This isn’t the first mix that Pye Corner Audio’s The Head Technician has fabricated for 20JFG – to experience that, you need to travel back in time to this post – but seeing as he has helmed two awesome albums that have been released in the past 9 months, it was certainly worth inviting the enigmatic engineer back for another spin.
The first of these albums was Pye Corner Audio’s Prowler LP, released at the end of last year.
And more recently, Ecstatic Recordings have supplied listeners with Zones, a revamped solo set from The Head Technician.
Whether your with Dunbar on music and dance evolving as mass social grooming, Darwin and his strutting peacock, or feel dancing and music is tickling the brain in ways nature cannot, dancing is a part of our humanity and has been for a very long time. 2011 was a good time for music you could dance too…
Lindstrøm : De Javu When you play a Lindstrom track in your dj set its always difficult to follow. It’s normally difficult to know what to play it after too becuase, lets face it, no one else makes records that sound like this. The new album Six Cups Of Rebel is out on Small Town Supersound in February.
James Fox: New Jack SwingJames Fox laces pristine mid-tempo dance with some silky new jack swing vibes, projecting us inside an utopia of white and honey which is to mainstream house music what romance is to porn.
We are believers in the possibility of a non-fucked up after-hours club where the tribes congregate to squeeze the last ounce of physical sweetness of the ephemeral night, rather than gurn their way into infinity. If that place exists, this is its theme tune.
SebastiAn: Love In Motion Feat. Mayer Hawthrone More Stones Throw related goodness by way of the loudest Banger on Ed’s roster pitching Patrick Cowley’s Lift Off Down to an unmistakably Purple Oneesqu slowed clap groove.
Machinedrum: Come1 Riding last year’s bubbling up of Juke and snapping it into a piano-house ghost-ballad workout. With an opening the hits right in the feet and then proceeds to gently let up over the next six minutes Come1 is the reverse of most dancefloor equations. Drawing you in with it’s hedonistic intensity from the off then taking you on a tour of its sorrow.
The whole album’s a near effortless reminder of how good dance albums can be. building upon a Footwerk foundation to deliver everything from a dancefloor Boards of Canada (Now U Know Tha Deal 4 Real) to one of the most cathartically maudlin pieces of music this year in Lay Me Down (which has the audacity to not actually be the last track on the album).
Graphics: Adjectival EWell Rounded are quickly and efficiently becoming a treasure of the Brighton Vs. Hove demilitarised zone. Graphics is the second release on offshoot, Well Rounded Individuals and is a towering example of Fractured British Dance Music. A sliced vocal looped and buried under fabric-thin waves of synth washes haunts the intricate drum programming and sweeping siren-calls that interleave and enchant. Which is not to say it’s adverse to a break and a surging refrain, that’d be silly.
Den Haan: Gods From Outer Space Bandying “macho disco” around like leather, sweat, and guitar riffs were about to go out of fashion Gods From Outer Space is probably more fun that you can actually ever have in a club, but with this as your soundtrack it would be impossible not to try.
D/R/U/G/S: Connected Connected doesn’t waste much time bringing its snippets of Techno and House to bear on the floor. Far too much has been written about ghostly reconfigurations of former genre glories and the pillars that this stands upon are amply described by the track itself in the opening minute and a half. Exercising aCraig-ian approach to the build, the drop finally arrives and the euphoria is suitably unleashed. Not ones to paddle in the pool of anti-intellectual hedonism, 20JFG are satiated by the wiring machine ballet that seems to underpin the ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE HANDS IN THE AIR PIANO HOUSE that forms the back end of the track.
Magic Touch: I can Feel the Heat Imagine a unicorn leaping out of an original pre-hipster/Urban Outfitters post-everything appropriation 1980s t-shirt, into a rainbow pond of everything that’s awesome about disco music, and out again into the garden of eternal delights that lies beyond, where it dries itself with an almighty shake, droplets of joy splattering all over in a kaleidoscopic rain which is photographed with minimum exposure, the ensuing images (or their emotional equivalent) are then pressed on vinyl for the whole world to dance to.
Ital: Ital’s Theme Ital soundtracks the muscular leaving party for a space marine squadron. A glimpse out of battered portholes onto the uniquely specular beauty of crystalline asteroids, for a moment…before the pounding of the room draws their attention back to the dancefloor with a heaving, looping ecstatic roll of wave after wave of 23rd century Italo instrumentals.
Death in Vegas: Trans-Love Energies Richard Fearless returned with a 7+ minute track referencing the soundtrack to New York’s The Loft and the UK Acid House scene featuring the considerable vocal talents of Katie Stelmanis of Austra, and we couldn’t stop playing it. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a 30min extended remix. The rest of the album wasn’t bad either.
Hans Tanza: An Audience with Hans Tanza Nutjob consultant extraordinaire Hans Tanza convenes a board meetingto discuss the quarterly impacts of psy-trance flotations on the futures market of electro-acoustic academia circa 1976
Mi Ami: Dolphins EP Mi Ami’s vessel plunges through a forest of cyclopean futurist hulks, its distorting, tape-bent beats pounding off the walls. High above Gavin Russom watches from a former car insurance office (now sans walls) and smiles to himself in the knowledge that there are others. Glancing upwards for a moment he catches the forms of Derrick May and Carl Craig huddling around a fire, lit on an equally exposed floor of an old financial institution. Down below the vessel nears the source of the sound as light cascades from the rising sun. Hundreds of people throb around a fire giving thanks to those who came before, those who provided us with such riches. A badly painted cloth hangs from an old piece of corporate art and reads: ‘Things should be made anew before they are destroyed again.’
Virgo: Resurrection (reissue) To call this life-changing is no exaggeration. Imagine the most intimate moment of ‘It’s You’ by ESP’ time stretched across a 3 hour movie about Jamie Principle floating on the ethereal plane and perhaps you’re getting there.
Daphni: JIAOLONG001 While we found Caribou’s recent album to be not as up our street as the previous few we did very much enjoy the Daphni remix project which re-visited the gratuitous psychedelic elements we loved about Caribou’s sound.
Wheez-ie: All Werked Up EP Texan Juke desperado Wheez-ie’s veers between hardcore footwork punishment and futuristic heartbreak – ‘Leave her Alone’ hovers above the battlefield like the X-Men’s Storm, convening from the summer skies a purple hurricane of emotion at whose eye spins a silver music box delicate ballerina.
Xander Harris: I want more than Just Blood/Urban Gothic If you like your drum programming hand built from the Dopplereffekt textbook of absolute rigidity, and your synth lines played straight from the pained claws of The Phantom of Paradise, then Xander Harris is the pick for you.
Innergaze: Shadow Disco Innergaze take us in a strut through a parallel land where mirrors, glitter and dances are the holy sacraments of a mainstream religion whose father is Liquid Liquid (on a dubby bender), the son is Daniel Wang and the holy spirit Arthur Russell. On its journey it collects a thousand scuzz tropes and redistributes them across a skeletal groove so lazy, it makes E.S.G sound like a clinical minimal techno project devised by the appointed keepers of metronomic purity. Spectral hedonism, that’s our new calling.
Factory Floor: Various 12’’ Factory Floor strip dance music down to its bare components, and configure them with the grim nonchalance of a murder squad retained by the black ops soviet. Synth loops blast like machine language glyphs straight off Nitzer Ebb’s and Front 242 body music usage dictionary. The motorik beats read like input-output flows in a 5 year programme of industrial production that measures results in terms of sweat. The shards of distortion are cruelly designed to produce collateral damage, demoralization and mass surrender.
Zomby: Dedication Zomby buries us in a frozen dead ocean, where we float surrounded by a constellation of discrete music molecules floating in stasis. They recall the past (massively compressed Jarre, blocks of primary colour which are the slices of a Jan Hammer gradient) but aren’t it. Rather, evolved echoes, nano-designed DNA blueprints for a future fauna of Cupertino Panthers and fractal wing dragonflies.
Lumpen Nobleman: Grusha Lumpen Nobleman’s (no link, alas) is all about the deepness, the abyssal and the sub-dermal, ochre drones awesome like the ornate dome of a defiled Orthodox monastery breaking through the mist, grim commandoes in ghillie suits pulling their best Snake moves up the snowy hill, an inhuman metronome ticks away at the heart of the ruins, counting down the time left for the start of the paranormal firefight.
FWY: Ventura EP We continue our love affair with Edmund Xavier and his FWY’s trucker techno-gamelan escapades. Watch out for the title track’s superb melancholy drone, like Cormac McCarthy’s existential cowboy gazing into a neuromantic dead-channel sky, a moment before stepping past the borderline.
The Passenger: \_| The Passenger’s\_| combines Armando’s optimistic bass rumbling, Orbital’s playful chimes, Wendy Carlos binary fairy-telling and the sort of acid riffs that Plastikman would have come up with if he had been commissioned to update Maurice Sendak’s bibliography, in collaboration with Paper Rad.
Pye Corner Audio: Black Mill Tapes Vol.2. The first post witch house record? Made by someone who probably never heard of witch house? Slow techno and radiophonic electronic passed through a hauntology filter to create one hell of an immersive experience. Why this isn’t on everyone’s albums of the year list is mystifying.
The term krautrock is itself a derogatory and racist category invented by English music journalists.
Tangerine dream is the music your dad/weird uncle/granddad made in their bedroom and kept trying to make you listen to.
Faust were signed by Richard Branson, and their song Krautock is an in-joke on those who don’t know what krautock actually is.
Conny Plank produced A Flock of Seagulls, Clannad and Ultravox’s Vienna.
Neu! – to the untrained ear – could easily pass for a new age relaxation/birthing tape.
Ash Ra Tempel and many of those on the acid fuelled excess of kosmiche records could easily be mistaken for sub-jefferson airplane jams remixed by ozrick tenticles.
Kraftwerk haven’t made a decent album since 1981.
Most of krautrocks new fame can be attributed to a book written by an aging 80s indie rock star with blatantly crusty tendencies who dressed in a turtle shell and probably believes crystals have magic powers.
Saying that you listen to Krautrock isn’t actually a catch all way of being cool.
* Full disclosure – I am actually writing this wearing a Neu! t-shirt, and have a Can tattoo.
In these days of the musical mass-collective knowledge that is the internet it is not difficult to download and become an expert on the entire subject or kosmiche and motorik in a few days. This makes us happy that others can share our love, but sad that something you had to work hard at, exploring the under the deepest rocks, is now easily available to those who see it as a meteor ride to ‘being cool’.
It really does take quite a lot to impress xxjfg these days, and most new supposed ‘krautrock’ inspired bands/tracks leave us with a bad taste in our mouths.
Food Pyramid don’t (need to) mention anything eluding to German 60s/early 70s music in their email to us, but as with the Bordoms, Juan Atkins, Holly Fuck, Death in Vegas, Fuck Buttons, The Time and Space Machine, Deerhunter, Gavin Russom, Oneida, Lindstrom or P.I.L. – reading between the lines gives us great delight, as does this track from their final long player in the trilogy Food Pyramid III.
But as you know dear reader, this is merely a single string in xxjfg multiverse where just a small quantum leap away is Pye Corner Audio.
Lets start with the slow down:
It’s as good a place as any in our well travelled none-linear narrative.
Certain parts of the universe began to loose their hi-energy. The Constalations of Fidelity, Dc recordings, DFA, beats in space joined a growing number of less than 130 bpm systems and we rejoiced.
But this is Europe, and so we feel the force of the early rise of the machines – from Europe to Sheffield via COUM, from Düsseldorf to Musique Concrete via Martin Denny. So as pulses throb, the drone deepened and the randomness of machines let loose becomes a universal molasses we shed tears of delight and fear for the new future born unto us.
Darkness grew further as the anti-mater of new rave. Born to soundtrack the nightmares we all enjoy – sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, the offspring and siblings of V/Vm and The Knife pitched down for the decade. The video nasty of Salem and our sadly departed brethren at Triangle Records brought us much joy.
Lets add a convergence from room 13. Mathematicians and jazz musicians using tape loops produced radiophonic poetry – the Technicolor filter to our black and white sci-fi visions of the future. We clicked and hissed with lo-fi electronic delight.
If, dear reader, your currently feeling slightly lost, then the audio segment included will hopefully make things clearer.
This is not the whole of our none-linear story, or even a possibly accurate interpretation of the musical narrative, but merely one interpretation of the history of the conversation Pye Corner Audio are adding to with their new album Black Mill Tapes Vol.2.
Today we are rather excited to turn the posting duties over to our compatriots The Outer Church, Moon Wiring Club & Pye Corner Audio.
The Outer Church
The Outer Church was founded in 1975 and lay dormant until circumstances conspired to make its manifestation a necessity. During the early winter of 2009 it became abundantly clear that a space for the uncanny had to be prised open, a portal located on an unkempt verge some distance off the (badly) beaten track.
Alliances were swiftly formed with artists whose relationship to consensus reality can be compared to the turbulent yet erotically charged bond between Uri Gellar and his long-suffering cutlery. These allies include Mordant Music, Position Normal, Jonny Mugwump, Moon Wiring Club, Ekoplekz, The Haxan Cloak, Hong Kong In The 60s, Alexander Tucker, Raime, The Larsen Effect, Kemper Norton and Jade Boyd.
The April 14th edition of The Outer Church is presented in association with Jim Jupp and Julian House of Ghost Box and will feature live performances from Moon Wiring Club and Pye Corner Audio. The former proponent of “confusing English electronic music” has been known to drive sensitive listeners ‘doolally’ with his blend of somnambulant beats and ectoplasmic samples. The latter project – presided over by the mysterious Head Technician – is dedicated to extracting evanescent tones from found tape reels and presenting the findings to an unprepared public.
Moon Wiring Club
It is rather gloomy within the old house. Every room seems to be the wrong shape and full of peculiar carvings.The atmosphere is quite stuffy, with the distinctive, cloying aroma of burnt treacle.
In the corner of the billiard room is a large antique dresser. Slowly dancing upon this are an odd puppet-creature with an unsuitable animal face and a strange purple bird. You are not completely surprised when they both break into a smile and notion at you to sit in one of their dusty armchairs.
Unwrapping a boiled sweet you politely refuse, only too aware that these curiously cavorting creatures are after your teatime invitation card.
After a few moments have passed, the puppet-creature breaks off from his routine, whips out an enormous sandwich from his satchel, and shimmies forward. Somewhat taken aback, you must act quickly or risk spoiling your tea.
Do you have a distracting periodical?
If you have this item, turn to 328.
If you do not, turn to stone.
Dancing with the stars – minor celebs are blasted into deep space to meet a fiery ending in the embrace of a burning gas ball in nothing more then a fake tan & very tight sequined pants.
Brian’s favorite holiday location this year is Saturn’s sub-zero nitrogen atmosphered moon Titan aka Saturn VI, where he works in the Butlins holiday center showbar performing two shows a night of Iron Butterfly & Vangelis medalies. We have to agree with Brian on that Titan, with it’s glorious liquid methane or ethane lakes and seas, and picturesque views of Saturn would be difficult to miss out on any galactic cruise your taking this year.
Brian is also the keyboard player in the well know Tony Blaire emperor’s march soundtracking D:ream , the rather less well known Def Leppard meets Richard Marx’s hair rockers Dare, and long suffering keyboard player and captain of lockheed starfighters for fellow Space is Deep enthusiast Robert ‘Bob’ Calvert. When Brian isn’t comparing plushy Quarks with Robert he enjoys nothing better than a game of pin the sting on the diverging reality. Robert Calvert – The Right Stuff
Russell Grant is an astrologer who (like all astrologers) makes up more lies than we do and is famous for generating large sums of money for a load of hocus pocus. A bit like organised religion, but without the moralising shite. edit: He also has a vigilant International Sales & Marketing Director called Kevin J Parker who either avidly reads this blog or has a Google alert set up. Hi Kevin!
Although initially entertaining we do not endorse laughing at afflicted people who believe in Astrology/Pixies/Psychics/Gods/Unicorns/Gnomes or other junk.
If you are going to pick some kind of belief system for control of others based on the fears and gullibility of your audience the wizard of xxjfg would like to recommend you go with one or a pick and mix of the following –
eating peoples brains to gain their strength (specifically astrologers).
a huge element of WTF by L. Ron Hubbard.
ancient may pole loving real ale drinking morris dancing faith with bells on.
the old gods whom we dare not call in name and will smite you down if you every betray them (popular amongst steam punkers).
humans were genetically modified by gods from outer space.
Student of von Däniken, Den Haan‘s rather amazing album Gods From Outer Space is available now on itunes, with vinyl soon. Den Hann has nothing to do with Russel Grant as far as we know. But lets not waste any more time on these pseudo-science weirdoes, for some real knowledge lets go straight to a bonafide scientist who knows some proper stuff about the stars.
Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, CBE, HonFRS, FRAS
Now we are talking!
Long serving Astronomer, Gamesmaster, monocle wearer, Flat Earth Society member, xylophone player extraordinaire and Time Lord Patrick Moore is best known for the BBC television series he has presented since the 1950’s – The Sky at Night.
Patrick’s favorite holiday location is the red supergiant Antares. With it’s guaranteed warm weather, view of orbiting star Antares B, wonderful national anthem sung by Lieutenant Uhurah and lack of habitants in the vicinity (according to the Frontier: Elite II ) it’s a great place to get away from it all and unwind.
Patricks’s well publicised love trio with twin haired Anita Dobson and Brian May led to their musical collaboration on the ‘not actually the original theme tune’ track Star Fleet. Due to an late night ‘Sorry Brian, I thought you were Anita’ incident Patrick’s magnificent Xylophone solo was replaced on the Star Fleet ‘not actually the original theme tune’ track by untalented guitar wanking just in it for the money chancer Eddie Van Halen.
Patrick’s early musical career flourished after working on the Stanley Kubrick/Arthur C Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack and marrying Walter Carlos. Patrick was also fond of showing off his enormous telescope to Daphne Oram in a broom cupped at the BBC he later discover to be the BBC Radiophonic Workshop Headquarters. It was during one of these late night broom cupped sessions that Patrick contributed to the Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services recording we share with you today.
Patrick unfortunately declined into alcoholism, became a member of the anti-immigration/eurosceptic/racists New Britain party, is now a member of the anti-immigration/eurosceptic/racists Conservative party and has married Davros in the mistaken belief he was marrying Stephen Hawking . The couple live happily together in their Skaro orbiting spacestation with two cats and a hord of genetically manipulated mutants who may one day turn against their unsuspecting masters.
Carl is a cosmologist, unit of measurement, dope smoking advocate, believer in aliens, god and internet singing sensation. Carl is best known for his totally awesome series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Although virtually unknown (except by geeks) in the UK he has recently become a real Dawkins internet meme due to the syphonyofscience Cher inspired autochoon videos.
Carl’s favorite holiday location is the small s-type asteroid belt, 2709 Sagan. The stony composition (thanks wikipedia!) makes for a good hard surface to watch UFO’s from any time of year, and is originally said to have been part of planet Vogan which was destroyed at vast cost by the apparently poverty stricken Brighton & Hove city council after they mistook it for a cycle path.
(a member of brighton & hove city councils ruling conservative party – unavailable for comment/replying to emails sent by members of the public they are meant to represent)
When not scaring Isaac Asimov with his intellect Carl liked to kick back on his rock in space, wait for the aliens to arrive and listen to Sudanese music remixed by one half of Swedish brother and sister duos – which is rather specific, and in fact we could only find one tune from 2010 to match the specification.