Stereogum Monthly Mix: January & February 2011

Stereogum Monthly Mix: January & February 2011

Stereogum Monthly Mix: January & February 2011

Stereogum Monthly Mix: January & February 2011

After a holiday break and an inclemently weathered January, our Monthly Mix series returns with a two-month/one-mix compilation that sets a defiant tone. If not for the year, then for the persistently re-accumulating, gut-checking frost. The key elements (aside from recency and excellence) are electronics and sequence, with a late-mix flip to stringed instruments, before rounding back to chilly digitalisms. Between the stretched, bookending ambience of the vocal-looped Julianna Barwick set piece “The Magic Place” and Tim Hecker’s billowing synth blizzard soundtrack “Hatred Of Music I” come 13 tracks tied by aural tic or characteristic; tracks that lead, and bleed. Aside from capturing the past few months best tracks, I wanted this mix to be a meditation on flow — movement and transition — while the world outside was halted in iced snow and social upheaval. I advise pressing play and letting it ride. For you:

Stereogum Monthly Mix: January & February 2011 (110.8MB .zip)

Barwick’s vocals connect to the warped choral samples of Wise Blood’s creepy R&B stomp “Loud Mouths,” in turn morphing into a sampled Elisabeth Fraser over washed and chopped synths on Star Slinger’s excellent (and excellently titled) laid back beat track. Chopped electronics and a slower synth swagger are the bond to the next one, Gobble Gobble side-project Purity Ring’s excellent “Ungirthed,” starring an uplifting vocal melody, as that found in XXXChange side-project Win Win’s winning left-field dance cut “Releaserpm.”

Two of NYC’s most eclectic and like-minded stalwart chanteuses span that track and the next: Gang Gang Dance’s Lizzie Bougatsos radiant on “Releaserpm,” her friend (and inspiree) Shannon Funchess in morose catharsis on her gripping, bluntly fucked Light Asylum workout “Dark Allies.” Nothing but beats and gleaming synth breaks in Salva’s excellent “Blue,” adjusting blood pressure for “Generation N.E.Y.,” three minutes clipped from M.I.A.’s worthy Vicki Leekx mixtape. (Note: You should hear all of its minutes.)

Then things mellow out with a Malkmus fuzz box, a guitar, and a coconut at the hands of UK’s Yuck, opening an alleyway for the strings and worn-down baritone of Matt Berninger fronting Brooklyn’s the Forms, easing into the sublime sad-pop quaver of Papercuts. It’s the last half of the mix, and so the “I’m already gone”s come repeatedly, here at the hands of Kurt Vile’s “Jesus Freaks,” the latest stop on his considerable winning streak, serving as a lead into post-Gowns project EMA’s expansive, twisting, turbulent “The Grey Ship.” Then it’s a 2010 cut from one-man anonymous Brooklyn producer Autre Ne Veut, a personal choice inspired by having seen him at a church last week and because I’m seeing Prince this coming one, but a choice with a necessary place in this mix, his electronic ’80s intoning shifting us back into the realm of the ice and synthetic celestials for Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath, 1972 lead single — and here, set-closer — “Hatred Of Music I.”

The tracklist:

01 Julianna Barwick – “The Magic Place”
02 Wise Blood – “Loud Mouths”
03 Star Slinger – “Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins Rework)”
04 Purity Ring – “Ungirthed”
05 WIN WIN – “Releaserpm” (Feat. Lizzie Bougatsos)”
06 Light Asylum – “Dark Allies”
07 Salva – “Blue”
08 M.I.A. – “Generation N.E.Y.”
09 Yuck – “Coconut Bible”
10 The Forms – “Fire To The Ground” (Feat. Matt Berninger)
11 Papercuts – “Do What You Will”
12 Kurt Vile – “Jesus Fever”
13 EMA – “The Grey Ship”
14 Autre Ne Veut – “Drama Cum Drama”
15 Tim Hecker – “Hatred Of Music I”


[Lead image via viewoftheblue]

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