Philemon Arthur and the Dung - Musikens Historia Del 1 Och 2

1992 (1972); 35 tracks

Amazing acoustic lo-fi music from Sweden... I absolutely love the track "Det Femte Hjulet" but there is a melancholy folkiness about their sound I have yet to find in music elsewhere. This is re-released material that was recorded in both 1972 and 1987.




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basically i'll just post some of my favorite albums also some new stuff that i haven't put on here yet!!


Christmas Eve.

I am amazed at how close to now a year ago seems to be. All of those things I dreaded and anticipated and even looked forward to are now buried under the dust of the past. The books I've read, films I've watched, albums I've gone through once or twice or a hundred times, music I've learned and performed and loved and hated, feelings that now seem unutterably distant to me. Moments lost forever. I'm reminded of a particular quote by Murakami, one from an early novel of his entitled Dance Dance Dance:

"Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting."

The main character was trying to explain this to a young girl in regards to her fragile life, but of course she couldn't come up with an answer and kept silent.

If I had to sum up the past few years of my life, which so happen to have been the most formative, the most important thing to mention would have to be the work of Haruki Murakami. My first copy of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, a novel of his introduced to me by someone I try hard to forget about, was hiding on the bottom shelf of some distant bookstore when I came upon it on a whim, and bought it. This was only the beginning of my journey to coming to terms with myself. With his writing I felt like I was not alone. If I just carried with me a scrap of his writing, in whatever form, I knew in my heart that I would be full of the musings of a wonderful man's imagination and never be lonely. I could explore at will the depth (or lack thereof) of his stories and characters, all so eerily similar, and ponder what it means to look at the world through the eyes of an utter outsider. Fairly cultured, but for no apparent reason or significance. Childishly innocent, yet haunted by dark nightmares night after night. Acknowledging the loveliness and pure beauty of the tiniest, most mundane things - appreciating their function in the workings of the world, praising common inanimate objects for their ability to withstand the manic nature of the humans who use them.

Right now I'm just listening to music that reminds me of times past. Agalloch, Dornenreich, Ulver, Tenhi. Agalloch really are an incredible band, I've never been disappointed with them. I don't listen to them a lot, so when I do I am always blown away. The newer artists that I've gotten into seem so new to me that it is hard to listen to them when I want to retreat inside myself. You know, when I want to read my favorite passages of Wuthering Heights or The Count of Monte Cristo or The Great Gatsby - the things that shaped who I am, not things I have never cried or slept to or even truly experienced.



Zombi - Surface to Air

2006; 5 tracks
This is an incredible combination of progressive rock and spacey synthesizers, like if you combined Isis and Umberto. Zombi is the project of multi-instrumentalists Steve Moore and A. E. Paterra, based in Pennsylvania. Surface to Air is their third album, and I couldn't pick a favorite track on here if I tried because they are all just that mind-blowingly good.

And to quote the person who recommended this to me:

"But Zombi... They remind me of early Trans Am but with elements of Wendy Carlos and Giorgio Morroder and 70's horror/suspense soundtracks. Lots of arppegiated synths which I've always loved."


Rye Coalition - The Lipstick Game

1999; 10 track
This is the second full-length by New Jersey post-hardcore/math rock band Rye Coalition. Founded in the early 90s, they have produced to date four full-lengths and various EPs and singles and splits, but a friend of mine told me that their earliest stuff is the best. The Lipstick Game is a chaotic blend of aggressive and discordant post-hardcore, with math rock influences. It is said that, two years in the making, the album was seen by many of their early fans as the band's pinnacle, and "documents some of Rye Coalition's most powerful and experimental songwriting." I haven't really heard anything like it, so I'm out of comparisons, but I think The Lipstick Game is a gorgeous album.



The Hollow Men - Cresta

1991; 10 tracks

The Hollow Men were an indie rock/acoustic pop band from Leeds, England who, from 1985 to 1994, released four albums and several singles. Cresta is their third album.

There are many nice and poppy, 90s-sounding songs on here, many absorbed with the classic Leeds-rock feeling. My favorite track on Cresta would definitely be "Tongue Tied," even though it is the shortest and slowest one - it is pure magic.



Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Tatay

1994; 16 tracks
I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally love this album.

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci was a Welsh psychedelic pop/folk rock band founded in Carmathen, Wales in 1991. Tatay is their first album, but they've released quite a number of recordings until they broke up in 2006. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci is gorgeously psychedelic and sometimes sung in Welsh, sometimes English, but full of just wonderful, wonderful moments. "Beth Sy'n Digwydd I'r Buwch" is my favorite track, though, without a doubt.


Whenever I see the word "tatay" I think of Chip Cheezum giggling and saying "titty-mmm-bop-bop-tittays" (here). ANYWAY.


Robert Schuman - Davidsbündlertänze and Fantasie

2011; 21 tracks
Mitsuko Uchida, pianist

This is an extremely important post not only for me, but for those who are interested in hearing piano music of a truly heavenly quality.

Mitsuko Uchida is a Japanese/British pianist renowned for her interpretations of Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Bach, Schumann, Chopin, and others. It has been more than 15 years since her last release of Schumann works, which included the Carnval and Kreisleriana. This recording was released in 2010, which marked the bicentennial birthday of both Chopin and Schumann.

I have honestly never heard a single Robert Schumann piece before these. Believing him to be, maybe, a poor man's Chopin, I had no idea what incredible depth and translucence there was to be found in this man's music. The combination of these two works, Davidsbündlertänze being slightly lesser known while the Fantasie is an esteemed piece of piano repertoire, yields an unprecedented experience of the finest piano music and piano playing that I've ever heard. He was a German composer of Romantic music, as well as a firm upholder of aestheticism. Much of his music is internal and personal, which might have turned me off before, but someone I know described a certain quality of Schumann's (he might not have meant for it to apply to him, but I believe that it does apply): "It is a kind of music, for example, where duration and feeling are in mutual exploration."

Davidsbündlertänze, or Dances of the League of David, is a composition consisting of eighteen short pieces written in 1837. Though I am not as of yet very familiar with Schumann, I have heard that there are two masks that he wore as a composer, and these two characters have names - Florestan and Eusebius. Uchida, in her interview, explains that Florestan represents the impetuous, passionate side, while Eusebius represents the quiet and timid nature of Schumann. It is noted that many changes had been made by Schumann to the original manuscript, as each of the eighteen pieces had originally been marked with either Florestan's or Eusebius' name or both to distinguish the particular character the piece would project, so that in the end one must make the decision himself. Uchida remarks that during her exploration of the piece she had come to the realization that both Forestan and Eusebius might be present all the time - one can never be sure. Eusebius might be peeking through Florestan's act, or maybe while Eusebius trembles in the background it is Florestan who mocks. Davidsbündlertänze does seem to be one of the greatest and most complex mysteries in the piano world.

Schumann's Fantasie in C, Op. 17, is a three-movement work completed in 1836 and dedicated to Franz Liszt. In the interview, Uchida mentions that the piece is practically spilling over with homage to Beethoven and his musical style. The Fantasie was, in fact, written to raise money to erect a statue of Beethoven in Bonn. The piece was not accepted to be published with any large firm, however, and was not officially issued until 3 years after it's composition. The Beethoven monument was, eventually, completed. Uchida says that at the very end of the second movement there are a number of nearly impossible leaps that Schumann asks the performer to make - both hands rapidly leaping in opposite directions! She says that to play the Fantasie perfectly, you must play it with one wrong note. If you play a difficult piece absolutely perfectly, the audience will not believe that it is difficult. But, if you play a difficult piece with an obvious mistake, the audience will believe the difficulty of the piece, and respect it more. Throughout this period in Schumann's life when he wrote not only the Fantasie and Davidsbündlertänze but many other works imbued with longing, passion, and influences of Beethoven and others, Schumann was struggling to be married to his love, Clara. They were married in 1840 after years of attempting to gain her father's consent, but after she became of legal age to wed, they no longer had to worry about him. She was an integral part of Schumann's musical vision, but I won't tell you more about that as Uchida explains that in detail during the interview.

This recording comes with a half-hour long interview with Mitsuko Uchida herself, and I am just as in awe of her as I am the piano works. She is a remarkably passionate woman - highly intelligent and fluid in her explanations of all that she knows, all of the knowledge and passion that she conveys through her piano playing. She has a heavy accent, but it is a voice that I might dream of reading bedtime stories to me. I was enthralled by the information that poured out of her, the experiences she has gained, and how deeply she connects with the music. She doesn't just play it, no. Uchida understands Schumann, exactly what his capabilities as a pianist and a man were, and this only heightens my admiration for her. She has such a deep understanding of what makes a great pianist, and this understanding can only come from years of studying, studying, studying, and also playing. She believes that the oddness of the music does not come from happiness, but from tragedy, something Schumann experienced all throughout his life.

In the interview Uchida says maybe one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. To her, the greatest moments of music do not lie merely in beauty, but in a far rarer human emotion, and that is forgiveness. Eusebius forgives Florestan - forgiveness is shown, and this is what allows him to win. Throughout the musical dialogues of the Davidsbündlertänze you might notice that the nature of Eusebius defeats that of Florestan all because of the beauty of his forgiveness.

I am in love with Schumann now, and I want to hear everything he has ever written. I want to learn all I can about him. And not just him, but the dynamics of his relationship with Clara, and her lover, who I also love, Johannes Brahms. Schubert, Chopin, and Beethoven also play a huge role in the life of Schumann, according to Uchida. Ugh how could I have been so blind for all of these years?

01 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 1, Lebhaft (Florestand and Eusebius)
02 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 2, Innig (Eusebius)
03 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 3, Etwas hahnbüchen (Florestan)
04 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 4, Ungeduldig (Florestan)
05 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 5, Einfach (Eusebius)
06 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 6, Sehr rasch und in sich hinein (Florestan)
07 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 7, Nicht schnell. Mit äußerst starker Empfindung (Eusebius)
08 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 8, Frisch (Florestan)
09 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 9, Lebhaft (Florestan)
10 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 10, Balladenmäßig. Sehr rasch (Florestan)
11 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 11, Einfach (Eusebius)
12 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 12, Mit Humor (Florestan)
13 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 13, Wild und lustig (Florestan and Eusebius)
14 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 14, Zart und singend (Eusebius)
15 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 15, Frisch (Florestan and Eusebius)
16 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 16, Mit gutem Humor
17 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 17, Wie aus der Ferne (Florestan and Eusebius)
18 Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, No. 18, Nicht schnell (Eusebius)
19 Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17, I. Durchaus fantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen; Im Legenden-Ton
20 Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17, II. Mäßig. Durchaus energisch
21 Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17, III. Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten.

Davidsbündlertänze and Fantasie
Mitsuko Uchida talks about Schumann
in each and every age
joy and sorrow are mingled


Ancient Astronauts - Into Bass and Time

2011; 15 tracks

"Hard hip-hop, funky breakbeats, dub reggae, and late night smokers' trip-hop, Into Bass and Time brings it all."

Ancient Astronauts is a German hip-hop duo known for their futuristic approach to combining many different styles of beats and samples. It's not entirely instrumental, but when guest artists appear and such, the rapping is seriously top-notch. After just the first listen, I knew that this was one of the greatest albums of the year.

and the people of earth stood, and stared

L7 - Smell the Magic

1990 (Re-issue, 1991); 9 tracks
Smell the Magic is a really awesome piece of grunge/punk/angry girl rock. It is the second release by the LA-based grunge band L7, who also founded Rock for Choice, a pro-choice women's rights group supported by another favorite band of mine, 7 Year Bitch. Anyway, this is an incredibly heavy and abrasive album full of fast and furious angry girl music.


Organ - Apoplexy in Six Parts

2004; 10 tracks

Organ is "an experimental post-metal band from Oslo, Norway containing members of the black metal band (V.E.G.A.). The bands only release to date is Apoplexy In Six Parts." I personally enjoyed it very much, and strangely enough found some very Alcest-like moments among the experimental black metal multifariousness.

Apoplexy in Six Parts
01 Part I
02 Part II
03 Part III
04 Part IV
05 Part V
06 Part VI
Non-Intentional Devices
07-10 Untitled



Chokebore - Anything Near Water

1995; 15 tracks

Ungainly noise rock with some incredible Jandek-y vocals set against an emerging 'sadcore' backdrop. As I talked with a friend about the record, we both noticed a certain youthfulness that can be attributed to the vocals, provided by Troy von Balthazar - they are constantly cracking, yet in an attractive manner. This adds, quite well in fact, to the impreciseness of the music.

Chokebore was an indie rock band formed in Honolulu in the 90s that eventually moved to LA. Anything Near Water, the band's second full-length, is an aimless venture down a long, desolate road. Highly recommended for fans of early Nirvana and Idaho.


Kalevi Aho - Symphony No. 3 / Songs & Dances of Death (Mussorgsky)

2003; 8 tracks
Osmo Vänskä / Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Jaakko Kausisto, violin
Matti Salminen, bass
Kalevi Aho is a Finnish composer who studied under the great Einojuhani Rautavaara and composed his Symphony No. 3 for violin and orchestra between 1971 and 1973. Songs & Dances of Death is a song cycle by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, but here Kalevi Aho has orchestrated it into 4 songs for voice and piano. I thank Cliff Skoog for bringing the work of this composer to my attention.

01 Symphony No. 3 (Sinfonia Concertante), I. Andante

02 Symphony No. 3 (Sinfonia Concertante), II. Prestissimo
03 Symphony No. 3 (Sinfonia Concertante), III. Lento
04 Symphony No. 3 (Sinfonia Concertante), IV. Presto
05 Songs & Dances of Death, I. Cradle Song
06 Songs & Dances of Death, II. Serenade
07 Songs & Dances of Death, III. Trepak
08 Songs & Dances of Death, IV. The Field Marshal


Shellac - Uranus

1993; 2 tracks
You should already know who Shellac is. Uranus is pure saturated fuzziness.

Hibernation: I just want to stay in bed for 3 days straight not taking showers and not moving. Eating a lot. Snuggled as warm as possible, to the point of becoming sweaty. Revolving around some distant planet, listening to these two tracks on repeat continuously.


Need New Body - U.F.O.

2003; 23 tracks

This is seriously an amazing album. Repetitively mind-numbing, yet beautiful. Complete randomness... glorified. You might want to call it spazzcore.

Need New Body was an avant-garde/experimental/jazz band from Philadelphia active during the early 00s, and U.F.O. is their second album. Enjoyyy.

you are the pumpkin of my eye

EDIT: "Moondear" is probably my favorite track in the entire universe that is under 2:00. God daammnnn.

The Ocean Blue - Cerulean

1991; 12 tracks

Here we have the second album of American indie/dream pop band The Ocean Blue, from Pennsylvania.

Wikipedia states that the band's influences include The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, R.E.M., Echo & the Bunnymen and New Order. Not being familiar with any of those aside from the first two, I only have the authority to say that they do have a degree of Cocteau Twinsiness about them, in atmosphere at least (nothing will ever compare to the vocals of Elizabeth Fraser). Succulent, dreamlike pop. The tracks "Ballerina Out of Control" and "Marigold" are both quite lovely - The Chameleons without the British accent.


Electrelane - Rock it to the Moon

2001; 11 tracks

Here is the debut album by all-female British band Electrelane.


Mix. No. 13 - Confessions of an Ontographer

01 Jon Hassell - Amsterdam Blue (Cortège)
02 Dax Riggs - Dressed Up in Smoke
03 Organ - Pt. III
04 Picky Picnic - My Toast Time
05 Death in June - Flieger
06 guchon - Bomb Bomb People
07 어른아이 - Annabel Lee



An Autumn for Crippled Children - Everything

2011; 9 tracks

Here is the second full-length by Dutch black metal/shoegaze band An Autumn For Crippled Children. It is ambitious in it's furthering of the "blackgaze" tag - a genre which obviously combines black metal (mostly of the depressive/doomy sort) and shoegaze. I, for one, am very interested in this combination, for both of those styles appeal to me. I like this release very much, especially the last three tracks. 2:12 on "Cold Spring" might be one of my favorite riffs in the entire black metal world.


Um. Oh my god.

This is Daniil Trifonov playing all 12 of Chopin's Op. 25 Études non-stop at the Rubinstein Competition in May 2011.

Watch through the whole entire thing. Just do it.

A friend of mine told me about this pianist who is literally only 2 years older than me, but has won top prizes in the Tchaikovsky, Chopin, and Rubinstein competitions. I am amazed at his performance. I don't even particularly like a majority of these Études, but I followed along with him in one of my teacher's old books and couldn't stop until the end. I love his faces, I love his sweaty hair, I love how accomplished yet exhausted he looks at the very end, I love the passion and wild, demonic energy that so clearly consumes his mind and body as he plays. At 28:55 he begins playing the final Étude in C minor (sometimes called the "ocean"), and this is my favorite one of all because of the definite mistakes he makes near the end. It is so imperfect but so completely perfect at the same time - I wouldn't want to hear it played any other way. I feel this lump rise up in my throat, like I'm being suffocated by such intoxicating and raging beauty, and I can tell that he feels it too. He is the one drawing it out of the air and living, breathing it until the final note.

In short, I kinda want to fuck his brains out. Not really, but yeah, sometimes girls just get this feeling and I'm feeling it right now...

Mew - A Triumph For Man (Re-issue, Disc 2)

2006 (recorded in 1996); 9 tracks

This is the second disc of the 2006 re-issue of Danish rock band Mew's first ever release, A Triumph For Man. The original album was recorded and released in 1997, and this second disc, released on the re-issue as bonus material/acoustic/demos, was recorded in 1995-1996 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The reason I am putting up only the second disc of the re-issue (I uploaded the first disc here just in case you'd like to hear it as well) is because I am usually much more fond of demos than finished, polished pieces. I do love the album as it was released, but for some reason these 9 looks into the band's most intimate and vulnerable moments of songwriting and experimenting seem to say so much more to me than the rest do. For one, the songs are all incredibly beautiful. Sometimes Jonas Bjerre's voice is so soft you can barely make out the words, and sometimes you can hear background noise and other things that weren't meant to happen. It's just perfect, to me. This disc does not include demos or other versions of every single song on the original album, which has 14 tracks, but I believe that the loveliest ones are these on the second disc. Dreamy, pretty and addictive.

01 Studio Snippet #1
02 Say You're Sorry (ATFM Session)
03 Beautiful Balloon (Acoustic)
04 Web (Demo)
05 Chinese Gun (Demo)
06 Studio Snippet #2
07 I Should Have Been A Tsin-Tsi (For You) Demo
08 Wheels Over Me (Demo)
09 Superfriends (Demo)


Com.A - Shot of Love

2002; 14 tracks
Com.A is a Age Yoshida, a Japanese electronic/idm/glitch musician who began releasing tracks on compilations and remixes in 1998. Shot of Love is his third full-length out of four, along with several other EPs and singles.

"To me Com.A is one of the most interesting and advanced artists in current electronic music. His tracks are very well produced and complex and they reach an incredible intensity. In most cases Com.A is combining lots of different kinds of sounds and samples with phat and/or abstract beats that can be really catchy and hiphop-esque or completely weird and ultra cut-up as well. Other tunes surprise with much straighter beats and beautiful 8bit-style electro melodies or experimental ambiences... I don't want to downgrade this by categorizing it, but all in all I would call it some kind of strange and funky alien tech breakstep hop that should be recommended to every fan of sophisticated electronica like (for example) Eight Frozen Modules."

As I am not exactly a fan of sophisticated electronica (not because I don't want to be, I'm just not), that review seems to echo my own thoughts regarding Shot of Love. It is fast and furious but not without structure. A little "tough on the neurons," at times, but worth a listen.

bitches from outer space...is my favorite song


Steaming Coils - Breaded

1991 (Recorded in 1988); 13 tracks
This is the third full-length by the L.A. underground project Steaming Coils.

Breaded is an incredible array of songs and styles and atmospheres. It is invariably quirky and fun, but there is a sense of irresistible sophistication and classiness and worldliness that immediately attracted me to their sound. "Hue and Cry Over Pink and Green with Almond Shade of Beige," as you can see from my last mix, is one of my favorite songs in the entire universe and I have been listening to it non-stop for the past 48 hours.



Mix No. 12 - Occoquan

01 Love Life - Hex it Out
02 Kira Kira - One Eyed Waltz
03 Dazzling Killmen - In the Face of Collapse
04 Caprice - The Mewlips
05 Daniel Higgs - A9
06 Steaming Coils - Hue and Cry Over Pink and Green with Almond Shade of Beige


Furry Things - The Big Saturday Illusion

1995; 11 tracks

This album is bees.

Furry Things was a shoegaze/noise pop founded by Kenneth James Gibson and Cathy Shive in 1992 who released a small number of albums and EPs throughout the 90s on the Trance Syndicate label (yay!).

I actually like what Last.fm has to say:

"Furry Things crafted the feedback-driven trance of The Big Saturday Illusion at the intersection of prog-rock, ambient music and acid jams. Its 'songs' were grotesque deconstructions of rock’n’roll that twitch under clouds of swirling drones."



Men's Recovery Project - Bolides Over Basra

2000; 14 tracks

For the first post of December, here is the second and last full-length by the punk/experimental band Men's Recovery Project. It is definitely my idea of perfection - recommended if you like The Residents!

What is this bump on your head?
What is this strange taste in your mouth?