All four of us have now contributed one Monthly Marathon each, and so the cycle starts over with Dom’s second mix…
PIERO UMILIANI – Automa
HINGROSS – Vance
SPECTRAL EMPIRE – Black Shark
JEAN PIERRE DECERF & MYRIAM CHADDAR – Aquatic
JOEL FAJERMAN – Cargo
CLECKHUDDERSFAX – The Numismatist
GYRATORY SYSTEM – Splurge Gun
TWO MINUTE NOODLES – Angle Blind
JOHN CAMERON – Action Replay
TALIBAM! – Rambo’s Passeggiata
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. We encourage you to buy the releases you love, just as we do. The download should take approximately 3 or 4 minutes at 70 kB/sec. You can also stream the mix from our Facebook page.
It was tempting to up the length because I was struggling to contain everything into 30 minutes, even though I’ve been a true gentleman and left 2 artists for Nash to include on his next Marathon. This one’s 10 tracks in 34 minutes so hopefully you’ll find enough chomp here to get your spaceface around…
‘Automa‘ is the sound of wonked synth and stuttering, cone-blown drums, creating dark eclipses of shady mechanical uprisings and bleak industrial meltdown. Piero Umiliani was one of the original Italian composers who helped shape the sound of Spaghetti Westerns, European spy flicks and B-movie soft-core horror fiction alongside the more well known names of Ennio Moriconne, Riz Ortolani or Piero Piccioni.
‘Vance‘ is a haunting brief encounter of a distant, droning space catastrophe, forefronted with deep surround-sound hi-hats. At first glimpse, Hingross seem to be radical Italian black-power funk who only appear on themed compilations, though they did release one full-length entitled ‘Suggestions‘ sometime I guess in the mid 70’s. However, like many of the musicians and composers involved in library music, Hingross is actually an alias – that of Giorgio Ingrosso. This is why I love library music – exploring the winding wrong paths, the mystery and puzzle of searching through the liner notes for the subtle clue that leads you on to the next discovery.
George Thompson and Kyle Martin first came to my attention a few years ago when I heard some online mixes they put together that I grabbed from a blog which I have since forgotten the name of (agggg, should’ve bookmarked). Spectral Empire have three 12”s out on This Is Not An Exit (‘Black Shark‘ is the second of the three, released in 2009), all of which are worth hard cash and repeated loud listening, as are any of their remixes. ‘Black Shark‘ is an immersive, dark pulse of minimal disco, washed with a creeping, sweeping visual-stimulant melody. I’m going to assume you’re already at a computer, so you should watch the video featuring the crew of a nuclear submarine. Immense.
Decerf recorded for the highly collectible Auvidis, amongst other labels. He’s one of the early European synth explorers who utterly mastered the art, comfortably skirting between the avant-garde, cosmic psychedelia, jingle-ditties, proto-type hip-hop, and just about anything else he fancied bending or inventing. Pioneering and relatively prolific, yet incredibly difficult to find any accurate information about – let alone getting hold of actual vinyl of his work (£££). You should keep an eye out though – it’s all gems! As for Myriam Chaddar, I have absolutely no idea – the closest I can find are a few badly spelled entries involving a quote from a TV comedy involving a character called Myriam and some Smoked Hickory Cheese, Miriam Cross being found dead in Cheddar Gorge, a novel about a Pakistani Bride, and a recipe for Chicken Cheddar Spirals.
Joël Fajerman was given the nickname ‘The Flangerman’ by the French musicians he met as co-owner of the first French synth-shop in Paris – he used the effect heavily on a lot of his recordings. You can only imagine my excited little grin as I read that whilst reading about Jean Michelle Jarre, which immediately sent me on the hunt for Fajerman’s records. ‘Cargo‘ is taken from his 1983 album, ‘Turbulences‘, and if this song hasn’t been used for a life-affirming, slow-mo-montage scene in a film, then something has gone wrong. Fajerman was also involved in a short-lived but brilliant cosmic disco group called Contact… the album ‘Just U.V.‘ from 1979 is also highly recommended.
There are any number of Cleckhuddersfax songs I could have included in this mix, but ‘The Numismatist‘ is the banger I’ve gone for… bouncing synths and brilliantly executed effected vocals (which I believe tell a tale about an Israeli collector of coins, though I could be mistaken) ride above the progressive glam-stomp of a 5-string bass and a sharp drum beat. I’ve had the complete pleasure of good-humoured antics touring with these dudes around Europe on a number of occasions, and it’s a real inspiration to be amongst a friendly group of intelligent, adventurous, high-skilled consummate-anti-professionals. Bias admitted (in that our old record label released their first album), their new record recently released by Upset The Rhythm is a certified winner – buy it!
Gyratory System is Andrew Blick (production, trumpet, sound treatments) who is fairly well known as a trumpeter and producer in the realm of the experimental, his son, Robin Blick (reeds, brass) and James Weaver (bass, synthesiser). ‘Splurge Gun‘ is an impossible to resist bonkers fanfare of pure jubilation, marching-drum rolls and heavily manipulated FX. Gyratory System have a few different versions of their Yowser Yowser Yowser single available, and an album called ‘The Sound Board Breathes‘. They replicate this danceable madness live too – get down!
A second helping from a band we’re friends with… though perhaps it’s fair to say more than friends, considering Leon and I played in CHOPS with Moz from Two Minute Noodles (also of Quack Quack, as featured on Monthly Marathon #2), and Nash lived with him for a few years. Friendship aside, there’s no denying the velocity of ‘Angle Blind‘ with its jazz-bonced beat and melody driven kitsch organ that suits a good studio production workout… a sneak peak at their forthcoming album recorded by Ross Halden at Ghost Town, who is the good-guy responsible for the Runners songs we’ve recorded so far.
John Cameron is an English composer whose credits include writing a bundle of hits for Donovan and Hot Chocolate, scoring the themes to Kes and Crimewatch UK, and contributing to the brilliant KPM and Bruton Music Library. He was also a member of the early 70’s prog band CSS (Collective Consciousness Society), whose version of ‘Whole Lotta Love‘ was used on Top Of The Pops. This track is from the 1985 album ‘Hot Doughnuts‘ on Bruton Music Library, and like many great library tracks, you can’t provide any better description than the track title itself.
Accidentally completing a trio of bands who I consider friends (I didn’t intend it to work out like that), here’s Kevin Shea and Matt Mottell; New York residents responsible for maybe something close to a thousand top-grade musical (mis?)adventures… seriously, I’d love nothing better than to list them all here, but it’d just be ridiculous – search for yourselves (first ports of call – Kevin’s drumming with Moppa Elliott’s Mostly Other People Do The Killing or with trumpeter Peter Evans). Tactically improvised sonic overload taken from their album Ordination of the Globetrotting Conscripts – Talibam! have a lot of cool shit out!