tom moody

Archive for the ‘music – others’ Category

lazy YT-jaying: "Firecracker"

Didn't realize "Firecracker," on the first Yellow Magic Orchestra LP, was a Martin Denny cover: [YouTube]

According to Discogs, YMO started as a one-off concept project of Haruomi Hosono's, interpreting Western oriental exotica, which then caught on as a band.
Riuichi Sakamoto and Yukohiro Takahashi originally came in as session musicians.
The Denny piece anticipates David Byrne's Japanese-sounding themes for The Last Emperor, which Sakamoto also wrote music for, so there's some kind of cultural loop thing going on here.

- tom moody

July 19th, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Posted in music - others

linear regressionists (anti-CD, 1990)

via Discogs:



The Linear Regressionists ‎– Living On The Regression Line
Label: Pursuit Of Market Share ‎– POMS ROI-001, RRRecords ‎– CD-002
Format: CD, Limited Edition, Anti-CD
Country: Germany
Released: 1990
Genre: Non-Music


1 Untitled


Concept By – Bernhard Assfalg, Don Hedeker, Franz Liebl, Lydia Tomkiw, RRR (2)

"The POMS Principles - applying violence to compact discs
The POMS Series in Anti-Cds Vol. 1"

(unplayable cd perforated by 10 holes)

- tom moody

July 10th, 2017 at 1:29 pm

drexciya on dallas radio, 1992

Dallas-area radio DJ Jeff K currently announces sports and classic rock, but previously had a career (in the late '80s/early '90s) as a John Peel-like pioneer of electronic dance music. He's gradually fleshing out a discography of his radio shows and mixes on his website. When I lived in Dallas I taped his show off and on from '93 - '95, and, working in my painting studio, re-listened to the dazzling guest mixes from the likes of DIY Crew, DJ Icey, Utah Saints (!), Gavin Hardkiss, and others. When I moved back to NYC in '95, those tapes provided me with tunes for about a year (on a portable tape player, until I got the rest of my music out of storage -- yawn, sorry).

How au courant was Jeff K back in the day? In this broadcast of Oct. 17, 1992 [.mp3] go to the 35:53 mark for the "Edge Club Techno Screamer," a regular feature. That week's Screamer was "Sea Snake," by Drexciya, who at that moment were completely new and unknown but are now regarded as giants in the field. According to Discogs they "first came into the public eye" in 1994, and here's Jeff K playing them two years before that.

Drexciya was secretive about their membership and plans from the beginning, so it's no surprise to hear Jeff K wondering aloud on the show who they were: the mail this week, all the latest records from Detroit, some new Underground Resistance... and some new Shockwave. The latest from Shockwave is an EP called 'Deep Sea Dweller' by Drexciya, and Jackmaster Joe Curry is still in the studio with us and we tried to find out 'Who is Drexciya?' and he thinks, well, it's probably just the guys from Underground Resistance, could be Mad Mike, we don't know. But anyway, it's a very very fine track, we're going to hear 'Sea Snake' from the 'Deep Sea Dweller' EP, it's this week's Techno Screamer, on Edge Club 94.

- tom moody

July 8th, 2017 at 8:23 am

Posted in music - others

MX-80 Sound: "Cry Uncle," "So Clear"

"Cry Uncle" [Bandcamp]
"So Clear" [Bandcamp]

From their 2005 LP We're an American Band (wait -- wasn't that Grand Funk Railroad?)
Rich Stim's vocals and words were a high point of the late '70s "fuck you" phase of rock. (E.g., PCBs / Crushed Ice / Tidal Wave / Kid Stuff.) It's great to hear him still being bleak and funny, decades after "punk." One mistake of MX-80 Sound's two early '80s Ralph Records releases was submerging Stim's vocalisms in the mix. The earlier LP Hard Attack found a better balance of discordant guitar and cheeky lyrics.
"Cry Uncle" and "So Clear" adopt a slower pace but you won't find much better psychedelic nihilist rapping on the market these days.

- tom moody

July 3rd, 2017 at 10:19 am

Posted in music - others

harmonious thelonious

Listen (2012)

Talking (2010)

Santos (2015)

Info paraphrased from Discogs:

Stefan Schwander (composer, producer)
"Harmonious Thelonious is a solo-project focusing on rough and dense beats and textures inspired by american minimalist music and african rhythm patterns."
Schwander also records as: A Rocket In Dub, Antonelli Electr., Leroy Versions, Repeat Orchestra, and Rhythm Maker

The Harmonious Thelonious website describes the work as "american minimalists vs. african drumming vs. european sequencing."

In past projects Schwander has worked with grooveboxes such as the Elektron Machinedrum, which may be what's meant by "European sequencing." As for American minimalists you can hear some Glass/Reich references but also Moondog and a hint of John Cale/Terry Riley's Church of Anthrax. Not sure where Thelonious Monk fits in; non-American influences could include Carl Orff and King Sunny Ade. In each of the 24 songs linked above, a steady multi-instrumental groove is maintained, with "tribal" sounding percussion based on samples of real drums, congas, etc, and some synthetic percussion. The main connections to Schwander's earlier work are catchy melodies based on simple overlaid figures, in this sense he is more inventive and ingratiating than say, Steve Reich. The melodies may be basic but have to sustain interest over six minutes, and these all do, through variations and "dropouts."

One odd feature of the music is samples of cheering, whistling crowd noise that can be heard in the background of several tracks. Rather than the narcissism or manipulation of a TV laugh track, these sounds add grit and texture in a musique concrète or industrial manner. [Update: On further listening, the crowd noise becomes more irritating and unnecessary. The earliest release, Talking, is the worst: the same loop of an appreciative whistle is heard repeatedly throughout the LP; by the end it's a distraction from what would otherwise be excellent melodies and percussion.]

- tom moody

June 30th, 2017 at 6:09 am

Posted in music - others

the reversed polarity masterpiece

XTC's Skylarking (1986) was an attempt by musician-producer Todd Rundgren to craft a Sgt Pepper or Pet Sounds for XTC -- a cohesive concept LP instead of just the latest group of tunes. He succeeded, it's a "tight" album, considered by many pundits to be the UK band's best.
At the time of the release XTC's Andy Partridge complained that the mix was thin.
Re-listening to the original vinyl version after several years, he's right, but it wasn't important at the time because the overall brilliance of the songs, the concept, and Rundgren's quirky, George Martin-like contributions (orchestrations, sound collage, pacing) made you not notice the lack of bass and warmth so much.
Partridge now has control of all the tapes and a few years ago discovered that an electronic error was made when the multitrack mix was mixed down to stereo, prior to vinyl mastering. The polarity was reversed, says Partridge's engineer. How or why that distorts the signal is a question for a future blog post, but, in 2014 Partridge released a re-reversed polarity version on CD that is supposedly warmer and "how the LP was meant to be heard."
Am kind of curious to hear it but not necessarily own it, since it would mean having the song "Dear God" in the tracklist. My version of the LP came out before "Dear God" became an unexpected radio hit -- all subsequent issues have included that overwrought and obvious tune.

- tom moody

June 6th, 2017 at 6:21 am

Posted in music - others

"That Seventies Song 2"

"That Seventies Song 2" [4.5 MB .mp3]

Another song made with Tracktion Software's Waveform digital audio workstation, running on Ubuntu Studio.
Sound sources include:
Tracktion's Collective synth/sampler;
Snippets from 1970s vinyl (which may or may not have been uploaded to YouTube by record companies pretending to be "street");
Recordings of a "live" Eurorack synth sync-ed to the DAW via midi-to-cv; and
Beats from the Driven Machine Drums sample pack, playing in Waveform's sampler rack plugin.

Update: A "safe" variation of this track is on Bandcamp.

- tom moody

May 29th, 2017 at 3:27 pm

lazy YT-jaying: Zap Carnivorous

Eddie Jefferson, "Zap! Carnivorous" [YouTube]

Inimitable practitioner of jazz vocalese Jefferson adds lyrics about inner city dangers to a fairly melodic, mellow, obscure 1973 Fender Rhodes workout by The New Heritage Keyboard Quartet (Roland Hanna, Mickey Tucker plus drummer and bassist)

New Heritage Keyboard Quartet "full album" (with crackles, worn grooves -- "Zap Carnivorous" is the first song) [YouTube]

- tom moody

May 26th, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Posted in music - others

Ardour's Paul Davis speaks at Linux audio event

Paul Davis, a Linux luminary who developed the JACK streaming protocol and currently works on the Ardour DAW (digital audio workstation), speaks at a conference here (video embed -- start at 2:22:32).

Worth a watch, even if it's pessimistic overall about Linux audio. On the one hand he offers a necessary reality check to open source boosterism, but on the other, he needs to insulate himself from ordinary bonehead users on forums, they are clearly wearing him down. (He's even testier on the forums.)

He makes a good point about certain types of software only being viable in the commercial realm, as opposed to the open source model. His example is Elastique Audio, a proprietary timestretching algorithm. He admits that neither Linux nor anyone else offers anything as good. It excels, he argues, because the creators spent ten years "polishing and polishing" the code. You need a promise of return, and not just the love of your peers, to do something that numbing.

At one point he muses on the types of audio users who might be drawn to Linux environment. An impetus he missed is people fleeing Apple and Windows for political and aesthetic reasons. Getting away from computer companies that trick you, spy on you, and bleed you for additional services is a strong motivator.

- tom moody

May 20th, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Moondog, "Voices of Spring," "Down is Up" lyrics

Moondog 2 (1971) was Columbia's follow-up to the better-known Moondog. The second installment features Louis Hardin and his daughter singing rounds, with simple percussion, keyboard, and woodwind accompaniment, and what sounds to me like quite a bit of overtracking and stereo-mixing.

Each little song (26 in all) is charming and minimal, reminiscent of the Carl Orff gassenhauer (street song) for children. I couldn't make out all the words but this blog transcribed them. I made some tweaks to a couple of my favorites:

Voices of Spring

voices of spring were in chorus
each voice was bringing a song
i couldn't sing in the chorus until i wrote a new song
i wrote my song and joined the throng

voices of spring were in chorus
each voice was singing a song
i couldn't sing in the chorus until i wrote my new song
i wrote my song and joined the throng

Down is Up

down is up, and so up is down
because the earth is round
there is no such a thing as up or down

- tom moody

May 19th, 2017 at 10:15 am

Posted in music - others