Axel’s Monthly Mix – September Playlist

​Genres explored: Cool Jazz, Soundtrack, R&B, Ambient Techno, Experimental/Electronic, World/Psychedelic Funk Rock, Psychedelic Pop, Noise-Rock, Soul, Ghetto House.

Three to Get Ready [The Dave Brubeck Quartet]
Another 2014 revelation for me has been the discovery of Dave Brubeck’s “Classic” Quartet. This was the first jazz album to go Platinum in the US ever (over 1,000,000 copies sold), and still remains one of the biggest selling jazz albums of all time. For people like me who are just starting to skim and discover the world of jazz, this record serves as a firm reference point, as much as Coltrane’s Love Supreme, and Davies’ Kind of Blue. The 2009 Legacy Remaster Edition we have at the Central Library contains 3 discs: the first CD is the original Time Out -though pristinely remastered (compared to older remasters); the second CD features live recordings of the quartet from 1961, 1963 and 1964; and the last one is a DVD where we have Mr. Brubeck giving an interview and playing his ol’ piano friend.

Prelude and The Sound of Music [Irwin Costal, Julie Andrews]​​
This soundtrack was the biggest-selling album in the UK in 1965, 1966, and 1968 and the second biggest-selling album of the entire decade (yes, even beating The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper!) Yet, it is not hard to imagine why! How many young souls around the world has the movie touched? The songs, brilliantly arranged and composed, will inevitably connect with the kid inside us, and always live in our memory.

Loving You (Demo) [Michael Jackson]
Xscape is the second compilation released after Michael’s death 5 years ago. I have to admit it took me a while to settle into the fact that more of his material is being excavated and release without him being part of the production, especially considering the perfectionist that he was. To compensate for that, I was happy to find that this deluxe edition includes the original 8 songs of the album plus the original demos of each song. In the sleeve you can find a brief background for each of them, including the recording year and the personnel involved. It is very interesting to compare the the project’s vision for a 2014 pop album -produced by BIG names in the industry (Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, J-Roc), and the raw material -dating back to the decades of the 70s in some cases. This demo song is my favourite of the album.

Oneiroi [Laurel Halo]
After her praised debut album Quarantine was released through the now well-established Hyperdub record label (Flying Lotus, Code9, Burial) -and was named Album of the Year by the Wire magazine, Halo’s career took an important step forward. We had the immense pleasure to have her perform last year in Wellington at a venue that unfortunately reached its last days earlier this year. I would like to honor the great moments that Puppies owner Blink (same organizer of the unforgettable Camp a Low Hum festivals -also resting in peace) has brought to us in the short-lived yet very successful follow-up to the one and only Happy Bar. Farewell Puppies!

A Sound Like No Other [Various Authors]
This album takes us through a galactic journey of oscillators, experimentation, and electric friends. As Kubrik might have done, the trip starts with the echoing voice of local pioneer Douglas Lilburn who, instead of throwing a bone up to the sky, concentrated all his efforts in a vision which produced the first electronic music studio in Australasia, founded in 1966. This studio is still operational, electrifying the brains of the students of Sonic Arts in the Victoria University of Wellington. Among interplanetary dialogues and cosmic field recordings, we are transported to Lilburn’s early days in the many songs that Wellington artists have produced along the years. This wonderful compilation has just made its way to our shelves thanks to the initiative and curation of our very own librarian John, who also produced this homegrown mix. As he emphasises in the booklet, “Buy the music. Support Local artists”. This CD is also free to borrow!

Henna Henna [The Bombay Royale]
I selected this song because Spotify couldn’t retrieve any of the songs of their very successful debut album. This Australian band toured NZ last year, and I thought it would be nice to give them a shout from our library. Here’s a video that shows how cool they are.

Moth Wings [Pond]
As a preview of ex-Tame Impala bassist Nicholas Allbrook’s new solo release Ganough, Wallis & Fatuna (which of course is on its way to our shelves), I offer you a taste of acid drops from one of his other projects, Pond. I recommend watching this video to cement the experience this young Aussie is channeling.

Chatterboxes [Deerhoof]
I got exposed to this band through a friend who had the amazing experience of watching these guys perform at noise-loving Taipei. Their act was solid, very intense and LOUD. If you are into the sounds of Boris, Lightning Bolt, Stereolab, and appreciate seeing a girl playing a Hofner Bass then I’d encourage you to dig for more of their music.

You and Me [Penny & The Quarters]
This song was brought from the grave into the spotlight thanks to director Derek Cianfrance’s decision of featuring it in a romantic scene for his movie Syndetics book cover Blue Valentine. The rest of the soundtrack is mostly composed by Grizzly Bear, interestingly.

Feel My M.F. Bass [Paul Johnson]
Hardcore Traxx is an overdue compilation that honors one of the earliest and most prolific House labels: Dance Mania. These high-speed beats will still make anyone shake these days. If you manage to play this tune without distorting your headphones or speakers, then consider yourself a happy owner of decent music gear 😉

Axel’s Monthly Mix – August Playlist

​​

This month I am going to aim the spotlight at tracks from the commonly overlooked Box Set section within our Central Library music collection. Box sets can be found just around the corner from where the two CD Players live (did you know you could borrow headphones and comfortably enjoy any album?), on your right as you walk past the trays of CDs. The bigger box sets (vinyl-sized boxes), are next to the Librarian’s Choice display, which is on your left as you pass through the entrance of this wonderful sound and vision world.

Box sets are for fans, aficionados, collectors and addicts who want to have it all and take an inner dive to the lands of their favourite bands. Another attractive tip: these costly sets (sometimes reaching hundreds of dollars!) can be lying in your bedroom for a week for a mere dollar! This is August’s selection:

Vitamin C [Can]
Can aficionados will be pleased to find this multi-disc boxed-set of the defunct band. After excavating 50 hours of material ranging from jams, live sessions, out-takes and of course, multiple sonic experiments including chainsaws and kitchen paraphernalia, we’re left with a work that must be celebrated as the culmination of Can’s trajectory, packed in a solid vinyl-sized box which features a generous booklet with a lot of photos of their cool studio spaces. The Lost Tapes are not to be missed!

Search and destroy [Iggy and the Stooges]
A punk-rock milestone, this box of Raw Power includes:
CD1: 1973 original Raw Power.
CD2: Live at Georgia, Atlanta, 1973.
CD3: rarities, outtakes & alternate versions from the Raw Power era.
CD4: DVD Documentary on Raw Power.

La Femme D’argent [Air]
This anniversary edition of the band’s debut album Moon Safari includes the original release from 1998, a second CD with live sessions (mainly recorded @ the BBC studios), and a DVD where one can indulge in Video Clips + “Eating, Sleeping, Waiting and Playing”, a documentary produced during Air’s first tour. Here we get to know Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel intimately as they tour around New York, London and Paris for their first time, while enduring crazy working hours, having funny interviews, and emanating musical insights.
Love-Fantasy-Dream.

Credulidad [Luis Alberto Spinetta]
This is a personal favorite as not only is Spinetta one of the most beloved musical characters from Argentina, but also because I bought this limited release in Buenos Aires in one of my many visits. Once back in Wellington my desires for it to be heard made me approach the library about donating this copy, and to my delight it was kindly added to its amazing musical repertoire. This is the best introduction to South America’s humblest rock star.

Tell Me Why. [Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young]
This invaluable set gives us the opportunity to indulge in a marathonic 137 songs of Young’s early days, 47 of which have never been released. The massive archival effort has won it a Grammy Award for Best Boxed or Limited Edition Package. A must for all those gold-rushers!

I Wanna Be Sedated [Ramones]
In case you haven’t got enough with The Stooges, here are more drilling punk-rock tunes to make your flatmates either bang their heads or bang at your door!
This collection brings 85 songs of broken-jeans, leather jackets and distorted reefs + a documentary filled with music videos, interviews, and a cool comic book telling the story of the band, which is heightened by the 3D glasses that come with it!

X Offender [Blondie]
If Punk Rock is a foreign world for you, then search no further! No thanks! :’70s Punk Rebellion will provide you with a very insightful look back to when this genre was born, and will educate you in the development of the movement into its different grounds. Classics and hidden obscurities, this box contains a 100+ pages book filled with frames that depict the “worst of times and the best of times”, and a thorough text that will fill you up with what you need to know.

Octopus [Syd Barrett]
If bands like Herbal Mixture, Mandrake Paddle Steamer, The Attack, The Smoke, The Virgin Sleep, Orange Bicycle, or Kaleidoscope ring a bell, or if “Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers” make you feel warm and giggly inside, then you would know what to expect. If not, then it is time for you to take the magical mystery tour into the land of the Psychedelic Confectionery from the UK Underground and enjoy the trip. This compilation focuses on the years 1965-1969; the peak of psychedelia. A short bio of each featured band is included in this informative volume.

Sir Duke [Stevie Wonder]
If you don’t feel like reading a full-text biography of the Magic Man, here’s a way of getting to know him> through amazing portraits (he was as fashionable as Miles Davies -sunglasses and all!), friends and family’s testimonies, promotional old posters, and much more while enjoying the 4-disc chronological record of his greatest hits.

Slip On Through [Beach Boys]
This is one of my favorites too. We acquired it sometime last year, and I remember it catching me eye straight away, with its yellow, orange and golden lush case. The signatures of the boys on the first page are so real I had to check with the cataloger if they were actually hand written. Though they were not, they certainly give one the sense that this is a limited edition we’re having in our hands. The 6 discs surf around the band’s entire well-known career, with an addition of 60 previously unreleased tracks, which of course are composed of enough rarities to turn anyone on.

Axel’s Monthly Mix – June Playlist

In this month’s blog post, I’m going treat you to some of the best tunes and bands I have bumped into while wandering about our awesome catalogue 😉

Genres explored: Pop; World/Brasil; Psychedelic Rock; Indie Pop; Jazz; Experimental Rock; Folk; Singer Songwriter/Argentina; Space Rock; Minimal Techno.

Jenny Wren [Paul McCartney]
As a rotund Radiohead fan that I am, I saw myself lost in a spiritual trip of awe and wonder following other projects directed by one of the best-known music producers alive: Nigel Godrich. My favorite works of the sixth Radiohead include: Talkie Walkie (Air), Sea Change (Beck), The Eraser (Thom Yorke), and his current involvement with Atoms for Peace. The fact that George Martin himself suggested Sir Paul to hire Nigel as his producer for Chaos and Creation in the Backyard gives us some indication of the calibre of his genius. The result? 4 Grammy nominations, including Best Non-Classical Producer of the Year, and Album of the Year.

Vinco [Caetano Veloso]
I was walking along Cuba Street after work the other day while Abraço sounded on my headphones. When this song came up, time slowed down and I was merged with the vibrations inside my ears. It was Friday night, and the Cuba Street Food Market was in full swing; I was a camera, registering life as it unfolded magically in front of me. Invisible as a ghost I floated like a lukewarm cloud through the people admiring each and every nuance of all phenomena. The spell lasted till the final and long cymbal of Vinco resonated and faded away.

Little Zombies [Morgan Delt]
For all us lovers of Psychedelia, Morgan Delt is someone we should all be keeping a close ear at. If you have been enjoying releases like Tame Impala’s Lonerism, Temple’s Sun Structures, Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, or Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s II, then you’ll be in for a delightful trip! This new-wave of young Byrds and Floyds are following up what their heroes left on the table in the Great 60s Banquet, recycling and pushing new dishes with sauces of the past and condiments of the future.

Pink Frost [The Chills]
I’ve been doing a bit of my Kiwiana homework for the past months, and it was so that I discovered one of my favorite bands who defined what is known as the Dunedin Sound. Interestingly enough, I found this song not in any of The Chills’ albums I was digging at that time, but in this compilation of cool songs proposed by MGMT.

Alice in Wonderland [Bill Evans Trio]
I am not a Jazz-head for no better reason than not having dived deep enough in this amazing anti-world of teased amorphous grooves. Last month I had one of those breakthrough moments in which the universe conspires to force us to TUNE IN and CONNECT. This happened driving a car in Wellington, but it served me like the equivalent of seeing the band in a live gig and becoming an instant, die-hard fan.

Squeeze Me Macaroni [Mr. Bungle]
This was one of the albums I could not resist in trying out as it passed through my hands one day. Its cover, the band’s name, and the titles of its songs were crying my name, so I fell from grace and sold my soul to Mr. Bungle. And what a ride! I know nothing about this band and would rather keep it that way. All I suspect is that Les Claypool, creator of South Park’s intro tune and front man of funk-metal band Primus, had something to do with this!

Cello Song [Nick Drake]
Another 2014-discovery has been the sweetness and kidness of Nick Drake. My attention was drawn when I saw the album cover of Bryter Layter being referenced in Japanese experimental-drone-metal band Boris. As a Boris aficionado I HAD to give the original a go, and voilà, I was in love!
We recently acquired his Tuck Box, which includes his 3 official releases (Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, Pink Moon) and 2 extra posthumous compilations including out-takes, alternate versions, material from his early days, as well as full-booklets with lyrics, photos and interviews of friends and family.

Igual que Ayer [Lisandro Aristimuño]
As James Blake, Lisandro just makes me drift into a place that I can best describe as Teletubbie-land, in which all is love and smiling-baby-suns. This is an album I have been hearing since its release in 2012, and still adore. Enjoy!

Walking with Jesus [Spacemen 3]
I got given this album as a present. It was fished from the bi-annual Book Sale we throw at the Central Library (which also includes CDs, DVDs, magazines, audioBooks, and much more!). I had no idea who Spacemen were, and so, full of surprise and excitement, I found myself surrendering to their spacey, psychedelic and mellow tunes. From the best album of theirs I heard so far, I leave you to the mercy of this sparse psychonaut duo.

Track A1 (Original Mix) [Richi Hawtin]
I can undoubtedly say that Richie is my favorite DJ. His ever-fresh music, delicate taste, never-ending energy, natural charisma, and of course his unstoppable power, put him straight away up in my standard of electronic musicians. Not only an amazing DJ, he is also a talented producer who is concerned in the many facets that are involved in a night out dancing, as much as the in the release of a new album; fliers/invitations design, lightening, marketing, venue mise-en-place, photography and video, and even the fashion aesthetics are paid meticulous attention to. He is a conceptual artist -offering a full sensorial experience in all his creations and events; a vanguardist, leader and pioneer who not just embraces the latest technology: he designs it; an educator, who is always keen to throw a masterclass in the hottest music conventions; and not least, a rockstar.
Label owner and musical visionary, Richie has always been an adventurer of sound and technology, pushing the limits of techno, while inspiring over a generation of electronic music enthusiasts worldwide.

&nbs;p

Axel’s Mix: May 2014

As we roll through the second trimester of 2014, let’s push the pause button and have a listen to some of the new music that has made it to the Library in 2014 so far!

Genres explored this month include: Country; Black Metal; World/Mali; Jazz; Electronica; Classical; Hip Hop; Soul/R&B; New Zealand; Pop-Rock.

Don’t Think Twice [Dolly Parton]
Yes, Dolly strikes again! The Country singer has been busy since the 60s, and is keeping her voice up with her last delivery Blue Smoke. Hope you enjoy this take on a Dylan classic.

Flames In My Eyes [Avicii]
For those who are more into the Dark Side of America, comes a deep and profound cathartic combo of growling souls. It is not surprising that Avicii’s fromtman carries Aamonael as his name!

Arheg Danagh [Tinariwen]
Removed from his native Mali, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib lived the tough life of a camp refugee in a foreign land. In Algeria, his shared necessity of speaking out loud about the injustices innocent people were being submitted to in his surroundings sparked the idea of forming a band to produce a sound that would reach the world. Multiple guitars, vocals and percussive instruments give the sense of unity and the harmony that can be achieved when people join to fight a cause.

Born [Pat Metheny]
I think this song wraps up Metheny’s latest release: Smooth-Jazz for easy listening. It sounds to me like a he’s taken a tea break; a sort of interlude to, hopefully, more challenging ideas to come in future albums.

Crying for no Reason [Katy B]
This album is a tear jerker. The young Briton is no doubt a product of the current music industry that will satisfy all those who regularly tune in to the Top 40s.

Maurice Ravel: Miroirs – 1 Noctuelles [Pierre-Laurent Aimard]
This song is not new. As a matter of fact, it is over 100 years-old! Acclaimed pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard renders tribute to Ravel’s textures in a very solid and clear way, making it sound like a contemporary piece. Its gloomy tone maintains alignment with its dark title, yet the different sections within it offer immense gratification calling for repeated listening.

Murda [Kid Ink feat. Pusha T]
Straight radio-friendly rap, I can hear this resonate on the various pimped-up machines riding through town on a Saturday night through Courtney Place.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction [Aretha Franklin]
This song gave the Stone’s their 1st Number 1 hit in the US. If for some strange reason you encounter someone who has no idea about The Rolling Stones, there are still high chances they would have (at least!) heard of this song -and if you do, please send them to the Library for a free 60s encyclopedic chat with me, loaded with suggestions 😉 Because of its smashing success and awesomeness, it is no wonder that other musicians felt like putting themselves in an Out of Their Heads band and rock the tune themselves! My preferred version? DEVO’s by FAR!

Royals [Lorde]
Yup, it deserves the pop-hype. Sweet 16-year-old Lorde came up the lyrics in 2012, and after sharing it with her producer Joel Little from the small Golden Age Studios (Kids of 88, The Naked And Famous), they went on to record it, producing a Grammy-winning single that made us all proud. The smart and catchy composition, added to a solid production and great performances make this song a winner on my list.

Keep It Healthy [Warpaint]
This band is tagged as Dream Pop, and Warpaint reflects it very well; after listening to the album you wonder if you were just dreaming all along. What next? You move on with your business as if nothing happened. This might suit those people who find Radiohead a bit too much and like to multi-task during the housekeeping hours.

Axel’s Monthly Mix – April Playlist

Genres Explored: Psychedelic Rock/World/Singer-Songwriter/Indie Rock/Industrial Rock/Experimental Electronic/Ambient Electronic/Popular [Stack]: Alt Rock, New Wave, Pop Rock, Hard Rock.

Muchacha Ojos de Papel [Almendra]
This outstanding track is one of Argentina’s most influential rock songs, from one of Argentina’s best rock albums. Composed by Luis Alberto Spinetta -who sings it with his unmistakably sweet voice- and released in 1969, it shook and shaped the youth of that generation, and its first performance erected an epic milestone.

Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye [Leonard Cohen]
I will admit that it was not until very recently that I attentively listened to Leonard Cohen for the first time. It was after a dear friend described how magical Cohen’s gig was at the Wellington Town Hall earlier this year. She showed me a video from his latest world tour and I was blown away,instantly falling in love with this charismatic and profound creature. Watch and listen to this to know what I am talking about.

I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass [Yo La Tengo]
Recently played in Wellington at the Opera House pleasing YLT fans and likers.

Came Back Haunted [Nine Inch Nails]
I am NOT a fan of NIN, but I swear for David Lynch who directed the potentially seizure-inducing video for this song. Check it!

Black Refraction [Tim Hecker]
As soon as one pushes play to Virgins, one’s soul gets taken to an infra-world; it’s like death itself is summoned to tell us “it’s not your time yet, but I’ll give you a glimpse”, before covering our being with a thick blanket of darkness, where the air is heavy and humid. Yet the claustrophobia is ecstatic; the only way out is to let go and tune to the trance of the throbbing, noisy rhythm.

Little Fluffy Clouds [The Orb]
Mention The Orb to someone, and if they happen to know the electronic duo they’re most likely to reply with something about Little Fluffy Clouds and talk about the time of bands like System 7, The Future Sound of London and Orbital -especially for all of those who had the immense pleasure of listening to Alex Paterson himself perform a heroic set recently at Meow. Consider that this track was released in 1990 and it still sounds fresh! Enjoy the ambient house vibes from these guys who’ve been DJing for over 20 years and have collaborated with the likes of Paul Oakenfold, David Gilmour, and confidently sit along pioneers like Brian Eno.

And from our current CD STACK Display’s Spotlight:

​Hunting Bears [Radiohead]
Vocals processed through an Ondes Martenot, jazz solos, Krautrock vibes, smartly tuned vocoders, muffled microphones using egg boxes, complex rhythmic and harmonic moments, kick-ass guitar riffs and much much more make this one of the greatest alternative rock albums of the 21st century.

(I don’t want to go to) Chelsea [Elvis Costello]
This is one of my favorite Costello tunes. It may be for its ska vibe driven by the groovy bass, the careless vocals, the spiky guitar or the playful organ, but when I play this I play it loud and get up on my feet and groove it!

​Every Picture tells a Story [Rod Stewart]
From Rod-at-his-best comes a musical reminder of a great rock album.​

Brighton Rock [Queen]
This album has Brian May power-chording like a severe metalhead, bringing a distinctive guitar tone that has as much character as those of David Guilmour or Jimmy Page. Picking the strings with coins and crafting his own mathematical guitar (which he built with recycled material when he was 16!), May elevates Queen’s music to Heavenly Rock. Air-Guitar-Heroes, here we go!

Axel’s Monthly Mix – February Playlist

Genres explored this month: Rock; Soul/R&B; Electronica; Musical; Nostalgia; Metal; Synth-Pop; Country; World; New Zealand.

Christmas [The Who]
Wellington City Libraries has plenty of deluxe/special/anniversary editions in its CD/DVD collection. In The Who’s Tommy Deluxe Edition you will find a special outtake which is worth noting. Have a listen to it.

Kiss [Prince]
This is my favorite song from Prince. It is a perfect example of the less-is-more rule, and also a great collaboration between funky R&B band Mazarati, who did the vocals, and the Prince himself.

Wicked Game [Emika]
A beautiful dubby version of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’. This song flows with the dark energy of this pop singer, along with some orchestral scores that add originality to this down-beat album.

My Favorite Things [The Sound of Music]
Have you watched the musical recently? If you haven’t then it’s time again! The Sound of Music is a movie I always make sure people have seen at least once in their life. The library has a dedicated section for Musicals on CD and DVD, from Mamma Mia!, to Rent, and the whole Glee collection (of course)!

Puttin’ On The Ritz [Irving Berlin]
Not only we have a compilations section at the Sound and Vision corner; you can also watch out for great compilations within each genre too. If you feel like adding some mood to the likes of The Great Gatsby, play this album and you will be immersed in the era.

The Silver Hawaiian [Helmet]
I used to listen to Helmet back when their video clip for ‘Milquetoast‘ was playing on MTV. I got reminded about them last year as they played at Bodega, so I thought I should give them a shout out for their cool appearance in Wellington!

Sex Dwarf [Soft Cell]
From this duo’s first and controversial album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (the title of both the song and the album should hint why it created a bit of a stir!) comes ‘Sex Dwarf’, dealing with a theme which was fashionable with a lot of ’80s synth-pop artists.

The Littlest Birds [Be Good Tanyas]
I discovered this band recently among our 804 (yes! eight. hundred. and. four) Country albums found at the Central Library only! Librarian’s Choice Sticker, you delivered again!

La Rumba Buena [La 33]
Given the festive vibes of summer and the multicultural Rugby Sevens happening in Wellington, hear the beats from the streets of Colombia which made everyone move their hips at last year’s WOMAD. Don’t miss out on the 2014’s World Of Music, Arts and Dance, headlined by Hamilton’s Kimbra up in the magical surroundings of Taranaki.

When I Return [Shapeshifter]
Summer is peaking and music festivals abound throughout the country. Shapeshifter’s Riddim Wise EP brings the sounds of drum & bass to celebrate a big day out in the warm sun. In this case collaborating with Christchurch buddy Ladi6, they are closing our set this time. Enjoy the rhythm & soul of one of an acclaimed New Zealand’s band.

Axel’s Summer Mix

Featuring genres: Soul/R&B; World/Experimental; Rock; Spoken Word/Hip Hop; Classical; Singer/Songwriter/Electronica; Soundtrack; Comedy; Jazz; Pop.

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone [Nina Simone]
-CD Stack Spotlight
In case you haven’t noticed, we have a special display for the music that has been living in our CD Stack for a while (that means artists and albums that have been dusty and not issued for a bit). Because some of them are great and because we don’t want them to be forgotten (!), we are bringing out from the dark corners those ones who we think deserve to remain in the light. Currently on the display are: King Crimson, Elton John, The Fall, Captain Beefheart. This month’s playlist spotlight is Nina Simone.

Aunque No Estés Aquí [Lisandro Aristimuño]
We recently acquired Mundo Anfibio and I wanted to celebrate it by featuring its last song. This one takes me to the closing tune for The Beatles’ White Album. It is a trip that makes one doze into existence… just like the Shavasana (corpse pose) that usually wraps up a Yoga Class.

I Sat by the Ocean [Queens of the Stone Age]
This album ( …Like Clockwork) sounds HARD. If you feel like ROCK, then tune in and play it LOUD!

Me and the Devil [Gil Scott-Heron]
“There is a proper procedure for taking advantage of any investment.
Music, for example. Buying a CD is an investment.
To get the maximum you must listen to it for the first time under optimum conditions.

Not in your car or in a portable player through a headset.
Take it home.
Get rid of all distractions, (even him or her).
Turn off your cell phone.
Turn off everything that rings or beeps or rattles or whistles.
Make yourself comfortable.
Play your CD.
LISTEN all the way through.
Think about what you got.
Think about who would appreciate the investment.
Decide if there is someone to share this with.
Turn it on again.
Enjoy yourself.”

-Whoever wrote this NEEDS to be heard. Scott-Heron said it, so here goes a little tribute to his wisdom.
* Quote taken from the last page of the booklet contained in this release of I’m New Here.

Tabula Rasa – Ludus [Arvo Pärt]
What a sublime experience! Every time there were new universes hidden among those voices, which more than voices were choirs from beyond, revealing the secrets the more we swam deep inside them.
Here goes the first movement of one of my favourite compositions of Estonia’s most well known composer. Why is it my favourite? Maybe because I can feel Cage’s presence through this beautiful prepared piano!

I Am Sold [James Blake]
What can I say? The first seconds of this song give me the chills big time. I already reviewed this album, Overgrown, so I am not going to repeat myself. I openly confess I have a crush on this guy!

Techno-Syndrome 7″ Mix [The Immortals]
Unfortunately, every now and then, there is a gap in Spotify’s collection but here it is on Youtube.

This EPIC tune was performed by Belgian techno duo The Immortals and composed by French producer Oliver Adams. ‘Techno-Syndrome’ became The Mortal Kombat theme song, featuring in video games and in countless re-mixes and mashes. Every time I listen to this song I feel like punching something or flying forward and violently landing on someone’s chest, Bruce Lee style!
This album, which might raise some sceptic eyebrows, gathers an unexpected and surprising crew under it’s sleeve. Fear Factory, Giorgio Moroder, Orbital, and Napalm Death all come in to the ring. They stir an aggressive mosh-pit of blended hard-metal and acid-techno that takes the many fighting scenes to a seriously hyped level, just like The Matrix soundtrack. The score was designed by seasoned film score composer George S. Clinton, so we have a lot to be thankful for. Both this record and the film beat the odds of the expected failure/embarrassment that can easily occur when adapting video games to the big screen.

The Mighty Boosh Theme
I came across this hilarious duo through their three-season TV Show (which, of course, you can find under our TV Series section here at the Library). As well as the dedicated DVD section for stand-up and sketch Comedy, you can find a shelf of Comedy in Audio format too! Issue this and other similar material in eAudioBook format from our eLibrary!
This psychedelic opening theme song for the show was written and performed by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding-like all the music featuring through the seasons.

Pass [KNYST!]
Honouring Howard Moon’s academic taste for Bebop, why not play some complex and free jazz? From the Norwegian latitude come this tight trio, sounding fresh and alive!
Getting a compilations album and not knowing ANY of the bands featuring is a gamble. It can mean you’re in for a terrible time or it can happen, like in this case, magic and surprising satisfactions come out from every mysterious track. The latter was my case and I wanted to celebrate it! The Wire magazine releases monthly compilations which they call The Wire Tapper. This song in particular features in their November issue (#33) and, as in the majority of the cases, you’ll find a lot of goodies. Our cataloguers always make sure to make a separate issue of the CD contained in each mag so that you can have it readily available at our Sound & Vision Centre.
Wait a second! You must be thinking there’s some sort of mistake with this song! Tune in HERE to listen to KNYST! But if you like what you are hearing, we also have Haim’s Days Are Gone.

Axel’s Monthly Mix – December Playlist

Welcome to the second monthly mix from staffer Axel. There are literally thousands of CDs in our collection and each month Axel ventures into the depths to find some hidden treasures. This month the genres exposed are: Pop-Metal-World/Hip Hop-Electronica/IDM [Intelligent Dance Music]-Post Punk-NZ/Progressive Rock-Dubstep-Experimental/Classic-Instrumental/Hip Hop-New Age. Enjoy the track-by-track read through and accompanying playlist.

Early Days [Paul McCartney]
For some reason this song instantly reminded me of Johnny Cash’s cover version of Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Hurt’. Though faster paced, this song delivers a sense of nostalgia; hearing the 71-year-old Beatle sing about his early days effortlessly takes me to the spaces he describes. Aptly titled NEW, this album certainly sounds fresh and at the same time very personal.

Stengah [Meshuggah]
Seven string tuning? A drummer (not to mention other band mates) who can play two different time signatures at once? Hardcore Scandinavian chills? You got it all, this time screaming live from Montreal! Pump it up and let your hair loose!

Abarajame [Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas]
Of course I have to add a worldly (*cough* Argentine *cough*) tune! Here they are blowing your mind with their rhymes; they are Illya Kuryaki! Spinetta’s son and his mate came out of nowhere to play music that is still something foreign to most Argentinians. A one-off alien duo who are still very active, although not in this un-mannered manner.

Telephasic Workshop [Boards of Canada]
Celebrating Boards of Canada’s [abbreviated as BoC] 2013 release Tomorrow’s Harvest, I present you with one of my favourite tracks from this psychic Scottish duo’s first studio track, back from 1998. Music Has the Right to Children features field recordings, heavy editing, sampling and Dadaist cut & paste brushes that will take you somewhere else. Ideal for coming down after a hard day’s night.

Damaged Goods [Gang of Four]
Flowing with first releases, this is the Gang’s first single release. While you can enjoy it at our library through their album Entertainment!, I highly recommend the original, rough and industrial version which was pressed as an A-side single together with one of their best known songs, ‘Love Like Anthrax‘.

Walking Down A Road [Split Enz]
Taken from their second album Second Thoughts [UK release] rather than from their First album Mental Notes [Australian Release], this version sounds amazing. Call it Art Rock, Progressive Pop, or just Circus Psychedelia, the fact of the matter is that this song ROCKS!

Meltdown [King Midas Sound]
Also known as Kevin Martin & Roger Robinson, this duo bring the sound of Bristol to your ears. Swoon with the vibes and let the tune melt your body!

Thirteen Harmonies: I. Harmony 18 [John Cage]
The musical material here dates back to the 18th Century and is based on chorales, hymns, and congregational songs from the United States’ East Coast Protestant Church. All were written by composers born in North America, and whose knowledge of European musical traditions was indirect. Cage adapted and fragmented these pieces of music and positioned them in time as individual, singular objects. Heinz Janisch, author of children’s books, selected the songs and has illustrated the album insert.
Annelie Gahl, violino
Klaus Lang, oianoforte elettrico (Fender Rhodes).

Building Steam With a Grain of Salt [DJ Shadow]
This album perfectly exemplifies what the possibilities of DJing are. Fortunately, those whose idea of DJs as people who tweak and turn knobs and faders, without any musical creative input are declining every year. As a genre, electronic music is becoming more and more popular and accessible. Mixtapesmixessets, are all words that are sounding less foreign to the general public, or anyone who wasn’t always familiar with the new 21st Century paradigm of music production/composition. But enough historical blurb; tune in with this heavyweight milestone!

Nada Himalaya [Deuter]
Krautrock drummer turned spiritual musician, Deuter’s life was changed after meeting the great (and controversial) master Osho. Once installed in India, this German started a career of composing music that is still coming out of the oven as I write this. To close this month’s chapter, and in order to come down from our agitated start, I leave you with the vibes of singing bowls and bells… 30 minutes of peace for all!

Axel’s Monthly Mix – A Playlist

Hello and welcome to the first ever Axel’s Monthly Mix! I’ll be featuring 10 favourite songs from our amazing collection to celebrate all kinds of music and to open the minds and ears of any Wellingtonians who are not necessarily aware of what goes on in the Sound & Vision area of your local library.

This mix will represent all the effort that is put into building up our great and wide-ranging collection, and there will be something for everyone’s tastes 😉

Chase The Devil [Max Romeo & The Upsetters]
For all those old-school Prodigy fans this will sound very familiar. On their album Experience The Prodigy met Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and created a jungle take on this reggae original. Links to album.

Miles Runs the Voodoo down – 45rpm edit [Miles Davis]
A groovy pearl found in the Bitches Brew Legacy Edition. This 40th anniversary edition includes an array of bonus material like this one.

Giorgio by Moroder [Daft Punk]
Talking about groove! This song led me to really like this album and I realised that it is not to be taken as an electronica record but rather as an impossible-not-to-dance-to disco cut. Amazing production and big names shine forth in Daft Punk’s latest delivery.

Pusher Love Girl [Justin Timberlake]
Keeping up with some new releases for a bit here, Justin’s opening tune for his 20/20 Experience is sweet music to my ears. Last week I issued this album to a person who enquired about “what can I play to test my new speakers?” 🙂

2morrow Morrow Land [Lightning Bolt]

From funky beats we jump into the wild uncensored terrain of the explosive duo who recently played at Puppies in Wellington. Turn it up and go nuts!

Winter is Blue [Vashti Bunyan]
If you skipped the last song rather quickly then you might be more into this stuff 😉 My most favorite Vashti song…  makes me want to explode into LOVE. This home recording dating from the 1960’s has a magical, nostalgic and romantic feeling to it. This beautiful person is still touring and playing as always, her ethereal and mesmerizing presence is matched by her low profile.

Moon of my Hometown [Hwang Byungki]
South Korean master of the gayageum teams up with leading vocalist Kwon Soon Kang andjanggu player Jung-Soo Kim to present a wonderful piece that takes us to a neat Zen garden of peace and beauty.

Seizuretron [An Emerald City]
Let this provide an epic journey to the deserts of far far away, like the one I took when I saw these Aucklanders at the former Happy. This quasi-Jarrean journey is taken from their psychedelic collage The Fourth.

Blue Velvet [performed by Bobby Vinton]
In honor to one of my favorite directors, this version features in David Lynch’s film with the same name.

Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills) [Brian Eno]
To end this selection I leave you a field recording/Eno soundscape to relax and melt into the moment. Taken from number 4 of the Ambient Music Albums by the master of environmental music.