This is one hour of straightforward avant-garde electronic goodies, treated and non-treated voices, some phonography, computer code noise and the old pause signal from the Norwegian radio. There’s at least two tracks running at the same time throughout the one hour mix and if you don’t like it at first, try it again later or when in a different mood —- it might grow on you.
I started out with several ideas for my second layered mix for the Blogariddims project (an “English Organic” mix with ie Virginia Astley and John Foxx’s The Garden? an all-female mix?). After compiling tracks for a couple of months and reducing the running list to around 20 tracks I ended up with a pretty much full-on electronic mix to go with my Blogariddims 9 effort.
Blogariddims 9 consisted of 100% Norwegian tracks; but on this one I have restrained myself to a handful of current homegrown artists like Nils Petter Molvær and last year’s big releases from 120 Days and Lindstrøm.
The exception is Arne Nordheim’s pause signal/music for the Norwegian Broadcasting from 1970. Arne and the recording engineer were working on a different project. The engineer had a dental emergency, so Arne decided to have a play with the kit in the studio to make his entry for the 1969 competition for the broadcaster’s pause music. It is one of the earliest electronic pieces I can remember hearing as a kid (Hot Butter’s Popcorn being another one). Even if the quality of my sample is not the best I wanted to include it (I make these mixes mainly for my own enjoyment).
I’ve put in some classic modern music from Stockhausen and Reich plus a voice piece from Bernard Parmegiani (unknown to me a month ago, but an editor’s choice at the newly discovered avantgardeproject.org). There’s also an extract from a longer interview that Stockhausen did in the US in 1964.
Noise, found noise and flat out experiments. I like it. So for added spice there’s JJ Burnel’s Triumph Bonneville revving up, Pete Shelley’s computer code for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum (sounding like old-fashioned “modem breath”) and Bernard Szajner’s (Zed) reversed half-speed track from the tapes used for the recording of Visons of Dune (mixed with Fremen from this album. Vangelis is probably best known for his more accessible works (and soundtracks), but I remember buying Beauborg on cassette around 1980 and it made a lasting impression of being enclosed in an electronic space, so here it is. Vangelis is currently involved in space issues of his own with the new Acropolis Museum.
The mix takes its title from Rachel Sweet’s debut Fool Around from 1978. An album I picked up a year later to go with Jona Lewie and Lene Lovich. The album (on white vinyl that does not exactly improve the audio) is varied (courtesy of producer/writer Liam Sternberg) and still quite charming. The standout track is It’s So Different Here. Although I doubt many of today’s kooky Scandinavian female artists (from Stina Nordenstam to Hafdis Huld) have heard of Rachel Sweet the song in some ways preempt their music with a good 30 years.
There’s also a long Harold Budd track (from a release on the short-lived Uniton label), Fripp’s Exposure and a free online tune from the wonderful Lomov.
I finish the mix with Anja Garbarek’s Stay Tuned again. It’s quite simply the best track Kate Bush never wrote and the perfect tune to finish a mix with.
- [00:06-03:56] Kakonita (Deathprod Mix) - Nils Petter Molvær (2001)
- [00:33-04:44] Croydon Streetnoise (phonography, soundtransit.nl)
- [00:39-08:19] part 4 of interview with Stockhausen (www.stockhausen.org)
- [02:56-13:38] Abandoned Cities - Harold Budd
- [06:23-09:43] Friday Temptation (Tone scene 1) - KH Stockhausen (www.stockhausen.org)
- [08:59-13:05] Kind of Pale - Lomov
- [09:52-10:22] Pause Signal for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation - Arne Nordheim
- [11:38-20:29] Come Out, Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone - 120 Days
- [12:58-15:05] ZX Spectrum Code - Pete Shelley
- [15:26-24:16] Superficial Music - Bernard Szajner
- [20:45-24-52] Fremen - Bernard Szajner
- [24:25-28:57] Exposure - Robert Fripp
- [26:01-33:59] Monomoods - Maja Ratkje
- [31:37-34:28] It’s So Different Here - Rachel Sweet
- [33:30-42:38] Beabourg - Vangelis
- [34:35-39:06] Triumph - JJ Burnel
- [40:07-46:26] Ponomatopees II - Bernard Parmegiani (www.avantgardeproject.org)
- [43:18-45:39] John Peel - Delia Derbyshire/Brian Hodgson (www.delia-derbyshire.org)
- [45:49-51:02] Further Into the Future - Lindstrøm
- [46:10-51:53] Pulses - Steve Reich
- [51:17-55:10] Why She Couldn’t Come - EST
- [51:43-54 :48] Sky Island (phonography, www.soundtransit.nl)
- [54 :48-59:04] Stay Tuned - Anja Garbarek
- [59:15-59:45] Pause Signal for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation- Arne Nordheim