titassite

Atop Templo Mayor dancing for rain

Featuring : Boan

BOAN - MENTIRAS (HD030) - cover

The spirit of dance music stalks us, always.  Like a particularly fond addiction, it waits eternally for us to succumb  to its charms.  And so it was with Boan’s debut LP.  Arriving at the beginning of the month on Holodeck, it’s haunted our digital music aether ever since.

So much so that we found ourselves — the 20JFG gestalt — at the newly renovated Audio Patterns to see the incomparable Optimo on a Saturday night.  There was dancing.  We tell you this as a confession.  The invisible red thread wound its way from mp3 to club floor and we were lost again, to the acid (not the acid).

And what brought this whole thing on?  Boan’s epic, seductive offering atop a cyclopean temple to the gods of acid:

BOAN – BOAN ACID

Not content with the acid, Boan Acid weaves in Freestyle and those amazing digital steel drums that The Knife had so much fun with.  But the synths here have dominion.  So much so that they’ll cut off vocals, summon kick drums, hypnotise bloggers into dancing for three and half hours straight.  Their  power knows no mortal’s law.

Boan Acid is taken from Boan’s Acid via Cold Wave opus Mentiras.  Which you can get from Holodeck Records right here.

 

The Island of Dr. Riley

Featuring : Marie Davidson

marie-davidson

Like so much melancholy 70s sci-fi, we find ourselves exiled on an island paradise where all is not as it seems.  Glistening white towers rise out of forests and silent 4x4s glide over dirt paths to and from glistening beaches.  Beaches bookended by yet more white towers, their expansive verandas gazing out over the sea.

People move about in loose fitting jumpsuits all looking blissful.  Clasping in their hands A Rainbow in Curved Air and the 5LP box set of The Well Tuned Piano (the bastards*).  No wonder they’re blissful.  For this is the land of the minimalists, cut off from civilisation in the 60s and kept in glorious seclusion for some sort of opaque corporate/government experiment.

And then it goes awry.  And there’s a love story and rebellion and dark truths uncovered.  But in the middle of this there’s a nightclub scene.  Oh and the nightclub has no walls because: islandparadise.

ENTER – Marie Davidson.

At 3AM as the patrons are indulging in some pretty existential moments of self reflection — through the medium of glacial slow dance — Marie emerges from blinding patterns of white light (screen-grab above).  Standing for a moment to absorb the decades of displacement her fellow islanders are feeling, she sings.  And we all turn to watch because her voice is soothing; lost, as it is, amidst a web of arpeggiating synths.

Marie Davidson – Insomnie

Then some stuff blows up, there’s a chase and the heroes leave the island by boat.  We swear that Delia and Gavin were glimpsed in some sort of control tower but then, we feel that about most things.

Insomnie is taken from Marie Davidson’s LP Un Autre Voyage, which is available on Holodeck Records right here (scroll down a bit).

* especially as this didn’t come out till 1987

Inference

Featuring : Raymond Sky

raymondsky

We have had the privilege of featuring several Dramatic Records artists in the past, including cultural anthropologist Gabo Gulbenkian, Vienesse alt-schlager star Rasmus Folk or derailed business consultant Hans Tanza.

Each of them brings, in addition to wonderful sounds, the baggage of a legendary biography spent slumming in the liminal interstices between the European art, media and knowledge-intensive business services industries. These are areas where the forces of the market are twisted, bent and dissolved like storytelling conventions in a nouvelle vague film. The sounds of these unique individuals are inseparable from their bizarre lives, and that’s what makes them so special.

Today we are bringing you Raymond Sky. We have decided to try to infer the biography and therefore personal source of his (or hers? Or it? We don’t know!) sounds from the sounds themselves, and his (we assume fictitious) nom de plume.

Here you have three speculations:

  • Raymond Sky is a Hungarian PhD student in an interdisciplinary electro-acoustics PhD programme at UCLA, writing a dissertation on generative music based on the emergent behaviours of simple digital creatures. He funds his growing need for processing power and storage space by DJing at cocaine parties in the evenings.
  • Raymond Sky is a Walter Mitty-like character with a background in Operations Research whose job is to optimise the itineraries of a jovial army of travelling salesmen questing through the American Midwest with an arsenal of kitchen utensils they peddle to digiphobe seniors. His hobby is to make music that adds gradients and anti-aliased curves to the linear beauty of his optimisation algorithms.
  • Raymond Sky is a kaleidoscopic void precisely designed to inspire in those who gaze at it the desire to invent strange existences for its creator, adding new facets to the music which then add new facets to the imaginary personas thus devised, generating a strange self-reinforcing loop that expands to fill our brain’s computing space with a marvellous army of fantasies conjugating the precision of the engineer with the intuition of the artist.

So what is the truth about Raymond Sky? Were we close? Is it something else?

Listen to the impossible boogie lushness of the perfectly named “In the Lap of Luxury”, and see what you think.

Raymond Sky – In the Lap of Luxury

Having done this, you can go and acquire the rest of the record in Bandcamp.

Golden Dawn Meet and Greet Mixtape (with a tip of the hat to Christopher Lee)

Featuring : Podcast + The Passenger

ChristopherLee

Last time The Passenger got in touch with us, he referred to one of his recent tapes (this one) as something that would be suitable “for that awkward moment when you have to pick some music to play at the golden dawn meet n greet”. That image stuck in our heads, so we asked him if he would kindly put together a mixtape for us that would fulfil that exact purpose.

Here you have the portentous result.

Differently from other “Secret” 20JFG mixtapes, there is no mystery about the identity of the purveyor of today’s (or tonight’s, for it becomes night wherever this get played) sounds. You should however feel free to propose names for the titles of the tracks herein contained.

Things like “Rendezvous with the Hyades incarnate”, “Release of the deep-sea squid Gonatus onyx brood”, or “Christopher Lee and Vincent Price silver-blade fencing in the macabraest region of heaven” all sound appropriate, and this makes us happy.

Enjoy!

The Passenger: Golden Dawn Meet & Greet mix

Go here for more information about The Passenger.

Good guy moustache

Featuring : NAP

nap

1080p Collection is one of our favourite labels out there. They are based in Vancouver, and release dance music and electronica that is often noisy, fuzzy or distorted (here’s a nice interview with Richard McFarlane, who runs the label).

Noise, distortion and fuzz are often used as signifiers for violence or chaos, but in 1080p’s releases they are generally deployed in a fun and optimistic way. To us they represent flow and communication. This makes for a nice break from all the dystopian/bleak stuff out there (which we also love of course), and harkens back to the visionary, futuristic attitude of early dance pioneers (and sci-fi writers).

Weirdly but logically, this dual use of sonic techniques and tropes reminds us of a comparison between “Good Guy moustache” and “Bad Guy moustache” we read once (it might have been by Cormac McCarthy or Lester Bangs, can’t remember). 1080p are good guy moustache.

There is a lot of 1080p material that we want to write about. Today we are going to focus (apparently premiere LOL) on Scorpio Moon, by Vancouver’s NAP, whose Uncharted tape will be coming out on July the 7th.

As other artists in 1080p (and many others in the contemporary dance scene that interests us), NAP comes from a noise/DIY background. Uncharted contains a bunch of wide-ranging (“rhizomatic”) electronic explorations, including wobbly acid, exponentially expanding ambient and rattling techno, that remain cohesive in their diversity.

It is hard to specify the thread running through all of this stuff that makes it more than the sum of its parts. Perhaps it is the fact that the songs themselves feel like sentences more than words, modular compositions bubbling up into moods stitched as the chapters of a story that we would explain to you if we understood NAP’s abstract, informationally dense language. We don’t, so we dream.

Scorpio Moon is perhaps the most psychedelic stage of this journey, a spilling soup of normalised gamelan drones, reverberations, grooves and synthetic whispers, the peak-time banger of the party with which a mysterious civilisation abandoned its capital in the middle of the jungle, as it echoes through the ages.

Nap – Scorpio Moon

Read more about NAP/pre-order the tape here.

SATURDAY MIXTAPE : Shall we play a game?

Featuring : Podcast

TheHunter

One player rolls a die to decide how many actions the players will be able to describe. The number of actions is divided equally between the number of players, odd numbers discarded, and each player writes down an equal number of actions to be performed.

front

Actions are numbered and an appropriate die is chosen.

20jfg – Gamification

Players take turns to role the die.

The first role determines a number of times the action will occur for the player.

The second role determines which action will occur to the player.

Dick 3

Each action is unique. As each action occurs it is discarded and duplicate die roles must be played again.

Free

Paintings by Sarah Datblygu.

All Hail Dystopia

Featuring : Ssleeping Desiress

gigersilo

The sounds in Sleeping Desiress’ debut album are the brutal components of a mining operation coupling and de-coupling in the midst of the black cloud generated by the death of the planet they are vampirically attached to.

Of course, this being 20jazzfunkgreats, you should feel free to do a literal visualisation, via H.R. Giger’s concept art-work for Jodorowsky’s Dune, or an economical one, cf. the corporate Zigguraths that tower above Bladerunner’s LA.

That latest comparison is particularly apt, that sense of inhuman shapes being revealed when humans enter the mist. This is most strongly felt in the slowest piece of the record, the spectral balled Impasse.

Imagine a gifted, classically trained child composer expelled into the cyberpunk gutter, left to fend for himself against packs of enhanced wolves, made feral and merciless in the hyper-Darwinian streets of Night City.

Imagine him going to sleep in his precarious niche, wrapping himself in a delicate cocoon of beautiful memories as dream arrives, singing a lullaby that soars emaciated for angelic heights.

This is what the synths do in this song, piercing the veil that separates this dystopic world from our summery comfort, insidiously infecting it with threads of darkness.

Mission accomplished.

Ssleeping Desiress – Impasse

The vinyl for this is pretty much sold out, get more info from Onderstroom Records and Ssleeping Desiress’ Soundcloud page.

Artwork by Giger obviously.