Parr
Mixtape

Mixtape 020: Rebel Base Star Fox

It’s 1130pm now and I’m scrambling to get Mixtape 020 out before the stroke of midnight. Why the rush you ask? No reason apart from me wanting to stick to the deadline I’d set for myself. Writing’s a discipline, and like any discipline, targets must be set, they must be practiced, and then some slight improvements can perhaps happen. Or at least the regularity will give some illusion of predictability.

I’m not really a tastemaker, in any legit sense of the word, but I hope you like some of the tracks I’ve pulled out from Soundcloud. It kind of describes the moods I’ve been feeling such as noise and distortion, as well as the comforts that never go away no matter how hard I try, like an addiction-fueled groove or an understated beat.

Like Sons of Magdalene’s Move To Pain; it carries an exceptionally spellbinding melody that’s both melancholic and uplifting all at once. Or take for example, Arterial that follows after it; awash with an ominous tragedy. The stop-start of Demon Practice‘s fuzzysexy bassline also never seems to grow old, neither does the long-drive-on-straight-road groove featured on Crystalise

Beat-wise, the glitchy patchwork of Fort Romeau’s remix of Go Back and this mixtape’s closer, naked, both evoke a primal instinct when it comes to enjoying electronic music.

And if there’s something in between, it would be muxmool’s Teal Trim, which is one of my favourite tracks off his Just Say It All EP. That reverb laden keyboard line that plays throughout the entire song juxtaposes so well with that gravity sucking bassline. And just for good measure, I decided to throw in Tendo Beat as a ‘lil ditty of a beat, just because it’s so pleasant and platonic.

Tracklist
// Sons of Magdalene – Move To Pain
// Lusine – Arterial (Telefon Tel Aviv Remix)
// TOBACCO – Demon Practice (Instrumental)
// George Fitzgerald – Crystallise (feat. Lawrence Hart)
// Tony Allen feat. Damon Albarn – Go Back (Fort Romeau Absolut Remix)
// muxmool – Teal Trim (Edit)
// Magi – Tendo Beat
// four ● lore – naked

Standard
Nick_Cave_Kylie_Minogue
Mixtape

WATCHLIST #03: 22 Sep 2014 – 28 Sep 2014

It’s the start of a new week, and I came out from a pretty hectic last one. I didn’t really get a chance to chance across new things, but the stand-outs from last week are definitely Nick Cave releasing the performance of Where The Wild Roses Grow that he did as a duet with Kylie Minogue for the filming of 20,000 Days. It was an amazing duet in 1996, and it still is 18 years later.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the new music video and song from Spazzkid. Sarah Bonito‘s guest vocals also add a cheeky hook to the playful beats, but the performance by Ayumi Yokoyama and the visual direction is probably what I’ll constantly remember this video for.

There’s a new game called Hack ‘n’ Slash coming out which sounds really interesting, and if you haven’t watched Community’s La Biblioteca rap, you should. Last one’s from Korean producer, Hitchhiker, which I’m still deciding if it’s good or bad. But damn, it’s trippy.

WATCHLIST
1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Where The Wild Roses Grow (Live at Koko) ft. Kylie Minogue
2. Spazzkid – “Truly” feat. Sarah Bonito (Official Video)
3. Hack ‘n’ Slash – Launch Trailer
4. La Biblioteca Rap
5. Hitchhiker 히치하이커_11(ELEVEN)_Music Video

Standard
litford_watchlist_2
Mixtape

WATCHLIST #02: 08 Sep 2014 – 14 Sep 2014

Last week was pretty rough for me, so I didn’t get a ton of time to unwind with new videos, but there if there seems to be a trend with last week’s WATCHLIST, it’s that I enjoy the randomness of certain videos.

Also, new material from Ryan Adams and Nick Cave.

WATCHLIST
Parakeet
Peter Serafininowicz – Dalek Relaxation Tape
Guitar Power ep. 2 featuring Dave Harrington
Peter Serafinowicz – Building A Human
The Creators Project – Nick Cave | 20,000 Days on Earth

Standard
litford_watchlist_3
Mixtape

WATCHLIST #01: 01 Sep 2014 – 07 Sep 2014

One of the challenges with the MIXTAPES series is that when I get really busy, it is an effort to be on the lookout for new or exciting music. There’s an effort that goes into curating the list, and even doing the layouts and content formatting.

I feel like I’ve let my readership down, so I’ve developed a new product known as the WATCHLIST, where I just highlight a few interesting videos I’ve come across in the week.

The presentation of these lists will also feature less editorial content about my rambling, so that I can divert my energies to proper writings in other forms.

The first WATCHLIST features my current musical inspirations, Jungle, Darkside as well as Chet Faker’s sultry promo video for “Gold”. I must say, there is some kind of future-retro cool in all these videos and music.

Enjoy!

WATCHLIST
Jungle – Platoon
Jungle – Busy Earning
DARKSIDE – Paper Trails (RA Sessions LIVE)
Jungle – The Heat
Chet Faker – Gold

Standard
Mixtape

Mixtape #19.. Like Molasses, Dripping With Fear

This mixtape started all because I found out how amazing Elder is, and I’ve been wanting to do a mixtape that involved my current favourite band of the moment. This week’s mixtape was inspired by the smokey, the sludgy, the sinister and the sexy. If anything, I felt an intense pressure to deliver this mixtape that was different from previous electronic incarnations, and would be something that you’d hit up in a haze of road-trippin’ psychedelics.

From the second track off their Live At Roadburn 2013 album, “Dead Roots Stirring” is the perfect representation of their indulgent, psyche and stoner rock. Granted, I’m biased because the bass intro is so fxxking intense, there’s plenty more in terms of instrumentation, arrangement and just all-round bad-assery from this three-piece that will put all your other rock ideas to shame. Listen to it. I cannot stress that enough.

If you made it past the glorious opener of this mixtape, I’m rewarding you with a jumpcut into Low Leaf’s “Rise Up”. On the one hand, it’s angular piano riffing adds that touch of neo-soul that is so infectious, the way this track launches itself in is like being hit in the face with a shovel. And a tasty shovel at that.

GOAT comes in immediately with some desert inspired riffs, and you can almost taste the danger of rattlesnakes rustling in blades of parched grass. “Hide From The Sun” does not disappoint with many magical moments that sound like they could be in a Tarentino movie, but the real star is that fuzzed-out guitar solo that takes all the cake and eats it. I almost want to put that tone into a syringe and inject it into my veins.

Another lately favourite of mine has been Chet Faker’s “Gold”. If you want to know what classy means, it’s this. Come in strong with a svelte keyboard bass intro that enters the bar, eyes turn like handclaps, a falsetto that reeks of whiskey, and lay down the law with one of the best basslines ever committed to tape. The pulsing one into a triplet just makes for a natural head-boppin’ groove, and that’s all a bassline needs to do to be dripping with sweet, sweet molasses.

So how do you top that? You don’t. Displace the first four songs of this mixtape, and tear it a new one. Happy Doghouse gives us a pleasant interlude with the dreamily distorted “Milk-bone”. By the time you’re done with this, you’d have forgotten most of the previous high, and we’re ready to land.

And let’s land into some Sex On Toast, shall we? “Escape 2012” takes it down a notch by reminding us all what was awesome about the 80’s. That B-3 peeks and boos, while we get treated to some very Tears For Fears inspired funk guitar.

Which provides us with the perfect segue into Awon & Dephlow’s “Step Up”. This is the moment right before the lights come on, so leave things dark just a little while more and don’t be afraid to open your eyes.

Tracklist

00:00 – 12:07 // Elder – Dead Roots Stirring (Live at Roadburn 2013)
12:07 – 17:41 // Low Leaf – Rise Up
17:41 – 21:18 // GOAT – Hide From The Sun
21:18 – 26:03 // Chet Faker – Gold
26:03 – 28:31 // Happy Doghouse – Milk-bone
28:31 – 36:22 // Sex On Toast – Escape 2012
36:22 – 39:41 // Awon & Dephlow – Step Up (Prod. Phoniks)

litford-tar

Standard
Mixtape

Mixtape #18.. Far Above The Hurt, Well Below The Bliss

This mixtape has been sitting on the back burner for at least two months, and so has posting of any form on this blog. I guess being busy is one thing, but sheer laziness and having an undisciplined approach when it comes to writing is another. Writing isn’t my day job, and increasingly, that’s the battle that I’ll face as I grapple with myself. Will I allocate enough of my creative energy for creative pursuits. I don’t really want to get into all the details now, but I’m of the belief that by correctly portioning and protecting my time, I think I could maintain a sort of balance.

A little bit more about this mixtape perhaps. Only one other song made it through from when I first compiled this mixtape back at the tail end of April or the start of May and that’s Touch Sensitive’s “Slowments”, a tasteful and ethereal after hours track. After revisiting the original mixtape yesterday, it just didn’t seem to cut it and I went scouring for more new music, and boy am I glad with this week’s haul.

I’m not too sure how I arrived at Pixelord (Check his Tumblr out, it’s hypnotic), but I was drawn to his fancy use of beats and bass. It’s classy, cheeky and not in your face. So from his feed, I pulled out his recommendation of BSN Posse’s “Anchovies With Lemon” as well as his own collaboration with Seablaze for the track, “Hedron Luv”. Judging by the creative direction of both art and music, the producer seems inspired by the kitschy mishmash of Internet culture known as Seapunk. I like it, you’ve got bits of house, garage, DnB and beats all rolled into one giant burrito of culture. Whether it’s a healthy diet, probably not.

Another sound that I’ve been turned onto lately by my girlfriend, is Trap. I used to knock it off as just another trend, in the vein of dubstep and EDM, cliched highs and lows as well as the generic bandwagon-ing hooks, yet. However when done right, there’s massive groove to be found in the drops. It’s the combination of droning bass with off-beat snare work after a well-built surge that puts you in a euphoric headspace. Exciting stuff. My recommendations are Djemba Djemba’s remix of BANKS’ “Fall Over” and his own “Chronic Heart Failure”, which is sinister stuff.

Electric Mantis sneaks in with “Flips And Flops, Drips And Drops”, which is just what I needed to break up the overdose of seapunk and trap. A swiningin’ 4/4, that uses staccato to great effect, it’s the perfect breather and setup as the fifth track in this mixtape.

Our closer is a strong finisher. Right after the sinister “Chronic Heart Failure”, the juxtaposition of Low Leaf’s piano-driven “Set Me Free” rounds off this entire mixtape with some astounding future soul. Don’t ask me how it works, but that vibe of live instruments approached in an angular manner just made sense to me.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s mixtape!

Tracklist
00:00 – 07:03 Touch Sensitive – Slowments
07:03 – 10:53 BSN Posse – Anchovies With Lemon (Pixelord Bootleg)
10:53 – 16:18 BANKS – Fall Over (Djemba Djemba Remix)
16:18 – 20:30 Pixelord & Seablaze – Hedron Luv
20:30 – 24:07 Electric Mantis – Flips And Flops, Drips And Drops
24:07 – 27:07 Djemba Djemba – Chronic Heart Failure
27:07 – 24:19 Low Leaf – Set Me Free

seiichi-harachi-illustration

Standard
Mixtape

Mixtape #17.. If I’d Known, I Would Never

Man, it’s been a crazy two months, but here I am today, close to the middle of April 2014 with another mixtape. On some level, I wish I could do these more frequently, but sadly, music has been rather stale for me of late. Not that many exciting new sounds that I cared about enough to write about.

However, that all changed when I got to listen to the new HTRK album.

For one, it’s gloriously minimal, and the simple melancholia awoke something in me. Almost as if, even in the storm of nihilism, someone out there managed to create something that described nothing.

HTRK – Feels Like Love

As everything wraps around you like a blood haze, a red tint of the mirage that lies to your eyes. But your heart knows better and seeks deeper. Down into the trenches of something absolute, something tangible, something that could be found, but all were just electrosynaptic lies of the flawed vessel of human transcendence.

Flagland – Shitsucksrightnow

Then we awaken to something carnal. The primal beast awakes to instinct and indulgence takes over. What have we hear? But the battered body of a cruel life. Scars that bear and the roar of a cornered, wounded animal.

HTRK – Love Is Distraction

And when left to die under storm clouds, a drizzle that pitters but doesn’t patter. We pray for rain, to wash away the pain. Though we are not indulged, carrions look intently, eating only what has passed. But we shall not, we shall live maimed, broken, scarred and butchered. But never to die in the open, but in the warm comfort of death’s bed.

Telefon Tel Aviv – Feel The Fall

Whilst the grip tightens and the body spasms, one last desperate cry to the heavens for salvation as the infinite sky watches over, starring, smiling and crying. Yes I will save you, no you are beyond saving. This be the day we forsake each other, and you are released from the snaking tendrils of life’s trap. Your heart beats faster, for one last celebration, the last breath you’ll take. A breath more glorious than they first one you took.

Never Young – Teenage Dream

So where will you go now? Where will your released soul take you? Will you find rest? Will you find peace? Will you find what it is you think you’ve found? As wave after wave, crashes upon the cliff that holds the castle, keep us in your thoughts and keep us in your prayers. I haven’t found my way, the way towards the light.

Sunn O))) & Boris – The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)

Have I made it? Did it work in the end? Counsel me, all who love to give counsel. I will not listen, but I will hear. I need the noise as I need air, but deprive me this, and my soul rises from the depths of the ocean to take me to a place of desert calm. I’m already here, waiting for you, and no one in particular to arrive.

Small Wonder – Until I Open My Wings

“I am the moss that grows on stone. I am the rock to pave your roads. When you inhale, I fill your lungs. When you exhale, don’t let me out into the world.”

KaoriYoshioka

Standard
Mixtape

Mixtape #16.. Prostate Before The Moon

I’ve been evading the mixtape series because everything about this site was in disarray, but if you bore with the silence, then I’m happy to present the very first mixtape of 2014.

Amidst the celebration of the new year, I’ve found myself in a comfortable melancholy where I don’t have to listen to the inane drivel of popular culture. Instead, here are some standout tracks where I remain comfortably numb.

Have A Nice Life – Burial Society

Never heard of them till they were reviewed by Anthony Fantano. If anything, Have A Nice Life have a new album coming out, and I’d be hard-pressed to listen to more of their brand of desolation. There are two more tracks by them in this week’s mixtape, so let’s just comiserate.

Kyuss – Space Cadet (Grabowsky Desert Rework)

One more desert road to cross, and a fantastic re-imagining by Grabowsky of the Kyuss classic.

Brant Bjork – The Low Desert Punk

Love this intro so hard, but the riff grows on you as well despite sounding like almost any other desert riff.

Have A Nice Life – Defenestration Song

Don’t make this about the bass fuzz. Don’t make this about the bass fuzz. It’s all about the bass fuzz. That glorious fuzz that churns a tempest of depravity as you watch the world burn.

Have A Nice Life – Dan And Tim, Reunited By Fate

While the bassline sounds like it was inspired by The Cure’s Fascination Street, all doubts are allayed once the generous helping of ghostly reverb baptises your ears and seemingly brings you to your senses. That’s when you know we don’t know anything.

Till Tomorrow, Yesterday – F ∆ U X E, Bravepaper & Sam Baker

I don’t think this has a title. All I got was a message from F ∆ U X E saying that he had finished working on something with the HYBRDTHRY collective, and this was what resulted. While less electronic than his earlier work, one gets the sense that this producer is very happy blurring the lines between daylight and the nocturne. Four AM, the witching hour. (Update 3 Feb 2014: F ∆ U X E reached out to us and illuminated us to the title of this track. It’s “Till Tomorrow, Yesterday”)

Plate – Landslide (Studio Jam)

Another interesting oddity from Singapore-land. The project of Basement In My Loft bass player, Halcyon (Zhong Ren Koh), brings to the forefront the musician’s ideas and talent. While only a demo, the chord progressions, musical hooks and vocal arrangements all stand testament to the earnestness of this young talent. Rawness and honesty are this new project’s strength, and I hope to hear more from the group.

motoko-kusanagi

Standard