titassite

Sappily romantic and utterly filthy

Featuring : Chaka Khan + Jill Jones

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While it not be quite the most exalted pantheon in music history – Mavis Staples, Patti Labelle and The Time are in there, sure, but so are Martika, Vanity/Apollonia 6, Bria Valente, Andre Cymone, Tevin Campbell, Carmen Electra, Mayte Garcia, Sheila E., Sheena Easton, Ingrid Chavez and Taja Savelle – the labyrinth of Prince sock projects form a pretty fascinating alternate history to the conventional Prince lore offered in the rock mags.

One where rather than being the most alien-sexy pop star of all time, Prince was some dude who wrote kinda pervy-kinda funky songs for other people.

Pre-religion Prince was obviously pretty obsessed with sex, but most pointedly seemed to be his interest in it from a women’s perspective. He adopted female personas and mapped his own hypersexualized, kinda icky but always funny ideas about rutting onto unfathomable parallel universe girl-Princes – most famously with Camille, the pitched-up-Prince who he scrapped a concept album by.

But his writing and production for actual women is often just as interesting. He possesses the ability like no other to be sappily romantic and utterly filthy within the same song, same line, even.

You get the feeling when he writes for women, though, that he isn’t attempting to sing from their perspective at all – every note and grunt and slap and orgasmic sigh of the music is indistinguishable from proper Prince, the vocal melodies and lyrics are unmistakably his, and so is the lasciviousness. No, this isn’t Prince trying to understand the female sex-psyche, this is Prince using pop music to cast himself in the image of a woman to better admire his purple self, find him all the more ravishing.

Here are two pretty cool examples, from 1987 and 1998 respectively:

Jill Jones – G-Spot
Chaka Khan – Come 2 My House

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The Wonderful Retro Style .gif Animation of Rebecca Mock

Hauntogeology

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Mai Mai Mai’s Petra is an instant classic of arcane ruin-porn, revelling on a melange of geology, architecture and occult history with the pervy gusto of H.P. Lovecraft or Arthur Machen.

You know the score: these collapsed structures we explore were built by creatures with mind-sets and values that are utterly alien to us, often as a tribute to gnomic deities representing base urges and the relentless march of entropy, itself manifested in the decay by which we are engulfed, and in the pounding beat and chthonic flailing of Mai Mai Mai’s flickering drone.

All the messages contained in this landscape are awful affirmations of our puniness, and of the meaningless of all our mundane efforts. We are insects crawling over the carcasses of dead gods. The only way we can hope for transcendence is by communing with the supernatural forces that might still linger in these ruins. We gaze into the void, and long for possession.

Mai Mai Mai – Πέλαγος / Pelagos

You can get Petra here.

Here is a video for the incredible Bassae.

pondfire

We use Paul Beauchamp’s Pondfire to balance our karma. Beauchamp created this beautiful record as a tribute to his grandfather, and as a remembrance of the farm in the Muddy Creek basin in North Carolina where he grew up. The album’s title refers to the pond by which Paul and his brother used to camp, drink beer and gaze at the stars.

We started listening to Pondfire unaware of its origin, and were immediately enthralled by the portentous simmer of its synthetic circumvolutions, its hazy harmonies spreading like the beacon of a lighthouse shining over a craggy coast where time has ground to a halt.

We thought of Laurie Spiegel’s golden silent words. We thought a poltergeist playing out at a cosmic scale, the gestalt formation of a discernible shape in the celestial tapestry, like the moment when the protagonist in an M.R. James story notices that strange visitation.

Perhaps we were gazing at the same sky as Paul and his brother did. Perhaps we were sensing, in the eeriness of this music, the ghostliness of Pondfire itself, the revenant from a place long gone, absorbed by a suburban sprawl which is the only monster in this story.

Paul Beauchamp – Icicles

Buy Pondfire from Boring Machines.

SATURDAY MIXTAPE : Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me

Featuring : Podcast

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My clone awakes crying – as younger clones often do. I take it in my arms and whisper, then sing and rock the clone for an unspecified time until its fears have subdued, then gently lay it back down to sleep. This happens in repeating cycles at unspecified moments throughout the darkness.

As i clamber back into my recharging bay my co-unit reaches out to ask if our clone and myself are ok. We embrace and fall back to sleep.

I awake crying. No one is there to whisper or take me in their arms. This happens in repeating cycles at unspecified moments throughout the darkness.

I began to notice my defects once my first clone arrived. My programme had always been limited – good for some tasks and not others. My co-unit and myself had always supported each other utilizing our varied task management abilities, but suddenly nothing in my programme was good enough for my co-unit.

As my obvious defects became more apparent I became more and more of an unwanted component, deliberately avoiding tasks I knew I my co-unit would class me as failing in, till eventually I collapsed inwardly – only able to carry on a pretence of being autonomous. An older unit began to replace me in most tasks.

Reprogramming sessions led to hostility and a seemingly endless cycle of defects. A bug was identified, but inside I knew the bug was a symptom not the cause of malfunctions.

The bug gained traction as greater and greater resources were placed into fixing it. Any behaviour could now be firmly blamed on the bug – an end of level baddie that could never be defeated – the bug was indistinguishable from myself for my co-unit.

We moved to a new habitation zone, with larger demands on already collapsed faculties. I was re-deployed to a more demanding role within the capitalism to gain enough credits for the new habitation. The new role also served to make my co-unit find more defects and file them against the bug.

Perhaps inevitably my co-unit identified new defects which meant we could no longer share our recharging bay. Defects which were previously repaired were left languishing with no love or communication. Remarkably after aborted attempts, somehow a second clone arrived.

The defects my co-unit identified in my own unit now became too great for them to continue with and i was completely replaced in their support structure by an older unit my co-unit had been raised by, who had already replaced most of my basic functions once the first clone arrived.

I was relocated to a separate habitation over a year ago.

20jfg – Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me

My clone awoke crying – as younger clones often do. I take it in my arms and whisper, then sing and rock my clone for an unspecified time until its fears have subdued, then gently lay it back down to sleep. This happens in repeating cycles at unspecified moments throughout the darkness.

As i clamber back into my recharging bay by co-unit reaches out to ask if the clone and myself are ok. We embrace and fall back to sleep.

I awake crying. No one is there to whisper or take me in their arms. This happens in repeating cycles at unspecified moments throughout the darkness….

…and throughout every day.

Atop Templo Mayor dancing for rain

Featuring : Boan

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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

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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

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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.

mp3 download on mp3ice | www.iphonesjailbreak.com

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

Featuring : Podcast + The Passenger

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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.