Friday, August 28, 2009

TWITSTOCK! Parting Shots

The last time you have to look at any hippies. I promise.

mukisa / retrospect. ,

I didn't realize how difficult picking selections for Twitstock would be until I paused and analyzed the scope of what was being asked of me. Picking five songs that have and continue to influence me across genres is nerve-racking and painfully hard for me to do. Especially for all of the cool kids that check out The Vinyl District. Yeah. However, I figured that I should instead pick songs that kinda randomly came to mind. Ones that are not only influential --- but could actually work when set against an open, Woodstock-type of scene too. Records that somewhat conjure up and invoke the core, spirit, heart and open-ended creativity of psychedelia/ the very least.

Teardrop Explodes - Sleeping Gas (Mp3)
"It's just like sleeping ethereal...I wander around...I just wander around..."

Just wandering around within and against the average. That has pretty much been my physical and mental status message ever since I could remember. Right, but back to my favorite song from my favorite Teardrop Explodes album. So many layers and with such an epic feel to it. From the initial fade-in to the climbing, claustrophobic sound throughout the length of the whole deal. Golden horns, hyper keys, simple yet aggressive lead and bass riffs, well-timed vocal punch-ins and perfect drums. Pop with depth across the board. As you might have guessed from the entrance, Julian's lyrics struck a chord with me immediately at first listen years ago and still stir me to this day.

Reign Ghost - South Hemisphere Blues (Mp3)
I've been trying to track down affordable pressings of their material for a quite few years now (to no avail, frustrating mess - heh). Why? South Hemisphere Blues for one. Tinged with a haunting, swaying sound similar to early Jefferson Airplane, Subway and other similar prog/psych. artists of that era, this rare song embodies the feel of that time to me. Linda Squires's vocals are chilling as well. Sonically and spiritually haunting.

Cypress Hill - When The Shit Goes Down (Mp3)
DJ Muggs's production is notoriously psychedelic rock-influenced. That's fact and Black Sunday was probably his (and Cypress Hill's) crowning nod to that culture. Even more so than "Insane in the Membrane", the lightly menacing bassline works perfectly against the lazy horns pulled from the Outlaw Blues Band, B-Real and Sen Dog's vocals. The entire low-fi feel reminds me of why hip-hop around that particular era --- roughly '87 to '94ish --- was essentially an extension of 60s and 70s progressive and psych. music. Both on record and culturally in many ways.

Broadcast - Man Is Not a Bird (Mp3)
One of the best titles ever? I think so. I'm not completely sure why, but I really do think so. Incredible production on this song. I mean - really incredible whenever I break it down. Though Trish Keenan's tone and Cargill's bass line are amazing on this song (as with most Broadcast songs, imho), the drum session work of Bullock and Jenkins really keeps me hooked onto this song. The way that the patterns are layered and mixed down add to the downbeat prog feel. I was tempted to select "Pendulum" instead, but it's hard to pick between awesome dark and...umm...awesome lite (but with the same flavor and amount of calories). With that being said, I also really wanted to put a Stereolab song in place of this one. Again, that would be like swapping one family member (daughter) for another (mother)? Maybe "A Flower Called Nowhere", "Infinity Girl" or...

Stereolab - Op Hop Detonation (Mp3)
Stereolab is one of my top five groups, so thankfully I'm not picking a top song from them. However, this song pretty much captures the essence of Stereolab with the Moogs, harpsichord, clavinet and who knows how many other instruments to be named later. Whenever I listen to this, my emotions become ultra-conflicted. Part of me wants to float away. Another part wants to chase the sun. Another part feels like I'm tasting the sun. That's always a good thing to me. Plus, Laetitia's lyrics and voice against Gane and co. always helps to induce lucid dream states during any listening session. Yes. They are that serious to me. Heh. Not their best song (can go on for a while about them), but still so surreal...just like their messages often times.

Honorable mentions:
Dungen - Svart är Himlen (Mp3)
Blue Cheer - Out of Focus (Mp3)
Zakarrias - Cosmic Bridge (Mp3)
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Caterpillar House (Mp3)
Felt - Something Sends Me to Sleep (Mp3)
Scritti Polliti - Flesh & Blood (Mp3)

Bonus beats for TVD:

Portishead - Requiem for Anna (Un Jour Comme un Autre) (Mp3)
(for the TVD Portishead...umm...heads)
Film School - He's a DeepDeep Lake (Mp3)


Anonymous said...

Great selections & insight.

Mateo said...

Great set, retrospect