Storm Stereo #28

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Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Solar Catastrophe

Hello my loves,

Bringing you the first episode of Storm Stereo for InterSonik Net Radio, where you’ll be able to catch the show every Wednesday night, 22:00–00:00 (EET) on intersonik.net. I’ll also be DJ-ing some Storm Stereo faves on Saturday, December 23 at B-Side Bar, so come say hello if you’re about Athenstown.

On with the show! Included in this episode of Storm Stereo are a favourite by living inspiration Cosey Fanni Tutti, plus stellar tracks by Suzanne Cianni, Damien Dubrovnik (accidentally said Croatian Amor on air!) and Bill Kouligas, all three of whom played wicked electronic and experimental music festivals this year, such as Milano’s Terraforma, Berlin Atonal and Unsound in Kraków. PAN label-master Kouligas also recently played Plisskën Festival in Athens, as did Ethiopian jazz genius Mulatu Astatke (whom we also hear on this show) and both of them were superb, each in their own unique way – go see them if they’re coming through your town!

We also listen to a couple recent/upcoming reissues. First, an instant classic and perhaps my #1 record for 2017, Japanese instrumental minimalist Midori Takada (out on WRWTFWW Records), Solid Space, an early-’80s British duo who wrote a brilliant minimal-wave record packed with distinct and memorable gems (out on Dark Entries who are also helping with the much-anticipated Lena Platonos documentary λπ – Lambda Pi), and synth pioneer Pauline Anne Strom and her spacey synth ambient LP Trans-Millenia Music (out on RVNG Intl. Records).

Also on this show, the master Moondog because he’s always relevant, plus commanding and evocative tunes from Cameroon’s Hamad Kalkaba and Capo Verde’s Antonio Sanches, both from excellent releases (with incredible stories) on Analog Africa, a label with impressive consistency and quality to its truly original catalog.

November was a busy month, and not least because I went to London and saw great bands at Static Shock Festival (fest highlights set coming next week) and amazing modern art at Tate Modern (hello wall of Jenny Holzer wisdom!) and Everything at Once at 180 the Strand (field recordings project featuring sounds from this and other 2017 trips coming early 2018). The exhibit has been extended until December 14, I highly recommend you go and see it if you’re in London and have the chance.

So many inspiring pieces at this exhibit. Shirazeh Houshiary’s Breath, a mainly audio installation that featured Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Islamic prayers, all played at once (one from each point of the compass, rising and falling in intensity),  in a small, almost pitch-back, square room.

Haroon Mirza’s Sonakinatography Composition III, a light installation that focuses on the sounds made by the changing electric current of the coloured lamps used, creating a beautiful and vibrant light and audio composition.

Arthur Jafa’s Love is the Message, the Message is Love, a beautiful, painful, moving, powerful (and I want to believe ultimately empowering) video collage/vision of contemporary Black America, set to Kanye West’s ‘Ultralight Beam’, that watches like a music video but speaks like a prayer.

Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s Solar Catastrophe (featured image), made from ‘discarded polycrystalline solar panel cells’ that reflect the light and change colour as you move around the canvas, highlighting the process of ‘greenwashing‘.

Tatsuo Miyajima’s Time Waterfall, with numbers from 1 to 9 projected onto a wall, varying sizes ‘falling’ at varying speeds, representing our passage through time.

Until next week… just be thankful for what you’ve got.

With love from outer space,

—Obsessionist

 

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Storm Stereo #27

light stairsWhat’s new my darlings?

Another month gone by, another show comes to be. I feel like I’ve been living on double time lately, burning the candle at both ends cramming a weekend’s worth of work and play into each of my days and nights. They say if an object accelerates enough it eventually disappears completely and I can tell you the ride is exhilarating.

I’ve managed to get a lot done this month and have a couple cool things waiting in the wings. To start, this here show is also going to be airing on Intersonik Radio, straight outta Athens, starting December. You’ll be able to catch me break the silence every Wednesday 22:00-00:00 EET. I’ve already got an excellent From the Silk Road and Beyond set, curated by my old friend and world music scavenger Yiannis Panoutsos, an expressive musician and artist in his own right (he’s got an exhibition coming in 2018, more on that at a later date), I’ve got a soundtrack special half-collected, and I’ll finally get back into the pit with some new and old punk sets and specials I’ve been rounding up, plus your usual autobiographical sonic narratives. Expect more updates on all of that soon…ish.

What better way to jump-start my Second Coming than with Static Shock Weekend 2017? I’ll be in London for a week, so hit me up! I was going to do a SS Weekend special like last year, but Paco and Tom know how to get shit done and run a fest, so they already put together a wicked show.

As usual I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s get to the music. This show, we start off with an amazing track a friend sent me, come across by chance at a Hugo Boss fashion show! Not unlike the fashion world to tailor quality soundtracks for their shows and ads (from hip Victoria Secret all-star performances to Gucci coating its 2016 Cruise campaign in vintage Alive She Died) but ‘Confirm Humanity’ truly blew my mind. We follow it up with a trip to Algeria and the smooth, moving tunes of Lili Boniche.  From Algeria we move to Nigeria, courtesy of Steve Monite who came out of the blue for me – a romantic Afro boogie that has taken the music world by storm, thanks to this year’s reissue by Presch Media GmbH, who seem to have put out a tasty, eclectic selection of wax.

We also have two tracks off a superb, mixtape-like compilation featuring Australian underground and experimental folk artists, including Joyce Heath’s breathtaking chronicle of lost chances and bad timing, ‘Dream of It’ – a track so painfully honest and relatable it created a lump in my throat instantly upon first listening. On the same comp is Gary Davenport’s ‘Sarra’ – which was the accidental background soundtrack to a short video a friend sent me a year or so ago. For months the catchy lyrics played over and over in my head  – all 20 seconds I had access to. I was hooked, it was beautiful and haunting. I knew the song was supposed to be off a comp from Australia, but that’s about all I knew. I figured it would be from some obscure, impossible-to-find tape comp. After weeks of asking, searching, googling, singing to friends in case it rang a bell, I gave up. Months later I’m in a record store in Athens checking out Skygirl (I didn’t recognize a single artist, naturally it piqued my interest) and lo and behold, there it was.

Just today I found out Boy Harsher are coming to Athens, a band I am most intrigued by; a band that sounds like they time-traveled from the ’80 while still sounding very, very current. Also I swear the last couple notes from ‘Underwater’ are a Twin Peaks homage, hence the May Roosevelt theremin prelude to their track. Boy Harsher’s latest EP, Country Girl, is out now on Ascetic House Records – a label so unique and creative in everything it does, I’m blown away by their output every time, from the harsh noise to the ambient drone. An Ascetic House mini-special is already in the works, most probably to be accompanied by similar mini-specials to labels I think are doing a great job of documenting the present with their releases and aesthetic – part of a connected, global force of creatives who are pushing the experimental envelope across disciplines, from graphic design and audiovisual art to music installations and experimental performances. What a time to be alive.

We close it all off with the most spine-chilling thing I heard this month – Ataque de Caspar, an underground (cult?) band from Madrid that so fantastically encompass some of my favourite elements of Spain’s prolific and uniquely distinct experimental / post-punk scene in the 1980s: noisy and warm, direct and diverse, even delicate, rough around the edges but solid at the core, unafraid of honesty in both lyrics and expression. This sound, this aesthetic and approach to music, seems to seep through and across regional genres, locations and decades and it’s utterly enchanting, whether that involves twee noisepop acts or raw punk bands.

It looks like it’s going to be a busy winter. I’ve finally started doing something with the many field recordings I’ve accumulated over the years, so hopefully something concrète will come of that in the coming months. I’m also excited to be working with Andreas (Odos 55, dE – who has a new release out today) on a more electronic/sound architecture project, and to be collaborating with Víctor (Ciudad Lineal, Acción Diplomática) on an audiovisual little something. Also plan on DJing a couple spots around Athens, so come say hello if you see me.

Off to prep my set for this coming Friday, where I’ll be spinning wax (16:30 – 18:00) at Homcore Records in Sydagma. Drop by if you’re about town.

Practicing patience and compassion until next time.

With love from the omniverse

—Obsessionist

 

SS27 TRACKLIST

HENRIK SHCWARZ – Confirm Humanity
LILI BONICHE – Ana Fil Houb
RAY LYNCH – The Oh of Pleasure
THE ROBER WEBB SOUND – Moon Bird
STEVE MONITE – Only You
EDDIE KENDRICKS – If You Let Me
LOLLIPOPS – Naked When You Come
JOYCE HEATH – Dream of It
THE GAYLADS – This Time I Won’t Hurt You
PATSY CLINE – I Fall to Pieces
GARY DAVENPORT – Sarra
I, LUDICROUS – A Pop Fan’s Dream
YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS – Looking for Mr. Right
MAY ROOSEVELT – Fallin
BOY HARSHER – Underwater
DECIMA VICTIMA – Tan Iejos
ATAQUE DE CASPA – Viaje a Egipto

 

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 #19: Constant Flux

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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.

Storm Stereo #10 – Earth Angels Special

ss10My lovelies,

A new month is here already (welcome eclipses), the weather is cooling off and I continue my social hibernation. A quiet home and a silent phone. Spring cleaning the dust out a season too late but relishing in the order and structure that neatly sit in its place. Living with the windows open but my eyes shut; a reaction to societal boundaries, an ironic need for space in a limitless universe, a creeping sense of enochlophobia. Noli turbare circulos meos!

I went to a funeral and cried more than my friend who had just lost her father. Her positivity in the face of loss and her trust in the subtle powers of the cosmos echoed across the emotional landscape of the days to follow. I thought about all the people who’ve come and gone in my life. I counted the friends who manifested like forks in the road, permanently altering my path. I thought of those who helped shape the bigger picture—like dots of a constellation or colourful specs on a pointillist painting. I thought of the bullets I’ve dodged because I had a friend to warn me and the wounds I’ve healed because I had a friend to help me. The long-term impact of those seemingly inconsequential moments that make up our daily, modern interactions sometimes only felt long after the fact.

Not all friendships last forever, and not all friendships are substantial, and sometimes not all friendships are even healthy—that’s just how the cosmic cookie crumbles—yet I still learned something from all of them. Some people only came threw fleetingly and some will stick around forever; either way a collection of songs was left in their wake. So here are 59 minutes of music as a result. Download it here.

Until next time, focus on the people who make you happy and work towards dismantling the things that don’t.

With love from outer space

—Obsessionist

blackhole
‘The whole of reality is contained implicitly in each moment.’

 

DAVID AXELROD – The Fly

NELSON RIDDLE – Out of the Night

GROWING – A Painting

JULIANNA BARWICK – The Harbinger

SLOWDIVE – Crazy For You

NAUGHTIEST GIRL WAS A MONITOR – To Love Nuclear

CHELSEA WOLFE – Flatlands (Lust for Youth remix)

FOREST SWORDS – Friend, You Will Never Learn

BURIAL – Forgive

FLOCK OF SEAGULLS – Space Age Love Song

MARTIN DUPONT – Inside Out

THE CHAMELEONS – Dust to Dust

HOLY GRAY – Now I’m so Angry

TELEVISION PERSONALITIES – Silly Girl

THE TIMES – Looking at the World Through Dark Shades