May your travels never be interrupted by the guardians of purity, or the walls of fear

As the shipwrecked minds of nativism attempt to split humanity into ragged chunks of homogeneity harkening to back an eden that never existed, we celebrate the hybrid, the mongrel and the intersectional with two songs sitting at the crossroads of cultures and traditions.

We begin with Música Esporádica, an experimental band involving Suso Sáiz (who we told you about last week) his mates from another cool Spanish improv pop band, Orquesta de las Nubes, and some other people including renowned frame drummer and drum designer Glen Vélez.

When you listen to Música Esporádica’s 1985 s/t album for the first time, you have this uncanny sensation of space and time collapsing. They hail from a past which is another world, but sound fresh and of the present, peers and forebears of Gang Gang Dance and a myriad other Silk Road travellers (as well as the odd tourist).

Música Esporádica was their first and only album and in it they sound free and fully formed, like mysterious strangers arrived to the caravanserai after springing from the brow of a sub saharan zeus. They nod at you from the outskirts of the party before sliding into the shadows, you better follow them in this incredible trip.

We leave you with our favourite track in the album, ‘I Forgot the Shirts’, a crystalline Music for 18 Musicians-like palace of vocal harmonies hosting a surrealist house party jacked by an outfit of Luaka Bop funk renegades.

Música Esporádica – I forgot the shirts

Check Discogs for more information. While doing some desk research on the album, we noticed that Listen to This already featured them a few months back, demonstrating their pristine taste once again.

Music From Memory’s forthcoming Outro Tempo – Electronic and Contemporary Music from Brazil 1978-1992 compilation will be one of 2017’s album, and we will feature it here in due course.

In it, you can find Cântico brasileiro nº 3, a mind-blowing drum-trax banger in the same lineage as Secondo Coro Delle Lavandaie, 3rd Face’s Canto Della Liberta, and OOIOO’s Uma. The artist responsible for it is called Maria Rita Stumpf, and we have become sort of obsessed with her.

According to our Google-translate enhanced investigations of Brazilian music blogs, Maria Rita is an artist and cultural entrepreneur who, for a moment in the 1980s, came close to pop stardom. It didn’t quite happen. Perhaps her music was too strange, too intense, sounded too much as if arrived from a Herzogian jungle of the id, raw and perhaps scarred also by Brazil’s history of slavery and violence.

This is precisely why her songs mesmerise us, like Jeanette, like Zelda, like Mariah. They are plugged into a universal Chomskian pop-parsing framework which knows their language but doesn’t, every unexpected and misunderstood twist in their progression is a source of surprise and joy, also gratitude for living in a world with such variety of beauties.

Maria Rita Stumpf – Cântico brasileiro nº 1

More info in Discogs.

SATURDAY MIXTAPE: A Lethal Dose of American Poetry

Featuring : 20jfg

Hip-hop hasn’t always hated Trump. In the 1990s and 2000s, Trump was a  tongue-in-cheek rap byword for bling. Raekwon, Jay-Z, Fabolous, Young Thug, Young Jeezy and more have all variously boasted of being hip-hop’s Donald Trump.

But now Trump isn’t just the uber-capitalist self-parody-turned-reality TV star. He’s fucking the world up, and despite lots of wishful thinking from op ed pieces about how the artistic kick-back against such a tyranny will make ‘music interesting again’, are Green Day and Le Tigre really the best we can do?

Well, no, because America’s first music is hip-hop – a music made all of words – and it’s a poetry that is tearing chunks out of the new dystopia.

We’ve made a mixtape of the most ferocious anti-Trump flows. Title is a reappropriation of an album (A Lethal Dose of American Hatred) by known white supremacist, Phil Anselmo.

XXJFG – A Lethal Dose of American Poetry

Trump/They Live by Nick Casale

Techno I love you but you’re bringing me down

Featuring : L/F/D/M

Ah sweet techno.  Your drums hitting with a thud, like so many metal rods, tree trunk thick, pounding into mud.

Ah sweet techno.  Your filtered notes always suggesting collapse.  Their analogue edges carrying the seeds of their decay.

Ah sweet techno.  No matter what I am feeling I can rely on you to bludgeon all other thought from my mind, like some scorched earth, aural prozac.

Today’s track comes from L/F/D/M and is a suitably remorseless techno.  I was once told that in sellotape factories the rolls are so large and the static they generate so strong that they create force fields between the machines.  If you’re stood in the middle of one them right now then this is the sound in your head.

L/F/D/M – Dance, you awful cunt

This is taken from the LP Music Without Discipline, out today on Ecstatic Recordings.  You can buy it right here.


Music for Commuting

Featuring : Iury Lech + Suso Sáiz

Today we bring you sweet jams from a couple of members of Spain’s 1970s-1990s experimental electronic/ambient music scene. With their music, they steel our nerves and soothe our limbic systems as we begin the unpredictable adventure of our commute into work; when the time comes, they dull the sharp shock of delays, cancellations and general unpleasantnesses, jacking up our zen levels and preventing a severe loss of sanity. We owe them a lot.

First we have Suso Sáiz, legendary avant-garde multi-instrumentalist and electronic composer who had a compilation of his work, Odisea , released last year by our beloved Music From Memory.

You can approach his music in two ways at least. Left in the background, you will experience golden balearic ragas redolent of the perfect Mediterranean sunset. If you zoom in, they become something else, bangers for the soul whose loops, crescendos and drops have been smoothed away by an eternity lying under the sun, kissed by the waves. Almost gone, but they still linger.

Next time you go down to the beach pick up a conch and listen to it’s music, that’s the pirate radio where Suso Sáiz tops all the charts.

Suso Sáiz – Tierra Media

There are still some copies of Odisea left at the Music from Memory shop. Go get.

Iury Lech is a Ukrainian multidisciplinary artist based in Madrid. In the late 1980s, he released a few ambient albums in the defunct experimental label Hyades Discs (which also put out some music by Suso Sáiz).

Música Para El Fin De Los Cantos is the second in that set (we’ll tell you about the others some other day), and it is truly spectacular. Is it ambient? Maybe not, its presence is too strong, its spiritual payload too apparent, its feeling of cosmic loneliness (which Gavin Russom and Delia Gonzalez also harnessed) takes it away of the chill-out zone, and into darker territories.

Perhaps it is something else… folk music for the survivors of a sunken world? A hymnal for the abyssal church? We don’t know, but it seeps into our unconscious with heavy messages from the past, or perhaps the future.

Iury Lech – Cuando Rocío Dispara Sus Flechas

We see that Música Para El Fin De Los Cantos is being reissued by Cocktail D’Amore this year. You can pre-order from Juno.

No sermons

Another slept on 2017 jam for you today.  This time from the (ever) awesome Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.

Once again we stalk through New Age worlds, overgrown with time, sprouting mutant forms like a blissful Californian Chernobyl. Once again, this is music for the synths and as ethereal as ever.  But this time, this time a scaffold feels like it’s been removed.  The music is free, the sounds float, as if the scaffold were not to keep them up, but to keep them in.

Like Karin Dreijer Andersson before her, Smith takes an approach to voice modulation that strips the vocals of their anchor in the world.  Separating them both from literal meaning (they’re all but unintelligible) and our own inferred picture of the singer.  No accent, scant intonation, no point on which to hang our judgement on the singer or the song.  This is of course familiar from her previous albums but here, as passages fade in and out, it seems marvellously apt.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Riparian

Riparian was from the same sessions that produced Smith’s most recent album, EARS.  You can get both of them over on her Bandcamp, right here.


Featuring : Toshifumi Hinata

Let us tell you something about our latest obsession, Toshifumi Hinata:

Toshifumi Hinata is an accomplished piano player who studied classical piano and composition in several US universities. He is a prolific composer of soundtracks for TV series and dramas, and he has been referred to as ‘The Henry Mancini of Japanese Drama music”. According to Google’s knowledge graph thing, he operates in the ‘new age’ genre, and we did in fact first stumble on him in one of our frequent algorithmic explorations of the Japanese ambient/minimal composition labyrinth in YouTube.

He also has some pretty neat glasses.

As it often happens with the Japanese artists we are interested in, there is little information about him in English (here is his website, in Japanese), which only enhances his mystery and makes his music our primary source of information about him. This leads us to assert that Toshifumi Hinata is one of the coolest dudes ever. We hope you will agree after listening to three songs from albums released between 1985 and 1987.

Let us go through them in chronological order.

Is Sarah’s Crime a soundtrack? The record’s title suggests as much. We imagine it providing the backdrop for the romantic comedy scenes of a Japanese version of Profondo Rosso, or Agent Graham’s moody reveries in a storm of Manhunter blues (cf. above).

Although you will not find any slasher horror moments here, a hint of weirdness and perhaps even danger lingers. Chaconne’s music box melody is as close as we’ll get to finding out what Sarah did, and seeing her face. But the truth fades into silence, like memories of a dream.

Toshifumi Hinata – Chaconne

Here is Sarah’s Crime discogs file.

Reality in Love is all francophone elegance and pastel panache. The dance of strings and piano convey the complex, intricately urbane and harmonious rituals of modernity. In that sense, it works like lounge music during the optimistic 1960s, or a collection of Bacharachian gems.

However, in its art deco progressions we also feel  nostalgia, perhaps for the fantastical make-believes of religion and myth which fall by the wayside as rational individualism holds sway. Perhaps that’s what connects it, in our minds, with Joe Hisaishi’s Studio Ghibli soundtracks, which tell with many voices a single story: the loss of magic that comes with maturity.

We could certainty imagine the dissatisfied protagonist in Iain M Banks’ Player of Games listening to it, as the glaciers slide by.

Toshifumi Hinata – 光と水

Here is Reality in Love’s discogs file. Also check its lovely review in Listen to This.

We conclude our tour of Hinata land in a netherworld or limbo for people whose capital sin has been to be too chill, like a version of Black Mirror’s San Junipero set in a never-ending Ibizan summer.

Broken Belief is the perfect example of how this plays out: a chorus of synthetic angels march up the right side of the uncanny valley, beyond which awaits a blissful Balearic arcadia whose sunset dulls all edges and blurs all pains. It is a known fact that David Mancuso consulted on the Singularity, and this is where we’ll all come together and hold hands, after the machines of loving grace have taken over.

Toshifumi Hinata – Broken Belief

Here is Story’s discogs file.