Punks in the Post: Return Receipt

My exhaustive series on post-punk dug deep into the original era: late-70s and early-80s. This addendum charts the recent activities of those same artists. If you want to keep up on the latest in this series, you can search for sndlgc in the podcast app of your choice, or you can manually add it by copying this link.

I’ve already produced a 9-volume, 12-hour series investigating the original post-punk era. It was a labor of love as well as a self-taught masters class in a moment of music that was wild, free and inspiring. I started the project in 2006, intending to shine a light on the originators whose sound was suddenly en vogue. This was during the rise of Franz Ferdinand, LCD Soundsystem, et al. Happy as I was to hear these sounds re-aired, I also felt it of more worth to hear who this sound was borrowed from.

This third wave of post-punk artists turned more than just my head. A reissue-obsessed vinyl market began digging up post-punk obscurities by the fistful. All that attention’s knock-on effect meant a surprising number of artists from the original era swung back into action. Even the bands who had toiled away the whole time in relative obscurity were given fresh pairs of ears.

What I’ve collected here, are 32 songs, all from artists that appeared in my original series, who have released new albums within the last 10 years. The biggest names are present and accounted for: PiL, Wire, Gang of Four, the Slits. I was shocked by some of the others either regrouping or still lurking about: Dislocation Dance, Crispy Ambulance, the Wolfhounds. One of the biggest surprises was Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire, who hadn’t lent voice to an album since the late 80s. reemerging, as Wrangler,

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, this set is more challenging and diverse than any mix of their imitators would be. It leaves you feeling like they’re still waiting to pass the torch. These songs sound wholly present and modern—not because post-punk is in style again, but each of these artists is still very searching. In all, it’s a 90 minute testament to a vision which has survived beyond the times that birthed them.

In my original Punks in the Post series, one conceit was the only bands appearing on every volume were The Fall and Sonic Youth,. They stood as the keepers of the flame: never stopping working and almost never faltering. But I’ve been building this set up for years, and sadly, by the time I finished, Mark E. Smith had passed and Sonic Youth disbanded (though they are all still very active, individually). More than that, we’ve lost Alan Vega, Ari Up and more besides.

So, I dedicate this to all the originators we’ve lost. I hope, before they shuffled on, they’d finally received some long overdue credit.

Wire: 23 Years too Late
Grinderman featuring Robert Fripp: Super Heathen Child
Crispy Ambulance: End Game
The Fall: Mister Rode
Savage Republic: Sons and Lovers
Mission of Burma: So Fuck It
Kim Gordon: Murdered Out
The Pop Group: St. Outrageous
Edwyn Collins: Glasgow to London
Gang of Four: Paper Thin
New Order: Academic
The Wake: If the Ravens Leave
John Foxx and the Belbury Circle: Empty Avenues and Dark Corners (Pye Corner Audio remix)
MXM.Joy: Ultraviolet
Wrangler: Clockwork
Ana da Silva & Phew: Bom Tempo
Alan Vega: Prayer
Björk: Thunderbolt (Death Grips mix)
Blurt: The Bells
Bauhaus: Mirror Remains
Public Image Ltd.: Terra-Gate
The Slits: Peer Pressure
Arto Lindsay: Unpair
The Red Krayola: Greasy Street
Paul Haig: Round and Round
The Wolfhounds: Divide and Fall
The Ex: From the Top of My Lungs
The Sexual Objects: Bluetime in Fluff ‘82
Viv Albertine: Confessions of a MILF
Dislocation Dance: Life Moves On
Siouxsie Sioux with Brian Reitzell: Love Crime
Alison Statton & Spike: Alone Together

Biscuits for… Dubble-Stuffers

This latest collection of piping-hot, fresh new techno focuses on dub—but dub as a technique more than a genre. If you want to keep up on the latest in this series, you can search for sndlgc in the podcast app of your choice, or you can manually add it by copying this link.

While dub was a reggae innovation, it amounted to more of a practice than a genre, or style. Studio engineers trying to wring ever more from already repurposed riddims invented tricks to make the old seem new again. Since the advent of electronic dance music, stretching back to the disco era, dub—as a technique—has gained a life of its own, beyond the genre that invented it.

By extension, dub is written into the fabric of electronica. From the nascent days of techno, the primacy of bass was unquestioned. Echo effects were essential to expanding the inherent minimalism at its heart. These too are key ingredients of dub. Toss in how dub treats the parts of the song merely as building blocks to be re-arranged at will and you have the basic elements of modern electronica.

Biscuits for… Dubble-Stuffers tries to find the dub lurking at the heart in a wide variety of electronic styles. Sometimes it’s in plain sight, like TNT Roots’ Chant Down Babylon. Even though more sublimated, it’s still there in the futuristic throb of Jeff Mills’ Helix Nebula. Some of these tracks are wall (and bowel) shaking floor anthems, while others steer toward gaseous and introspective ambient dub.

I started the Biscuits series explicitly to focus on new electronic music. To that end, almost all these tracks were released in the six months since the last biscuit dropped. It’s all chopped down to the barest essentials—most of the tracks barely stick around for more than two minutes. 36 songs in 80 minutes—double stuffed, indeed! If there’s anything you especially dig, follow the link, there’s plenty more to be had!

For now, turn it up, but mind yr bass bins.

Lowtec: Burnt Toast
Slim Media Player: Moutfeel
TNT Roots: Chant Down Babylon (Verse II)
Floating Points: Shark Chase
Passarani: Minerals
Roza Terenzi: Electronique
Jeff Mills: Helix Nebula
Soluce: Center
Mikron: Imora
Demian Licht & Eomac: Algol
Christoph de Babalon: Endless Inside
Pearson Sound: Earwig
Kleft: Writhe, Squirm, Broken
Dayzero: Sunday on Spaceship
Lamont: XIX
Airhead: Clatter
Lemzly Dale: Go Away
Parris: Puro Rosaceaes (KMOS mix)
Isolée: Ginster
Tilliander: Respect Existence
ST / NE: ME / WE
Klein Zage: She’s Out There (Local Artist Cult mix)
Norman Nodge: Tacit Knowing
Ron Morelli: FXK Ripper
Best Available Technology: Orbitiara
Sabla: Chant 35
Tapes: Ticker Tape
(unknown): (untitled)
Pavel Milyakov: Bolotniy
Claudia Anderson: Momentum
Nekyia: Dream Within a Dream
Positive Centre: Exhibit Structures
Substance: Distance
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement: Bridgetown Dub
Phase90: Ango (Intrusion Metamorphose)
Not Glass: Ludicrum

2018 Recap

Here is my yearbook, a recap of 2018. I’ve collected songs from my 25 favorite albums of the last year into a wide-ranging mix. If you would like to keep up with future editions of this podcast, search for sndlgc in the app of your choice or you can subscribe manually using this link.

I’m in no position to say what 2018 was the year of. This site isn’t so much an endeavor in music criticism as the journal of a personal aesthetic journey. I’ve been obsessed with music since I can remember, and here, I’ve made a signpost of where almost 40 years of omnivorous listening has lead me.

If I’m allowed to pat myself on the back (just a little), I feel like I’ve yet to fully surrender to nostalgia. While there are bands I’ve followed closely for decades here (read: Autechre), almost every one of these recaps has included names that were new (or new to me). Granted, I still refer to Field Music as a ‘new’ band, but they’ve been around for 15 years (and have appeared regularly in my recaps for a decade, now).

For some time, I’ve been tracking, what I found as a glimmer of something new, in music. Since about the late 90s, music has been awash in retro-fetish. Not to say all of it is a rehash, plenty of artists, like Shopping, are revisiting the past to build upon it. There was this new thing brewing, though.—this sound that I can’t call a ‘style’ because it’s central premise seemed to be a disregard for the boundaries between styles. These artists weren’t mashing things up, they were making seamless hybrids—or better yet, uncovering the hidden connections between genres a layman like me had never noticed.

For me, 2018 was when this fascination blossomed into obsession. A healthy portion of the albums I’ve included here fall into this category: Ashley Paul, Hen Ogledd, Ben Vince, Sandro Perri and especially Eric Chenaux.

I first heard Eric Chenaux on his 2012 album, Guitar & Voice—which is an entirely accurate title that gives you no clue as to what you are about to experience. He’s appeared regularly in my year-end round-ups since, but Slowly Paradise felt like the one I don’t want to live without.

Slowly Paradise is a beautifully confusing album that doesn’t so much balance contradictions as refutes their very existence. To paraphrase the Quietus’ apt review: Chenaux’s love of Sade in no way conflicts with or confuses his love of Derek Bailey.

I would argue Slowly Paradise is a capital-z, Zen, album. It plays both outside and inside in perfect simultaneity, to show us that there is no in or out to speak of. And all the while, still manages to have some memorable hooks along the way.

Screaming Females: Agnes Martin
Shopping: Asking for a Friend
Marker: French Dress
The Ex: Silent Waste
Ben Vince with Rupert Clervaux: Sensory Crossing
Hen Ogledd: Problem Child
DJRum featuring Zosia Jagodzinska: Creature, pt.2
Autechre: TT1Pd
Matthew Dear: Can You Rush Them
NHK yx Koyxen: Strange Gesture
Jako Maron: Fanali Dann Bwa
Field Music: Checking on a Message
Against All Logic: Now U Got Me Hooked
Thomas Fehlmann: Morris Louis
Neneh Cherry: Faster than the Truth
Mast featuring Jason Fraticelli: Blue Monk
Kristo Rodzevski: Out of Key
Eric Chenaux: There’s Our Love
Ashley Paul: Breathless Air
Roy Montgomery with Katie von Schleicher: Outsider Love Ballad, no.1
Sarah Davachi: Matins
Sandro Perri: In Another Life
Toshimaru Nakamura: NIMB 56
Angelique Kidjo: The Overload
Reidemeister Move: Arcanum 17

Biscuits for… Beekeepers

This edition of the biscuits series includes a fresh selection of hive mind beats buzzing around your ear. If you want to keep up with all the editions of this podcast, search for sndlgc in the app of your choice or you can subscribe manually using this link.

I conceived of the Biscuits as a sort of rapid response tool. The idea was simple: to make themed electronic mixes with new tracks. I try to listen for a few tracks that hang together to my ear, and then start trolling new release listings for things that fit the developing theme.

That developing theme isn’t always easy to define—like trying to describe something you can touch but not see. This time around I was hearing something about dense, pulsating beats, but not necessarily four-to-the-floor. In these tracks, when you de-emphasize the traditional electronic elements—kick, snare, hi hat—other elements swell to fill the void: handclaps, toms, woodblocks, et al.

I’ve found it good to not have the idea overly defined. A path too narrow and I’d never collect the tracks as fast as I’d like, and it would be too… homogenous. Instead, the Beekeepers mix veers from the pummelling high tempos Oyeshack to the goofy footwork of Foodman to the laidback vibes of Dwart.

The unifying metaphor in my mind was this: these tracks could serve as soundtrack for an über-hip documentary about insect life. There was something about the way the dense, off-kilter clusters of percussion reminded me of swarms of bees coalescing into a suspended. heaving mound.

As with most all the Biscuits series, all these tracks are fresh, released (or reissued) in just the last six months, or so. Nearly all of them are things I found by digging—not acts I keep tabs on. They whizz by at a brisk pace: with 32 tracks in 80 minutes the average is two and half minutes. That’s all edited down from a total of three plus hours.

I hope you find something to dig into further. The podcast is loaded with chapters to let you know who’s who and links to find more. So here’s another helping of biscuits.

Shiken Hanzo: Khans of Takir
Bergonist: Conflict in Yemen
Osheyack: Untitled 6
Garies: Soda Springs
Nicolas Gaunin: Tumu Haari
Peverelist: Left Hand
Dauwd: Murmure Rouge (Mécanique Running mix)
The System: Vampirella
Isolated Lines: Trivium
Linkwood: Nae Drama
Toma Kami: Land of the Insane
Benoit B: Kimono
Grim Lusk: It’s My Nature
Gen Ludd: Marraskuu
Foodman: Percussion
Andrea Taeggi: Dinergy
Don’t DJ: Rag for Rudolf Rocker
Duckett: Magic Headlines Foul the Air
Randomer: Van Pelt
Boofy: Perfunktion
Ben Penn: Not Important
Palta & Ti: På Hovedet I Seng
Bambounou: Dernier Metro
Via Maris: CU2
Uwalmassa: Untitled no.6
Sin Falta: Diamonds
Dwart: Red Mambo (Impromptu)
Niagara: Siena
Arp: Folding Water
Inland / Julian Charrière: Up River
Beta Librae: Canis Major
Melly: Mineral Water

Progressive Defenses 2

In which I mount a defense for one of the more lampooned and derided styles in rock history—Progressive Rock. If you want to keep keep up with future episodes of this podcast, subscribe to sndlgc podcasts in the app of your coice or copy this link to subscribe manually.

In recent years, progressive rock has come a long way towards rehabilitation. Not so long ago, ‘prog’ was a four-letter word in reviews, derisively thrown any band a tad too ambitious. Of course, while the concepts behind prog have gained greater acceptance, there’s always more to the scene than King Crimson and Yes.

It can a a daunting task, wading into such a sprawling genre without a guide. When the style is filled with side-long song cycles, each song reaching into double-digit durations, what sort of primer can one make?

Here is my solution: make 7-inch single edits. Cut the epics down into digestible lengths. In doing so, I endeavor to not just present an excerpt of the song, but to preserve some of the original’s scope—it’s varied passages and virtuosity and grandeur. Granted, if I’m lopping off more than half a song, something’s bound to be lost, but my hope was to give a vague impression of the whole.

While progressive rock was in exile, the accepted wisdom went something like it was just too much twee noodling. This mix goes a long way to prove how, despite all the dextrous displays and extemporaneous tempo shifts, the best bands could make it rock convincingly. It’s also common to hear that punk rock was, in part, a direct repudiation of prog—and yet, listen to Peter Hammill’s unhinged performance on Disengage, and you can understand why he had Johnny Rotten’s respect.

Like any major movement in music, progressive rock is more than it’s remembered for. In the 24 songs included here, we move from blues-based hard rock to keyboard-drenched psychedelia to improvisatory jazz-rock and end with some pastoral progressive-folk.

Progressive rock is as expansive as it’s proponent’s symphonic ambitions. It’s a fertile spot in rock history, not some aberration. Despite a wan period of neglect, it is flourishing again.

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Earth Hymn
Budgie: Stranded
Uriah Heap: Tears in My Eyes
The Norman Haines Band: Rabbits
Brian Auger: Oblivion Express
Robert Fripp: Disengage
Osiris: Sailor on the Seas of Fate
Can: Vernal Equinox
Gong: Master Builder
Brand X: Malaga Virgen
Volker Kriegel: Plonk Whenever
Carol Grimes & Delivery: The Wrong Time
Nucleus: Oasis
Julie Tippetts: Oceans and Sky (and Questions Why)
Amon Düül II: Telephonecomplex
Nektar: The Dream Nebula
Traffic: Dream Gerrard
UK: Thirty Years
Fuchsia: Another Nail
Hatfield and the North: Fitter Stoke Has a Bath
Yonin Bayashi: Ping-Pong Dama no Nageki
Trees: Sally Free and Easy

If you’re looking for even more progressive rock, I wanted to include the first volume here, since it was released before the start of this blog. This original missive includes a lot of the biggest names in prog, from King Crimson to Yes and Genesis.

Biscuits for… Molasses Movers

My latest in the Biscuits for… series focuses entirely on dance tracks with undanceably low beats-per-minute. If you would like to subscribe to future editions of my podcast, you can search for sndlgc in the app of your choice, or add it manually with this link.

I've been obsessed with slow dance music for years now. Something about the inherent contradiction appeals. To clarify, I mean tracks within a techno dance style that are low BPM, nothing like what would be fitting for raising your would-be girlfriend over your head in a pond in the rain while practicing your routine. The fascination runs so deep, I've tried (and failed) at making a track or two myself. I'm not alone in this fascination. Just check out none other than Andrew Weatherall's recent output, compared to his bangin' techno or skittery drum-n-bass output of the 90s, it's downright lugubrious.

When you tune your ear to a particular concept—something broad but identifiable—how it seems like what you're looking for is suddenly in abundance. I don't flatter myself that I'm spotting a trend. More likely, It's just I'm suddenly tuned into a new frequency and am picking up on what I never noticed before. Whatever the reason, in 2018, I was suddenly stumbling over a wealth of slow motion disco.

Granted it's not all actually slow. Some of these tracks know how to trick your ear into hearing a rhythm slower than what's being played. You probably wouldn't dance to all of it, but each song is firmly from an electronic dance tradition. This ain't early 90s listenin' techno. 

As usual I've chopped it all down to its bare essentials. 30 songs sail by in 80s minutes. True to the Biscuits for series, all these songs are hot off the press—nearly all of them released in 2018, and some just weeks old.

So strap in and get ready to bust a (slow ass) move.

Chloé: Recall (instrumental)
Hi & Saberhägen: Parachute
La Frère: N8TTT
MTV: Snow Ball
Pinklunch: Other Side
Fango: Atena
Commodo: Leeroy
Etch: Defunkt Logic
Novo Line: Triad (33)
Jako Maron: Katangaz
Streetboxxer: Memory Man
Black Zone Myth Chant: Radio Romantica
Krikor Kouchian: Plomo o Plomo
Chromatics: Lady
Suba: Wayang no.8
Move D / Benjamin Brunn: Come In
Marc Romboy: l'Universe Étrange
Overmono: Pom
Heap: Tripper
Low Jack: Brass
Brainwaltzera: Kurzweil Dame (Eva Geist mix)
Masimiliano Pagliara: Small Town Life
Synkro: Automatic Response
Steven Rutter: Memories of You
Sign Libra: Mantodea vs Furcifer Pardalis
Boothroyd: Rinsed
Jonathan Fitoussi / Clemens Hourrière: Ice Tunnel
Happy Meals: Run Round
Dual Action: Cochi Loco
Mønic: Deep Summer (Burial mix)

Oblique Portrait: William Parker

Legendary bassist William Parker is the common denominator for this mix that spans 40+ years and includes the biggest names of the jazz avant garde. If you would like to keep up on future episodes, subscribe to sndlgc podcasts in iTunes or copy this link to subscribe manually.

You don't know the name, William Parker, if you're just starting to dig into jazz, but if you've listen to any free jazz from the last 40 years, you're likely to have heard him. You'll may start to notice how he keeps popping up, over and over in different contexts. Parker is a advanced, modern jazz: a leader, mentor, organizer, writer and a tireless player who has appeared on hundreds of records.

How many artists have sat in with both Derek Bailey and Yo la Tengo? Or Peter Brötzmann and DJ Spooky?

In his now 40+ year career, Parker's not only played with an impressive list of avant garde luminaries, he's is a fixture among their working groups. He played with Cecil Taylor for decades. He and Matthew Shipp were the anchors of David S. Ware's long-running quartet. 

Yet William Parker remains under the radar for many listeners. Maybe it's his instrument. The bass doesn't hog the spotlight like any horn, or even a guitar. Or, perhaps he was just too late: all the biggest names in jazz made their mark in the heydays of the 50s and 60s. Parker came up in the 70s, frequenting the much-discussed-but-rarely-heard loft jazz scene.

It's why I wanted to weave this particular sonic portrait. If you gathered a broad swath of William Parker's work—as a leader, collaborator or sideman—was there a common thread, an overarching theme? Was his presence a defining factor?

To that end, I didn't want to present this mix chronologically. William Parker's palette has expanded with time, so later experiments with vocals, electronics are  interspersed throughout the mix (rather than piling up at the end). I also wanted to Parker's frequent collaborators, making multiple appearances here, from appearing clusters.

Sound-wise, this was a massive undertaking. The 20 tracks included here made up a 5-hour playlist. Despite making drastic cuts to each song, I tried to make each one flow organically, to feel like a complete unit within the mix (while still, of course, showcasing Parker's contributions). Rather than excerpts, these are like 7-inch edits; readers' digest versions.

Maybe, after listening to this mix, you'll see the narrative, the outline of William Parker in all these disparate paths. If so, I hope you check out more of his work. There is a mountain of it to climb, but I would hold out one record in particular. I didn't include it in this mix because, by rights, you ought to own I Plan to Stay a Believer: the Inside Music of Curits Mayfield. It's a raucous free jazz soul party of a double album that never forgets the political edge at the heart of Mayfield's tunes.

Ensemble Muntu: Flight
Billy Bang: Summer Night
William Parker & Hamid Drake: Faces
Wayne Horvitz: Psalm
Frank Lowe: In Trane's Name
William Parker / Raining on the Moon: James Baldwin to the Rescue
Cecil Taylor: Calling it the 8th
Matthew Shipp String Trio: Whole Movement
Bill Dixon: Brothers
Free Zen Society: Majestical
David S. Ware Quartet: Infi-Rhythms
Derek Bailey / John Zorn / William Parker: Noon Harras
Toxic: This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
Charles Gayle: Touchin' on Trane
Brötzmann / Parker / Drake: Shake-a-Tear
DJ Spooky: Absentia, Absentia
Yo la Tengo: Let's Be Still
William Parker / In Order to Survive: The Square Sun
Anthony Braxton / William Parker / Milford Graves: Third Meeting
William Parker: Crumbling in the Shadows Is Fraulein Miller's Stale Cake

2017 Recap

Here is my annual recap: a yearbook, rounding up tracks off 25 of my favorite albums from the last year. If you would like to keep up on future episodes, subscribe to sndlgc podcasts in iTunes or copy this link to subscribe manually.

2017 didn't turn out quite how I expected. It was a surprising year of listening. Many albums I hotly anticipated—St. Vincent, LCD Soundsystem, Deerhoof—struck a tad underwhelming. Their albums were good enough, but each had to contend with a mountain of expectation. Just delivering the goods doesn't rank for this lot anymore, they must scale impossible heights. 

There were a few records that outpaced their expectations. Sacred Paws' Strike a Match, was everything I'd hoped for, after their stunner of a 2015 EP. Alvvays' avoided the sophomore slump by improving the writing, execution and production—all without forsaking their central premise. Shackleton continued his hermetic forays into realms previously inhabited only by the likes of Coil.

Mostly though, my head was turned by artists I'd never heard before. Some of these were new artists—Mourning [a] Blkstar, Zen Mother—and others, like Kink Gong and Sarah Davachi, were new-to-me. Those sent me on feverish quests to catch up on what I'd been missing.

At any given point in the last month a number of these records were in contention as my pick as my favorite record of the year. It ultimately came down to a one that is, given my collective history, blatantly obvious—yet at the same time wholly surprising: Mary Halvorson's foray into John Zorn's world, with Paimon.

I've had a decades-long obsession with John Zorn. His multi-faceted Masada project is not just his most popular, but the one that cracked the code of his music, for me. Mary Halvorson is a much newer obsession. Collecting her work and following her career still feels genuinely exciting. Her groups have appeared in my year-end recaps almost every year since I discovered her music in 2012.

Even still, I found Paimon far more engrossing than imagined. John Zorn has released such a cavalcade of music in the last 20 years (since starting the Tzadik label) it's often overwhelming. Halvorson's entry for the Masada, Book of Angels is the 32nd album in that series—and it's only one of Zorn's many ongoing projects. Yet Paimon transcends it's status as just one more John Zorn record.

Mary Halvorson's touch is different from the players Zorn often taps. She's less bombastic and ecstatic. She's noted for creating a nearly impossible amalgam of diametrically-opposed styles, much like Zorn is, but hers is a more integrated, less juxtaposed sound. Halvorson comes from a different tradition—less associated with Ornette Coleman and European Free Improv and more with Anthony Braxton and the AACM. Paimon feels new by virtue of being a happy meeting of these two sound worlds. The writing is pure Masada, but the feel entirely Halvorson.

2017 has been surprising in ways both good and ill. It was definitely a year that a lot of us took refuge in our respective preoccupations. I certainly did, and here are the fruits of my retreat: 25 songs, charting the vagaries of my listening, organized and edited down for you to share. 


Cummi Flu / Raz Ohara: Akasak
Acid Pauli: Ayam
Shackleton & Vengeance Tenfold: Spheric Ghost / Fear the Crown
Kaitlyn Aurelia-Smith: I Will Make Room for You
Soundwalk Collective: Xiao Youmei Corridor
Juana Molina: A00 B01
Kink Gong: Saisir l’Aiguille au Fond de la Mer
The Fall: Second House Now
Thurston Moore: Turn On
Mary Halvorson Quartet: Ruhiel
Nate Wooley: Knknighgh 6
Zen Mother: Strange Mother
The Telescopes: Down on Me
Sarah Davachi: For Organ
Phew: Antenna
NHK yx Koyxen: Intention
RE-TROS: At Mosp Here
Mourning [a] Blkstar: Take Two
Arto Lindsay: Uncrossed
Oto Hiax: Eses Mitre
Alvvays: Hey
Sacred Paws: Empty Body
Kristos Rodzevski: Ladybug
United Waters: Shaped like the Sea
Dans les Arbres: Flourescent

Biscuits for… Drunken Bogglers

A collection of seasick bass music, lurching and loping into Fall. If you'd like to subscribe to future episodes of this podcast (and check out the back catalog of mixes) you can find sndlgc podcast editions in the iTunes store, or copy this link, to subscribe manually.

Why is Fall is so disorienting? Even in more temperate climes, it arrives abruptly. One day you abruptly have to bring your fragile plants inside while the trees explode into a fireworks display of foliage, almost overnight. It's dark before dinner without you noticing night's approach. You may try and fight it—refusing to believe winter is around the bend—but what felt like a steady climb in temperature since February has now tumbled over an apex into rapid descent. 

This seasonal whiplash made these tracks hang together as a whole to my ear. As Fall approached, I found myself drawn to bass-heavy productions with a lurch in their step. As if some part of the rhythm is drunk. Not just tipsy, either, we're talking embarrass-yourself-kind-of-drunk.

Sticking with the timely theme of the Biscuits for… series, I focused on brand new music. The vast majority of these songs were released in just the last 3-6 months. Hell, most of the artists are new to me, as well.

Once I have it in my ear what I'm searching for, I sift through new releases, mining for gems with the just right kind of unstable bass. With such a tangible sonic element, the resulting mix whipped up can be relatively style-agnostic. It pledges no fealty to any one sub-genre.

The loosed rhythms give the songs a gloomier demeanor. When some element in a track runs rampant and free, it's subconsciously unnerving, a touch menacing. Even when these tracks make to celebrate, they rejoice with a shadow of doubt. 

A dark mood perfectly suits this mix built for the darkening days. So, get ready to set your clocks back and stumble forward, unsteadily, with Biscuits for… Drunken Bogglers.

Powell: The Bust
FYI Chris: Captain's Patilla
Coki meets Trixx: Elevate
Nomine: Slip
Grey Branches: Bevel
Ossia: Tumult (Lurka mix)
Irazu: Shtamm (Regis remix)
Thomas Xu: Alottochewon
Shit & Shine: Deva-State Nineteen 3000
Herva: Afro-Sweep
Nídia Minaj: Biotheke
DJ Osom: Glued
Lanark Artefax: Hyphen to Splice
Bandshell: Polarizing Haircut
Beastie Respond: The Truth that Hides that There Is None
Orogon Pit: Osmic Frqncy
Mumdance & Logos: FFS
DJ Krush: No One Knows
Clouds: Rush In 2 Orbit (Skinnergate)
Spatial: Spin One Over Two
Pan Daijing: A Season in Hell
Palmbomen II: Disappointment Island
Golden Oriole: Approaching of the Disco Void
Bill Converse: Threshold
Echoplekz: Acrid Acid
Zuli: Foam Home
Ismael: Cross System
Sim Hutchins: Some Men (You) Just Want to Watch the World Burn
Nene Hatun: Altruism
Perc: Wax Apple

Oblique Portrait: Bauhaus

For a band that was so short-lived, Bauhaus' influence is far-reaching. This mix follows the long, often intertwined careers of each member. If you would like to subscribe to future episodes of this podcast you can find it in itunes, or you can copy this link and subscribe manually.

Bauhaus are widely accepted as the godfathers of goth, but that's hindsight. Goth wasn't yet a thing in 1979. No, Bauhaus were a post-punk band, infused with glam rock, dub reggae and punk fury. While their unique take on all that was codified into goth as we know it today, it's not nearly as multi-faceted as the actual bands it's based off.

Bauhaus wasn't fated to last long: 4 albums (at least one of which was merely cobbled together) plus a clutch of singles. Between singer Peter Murphy, guitarist Daniel Ash and bassist David J, they were trying to contain three distinct, competing and prolific voices under one banner. By their last missive, you could hear them peeling away from each other, presaging what they were about to reveal.

Each member had new material waiting in the wings. David J was quick with solo releases, and slung bass for the Jazz Butcher (but that's a different story). Daniel Ash took drummer Kevin Haskins to start Tones on Tail. After an abortive sojourn with Japan's Mick Karn as Dalis Car, Peter Murphy was recording under his own name. Within a couple of years, most of Bauhaus had reconvened as Love and Rockets.

Theirs is a history that's proven hard to outrun. Bauhaus has reunited twice: once in '98 for a tour and again in '06, which yeilded new album. Love and Rockets has broken up and regrouped at least once. Ash and Haskins are back at it, touring as Poptone, performing material from Love and Rockets and Tones on Tail.

While 25 songs can't contain all this history, I tried not to constrain it either. There may be no Bela Lugosi's Dead or So Alive to be found, but I wasn't contrarian about including singles, just avoiding the obvious. It ends where it began, with Peter Murphy performing live, digging deep for a rare b-side off Bauhaus' fist single. 

This is the wild and divergent sound of Bauhaus, not only as they once were, but also what they went on to become.

Bauhaus: St. Vitus Dance
Bauhaus: Kick in the Eye
Bauhaus: Swing the Heartache (BBC session)
Bauhaus: Slice of Life
David J: The Promised Land
Tones on Tail: Rain
Dalis Car: Create and Melt
Love and Rockets: A Private Future
Peter Murphy: Canvas Beauty
Love and Rockets: All in My Mind
Peter Murphy: Crystal Wrists
Love and Rockets: No Big Deal
Daniel Ash: Not So Fast
David J: Fingers in the Grease
Daniel Ash: Roll On
Peter Murphy: Sails Wave Goodbye
Love and Rockets: Body and Soul
Bauhaus: Severance
Peter Murphy: Your Face
David J: In the Great Blue Whenever
Bauhaus: Undone
Peter Murphy: I Spit Roses
David J: Dagger in the Well
Daniel Ash: Too Much Choice
Peter Murphy: Boys (live)

Saccharine and Polish 4

A window into my world of pop. This is the music that makes me move my ass, raise my arms, dust off the old air guitar and sing along. When I crave sonic sweets, these are the confections I reach for. If you would like to subscribe to future episodes of this podcast, you can find sndlgc in itunes, or copy this link.

Many people's musical identities calcify around their coming of age. I've waged a lifelong campaign against this process, always adding new wrinkles to my listening. One thing I can't seem to shake, though, is my definition of 'pop'. If you were ask me to define what pop music sounds like, you'd get an answer that belies by my love of the new wave and synthpop of childhood anbd my teens immersed in punk and grunge.

Take any track on this mix: it may be a new band or song, but I can site a clear precedent in my collection dating from before I turned 18. Even the chaotic silliness of We'll Go Far by Half Japanese fits in. My early love of the Jazz Butcher—or later, They Might Be Giants—easily explains why Half Japanese are a part of my pop landscape.

While my core criteria for pop may not have categorically changed, my discretion has gained some nuance. I pay far closer attention to sound in-itself. I crave dynamics and sonic texture. I'm much more attuned to the vocal syncopation. If the lyrics, the syllables of the words, are too chained to the beat, too four-square, my interest wanes quickly. As they say, If don't got that swing…

Even if I can clearly identify where my pop proclivities originate, and the scope of my interests may have ranged far afield, I make no apologies. There's a welcome home in my world for this music that brings me all the joys and diversions pop can offer.

The Everlasting Yeah: A Little Bit of Uh Huh, a Whole Lot of Oh Yeah
Eagulls: Moulting
Paws: An Honest Romance
Savages: Sad Person
Priests: Pink White House
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: She's on It
Half Japanese: We'll Go Far
John Wizards: Iyongwe
Lucky+Love: Mars
Stereo MC's: Bring It on
MIA: Attention
Teen: Rose 4U
Mercury: Wild Nights
Chester Endersby Gwazda: Skewed
The Notwist: Kong
Screaming Females: Ancient Civilization
Pins: Oh Lord
Ex Hex: Waterfall
The Primitives: Follow the Sun Down
Benjamin Gibbard: I Don't Know
Alvvays: Plimsoll Punks
Blank Realm: Palace of Love
Guided by Voices: Keep Me Down
Connections: Beat the Sky
Mac McCaughan: Whatever Light
Jane Weaver: The Electric Mountain
Ride: All I Want
St. Vincent: Regret
Wild Beasts: He, the Colossus
New Build: Mercy
Aloa Input: Vampire Song
Prinzhorn Dance School : Let Me Go

Kompakt_ed 3

A long-simmering, highly distilled collection of electronica of all stripes: banging, trippy, trance-inducing… If you want to subscribe to future episodes and series of the sndlgc podcasts, you can search for 'sndlgc' in the itunes store, or copy this link.

Kompakt are titans of techno. The Köln collective are more than a record label—they're a store, a distributor, but most of all, tastemakers. For over a decade I've followed their lead, scouring weekly recommendations of new releases, looking for new tracks.

I especially like trolling their list of new 12-inches (particularly by bands I don't already know). I'll purchase maybe one song (digitally) for every 3 or 4 singles, then file it away in my library. Once I've collected about 30+ hours of these random tracks, I'll go through and pick about 2½ hours worth to represent the best of it. That will run through my usual editing process, whittling those tracks down to fit into an 80-minute mix. So by my count, this podcast is quadruple-distilled.

This particular episode represents over four years of collecting. In 80 minutes and 23 songs, it covers a lot of ground: funky to technical; four-to-the-floor bangers to trippy, fucked-up stumblers.

The entire mix is meant to play as a time-lapse of an entire night's worth of DJ sets. It builds to a rallying cry of cowbell-happy minimalism, digs deep into psychedelic sonics, takes a chill breather at the peak, then announces last call with a goofy digital-horn fanfare.

This mix represents the best electronic music I never knew before Kompakt Records clued me in. God bless Kompakt, and all who sail with them. Now turn it up and move.

Moebius / Neumeier: Jiro (Prins Thomas mix, part 2)
Freska: Mountain Ash
BNZO: Agbadza (Meerkat mix)
Luv Jam: Circle
Incyde: Sykle
Ryan Davis: Sideways (Morris Cowan mix)
ISO68: RunRunRun
Metaboman: Ergo Pure
Cupp Cave: Coke Owls
Maelstrom & Louisahhh: Hurry (Lurka mix)
Mia Dora: Un.Sub
Vitalic: Film Noir
Joakim: Would You Give Up?
Berk Offset: Gretchen und das Oszillophon
Dave Aju: RSHT
The Marx Trukker: Tape Be Good to You
DJ Tennis: Chirality (Plaid mix)
Fairmont: They Live in the Moon
Vai: Get Away from It All
Il Est Vilaine: Surf Rider
Dominik Eulberg: Unechte Wendeltreppe
Ada: Robotica
Peter Presto: Wiedersehnsucht

Patio Stations 9

Last Call: the final installment of my annual Memorial Day BBQ mix. It's been a great run. If you want to check out the rest of the series or the others in this podcast you can copy use this link.

Patio Stations has been a series that is near and dear to my heart. There's something about these gentle rockers and laid back electronic grooves that speaks to me. Despite that, I realize it's time to bring this series to a close. There may yet (eventually) be a 10th episode, but the series is certainly moving from annual to infrequent.

Nine episodes and a total twelve hours—that's enough for any single concept. Besides, when sequels get into the double digits, you're in real danger of barrel scraping. I don't want to see a series that's received some of the most enthusiastic responses, run aground.

I saw plenty of signs: normally, when I finish a Patio Stations mix, I have almost an hour's worth of tracks I just couldn't fit in (which becomes the basis for the next year's episode). Not so this time 'round. I had exactly what I needed; nothing less or more. The tracks I picked for this edition, inadvertently, ended up having a sort of late-night, last call kind of twilit vibe. In so many ways the end just seems appropriate.

This begs the question: how did Patio Stations last so long, so well (volume 8 was one of the best of the series to date). One factor is how flexible a concept it is—not committed to any style, sound, or era so much as a mood. I've always wanted to capture the vibe of hanging out with your oldest and dearest friends—the ones you don't have to posture with or explain much of anything to. Where you're at ease and most yourself. These songs try to capture that feeling, for me.

This might be the last of the series, so maybe plan yourself a Memorial Day bash. Spend some time with the ones there's never enough time for. Char some food on the grill and enjoy some drinks in the outdoor sun. 

This is the Patio Stations, signing off.

Benoît Pioulard: The Sun Is Going to Explode but Whatever, It's OK
Phew & Sei-ichi Yamamoto: Sonouchi
Motorpsycho: My Best Friend
Sarah Cracknell: In the Dark
Alison Statton & Spike: In Time
David Grubbs: Two Shades of Green
The Pogues: Small Hours
Tom Verlaine: Old Car
Monade: Change of Destination
Rework: Moon
Lightning in a Twilight Hour: Night Traveller
School of Language: Suits Us Better
Mark Ernestus' Ndagga Rhythm Force: Simb
HTRK: Chinatown Style
Xao Seffcheque & Der Rest: Unfamous Last Words
Post-Industrial Boys: Sometimes
Magic Castles: Lost in Space
United Waters: Our Beat
Spacemen 3: Sometimes
Teenage Fanclub: Steady State
Lambchop: A Day Without Glasses
The Hive Dwellers: Moanin'
Lake: We Can Work It Out
Morgan Delt: Obstacle Eyes
Dean Wareham: Babes in the Woods
Wire: An Alibi
Sons of the Morning: The Way that Wind Moves, pt.1
John Talabot featuring Ekhi: Journeys
Michael Mayer featuring Joe Goddard: For You (DJ Koze Kalimba mix)
Nightmares on Wax: There 4U
Depeche Mode: Goodnight Lovers
Brian Eno: I'm Set Free

Biscuits for… Temporal Shifts

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
Succhiamo: Succhiamo
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.

2016 Recap

In which I gather in and present tracks from the 25 best albums I've heard all year—a sort of personal yearbook of listening. If you would like to subscribe to future episodes of sndlgc, copy this link.

Powell featuring Jonny: Jonny
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down: Slash / Burn
Field Music: Don't You Want to Know What's Wrong?
Radian: Blue Noise, Black Lake
Memotone: All Collapsed
Andy Stott: Forgotten
NHK yx Koyxen: 1048
Factory Floor: Dial Me in
Ash Koosha: Fool Moon
Tomutonttu: Studioon Astuu Haavoittunut Ystävä
Grumbling Fur: Perfect Reader
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: Arthropoda
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Magneto
Autechre: Spaces How V
Anarchist Republic of Bzzz: Dark Mirrors
Guy Andrews: Spirit Ritual
Tangents: N-Mission
David Bowie: Dollar Days
Fire! Orchestra: Ritual
DKV / The Thing: Cards
Deerhoof: Life Is Suffering
Oren Ambarchi: Hubris
Supersilent: 13.3
Lambchop: JFK
Sarah Louise: Silent in Snow

I'm not going to lie: in many respects, 2016 was an utter shit year. You could look at the uncommonly high death toll of legendary figures or the global rise right-wing nationalism, if you needed proof. Luckily, I found more than enough new music to take some solace (if not retreat) in.

I've compiled here, my own, highly personal mix of favorites. Therein you will find old standbys—artists who have made regular appearances here—as well as some I've only recently discovered.

Normally, I find it hard to pick a single album as my favorite. It's so many apples and oranges. My pick might not necessarily be the record I've listened to the most times, but one that surprised me or changed my perspective. 2016 turned out to be no contest: I was completely obsessed with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's EARS.

That's not to say there weren't other strong contenders: Lambchop turned in an startlingly original album in FLOTUS. The sophomore Anarchist Republic of Bzzz was as angry and confusing as this whole last year was. Oren Ambarchi delivered a masterwork that seemed to square the circle on his wide-ranging career. Factory Floor's 25 was utterly relentless. Fuck, David Bowie's carefully considered farewell was not only deeply moving, but the best, most daring record he'd made in decaades

…and yet, nothing compared to EARS. I knew Aurelia Smith's record would at least make this list before I finished my first listen. I was slack-jawed—not that I'm all too easily impressed. Analog synthesis has been all abuzz in the underground for years now and a wide swath of it is half-hearted, boring bandwagoning. Aurelia Smith's record was lush, vibrant and mysteriously alive.

I was so taken with her record, I saw Aurelia Smith twice this year (which I rarely do). I ceaselessly promoted it to friends. EARS was clearly a defining and landmark moment in drift pop's rise to underground prominence.

This is also the tenth of my yearly Recap mixes. They're always challengingly fun to assemble. They force me to try and make some sort of general sense out of my haphazard aesthetic and ranging interests. So many artists turned in such divergent records, I made nearly seamless connections that seemed unlikely: Nick Cave leading into Autechre? Lambchop chasing Supersilent? C'est impossible!

I hope you'll enjoy my Recap of 2016, maybe more than you did the year itself. Here's to a better year, by hook or by crook.

Laces Undone, Regardless

A very special, 2-part dispatch marking the 10th anniversary, and 100th episode of my humble podcast. If you would like, you can copy this feed link to subscribe to sndlgc in the podcast player of your choosing.

As a kid, when I started getting  an allowance, the first thing I saved for was a boombox from Montgomery Ward, with a dual-tape deck so I could make mixtapes. This was before I was ten. I've never really stopped making mixes. Now 30+ years later, I carry on with this podcast.

At some point I graduated to mix-CDs. When MP3s came along, I quickly launched an MP3 magazine, I dubbed Sound Logic. Each issue was a CD-Rom collecting full albums to fit a different theme. It would include a PDF booklet, going over that issue's concept and the artists therein. That MP3 magazine lasted about 25 issues over a handful years, right up until I started this podcast. 

The last issue of Sound Logic was nearly complete and ready to go, but ultimately it remained unreleased. I'd simply moved on. That final issue documented the shoegaze and dream pop phenomenon of the late-80s / early-90s. It's title? Laces Undone, Regardless.

Shoegaze is something of an oddity. Even if other fads quickly displaced it as the underground-du-jour, it has enjoyed a sustained respect and continuous influence. Its touchstones were accepted as bonafide classics practically before the scene had faded.

At it's heart, shoegaze was a marriage of 60s garage pop to the psychedelic powers of distortion—think Tomorrow Never Knows meets I Heard Her Call My Name. They looked to experimental music from the 60s and 70s to push the limits of abuse a pop song could take. Effects pedals were elevated to the status of instruments themselves. 

It wasn't a scene divorced of its time though. Many of the bands were outgrowths from British jangle and indie pop. Elements of other scenes can be heard in the shoegazers: from Madchester and trip hop to grunge and lo-fi.

As this podcast celebrates its 10th anniversary, it seemed an appropriate tip-of-the-hat to where it began by finally releasing last issue of the Sound Logic magazine, now as a sndlgc podcast. I've spent almost 2 years, excavating ever more obscure bands and singles. I've fussed (up to the last minute) over the track order. In all, it's 50 songs, 2½ hours of swirling, psychedelic pop. Enough that it made sense to break it into 2 parts: one leaning more on the poppier tracks, while the other more towards the scene's experimental edge (but it's a fairly fluid distinction).

This episode also marks the 100th episode I've released. sndlgc pocast editions started simply: repurposing my old mix-CDs in a new format for a (slightly) larger audience. After about 15 of those, I'd run out of source material and needed to create new mixes, whole cloth. As that began, my methods changed. These mixes are now much more than 'glorified playlists'.

I'm using studio software to actually edit songs down, cutting out extraneous bits. It keeps the pace brisk and lets me cram more music in, creating a fuller picture to each episode's theme. On average, 40-50 minutes is cleaved out of the mix, without removing a song.

I've never taken mixtaping lightly. There's a lot of time, effort and thought goes into each of these podcasts—which you hopefully enjoy enough you don't notice. Obviously, I love sharing music with others, so I plan to keep on podcasting… until a new format beckons.

Ride: Time of Her Time
Band of Susans: Now Is Now
The Telescopes: Ocean Drive
Ultra Vivid Scene: The Portion of Delight
The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience: Slip
The Jesus and Mary Chain: Catchfire
Swervedriver: Deep Seat
Bailter Space: X
The Boo Radleys: Does This Hurt?
Bleach: Push
Sweet Jesus: Your Baby Loves Me
Adorable: Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Lilys: Ginger
The Charlottes: Stubborn
Underground Lovers: Yes, I Do
Smashing Orange: Felt like Nothing
The Lavendar Faction: Harbour Me
The Nightblooms: Blue Marbles
Kitchens of Distinction: Polaroids
The Psychedelic Furs: Shine
The Belltower: Everytime
The Heart Throbs: Bright Green Day
Revolver: Bottled Out
The Sweetest Ache: Jaguar
Lush: Thoughtforms (version)
Chapterhouse: If You Want Me
Whipping Boy: Bettyclean

: How You Satisfy Me
Curve: No Escape from Heaven (BBC session)
Loop: Arc-Lite (Radiated)
Penelope Trip: Overdriver
Ecstasy of St. Theresa: To Alison
All Natural Lemon & Lime Flavors: Catcher
Glide: Tripped Up and Stalled
Blind Mr. Jones: Dolores
Secret Shine: So Close I Come
Loveliescrushing: Dark Glass Doll Eyes
Flying Saucer Attack: In the Light of Time
Slowdive: Waves
Silvania: Un Bosque en la Memoria
Sun Dial: Never Fade
Pale Saints: A Revelation
Eternal: Breathe
Swirl: Breathe
Moose: Screaming
My Bloody Valentine: Don't Ask Why
Disco Inferno: Love Stepping Out
Earwig: Safe in My Hands
The Cocteau Twins: Flock of Soul
Seefeel: Spangle

Biscuits for… Dog Days

A new mix of hot-off-the-presses techno, custom selected for the humid press of days.

I wanted a new, 'rapid response' podcast series. Most of these mixes simmer at least a year or more. I wanted an umbrella for something I could cobble together from what was sparking my interest at that particular moment. I also felt I needed a series to highlight electronic music. It represents a much larger share of my listening than my average podcast belies. 

Enter Biscuits for…
My goal with this periodic series is to capture a moment. Each mix will be suited to it's particular time by virtue of being made up of tracks that are grabbing my attention right then—whether that's driven by my own seasonal tastes or by emerging trends I feel like I'm spotting. Even more,  I hope to make it consist of mostly brand new, just-released music. The vast majority of tracks on this first edition came out only this summer. 

In particular, Biscuits for… Dog Days is targeting an end of summer haze: It's humid and soupy. There's visible heat distortion from the rapid evaporation of the latest summer shower from the asphalt. There's a heat advisory in effect and you don't want to move. It's not all slow motion: you have growing sense of panic that you'll be missing the height of the season, as it closes. You want to accept every backyard barbecue invite. Maybe you can squeeze in a day trip to the beach if it's too late for that island vacation you've been talking about. You want to catch one last outdoor music festival…

Those contradictory forces—lethargy and impetus—are the driving moods of this mix. I wanted to avoid the usual long crescendo electronic mixes so often follow, making it undulate a bit; speeding up and slowing down. This is also what I call a 'full circle' mix. It covers a lot of terrain but the ends connects to each other. If you set it on repeat, you can almost miss where it loops back to the start.

In all it's 30 songs in 80 minutes. All freshly picked. Chopped and mixed and ready to serve. 

T_A_M: Gang Faur
DJ Marfox: Tarraxo Everyday
Domenique Dumont: Le Basse et les Shakers
Jacek Sienkiewicz: Gone
Marek Hemmann: Bob
Fred und Luna: Geh Nie Zurück
Mark Barrott: Over at Dieter's Place
Linkwood: Hear the Sun
Mala featuring Colectivo Palenke: Zapateo
Wareika HIll Sounds: I & I Know Bunny (dub)
Mark Ernestus' Ndagga Ndagga Rhythm Force: Walo Walo (version)
Ploy: Footprints in Solid Rock
Mood Hut: Peace Out
Baleine 3000: Bird Call
Lemme Kno: Way (188 Krew mix)
SeekersInternational: SaturdayNightDrive
John Roberts: Chlorine
Eugene Ward: Tectonic Effect (Group)
Oliver Coates: Bambi 2046
The Untouchables: Blackout
Dimitri Veimar: 6 Days
Head Technicican: Emerging
Kiyoko: Causeway
Javi Redondo: Sun Sign
Mr. Assister: Izma
Quentin SirJacq: Bodies
Don't DJ: Savanna Sundown
Bartosz Kruczynski: Post Tenebras Lux
Cass. & Wolf Müller: Applepie Dreams

Patio Stations 8

Here we are, tuning in for an eighth annual broadcast of the Patio Stations.

For those of you who are new to the podcast, this particular series was conceived as "making the ultimate Memorial Day BBQ" playlist. Especially in NYC, Memorial Day is the starting gun of summer. Public beaches and pools are opened, the free festivals swing into full gear, and we shake off the last chills of early spring.

The operating principal of this mix is a mellow cool. All my favorite times with old friends are enormously chill. We'll sit around and watch kids and dogs play in the yard, half-way tend the grill, eat all the live-long day, and generally goof off. I not only design Patio Stations for just that, but specifically tailor it to them, my dearest friends. 

Within this concept of 'perfect hangout music' there's a lot of wiggle room. With 33 songs edited down to fit into 80 minutes, the final contents span 7 decades and a small bevy of styles and variously hyphenated sub-genres. It keeps it diverse—but I try to arrange it so none of the transitions are too jarring. This particular edition is one of the best yet (if I do say so, myself). Each of these songs has such distinct character—hinting at a much larger world as they flit by.

Maybe it's because I live so far away from my closest friends, but I can't help but let just a touch of melancholy creep in. Whenever we're wrapping up a good BBQ, there's that unacknowledged fact: we won't see each other again for a year, at least. So while we're here together, let's fill another glass, find a new angle on well-worn conversation and enjoy what we have, because that's a lot. These are our Patio Stations, broadcasting directly to you.

Nat King Cole Trio featuring Ida James: Hit that Jive, Jack
Bim Sherman: Sit and Wonder
The Meters: Ease Back
Bly de Blyant: Laura
!!!: Lucy Mongoosey
Joe Goddard: Taking Over
A Certain Ratio: Good Together
µ-Ziq: Die Tomorrow
Eno • Hyde: Time to Waste It
JPS Experience: Block
Psycho and the Birds: She Tears Out
Galaxie 500: Crazy
The Clean: I Wait Around
Built to Spill: Else
Eric Bachmann: Separation Fright
Steve Gunn: Drifter
Sonic Youth: Personality Crisis
Blank Realm: Dream Date
Bonnie Prince Billy & Bitchin' Bajas: Your Hard Work Is About to Pay Off, Keep On Keepin' On
Castanets: Tell Them Memphis
Mark Barrott: Go Berri, Be Happy
Saint Etienne: London Belongs to Me (Richard X retouch)
Lætitia Sadier: Un Soir, Un Chien
Chet Faker: Cigarettes and Loneliness
Mac McCaughan: Wet Leaves
Kendra Smith: Waiting in the Rain
Future Pilot AKA: Witchi Tai To
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down: Give Me Peace
Hecta: We Are Glistening
The Declining Winter: Ruined Landscape Days
Greg Gives Peter Space: The Drive
Paul Simon: Think too Much
Tape: Eagle Miaows

Aching with Amorous Love

A collection of otherworldly slow jams and soul burners from the far side of the sun.

I grew up in one of the whitest areas of the country: the Pacific Northwest, where diversity is as historically low as segregation is high. I was just in high school when hip hop and R-n-B were breaking into mainstream. The white-wash of my childhood only reinforced the feeling this was not for me. Authenticity, poser-ism and appropriation were wrought subjects. Even when I went backwards, and started exploring classic soul—which today feels unanimously accepted—I wrestled with a fear of trespassing.

Interestingly, this also coincides with the time that my tastes started drifting ever more avant garde—and the two things are probably related. Feeling like popular music was not an allowable option, I was given license—or even obligation—to go further afield. The hair metal of the 80s wasn't for me, but that felt like opting out. With the rise of hip hop, I felt excluded. Looking back, with the benefit of years and experience, I know this is nonsense, but it was my experience at that time.

So today, my relationship to R-n-B is fractional and tangential at best. I keep tabs on only the most obvious artists and developments—even then, mostly to make water cooler conversations. Of late, though, some of my favorite sources of music news have begun including soul-kissed albums and tracks I've found myself taking a shine to.

What I'm hearing almost feels like spotting an emerging trend, but in truth, I don't have enough investment to possess the requisite context. It's not discovering a cohesive insurgency, so much as uncovering an entire world of non-mainstream soul unbeknownst to me. I was ignorant of the self-sustaining underground soul, which much like the indie-rock ecosystem I love, thrives entirely independent Superbowl half-time world.

It makes easy sense. Hip Hop and R-n-B have been the dominant force of music for decades now, and soul music's deep well of inspiration could be charted over a century, soon enough. That kind of influence will seep into virtually everything. Now, there are even experimental metal bands grafting soul-inflected vocals over their gnarly drones. 

As I came across these indie-soul tracks, I would file them away in a playlist. At some point I realized that pile was over 3 hours long and it was high time to do something about it. This mix went through a lot of permutations, since I didn't understand what I was grappling with, and was vain enough to believe I did. Where it's ended up is a collection best described as exosphere slow jams: soul burners from across a spectrum of music produced outside the mainstream R-n-B industrial complex.

Each of these songs has a soulful element, but they're coming at it from different angles. I think the appeal, the reason they gelled as a group, is their scale and scope. If there is a world of underground soul, one of the things it could presumably better than big-time productions is small. Mainstream music is stadium-sized. Even when it's intimate, it's huge. It plays to the fences, by necessity. Most of the songs I've chosen are far more living-room-to-small-club sized. It's a luxury of  scale that top-shelf artists just don't have.

This mix is very much a personal exploration. I don't have the bearings yet to give you a map. Maybe you're in the same place as me; maybe you're willing to come along for the ride—for the ride itself, rather than having lay of the land.

Kelela: Hallucinogen
Mattewdavid: Perpetual Moon Moods
Weval: Thinking of
Heterotic featuring Vezelay: Triumph
N'Conduit with Jack Fuller: Ooooo
Mala: Como Como (Theo Parish mix)
John Wizards: Lusaka by Night (LV mix)
Sandro Perri: How Will I?
Elodie Lauten featuring Nirosta Steel: Miracle 2 (GB mix)
Jerry Paper: Everything Is Shitty
Felix Dickinson: Seven Measures
Braille featuring Angelica Bess: Ports
Sunless 97 & Palmistry: Aia
Jamie Woon: Skin
Cloud Boat: Bastion
Thundercat: Lone Wolf & Cub
Wildbirds & Peacedrums: The Offbeat
WIFE: Heart Is a Far Light
James Ferraro: Close Ups
King Midas Sound / Fennesz: We Walk Together
Will Samson: Rusting Giants (Ritornell Rerustle mix)
FKA Twigs: Papi Pacify
Kelis: Rumble (Actress Sixinium Bootleg mix)
Akase: Graspers
Samuel: Steam Train
Hot Chip: Ready for the Floor (Smoothed Out on an R-n-B Tip)
Uther Moads: Easy
How to Dress Well: Words I Don't Remember

Punks in the Post

A 9-volume, 12-hour investigation, ever further into the post-punk era.

Post-punk is not a single sound. The telescoping view of history has a tendency to be reductive, but in truth it was one the most unruly and fertile periods of creativity in rock history. We certainly haven't seen anything like it since.

As it's often told, punk rock happened as a blast of anarchy. When you really look at its content, the rebellion was mostly attitudinal. The music was rudimentary garage rock. Templates that had been around since the 60s were now played badly, by ugly blokes, with shitty voices. It's fashion was transgressive, but also conformist. There was a way to dress punk. There were loads of other rules: what you could play, and how; who you could associate with; what politics to hold and how to express them.

At the height of their hype, the Sex Pistols mounted an abortive tour of the UK. It's said that 10 bands sprang up in the wake of every show they managed to play. Just as quickly as they so rudely took the world of rock by storm, the Sex Pistols disappeared ignobly. They released a solitary, compromised record on a major label . Afterwards, they toured the US, where they imploded like any dinosaur act you care to mention: in a pile of drugs and unchecked ego.

I'm too young and too American to say what effect this had on the scene back home, but you have to imagine a strong sense of disillusionment. By the time all those bands, inspired by the Sex Pistols, could string 3 chords together, their idols were denuded. The dual forces of market and tradtion proved too powerful to overcome. The response was swift and startling.

What came next was unhinged, unstructured and unsanctioned. This is the era where what we understand as an independent label today was born. For the first time in modern pop history, the fashion got away of the the gatekeepers of the marketplace. This is where the rules of what was cool, let alone what a pop song or rock music could even be, got thrown out the window.

There seems to be no unifying quality in post-punk other than striving beyond your own limits and imposed constraints. From this era of experimentation was born what we know as new wave, goth, dance punk, and industrial and a fistful of other well-known sub-genres. None of them were known by those names at the time. Only after scenes coalesced around these artists, years later, would they began to get cleaved off from their post-punk origins.

Take Bauhaus, now known as the godfathers of goth. Goth wasn't a thing in 1978. Listen to Bela Lugosi's Dead again: it's a strikingly bizarre song. It has a beating heart of dub reggae. A gigantic bass riff in the foreground and echoing rimshots from the drums prop up reverbed vocals moaning over tuneless guitar scrapings. Structurally, it's a mantra—doing away with the verse-chorus-verse format almost entirely. It drones on, seemingly forever. By the time goth was a proper style, this sort of foundation shaking would be tantamount to heresy

Another reason to assess post-punk as an era rather than a sound is it's worldwide reach—less a scene and more a zeitgeist. There are post-punk era bands from communist Poland that fit in perfectly with the UK progenitors. There's post-punk entries from Ohio, Japan and Australia. 

This also means that the scene is astoundingly deep. Sure, the top-shelf bands—Gang of Four, the Slits, Joy Division, the Fall—still reign supreme, but if you dig down to the 4th and 5th tier or beyond, you still find great songs—even bands whose entire catalogs are worth obsessing over.

This series of podcasts grew to be far longer and far more important to me than originally intended. It traces back to the very beginning of my podcasting, when I was recycling mix-cd's. It maps my discovering more about post-punk than I'd known of or heard before. So it charts, from beginning to end, my growing skills as a compiler, editor and curator, as well as my knowledge, depth and access to an ever deeper well of obscure music.

There were a few ground rules to each episode: 
I didn't want to repeat any bands (with two exceptions, I'll get to later). I would allow individuals to reappear, as long as they were in different bands. So many of the post-punk artists were prolific collaborators. The Pop Group, for example, released a small amount of material under that name, but each member of the band went on to piles of other projects, all of which helped steer and shape the scene.

Every episode would include The Fall and Sonic Youth. These were the reigning, continually operating titans of the original era. Both continued to reach ever further, even after decades of envelope pushing.

As the series was coming to a close I wanted to dedicate one episode all to female led groups. Even though there's no shortage of stories belying a wealth of discrimination or sexism within the scene, the post-punk era still managed to be a massive stride forward for feminist rock. It included more female led bands than just about any time before it. Scant few of them were just hood ornaments: they led their bands, and the groups themselves often featured female instrumentalists (still a rarity in late-70s rock).

Agonizing over the final episode, I wanted it to act as a proper capstone to the project, the rules for it only multiplied. Every song on the mix had to include a musician or group who had appeared previously in the series. Except, it couldn't be just a different track from the same album that had appeared before. I wanted to give equal time to the touchstones of post-punk as well as the painfully obscure. I wanted an emphasis on out-of-print and hard-to-find tracks. Lastly the Sonic Youth and Fall entries had to be covers. (Perversely, I found a bootleg of a Peel Session, where Sonic Youth covered the Fall).

In total, this became the largest, most focused single project I've ever completed. All told it spanned 7 years of researching, digging and assembling. The final episode still stands as the greatest compilation I have ever managed to make.

As you burrow into this series, follow me deeper into one of the greatest rabbit holes of rock to yet come about. I hope you take some time to check out some—if not all—of it. As you do, marvel at how unchecked and unfettered post-punk really was.