P O R T R A I T
C O N N E C T
L O O K
F U T U R E
Twitter
L I S T E N
N E X T
  

Entries in Music (28)

Sunday
Dec072008

MTHRFCKRZ Mix

You can download my first DJ mix in years at the links below (right-click or CNTRL-click to save):

MTHRFCKRZ Mix (MP3 format, 96 MB)

As for the design, it’s meant to suggest to you — sort of subliminally — a vague tracklist, or at least the style and mood of the music, but the real deal is below. Some of this music is already a few years old, but I had pieces of this thing in my head all this time and I just needed to get it out. The next one will be more 1337. Hope you like it!

NOTE ON TRACKLIST: This is merely the order in which you hear elements of the mix. You do not hear the entirety of every song listed below. You will hear so little of some of them, you may not even notice on first listen. Sometimes three or more songs are combined to form one main movement of the mix.

  1. New Order: Exit
  2. LCD Soundsystem: North American Scum (Kris Menace Remix)
  3. Underworld: Peggy Sussed (Pete Heller Vocal)
  4. MSTRKRFT: Street Justice (2007 Version)
  5. Mylo: Drop The Pressure (Rex the Dog Remix)
  6. Freeform Five: No More Conversations (Mylo Remix)
  7. Peaches: Shake Yer Dix (Tiga’s Where Were You In ‘92 Remix)
  8. Annie: Chewing Gum (Mylo Remix)
  9. The Prodigy: The Way It is (Live Remix)
  10. Shiny Toy Guns: Nothing Compares 2 U
  11. Goldfrapp: Ooh La La (Tiefschwarz Remix)
  12. Simian Mobile Disco: Sleep Deprivation
  13. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Cheated Hearts (Peaches Remix)
  14. Alter Ego: Rocker (Eric Prydz Remix)
  15. Digitalism: Magnets
  16. Daft Punk: Technologic (Vitalic Remix)
  17. Soulwax: Miserable Girl (Nite Version)
  18. Justice: D.A.N.C.E. (Les Rythmes Digitales Remix) 
  19. Daft Punk: The Brainwasher (Erol Alkan’s Horrorhouse Dub)
  20. Daft Punk: Robot Rock (Soulwax Remix)
  21. Daft Punk: Oh Yeah
  22. Soulwax: NY Lipps
  23. Simian Mobile Disco: It’s The Beat
  24. Pet Shop Boys: Integral (Perfect Immaculate Mix)
  25. The Chemical Brothers: Star Guitar
  26. Daft Punk: Too Long (Live)
  27. The Chemical Brothers: Elektrobank
  28. Diddy & Felix da Housecat: 20 Minute Versions
  29. Robyn: Be Mine! (Ocelot Mthrfckrs Remix)
  30. Marilyn Manson Vs. Goldfrapp: This Is The New Shit

 Hope you like it!

Saturday
Nov152008

HARD Haunted Mansion 2008.

Simian Mobile Disco, Soulwax, Boyz Noise, Justice. Live in Los Angeles. Halloween 2008.













See more.

Monday
Nov102008

iPhone rave profile series.













Captured during the Simian Mobile Disco performance (or maybe the Soulwax show) at HARD Haunted Mansion at the Shrine in L.A.  October 31, 2008.

Saturday
Nov242007

Crap music reviews (Which is to say, music reviews that are crap).

 

 

 

 

 

Nine Inch Nails - Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D

With this particular collection, their might-as-well-be-covers of NIN songs betray the remixing artists’ fondness for NIN and makes the listener notice how much their own music has been influenced by Reznor. This phenomenon is most apparent in the tracks produced by The Faint and Ladytron, who conclude their “The Beginning of the End” remix with a bit from a very famous NIN track from another album. I also think I hear one of the Ladytron singers in the mix. 

There’s also a cool mix by The Knife’s Olof Dreijer — whose version would be absolutely perfect if that girl from The Knife had sang the NIN lyrics. Damn, that would have been so marvelous! Lazy fucking Norwegians. Or Icelandians. Whatever, pale goth techno vikings. Anyway, if you’re looking for a new Knife B-side, this is definitely it. 

Obviously, when it comes to New Order’s Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, the influence factor works in reverse, with NIN being perhaps one of Joy Division/New Order’s most successful sonic children. The Other Two’s remixes of “God Given” and “Zero Sum” would appear to be what NIN would sound like if Reznor had kept on the more synth-poppy style he sometimes gropes. “God Given,” in particular, is probably better than its Year Zero counterpart, excising all the noizey production that make that record sound too samey from start to finish and letting the song’s built-in melody and groove shine through. 

Remixers Fennesz and Bill Laswell contribute similarly produced tracks, and it makes you wonder what Year Zero would have sounded like if Reznor had gone with this more straight-forward sound. I think it probably would have been better.

There are a lot of interesting contributors to this record that help it stand out from the variously dubious NIN remix projects of the past. You’ve probably heard a lot about Saul Williams and his Reznor-produced album and how they’re going about distributing it. He turns in quite a good version of “Hyperpower!” called “Gunshots by Computer,” with some fine Rage Against the Machiney vocals over the mostly unchanged Year Zero instrumental. He also does a good version of radio hit “Survivalism” that’s not quite as good as another version he did that included his own vocals and was only released on some obscure format earlier in the year.

Peter Gabriel was apparently asked to remix “The Warning” and farmed it out to his staffer Stefan Goodchid and friend Doudou N’Diaye Rose, who Wikipedia tells me is one of Africa’s most acclaimed drummers of the last century. The mix is excellent, a good combo of NIN and Gabriel-esque world musicy sound. 

Perhaps most auspiciously, the lauded Kronos Quartet has a mix on here, and it’s pretty much just what you’d expect if you know their work. There’s also a remix by a fan, who created his version of Year Zero standout track “My Violent Heart” with the free GarageBand multitrack files NIN released online. The mix is just alright, but that it was included at all is just awesome. 

Top Tracks:
“Gunshots by Computer” by Saul Williams
“The Beginning of the End” by Ladytron (Download)
“The Warning” featuring Doudou N’Diaye Rose
“God Given” by Stephen Morris & Gillian Gilbert of New Order (Download)
“Another Version of the Truth” by Kronos Quartet
“In This Twilight” by Fennesz
“Zero Sum” by Stephen Morris & Gillian Gilbert of New Order

 

 

 

 

 

Daft Punk - Alive 2007

If you’re reading this blog then you probably know me and if you know me then you’ve nothing left to hear about what I think about Daft Punk live. I’ll just say that Alive 2007, the record itself, is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard and will forever hold a place in my otherwise constantly changing Top 5 Favourite Albums of All Time and will remain with me always as a powerful monument to one of the best periods in my life.

Top Tracks:
Every. Single. One. But why don’t you have a listen to these (AAC format, will play in iTunes):
Robot Rock/Oh Yeah (Download)
Touch It/Technologic (Download)
Prime Time of Your Life/Rollin’ and Scratchin’/Brainwasher/Alive (Download)

And watch this:

Monday
Oct152007

Crap music reviews (which is to say, music reviews that are crap).

Superfast stream-of-consciousness “reviews” just so I can get these things off my desk (yes I still buy a lot of them fuck off) (or desktop as it were) k thnx bye





 

Hallelujah the Hills - Collective Psychosis Begone

As it is apparently not allowed to discuss Hallelujah the Hills without mentioning the fact that some of the group’s members used to belong to a Boston, MA band called The Stairs, I do so now. 

Songwriter/guitarist/singer Ryan Walsh is an old friend of mine and someone whose work I respect very much and will probably talk about more now that he’s become loads more e-famous than me. Ryan was awarded a grant from some place and used the money to record a proper album, which became The Stairs’ debut Miraculous Happens, which I thought was really quite good.

This new record with his new band is getting positive write-ups all over the place, and for good reason. It’s positively anthemic, with nearly every track a journey in and of itself, full of every instrument the group could get their hands on and learn how to play really, really well. Cellos, keyboards, chimes, horns, guitars and Ryan’s cleverly oblique yet highly personal lyrics (the best kind of lyrics, in my opinion), which he often transmits through variously noisy and echoey filters as well as nakedly with nothing but a tinny acoustic guitar to back him up.

Last.fm seems to think that if you like Cold War Kids, Guided By Voices, Okkervil River, Tapes ‘n Tapes and Band of Horses then you’ll like Hallelujah the Hils. I love indie records that sound like the artists actually gave a damn; that they agonized over every layer of instrumentation; and, most importantly, that they had a ton of fun doing it. I wasn’t around Ryan when he was making this, but you can hear his and his bandmates’ personalities all over this record, and it’s one that is sure to endear them to more and more listeners as time goes on.

Top Tracks:
“Wave Backwards To Massachusetts” (Download)
“Hallelujah The Hills” (Download)
“Teenage Synesthete”
“It’s All Been Downhill Since The Talkies Started To Sing”
“To All My Scientist Colleagues I Bid You Farewell”

You can also find loads of free tracks on their official site, and here and here.

Additionally, on my old friend Brad Searles’ excellent Boston music blog is an entire live recording of Ryan performing solo, opening for Broken Social Scene at their MySpace Secret Show.

Ryan Walsh - “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (Live) (Download)





 

Underworld - Oblivion With Bells

 This is Underworld’s fifth studio album and their first since 2002’s disappointing A Hundred Days Off. That one was completed very quickly and came not long after member Darren Emerson had left to pursue his DJ career full time. I said at the time that AHDO was a transition piece, and the group’s output since then has proved me right, I think, because everything since then has been excellent.

Although Oblivion With Bells is their first physical release in five years, they’ve actually recorded several albums’ worth of music since 2002: Lovely Broken Thing, Pizza For Eggs and I’m a Big Sister, and I’m a Girl, and I’m a Princess, and this is my Horse were digital-only EP releases sold directly from their website, all more than 30 minutes in length, and all original. Additionally, the band have been sitting on another EP’s worth of BANGING tracks they only seem to play live but promise will be released online in the near future.

Msg to Underworld: GET ON WITH IT.

Anyway, Oblivion With Bells is about half a classic Underworld album and half a bunch of noodly bits, which I suppose can be said of even the best bands in any genre of music, so they’re still doing pretty good. The first thing you notice is the artwork, which is auspiciously similar to their glorious “debut,” dubnobasswithmyheadman. The new album has a familiar darkness not heard in years; a sound that’s almost sinister. The already classic “Crocodile” opens the record and leads into “Beautiful Burnout,” in which Underworld define an entirely new kind of electronic anthem. It’s dark and long with the vocoder turned up to 11 and a brilliant live percussion breakdown in the middle.

Other tracks are more cheery, with bouncy verses that give way to layer after layer of banging beats and sunny synths, but that moody Underworld sound is never far away, if only in the form of an instrumental filler track.

Unfortunately, there’s quite a bit of fade-outs on this album, which is a practice I loathe. When a song just fades out at the end, I feel like the artist just sort of gave up. My other criticism is more like a backhanded compliment: the songs that are lacking aren’t even that bad of songs, they just weren’t developed enough, or at least in my view were developed badly.

That’s what Emmerson brought to the group, I think. Though not a strong songwriter, he definitely gave Underworld focus and a detached ear, one that could keep the group from disappearing too far up its own ass. It’s no wonder his departure was met with such a ceaseless output of new material. They had several albums’ worth of music ready to go. Imagine what it would have been like if they’d put all the great stuff on one disc?

Oh well, “Beautiful Burnout” is worth all the chaff.

Top Tracks:

“Crocodile” (stream)
“Beautiful Burnout” (download)
“Ring Road”
“Glam Bucket”
“Faxed Invitation”





 

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasuredome

 I keep seeing this record on “Best of the ’80s” lists and thought it strange that I —known to my friends as a fairly diligent synthpop listener— had never actually heard it, so I picked up the 20th Anniversary Edition and got my headphones on to see what all the fuss is about.

I’m disappointed to report I really didn’t like it. Thought it was noise and won’t listen to it again. Yeah it has “Relax” and “Two Tribes” but they’re remixed to dullness from their more famous 7” versions. It’s not really worth talking about.

Maybe Welcome to the Pleasuredome is just a “you had to be there” kind of record?

Top Tracks:
None





 

M.I.A. - Kala

No, I don’t think it’s as good as Arular, but what chance did Kala ever have at that? This is still a great record with some classic tracks. Some friends and I listened to this together and critiqued it over AIM. There was some controversy over whether Kala is a dance album or not. I say no, not that there aren’t dance tracks on it, but Arular was a straight up dance album. It was hyphy in the extreme. Kala is not.

I was trepidatious about this release after I found out Switch was producing it. There’s not much to say about him; either you think he’s alright or you think he’s not. I only know his work from the crap remixes he’s done for other artists, but I’m forced to say he did quite well with Kala. “Boyz” is a proper M.I.A. banger, and the “Blue Monday” meets “Where Is My Mind?” track “20 Dollar” is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard (although it does sound in parts like M.I.A. is about to sing, “how does it feel” but doesn’t because it’d be too expensive). 

However, the best tracks are “Paper Planes” and “Come Around,” produced by Diplo and Timbaland, respectively. “Paper Planes” is for me the best song on the record, and I didn’t even recognize the Clash sample. The Timbaland song is really awesome, too, although I doubt the European 8-bit techno musician he probably stole the music from feels the same way. Oh, can you keep a secret? TIMBALAND IS OVERRATED. Also — a hack. 

But I digress.

Top Tracks:

“Boyz”
“20 Dollar”
“Paper Planes” (download)
“Come Around”





 

Radiohead - In Rainbows

Not bad.