly weighty intellectual thought process behind it. Is techno becoming more hedonistic? Perhaps the crossovers that have been happening betwee house/techno/electro have born more fruit than simply new songs. Maybe the respective mindsets have expanded? Next thing you know Basic Channel are going to release a straight up jacking track. We shall see.

I particularly liked the 25 Bitches remix on this mix and the last three tracks. Alex Under has been killing it recently. The Untitled track on Multiplicaciones is awesome as well. In fact what the hell, lets start the week off with some techno.

Alex Under - Untitled

Friday, June 02, 2006

Trance, is it part of your shameful past?

The Age of Love: "The Age of Love (Watch Out for Stella Club Mix)" (1990) fromClassic Acid (Moonshine)
Michael Mayer
: [Hi-hat kicks in.] Ah, I know it. It's old. Yeah, that's a fucking classic; it used to be so big here in Cologne. You'd drop it at a party, and people would freak out. It was one of the biggest anthems for the Cologne gay scene. The first years of techno here—'91, '92, '93—the gay community was much heavier involved into the club and techno here in Cologne. When I hear this, I always remember the times when clubs like Space Club were on and all the cute gay guys with their slim dresses [laughs].

Last week I was going on about Gabriel Ananda and Dominik Eulberg's influences and how they identified strongly with the eye-q sound of Sven Vath. After doing a bit of rooting around in my collection in pursuit of something that would show a direct connection I realized that I had it a bit off. The eye-q sound was harder and faster than their more recent interpretations of trance, but ole Jam & Spoon were right on the money. If you were going out in those heady days of the early 90s you no doubt heard this tune.

Listen to the sounds used, particularly in the intro. Crystalline sounds that jump out of the speakers with a metronomic pulse around 120-125bpm. If you stripped out some of the pads and the vocal chorus I would be totally unsuprised to hear this on the dancefloor today.

What is really cool about today's dance scene is the way that the ghettos of genere's from previous years have been breaking down. Dance started off very eglatarian in the fact that there were only so many tunes, so you had to play a number of styles in order to get through the night. The 90s saw genere's get so compartmentalized that there was actual animosity between scenes and little music from one genere got played in the clubs or rave's of another. Today if you flip through mixmag its hard to say what belongs in the house section or the techno section and nights spring up that play everything from dubstep to disco in the span of a night.

Anyway, enjoy the music and have a great weekend.

The Age of Love: "The Age of Love (Watch Out for Stella Club Mix)

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Be careful what you ask for brothers and sisters because you just might get it. Thanks to a fortuitous string of events I have been inundated with high quality tunes and disco information. The other day on ILM I made an off hand comment about how much I have been enjoying Mr. Terje's music, as anyone who has been reading here knows. Lo and behold a kind and generous stranger reached out to me through the miricle of YSI and sent me two large loads of his reedits. I am still trying to get my head around all of those tunes when I discovered this incredible treasure thanks to Dave over at 33/45. Upon further investigation Jaime at Daughters of Invention turned me (and anyone else who reads the blog) on to 3 free downloads from the Quiet Village project.

Whew! Well all that has my head spinning. Some days are better than others on the internet and yesterday was a treat.

Here for your pleasure are a couple of the tracks I just recieved. I try not to post stuff I haven't paid for, but seeing as I have never seen this stuff for sale anywhere I won't feel too bad.

Chaka Khan - Fate (tangoterje edit)

Issac Hayes - Zeke the Freak (todd terje rekutt)

(Update: The kind stranger from ILM was Jacob Sanders. Cheers mate!)