Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Diary of Musical Thoughts Podcast Episode 32

The Ancient Methods Mix -- 49 minutes

This may have been the easiest mix I've ever made -- and it also may have been the most fun.

Cold steel industrial doesn't get any better than Ancient Methods, not now, not ever.  They can cave in chests with some of the roughest beats in the business, but if that's all they could do, their podcasts and DJ sets would become endurance contests rather quickly (it's hard to enjoy music when your ears are bleeding).  Plenty of Ancient Methods tracks contain several minutes of almost blissful restraint, almost lulling you into complacency with hypnotizing bass lines and clanging percussion buried deep in the mix.  That's what they use to bring you down in their sets before dropping the hammer once again.  Their tracks and mixes ebb and flow and coast and soar like no other.

It so happens that I had been listening to a few all-Basic Channel mixes during the week that Ancient Methods' "A Collection Of Ancient Airs" compilation dropped.  From there, making the mix itself was nearly effortless.  With material this good, anybody can sound like a genius.  I was having so much fun that I couldn't help but pad the mix with a few like sounding tracks.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Three brilliantly esoteric articles

I'm posting this a week late, but all three of these articles are essentially time-insensitive and remain just as great:

First off, Philip Sherburne put forth an epic takedown on ... the sorry state of whistling in pop music?  This is the most complete treatment of a minor (and undoubtedly passing) trend in chart pop.  My question is, where does all this fit into the recent trend of remixes of folk/acoustic songs getting the dance music remix treatments, like this for example?  Both involve blending styles that don't ordinarily belong together, and rely heavily on the novelty element.

On the same day for Pitchfork, Christina Lee wrote about the life and tragic murder of Atlanta's DJ Nando.   By the end of this inspiring article, you'll be convinced that Nando was the greatest unsung DJ of this generation.  Somehow I had never though about payola being such a major force in strip club programming, but it makes perfect sense.

Finally, Michaelangelo Matos compiled a stunning overview of DJ mixtapes in America.  You'd think that this story had been told a thousand times already, considering how important DJ mixes are to the culture, and yet I've never read anything even remotely like it.  This article helps fill what seems like a fundamental unwritten gap in the history of electronic music history.  There are many familiar names and stories for the longtime fan who remembers buying/copying/"acquiring" these mixes, but there are plenty of obscurities too (I knew maybe -- maybe -- half of this stuff).