Storm Stereo #25: Summertime Blues

20751601_1295143437262685_1227175962_nHello loves,

We’re back on the soul train, destination Lonesome Town, this time to dig up some tracks from summers past, as well as some jams I discovered recently and have been playing on repeat.

This show features among others: a marimba version of Aretha’s morning classic (seeing as the marimba has been my most recent obsession in terms of instruments); some inimitable sounds by the great Mulatu Astatke, a surprise, disco-tinged soul gem by Hot Chocolate; the dazzling and soulful Jackie Shane, an American-Canadian transgender soul and rhythm and blues singer from the ’60s who is being given the much-appreciated vinyl treatment; the empowering Cuban temptress La Lupe, and Greek new wave artist Katy Homata (Καίτη Χωματά).

We also have the original superior versions of two tracks whose histories have haunted me for years: ‘Fever’ – written by Little Willie John but made grossly popular by Peggy Lee – and ‘I’ll Take Care of You’ – written by Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and sung by Etta James, Gil Scott-Heron, Mark Lanegan, Beth Hart, and Drake and Rihanna among many others. Also, tracks by two singer-songwriters who sadly left us recently: the iconic though I suspect underrated Greek folk and new wave musician Arleta / Αρλέτα, with ‘Once, I Remember’ – a track whose composition, vocals and lyrics are on a par with those by world-class folk singers of the ’60s – and quintessentially American country musician Glen Campbell, here doing a moving rendition of Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying,’ joined on vocals for this by, among others, Willie Nelson.

Arleta-1
Arleta in the window of the Tavania boîte in Plaka, Athens, 1971

Mixed in we also have some shoegaze, indie and folk, and close it off with old flames the Magnetic Fields and Camera Obscura, and three queens of smooth, Bat for Lashes, Lana del Rey, and Sade.

Until next time, do what makes you happy.

With love from outer space,

—Obsessionist

 

Storm Stereo #24

strange timeWhat’s up my loves?

Didn’t take long; I’m back in Athens, melting in 40-degree heat, hiding in the shadows. Unpacked nothing but my overweight heart, storing the pieces for another day, sweetening the taste of fate with bitter drinks, music my oasis.

This 3-hour summer special was recorded a couple weeks ago but was I too busy moving countries yet again to post it. My need for consistency will no doubt prove useless.

Keeping it chill, with mix cuts, moody house, spacey electro, minimal techno, meditative beats, loner pop and lovesick jams to take you from sunset to night, or to keep your insomnia company.

Until next time, take it easy. With love from outer space,

—Obsessionist

 

 

 

Storm Stereo #23: Heatwave

vinyl-medicine-456x500Hello my beachside loves

I hope you are enjoying your summer. I have been working seven days a week pretty much, but sometimes I put my workaholic distractions aside and force myself go to the river and begrudgingly engage with the rest of society over a pint. Admittedly, Prague does have music and beer almost everywhere and, while neither are always my cup of tea, every once in a while I come across some darn good music – electronic mainly, but more on that at a future date. This episide we go back to the ’50s and ’60s with some soul, lover’s rock, reggae,and doo wop tunes.

Included is a track I came across a couple weeks ago, thanks to a riverside DJ who was spinning soul and dancehall 45s, and who spun the Katalyst song you’ll hear in this set – a nice little discovery that perfectly reflects my current mood. I’ve always loved the soulful sounds from the past, and my arrhythmic little heart goes back to them very often.

Ideal tracks to play to your crush’s answering machine, or when you’re making hungover Bloody Marys on a rainy Sunday morning, or when you’re smoking weed outside the fifth floor window hating tourists and wishing you were somewhere else. Until next time, stay posi, stay strong, wear sunscreen.

With love from the omniverse, where I’m jamming this all-time classic and lifelong favourite

—Obsessionist

TRACKLIST

BARRY BRIGGS – Work All Day
KATALYST feat. STEPHANIE MCKAY – Day Into Night
ALTON ELLIS – I’m Still in Love With You Girl
MIGHTY VIKINGS – Love Me Forever
BARRY BRIGGS – Wide Awake in a Dream
OWEN GRAY – Give Me a Little Sign
GAY POPPERS – I Want to Know
LIL BOB AND THE LOLLIPOPS – Nobody But You
WENDY RENE – Give You What I Got
BARBARA DANE – I’m On My Way
LEE MOSES – Bad Girl
BARBARA LYNN – You’ll Lose A Good Thing
THE WHISPERS – As I Sit Here
DAN JULIAN AND THE LARKS – I Want You Back
SUNNY AND THE SUNLINERS – Talk to Me
THE JACKS – Why Won’t You Write Me?
LEE ANDREWS AND THE HEARTS – Long Lonely Nights
THE SCHOOLBOYS – Please Say You Want Me
THE CHOIR – It’s Cold Outside
ZORBA AND THE GREEKS – One and Only Girl
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD – I Only Want to Be With You

Storm Stereo #22: New Moon Mood

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 4.36.28 PMWhat’s up meine Lieben?

Life has been quiet and repetitive in Prague. Between working a corporate 9-6 job, trying to stay on top of my freelance duties (and falling behind admittedly), house-hunting and still trying to adjust to everything, I’m feeling a bit out of sorts, and spread thin. Unlike Athens, finding/making time for quality time alone to re-calibrate seems like a luxury – as do fresh produce, dark curtains, and the ability to be around loved ones, or in the very least people who get you. But, walking is my favourite way to process things, and thankfully this city is very walkable; with rivers, bridges, parks and cobbled streets ideal for pensive walks immersed in thought and moonlight.

Relocating is always a challenge. You’re thrown into a new, transient environment, often radically different to the one you used to inhabit, with people from all over, each one seemingly stranger or more random than the next (an uptight Australian told me, “I guess the term ‘eurotrash’ had to come from somewhere”), confirming yet again how odd you feel among “common people” and what a freak you must appear to some (most?) despite your efforts to hide behind “your favourite pair of black shades” and be left the fuck alone. Answering questions you’ve heard a thousand times, astounded at the things some people believe and say, having to defend your opinions or be questioned about your choices. It’s a strange world out there, sure with lots to discover, but I’m tired, and happy to hide out in my attic room and listen to music, for now.

For this mix, again we keep it rather quiet, with some cinematic-sounding Italian composers and soundtracks from the ’70s (got some cash to spare? Alessandro Alessandroni’s Prisma Sonoro is only about $800 online), some meditative ambient and emotive modern classical (a new fave discovery is violinist Ameen Modkad from Mosul in Iraq, whose moving music is as potent as his message of peace), and some minimal and spacey techno (the whole Ebi Zen record is fantastic, as is the cover artwork!). Also, a couple rougher Spanish and UK industrial/EBM acts (check out Diseño Corbusier’s record out on Dark Entries, Tuning Circuits fanclub reissue is sold out on vinyl, Shining Path LP is grrreat, and Cosey Fanni Ttutti’s memoir is number #1 on my book wantlist) and some experimental sound exploration. What a discovery the Cristal Baschet was – I was watching a Delia Derbyshire video and she mentioned Structures Sonores Lary-Bacschet and, well… good ol’ YouTube took me down the rabbit hole from there. Unique instruments creating unique sounds; spellbinding and otherworldly. Also newer stuff by Chino Amobi, Mr Mitch, Fatima Yamaha and Triad God, some faves by Chicks on Speed (a rare occasion where the cover is a million times better than the original) and Black Marble (don’t know why it took me so long to play them, they’ve been a fave, and somewhat underrated IMHO, for years) and much more.

Coming soon will be that Japanese special I can’t get round to working on, some more ’60s oldies (one of my first music loves), and maybe even a rebetiko special. Also, I’m becoming obsessed with the marimba and other percussion instruments, so maybe more on that too. In punk related news, there’s an interview I did with Berlin’s Life Fucker  in the new MRR and, whenever I get round to it, I’m gonna transcribe a very interesting chat I had with Berlin’s P.U.F.F. when they came through Prague last month, and a review of their recent LP, Living in the Party Zone.

Until next time, stay posi, stay strong, sending love to all my worldies and mates!

with love from the Omniverse

—Obsessionist

 

Storm Stereo #22 Tracklist

1 Walking in the Dark by STEFANO TOROSSI
2 Breve Dialeticca by ALESSANDRO ALESSANDRONI
3 Main Theme, Fantasma d’Amore OST by RIZ ORTOLANI
4 Mister Blues by STRUCTURES SONORES LASRY-BASCHET
5 The Lonely Ones by BASIL KIRCHIN
6 Invisible World by DIE FORM
7 October by TIM HECKER
8 (Wake) Original Work by CRISTAL BASCHET
9 Chronos by JEAN HOYOUX
10 First Momento the Birth by AMEEN MOKDAD
11 Constant Growth Fails by HAUSCHKA
12 Fire in My Heart (Remain Edit) by ESCAPE FROM NY
13 Pretender by BLACK MARBLE
14 Babe Don’t Go by TRIAD GOD
15 What’s A Girl to Do (Dancefloor Edit) by FATIMA YAHAMA
16 Golas Empula Yulun by OCEANVS ORIENTALIS
17 Suis-Je Normale by NINI RAVIOLETTE
18 The Man Waits by MR. MITCH
19 Passion by CHRIS & COSEY
20 Release by THE SHINING PATH
21 Come Again (Sleazy Orgiastic Version) by TUNING CIRCUITS
22 Comida Para Todos by TORESCH
23 Poema Fonético by DISEÑO CORBUSIER
24 Regeneración by ESPLENDOR GEOMETRICO
25 Izlämic Europe by CHINO AMOBI feat. RABIT
26 Euro Trash Girl by CHICKS ON SPEED
27 Faith in Strangers by ANDY STOTT
28 Narcossa by 808 STATE
29 Zen by EBI aka SUSUMU YOKOTA

Storm Stereo #21: Abstract Romanticism

This

ss21Čau my loves,

There’s a lot happening around the world right now, but I have, no surprise, yet again dodged the radar. It’s nice being in a place where no one really knows you and you don’t particularly want to know anyone. There’s a refreshing, often underappreciated sense of space that comes from not understanding the language either – verbal communication drops, audiovisual and informational clutter decreases, and sound and vision take on a more fluid, abstract form. It becomes more about observing than interpreting.

Being in a new place is also the perfect opportunity to clean the slate – tabula rasa. We waste so much time doing things and being around people who are useless or even damaging to us; chipping away at our dented armor, getting under our skin. I’d rather be alone than around “most people,” and to compromise for the sake of strangers seems counterproductive. My head has occupied a different space to my body most of my life – seemingly never present in both the right time and space simultaneously – why come back to Earth now? Existence is just a state of mind.

This mix, we open with the stunning Mr. Piero Umiliani, whose collections of world and outernational music composition have shot way up on my wantlist for their diversity, arrangement and amazing cover artwork, some jazzy santouri by ehtnomusiocologist and Persian and Afghan music enthusiast Lloyd Miller, enchanting tropicalia by Brazil’s Pedro Santos, psych folk from India, lover letters from Prague and Neruda, modern minimalism (including masterpieces by Marie Davidson and Alessandro Cortini), old school beats (Omar S’s anthem ‘The Further You Look, the Less You Will See’ seems to echo my life status right now), my new fave pop boy Spooky Black, a new gem by Helm and much more.

That said, silence is nice sometimes. I like visiting the space it shares with sound, and hopefully these tunes pleasantly echo around your ears like they do for me when the noise of the crowd rings hollow. Until next time, don’t forget to love yourself and not the haters.

With love from outer spacz
—Obsessionist

Storm Stereo #21

PIERO UMILIANI – Nel Villaggio
LLOYD MILLER – Gol-e Gandom
PEDRO SANTOS – Sem Sombra
KISSOON RAMASAR AND FAMILY – Shiva Shankar Ho
IMAM BAILDI feat. SOFIA VEMBO – Poso Lypame
BARRY SISTERS – Franz Kafka in Love
BONNIE BEECHER – Come Wander With Me
SUSO SAIZ – Un Hombre Oscuro
TIM HECKER – Haunt Me, Haunt Me, Do It Again
WILLIAM BASINKSI feat. PABLO NERUDA – Melancholia II feat. Si tú me olvidas
THE CARETAKER – You and the Night and the Music
DON BRADSHAW-LEATHER – Distance Between Us
HELM – Blue Scene
MARIE DAVIDSON – The Voyage Out
ALESSANDRO CORTINI – La Sveglia
ION – Stay With Me in Dreams Forever
PUCE MARY – The Temptation to Exist
BODY SCULPTURES – Before She Allows the World to Judge Her, She is Entitled to Create It
VARG – Champagne Ceremonies
MECANICA POPULAR – Siempre Tú
SOMALI EXTRACT – Chains
OMAR S – The Further You Look, The Less You Will See
DEAD CAN DANCE – Yulunga (Alvaro Suarez Edit)
SAHALÉ – Nlreb Mra Alrrih
OSCAR AND THE WOLF – Strange Entity (Friend in Paris Edit)
PALMISTRY – Lil Gem
MSSINGNO – Baiders
ANSWER CODE REQUEST – Strange Days
CROATIAN AMOR – Keepers
BLADEE – Into Dust
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER – I Only Have Eyes For You
SPOOKY BLACK – Remember Me
JENNY HVAL – Conceptual Romance (The Twinner Eccomix)
TRIAD GOD – So Pay La
JOE MCPHEE – Cosmic Love Organ Alone

Storm Stereo #20

peanuts music

Greetings my lovelies!

Another installment of Storm Stereo aka my life soundtrack ready for your audio consumption, this time broadcasting from Prague. A new career in a new town indeed – and the private notion of my life as a David Bowie song continues. Here are 2.5 hours of music for when your heart inhabits the necessary darkness found in joy’s temporary shadow.

A mix of soft chords, dreamers pop, experimotional trips, outernational love songs and more. For those moments when we run from home and grasp imaginary straws looking for heaven. We dance and dream, uplifting the heart’s heavy wings, helpless, walking around looking for something, a wild combination. Just you and me and the start of everything. Heaven in the grooves, creeping through the night, your face always on my mind, your picture on my wall.

True love will find us in the end. Until next time, stay posi and take care.

With love from outer space,

—Obsessionist

DAVID BOWIE – A New Career in a New Town
JOHN DUFFY AND THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN – 500 Miles¹
BERT JANSCH – Running From Home
VASHTI BUNYAN – Love You Now
JACKSON C. FRANK – The Visit
PETER SARSTEDT – Where Do You Go To My Lovely?
DENNIS WILSON – Love Remember Me
NINO FERRER – Looking For You²
ARIEL PINK – Baby
吉村弘 / HIROSHI YASHIMURA – Dance
DIRTY BEACHES – Lord Knows Best
CLEANERS FROM VENUS – Helpless
FURNITURE – Why Are We in Love?
GILB’R – Beesan Rum (A Song for Anna)
ARTHUR RUSSELL – That’s Us / Wild Combination
EQUIKNOXX – I Really Want to Write on Her Purple Wall
KALBATA – Al Shark (Part Two)
QUILTLAND – Uplift the Heart’s Heavy Wings (Horizon Version)
SPOOKY BLACK – We Were Together Once
VARG feat. YUNG LEAN – Red Line II (127 Sätra C)
BEN FROST – You, Me and the End of Everything
YVES TUMOR – Perdition
VASILISK – Heavens Above
DANIEL SCHMIDT AND THE BERKELEY GAMELAN – And the Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn
MIDORI TAKADA – Long Song of Urfa
BALIGH HAMDI – My Love Story
AMEEN MOKDAD – Viaggio³
ANTONIO SANCHES – Pinta Manta
LATA RAMASAR – The Greatest Name That Lives
ROBERTO MUSCI – Claudia, Wilhelm R and Me
PEDRO SANTOS – Dual
DANIEL JOHNSTON – True Love Will Find You in the End
THE LANGLEY SCHOOLS MUSIC PROJECT – To Know Him is to Love Him

 

1 = I first heard this song in Monterey, California in 2013. I was born there 31 odd years ago and left when I was a baby, and only went back for the first time when I was 26. I was in the Redwood forest, at one of the little stop-offs, with cafés, restaurants, souvenir shops and a small stage that had live country shows at night. It was dusk and there weren’t too many people around. We were getting ready to leave so I went to the outdoor bathroom. There was no one sitting round the stage but an old man that looked like Willie Nelson sat on a stool in the middle of the stage fiddling with a guitar. A few minutes later, as I’m squatting, thinking how surreal it is to be back after so long, I heard a song come from the distance. Just the soft sound of a guitar and the old man’s voice came wafting along the breeze and into my ears, and I cried right there and then mid-pee thinking of what a perfect moment it was. That night I connected to the shitty hotel WiFi and spent about two hours digging through YouTube to find a version of this (apparently popular) country song that sounded even remotely like what I had heard the bearded old man play in the middle of the forest. And John Duffy and the Country Gentlemen comes pretty darn close!

2 = So YouTube has become my new favourite way of discovering music (also I have stopped interacting with people cause most of them suck so I stay home a lot) and while autoplay and recommended videos definitely fall short after a while, Youtube really wanted me to hear this song. It came up in my feed multiple times and the cover initially made me ignore it. Then I listened to it and boy, am I glad I did. A gem of a love song that – probably much like Midori Takada’s Through the Looking Glass, a once-obscure record that has now met worldwide critical acclaim thanks to YouTube – will become (has become?) an internet sensation.

3 = Ameen Mokdad is a local Iraq hero if ever there was one. He risked his life in Mosul to keep playing music amidst war-ridden destruction after Isil took over the city, and if his playing doesn’t give you chills up your spine and make your heart tighten then you’re not human and can stop listening to this podcast.

 

Storm Stereo #19: Constant Flux

Screenshot_2017-01-05-15-12-41-1

What’s up my loves?

Spring has arrived in Athens and with it come some mad tunes. Even though March started out really low, by month’s end I was so high I was moving through the stratosphere. And what better place to be? Taking the new season into account, and with a general concept of new beginnings in mind, here’s a new mood spring mix sans words – from smoky night clubs in lover’s rock corner to drunken jazzy daybreaks across the sonic fourth world. “I love my dreams so I’m going back in.”

Everything is in constant flux, from state to state, from good to bad and back again… only in transmutation, perpetual motion, lies truth. —Asger Jorn

Because I’ll tell you, life is odd and unpredictable and ironic and surreal. You can work and worry yourself sick over something (anything, most things) and yet it feels like nothing will budge. Then one day, around give-up o’clock, by some inconsequential orchestration of events, a force that had been orbiting your stony existence cuts across your trajectory – and the world comes to a screeching halt, and the pigeons scatter, and the noise dies down. In truth it had always been there, living in your blind spot, but only now does it come into full view. And thus everything changes after all.

For those elevated, dimension-shifting moments, and until the noise returns, some musical thoughts.

With love from outer space
—Obsessionist

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STORM STEREO #19 – Constant Flux Spring Mix

MUSIC BOX – 恋の予感 (Koi no Yokan)
FLORA YIN-WONG – Lugere
FINK – See It All (EMIKA remix)
MR. MITCH & PALMISTRY – VPN
ENRIQUE IGLESIAS – Ring My Bell (Big Zouk remix)
MADEINTYO & 24HRS – You
AVRIL – Company
DRAKE – Lose You (instrumental)
伊藤隆太 (RYUTA ITO) – 恋の予感 (安全地帯 [Anzen Chitai] cover)
ASA-CHANG & JUNRAY – Hana
MIDORI TAKADA – Crossing
CHARLES MINGUS – Myself When I’m Real
MILES DAVIS – I Fall In Love Too Easily
SUN RA – That’s How I Feel
THE COSMIC RAYS & SUN RA AND ARKESTRA – Dreaming
BROWN SUGAR – Hello Stranger
ALTOS ELLIS – You Make Me So Very Happy
PHYLLIS DILLON – Living in Love
ARTHUR ALEXANDER – Where Have You Been All My Life?
TIMMY  THOMAS – Why Can’t We Live Together?

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All illustrations by Bjenny Montero.