Two totally bitchin’ albums you may have missed


Todd Terje
It’s Album Time

Much has been made of how long many of us have been waiting for Todd Terje’s magnificent, kitschy, richly detailed, party-starting masterwork of an album. Less has been written about why everyone wanted an album from Terje so bad, as though a series of singles wasn’t basically the same thing. Joke’s on you, album-lovers: the best cuts on It’s Album Time have already been released as… wait for it… singles. The man is not what you’d call prolific, and what’s wrong with that? Stupid insatiable free market.

Anyways, we’re still richer for knowing that Terje is not just a great programmer but also a keyboard savant; other producers sample riffs from latin-jazz-fusion rarities, but I’ll bet my piano-key tie that Terje’s playing the stuff himself. “Preben Goes To Acapulco”  sounds like it was made by someone who’s spent a lot of time with Weather Report and/or Herbie Hancock’s mid-’70s catalog, “Svenk Sas” and “Alfonso Muskedunder” are built on montunos fast enough to at least startle Chucho Valdes, and all of them feature what seems like an endless supply of vintage-synth wibble-wobble soloing. All of these things make me indescribably happy, in case you were wondering where I was going with this.

But it’s the dance-iest tracks that really make the album more than a retro pastiche, and I defy anyone to stay still when “Strandbar” comes on. If this album has a flaw (other than the Bryan Ferry vocal on “Johnny and Mary,” which isn’t my cup of lounge-lizard mumbling, but your mileage may vary) it’s that the version of “Strandbar” is only 4-odd minutes long, unlike the 12-inch version. Four minutes of that unstoppable Rube Goldberg-goes-disco machine, even with its brilliant and harmonically sophisticated piano-led bridge, is not nearly enough. You’ll like the other tracks, and it’s no exaggeration to say you need this collection as a whole, but if you don’t listen to “Strandbar” early and often, frankly I’m a bit worried for your general well-being. They should hand out copies in office buildings and stores, like hand sanitizer.


Pye Corner Audio
Black Mill Tapes Vols. 3-4

Some years ago I got in the funny habit of combing through those newsletters that record stores like Amoeba and Aquarius put out, and making a list of any records I’d never heard of, but that sounded interesting so that I could add them to my eMusic saved items. You’d think with the bazillion records hitting the interwebs every day, not to mention the plethora of media sources offering to filter said bazillion records according to your taste, culling an artificially-selected herd of new records every week would be a colossal waste of time. Funnily enough, it hasn’t been.

One of the discoveries I remember making a big impression (and coming out in 2010, around the same time as the similar-in-nature Moon Wiring Club and Belbury Poly) was Pye Corner Audio, whose Black Mill Tapes Vol. 1 was one of the year’s highlights. It seemed like a quixotic project that would appeal more to synth nerds than to listeners – it can’t have been an accident that the pseudonym of the man behind the 1970s and 1980s school-science-filmstrip was “The Head Technician.” But most nerds can’t make a catchy number out of their virtuosic attention to detail, which is why it’s so gratifying when one of them does it – and in robust quantities.

If you had to be fleeing a villainous cyborg or removing a mind-control device from your crainium, you’d want the soundtrack to be the carefully-constructed yet gauzy ambiance of “Memory Wiped” or the music-box-synths gone sinister and John Carpenter-y of “Electronic Rhythm Number Eight.” More surprising to me was the emergence of dancefloor-ready tracks amid the sci-fi-soundtrack fodder. Both “Electronic Rhythm Number Two” and “Void Bound” have a kind of dull, rubbery sheen to their pulsing grooves that make them great set-openers, all you budding DJs. Oh and did I mention that synth nerds will love this? Because you will. Love this.

Mix: Deemo – Melt

deemo - melt

Why do post-long-weekend weeks feel longer despite being shorter? How many angels dance on the head of a pin? Who needs a drink? I can only answer the last one, but this cosmic disco mix will go well with beverages with tropical fruit in them. Enjoy.

Recorded Oct 15 2013 by Dave Morris for

1. Jan Hammer – Crockett’s Theme – Crockett’s Theme (MCA)
2. Pye Corner Audio – Zero Centre – Superstitious Century (Boomkat)
3. Peter Gordon & Factory Floor – Beachcombing – Beachcombing/C Side (Optimo Music)
4. Lapalux – Swallowing Smoke – Nostalchic (Brainfeeder)
5. Golden Teacher – Like A Hawk – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (Optimo Music)
6. Lusine – Lucky (Steve Hauschildt remix) – Lucky (Ghostly International)
7. Kaito – Behind My Life – Behind My Life (Kompakt)
8. Le Carousel – Stick Together – Stick Together (Phil Kieran Recordings)
9. The Mole – History of Dates – History of Dates EP (Perlon)
10. Herbie Hancock – Just Around The Corner – Mr. Hands (Columbia)
11. Matias Aguayo – Minimal (DJ Koze remix) – 20 Jahre Kompakt Collection 1 (Kompakt)
12. Siriusmo – Congratulator – Enthusiast (Monkeytown)
13. Jonas Reinhardt – Private Life of a Diamond – Mask of the Maker (Not Not Fun)
14. Prins Thomas – Flau Pappadans (DJ Fett Burger Taekaeli mix) – Bobletekno & Flau Pappadans Versions (Full Pupp)
15. Oyvind Morken – Gikk Av Pa Holmlia – Kakemonsteret (Full Pupp)
16. Todd Terje – Strandbar (Disko version) Strandbar (Olsen)
17. Carter Tutti – Coolicon-A – Coolicon (Conspiracy International)

Click here to download from Mediafire

Deemo – Melt by Deejaydeemo on Mixcloud

Mayer Hawthorne

As I said to a friend of mine this evening: what is up with the Vince Guaraldi mania this year? The Charlie Brown Christmas music has never been so ubiquitous. It might be that everyone is tired of the usual retro mania vs slick commercial update schism that colours most of our shopping experiences — the self-consciously cool stores have Nat King Cole or maybe The Waitresses, the oblivious ones have Mariah Carey and Brad Paisley — and Guaraldi’s weary shuffling offers a reprieve from having to make one more quasi-meaningful choice. It’s classic, but doesn’t particularly signify anything in particular about you. Mayer Hawthorne‘s reworking of “Christmas Time Is Here” trades the earnest children’s choir for a broad croon that captures the true spirit of the season: Bing Crosby, dribbling his gooey baritone all over the song like gravy from an overflowing boat. All that excess will be a source of embarrassment come January, so you might as well load up another plate right now while there’s still time. [LINK]

Things that make you go hmmm: 1) Party-throwers for whom the alphabet isn’t good enough (Ghe20 Goth1k); 2) Remixers who credit a song to themselves — Venus X — even though the sum of their additions to Bj�rk‘s “Hunter” are some martial snares and a chipmunky, gabba-techno chirp; 3) Deeply suspect use of athletic apparel. It’s not very charitable, but when someone makes this many bad choices, it’s tempting to call a transcendent blend like this a fluke. They do happen. Then again, listening to this skin-flaying treatment of what might be Bj�rk‘s finest hour, stretching the emotional range of the song over a skeleton borrowed from either Trent Reznor or the Terminator, it’d have to be a hell of a fluke. [LINK]

Nicki Minaj does have a thing or two in common with vintage Busta Rhymes, in that she can be silly sometimes, and she likes to use funny voices. When she bit his “dungeon dragon” bit from A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario (Remix),” though, she woke up a sleeping beast worse than anything we had seen before. Busta on “Roman’s Revenge Remix” = classic Busta + Busta from the “Touch It” era, sped up + steroids + soylent green + industrial-grade stimulants that haven’t been invented yet + speaking in tongues. [LINK]

Toro Y Moi have a new single out called “Still Sound”. Generally when I see the words “Toro Y Moi” and “single” together I fall into a coma, so just imagine that I replaced them with some Swedish space disco funkateers collaborating with Tame Impala or something. See? I was going to post one of the new Tim Goldsworthy remixes, and instead I’m posting an unbelievably slinky roller-disco jam by Toro Y freaking Moi. Wait, hang on, don’t go yet. Space disco, Sweden, WikiLeaks, SportsCentre, Tron: Legacy… are you there? Hello? Damn. Lost another one.� [LINK]