Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mazzy Star

Thanks to the fluke hit "Fade Into You" -- one of the better beneficiaries of alt-rock's radio prominence in the early '90s, a gentle descent of a lead melody accompanied by piano, a steady beat, and above all else, Hope Sandoval's lovely lead vocal -- Mazzy Star's second album became something of a commercial success. All without changing much at all from where the band was before -- David Roback oversaw all the production, the core emphasis remained a nexus point between country, folk, psych, and classic rock all shrouded in mystery, and Sandoval's trademark drowsy drawl remained swathed in echo. But grand as She Hangs Brightly was, So Tonight That I Might See remains the group's undisputed high point, mixing in plenty of variety among its tracks without losing sight of what made the group so special to begin with. Though many songs work with full arrangements like "Fade Into You," a thick but never once overpowering combination, two heavily stripped-down songs demonstrate in different ways how Mazzy Star makes a virtue out of simplicity. "Mary of Silence" is an organ-led slow shuffle that easily ranks with the best of the Doors, strung-out and captivating all at once, Sandoval's singing and Roback's careful acid soloing perfect foils. "Wasted," meanwhile, revisits a classic blues riff slowed down to near-soporific levels, but the snarling crunch of Roback's guitar works wonders against Sandoval's vocals, a careful balance that holds. If there's a left-field standout, then unquestionably it's "Five String Serenade." A cover of an Arthur Lee song -- for once not a Love-era number, but a then-recent effort -- Roback's delicate acoustic guitar effortlessly brings out its simple beauty. Tambourine and violin add just enough to the arrangement here and there, and Sandoval's calm singing makes for the icing on the cake.
by Ned Raggett

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Mix of Spring 2009

I have been asked a lot recently what i am listening to. So here you go!

1. Pink Mountaintops - Axis: Thrones of Love
2. Wooden Shjips - Motorbike
3. Whitetree - Tangerine
4. Valet - Rainbow (Boris)
5. Glen Johnson - Les Catacombes
6. The Wooden Birds - Afternoon In Bed (The Bats)
7. Stuart Murdoch - Another Saturday
8. Au Revoir Simone - The Last One
9. Bill Callahan - Faith/Void
10.St. Vincent And The National - Sleep All Summer (Crooked Fingers)
11.Great Lake Swimmers - River's Edge
12.Total & Notorious B.I.G. - Can't You See
13.Subway - Crystalline
14.Lindstrom and Prins Thomas - gudene vet + snutt

Have A Great Week!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Wackness-Music From the Motion Picture

The Wackness is a coming of age story about sex, drugs, music and what it takes to be a man. NYC in the summer of 1994. Girls were fly, the music was dope, the heat was on and Luke was just trying to deal. The soundtrack features classic period hip hop and R&B tracks from legendary Hip Hop icons like Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, R. Kelly and more. Starring Josh Peck, Ben Kingsley, Famke Janssen, Olivia Thirlby, Mary Kate Olsen and Method Man. The Wackness tells the story of a troubled teenage drug dealer who trades pot for therapy sessions with a drug addled psychiatrist. Things get more complicated when the kid falls for one of his classmates, who just happens to be the doctor's daughter. Set against the backdrop of the greatest year in Hip Hop history.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Portland, Oregon based Liz Harris might have achieved a significant fan base thanks to the whispering, near ambient vocal crusades of her debut album ‘Way Their Crept’ and its follow-up ‘Wide’, but those with a careful ear would have heard slightly more trapped beneath her fuzzy chain of effects. ‘Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill’ marks a departure of sorts for Liz which sees her turn down the fuzz-boxes which caged (and to some degree defined) her sound and allows her voice to ring out above everything else. It is an album steeped in the world of dream-pop, a genre pioneered by the likes of 4AD’s Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil, and far from shy away from the reference Liz has instead grabbed on with both hands, in the process creating an album’s worth of perfect, leftfield pop songs.
Using delicate song structures which are at once both familiar and alien somehow we hear her words cry out hauntingly over stripped down guitar lines and looped environmental recordings. Just listen to ‘I’d Rather be Sleeping’, a track that could be a mournful take on Belly, albeit with a more fragile heart. These unforgettable harmonies and vocal lines that embed themselves in your consciousness before you even realise it are the key to the album’s success and the reason why it makes such a lasting impression. There is something to Liz Harris’s music that defies the time, makes you sit up and listen in an age where we’re told that recorded music is disposable. These are the future soundtracks to love, despair and ultimately hope.

Eddie Callahan

"False Ego" 1976 (Ocean)

This wonderful album has been described as “loner rock,” an interesting distinction since so many of these thoughtful, quirky songwriters make folk records that, um, don’t rock. Within about two minutes of the first song, I was eternally hooked. It starts abruptly, almost in the middle of a conversation with Eddie, acoustic guitar in hand, asking some of life’s bigger questions to an unnamed echoed respondent. After a few verses, the rhythm section comes in, followed by the most perfectly realized batch of synthesizer noises you’ll ever hear. The songs ends in waves of sound effects and at this point you’ll already be ready to proclaim Eddie a genius. The good news is that most of the album keeps pace, with gorgeous pop (“Just Across The Line”), power pop with backwards guitar (“Don’t You Know”), stunning acid rock (“Paper Rain”) with a Stranglers-type synth break, and all sorts of surprises. This album has a timeless quality, like the very best pop, and only the talk box on one song places it firmly in 1975/1976. Otherwise it could just as likely have been from 1970 or 1979, and in fact has a bit of a new wave feel to it. It’s not exactly “psych” or “power pop,” and genre fans might not be sure what to make of it, but it’s just plain too good for classification. Even a music hall ditty with comic snyth bleats and a funky rock song with a talk box manage to work. Callahan is a Hare Krishna, which explains the mystical questioning of many of the lyrics. He’s also a bit of a chameleon, sounding like three or four different singers over the course of the album (which, along with the unusual arrangements, makes this album fresh and unpredictable in ways few pop albums are.) The last three songs are a bit of a let down, as they’re merely good. If they had been as good as the rest for the album, it would be an eternal masterpiece. As it is, it’s still one of the finest and most distinctive private press albums I’ve ever heard. Great album cover, too (despite being a cheap paste-on), and an even better label design.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Henrik Schwarz, Âme & Dixon

When we first started thinking about the compilation, we had in mind the idea to put together a great minimal techno selection with stuff from the early 90s, which really inspired us, like Robert Hood, Dan Bell, Plastikman, Pansonic and Mike Ink to name a few. Whilst working on the project we had the feeling that there is so much more great and influential minimal music from way before the techno thing started.

So we were very excited to combine the music from the electronic pioneers, with the tracks from the minimal techno godfathers in a very modern way. In Minimal Music there is so much (space) in between the sounds and the space that gives you a lot of opportunities for an own interpretation.

The Grandfather Paradox is a scientific theory about time travelling and was first described by the science fiction writer Rene Barjavel in his book - Le Voyageur Imprudent. We took suggestions out of that because we felt like we are travelling back in time and manipulating the old music with modern knowledge. The fact that we did all this with the deserved respect to the originals makes us quite sure that the results are bringing something new and interesting to the old tracks and transport the past into the here and now.

Henrik Schwarz, Âme & Dixon

Tracklisting 2xCD release:

CD1: Mixed by Henrik Schwarz, Âme & Dixon

01. Steve Reich & Pat Metheny
Electric Counterpoint - Fast (Movement 3)

02. Etienne Jaumet
Repeat After Me (Âme Mix)

03. Kenneth Bager
Fragment Eleven… The Day After Yesturday Pt.1

04. Liquid Liquid
Lock Groove (Out)

05. Cymande
For Baby Oh

06. Patrick Moraz
Metamorphoses 1st Movement (Live)

07. To Rococo Rot

08. Matematics
Blue Water

09. I:CUBE
Acid Tablet

10. Ø

11. Conrad Schnitzler
Electrocon 11

12. Green Pickles feat. Billy Lo & M. Pittman

13. La Funk Mob
Motor Bass Gets Phunked Up (Richie Hawtin's Electrophunk Mix)

14. John Carpenter
The President Is Gone

15. Yusef Lateef
The Three Faces Of Bala

16. Robert Hood

17. Raymond Scott
Bass-Line Generator

18. Moondog

CD2: Un-Mixed

01. Conrad Schnitzler
Elektrocon 11

02. Steve Reich & Pat Metheny
Electric Counterpoint - Fast (Movement 3)

03. Liquid Liquid
Lock Groove (Out)

04. To Rococo Rot

05. Patrick Moraz
Metamorphoses 1st Movement (Live)

06. Young Marble Giants

07. Kenneth Bager
Fragment Eleven… The Day After Yesturday Pt.1

08. Arthur Russell
Make 1,2

09. John Carpenter
The President Is Gone

10. Robert Hood

11. Raymond Scott
Bass-Line Generator

12. Pyrolator
November Mühlheim

13. Cymande
For Baby Oh

14. Can
Sunday Jam

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Ludovico Einaudi: piano Robert Lippok: electronics Ronald Lippok: drums Inspired and named after a very special, paradise-like retreat in Amos Tutuola’s novel ” The Palm-Wine Drinkard“, the album is the cosiest pair of french mittens, helping to withstand the cold and fast pulse of our technology-driven times. Think about it: ”Cloudland" is not the first effort to merge electronics with classical music. Far from it. Carsten Nicolai worked with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Carl Craig and Moritz von Oswald inject Ravel's Bolero with a techno twist, a whole new generation of musicians is as comfortable with a laptop as with classical instruments. Yet brave and remarkable efforts, Cloudland brings across a playfullness, a looseness and broadness which makes the album something unique.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Skyramps is Mark McGuire and Daniel Lopatin. This record "Days of Thunder" was limited to 75 copies. I heard this was a tribute to Top Gun? All I know is that you will not find a better record than this in 2009.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Johan Agebjorn

While he is best known as the creative force behind the popular electronica dance project Sally Shapiro, Johan Agebjörn proves on Mossebo that he is not afraid of the darker and deeper spaces. Indeed, Mossebo evokes human warmth in a wintry landscape, expertly juxtaposing intimacy and isolation.

Named after the house in which Johan lived while composing and recording the album, Mossebo is a collection of ambient pieces composed between 2004 and 2007; and one additional track that was created in 1996.

With the stunning wordless vocals of Lisa Barra skillfully winding their way through many of Agebjörn’s dazzling synth compositions, Mossebo is an album that is both electronic and organic at its core. Barra’s passion for the folk music of different cultures lends a timeless quailty to the album that transcends the conventional limits of most modern electronic ambient music.


This was quietly announced for a preorder a month ago, and now this long-awaited Milieu CD-R is officially released and shipping! For those of you who dig the flavor of Milieu records like Our Blue Rainbow or New Drugs - get this one! Loads of psychedelic grooves over a 10 track/forty minute disc. Think absolute LSD melody overload!