RUNNERS have been friends for 10 years. In that time, I couldn’t even begin to count how many cassettes, cd’s, records, cd-r’s and mp3’s have exchanged hands. The Monthly Marathon is an extension of what we’ve been doing for a decade amongst ourselves; sharing and talking about the music we can’t get off our stereos or out of our ears. Music that makes us beam and dance and brings about all manner of other excitable, curious habits! It goes without saying that we couldn’t buy everything we hear, but between us we certianly spend a lot of money on the many, many records we like, love and enthuse about. Naturally, we encourage you to do the same. Perhaps somewhere like Norman Records is a good place to start your search!?
Each Monthly Marathon Mix will be something in the region of 30 minutes at 320 kbs mp3 quality, and we will remove tracks if requested. The download should take approximately 3 minutes at 70 kB/sec.
BERTO PISANO – Tema di Oscar – Sissignore, 1968
AQSAK MABOUL – A Modern Lesson – Un Peu de l’Âme des Bandits, 1979
SUN RA – Calling Planet Earth – When Sun Comes Out, 1960
CYBOTRON – Clear – Enter, 1983
GEORGES TEPERINO – Cleopatra – Striclty Rhythmical / Rhythmical Melodies, L’Illistration Musicale 20
NINO NARDINI – Icebreaker – Not sure which record this appeared on originally, but it was re-issued as part of Luke Vibert’s Nuggets Compilation
MAHJONGG – Whoop [feat Tom Tom Boy & Cooper Crane] – The Long Shadow Of The Paper Tiger, 2010
BABLICON – 2 Birds (1 wing) – In A Different City, 1999
Do I need to explain my choices? Not really. Do I like to waffle and nerd-off? Well, yes, actually… I do. Thanks!
Berto Pisano is an Italian composer, mostly of film soundtracks in the 60’s and 70’s. He’s got a sublime sense of color, tone, space and style, and I’m totally down with the orchestral scores – full of sparkling light and life. This song reminds me of Ski Sunday, and I listened to it about 4 times on the drive from Donostia to Gijon in Basque/Spain on tour with Beards and Please. I don’t ski, but for whatever reason, I see the powder spraying off from a silky curve down a glorious mountain when that brass kicks in.
Aqsak Maboul are a Belgian group from the late 70’s and early 80’s, associated with Henry Cow’s Rock In Opposition movement. This song is one of my most favourite ever! It stands out from the rest of their albums, which isn’t to say they’re not great albums, more that this particular track has a bit more kick to it with all the tape-samples crashing and flying about over the absolutely unfathomable vocal gymnastics!
It’s pretty hard to choose a song from Sun Ra’s huge catalogue, and maybe this is one of the more obvious choices, but it’s definitely a good ‘un. Driving Marshall Allen and the rest of the current Arkestra on tour around the UK in 2009 was completely the most amazing experience of my life – each of them so full of energy and pure desire to play, warm and welcoming, insightful and playful. For the majority of the tour, they played a few classics, a selection of Ellington-esque early Sun Ra pieces, and some of the newer compositions with Marshall spiralling off the cosmos with his Electronic Wind Instrument (which I have wanted for a long time!). Seeing them rip it up in Bristol at The Croft for the first hour of their set was the most intense musicianship I have witnessed.
Cybotron are one of the classics of early 80’s Detroit techno, the first musical output of the brilliant Juan Atkins (Model 500, Metroplex Records, etc). Whilst we’re on it, there’s another Cybotron from Australia; their record Colossus (1977) is the one to look out for.
Georges Teperino and Nino Nardini are the same person – both pesudonyms for Georges Teperin (1912-1994), a French electronic pioneer, visionary, genious (etc) who recorded for the likes of Chappell Music Library and L’Illustration Musicale. Sat aside Roger Roger (also alias Eric Swan, Cecil Leuter and Roger Davy), Georges is right at the peak of the Library records I’ve collected so far. Most of them are ridiculously expenisve and out of my price range (I don’t know anyone who would spend their entire month’s wages on one slab of vinyl!), but there’s still treats to pick up along the way if you’re lucky.
Mahjongg are from Chicago. We arranged a couple of gigs for them in Leeds last year and they were blinding hot! A lot of bands have started to get into the whole afro-beat inspired ting, but Mahjongg have been at it a while now, and they got it securely nailed into tight, infectious grooves surrounded by a fine balance of experimentation and fairly varied pop sensibility. Whoop is taken from their new album, which should be out sometime soon on K Records. Hunter tells me there should also be a 7″ of even newer material to land this year.
To wrap it up, a continuation of the Chicago connection, with Bablicon. Featuring top-dudes from Neutral Milk Hotel, The Gerbils, Icy Demons, A Hawk And A Hacksaw (who featured our friend Chris Hladowski on recent tours), and also a few Need New Body collaborators. Sprawling, audacious jazz, Stravinsky classicisms, enthusiastic Zappa twists and turns and all sorts of other mutations, always bound together with playful precision and deft touch. Mavellous.
Nash will be making the next Monthly Marathon. Sign up to the blog for e-mail notification of when it arrives.