Saturday, February 27, 2016

Hypothetical mixtape: April 2015

This month's playlist starts and ends with Todd Terje, but otherwise contains no Todd Terje whatsoever.

"I Get Lifted (Todd Terje Tangoterje Edit)", by KC And The Sunshine Band. I never had a problem with KC and the Sunshine Band. (Well, except for misguidedly assuming, based on lack of information/knowledge/intelligence, that KC must have also been the host of "American Top 40".) But if I had ever had a problem with KC and the Sunshine Band? Problem solved!

 "Warm Leatherette", by Suzi Quatro. It's very difficult to accept that this even exists. If it were possible for Suzi Quatro to go up in my estimation (hint: it is not), this remarkable cover version would do it. Leather Tuscadero vs Grace Jones: be very afraid.

(Bonus: album cover of the month. Obviously.)
"Murmur Earth", by Stealing Sheep. I know you must get sick of me saying this, but here is another (excellent) song that springs from deep within Raincoats territory. Outstanding.

"Tund (Ricardo Villalobos Remix)", by Ambiq. The resident 16-year-old is presently learning about minimalism as part of Year 11 music. (At last, something he is studying that I am not completely rubbish at!) In a vain, and not necessarily welcome, attempt at helping, I have been throwing him records by Terry Riley, Philip Glass and Steve Reich, of course, but it strikes me that he should also be checking out the alchemical workings of Aphex Twin and Ricardo Villalobos, to the extent that minimalism aligns itself with music that makes incrementally small changes over a long period of time. This cryptic remix could be Exhibit A.

"Launch Ramp To Tha Sky", by Levon Vincent. Never has there been a better use of the word "tha". Respect. 

"Bird Matrix", by Actress. Actress has been playing a long game, at least insofar as his last album, "Ghettoville", from 2014, has taken until surprisingly recently to worm its way into my central nervous system. (I picked it up when it first came out and have listened to it quite a bit; it's as if thin layers of onion-skin have slowly been peeling themselves away, month after month, until, finally, the complete project has been revealed). Notwithstanding his somewhat ambiguous "retirement" announcement after "Ghettoville" came out, new fragments of music have continued to seep out; this one, all 13 glacial minutes of it, came out as part of a fascinating but difficult DJ-Kicks mix. It is not cheerful music. In fact, it might be the end of music.

"Dubwise Shower", by Ray I. If Actress's sparse inversions of dub reggae leave you wanting to listen to anything at all, it would probably be a blast of authentic seventies dub. Fortunately, we have some just here. (This YouTube clip appends a customarily insane "Instrumental Version". Lucky you.)

"Reunion Sicodelica", by Los Holy's. (With a big "sic" on that apostrophe. It physically hurt me to type it, yes, but Word hasn't even come up with an admonitory red line. Boo hiss.) This song is also known as "Cissy Strut". You know it. Observe closely how the drummer tries his darnedest to keep up, and almost succeeds. The winner, though, as always, is the organ. (The A side to this record would appear to be a version of "Hawaii Five-0". Be still my beating heart.)

"Boil The Kettle, Mother", by The Id. Almost, but not quite, as disturbing as the title-and-band-name combination would suggest. Actually, yes it is. Honestly, you couldn't make some of this stuff up.

"Storm Warning", by Mac Rebennack. More punky swampy shenanigans, this time from Mac Rebennack. You may know him as Dr John. This track pre-dates the previous two by eight years. And the eight years between 1959 and 1967, musically speaking (at least), might as well have been an eternity. Prescient.

"Leda", by Safe Home. From the complete opposite end of the music spectrum from Dr John's primal swamp-rock boogie, Safe Home conjure all the goodness that can come from a bit of well-placed introspection.

"Nature", by Valet. I suppose you could listen to this and say, with faint but discernible levels of snark (perhaps combined with the subtlest of eye rolls), "Ah, the inevitable return of shoegaze". You could also just sit back, relax, and enjoy the song. Yeah, do that.

"Oban (Todd Terje Remix)", by Jaga Jazzist. So here comes Uncle Todd again, this time lulling us all into a kind of semi-conscious reverie as the sun sinks behind the dunes. I'm getting hints of "La Ritournelle". Or something. I don't know anymore.