November 18, 2019

Terry Riley

Good morning.

Today we’re listening to Terry Riley, an American composer and multi-instrumentalist. Riley is regarded, along with Philip Glass and Steve Reich, to be a founding father of minimalism. His most famous works are A Rainbow in Curved Air and In C, where he looped musical phrases (using primitive tape decks) to explore the emergent properties of repetition. But we want to highlight a more recent album of his: Les Yeux Fermés / Lifespan from 2007. This eclectic album has tracks featuring John Carpenter-like synths, Moondog-like brass melodies, Indian percussion, and racing arpeggios. Let us know which one of these you like the best.

Les Yeux Fermés / Lifespan by Terry Riley (70m) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

A Rainbow In Curved Air by Terry Riley (40m) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

In C by Terry Riley (40-70m, 🗣 vocals on most tracks) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Have a wonderful start to your week.

November 15, 2019

Clams Casino

Good morning.

It's Friday so we're listening to something more upbeat. We're playing albums from Clams Casino, a hip-hop producer from New Jersey. He gained recognition by producing some of A$AP Rocky’s early hits, including "Palace" and "Wassup." Since then, he’s released several LPs (and many mixtapes) containing his instrumentals. A few weeks ago he released his most latest album, Moon Trip Radio – thanks to Max for telling us about it. That album revisits the tender yet bumping sound that fueled Clams’ early rise, documented on 2011’s Instrumentals. 2016’s 32 Levels is a double album, consisting of 12 instrumentals, first rapped over and then played sans vocals. Let us know what you like – reply directly to this email.

Moon Trip Radio by Clams Casino (30m) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Instrumentals by Clams Casino (40m) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

32 Levels by Clams Casino (70m, 🗣 on the first half) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Have a great weekend.

November 14, 2019

Shigeo Sekito

Good morning.

Today we're listening to Shigeo Sekito, a Japanese composer and electone player. Little is publicly known about Sekito, but from 1975 to 1977 he released four amazing LPs, which make up his "Special Sound Series." These albums feature jazzy original compositions, classical standards, and the occasional Stevie Wonder or Beatles cover. We discovered Sekito via "The Word II," a gorgeous and delicate piece on Vol. 2, which has been sampled by Mac DeMarco and Travis Scott. Below, we've listed the albums in our order of preference. Thanks to Josh for the Spotify links.

Special Sound Series, Vol. 2: The Word by Shigeo Sekito (40m) Spotify / YouTube / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play

Special Sound Series, Vol. 1: Catch in Alice by Shigeo Sekito (40m) Spotify / YouTube / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play

Special Sound Series, Vol. 4: Summertime by Shigeo Sekito (50m) Spotify / YouTube / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play

Special Sound Series, Vol. 3: Pathetic by Shigeo Sekito (40m) Spotify / YouTube / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play

Let us know what you think – you can reply directly to this email.

Have a great Thursday.

November 13, 2019

Pole

Today we have a guest recommendation from Kevin Purdy. Kevin is a writer for iFixit, an online repair guide and store for tech tools and parts.

In the mid-1990s, German artist Stefan Betke dropped and damaged a Waldorf 4-pole filter. Instead of smoothing out frequencies, the filter now made pops, hisses, and weirdly shaped bass. Betke turned this expensive accident into a new artist name, Pole, and a new instrument, harkening back to the early hardware experiments of dub reggae.

Pole's first three numbered albums used that same physical filter for deep explorations of texture, echo, and dissonance; of them, 3 from 2000 is the easiest entry point. 2007's Steingarten has more traditional beats, choruses and melodies than his early dubtronica, yet retains the uncommon edges and strange timings. Wald, from 2015, is slower and more contemplative, but also includes three "live" (in-studio but real-time) mixes that show off Betke's enduring debt to dub reggae’s echoes and off-kilter rhythm. Repeat listenings are rewarded, headphones highly encouraged.

3 by Pole (80m) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play

Steingarten by Pole (50m) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play

Wald by Pole (100m, including continuous mix) Spotify / Apple Music / Google Play

Happy Wednesday.

💈 💈 💈

November 12, 2019

Dmitri Shostakovich

Good morning.

Today we’re listening to Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian composer active in the 20th century. Shostakovich was a piano prodigy and entered conservatory at age 13, at the height of the Russian Civil War. Influenced by Igor Stravinsky and Gustav Mahler, he completed his first symphony at 19 (pictured below). His music weaves many styles together, sometimes sounding as if trying to cram as many impressions of other composers into a single piece as possible. We’re listening to a collection of Shostakovich’s performances of his own music. Our favorites are the Preludes and Piano Concertos (you can skip the Children’s Notebooks).

Shostakovich Plays Shostakovich (340m, 🗣 speech in the Children’s Notebooks) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Have a great Tuesday.

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