Sunday, November 15, 2009


This is the new find for me: folk and pop music from Sumatra. Listen to the vocals and the reverb and how the sound overlaps and mashes into itself and floats beautiful. This music is crane.

I guess what grabs me about this type of music is that it breaks so many of the rules and formats and production sensibilities and scales and melodies and patterns and rhythms of contemporary music, but without being conscious of trying to do so. The music breaks the rules and sounds experimental only because it comes out of an entirely different tradition. No experimental music that consciously breaks all the rules can ever sound as experimental for that reason alone.

I put together a new mix yesterday. It's called THERE WILL BE DOING AND PEELS.


get it:
part 1
part 2

The title comes from an instant message I received on my computer from the vice principal of the elementary school I work for. Right after I arrived in Taebaek last year, the school put me up in a motel while they prepared my apartment. The day it was ready to move in, I received this bizarre instant message that I was convinced the vice principal had just inserted his Korean into babelfish and sent me exactly what came out. The beginning said "Korea does a moving in party" which made sense, but then the last part I'll never forget: "There will be doing and peels." I looked up after I read it, because the vice principal sits directly across the room from me in the staff room, but usually his face is hidden by the back of his computer monitor. When I looked up, I noticed he was peeking at me around the side of his monitor and nodding rapidly with the most beaming and excited expression, and it was so beaming and excited that I felt like I had to pretend I understood what was going to transpire that evening after work. I know we ate barbecued duck and the teachers brought me gifts for my new apartment, but I still don't have any idea what "doing and peels" was supposed to mean, and I think it's better that way. It's interesting that bizarre translations and things people say that I mishear stick out in my memory more than straight normal communication.

There are a bunch of highlights on this one, most of them, I have to say are tracks I pulled from various Sublime Frequencies compilations. I really have to give it up to those guys because they've been blowing my mind for a good while now. There's a couple of tracks from their compilations of folk and pop music from Sumatra, a track of slidy Bollywood steel guitar, some guitar music from the Western Sahara, and a song from Ethnic minority peoples of northeast Cambodia. There's also two really interesting cuts from one of John Zorn's Naked City albums. The thing I like most about them is that they are actually able to replicate, by playing live, the sound of turning the nob and switching stations on the radio -- short bursts of different types of songs and rhythms played in quick succession.

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