Episode 27 – Home Furnishing

House music for the nest: These selections of micro, minimal, lo-fi, glitch, ambient and deep house hang together like insulating drapes — subtle head music heaving and pulsing in the stillness of a calm room, with steady, four-on-the-floor background beats and tightly knit bass lines that like to lead the groove. Synth pads and vocal samples line the space like wallpaper. Zone out and enjoy.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Afterhours – Defragment #2
Body-San – One Million Brazillion Dollars
Stimming – No. 17
Ishmael – No Chaser
Letherette – Without You
Farben & James Din A4 – Please Excuse My Face
Jan Jelinek – They, Them
Jetone – Octan
Rod Modell – Syria
Martin Schulte – City Night
Thomas Fehlmann – Atlas 2
Elka – BBX1999
You’re Me – Oot Re Mi
Perfume Advert – Auspice
Anders Ilar – Gramineous Glow
Martin Buttrich – Stop Motion
Ricardo Villalobos – Hireklon
Farben – Silikon
Nosaj Thing – NR2
Moodymann – Why Do U Feel
Gold Panda – Mediaevil
Francesco Tristano – Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

Episode 26 – Athleisure

Euphoric vibes, sculpted tones and melodic (at times challenging) beats converge for a brisk tour through the industrial park of tomorrow. The hoverboard has its soundtrack.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Yasuaki Shimizu – Tachikawa
Radiohead – I Am Citizen Insane
Rival Consoles – Morning Vox
Ada – You and Me
Rabit – Glass Harp Interlude
Aphex Twin – Milk Man
Iller – Bending Oddity
Kwes. – Hives
Arca – Dignity
Kahn, Commodo & Gantz – Kibosh
Knxwledge – Dntleave
Bullion – Don’t Talk (Close Your Eyes)
Gold Panda – Autumn Falls
Gobby – Hyuna
Bjork – Innocence (Alva Noto Unitxt Remodel)
Jlin – Nandi
Kutmah – Darkening Of The Light
Henry Wu – Expensive Ghetto (Feat. Mo Kolors)
Cakedog – 24 HRS
Moiré – Gel
Beat Spacek – Alone In Da Sun
Dabrye – In Water
James Place – High Rise (Rainier)
Bibio – Saint Christopher
Baths – Seaside Town

Episode 25 – Herd Instinct

It’s the sound of momentum: Hand drums, mallet instruments and mesmeric beats cut an exotic path through the worlds of global electronica and avant-garde techno.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

You’re Me – Walled Garden
Mestre Geraldo E Su Bateria – Mistura #2
Don’t DJ – Evolve
Black Merlin – Reef Play
Tyondai Braxton – Greencrop
Clap! Clap! – Sahkii’s Elevation
Cut Hands – Inchantment
Tony Allen – Asiko (In A Silen Mix)
YPY – Gazing Beat
African Head Charge – Timbuktu Express
Banabila & Machinefabriek – Awake
Andrew Pekler – A Savage Topography
Michael Turtle – Zoote Pointe
Don’t DJ – Disparata 69
Francis Bebey – Binta Madiallo
NV – Bells Burp
DJ Eye – (iii)
BD1982 – Coney Island High
Elysia Crampton – Dummy Track (Feat. Why Be & Chino Amobi)
Bateria Fantastico De Potela – Demonstracao de Som e Andiamento
Lucy – A Millenia Old Adversary
DJ Paradise – Mbizi (R)

Episode 24 – Damp II

The second of two mixes compiling excellent 2016 instrumental music, fashioned for wet weather and a cool state of mind. This one’s got (somewhat) more of a rock bent. Enjoy.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

So Percussion – Drumkit Quartet No. 51 (Chicago Realization)
Thor Harris – 12 Ate
Anna Meredith – Blackfriars
Christopher Tignor – The Will And The Waiting
F.S. Blumm & Nils Frahm – Day One Three
Suzanne Kraft – Bank
Raime – Dialling In, Falling Out
Szun Waves – Orb Light
nonkeen – Glow
Daedelus – Hold Sway
BADBADNOTGOOD – Here & Now
Kikagaku Moyo – Melted Crystal
The Eye of Time – I could sleep for thousand years
Billington-Tramposh – Live January 13 2016
Mica Levi & Oliver Coates – Xhill Stepping
Mark Pritchard – Cycles Of 9
Plaid – Wen
Guy Blakeslee – Maja (Queen of The Storm) Movement 3
Oren Ambarchi – Hubris Part 1
Odd Nosdam – Endless 432 (Feat. Teebs)

Episode 23 – Damp I

The first of two mixes compiling excellent 2016 instrumental music, fashioned for wet weather and a cool state of mind.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Mica Levi & Oliver Coates – Mob of Waters
Olof Melander – Travelers
Body-San – Voices 1
Foodman – Waterfall
Barnaby Carter – Cold Weather Warm Soul
You’re Me – Applet W
Don’t DJ – The Grey Shrine
Autechre – spTh
Banabila & Machinefabriek – Stokjes
Suzanne Kraft – Scripted Space
Kane Ikin – Echoic
Jilk – Baby Hannah
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Stratus
Masayoshi Fujita & Jan Jelinek – Helio
Andrew Pekler – Theme From Tristes Tropiques/Avian Modulations/Life In The Canopy
Seiho – The Dish
Ian William Craig – Lost On Time, Part 1
Nicolas Jaar – Leaves
Ash Koosha – Ooh Uhh
Burial – Young Death
Pendant – Des Vieux Temples
weeVanStood – black.exe

Episode 21 – Beat Yield

It’s 35 swag beats from 34 of my favorite producers this year. All 2016 everything.

Shitty year; awesome sounds. Reap the harvest.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Parks Burton – dlab1
Four Tet – Evening Side (Oneohtrix Point Never edit)
Nicola Cruz – Invocacion
GOALS – Sugar Crush
Brother Mynor – david duchovny hides in the broom closet
Ccolo – Exoticaspeakerjam
GUNDAM – Bikini Beach
Al Dobson Jr. – White Rum
mieksneak. – Mililiters
Kaytranada – DESPITE THE WEATHER
FaltyDL – Bridge Spot
Gold Panda – Pink and Green
Daedelus – Special Re: Quest
Commodo – Solid Gold Telephone
Dakim – may hope (beatitude 4)
Saafron – Host Body
Olof Melander – Slow
Abu Ama – Efendi Remix
Bwana – Failed Escape (Where You Belong)
Seiho – Peach and Pomegranate
Andy Stott – New Romantic
Submerse – Sidequests
Mark Pritchard – Under the Sun
Oval – re
Nosaj Thing – N R 3
Jilk – Be Heart
Weval – You###re Mine
Etch – Technicolor Daydream
Moiré – Brixton
Hiele – Verwelkoming
LinG – Canthem
T_A_M – Myelin Sheath
Don’t DJ – Fall (4 Interesting Music)
Swarvy – RC
DJ Earl – Lotta A$$

Episode 18 – Childisc Outbursts

For the next few episodes, Sound Contours rewinds to Japan’s kaleidoscopic 1990s and early 2000s.

In electronic music at the time, cutting edge meant creative algorithms and visual programming environments where new processes might result in beauty as soon they might produce noise. Nobukazu Takemura led the way: beyond granular synthesis, his output randomizers affected melody, his glitches (the sounds of ordered processes going awry) became pleasant listening, MIDI noise was incorporated into music, and the voices of robots — hidden like kodama in a personal computer — were friendly and cute, rather than isolating and threatening.

Meanwhile, in the realms of alternative and pop, creators like Keigo Oyamada aka Cornelius were navigating the landscape with a combination of influences: psych rock, jangle pop, Latin and Brazilian rhythms, touches of Serge Gainsbourg, and tropes out of cheesy ’60s exotica. References to past forms of cool were being reinterpreted by the late-capitalist hipsters of hyper-boutique Tokyo, specifically in Shibuya, hence the Shibuya-kei genre.

In nearby neighborhoods both literal and figurative, and on labels stylistically adjacent to one another, experimental rock from psych to noise to post would all abound via rock outfits like The Boredoms (and their many many side projects). Along with the work of noise godfather Merzbow (and those like him) and improvisers like vinyl destroyer Otomo Yoshihide, these were the outer bounds of the era.

Up first is the ultimate Childisc retrospective. A small label run by Takemura in Kyoto from 1994 to 2007, Childisc was subtly groundbreaking. Though he deserves his own episode, Takemura put out most of his best work on Childisc and honed a singular aesthetic there, curating the work of lesser known yet likeminded artists from around Japan and pairing it with his own. This aesthetic has been described as Cute Formalism by musician and writer Momus, who has also drawn extensive links to “twee” in the U.S. and other counterparts in Germany.

Before styles and movements like vaporwave would enter the experimental lexicon — before Max/MSP and Max for Live were mainstream instruments in the realms of techno, minimal, EDM and IDM — before artists like D/P/I and Oneohtrix Point Never would cut-up, process and drastically reshape sound, twisting our expectations of what we hear and how we visualize space and music — and before the new age of New Age — Takemura and his cohorts were laying the foundation. It was the start of 21st century music.

Childisc was about mystery and wonder — a pairing of experimentalism and whimsy, where cute or kawaii voices and melodies were peppered with challenging bursts of blips and bloops. Electronic noises were slyly recontextualized as atmospheric music or percussion instruments; trip-hop and breezy, Brazil-inflected beats were joined by cheap Casio keyboards played with childlike playfulness; and ambient landscapes comparable to Markus Popp aka Oval would skitter along without necessarily arriving at a horizon…

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Lullatone – If I Had a Harp I Would Play it Every Day
Asao Kikuchi – What Must They Be Saying?
Yabemilk – Caprice Salad
Slowly Minute – Happy Birth & Sweet Blue
Nobukazu Takemura – Sign
Hyu – Hyper Function
Kiyoshi Izumi – Tengwar
Suppa Micro Pamchopp – A Secret Sense of Panic
Nobukazu Takemura – Cons
Aki Tsuyuko – A Happy Day
Child’s View – grill
Arrow Tour – Fever and Heater
Hirono Nishiyama – ひまわり
Arche Type – Ciao Ciao Bambina
Asao Kikuchi – Fireworks
Nobukazu Takemura – The Cradle of the Light
Slowly Minute – The Song of The Sun In Autumn’s Holiday
Kiyoshi Izumi – Zephyr
Koota Tanimura – Meet Me In The Next Living
Gutevolk – Mizuno Soko (Live Version)
Nobukazu Takemura – Conical Flask
Nobukazu Takemura – Chrysalis Part 2
Eiji Mitomi – Centaurea
Hyu – Egg Plane
Nobukazu Takemura – Mahou No Hiroba
Nobukazu Takemura – Lost Treasure (4th Version)
Kiyoshi Izumi – Graflicker
Slowly Minute – Whisper Magic (2003 Slowly Minute Mix)
Nobukazu Takemura – Anemometer
Eiji Mitomi – Rainbow
Sako – Sheep Negotiation

Episode 17 – Global Antenna

On this global bass mix, energy is central: Rhythms of the Afro-latin world are brought together in a transatlantic call-and-response between Africa, Europe, South and Central America — a swirl of synthetic and acoustic beats, a weaving of sampled and recorded voices, a synthesis of roots and branches — joined by producers from nearly every continent.

The second Global Electronic episode, Global Antenna mixes digital cumbias from post-EDM Mexico, Argentina and Ecuador with a selection of high-energy clave-rooted beats and kuduros from all over the Portuguese-speaking world, while dropping in hip-hop and dancehall-inflected beats that flip sounds from locales as far-flung as Bollywood.

It matches French MPC producers ventriloquizing Brazilian MPB samples with Italian producers ventriloquizing Central African tribal recordings, and blends the latest electronic techniques with classic Latin percussion instruments and African mbira. It selects from African artists living part-time in Europe, and even listens in on a few like-minded producers in Japan, Turkey, Colorado, and California.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

The Very Best – Ufumu
Nicola Cruz – Cumbia del Olvido
Psilosamples – Soldadinho do Aripe / Periquoto Cara-suja
Souleance – Mais Um
Frikstailers – Cumbia Frikera
Ccolo – Immortal Birds Diwali
Al Dobson Jr. – Malfuf – Nebetia
Daniel Haaksmen – Aho
Clap! Clap! – The Rainstack Fable
Magnus P.I feat. Penya – Search It Out
Dengue Dengue Dengue – R2
Mala – Inga Gani
Underspreche – Flowers From the Lake
Anchorsong – Butterflies
Chancha via Circuito feat. Lido Pimienta – Jardines (Tremor Remix)
MORO – SALVE SUA VIDA
Gossamer – J-cruise
Nicola Cruz – Mantis (Xanga Remix)
DJ Marfox – Cobra Preta
DJ Kolt & DJ Perigoso – Perseguição
Clap! Clap! – (E) Earnest
Ibibio Sound Machine – Uwa The Peacock (Eki Ko Inuen Uwa)
Mbongwana Star – Suzanna
El Guincho – Antillas
Thug Entrancer – Curaga
Los Chapillacs – Marcha del Chullachaqui (Deltatron Remix)
Africaine 808 – Yes We Can’t
Abu Ama – Tired in Istambul

Episode 16 – Coastin’

Holographic sounds for a Schwinn Beach Cruiser. Make the bike path glow.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Bop – Fragments
Weval – You Made It (Part I)
Al Dobson Jr. – Vibrations
Armadillo – Aves del Valle
Don’t DJ – Southern Shore
The Invisibles – Wing
John Wizards – Leuk
Seiho – DO NOT LEAVE WET
Jose Larralde – Quimey Neuquen (Chancha Via Circuito Remix)
Balam Acab – See Birds (sun)
Co La – White Silver Sands (Radiowave Version)
Anchorsong – Monsoon
Nerftoss – Virtue Walk
The Avalanches – Subway/Going Home
The Day – Boots In the Pool
Disclosure feat. Al Green – Feel Like I Do
Kaytranada – LITE SPOTS
Cornelius – Drop
Bibio – A Mineral Love
Al Dobson Jr. – In the World
Botany – Anchor
Arawak – Accadde A Bali
Flamingods – Majestic Fruit
Gold Panda – I Am Real Punk
Mice Parade – Pursuant to the Vibe
Mount Kimbie – Adriatic
K15 – Mist
Submerse – No Continues Kid
TOKiMONSTA – Waiting For the Break of Dawn
Michael Turtle – Maid of the Mist
Teebs – Arthur’s Birds
Gossamer – Okuma

Episode 15 – High Summer

Ambient heat and luminescent drones from contemporary artists and composers for bathing in the light ecstatic or brooding in the blinding sun. On this episode, tons of 2016 tracks are featured alongside seldom heard classics, all by thinkers who truly know how to focus their (and our) senses.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Shigeto – Deep Breathing
Irezumi – Contemplations
Benoît Pioulard – Of Everything That Rhymes
Maju – Yawning In An Afternoon’s Monotony
Naemi – Propel (Original Mix)
Lucy – A Selfless Act
Guitoo – Snow Noiz
Christina Vantzou – Valley Drone
Sean McCann – Guardian
Ian William Craig – Expanding Hope Into Caverns
Anenon – Panes
Huerco S. – The Sacred Dance
Zomes – Life On The Wheel
Julianna Barwick – Nebula
Tim Hecker – Up Red Bull Creek
Trees – sonm ambient 2
Ben Lukas Boysen – Sleepers Beat Theme
Félicia Atkinson & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – ME
Harbour – best self
Don’t DJ – Southeast Subterrane
Matthewdavid’s Mindflight – Venusian Sunset
Mark Pritchard – ?
Benoit Pioulard – II
Kane Ikin – Autophasic
Alessandro Cortini – Di Passaggio
Leafar Legov – MX Home
M. Geddes Gengras – Threshold
Grouper – Made of Air