Sunday, December 12, 2010

Top 10 Podcast/Blog Mixes of 2010

Look, this music is completely FREE. There's absolutely no reason not to have at least 6 or 7 of these in your personal home/mobile music library by, uh... next weekend?

Other than the compulsive ranking of each year since the birth of quality rock and roll (Top 10 tag: now at 77 posts), the secondary missions of Astral Headspace are getting the word out about weird obscure music and documenting the cyber-ocean of downloadable music to check out (Free Music tag: now at 38 posts). And this list perfectly represents those twin secondary missions.

Most of the mixes here are done by artists of the type I like anyway - doing their part to synthesize their influences, favorites, and obscure stuff they want to get the word out on. They're the best of a much larger pool of downloads, many of which I deleted after one listen (or less). Looking at the list, I think 3 things generally distinguish these against their lesser peers: quality of music, diversity of styles, and balance between the familiar and unknown.

Usually, these are single .mp3 files/tracks, mixed sorta like a radio program (probably to get around legal hassles) - posted for some kind of blog and/or podcast series. The title of the mix itself should be linked to the place where you can read more and download. Look for the word "Download," or the Arrow-Pointing-Down symbol (like on SoundCloud), or I'll try to give some directions if it's not that obvious. Links from song/artist/film titles go to some kinda listening samples. And here's a post on how to download internet music, if that helps...

#1. Multiple [Astral post] by The Time and Space Machine

Norris at NasH
Take a musician and DJ, half of Beyond the Wizards Sleeve (#1, 2008), and turn him loose as The Time & Space Machine. He'll crank out the #6 Release(s) of 2009, and go nuts on the internet mix scene in 2010. That's Richard Norris all right. Quite a variety here, but start at the top...

"Art of Noise #8" (from The Line of Best Fit)
Has the dual advantage of being 100% awesome and consisting of separate tracks (independently downloadable too). But do yourself a favor and just "DOWNLOAD ALL TRACKS [.zip]"! Pure excellence from Serge Gainsbourg, Dungen (#5, 2008), Beck, Donovan, The Girls, Lee Dorsey, Todd Rundgren, Jacques Dutronc, Protein Bros., and a soul cover of "Walk on Gilded Splinters."

"Beats in Space Radio Show #496" (from Beats in Space)
A few odd Beatles covers (a Time & Space theme), and lots from The Machine itself - including a much-beloved edit using The Animated Egg's "Sock It My Way." Also the Alice In Wonderland cast, Klaus Doldinger, Circus, Johnny Harris, Alan Hawkshaw, Captain Beefheart, and the TTASM remix of Doves. [DOWNLOAD> to the right of the tracklist.

"Live at NasH party DJ set" (from The Love Unlimited)
Two-plus hours live at the turntable, starting with a lot of '60s garage/psych/pop then devolving into somewhat more trad DJ material. Featuring usual suspects like The Sonics, Jacques Dutronc, Captain Beefheart, The Kinks, Shocking Blue, The Monkees, The Rattles, Sir Douglas Quintet, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, Shadows Of Knight, The Action, Human Beinz, The Easybeats, The Calliope, The Remains, Doves, Primal Scream, LCD Soundsystem, Lemon Interupt, Franz Ferdinand, The Shortwave Set, Findlay Brown, and some Beyond the Wizards Sleeve and The Time & Space Machine action. (Too much to link...) 320 and 192 bitrate "Download" links below setlist. In truth, I rarely make it to the end. First half is radical, then diminishing returns.

"DTPodcast083" (from Data Transmission)
You have to sign up (and get e-mails), and might not be worth the e-mails unless you dig this kinda beat stuff. Try before you 'buy!' Space, Edison, Ecce, a couple from Sorcerer, Severed Heads, Lil' Wolf, Cumbia de la Casa, and of course The Time and Space Machine.

#2. "Summer Trips" Typecast - The Alps

Summer Trips
And now - wow! The Alps (#9, 2008) bring it. Kraut, Japanese psych, George + Yoko, Velvets/Dream Syndicate personnel, Broadcast, Floyd... I mean, get it! Stream it at the link above if you don't believe me. It's great - set includes Agitation Free, Joe Byrd & The Field Hippies, Kimio Mizutani, Irmin Schmidt & The Inner Space, Faust, Yoko Ono, Tony Conrad, George Harrison, Heldon, Far East Family Band, Ashra, Angus Maclise, Yasuhiro Minamizawa, Flower Travellin Band, Les Rallizes Denudes, Jean Cohen–Solal, World’s Experience Orchestra, Broadcast, Virginia Astley, and The Pink Floyd.

Type Records is great. Not only do they put up pretty much every release for unlimited streaming previews, but they get their artists and friends to do these Typecast programs (up to 37 at this point). All via SoundClound on their site, download using the Arrow-Pointing-Down symbol.

#3. Three-plus of Demdike Stare

I honestly don't think I'm becoming more open to dance music. I just think "dance music" is expanding into areas that appeal to me... Primarily, not being dance music. Any accurate description of Demdike Stare should simultaneously repel and intrigue me - and possibly you. Dubstep (ugh.), Witch House (okay), Dronestep (right!)... Creepy horror-infused ambient music and Middle Eastern psych edits need to be mashed-up more often. The occasional groovy guitar riffs and bizarre vocal tape-loops are most welcome. In hour-long mixes from dedicated studio rats, dumped on the shoulder of the information superhighway? Thanks!

Start here. Great soundtrack for walking around the neighborhood at night. You start off in your own personal action/blacksploitation movie, running your game. Reality shifts all of a sudden, and you find yourself trapped in the jazzy shadows of a film noir maze. Eventually, you're disoriented, every house is haunted, and every stranger a mystical spirit guide or menacing crypt ghoul. Runs the gamut.

"Moving Metals"
More on the synth-beat end of the Demdike spectrum, but still quite a journey. Between this and "Häxan," you should have a great idea of how much you want to explore. Personally, I prefer the more soundtrackesque part of the bargain - but this is quite good.

"Unsounded Podcast #13" (from Unsound)
Closer to an actual comp than their signature mix-up style. Very, very good! Includes BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Suum Cuique, The Caretaker (from #16, 2007), Edgar Froese (of Tangerine Dream), Clifford Jordan Quartet, LA Vampires vs. Zola Jesus, Demons, Jazzfinger, and a couple of untitled concretes by Demdike Stare.

Plus, if you can find a copy, there was the FACT mix #151 (from FACT mag), which seems officially expired... That one includes Guru Guru (#9, 1972), Keith Hudson (with Horace Andy), an unknown Thai track (as always), Elias Rahbani, Robert Hood, Carl Craig, and several newer ones by Demdike Stare. (Ah, here it is STREAMING!)

#4. A couple from Teeth of the Sea

Fly Like Jodorowsky

Who woulda expected Teeth of the Sea (#9, 2009)? Not me, but I'm glad they did! These guys seem to have similar tastes as me, so I really like what they've done here.

Fly Like Jodorowsky, Kick Like Peckinpah (from 20 Jazz Funk Greats)
Run down a little in this post, until you see the image shown above... Right-Click Save-As on the "Teeth of the Sea 20JFG mixtape" link. Another big winner for you! Introduced by Iggy (as Angry Bob from the post-apocalyptic Hardware), and featuring Eroc (of Grobschnitt!), Oneida, Dirty Filthy Mudd, Big Business, Skyramps, Bongwater (#4, 1988), This Heat, Venus Gang, Reichmann, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Hygrades, Crom, Medieval Steel, and Underworld. That's right - Bongwater, 1970's Nigerian Psychedelic Fuzz-Funk Afro-Rock, and 1980's Epic/Power/Sword-Metal!!

Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite (from TOTS blog)
Over an hour of creepy electronic ambience! "Inspired by the infinite cosmos, of spinning endlessly in the void, of the vast unfathomable mysteries of space. And good music."

#5. The entire Klang komplex experience.
It's an awesome Turkish radio show, with each episode downloadable after the fact. Not every one is necessarily worth keeping, but they are ALL worth a listen. Really well done, usually giving at least a couple of tracks per artist, mostly focusing on newer releases. Great, great stuff!!

One thing to note: confusion worthy of "The Pre-Taped Call-In Show" due to the fact that each show's download link is included in the following show's blog post. Still...

#6. Kafe Caput podcast - Jon Brooks

Cafe Kaput
Episodes 1-5 are linked right here.
Most recent (final?) is Episode 6.
Samhain 2010 "with a contemplative side..."

Jon Brooks is The Advisory Circle, who releases mostly through Ghost Box (a sign of quality). And this year's Electronic Music in the Classroom on the brand-new Cafe Kaput label, under the name D. D. Denham, [stream here]. Cafe Kaput podcasts cover a lot of ground, but focus on the roots of Hauntology: early electronic music, more recent ambient, European library music, '60s psych-pop and freakbeat, that kind of thing... O yeah, and of course childhood memories of BBC Radiophonic and British educational film soundtracks. Appropriate because you can learn a lot from these presentations - with good music!

[Edit: added 1/4/2011]
6b. Three mixes - Moon Wiring Club

Ice Cream Sunstroke mix
I'm adding these in after the fact, because I found them before year-end and the Cafe Kaput podcast is related enough to justify it. Plus, you should get them. Three extensive and wide-ranging mixes from Moon Wiring Club... I'd start with "Ice Cream Sunstroke." (Fletch!) Then get the two-part "ASDA Mix" tape. (Delia Derbyshire! Fabio Frizzi!!) But don't sleep on "The Jayston Mix" - lots of Ghost Box alumni, Tangerine Dream, Peter O'Toole!

7. "Surreal in Springtime" Typecast- William Fowler Collins

Surreal In Springtime
Collins is from New Mexico - still can't get over that... Perdition Hill Radio was my #8 Drone/Ambient record of 2009. This is another Typecast (see under #2 above). The breadth and depth are stupefying!! Patsy Cline, Lydia Lunch, Lefty Frizzell, Helena Gough, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Maryanne Amacher, Chris Watson, Giacinto Scelsi, and I love the Xasthur > Ennio Morricone > Butthole Surfers > live Hendrix finale!! Gets a little avant there in the middle, but the edges are real meaty.

#8. Soundtrackin' great podcasts from Foxy Digitalis

Das Millionenspiel
Digitalis Recordings is an excellent label based in Tulsa, OK. Foxy Digitalis is their online music magazine [link above to current version]. These two episodes of their podcast [on the old site] focus on soundtrack-related business. I'm down with that - because good soundtrack-music is good music-music!

"Mining the fertile fields of film soundtrack music" from Phase IV, Satan's Sadists, These Are the Damned, Gang Army, Black Gestapo, Un homme et une femme, Blood on Satan's Claw, Psychomania, Le Frisson des vampires, La noche del terror ciego, Raw Meat (a.k.a. Death Line), Milano calibro 9, Witchfinder General (a.k.a. The Conqueror Worm), The Trip, Il cittadino si ribella, Eye of the Devil, Das Millionenspiel (CAN!), Cannabis (Serge Gainsbourg & Jean-Claude Vannier!!), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Pääskytorni Ruusujen aika, and Jäniksen vuosi.

"O.S.T. II"
Focusing on "Reinterpretations of film music & music reinterpreted for films..." like Le lit de la vierge (by Nico), Arvottomat, Halloween, Shaft, Black Leather Rock, Koyaanisqatsi, Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (Florian Fricke!), The Wicker Man, A Clockwork Orange, The Night of the Hunter (Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish!!), Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Psychomania, Emmanuelle, Scorpio Rising, The Holy Mountain, and two versions of Pink Floyd's "Seabirds" from More.

#9. "RA.230: John Carpenter" - Alan Howarth (Resident Advisor)

Alan Howarth is the perfect man to curate a John Carpenter mix for the internet, their being co-composers on several Carpenter movie sountracks. Appreciation for which is rising to almost-appropriate levels. Extra-good forboding minimal synth-pulse for horror, as well as other styles befitting the film project. Right-Click/Save-As on the word HERE following "You can download the MP3 of this 61-minute mix."

#10. Maserati's "Needle Exchange 044" (from Self-Titled Mag)

Needle Exchange 044
Between my great love for Maserati (#2, 2007 and co-#2, 2009) and the names included, I figured I'd be all over this one. Just not as much as expected, but still pretty worth owning for when the mood strikes. That'd be the electro-Kraut/Italo disco/techno/drone mood - with Deutscher Wertarbeit, Jonas Reinhardt (relevant story), Spacemen 3, Paul Johnson, Harald Grosskopf, Giorgio Moroder, Suicide, Lindstrøm, Michael Rother, and Michael Hoenig. I had trouble downloading from the embed at Self-Titled, so if that happens, go here.

Know what's weird? That the vocals in "Big City" reminded me so much of Dingus from Mercury Rev (#4, 1993) - and sure enough, they covered it! Also, I noticed there's a remix by Erol Alkan (of BTWS). So, I think that appropriately closes the circle.


Nuthin' to do with anything...

No comments: