Episode 11 – Chase Horizons

New wave poses. Art rock techniques. Cyberpunk poetry. Gothic moods. Alien synths. Caterwauling guitars. Scrap yard funk. Tractor tire basslines. Abandoned factories. It’s post-punk, it’s Holland, it’s the ’80s.

From 1978 to 1988 Holland joined the transatlantic fray. There’d been a few new wave bands in the Dutch pipeline by ’78, but the country’s ultramodernen scene really sparked with the avant-garde post-punk club ULTRA, which ran from 1980 to ’81 in Amsterdam. The term often used to describe Dutch post-punk as a whole, ULTRA was taken from this one short-lived party.

Focused on the more challenging acts, the original night was put on by many of the musicians and writers that would go on to work at Vinyl Magazine and the broadcaster VPRO, both champions of the Dutch wave for most of the decade to follow. Sharing label rosters and venues with the scene’s core avant-garde after 1981 were other, somewhat more sophisticated if not more accessible acts who would experiment less with a “cringe” aesthetic than with music composition. As in the post-punk scenes internationally, bands didn’t even put out records of any note for the most part until after 1981 or ’82. Earlier recordings tended to sound rough, gritty and dissonant, while later projects from ’82 and after moved toward accessibility and maturity.

In the long run, sonic cross-polination was a sort of death knell for the original underground, but looking back it resulted in some of the era’s best releases — similar to how early US and UK punk and industrial bands were hugely influential, but the new wave and post-punk bands that followed (often featuring musicians from the earlier bands) bested them by expanding their sound. After all, purity is boring.

DIY and the general milieu of awkwardness didn’t necessarily go away, though. Often, the more “accessible” stuff could be really weird: You had bands like Kiem, who sound like a bizarro world Kraftwerk, or Moroder, blending completely homemade percussion with thick, arpeggiating synthesizers and a skronking saxophone.

To the mixes, then.

First in the Dutch Waves series, Chase Horizons offers a sweeping collection of truly compelling songs, sounds and perspectives. Next week is Short Memories, focusing on uptempo beats and the dance-oriented vibes underpinning many of the period’s best tracks. The final installment, Building Brains is a definitively bi-polar view of the scene’s outermost creative edges: industrial noises, compositional indulgences and acoustic gems.

Though honestly, they all kind of overlap.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Mecano – Autoportrait
The Tapes – March
Coitus Int. – Bonanza
Nine Circles – The Rose
Mekanik Kommando – Money For Pleasure
De Div – Lichaam Op Het Laken
Kiem – Time Doesn’t Heal
Das Ding – Makimo
Vice – Stirring Up The Fire
Ensemble Pittoresque – Lovesong
Minny Pops – Ice Cube Wall
Nasmak – Duel (With Unequal Arms)
Mick Ness – You In Me
De Div – Marianne H.
Neon – Standing On The Other Side
The Gentry – Escape
Storung – Radio Lines
Sammie America’s Mam – Find a Form
Vice – The Beast
Flue – Esmafarja
Edward Ka-Spiel – Tick Tock
Tent – Chase Horizons
Mekanik Kommando – First Reprise
Nasmak – Silhouette
Stephen Emmer – Teracotta Trimmings
Mecano – March of The Iron Workers
Ensemble Pittoresque – Ash Grey As Sunday
Nine Circles – What’s There Left
Tent – You Will Fall
Sammie America’s Mam – It’s Slipping Away
The Gentry – Senses

Episode 10 – Magic

It’s magic.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

D/P/I – Dead Hearts
Durlin Lurt – Magic
Knxwledge – BuildMyWrld(ArowndJew)
J Dilla – So Far To Go (Instrumental)
Bullion – You Still Believe In Dee
Charles Trees – Memories
Gobby – Immortality
Sharpshooters – Don’t Turn Away
FloFilz – Paramahansa
mieksneak. – Script
Lone – 2 Is 8
TOKiMONSTA – Fool
Sweet Valley – Where Will I Go
Mndsgn – On (Paralysis)
Samiyam – Ronald
Blank Blue – Eyes Closed
Jib Kidder – Recognition
Nobody – Girls Alone (Muzak mix, with Ikey Owens)
Teebs – While You Doooo
Axton Frick – That Moment When Everything Feels Right
Baths – Lovesick Synthetic
Bibio – You
Koushik – Coolin’ (Instrumental)
Grass Mirror – Suunrizer
Knxwledge – Remember Who You Are
oriJanus – Sol Love
Odd Nosdam – Sisters
Animal Collective – What Would I Want? Sky

Episode 9 – Cinemascope Patio

Rum punch from a coconut. Plastic hula skirts. Vivid fantasies. More dreamy 70mm music, tuned in to terra-cotta tiles, potted palms and those infinity pools behind your eyelids. Many thanks to the incredible Exotica 45s project and of course astral exploration affionado Flash Strap for pointing me in the direction(s) of so many solid old slabs of wax, mixed here with a few contemporary cuts that harken to those original years of le exotique.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Jimmy Nanaro Trio – Driftwood
The Surfmen – Fire Goddess
Bill Justis – The Dark Continent Contribution
Esquivel and His Orchestra – La Bikina
Eden Ahbez – Myna Bird
Roger Roger and Nino Nardini – Coconut Coast
Les Baxter – Batumba
Bruno Nicolai – Shan
Gene Moles and The Softwinds – Maria (The Wind)
Mike Cooper – Paumalu Sunset Beach
Arthur Lyman – Shangri-La
Terry Snyder and The All Stars – Aloha Oe
Jun Miyake – Relaxn’
Martin Denny – Stardust
Dominic Frontiere – Venus Girl (Ix-Koben)
Armando Scascia – Nostalgic Sea
The Sound Breakers – Marooned
The Wailers – Driftwood
Cal Tjader – The Bilbao Song
Piero Piccioni – Eros in Hiro
The Three Suns – Bali Ha’i
Paul Tanner with Andre Montero and His Orchestra – 20th Century Venus
Henry Mancini – Dreamsville
Frank Hunter and His Orchestra – Temple Bells
Martin Denny – Jungle Drums
Kenny Dorham – Lotus Flower
Ron Goodwin – The Rings Around Saturn
The Ebbinghouse Sound – Turkish Delight
Herman Clebanoff and His Orchestra – Sueno Flamenco
Stony Starr – Theme for Moongazers (Part 1)

Episode 8 – Shoreline Daydream

Don your rose-colored glasses as the beach vibes flourish on this hypnagogic springtime mix, and let yourself traverse a coastal trail of cooled out beats, rich chords and pleasant, sunny textures.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Hammafest – Wunderer
Sweet Valley – Bros Beyond
The Avalanches – Since I Left You (Cornelius Remix)
Towa Tei – Technova (La em Copacabana)
Kiraz – Daydream
[offbeatninja] – $enpai (Walkin’)
Jib Kidder – Cruising 1
Karriem Riggins – Summer Maddness S.A.
sealab 2012 – raddest of them all
Co.fee – Liv Inn
Co La – Come Softly (Accumulation Version)
Daedelus – Pre-munitions
Caribou – Boreal Forrest Opper
Koushik – Forest Loop
Tim “Love” Lee – Everybody Loves the Jungle
Lone – Jaded
Brother Mynor – drew barrymore watches saturday morning cartoons (feat. Ojmacoj)
Afterhours – Night and Day
Black Monk – Hummin In The Sun
Hint – Plucker
Olof Melander – Forward
Yesterday’s New Quintet – Broken Dreams
Floating Points – For Marmish
Cornelius – Tone Twilight Zone
Malcolm McLaren – Obatala

Episode 7 – Diction

Our second modern classical episode focuses on the dynamic between words, other mouth-made sounds and music. Talking, spoken word, speech as composition, speech in composition, lyrics sung as if meant to be spoken, poetry: It’s all here. Let the language (and lack thereof) wash over you in a wave of modernist beauty.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Bang on a Can All-Stars, Florent Ghys, John Cage – An Open Cage
Philip Glass – Knee 5
Gavin Bryars – A Man in a Room, Gambling: #3
Christopher Tignor, John Ashberry – A Boy
David Lang, Anonymous 4 – Love Fail: Forbidden Subjects
David Byrne – Social Studies
John Cage, Kenneth Patchen – The City Wears a Slouch Hat: Pt. 8
Roberto Cacciapaglia – Sei Note in Logica: Part II
John Cale – Legs Larry at Television Centre
Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks
Laurie Anderson – World Without End
Robert Ashley – Perfect Lives: The Park (Privacy Rules)
Dean Blunt – 8
Bang on a Can All-Stars, Anna Clyne – A Wonderful Day
Mutamassik – Not Having To Choose Between Killing And Being Killed (P.S.A.)
Scott Johnson – John Somebody: Involuntary Song #3
Julia Wolfe – Flowers
Steve Reich – Different Trains: 3. After the War
Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe – Shelter: I. Before I Enter
Frederic Rzewski, Group 180 – Attica
Meredith Monk – Last Song
Moondog – Two Quotations in Dialogue

Episode 6 – Wild Gems

There isn’t a 70mm film to score this with yet, but there damn well should be.

The first in our percussion-heavy Wild Gems series, this episode is an exotic time travel odyssey taking place between 1959 and 2012, visiting tons of great moments in hard funk, psych rock and groovy Latin music along its journey. Selections hail from the international psychedelic continuum, and the exploitative proto-“world music” LPs of orchestrators like Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, among other sources like Peruvian chicha and French soundtracks.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Martin Denny – Temptation
John Hill – Amalthea
Ersen – Kozan Daği
Alessandro Alessandroni feat. I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni – Spiagge Azzure
Sam Spence Orchestra – Wie Ein Blitz
The Wrecking Crew (as Christopher Monte) – Giants of Bombora
Atomic Forest – Obession ’77
Resonnance – O.K. Chicago
Adventure Time – Kick It
Gérard Levecque & Claude Romat – Grey Pepper (Africadelic In Safari Mood); (Montparnasse: Africadelic’s the Name N° 2; with percussion by Black Colored Drums)
M. Ashraf (feat. A. Nayyar) – Main Hoon Play Boy
Fred Weinberg – Big Fat Woman
Bharat Karki & Party – Dancing Rope
The Aay Jays – Lal Qalander Lal
The Son of P.M. – Azava Leela (Guaracha)
Les Brown, Jr. – Drum’s Safari
Telegraph Avenue – Sungaligali
Lucía de La Cruz – Toro Mata
Marty Manning and His Orchesta – Night On Bald Mountain (from “The Twilight Zone”)
Twistin’ Kings – Congo (Part 1)
Dick Hyman & Mary Mayo – Imagination
Arthur Lyman – Jungle Fantasy
Jacques Loussier – Clara’s Jerk
Los Beltons – Cumbia Pop
Mandingo – Chant of the Virgins (Columbia: The Primeval Rhythm Of Life)
Erkin Koray – Estarabim
Troupe Majidi – Essiniya
Aisha Kandisha’s Jarring Effects – El Mouka
Papete & Luís Lopes – Berimbalis
Manzanita y Su Conjunto – Serrano Con Orgullo

Episode 5 – Groundhog Suite

The second in our Electronic(a) series, this tasty 90-minute installment of diverse electronic gems is sure to dislocate listeners to a whole new season. Groundhog Suite collects recent and past indie electronic cuts, including hip-hop and downtempo beats, synthesizer instrumentals, post-rock tracks and much more.

Stream it here or listen at iTunes.

Tracklist:

Penguin Cafe Orchestra – The Snake and the Lotus (The Pond)
Illangelo – Shattered Paradise
Ccolo – Peace Me Babi Dub
Anchorsong – Oriental Suite
Gold Panda – I Suppose I Should Say ‘Thanks’ Or Some Shit
Inner Science – Lighting
submerse – whyarentyou
Four Tet – Plastic People
[offbeatninja] – You and I (You’re Not Alone)
Henry Wu – Just Negotiate (feat. Simeon Jones)
James Blake – Postpone
Tribilin Sound – El Carmen
Co La – Smooth Solidarity
Jib Kidder – My Baby (feat. Julia Holter)
Twin Sister – Kimmi In a Race Field (Balam Acab Remix)
IRIS – Planetarium
Javelin – Goal \Wide
Sam Spence – Sunken Ship (Version 2)
Virtual Flannel – Black Bunnyhug
DTCPU – Lucky Dragon feat. Geodesic
Deantoni Parks – Down
J Dilla – Oh Oh
GOALS – Ghost Run
Dudley Perkins – Falling
submerse – thinking about you
Nicolas Jaar – Shame
Cross Record – Lemon
Sam Prekop – The Republic 3
Fennesz – Aus

Episode 4 – Furniture Music

I’m excited to share a new mix I’ve curated with dublab for the organization’s upcoming event Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. This set traverses many eras, weaving together decades in an exhibition of classical ambient music’s various roots and branches.

From the awesome folks at dublab: “Travel through the Light Lock corridor as it is transformed by a dublab produced soundtrack of “furniture music.” Considered as the origins of ambient music and coined by French composer Erik Satie, this soundtrack along with lighting inspired by the work of James Turrell will be the perfect passage between the Grand Stern Hall and the Founders Room.”

Stream it here or listen at iTunes.

Tracklist:

Overture
Claude Debussy – Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun: Très Modéré (Herbert Von Karajan & Berliner Philharmoniker) (c. 1894)

First Movement
Frédéric Chopin – Nocturne No. 11 in G minor Op. 7 No. 1 – Andante sostenuto (Nelson Freire, piano) (c. 1840)
Erik Satie – Gnossienne No. 5 (Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano) (c. 1889)
John Cage – In a Landscape (c. 1948)
Max Richter – Written on the Sky (c. 2004)
Sylvain Chauveau – Nuage II, Nuage III (c. 2007)
David Lang – Memory Pieces: III. Wed (Lisa Moore, piano) (c. 2005)
Erik Satie – Trois Gymnopédies (Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano) (c. 1888)
Arvo Pärt – Spiegel Im Spiegel (Angèle Dubeau, violin; La Pietà orchestra with piano) (c. 1978)
Federico Mompou – Mùsica Callada, Cuaderno Uno (Herbert Henck, piano) (c. 1974)
Ólafur Arnalds – Romance (c. 2009)
Nils Frahm – Over There, It’s Raining (c. 2013)
Jóhann Jóhannsson – Melodia(III) (c. 2008)
Erik Satie – Vexations (Excerpt) (Ars Nova Ensemble) (c. 1894)
Toru Takemitsu – Uninterrupted Rest I-II (Yuji Takahashi, piano) (c. 1973)
Hauschka (Volker Bertelmann) – Alma (c. 2008)
John Cage – Dream (Hildegard Kleeb, piano; Roland Dahinden, trombone) (c. 1948)
Erik Satie – Gnossiennes No.1-4 (Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano) (c. 1890-91)
Federico Mompou – Mùsica Callada, XXIII. Calme-XXIV. Moderato (Herbert Henck, piano) (c. 1974)
Hauschka (Volker Bertelmann) – Early in the Park (c. 2010)

Second Movement
Greg Haines – Two Rotations (c. 2011)
Bang On a Can All-Stars – 1/1 (c. 1978, Brian Eno/Robert Wyatt; arr. Michael Gordon)
Olivier Messiaen – Fête des Belles Eaux (Ensemble d’Ondes de Montreal, ondes martenot) (c. 1937)
Arnold Schoenberg – III. Farben (from Five Orchestral Pieces) (Berliner Philharmoniker) (c. 1909)
Gustav Mahler – Adagietto: Sehr Langsam (Gunther Herbig, conductor) (c. 1902)
Kronos Quartet – Spem in Alium (c. 1570, Thomas Tallis)
Erik Satie – Tapestry of Wrought Iron (Ars Nova Ensemble) (c. 1917)
Max Richter – Sunlight (Louisa Fuller, violin) (c. 2006)
Arthur Russell – Tower of Meaning – 2 (c. 1981)
Brian Eno/Johann Pachelbel – French Catalogues (Variation on the Canon in D Major) (c. 1975; c. 1696)

Finale
Gavin Bryars – Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet (Excerpt) (c. 1971)
Morton Feldman – Rothko Chapel: V (c. 1971)

Episode 3 – Snow Globe

We took a trip to the arctic north in the dead of winter and put together a crackling mix of warm, toasty tracks from the last few years. So come along and fire up up your ears with some awesome electonica, alternative pop and more from around the globe.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:
Mexican Institute of Sound – Cumbia Meguro
Souleance – Secoue
The Very Best – Guju Guju
M.I.A. – Space
The 2 Bears – Muizenberg (Remix)
Armadillo – Neón
Chancha Via Circuito – Jardines feat. Lido Pimienta
Domenico + 2 – Possibildade
Cornelius – Night People
Moreno + 2 – Enquanto Isso (Meanwhile)
Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express – Azov
Ibibio Sound Machine – Got to Move, Got to Get Out! (Ana)
Mbongwana Star – Shégué
Alsarah & The Nubatones – Fugu (Chancha Via Circuito Remix)
Shigeto – Pulse
Nicola Cruz – Colibria
Rebel Musical – The Silver feat. Full Violet
Ibeyi – Stranger Lover
Afroelectro – Omin
Jorge Drexler – El Triángulo de las Bermudas
Orchestra of Spheres – Dieuleul-Dieuleul (Remix)
Populous – Brasilia feat. Giorgia Tuma
Algodon Egipcio – La Condicion (La Prueba A)
Gepe – Estado de Vista
Amon Tobin – Nova
Romperayo – Dando Vueltas en Ovni
Basokin – Mulume feat. Mi Amore

Episode 2 – Nocturnes

On the second episode of Sound Contours, darkness falls in a curtain of sexy beats ornamented with guitar and piano melodies, and underpinned with dark, shifty rhythms. Go ahead and launch yourself head-first into a 2-hour set of nocturnal beats and compositions, hailing (mostly) from 2015.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:
Jun Miyake – Mad Funny Balance Town
Nosaj Thing – Uv3
sealab 2012 – long. too long
El Mahdy Jr. – B Side (Excerpt)
Shigeto – Do My Thing
Arca – Front Load
Puto Anderson & Deejay NinOo – Gravidez
Normal Nada – Tarraxinha da Calopsita v2
Dawn Richard – Swim Free
yuk. – purple
Gossamer – 3d Relief
Iller – Healings
Lilacs & Champagne – Euro Blow
Gantz – Supreme A
Nomine – To the Sky (feat. lustina)
Event Cloak – Care and Control
Suzanne Kraft – Never Heated
Nicolas Jaar – Don’t Break My Love
John Lemke – Grass Will Grow
Julia Holter – Vasquez
Rival Consoles – Low
Max Cooper & Tom Hodge – Remnants
Beauty Pill – Dog With Rabbit in Mouth Unharmed
James Pants – My Body
katie dey – fear o the dark
Tito Wun & Lorenzo Merluzzo – Drugs
Fifto – Dan Lo