Saturday, November 29, 2008

Continents under clouds

oystered 15: gone to earth (dec. '06)

Total running time: 1:32:39.
1. m. rosner morning tones (morning tones/apestaartje)
2. echo club señor pasajero (welcome to echo club/kompakt)
3. marsen jules la nostalgie habite (pop ambient 2007/kompakt)
4. david swain media monkey (istvan zsolt’s plane ticket/gore infidel)
5. nicola ratti nuev (prontuario per giovani fogile/megaplomb)
6. deadbeat one.two.three.infinity (version immersion/~scape)
7. thomas fehlmann dusted (emo pak/kompakt)
8. to rococo rot gelb (taken from vinyl/staubgold)
9. andrew thomas i am here where are you (pop ambient 2007/kompakt)
10. ricardo villalobos gugga sempa (what’s wrong my friends?/perlon)
11. thomas brinkmann die schiefe ebene_inclined plane (klick revolution/max.ernst)
12. klimek ruined in a day (buenos aires) (pop ambient 2007/kompakt)
13. kilo …to the edge of the adriatic sea (kilo/onitor)
14. markus guentner altocomulus opacus (pop ambient 2007/kompakt)
Whew, finally! That only took two extra years to complete. Well, that’s not entirely accurate either – three more 2006 addendums to follow: one experimental or ambient-electronic in nature, one more straight up techno/deep-house mix, and lastly, an indie/avant-rock post.
Vinyl only cuts this time include Echo Club’s (that’s Jörg “The Modernist/Triola” Burger and Reinhard Voigt) “Señor Pasajero,” Deadbeat’s “One.Two.Three.Infinity,” Thomas Fehlmann’s “Dusted” (a version appeared later on his Honigpumpe full length), and Villalobos’ “Gugga Sempa,” available only on a Perlon double 12” release.
M. Rosner, a fairly unknown artist who has recorded for Australia’s Room40 label, opens proceedings with the aptly titled, “Morning Tones.” We quickly shift gears to the tourist-techno of Echo Club while Marsen Jules follows with his gorgeous and singular ambient-electronic style; one of four tracks culled from Kompakt’s Pop Ambient 2007 compilation. I know nothing about David Swain – this was one of the few redeeming cuts from The Wire magazine’s “Tapper 16” - while up-and-coming on the experimental Italian scene, Nicola Ratti’s “Nuev” calls to mind Papa M or other notable Chicago, post-rock artists. Again, shifting gears completely is Deadbeat, with “One.Two.Three.Infinity,” a floor-filler for sure followed by Thomas Fehlmann’s more dubbed-out, tight and funky “Dusted.” Appearing both on Pop Ambient 2007 and the only full-length release on Kompakt’s MP3 sub-label is New Zealand based Andrew Thomas with the patient, slow-motion “I Am Here Where Are You.” Ricardo Villalobos finishes the year in relentless fashion, following his epic “Fizheuer Zieheuer” with four more long tracks for Perlon, available only as a double 12” vinyl release. Thomas Brinkmann, who flirts from minimal techno to more abstract avant-garde electronics, combines the two styles here with the strange yet compelling “Die Scheife Ebene_Inclined Plane,” a cut from his Klick Revolution concept full-length about pinball machines. The overlooked, obscure, German based duo, Kilo present a real blissed out cut from their self-titled second Onitor full-length, landing somewhere between Jan Jelinek’s more recent textural output as well as including elements of his disco-techno alter ego, Farben. Markus Guentner, famous for his very Gas-like inspired full-lengths for Kompakt, finishes the set with yet another jewel in the Pop Ambient canon.
Keep checking this page for some special “primer”-style mixes before the 2007 monthly compilations start back up. There should be some hard-to-find, vinyl only, and/or all but forgotten tracks included. Tip!

Friday, November 21, 2008


oystered 14: trance ending (nov. ’06: part 2)

Total running time: 1:38:56.
1. komet untitled ( 030/
2. rechord untitled ( 030/
3. bulgur brothers igloo mania (smoothie man/sunset diskos)
4. anders ilar sand (in your eyes) (nightwidth/narita)
5. geoff white opposing platforms (nevertheless/background)
6. lithops harpoon point (mound magnet/thrill jockey)
7. jeff samuel i think they are trying to say something (step/trapez)
8. ricardo villalobos fizheuer zieheuer (fizheuer zieheuer/playhouse)
9. robag wruhme hamburg 03.07.06 (papp-tonikk/musik krause)
10. geiger good evening (supermayer remix) (immer 2/kompakt)
11. ada maps (mayer/thomas rmx) (immer 2: bonus compilation/kompakt)

The tech-no side of this two part post featuring tracks released in November 2006. The first two cuts are from a very limited, 12" only compilation from Netherlands’ based, Bulgur Brothers is a Swedish techno supergroup featuring Andreas Tilliander (Rechord, Mokira, Lowfour), Johan Skugge and Mikael Stavostrand (Mitek, Vita). Anders Ilar continues his reign in the ’06 with this alternate version of "Sand," which originally appeared on a Narita 12" earlier in the year. Geoff White (Aeroc, Ghostly International, Force Inc.) completely surprises with an impeccable full-length from the always underrated (and now defunct?) Background-Records. Lithops is none other than Mouse On Mars’ Jan St. Werner, here with a typically abstract cut. Jeff Samuel also released a stellar, surprising full-length, like Geoff White, for the Trapez label, and "I Think They Are Trying To Say Something" is about as uplifting as anything I can remember. Possibly the best minimal techno producer of these times (2000 - ?), Ricardo Villalobos’ "Fizheuer Zieheuer" is here in all its 37 minute glory. Robag Wruhme’s ambient "Hamburg 03.07.06" is also a vinyl only cut, and the perfect comedown for Villalobos’ lengthy workout. The last two tracks come from Michael Mayer’s "Immer 2" mix CD on Kompakt. The first of which, from Geiger, combines a twisted vocal with more sedate and comforting melodies, while Ada’s remix of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s "Maps" gets remixed by Mayer himself and sometimes collaborator, Tobias Thomas. A truly uplifting song as well. Rock it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

See sons bring some more out tomb we enter

oystered 13: happy hunting ground (nov '06: part 1)

Total running time: 1:39:04.
a1. jodi cave untitled (blueprints/12k)
a2. minit winged life (jukebox buddha/staubgold)
a3. å something a long time ago. and there are no buttons, either, because (å/die schachtel zeit)
a4. a taste of ra radhe-shyam in bliss land (a taste of ra ii/häpna)
b1. rosy parlane part one (jessamine/touch)
b2. geir jenssen jobo rabzang: a 6666 metre peak in the cho oyu himal (cho oyu 8201m: field recordings from tibet/ash international)
b3. sunnO))) bp//simple (jukebox buddha/staubgold)
b4. svarte greiner the dining table (knive/type)
c1. christmas decorations tottering throne (blueprints/12k)
c2. xela briefly seen (dead sea/type)
c3. in the country torch – fishing (losing stones, collecting bones/rune grammofon)
c4. leo abrahams water’s edge (blueprints/12k)
d1. astral social club untitled #1 (astral social club/vhf)
d2. axolotl astral light (telesma/spooky action)
d3. huntsville melon (for the middle class/rune grammofon)
d4. seaworthy map in hand pt. 4 (epilogue) (blueprints/12k)

Part one of this two-part mix representing November 2006 focuses on ambient, drone-pop, acoustic doom, post-rock and more ecstatic, extended ‘bliss-out’ tracks, most with a hint of melancholy in them. Personal favorites include the opener from Jodi Cave, an artist whose music has been released on the always top-notch 12k label out of upstate New York. Unknown Italian post-rock outfit, Å, surprise with a lengthy track that starts off somewhat aggressively before switching gears – and moods – halfway through metamorphosing into something quite delicate and beautiful. New Zealand musician Rosy Parlane continues to stun with his effervescently ecstatic, extended forms with a track from his second full length for Touch, Jessamine. And perennial favorite, Neil Campbell, most famous for his Vibracathedral Orchestra band of misfits, now solo as Astral Social Club, compiles and remixes a bunch of limited edition, CD-R only cuts for official release on VHF. His track here shimmers bright, and at eight or so minutes, finishes all too briefly.
Overall, two tracks come courtesy the Norwegian label, Rune Grammofon and two more from the UK imprint, Type, while four tracks are featured from the aformentioned 12k – three of which originate from the stellar Blueprints compilation. Two cuts feature from Staubgold’s Buddha Machine remix CD, Jukebox Buddha, which overall was kind of disappointing – or not – depending on how heavy expectations factor into the equation, with Minit, one of my favorite duos, included here along with ‘doom metal’ progenitors, SunnO))), a group I would never expect to show up on a blog of mine. Bon appetito!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Summer's last sound

oystered 12: love stepping out (oct ’06)

Total running time: 2:51:21.
Side 1
1. arnold dreyblatt brushtones (atlantic waves 2006/the wire #273)
2. melchior productions ltd. different places (different places/perlon)
3. paul wirkus valore energetico (déformation professionnelle/staubgold)
Side 2
4. hervé ak taps of the claps (the closer/k2)
5. tape nötväcka (ström - pausfågeln remixad/container recordings)
6. sandy bull memphis, tn (still valentine's day 1969/water)
Side 3
7. stephan mathieu die sonne toent nach alter wiese (excerpt from a shortwave radio landscape) (eco e narciso/the wire #270)
8. grouper agate beach (wide/free porcupine society)
9. mokira storspov / fjäderreverb (ström - pausfågeln remixad/container recordings)
Side 4
10. stefano pilia the suncrows fall and tree (part 1) (the suncrows fall and tree/sedimental)
11. andrea belfi footprints (between neck & stomach/häpna)
Side 5
12. rhythm & sound see mi version (basic reshape) (see mi yah (remixes)/burial mix)
13. mouse on mars skik (varcharz/ipecac)
14. robert lippok unexpected behavior no. 7 (robot/western vinyl)
Side 6
15. roman flügel presents soylent green after all (la forza del destino/playhouse)
16. herbert down (scale/studio !k7)
17. the rice twins for dan (reach for the flute/k2)
Side 7
18. oren ambarchi happy ending (atlantic waves 2006/the wire #273)
19. dj koze snauzi peitsch (stompin at the clubfoot/kompakt)
20. jan jelinek happening tone (tierbeobachtungen/~scape)
Side 8
21. minamo a herdsman’s life (a herdsman’s life/esquilo records)

Vinyl only exclusives this time around include Melchior Productions Ltd.’s dark and minimal "Different Places," courtesy the always reliable Perlon label, Hervé Ak’s "Taps of the Claps" along with the serene "For Dan" from The Rice Twins, both from Kompakt’s vinyl only (thus far) K2 offshoot label, and DJ Koze’s dancefloor/housefloor friendly "Snauzi Peitsch" from the Kompakt label proper.
But of even greater note, perhaps, on this playlist, is the abundance of rare or limited or hard to get tracks (although more and more, probably not so much the case): Tape and Mokira contribute tracks to a Swedish only compilation CD, Ström - Pausfågeln Remixad, based on different bird songs, Arnold Dreyblatt and Oren Ambarchi contribute to a Wire Magazine subscriber only special CD focusing on 2006’s Atlantic Waves festival, Stephan Mathieu contributes to a different Wire Magazine subscriber only special CD from earlier in the year (previously overlooked by moi’), and lastly, Japanese acoustic-electronic supergroup, Minamo, release a super-limited CD-r entitled, "A Herdsman’s Life," which you can stream here in it’s entirety.
Which isn’t to say that all the aforementioned tracks wouldn’t be just as great had they not had this exclusivity tag to them. As well as all the cuts I haven’t mentioned. These playlists, to me, include the best tracks from the best records released in said month, or whatever. It feels good to be back after a nearly five month hiatus. Just let it flow…

Thursday, June 12, 2008

(Edge of the) ape oven

oystered 11: Journey in satchidananda (sep. '06)

Total running time: 2:34:39.
Side 1
1. alumbrados principium i (a generation of vipers/important)
Side 2
1. reverbaphon nothing beyond the zero (get this and this and this and this and here and/anominous)
2. tim hecker radio spiricom (harmony in ultraviolet/kranky)
3. hwyl nofio broken again (hounded by fury/hwyl)
4. metope i’m so ready + cpu circus (ada remix) (kobox/areal)
5. mokira chelsea feel (ease/filippa k)
Side 3
1. kaito the universe (hundred million love years/kompakt)
2. fourcolor rowboat [with piana] (letter of sounds/12k)
3. benoît pioulard moth wings (précis/kranky)
4. beth orton carmella (four tet remix) (remixes/domino)
Side 4
1. chris herbert cassino (mezzotint/kranky)
2. christina carter yellow pine (electrice/kranky)
3. spooncurve she doesn’t know (edit) (are friends symmetric/d.o.r.)
4. boxhead ensemble nocturne 10 (nocturnes/atavistic)
Side 5
1. lithops kahn (queries/sonig)
2. oren ambarchi & scott horscroft 19 guitars (split/textile)
Side 6
1. lawrence english & ai yamamoto a silent kouta (edit) (plateau/phono-statique)
2. rafael toral space part iii (space/staubgold)

Bardo Pond's Gibbons brothers start this massive two-and-a-half hour set evoking a genuine Victroian opium den. If you make it safe to the other side, the electronic pop pleasures of Reverbaphon await. Followed by a few healthy, shorter pieces that contrast nicely with one another until the Eastern sound-stretch of Mokira, Kaito and Fourcolor. Four Tet's remix of Beth Orton's "Carmella" has been a long time favorite since first appearing as a b-side of a single oh so many years ago. Summer jam for sure. Surprises abound for the last hour-plus. Starting with out-of-nowhere artist Chris Herbert with some beautifully submerged electronic minimalism, segueing nicely into Charalambides' Christina Carter - be patient with this one, a gorgeous circular ending ensues. Drug addlers might find some solace in Spooncurve's hypnotic-narcotic pop, while Boxhead Ensemble's "Nocturne 10" is all about the notes they're not hitting. Saving the best for last it's Mouse on Mars' Jan Werner as Lithops and a vinyl only duet between Australians Oren Ambarchi and Scott Horscroft. Room40's Lawrence English & Ai Yamamoto get it together by their track's close and Rafael Toral lays down his guitar and effects in favor of homemade electronic generators and modular synths for the first part (of at least ten we've been told!) of his Space series of releases, closing this set with some truly innovative future electronic jazz that even Sun Ra would approve of. Weird and wonderful throughout.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What we did on our holidays

oystered 10: Sunlight bathed the golden glow (aug '06)

a1. the rice twins for penny and alexis (total 7/kompakt)
a2. wighnomy bros. wombat (total 7/kompakt)
a3. svalastog reconnecting joints (woodwork/rune grammofon)
a4. marsen jules la digitale pourpre (les fleurs/city centre offices)
b1. the modernist closer musik - one two three (no gravity) / mikkel metal - microho (popular songs/kompakt)
b2. bergheim 34 ding dong (farben remix) (diamenten und raketen/klang elektronik)
b3. humcrush cyborg ii (hornswoggle/rune grammofon)
b4. thomas fehlmann saft (total 7/kompakt)
c1. alva noto + ryuichi sakamoto ax mr. l. (revep/raster-noton)
c2. coh path.#1 (patherns ep/raster-post)
c3. susanna and the magical orchestra it’s a long way to the top (magical mountain/rune grammofon)
c4. ryan teague rounds (coins & crosses/type)
d1. 2 dollar egg graphit (diamenten und raketen/klang elektronik)
d2. hieroglyphic being d.o.s. (diamenten und raketen/klang elektronik)
d3. north valley subconscious orchestra napali passage (the right kind of nothing/ghostly international)
d4. scsi-9 when she said goodbye (total 7/kompakt)
d5. robert babicz sonntag (total 7/kompakt)

Another fine addition to the oystered 'Playing Catch Up' series of compilations. Rather than describe each track in detail, I think a brief overview might work better. This works as a nice compilation of compilations, as over half of the tracks come from the two seminal German techno labels, Klang Elektronik and Kompakt. A further five cuts are culled from merely two more labels that are a bit more experimental in nature, Norway's Rune Grammofon and Berlin's Raster-Noton. The remaining few odds and ends even have a cohesive feel and are quite possibly the standout cuts: Marsen Jules' track for City Centre Offices and Ryan Teague's "Rounds" for Type both have a very cinematic, neo-classical feel to them and are utterly epic in scope and completely gorgeous. The North Valley Subconscious Orchestra is a collaboration between two continually evolving musicians as well: old-school shoegaze experimentalist Brad Laner of Medicine, Electric Company fame, and new school shoegazer Christopher Willits, mostly known for his releases on the ever reliable 12k imprint, but also for his full length on Ghostly International. Not bad for the "dog days."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Throughout the dark months of april and may

oystered 09: The pink opaque (jul ’06)

a1. mark van hoen put my trust in you (touch 25/touch)
a2. ilar & hedvall cookies & milk (treacherous & deceitful/defrag sound processing)
a3. fennesz tree (touch 25/touch)
a4. jonas bering lost paradise (lost paradise/kompakt)
b. the north sea and rameses iii nightblooms written in sanskrit (night of the ankou/type)
c1. audio werner base (onandon/perlon)
c2. rosy parlane atlantis (touch 25/touch)
c3. dominik eulberg der buchdrucker (der buchdrucker/traum)
d. jasper tx so now we’re ghosts no more (so now we’re ghosts no more/kning disk gallery edition)

Kicking things off is an admittedly odd piece of work from Mark Van Hoen (Scala), sounding, to me at least, a bit like, what might have happened if The Beatles had continued into the noughts, furthering their avant-garde tendencies, pushing the envelope of what a rock band could do with electronics. Or, maybe it’s just a Lennon side project?
Anyway, back to more familiar, or rather, expected, territory with Ilar (yet again) collaborating here with someone named Hedvall, for yet another great minimal techno track. And this time round, a healthy back and forth between more minimal, beat oriented stuff and - my favorite... - more "ambient," dreamy, drifting, droney type work. Of particular note are the two longer tracks dividing the set: The North Sea & Rameses III’s track is extremely moving, reminding me of something from Stars of the Lid's Ballasted Orchestra, while the closing track from Jasper TX is an absolute killer, putting even Fennesz's barely-there "Tree" to shame.
Vinyl only cuts include “Cookies & Milk,” “Lost Paradise,” “Base” and “Der Buchdrucker.” Picture courtesy Allison, Grand Traverse Bay, West Arm.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The blossom filled streets

oystered 08: Like a daydream (jun ’06)

a1. thomas melchior & luciano solomon’s prayer (solomon’s prayer/father / cadenza)
a2. davidovitch cellophane (speicher 36/kompakt extra)
a3. dB tower of love (god’s will phone center/boogizm)
b1. anders ilar missing (ilar mix) (missing/plong!)
b2. gui boratto like you (supermayer mix) (like you/kompakt pop)
b3. phonophani farger rundt hvitt (phonophani/rune grammofon)
c1. scorch trio abakle (luggumt/rune grammofon)
c2. loren connors star of bethlehem pt. 1 (night through/family vineyard)
c3. loren connors home again (night through/family vineyard)
c4. loren connors stars (night through/family vineyard)
c5. loren connors the departing of a dream vol.4 (night through/family vineyard)
c6. loren connors star of bethlehem pt. 2 (night through/family vineyard)
c7. murcof ulysses (deathprod mix) (6-track/rune grammofon)
d1. anders ilar lakeside (organza/level records)
d2. marc leclair 236e jour (musique pour 3 femmes enceintes/mutek)

June 2006: A deep sigh of relief. Don’t get me wrong, my search for discovering great, new, “undiscovered” music will never end. But when owning a record store turns into a 24 hour, sleepless worry, it’s time to stop.
A much more manageable set this go round. Vinyl only tracks this time include “Solomon’s Prayer,” “Cellophane,” “Tower of Love,” "Missing (Ilar mix),” “Abakle” and “Lakeside.”
A little heavy on the Anders Ilar, who was hitting hard with dark, propulsive, bass-driving tracks left and right at this point. The five Loren Connors tracks are justified since they’re all pretty short and culled from a three disc anthology, Night Through, which came out only a few short months after his gorgeous Table of the Elements full-length, Sails. It’s stunning how he gets so much feeling out of such little playing, ringing every nuance out of each plucked or strummed note. You can even hear the air move in the room he records in. Subtle, subdued. Stunning.
Unfortunately dB (Daniel Bemberger), who released one full length and a slew of stunning vinyl only releases for labels such as Background and Karloff, and Marc Leclair (aka Akufen), two of my favorite click ’n’ cut ’n’ pasters, have been AWOL since June of ’06. Here’s hoping for some surprises in the near future.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Don't fight it, feel it

oystered 07: Stoned to say the least (may ’06)

Side 1
1. jetone sufraise ii (sundown/apnea)
2. scsi-9 elegia (the line of nine/kompakt)
3. marsen jules rainy days in milan (silva/miasmah)
4. matt john landing (superloooongevity/perlon)
Side 2
1. stephen beaupré misshapely (macro-house/~scape)
2. taylor deupree northern (northern/12k)
3. lee van dowski the last bounce (original mix) (the last bounce/num)
4. kalabrese skamel (superloooongevity/perlon)
Side 3
1. felt primitive painters (gold mine trash/cherry red)
2. the field istedgade (sun & ice/kompakt)
3. und rodeo (rodeo/trapez ltd.)
4. tomas jirku weltschmerz (weltschmerz/all you need is love / defrag sound processing)
Side 4
1. g-man the way you move (the way you move/wir)
2. ricardo villalobos balacharde (superloooongevity/perlon)
3. richard youngs & simon wickham-smith 2002 (5 years/vhf)
4. mapstation valencia was asleep (distance told me things to be said/~scape)
Side 5
1. dominik eulberg & gabriel ananda harzer roller (harzer roller/traum)
2. giuseppe ielasi untitled (3) (giuseppe ielasi/häpna)
3. bulgur brothers pinto (jaffa/karat)
4. horror inc. the absent (superloooongevity/perlon)
Side 6
1. baby ford & zip morning sir (superloooongevity/perlon)
2. machinefabriek wolkenkrabber (marijn/lampse audiovisual recordings)
3. pan american from here (for waiting, for chasing/mosz)
4. oliver hacke millepieds (anders ilar rmx) (millepieds remixe/level records)

Okay, so this is the last mega-set for a while. This was the last month neptune was open, and I was grabbing a lot of techno 12”s. Unbelievably (and happily so) we sold nearly all the inventory that last month, slashing prices everyday, basically giving shit away. We even sold most of the fixtures, and some of the homemade wood bins the records and CDs sat in, and they found some good homes too. Thank you to everyone! So, getting back to the post, that’s a lot of what this mix is made up of: juicy, vinyl only cuts from Jetone, Stephen Beaupré, Lee Van Dowski, The Field, Und, Tomas Jirku, G-Man, Dominik Eulberg with Gabriel Ananda, Bulgur Brothers and Oliver Hacke. Jetone is Tim Hecker’s techno alias, Mapstation is one-third of To Rococo Rot, Bulgur Brothers is Sweden’s techno super-group featuring Mikael Stavostrand, Johan Skugge and Andreas Tilliander, Horror Inc. is none other than Marc LeClair aka Akufen and Pan American is Mark Nelson from Labradford.

Felt’s ‘80’s anthem “Primitive Painters,” featuring none other than Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser, might feel out of place here, but I just had to include it for its antiquated timelessness. The Field’s “Istedgade” is a vinyl only exclusive, only available on the Sun & Ice 12”. I wish the Italian non-pop, techno duo Und would reappear – really quite unique in their approach, adding a bit of quirky humor to their tracks. Baby Ford & Zip’s “Morning Sir” is really addictive while Anders Ilar proved 2006 was definitely a good year for him (keep your eye on future posts) with his mesmeric remix of Oliver Hacke’s “Millepieds.”

So, even though the economy’s in the tank, and gas prices and food prices and everything are through the roof, how’s come we still have enough money to spend on fancy coffees and going out to dinner and bars, but think the price of buying CDs are unreasonable? Sure, the major labels could afford to lower their prices, but the indie labels don’t sell as much per unit, and the $13 - $16 price range for CDs really hasn’t gone up at all since the day they came out. And they’re something that’s both audio and visual art, something that you can keep forever. When I think about it, if anything should change, it’s that downloading prices are too high. Legal downloading should be about half the price that it is. I can’t believe it costs three-quarters of the price of a CD or LP to download it. What do you really have then? What happens when your iTunes gets a virus? At least if you illegally downloaded those songs you’re not out anything. Many independent record stores now have excellent mail order service, and up-to-date websites with what’s actually in stock. I guess we all just spend our time (aka our money) on what’s really important to us. Maybe music just isn’t hard enough of a drug. I still think vinyl’s gonna outlast everything.

Here’s to rolling out the next post a lot quicker. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, March 31, 2008

To here knows when

oystered 06: As far as the eye can see (apr ’06)

Side 1
1. antiguo automata mexicano first imago (background records 050/background records)
2. lars wickinger blutrausch (blutrausch/traum)
3. ricardo villalobos suesse cheques (salvador/frisbee)
4. matt john fokuss (joker family park two/perlon)
Side 2
1. onur ozer gizeh (twilight/vakant)
2. galoppierende zuversicht klumpknolle (chnobli/bruchstuecke)
3. process tendency to synchronize (elektronische musik interkontinental 5/traum)
4. minilogue the girl from botany bay (the girl from botany bay/wir)
Side 3
1. helios halving the compass (eingya/type)
2. klimek verlust (white, no trails) der motorik (music to fall asleep/kompakt)
3. d.p. in blue (krakau/echocord)
4. gultskra artikler otpusk navsegda (remixed by svarte greiner) (pofigistka/lampse audiovisual)
Side 4
1. growing blue angels (color wheel/troubleman unlimited)
2. astral social club 5.2 (#5/astral social club)
Side 5
1. phill niblock alto tune (touch three/touch)
Side 6
1. loscil chinook (plume/kranky)
2. uusitalo tulenkantaja (tulenkantaja vol.1/huume)
3. terrence dixon detroit city lights (background records 050/background records)
4. dB low moon (background records 050/background records)
5. nathan fake numb chance (elektronische musik interkontinental 5/traum)

Monster mix for the month of April, 2006. I remember, at the time, just buying tons of stuff at this point. Neptune was about to close, and other than a bittersweet feeling, at the worst, tons of great music was still coming into the store. And advance promotional copies of things were helping keep me sated as well. At this point, we had moved off of Main Street, and on to 4th Street. Our first year on 4th Street, 2004, was, surprisingly our best. But then, as 2005 dragged on, we really started to notice a big drop in sales. Especially electronic vinyl sales, which, at the time, was our “bread and butter.” 2005 was a(nother) big year for iPods, and all of the sudden, lots of previously only vinyl tracks were being tracked down digitally. Perhaps free, I don’t know, I still don’t know that world too well (this damn dinosaur of a laptop won’t allow me even if I wanted to). At any extent, tracks were cheaper to come by, and with the Michigan economy never recovering from we-all-know-what, people had less disposable income. Perhaps it was a situation further compounded by the last generation of kids knowing how to or wanting to step foot in a physical record store to discover new music. Which reminds me, the first ever Record Store Day is Saturday, April 19th, and no, it’s not another Hallmark Holiday. It is, however, something devised by the ailing music industry, for the benefit of indie record shops (the way I see it) and I would urge anybody that could, to try to find some extra time that day to frequent a local record shop and spend a few bucks. It may seem futile, I know (believe me, I know), but some cool indie labels are going to be offering some exclusive music to record stores participating in and acknowledging the day. Google Record Store Day and I’m sure you can find out if a store near you will have any exclusive 7” vinyl to collect, or goodie bags for your appreciation.

Anyway, this mix is designed as a double-disc or triple LP if you will. Think The Clash’s Sandinista!. Lots of microhouse, good for a long run. Really, every track’s a killer. Vinyl only cuts abound on this one: Lars Wickinger, Matt John, Onur Ozer, Galoppierende Zuversicht, Minilogue (epic!), D.P. (that’s Deadbeat + Pole, check!) and Uusitalo. The non-microhouse cuts include Helios’ lush, dreamy atmospherics, Klimek’s stuttering guitar and piano reminding me of Harold Budd’s collaboration with Cocteau Twins on The Moon and The Melodies and Russian artist Gultskra Artikler’s dark ambient track sounding like it came straight from 4AD’s Lonely Is An Eyesore. One of my favorite new bands in recent years, Growing, offer a horizontal LSD ride, while Neil Campbell’s (he of Vibracathedral Orchestra) Astral Social Club track is a rare CD-R cut, more than likely way out of print, combining shimmering, melancholic drones not too unlike Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas project. Dig. Phill Niblock is known for is long dronework, and yes, that’s what we have here, but I like to thinkof “Alto Tune” as a slightly more academic take on Spacemen 3’s “Dreamweapon” morphing into “Ecstacy Symphony” – absolutely perfect for the real late (or early) hours. “Side 6” has its own vibe too – more melodic, and back to the beat. Locsil’s “Chinook” is one of the best cuts here and Terrence Dixon’s “Detroit City Lights” reminds me of To Rococo Rot. The surprise here, near the end, comes from one of my favorites, Polish artist dB, and please comment back if you can spot the sample. Anybody that kept an interest in British pop throughout the ‘90s should be able to figure it out fairly easily. It comes from one of the best bands from the era, and one of their best records as well. Whew, okay then, until next time, which is hopefully not too far from now.

Again, this format would not even be possible without the help of a few very gracious individuals. You know who you are, and always: thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Blustery day on the wind farm

As always, meticulously sequenced and painstakingly chosen tracks including more 12” only vinyl cuts (Alex Under, The Orb, Giorgio Gigli (yet again!), Portable, Kiln (?)) in among the usual fare of highly-enjoyable weirdness. Some real rarities including a tranquil slice of spring morning (or am I wishing that?) from Greg Davis’ contribution to Room40’s label compilation for The Wire magazine; a short, spring-like (is that just me again?) acoustic meditation from James Blackshaw and a smoldering ‘Main meets Ambarchi’ cut from one of my ‘new’ favorites, Gregg Kowalski. Oh, and the stuff I didn’t mention is pretty great too. All pretty accessible and existing at one of two poles: ethereal, drone work or rolling techno that’s either slightly euphoric or perfect for dimly lit spaces. Who would really know this stuff was two years old? Who cares?! Sorry for the time-lag between posts. I’m always attempting to get the next one up quicker. Thank you everyone leaving comments, I’m still trying to figure out how to reply back. Get down and double check!

oystered 05: On the pine (mar ’06)

+ denotes bonus track
a1. alex under el encuentro (collage/plus 8)
a2. alog dog dive (catch that totem!/melektronikk)
a3. the orb god less america/gorgeous + (speicher 33/kompakt extra)
b1. greg davis swell (brisbane reversion) (an evening at room40 / room40/the wire)
b2. giorgio gigli circle (geometrik forms/elettronica romana)
b3. kaito natural source (hundred million light years/kompakt)
c1. james blackshaw skylark herald’s dawn (sunshrine/digitalis)
c2. portable diorama (the san/scape)
c3. ekkehard ehlers nie wieder schnell sagen (a life without fear/staubgold)
c4. coh dancing in silence (above air/eskaton)
d1. gregg kowalsky long distance decade (through the cardial window/kranky)
d2. uusitalo misut irti/huutaa (tulenkantaja/huume)
d3. kiln spheresong improvisational (twinewheel: lost sides and dusty-gems 1994-2005/division sound)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Froze to the bone in my igloo home

Great mix featuring some 12” only cuts (Shane Berry, Marek Bois aka Dapayk of Dapayk and Padberg fame and Italian duo, Giorgio Gigli) up next to some more abstract electronic tracks (check Twine’s mind melting, Autechre-like “Gliding In On” and Sébastian Roux’s “The Guitar and Drums Song” – listen to that enough times and it actually does start to sound like a song, trust me) including the epic, smoldering “Hundred Acre” by New York duo, Mountains. For the third time (out of four), Bird Show makes an appearance (Town and Country’s Ben Vida’s Lightning Ghost was one of my favorite albums of 2006 – still sounds great), and Mikkel Metal makes his second appearance with another smoked-out dub joint. Shoegazers and new-gazers check Belong’s “October Language” and Guitar’s “Sakura Coming.” Other surprises as well, including the understated Lawrence track opening the set, and Andreas Tilliander’s Mokira project closing the set with a beautifully blissed out cut with a great title as well. Most of you should know what I’m talking about. Peace!

oystered 04: Counting the days ‘til the ice turns green (feb ’06)

+ denotes bonus track
a1. lawrence wasting a fall (idol tryouts/ghostly international)
a2. shane berry fillertet 2 (fillertet 2/trapez ltd.)
a3. twine gliding in on (idol tryouts/ghostly international)
b1. sébastien roux the guitar and drums song (songs/12k)
b2. mountains hundred acre (sewn/apestaartje)
b3. greg davis amaranthine (idol tryouts/ghostly international)
c1. belong october language (ocotber language/carpark)
c2. marek bois boisboisbois (boisboisbois/trapez)
c3. sophie rimheden the real way (mitek version) + (do you copy?/mitek)
c4. bird show sleepers keep sleeping (lightning ghost/kranky)
d1. guitar sakura coming (tokyo/onitor)
d2. giorgio gigli i can’t breathe (lee van dowski remix) (rarified atmosphere/dumb-unit)
d3. mikkel metal famil (do you copy?/mitek)
d4. mokira the bum that will bring us together (do you copy?/mitek)

Monday, February 25, 2008

30 Century man

Spiritualized's Songs in A&E press release:
After much anticipation, and a longer than expected wait, Spiritualized are set to release their long-awaited 18 track sixth studio album, ‘SONGS IN A&E’, on Spaceman Records on May 26th. The US release will be announced this week.
Track listing:
1. Harmony 1
2. Sweet Talk
3. Death Take Your Fiddle
4. I Gotta Fire
5. Soul on Fire
6. Harmony 2
7. Sitting on Fire
8. Yeah Yeah
9. You Lie You Cheat
10. Harmony 3
11. Baby I'm Just a Fool
12. Don't Hold Me Close
13. Harmony 4
14. The Waves Crash In
15. Harmony 5
16. Borrowed Your Gun
17. Harmony 6
18. Goodnight Goodnight
The album will be preceded by the single, “Soul On Fire”, available on 7in vinyl and digital on May 19th.
Since the release of the last studio album, ‘Amazing Grace’, there followed a lengthy period of touring but this was unfortunately curtailed by a serious illness which struck main man Jason Pierce in 2005. Time spent in intensive care interrupted the writing and recording of the follow up record both prior to, and after his illness. Inevitably perhaps, this setback turned into an inspiration…
The band will be touring with the full line up and additional gospel singers in May followed by extensive touring around the world including shows at Benicassim in Spain, Summer Sonic in Japan and extensive tours & festivals in the UK, Europe and USA.
The Spaceman adds, “Also this year, Harmony Korine's truly beautiful "Mister Lonely" film is released to cinema with an OST to follow on Drag City Records. It was an honour and trip to work on that one and probably one of the things that was most instrumental in me finally finishing the Spiritualized album so we all got Harmony to thank for that one.”
Following the completion of the A&E recording sessions there was a period of label uncertainty in 2007 so Spiritualized presented their acclaimed Acoustic Mainlines live show, during which they previewed ‘acoustic’ versions of new & old material, at many and various festivals and revered venues, including the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NY.
Acoustic Mainlines will play their last few shows at the i-Tunes festival on March 2nd at Air studios and a handful of US west coast shows including the Coachella Festival in April.

oystered 03: Spiritualized Acoustic Mainlines Salford Lowry, Manchester, UK 11/24/06

+ denotes bonus track taken from Union Chapel, London, UK 12/9/07

“Devil Town,” “True Love Will Find You” and “Funeral Home” are covers of Daniel Johnston originals. Enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Blue sparks from her, and the scent of lightning

This compilation almost goes against everything I believe in, except, of course, the music. Inspired by a local barista making the move to Chicago, I hastily decided to raid my collection. Essentially, there are no rules, no parameters (no particular release dates or styles) just what stuff happened to be in my "CD" collection on Feb. 19, 2008 (Happy 65th Birthday, Dad!) that was either from a Chicago group (at one time or still is) or on a Chicago based label, with most love going out to Drag City and Thrill Jockey in particular. And, lets just say, a lot of great stuff got left off. In the eleventh hour, I almost nixed the whole idea. I wanted to change it to just include exclusive or harder to find tracks, such as Papa M's rendition of "Turn Turn Turn" or Red Red Meat's 7" only "Idiot Son," or something from Kevin Drumm and his melancholy electronic Triangles project, or Rob Mazurek's more experimental solo cornet and electronics project or anything at all from David Grubbs' Blue Chopsticks label or Jim O'Rourke's Moikai label, never mind their joint obscure reissue label, Dexter's Cigar, the latter two labels including releases from forward-thinking guitarist/musician, Rafael Toral. Or even something from up and coming label, Burnt Brown Sounds. Also of note that's missing: the great electronic artists Oval and Nobukazu Takemura, both of which Thrill Jockey championed in the mid-'90s and beyond. Maybe I'll have to make an addendum volume to this stuff someday. Something a little more thought out and involved. Let's just say every track on this is a killer. I guess that's what the common thread is linking these songs together. so here's to the Windy City: the artists, the labels, the seasons, Lake Michigan. This mix begs for Spring too; the warm days and warm nights... Luke, wherever you are, roll the car windows down and - oh, wait, most people don't have cars if they live in the city - I still hope you find this mix burnin'!

oystered 02-1: Blues subtitled why not untitled?

+ denotes bonus track

oystered 02-2: When the music started, when the freaking began


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thank you, friends!

Here's an attempt to crawl into the 21st century and continue with the "monthly mix" compilations I was starting to roll out while still at/on(?) neptune. So here's the first one, and yes, you're reading this right, January 2006. And it's sequenced in an old-school "double LP" format. So, neptune R.I.P.; long live oystered. Enjoy!
neptunemix 014/oystered 01: Not quite where we left off (jan. '06)

a1. anvil salute vines through the window (gold leaf branches/digitalis)
a2. the wolfgang press complete and utter (the burden of mules/4AD)
a3. courtis insolación de soles aledaños (gold leaf branches/digitalis)
a4. loren connors in the night (sails/table of the elements),
b. sickoakes wedding rings & bullets in the same golden shrine (part ii) (seawards/type),
c1. cassy night to remember (my auntie/perlon)
c2. isolee lost (western store/playhouse)
c3. mikkel metal lurlun (victimizer/kompakt),
d1. town and country fields and parks of easy access (up above/thrill jockey)
d2. thomas strønen interacting massive particles (pohlitz/rune grammofon)
d3. chehei hatakeyama beside a well (minima moralia/kranky).