Storm Stereo #32: Along the Silk Road and Beyond

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 3.14.32 PMHello my loves and happy new year!

First Storm Stereo for 2018, and we start off our first hour with some current Greek electronic acts: PS Stamps Back, whom I saw live recently and was mighty impressed – definitely check out his releases and live shows if you can – followed by Athens’ dark darlings The Rattler Proxy, and a remix done by one-half of the Rattler, Lucas Savidis. Then we pay a small tribute to some current acts on PAN Records, followed by two highly inspiring, badass forces in techno right now, both of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting (while trying not to gush), Umfang and Aurora Halal.

The second part of our show had been in the making for a while, and we explore diverse and unique musical traditions from along the Silk Road and beyond, with a one-hour set curated specially for Storm Stereo by my friend, painter and musician, Yiannis Panoutsopoulos (Sun of Nothing). Since we first met in 2005, he has shared with me unusual music from around the world and opened my ears to weird, beautiful and often rare sounds from remote locations and unknown cultures – so much so, I requested he gather some of his favourites in a set for your audio pleasure.

Starting in one of the coldest places on Earth, we travel to the snow-capped mountains of southern Siberia and visit the nomadic tribes of Tuva, with artists Radik Tyulyush, Chirgilchin and Huun-Huur-Tu, then explore Japan’s national instrument, the koto, with music by Zumi-Kai. The word koto might look familiar, as koto music was recently rediscovered by many thanks to YouTube’s algorithmic autoplay of this rather obscure record by blind koto player, Kimio Eto.

Afterwards, we delve into the rhythmic world of throat music (locally know as kai) from the Altai Republic, with songs by Alta Kai sung in their native Altai language and featuring native musical instruments, then move around the globe to listen to more throat singing, this time in Inuit by Inuk artist Tanya Tagaq.

We also listen to the Tibetan monastic choir Phurpa, and their ritualistic compositions based in the pre-Buddhist Tibetan Bon tradition, and revisit the deep and sorrowful sounds of Iran, with heartbreaking vocals (and moving strings and chords to accompany them) by one of Iran’s most respected classical singers, Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, and contemporary Kurdish-Iranian tenor Shahram Nazeri.

For me, however, the most moving track from this list was ‘Midnight Tale’, the collaboration between Tuvan band Huun-Huur-Tu, the Moscow Art Trio (who have collaborated with the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra, among others) and Angelite, the absolutely stunning Bulgarian Voices Women’s Choir. Perhaps you recall the sound, made popular by Stefka Sabotinova with this incredible song:

To close it off, we listen to Yiorgos Katsaros and his masterpiece ‘Vre Ti Mangas Poume Go’, a rebetiko whose chords and riffs are ever so slight but ever so powerful, piercing straight to the core of the wandering hedonist soul. For more Greek pre-war and diaspora rebetika, check out this excellent mix by Death is Not the End.

Discovering new instruments (whether old or contemporary) and hearing different approaches to music is definitely an obsession for me, so perhaps in the near future we’ll dedicate a show to the weird and obscure sounds of unusual vocals and native instruments.

Until then, apologies for the delay in the Bowie special that was supposed to air this week. It’s not the side-effects of the cocaine.

With love from outer space

—Obsessionist

 

STORM STEREO 33 TRACK LIST

DIRTY BEACHES – Love Is the Devil
PS STAMPS BACK – Todo los Fuegos el Fuego
ANTONI MAIOVVI – Autoguerra (Lucas Savidis remix)
THE RATTLER PROXY – Dead City
PAN DAIJING – Act of the Empress
STILL – Sound Boy Test (Interlude)
M.E.S.H. – Inspired by True Story
UMFANG – Where Is She
AURORA HALAL – Just Tell Me
CHROMATICS – Yes (Love Theme from Lost River)

Along the Silk Road and Beyond:
RADIK TYULYUSH – Intro
RADIK TYULYUSH – Er-le Changys
ALTAI KAI – Warrior’s Words
VLADIMIR OIDUPAA OIUN – The Girl of the Tes River
ANGELITE & MOSCOW ART TRIO & HUUN-HUUR-TU – Midnight Tale
MOHAMMAD REZA SHAJARIAN – Saz o Avaz
ZUMI-KAI – Midare
PHURPA- The Visualisation (Trowo Phurnag Ceremony)
SHAHRAM NAZERI – Mystic
CHIRGILCHIN – Igor’s Solo
TANYA TAGAQ – Qiujaviit
ALTAI-KAI – Koionok
HUUN-HUUR-TU & ANGELITE – Fly, Fly My Sadness
(Outro) YIORGOS KATSAROS – Vre Ti Mangas Poume Go

 

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Storm Stereo #29

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 1.39.14 PM.pngHello friends and foes, lovers and losers

I don’t feel like saying much—though it seems I always do, even if the people I want to be listening aren’t anyway—so just a few words on last week’s show. I’m happy to include some highlights from this year’s Static Shock Weekend, which happened in the Old Smoke this past November. Its long and rich punk history aside, the UK at large has been a hotbed for some incredible bands in recent years, with scenes budding and blossoming from Brighton to London and Leeds and from Cardiff to Glasgow and Sheffield. Perhaps I’ll put together a UK special in 2018 at some point, stray tuned, send me your suggestions.

I just want to say a few words about Haram, the most poignant hardcore band in Nuke York right now – if not because of their catchy and driving hardcore music but for their potent personal-political message. Meaning forbidden in Arabic and with songs sung entirely in Arabic, Haram stand at a charged intersection, challenging but also connecting all sides of the Venn diagram they inhabit: identity, religion, punk, politics, history, perception, purpose to name but a few. After their set, I had the chance to talk for a few minutes with their singer Nader, who is originally from Lebanon. With a calm and steady voice, articulate and eloquent, he spoke to me about some of the profound and deeply human concepts that drive his lyrics: the Lebanese civil war and its atrocities, losing friends and family, having to abandon one’s home, being an immigrant in a deeply troubled and divided USA, being persecuted for racial or religious differences, the various physical and emotional by-stories that come with such an experience. His expression was so powerful and thought-provoking, I felt humbled listening to him speak. He said that trip to the UK for the festival had helped open his eyes to new perspectives and he repeated how lucky and grateful he felt to be part of such a nurturing and supportive global punk scene—something that for me highlighted the humanity us punks often try to shake off because being human usually hurts more than being a mutant freak. At the end he also said ‘thank you for giving me the space to talk about this.’ I almost teared up. And for me, that’s what punk is all about: that dense and difficult but real-as-fuck feeling, that gut-churning proof that what we do—with our music and lyrics, our show spaces and radio shows, our art and our collectives—really does speak to people, and really can change lives.

As you may have noticed, the second part of the show had a recurring Sega Bodega theme. He’s one of my favourite sound architects and producers right now (perhaps you know him from his magical Soundtrack Series on NTS radio) and he’s just self-released a mixtape with original compositions inspired by cult cinema. It’s a brilliantly perceived and executed body of work, and I liked it so much I decided to play three tracks from it, from the movies Ghost, Dogtooth and X. There’s something to be said of music that is simultaneously fierce and bold while also unafraid to be delicate and moving, drawing inspiration and strength from the dark and difficult corners of our own psyche. He recently performed some of these compositions at St Barnabas church in London and you can watch it here.

Also on this show we listen to Princess Nokia, a force to be reckoned with and a bright example of what the future of music looks like (hint: ‘bad bitches we run shit’), Delia Gonzalez, a composer whose mix of minimal keys and cosmic beats is perfect, Hiroshi Yoshimura, whose ingenious Music for Nine Postcards record was just reissued, and much more.

Next show we delve into the dark and damp world of Greek underground noise and experimental electronics, with two hours of drone, ambient, noise, harsh electronics, dark techno and much more, specially curated by Andreas Kavvadias (d E).

Until then, don’t you fuck with my energy. With bitter love from outer space,

—Obsessionist

 

STORM STEREO 29 SETLIST

DOM THOMAS – Tropicalia Dream
RAKTA – Intro
RAKTA – Atrativos Da Mentira
RATA NEGRA – Por No Estar Sola
EXIT ORDER – Mass Panic
HARAM – Not A Terrorist – ليست ارهابي
L.O.T.I.O.N. – Born in 1984
ULTRA – Porno
LIMP WRIST – Square One
NEKRA – Art School
RUNT – DWP
MONOTON – Wasser
SADE – Soldier of Love (Exotic Remix)
PRINCESS NOKIA – Brujas
FKA TWIGS – Two Weeks
POST MALONE – Rockstar
SEGA BODEGA – Ghost
SEGA BODEGA – Dogtooth
DELIA GONZALEZ – Roulette
HIROSHI YOSHIMURA – Blink
AYYA – Second Mistake
LENA PLATONOS – Thalassa
SEGA BODEGA – X
DJ RICHARD – Path of Ruin
RAÄR – Sometimes I Hear Sirens
ANTONI MAIOVVI – Revenge is Sweeter Than Wine
EMAK – Tanz In Den Himmel
LE SYNDICAT ELECTRONIQUE – Strawberry Flower
STEPHAN EICHER – Miniminiminijupe
FACTRIX – A Night to Forget
RAKTA – Outro
LIMP WRIST – In My Mind

Storm Stereo #24: Summer Special

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

TRACKLIST

KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH – By Your Side (Sade cover)
KEVIN MORBY – Come to Me
JMSN – Where Do You Go
JOHN LEGEND – Made to Love
DOME – To Walk, To Run
ELA ORLEANS – Myriads
PHILIP GLASS – Candyman Music Box
NURSE WITH WOUND – Black Is The Color of My True Love’s Hair
WOO – Don’t Delay
CYLOB – Foid
NILS FRAHM – Says
DONATO DOZZY – Vaporware
MARTIN ROTH – An Analog Guy in a Digital World
ARCA – Now You Know
KINGDOM – Tears in the Club
YUNG LEAN & THAIBOY DIGITAL – Diamonds
TA-KU – We Were in Love
SPOOKY BLACK – Without You
DJ HVAD feat. PAN DAIJING – Zhao Hua
DAMIEN DUBROVNIK – Arrow 6
CHROMATICS – Shadow
DESIRE – If I Can’t Hold You
KLICHÉ – Igen Og Igen
SAINT ETIENNE – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Andrew Weatherall remix)
GRACKLE – Jungle (T. Keeler & Capablana rework)
SOLITARY DANCER feat. MARIE DAVIDSON – Emails 2 Myself
MARCO SHUTTLE – Olga
KOLLEKTIV TURMSTRASSE – Last Day (David August revision)
DAHU – RS
FUR COAT – Interstellar
DAMIAN LAZARUS & THE ANCIENT MOONS – I Found You (Patrice Bäumel remix)
TALABOMAN – Loser’s Hymn
PRAYER – Seeing
COMPUPHONIC feat. MARQUES TOLIVER – The Sun Does Rise
LOR – Factories 1984
AUTUMN – Behind You
BOY HARSHER – Pain

 

 

 

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 #7

originalHello my lovelies!

“Sometimes I stare in space, tears all over my face. I can’t explain it, don’t understand it, never felt like this before. It’s like a heat wave!” And you would be right, because it’s Day 4 of boiling hot weather here in Athens and doing anything but hiding underground in such mind-melting heat is a challenge. I managed to get sun stroke on the beach the other day, so I am soothing my suffering with some cool jams from summer soundtracks past and present. It was the summer solstice and strawberry June full moon yesterday, so it seemed an ideal night to channel my energy into some chill sonic vibrations for you all. Download it here. (Let me know if you have trouble accessing the files, I will send them to you directly!)

On this show we move away from guitar-driven music, though there is some of it (have we met?) and venture through the cool hallways of electronic experimentation and beat-based composition. Featuring electronic favourites (that LFY remix is on repeat rotation) and guilty pleasures (if we have met then you know that every now and then I get hooked on some ridiculous radio pop song or other), we ponder the paradox of existence, explore and experiment with various concepts of love, stimulate the senses with hot textures and cold liquids and ride through this breeze-less night in cinematic style in search of some sonic relief.

This three-hour mix will no doubt extend its tentacles into many more pools of sound in future Venn diagrams to come. After all, the sonic psycho-synthesis of this obsessionist is as simple as it is surreal, the music chosen to both match and moderate one’s emotions, driven by the primitive desire to assign music to memories, and kept in check by that natural idiosyncratic inner metronome; that constant psychosomatic ticker, that keeper of carnal experience: the human heart. “Transfixed between rapture and anguish.”

We’ll resume next time with neu punk from around the world, selections from over 1000 years of female composers, LGBTQI hits and more! Until then, stay posi, stay strong.

With love from outer space,

—Obsessionist

Download it here.

MAX RICHTER – Summer 3

THE PRIMITIVES – I’ll Be Your Mirror

NICO – All Tomorrow’s Parties

OBSCURE BY DEGREES – A Woman Like You

SUICIDE – I Remember

THROBBING GRISTLE – Distant Dreams (Part Two)

CHRIS & COSEY – Obsession

LENA PLATONOS – Λαθός Αγάπη (Lathos Agapi, Wrong Love)

DZ LECTRIC & ANTON SHIELD – Experimenting Love

[QUANTIC – Time is the Enemy]

HEAVY METAL – Don’t Call Me Brother

DELACAVE – Uniform With No Brain

HYSTERIE – Service Secret

SCORPIO VIOLENTE – Uberschleiss

DECEMBER SOUND – Kill Me (Before I Kill You)

THE RAVEONETTES – Beat City

HEALTH – We Are Water

THE RAPTURE – Olio

[NU – Man O To]

FELIX DA HOUSE CAT – Free Love

PETRINA – Texture

BEN CLOCK – Subzero

THROBBING GRISTLE – Hot on the Heels of Love (Ratcliffe remix)

ZK – The Paradox of Existence

PAROV STELAR – The Sun

MOLLY NILSSON – Keep the Change (aMinus Drives in Milan remix)

LUST FOR YOUTH – New Boys (I’m Falling Club remix by Sean Ragon)

TAYLOR SWIFT – Bad Blood

MIA – Bad Girls (Nonsens remix)

MSSING NO – 124th

RIHANNA – Pour It Up

BEATS INTERNATIONAL – Just be Good to me (Chris Richardson Late Night remix)

RENNIE FOSTER – Devil’s Water

UNKLE – Touch Me (Rui da Silva cover)

JOHN CARPENTER “Night” (Zola Jesus & Dean Hurley remix)

ZOLA JESUS – Night

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – I’m On Fire (Cousin Cole’s Bad Desire remix)

BAT FOR LASHES – What’s a Girl to Do