My dear darlings,
In between work and guests, weddings and insomnia, exhibits and readings, parties and DJ sets, another episode of Storm Stereo is ready. It’s been a busy month and October shows no signs of slowing down. For those moments when you just want to catch your breath, remember where you’re coming from—and maybe where you’re going and why but not necessarily—give this a listen.
“When you’re truly home there is no more suffering. No more leaf on the wind, no more crying. Crying to get back to where you come from.” —Harry Dean Stanton
First we remember the relatable hurt and truthful wisdom of Harry Dean Stanton, that multi-talented veteran cult legend who proved art imitates life even when we are nothing. We follow him up with the delicate chords of Francisco Tárrega, the man who—unaware of the annoying effects it would have decades later in movie theatres the world over—wrote the Nokia tune, but who was also a blind guitarist who helped revive classical guitar playing in Spain. The beautiful “Al Son de los Arroyuelos” by John Paul Jones only fits like a dream after that, a composition I came across by accident but which drew me in for its softly layered instrumentation. The upbeat (marimba? vibraphone?) keys in “El Oro de la Tolita” and the repetitive chords and moving vocals of Ethiopia’s Mahmoud Ahmed take us to our next musical eulogy.
Holger Czukay also passed this month, and while a whole show could be dedicated just to his own compositions, let alone those done with CAN, our pick speaks to how multi-faceted and colourful his creations were—as a student of Karlheinz Stockhausen it comes as no surprise. Back to the current world for a moment: multi-sound explorer Sun Araw visited our city recently, and wonky electro-dreampop Lapalux is coming soon, so I thought we’d give those two a spin, plus we have tracks by Youandewan and Calvert. Vaporwave veteran Black Banshee was also in town but alas I did not attend, so I’ll save those tunes for a special “futurism” mix.
Next stop is “Love on a Real Train” by Tangerine Dream, a band that rubbed musical shoulders with the likes of Bach and Pink Floyd, and which rubbed off on the likes of Bowie and Michael Mann—helping the former get clean in Berlin and ultimately affecting the sound of Low and Heroes, and scoring music for the latter, just one of about 50 movies Tangerine Dream made music for. Revolution of Sound: Tangerine Dream, a documentary about them, is currently airing at the AIFF, and while most of it is about Edgar Froese’s journey with the band, his opening premise is a simple yet potent one that sticks with you: there is no music, music is nothing but well-arranged sounds. Worth a viewing, if nothing to recall the many line-up changes (and subsequent shifts in sound), including the almighty Klaus Schultze and Ulrich Schnauss, to name but a few.
We move from planet earth back out into space, with fabulously cosmic vibes by old German space cadets Kosmischer Laüfer, then dig through our personal files circa 2004 with Zombi; then we move to “a disciple of the long-form cosmic synthesizer soundscape” Sinoia Caves aka Jeremy Schmidt (remember that band Black Mountain?!), plus another chance discovery, this time with Amsterdam-based Mees Dierdorp, and two love-stricken, dreamily kaleidoscopic radio tracks by Gidge and Susanne Sundfør, the latter of which is goosebumps-inducing from start to finish.
We close the set off with two classics by Ben Frost (who will be in Athens in October) and Burial (because he always sounds relevant) but not before we listen to two masters of the deep, dark and sophisticated, Pan Daijing, whose recent Lack LP on PAN Records is a pure masterpiece of jarring, haunting aesthetics and beautiful, healing noise, and Arca, the Venezuelan DJ, songwriter, producer who has co-produced Björk’s upcoming record (!) among other tantalizing projects.
That Japanese special is still in the works. It’s looking like a multi-episode affair, covering a number of periods and genres, so maybe by 2018 it will be ready. Also, I’m hoping Athens’ sound-manipulator d E will be helping curate a Greek electronic / experimental / noise special, so keep your ears open for that too. Berlin, he’ll be in your town next week, go check it out.
I don’t know if good things come to those who wait—I’ve never had too much patience and waiting around for life to happen seemed passive—but I do know that sometimes, just sometimes, good things come to those who keep trying. Until next time, don’t be afraid to be yourself; the people who genuinely care about you will love you no matter how hard it gets.
With love, always, from outer space,
HARRY DEAN STANTON – Cancion Mixteca
FRANCISCO TÁRREGA – Capricho Árabe
JOHN PAUL JONES – Al Son de los Arroyuelos
THORNATO feat TARIBO – El Oro de la Tolita
MAHMOUD AHMED – Yefikir WUha Temu
HOLGER CZUKAY – Persian Love
SUN ARAW – Orthus
JUICY BANANAS – Bad Man
TANGERINE DREAM – Love on a Real Train
KOSMISCHER LÄUFER – Siegerehrung/Abschied von der Zukunft
ZOMBI – Orion
SINOIA CAVES – Forever Dilating Eye
MEES DIERDORP – Wiggin Charles
YOUANDEWAN – 1988
CALVERT – Unwound
LAPALUX feat. KERRY LEATHAM – Without You
GIDGE – I Fell in Love
SUSANNE SUNDFØR – Delirious (I Break Horses remix)
ARCA – Desafío
PAN DAIJING – Lucid Morto
BEN FROST – Understanding Why It Hurts…
BURIAL – Archangel