100% Publishing Mix for Bandcloud
In January 2020, Grippers' Tips compiled a guest mix for Bandcloud, everyone's favorite long-running music mailer. The mix concept is logistical more than aesthetic, but highlights a trend that I find infinitely fascinating. Here's the original write-up:
This mix is a celebration of my favorite online-music phenomenon: the "DIY reissue." Bandcamp and other artist-centering platforms are a godsend for emerging acts, but they serve another vital role for those whose careers reach back into the pre-digital era. While deluxe vinyl reissues generate press for certain lost discographies, there's an entire economy of defunct labels and persistent weirdos taking their recorded history into their own hands. Expired contracts, homemade vinyl rips, and unpublished archives, bringing obscure sounds from the CD era to the post-streaming 'net.
Every track in the mix is available for legal gripping on the open web, so browse the tracklist and support the artists via the links below.
1. Kazumasa Hashimoto - lil
Predating the modern streaming web by a good decade, this bit of concrét fun was a small part of a massive collection of impressionistic music published way back in 2002 under the title Tu M'P3: Soundtracks for Images. Celebrating the liberatory possibilities of the brand-new MP3 format, the set includes contributions from luminaries like Jason Lescalleet, Alan Licht, Oren Ambarchi, and Hugh Hopper, alongside plenty of no-name weirdos. All 230 pieces, along with the images that inspired each, are still available for free download from the original netlabel (Tu M') or streaming via Internet Archive.
2. Electroscope - December Moods
Electroscope is a charming duo from Glasgow, pioneers of the kind of domestic lofi retro-futurism that would go on to be dubbed "hauntology" in the early 2000s. Their 20+ year career has been decidedly DIY, and now the vast majority of their discography is up on Bandcamp. This album is my favorite of theirs, and deadstock LP copies are still available direct from the source!
3. Jim Horton - Simulated Winds and Cries
Wonderfully restrained process music from one of my favorite Bay Area labels of the mid-90s, Artifact Recordings. The title says it all, just endless landscapes of uneasy tone float, alien and fascinating. Bonus points for the pre-dotcom boom tech optimism from the 1996 liner notes:
Oh, how I hope and wish that contemporary cyber-culture will lead to a beautiful compassionate world of Good!
Don't we all!
4. Ellen Fullman and Konrad Sprenger - Empty Building
Spellbinding art-pop earworm from another Bay Area legend, Ellen Fullman. Ellen is known for her custom-built stringed instruments and longform drone works. Here, she teams up with fellow avant-strummer and PAN alumnus Konrad Sprenger for a truly bizarre collection of songs in the pop tradition. Vocals, verses, choruses, and hooks are all laid on top of the duo's harmonically overloaded string machinations to brain-rewiring effect. On this track, the slow-mo shuffle and syncopated strumming combine into what could only be described as a microtonal country ballad. Alien and captivating.
Genuinely surprised this one isn't more well-known. Fans of Arthur Russell, Blue Gene Tyranny, Tony Conrad, and Laurie Anderson take notice!
5. Aspen - 85%
Crystalline IDM melancholy from Bevan Smith, aka Aspen. 85% is a digital-only comp of alternate takes and unreleased cuts from his primo '90s period. Lovely, contemplative minimalism from a master of the style.
6. Chugga - Memphistophelis
Smoked-out slo-mo beat tape breaks from this '90s mystery unit. Re-compiled and released to the world via the new digital arm of Comatonse, the eclectic imprint of relentless experimentalist and house legend Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles.
7. being - Sular One
Lush ambient techno from the overactive mind of Dave Paton, aka Wee DJs. Dave's label This Machine is Broken boasts an absolutely massive Bandcamp trove of archival goodness.
8. Pauline Oliveros and Andrew Deutsch - Springs (Pt. 1)
Another Bay Area legend, Pauline Oliveros should need no introduction. Her 50+ year career is part of the bedrock of American experimental music. Here, in a lesser-known session from 1999, she's joined by Andrew Deutsch, a masterful electronic improvisor from New York state. The lively session conjures an idyllic summer milieu, full of playful motifs and shimmering detail.
9. Mobach - Global
The most recent entry in this list, the Electronic Generation comp was original released in 2005, featuring tracks from a clique of the Netherlands' more outré techno innovators. Filip Mobach's bizarre, shuffling contribution is somewhere between beat tape boom-bap and ambient deep house floatation. The collection is available digitally via Syncom Data, published to Bandcamp way back in 2012!
10. N.Y. House'n Authority - APT. 3A
Seminal NYC hardware house from the Burrell Brothers. Sounding chonky as hell in a pro digital transfer sold by the bros themselves on Bandcamp. Essential stuff!
11. Kruton - Pissy Brick
Kruton is the long-running production moniker of UK hardware fetishist and all around weirdo Milo Smee. UXB Releases is the kind of DIY Bandcamp release I love to see, pulling all his material from Mark Broom's UXB studio into a handy little self-released package, licensing be damned. There's lots of love on the comp, but Pissy Brick is a standout jam: a through-composed, twisted stomper that's in a world all its own.
12. Dada Munchamonkey - Ley'ch N' Tearac
An early (and frankly horribly-monikered) alias of Eddie Ruscha IV, aka Secret Circuit. This DIY archival release comprises 21 tracks of warm kosmische swirling and lo-fi bedroom zoning, recorded during his tenure with LA's seminal Exist Dance crew.
13. Mr. Projectile - Nubby Buddy
Scintillating, Aphex-lineage electro zappage, originally released in 2001 on Parotic Music. The cult Midwestern label has gone digital, with a decade of pounding grooves up for the taking.
14. Passarani 2099 - Ixora
Italian techno stalwart Marco Passarani's very first EP. Epic, melodic electro-breaks from 1993, sounding like something straight out of a Sega Saturn. Zesty!
15. Wayne Folk - Old Skool
Wayne Folk is a US techno producer of mysterious origin, who released a few EPs of his own material in the early 2000s then promptly disappeared. I got lucky enough to snag two of his 12"s in the Oakland bins, but he's far from a household name, even to itinerant diggers. After some sleuthing, I was pleased to find vinyl rips for sale on Juno, though the sound quality is less than perfect.
Swinging, paired down, and chunky, Wayne's productions possess a lot of the banging, off-kilter spirit of Midwest legends like Sleep Engineer or Archetype. Fingers crossed the reissue gods get a hold of his catalog soon!
16. CSM - The Way
John Selway's done it all, with a massive back catalog of technoid bangers spanning 3 decades. This track, rescued from an old compilation EP, is a beautiful, deep techno groover produced way back in 1991 with collaborator Carlos Vasquez. Spacey, chunky, and heartfelt (just the way I like it).
17. Horvitz Morris Previte Trio - Todos Santos
Keeping it weird with this post-modern obscurity from 1988. Wayne Horvitz and co play an uneasy hybrid of cool jazz and minimalist improv, with traditional instrumentation underscored by subdued electronic effects and tasteful DX-7. Things get a bit goofy at times (it was 1988 after all), but for the most part the restraint of the players is admirable. This track in particular forgoes any electronic accompaniment in favor of spacious electric guitar, to gorgeous result. The album is available via Horvitz's own Bandcamp, alongside 4 decades of his own eclectic work.