Just found this old DiS article from 2007 about Riddle of Steel, guess I missed them first time around!
pssst…I could do a good dancehall mix.
Very aware I am very late with some feedback, especially for @Trev. It’s coming, I promise…
Did you just kiss your teeth at me?
Just bought that Owen Pallett album from music and video exchange in Noting Hill Gate on a rare trip to London. Looking forward to it!
He’s great, so hopefully you’ll enjoy. He’s also super good live too. Must be time for a new album/tour soon…
Hi @maggieloveshopey, thanks very much for your nature mix and apologies that it’s taken me so long to get back to you. It was a real mix of two halves in every sense and I got on with ‘old man techno’ a lot better than I did ‘old man metal’.
Of the metal ones – New Model Army have never been my thing stylistically, but the song itself grew on me over a few listens and I eventually ended up sort of enjoying it in a weird kind of way. Kyuss and No Spill Blood didn’t do much for me unfortunately. Panopticon – I’m not sure I’m at the point of embracing 12+ minute metal numbers yet? The apocalyptic post-rock arrangement was ok to a degree, but then those metal vocals came in and it was a bit of a slog from there. Voice of Seven Thunders was the pick of the rock numbers (though not sure I’d ever actively seek anything else out by them) - which may or may not have been down to the instrumental nature.
I enjoyed The Be Good Tanyas song a lot and they were a band I hadn’t thought about in a long time. Years and years ago I used to work in the box office at the RNCM in Manchester and I think I saw them as a freebie when they played there one evening. The production on the song you included is gorgeous – where would be good to start?
The second half of the mix was much more to my tastes and very enjoyable. I liked the Plaid and Deacon tracks, and then there were two huge highlights in the Films and Studio selections. The Studio track in particular was terrific - love how it built up with that syncopated rhythm and then floated on in its own unhurried way. They’re two of the least google-able artist names imaginable though (Films music? Films album? Studio music? Studio artist? etc…), so more info would be appreciated.
Certainly leads to follow up in those two and Be Good Tanyas, so thanks again!
Hello @Icarus-Smicarus . Thanks a lot for your nature disc. Sure I’ve had a couple off you before and made the point that there’s a decent overlap with a lot of my favourites (plus added Ireland!) and this one was no different. Seriously strong start of the disc - Floating Coffin is just a great Oh Sees album isn’t it? (although is there any other?) And ditto with Country on the Click & The Fall. Other absolute top drawer songs for me were the Smog and Aldous Harding ones.
Didn’t recognise the Caribou song as Caribou but was pretty decent. Had to google Lisa O Neill as I couldn’t place whether it was contemporary or any other time in the last 40 years, was pleasantly weirdly folkie and probably the highlight of stuff I didn’t know. I see she had an album out last year which your song came from - worth picking up? Ginnels were also decent in a NMH sort of way (think I remember liking them on one of your previous ones too).
Probably three songs that didn’t quite hit the mark - the Solar Bears song reminded quite a bit of Kiasmos and I was waiting for it to take off (like Kiasmos do) so was slightly disappointed it didn’t. The Nick Cave track obviously nails the theme, but I generally give it a skip when listening to Abattoir Blues, a bit too meat and potato Bad Seeds for my liking. I also struggled a bit with the US Girls song. I picked up the latest album after reading lots of good things about her, but just could connect with it at all. Music that is exceptionally well constructed and I can admire the art of it, but just not for me (would say the same of St Vincent and Animal Collective).
@woweezowee I still owe you some feedback, incoming when I next have a chance to put something together.
Floating Coffin is great and the first one I heard, but Mutilator Defeated At Last is the one that would make my all time favourite albums list. A Weird Exits is up there too. Found Orc good but patchy like a lot of the older ones but excited to hear the new one. Incredible live too.
The Caribou one is from some tour CD that’s free on bandcamp, I downloaded and forgot about it but stumbled across it again and thought it would make a pleasant little interlude to break up the acoustic monotony towards the end of the mix. Yeah I think I probably prefer Lisa’s previous album Same Cloth or Not which has a bit more intensity but the last one is very good too, a bit quieter and more of a slow burner.
I don’t know Kiasmos but I find Solar Bears very similar to Boards of Canada. Might have to check out Kiasmos now. I know what you mean about Nature Boy in that it’s one of the less musically adventurous tracks on that album, but I absolutely love the lyrics which keep me sufficiently entertained (I do find the track fairly catchy too though). I love the rhymes and turns of phrase just casually tossed out, the line about “quoting Sappho in the original Greek” is wonderful.
I like the new US Girls album, but I know what you mean as I tend to feel that way about a lot of St Vincent (well constructed pop but that doesn’t really do much for me) and it’s of a similar ilk. I’m a bigger fan of the previous US Girls album that my track is from though, still poppy but a lot of the tracks are based more around samples and loops. The further back into her discography you go the weirder it is, her early stuff is proper lo-fi droney loop stuff which is kinda cool.
Cheers for the nice feedback!
I still need to give feedback for the two I’ve received, sorry lads. The sunny weather and excessive gigs have hampered my CD listening time but I’ll get on it after the weekend!
Hyper aware that I am late with feedback to you both, a combination of work being super busy leading up to a week off attending gigs & now that I’m back at work I’m as busy as before I took time off. I have the house to myself tomorrow evening so will get the feedback to you then, promise.
You’re not as late as I am mate.
I think the lack of an impending follow-up has slowed things down quite a bit this time…(I’m champing at the bit)…
It seems to have coincided with a busy time for a lot of us mixtapers, so the slower pace of this round has suited me to be honest.
I still owe @funkycow some feedback which I’ll post soon. Spoiler: it’s a fucking ace mix
@shucks , first of all… sorry for the delayed feedback.
I think your package may have had an adventure en route to me, there was a Canadian postage message on the padded envelope with an “Erreur”, so looks like it may have ended up in Quebec on the way to the West coast of Ireland
Unfortunately I didn’t get on so well with your mix… a lot of really heavy stuff that I just couldn’t get into and that started to pass me by. I have to admit on 2nd listen I was skipping quite a lot of the tracks from the intros which is very close minded on my behalf.
I did enjoy the Jurassic 5 & RFTC tracks as standalones… served as a reminder to revisit RFTC - always loved Scream Dracula Scream, such a great record.
Thanks for the mix anyhow, it really is good to be introduced to different artists & genres. I hate giving negative feedback, I know everyone on here puts a lot of thought & effort into these.
On a brighter note, I loved your T-Rex Post It & I’m really pleased that last astronaut enjoyed your mix… Think predominantly heavier mixes are just a bit too far outside my comfort zone.
@bornin69x I’ve had a few mixes from you & we seem to have pretty similar tastes so there was a lot on this that I was already very familiar with, not an issue for me & fair play you took the less obvious theme & really made it work. In fact huge kudos for the effort undertaken to deliver such a high quality mix on the theme
The Go Betweens were an obvious highlight (have you read Robert Forster’s memoir, Grant & I? If not, it’s fantastic I think you’d love it.) Karen is such a great song, their best up to Before Hollywood I’d say.
I didn’t know The Clientele, but really enjoyed this song… I see they have quite a few albums… anything essential that I should start with, as I’d like to check them out further,
I’d heard of Le Tigre but not listened to them before, despite previously enjoying Bikini Kill. I really enjoyed Hot Topic, really great pop song. Kathleen Hanna is very cool - would you recommend a starting point with them?
I was interested in hearing Scritti Politti & The Associates, two bands I’ve meant to check but have never gotten around to. I enjoyed The Associates, Billy McKenzie surely had some voice. Wasn’t so keen on Scritti Politti though, maybe it was the 80’s production, the song was bang on topic though.
Once again, you got a really good reggae tune in there… would love to get a reggae mix from you if we go down the path of genre specific mixes in the future.
Thanks for another excellent mix. While I didn’t hear a lot of new stuff in here, everything I knew I’m a huge fan of (eg. The Fall, Broadcast, Joanna Newsom, John Cale) so it’s never a hardship to hear them again.
Glad you liked it.
The Associates track was a bit of a stretch for the theme but they are one of those bands I love so much I always try to fit them on a mix if I can. It always surprises me how relatively obscure they are, even to people who are familiar with other music from the period/general area. The Scritti track was the opposite- bang on the theme but admittedly a bit annoying. They’ve made better records.
The Clientele are very consistent- you could start anywhere without being disappointed. Strange Geometry is probably the best one though.
I’ve only got that one Le Tigre album (the self titled debut) but it’s great. I’m planning to start working through the others at some stage.
Glad you like the reggae - it was one of my first loves and I always try to include some - partly I must say because nearly all of the mixes I receive are very white and very ‘indie’. I’ve had mixed reactions, but to be fair people generally do like it. I’m definitely up for doing a reggae mix if you (or anyone else) is interested.
My long-delayed comments on @Trev’s mix. Apologies for the wait, for which I have no really good excuses, apart from a busy time at work, and an inherent bias towards laziness. I’m sorry.
It was an interesting mix for me, not in the sense of “I didn’t like it, but I’m saying so politely”, but more that there were a lot of artists on there I was aware of and had vaguely meant to check out sometime but never quite did. That said, we were off to a safe start with The Flaming Lips, who I love, even if they can be a bit hit and miss on record. Kate Bush, on the other hand, has always been bit of a blind spot for me. I can see that she is a strong, creative and talented woman with a very strong sense of her own direction and so on, but she also carries the whiff of a wrongly encouraged A-level Drama student. I did like this track though. I believe it’s from Aerial? I’ve always been intrigued by the disc long piece of music idea on that one, so it has gone further up my (enormous) to be listened to pile. The only Stereolab I’d been familiar with previously was the motorik stuff, so this slightly off centre woozy easy listening sound wasn’t what I was expecting. Not unpleasant though, and sounds very nice on a summer’s evening in the garden. Stephen Malkmus is someone I should listen to more than I do. He’s in that line of American influenced guitar music with the occasional wig out that I really like, and I saw him supporting another act on this mix years ago and he was ace. What album is this one off? And is the new one a good starting point?
Wolf Parade next - I like this. It has a slightly frenzied psyche feel to it that puts me in mind of a more restrained 80s Matchbox B Line Disaster. The Owen Pallet track is excellent, quite possibly my favourite on the disc. I downloaded the album from Apple Music and it’s soundtracked quite a few walks to work since. Talking Heads are another gap in my listening, like Kate Bush. I know people who love them <i>really</i> love them, but it’s never quite clicked for me, and I’m afraid this one isn’t changing my mind. As someone with a shady goth / industrial past I know my way around an Einsturzende Neubaten record, but this is one I hadn’t heard. Quite unusual for them, but not badly so, and Anita Lane’s presence is another tidbit for my Nick Cave collection, so thanks for that. Bjork is Bjork. I like her, but I like her best in a mix like this, as sometimes an hour of relentless Bjorking is too much for me.
The Moderat track is another highlight, and the flow into Actress is a good one. Was quite taken aback by Caribou, to the point where I had to check it on YouTube to make sure there wasn’t some sort of labelling accident! I was expecting something along the lines of Maintoba’s Up In Flames, which is the only record of his I have, so I was quite taken aback by the pastoral, organic, subdued groove of this one. Turns out that as it builds it became more what I was expecting, and I ended up enjoying it a fair bit. I’ve never been sold on Animal Collective (tbh, I hate them…) so this next track was always on to a loser with me. But hey, at least it’s short! Clinic was decent without sending me scurrying to get all the back catalogue (actually as I type that I’m sure I do have one of their albums, but I couldn’t say which one. Night have to have a poke about in a bit). I liked Deerhunter, quite intense and clautrophobic. Where would you recommend starting with them? I’ve always liked The Gun Club, but I haven’t listened to the Miami album half as much as I have Fire Of Love. I should go back to it, because I enjoyed this track a lot. The Smog song is another winner, but from one of your comments upthread I infer it’s not the standard / album version?
We end up with Mercury Rev, and another song I know very well. MR are one of my very favourite bands (framed gig posters above the fireplace and everything) and their show at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms on the Deserters Songs tour is still probably the best gig I’ve ever been to. This is a great, great song, and if you’ve never read the book it takes its title from I highly recommend, not least because it has a kind of pagan nature worshipping vibe that fits right in with the theme of this swap! Thanks for this mix, quite a lot of it took me out of my comfort zone and forced me to pay attention to people I’d been idly curious about for a long time, so that was very useful!
(not sure if I said it at the time, @bornin69x, but your mix arrived safely as well. Watch this space…)
The BGT song is off their debut album The Blue Horse. It’s great! They made two more before splitting, but neither are as good as the debut (which if hazy memory serves me right was actually made as part of their studies. Or something…). They’ve all done worthwhile stuff since, individually and in various combinations of the original members - I really like the Po’ Girl records, which I’d try next after The Blue Horse if I were you.
Films is a Japanese post rock / modern classical / ambientish act who trade a bit on being mysterious, so I can’t tell you too much more about them. The album, called A Forbidden Garden is on Apple Music (and presumably Spotify), but, somewhat comically, under the name “Feelms” and classed as Religious Music… you can find it in it’s proper incarnation on Bandcamp. (https://riccolabel.bandcamp.com/album/a-forbidden-garden)
I’m so glad everyone has responded well to the Studio track. It really is one of my favourite albums of the century. I’m going to save time and just cut and paste something I wrote somewhere else a while ago
I realised earlier tonight that Studio’s “West Coast” is ten years old [MORE LIKE TWELVE NOW] this year. There won’t be any deluxe remasters or box sets. It’s an album that never troubled the charts or the arbiters of cool. I can’t even remember how I came across it, but I’ve been grateful I did for almost all of that decade.
There’s no origin story, no great rock n roll myth, to Studio. They were just two guys from Sweden who thought it’d be a good idea to make an album that sounded like Can, Neu, Happy Mondays and The Cure dancing together in the rays of the rising sun somewhere in the Balearics. Somehow they pulled it off and gave us this gem, effortlessly pretty disco, krautrock, dub, and indie pop replayed through a sun kissed filter without falling into generic Cafe Del Mar blandness. Perhaps that makes it sound like Record Collection Rock, a faithful ticking off of the approved influences, but to think that would be to miss just how invitingly lush and lazy, blissful and beautiful, this music is. These are long hypnotic tracks that somehow stay the same while shifting and reinventing themselves like old Underworld records used to do, all delay and echo, off kilter afrodub rhythms, synth washes and trebly guitars. Music to get lost in. It’s an obscure record, but not one without influence. It could well have kickstarted the Scandinavian disco scene, a signpost to the stuff Diskjokke, Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas and others would start doing a little later. Studio themselves never made another record (there’s a collection of their remixes of other artists called “Yearbook 2*” is worth tracking down, if only for their unutterably gorgeous take on The Rubies’ “Room Without A Key”) , but this one assured their place in my heart. One of the great lost albums. There’ll be magazine features about in twenty years.
*Studio’s discography, though tiny, is rather confused. As best I can piece it together, most of the tracks on West Coast were originally 12″ singles that were compiled on a vinyl LP that was subsequently reissued on CD. Then there is another CD, Yearbook 1 that repeats several of the tracks from West Coast in slightly different versions along with some odd tracks from compilation albums and samplers. None of it is rubbish.
PThanks for the lovely feedback, I’m really glad you enjoyed it.
Nice notes on Kate Bush btw you’re right this is from Aerial which is a really strong latter day album from her, although not probably an obvious one entry. Hounds Of Love is probably the masterpiece but if there’s a poor Kate Bush record then I haven’t heard it.
The Stereolab track is from Dots and Loops, which is well worth delving further into.
The Owen Pallett track seems to have gone down well with everyone, it’s a cracking tune. I’ve just started going further into his back catalog recently and unsurprisingly the preceding album, Heartland, is also excellent. Must check out his work under the Final Fantasy banner next.
Malkmus is great, and also perfect for sunny evenings. The new album is up there with his best post Pavement work so i’d definitely recommend it. Tigers is from Mirror Traffic, decent album but I think the new one is better.
I think Wolf Parade are criminally underrated. Their 2 songwriters also have excellent output on their side projects and are well worth a deep dive. Cloud Shadows is from Expo 86, their 3rd album and last before they took a hiatus. Their album from last year was pretty good too.
Glad you enjoyed Einsturzende, it is pretty unrepresentative of them but that particular track is an all time favorite of mine.
Gun Club were great weren’t they. Like you, i’ve Also spent more time with Fire of Love but Miami is great too.
That version of I Break Horses is on Smog’s b-sides/rarities compilation, Accumulation None. There’s some great stuff on there. The original version which appeared on an ep was an acoustic arrangement, pretty good but no going back once you’ve heard the band version.
I saw Mercury Rev live, playing Deserter’s Songs, around the time I was putting this mix together. I probablyly prefer the earlier stuff (Boces in particular) but i thought that having started with flaming lips that this would be a nice way of closing the disc. Thanks for the book rec, must check that out.
Thanks again for the nice comments!