LCNL 023: The Floating World Mix

acl tfw mix cover 2

LCNL 023: The Floating World

In a recent review of We Hunted, the most recent album from Detroit’s The Floating World, Richard Allen wrote that  “Amanda Votta, the guiding hand behind The Floating World, has no compulsion to be conventional.”  Well, if this mix is any indication, Richard was spot on.

When I first started this mix series, I wanted to not only share great music but to also provide a window into each artist’s mind, to share how their taste and creative impulses have been shaped.  Amanda Votta and her collaborators in The Floating World have each contributed a number of tracks that reflect their mindset while recording their forthcoming album The Wood Beyond the World, out soon on Cyclic Law.  Votta then arranged the tracks into this eclectic mix, and I couldn’t be more pleased to present a mix that manages to transition from Lee Hazelwood to Ben Frost and still make sense.   It’s no surprise to hear that Votta has wanderlust, but we’re all lucky  that her desire to travel applies also to music styles as well.  Get carried away.

Below, each contributor says a few words about their selections.

 

Grey Malkin – strings, drones and other stuff

I chose these songs namely because this is what I was listening to as I recorded my part for The Floating World. Did it filter into the music I made? Probably.

Broadcast – Pendulum
How the future might have sounded in the 1970s. A collage of Czech cinema, moog madness and vocals that are frozen in time; the result is utterly English.

King Crimson – Red
Progtastic. This is more like Black Sabbath than Yes however and is pretty avant-garde. The whole ‘Red’ album is rough around the edges, proto-metal and scary in parts. It does have some jazz saxophone freak outs but that’s what skip buttons were invented for. Or maybe those are the scariest bits.

Om – Addis
Transcendental,powerful and their best work yet. Dead Can Dance meets Black Sabbath. Which is the best dream I never had. Plus anyone who can make music more repetitive than I do is ok in my book; it means I can get away with it.

Popol Vuh – Bruder des Schattens
Listening to this, you can actually feel something sinister approaching.  Popol Vuh are much underrated and easily as important as Kraftwerk in my opinion, though probably not as funny. Werner Herzog’s ‘Nosferatu’ (which this soundtracks) is both beautiful and out of time; it just reeks of loss and melancholy.

X-TG – My Only Child
Nico’s Desertshore is one of the greatest albums ever made. Throbbing Gristle (or X-TG) add their own distinct beauty and sadness to Nico’s original in swathes of glacial majesty. I can’t begin to describe how affecting this is.  I can also do a great Nico impression when I am drunk but that’s another story.

Zdenek Liska –Aquatic Babika (Song)
From the Mala Morska Vila (The Little Mermaid) soundtrack. An astoundingly beautiful film and an unforgettable soundtrack. Part of the Czech new wave of film making and near equal to other classics such as Valerie and Her Week of Wonders.

Neddal Ayad – guitar

DainaDieva – Lopsine
I was working on a song w/Daina around the time I recorded some of the guitars on TWBTW.  Her voice has this amazing chilling spectral quality that I love.  And you’ll love it too ’cause this track is taken from an album called “Nakcia” she released via label called Dark Winter and it can be had here: http://www.darkwinter.com/dw065.html

Alan Vega – Love Cry
Like anyone can argue w/Vega’s wrenching mutant rockabilly?

Beak> – Wulfstan
That bass riff…

Kim Salmon &The Surrealists – Blue Velvet
The degenerate counterpoint to Isabella Rossellini’s version.

Lee Hazlewood – Dark In My Heart
“I asked a man some questions and he told me just the truth/Just the truth and I didn’t believe him/I asked a girl for lovin’ and she walked in the phone booth/ That ain’t cool in the phonebooth/Oh it’s dark, it’s dark in my heart”

Ben Frost – Through The Roof Of Your Mouth
If someone gave me an EEG at around 7:45 am, before the caffeine and nicotine have hit, and ran it through one of those programs that’ll turn anything into a score, it would sound like this.  All bass throbs, twitchy strings, and hissing.

 

Roy K Felps – guitar

Bikini Kill – Suck My Left One
I ❤ Bikini Kill. They were rude, confrontational, a chaotic mess, filled with justifiable fear and determined to say what they had to say anyway. This is from their brilliant first album.

Neil Young with Crazy Horse – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Listed here because it is true.

Bob Mould – Wishing Well
Bob always had a penchant for spewing bile, but rarely sounded this good and this apocalyptic doing so.

Cake-Like – Suck
Cake-like came about because the women involved were all dating guys in well-known bands and got tired of sitting around at rehearsals and started their own thing. The funny part is that (on their first album, at least) they ended up being way better than the bands their boyfriends were in. This is their best song. If you think otherwise, a) you’re wrong and b) fuck you.

The Hollies – Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress
This band’s one good song is a craven, desperate attempt to rip off Creedence Clearwater Revival, only with whacked-out lyrics about guns and the FBI that were almost certainly the result of smoking too much dope. If you see the live performance of this on YouTube, you will notice they have way too many guitarists.

Danny and The Juniors – At The Hop
Listed because this still sounds way better than 90% of what passes for music these days. Yes, I’m old and cranky; DEAL.

Amanda Votta

I like songs that shimmer and glow to me. That’s not genre specific in any way, though it probably looks a little like that based on my part of the mix. It’s a thing some music has – a chaos and a counterpoint–that makes me want to hear it. A lot of Baroque music has that too – a certain easiness, a way of playing your instrument that sounds more relaxed yet there’s a tension, an ornamentation that undercuts that. If or how any of these fine songs I chose affect the way our albums end up, I have no idea. Probably in some way.

The Flaming Stars – A Little Bit Like You
This band is amazing. They’re some kind of magnificent amalgamation of pulpy, noirish, surf-y garage rock that almost swings – thanks to their very fine drummer – which is particularly noticeable on this song. That ragged yet smooth sound they have is fantastic– and it does glow, like the broken sign over a basement bar. Plus, their album titles are perfect: Songs From the Bar Room Floor, Sunset and Void, Born Under a Bad Neon Sign. All the good things, right there.

Nancy Sinatra – Bang Bang
It’s definitely the most recognizable of her songs, but there’s a very good reason for that. The smooth tremolo, that slightly fuzzy reverb on Nancy’s voice. Neither of these things are ever wrong in and of themselves and together they’re perfect. The song has such a warm tone and it’s so soft and quiet – it’s the kind of thing you can put on and not do anything at all. Just sit and listen and not think – just kind of float around with it for a while. It’s perfect for those long summer evenings, which is when I started working on the newest Floating World album. This was played a lot.

The Amusiacs – Your Kiss Is My Harbour
The new thing from Jon and Meaghan Free (formerly Gin Palace, who are also a very fine band), with former Jooks of Kent Tim and Scarlett (same). It’s noisy, really noisy, there’s a lot of distortion/fuzz goodness which makes me happy. You could call this bluesy garage punk, which is probably a good place to start when explaining it to anyone who hasn’t heard it, but they have their own kind of barbed, harsh rawness. It’s a decayed sound – there’s nothing clean here to break it up. Jon makes guitars – Tin Tones – which probably only helps make that sound they have so much their own and so incredibly good.

The Chrome Cranks – Broken-Hearted King
Fifteen years! They went fifteen years without putting out an album. But, as people like to say, it was worth the wait. The best album to come out last year, this was supposed to be on a mix of our favorites of 2012 which we never had time to do. So it’s here, in all its crazed, bluesy swamp-infused maniacal glory. If you don’t know the Cranks then I don’t even know where to being, but they’re messy, they’re loud, they’re twisted and cutting. They have everything I want to hear. At times, I’ve described The Gun Club’s Miami as “the highway killer album,” because it sounds exactly like what you imagine must be going on in the mind of some lunatic with a very sharp switchblade (who looks remarkably like young Elvis) at the truck stop you’re stuck spending the night at because you drove too long and too late and there are no hotels anywhere around. There’s just one flickering orange light to cross the parking lot by to go get yourself that cup of oil-sludge coffee you think you need.Do you really need it? It’s also your own general sense of being ill at ease, jittery, not safe. Really though, that’s what this album is. It’s what most of The Chrome Cranks is – an entire catalog of glittering mania. This is also music made by people who really know music – listen to everything you can hear in these songs – with another phenomenal drummer, the always impressive Bob Bert.

Spacemen 3 – How Does It Feel (Alternate Mix)
Speaking of float-y songs, here’s a prime example. The demo version of this is called “Repeater” and I like that version as much as this one, although this one gets a little more play which is why it’s on here. Songs that remind me of waves on the shore are always good, which this definitely does. It moves from very minimal to slightly less minimal and throughout the song’s slow, dreamy progression it has that incredibly shimmery sound that Spacemen had even when they were being more chaotic. That shimmer, whatever that sound is, is what I love them for. It’s one of the waymarks and signs you come back to often when trying to figure out how to do so much with relatively little.

Miles Davis & John Coltrane – ‘Round Midnight
These two are perfect together. The absolute perfect counterpoint to one another – Davis’s smooth, slow, mellow tone countered and complimented by that edgy, restless sound Coltrane had. They weave in and out of one another’s parts in a way no one else comes close to. It’s a perfectly dichotomous synchronicity. I don’t know of anyone else who manages to combine the flowing with the jagged this way. When you hear this, you’re listening to two people who know their instruments, know what they want to say through them and then do precisely that. Their rendition of Thelonious Monk’s classic is one of those things you can put on repeat, listen to it over and over, and every time you hear something else – shading you never noticed, the way a note hangs here and there or ends almost too soon. It’s calm, but it still moves in a sedate-yet-restless way. Davis and Coltrane just fit together absolutely right.

TRACKLIST

Broadcast – Pendulum

King Crimson – Red

Om – Addis

PopolVuh – Bruder des Schattens

X-TG – My Only Child

Zdenek Liska –Aquatic Babika (Song)

DainaDieva – Lopsine

Alan Vega – Love Cry

Beak> – Wulfstan

Kim Salmon &The Surrealists – Blue Velvet

Lee Hazlewood – Dark In My Heart

Ben Frost – Through The Roof Of Your Mouth

Bikini Kill – Suck My Left One

Neil Young with Crazy Horse – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Bob Mould – Wishing Well

Cake-Like – Suck

The Hollies – Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

Danny and The Juniors – At The Hop

The Flaming Stars – A Little Bit Like You

Nancy Sinatra – Bang Bang

The Amusiacs – Your Kiss Is My Harbour

The Chrome Cranks – Broken-Hearted King

Spacemen 3 – How Does It Feel (Alternate Mix)

Miles Davis & John Coltrane – ‘Round Midnight

About thenewobjective

writer | traveler | sound organizer | contrarian | concerned citizen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: