An 80 minute mix that swerves wildly across more than three decades of rough hewn, industrialized techno and synthwave pop. You can subscribe to sndlgc podcast editions by copying this link.
Moebius & Beerbohm: Subito
Factory Floor: Ya
Malraia!: Your Turn to Run (Fehlmann mix)
Crash Course in Science: Jump Over Barrels
Fad Gadget: For Whom the Bells Toll III
Cold Cave: Rue the Day
Suicide: Rain of Ruin
Prostitutes: Chandeliers Shake
Front 242: Sample D
Marie Davidson: Adieu au Dancefloor
CoH: I Feel Summer
Silver Apples: Nothing Matters
Pussy Mothers: Get from in Front of Me
Celldöd: Falska Gudar (Dub)
GH: Yorkshire Fog
The Neon Judgement: Fashion Party
Soft Cell: A Man Could Get Lost
Kraftwerk: Musique Non-Stop
Pet Shop Boys: One-Hit Wonder
Rainbow Arabia: Computerized Romance
Eat Lights Become Lights: Modular Living
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Relache
Gabi Delgado: Victim
Tolouse Low Trax: Make Friends
Henry Badowski: Anywhere Else
Ultravox!: Quiet Men
The Julie Ruin: Time Is Up
Forma: Sane Man
Mariah: Shinzo No Tobira
Josefin Öhrn + the Liberation: In Madrid
Everything that's old is new again—special thanks to the 4 R's: reissue, remix, reunite, and replicate. In Retromania, Simon Reynolds argues that pop music is in real danger of being overwhelmed not just by its past, but also an overly precious reverence for it. A cursory look at the surge in analogue-electronic-driven pop and the industrialized techno underground would seem to prove his point.
It's more than that—ever more obscure ephemera is being unearthed. Music that never had a proper release when it was made decades ago is getting marketed today; competing for ears with the more current. Artists who languished in obscurity are touring and recording again, trying to get their (previously denied) 15 minutes, today. New acts are revisiting old influences and dusting off outdated equipment. It's getting damnably hard to tell when any of it belongs.
Of course our experience of time is linear, so we tend to view art as a straight progression: moments of invention building on past innovations, always striving forward. This outlook drove the endless post-everything-ism of late 20th century. It's an attractive (if, tad vainglorious) concept: we've reached the end of rock, or modernism, or what-have-you and now we are pushing beyond to whatever's next.
I'm beginning to believe this is not how art operates. We often forget art is also a craft. Its history and tradition are not merely useful to it but are an integral aspect of it. If art is solely about its craft it veers towards repertory. Alternately, we view the breaks with tradition and accepted forms as innovations, the great leaps forward. Between these two poles is the body: where the bulk of art we make, see, hear and experience, is.
These thoughts were spurred, in part, by the vast amount of music available to us today. Thanks to streaming services, we no longer need the funds to physically own every inch of musical history. This sort of access to our collective past (even the heritage of distant, foreign cultures) should have brought about the nuclear ear-pocalypse Simon Reynolds so fears. The weight of this access ought to crush all creativity. Increasingly though, I'm finding myself knocked sideways by what I'm hearing. Far from creativity imploding, the myth of art's linear progression, instead, is collapsing. These hybrids are crossbred out of time and place—and increasingly mysterious.
I wanted this mix to capture some of these chaotic, big ideas. I chose synthpop and industrial music since its something, with a lifetime of listening, I feel I have enough perspective on to make effective. Amongst the 32 tracks are some great, archival obscurities, artists of the old guard making new material, vintage recordings getting remixed by their aesthetic grandchildren, and new bands revamping throwback styles and rewiring vintage gear. Hopefully, it's all so jumbled, you have a hard time telling which is which.