My fifty favorite albums
People were sharing their fifty favorite albums on an ancient music forum I hang out on. Here in no particular order:

Tricky - Maxinquaye
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Bjork - Homogenic
Black Dog - Bytes
Joni Mitchell - Hejira
Talking Heads - Remain In Light
Stevie Wonder - Talking Book
KLF - Chill Out
Orb - Orbus Terrarum
Wire - 154
Fever Ray s/t
Aphex Twin - ... I Care Because You Do
Steely Dan - Can't Buy A Thrill
David Bowie - Low
Prince - Sign O The Times
Autechre - Chiastic Slide
Human League - Dare
Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele
Michael Mayer - Fabric 13
Funkadelic - Maggot Brain
Passengers - Original Soundtracks 1
Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner
Wu-Tang Clan - Return To The 36 Chambers
Kate Bush - Aerial
Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
DJ Shadow - Endtroducing ...
Roxy Music - Avalon
Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Aphex Twin - Richard D James Album
Luomo - Vocalcity
Underworld - Oblivion With Bells
Amon Tobin - Supermodified
Marsen Jules - Lazy Sunday Funerals
woob - 1194
Lord Of The Decks Vol 2
The Books - The Lemon Of Pink
Pantha Du Prince - This Bliss
Stars Of The Lid - Gravitational Pull Vs The Desire For An Aquatic Life
Cut Copy - Fabriclive.29
Interchill - Magnetic Blue (label comp)
Biosphere - Cirque
Orbital - Snivilisation
Piekoz - Narrativestructurez
Oneohtrix Point Never - R+7
Kompakt Total 3
Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
The Avalanches - Since I Left You
The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole
Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

Reckonwrong is running things right now. If you don't know ...

Open-source Audioscrobbler clone

I still don't know why I care about my listening history (although's event recommendations have been great.) This also imports your existing history from

"It's not about the drop, it's about the build." - Kasima

Very cool map of genres and artists

cutup ffwd summer 2011

I'm making a list and checking it twice. Oh, and my name is the first one on it.

Absolutely gorgeous graphs of your listening data from, check out mine.

Get a custom newsfeed based on your music
Earfeed does custom feeds based on the artists in your iTunes library.

Today's headlines best ever

Celine Dion as the Turkey Twizzler of Pop

Simon Reynolds writes the best history/summation of the rockism debate you will ever read. If that doesn't mean anything to you: a lot of critics (who we can call "popists", or "anti-rockists", but "popists" is nicely redolent of other, older cultural wars) have been championing pop music previously considered disposable and unworthy of ink. It's a two-pronged argument: first, pop is better than you think. Second, what's wrong with disposable? I may not agree with Reynolds's take on anti-rockism, but he gives context and reveals structure, and writes fearlessly.

My summary of the popists above ignores an underlying ideological orientation many of them share. As Reynolds points out, it's populism with roots in the whole cultural and critical studies program with strong ties to Marxism. As such, it considers value and quality in music as social constructions (although not to the entire exclusion of talent etc.)

Now that's an important point. But carried too far (again paraphrasing Reynolds) it leads to an endless self-interrogation about why you like or dislike a particular piece of music that is fatal to the love of music. So we're reduced to banalities: it's an important impulse, but it shouldn't be your whole world-view. Balance is all.

Reynolds does this all better than I do. We've made the same points, but this kind of writing is performance more than anything else, a series of gestures that evokes a certain emotional response, and he's more graceful.

When you click past the intro page, prepare for a giant Java app to load.

optimo [ilm discussion]
I want to go to this club. I want their mix cds. Want. What did the Buddha say about desire? It's part of the fivefold path to weight loss and low cholesterol, right?

Update: worth bringing up again cuz they have downloadable mixes, check out "nowavemix" on the leftbar.

Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society
Currently featuring: visionary architecture (including houses made of living trees), timelines of timelines, cat pianos, the lawn chair balloonist.

five albums
My advisor at work, a dedicated fan of the Rolling Stones and a bunch of other stuff I rarely listen to, requested "five albums so good it doesn't matter what genre they're in." Here's where I brainstorm possibilities. (hint hint, help me out)

I still haven't decided how much I should try to cater to his tastes / ease him in gently. He's pretty clearly looking to have his horizons expanded a bit.
  • Spiritualized, "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space"
  • DJ Shadow, "Entroducing"

Chantelle Fiddy's World of Grime
Apparently grime is old enough now to have reunions. Um, ok...

41 degrees north, 93 degrees west (visit #1)
There's a Wire song called Map Ref 41N 93W, see ... it's a really good song!

a music blog where people remember that at one time idm was = hardcore

The best collaborative filtering app for music I've ever seen. Electronic music, at least.

music to buy

cliches to be eliminated from music writing
"sounds like a (noun) (preposition or verb) a (noun)", e.g. "the latest kompakt single sounds like a grizzly fighting a supercomputer"

"skirts the edge / straddles the line between ____ and ____"

to load onto ipod
Orbital, In Sides
Underworld, dubnobasswithmyheadman
Aphex Twin, Come To Daddy
Michael Mayer, Fabric 13
Luomo, Vocalcity

Figuring out what I load onto my iPod first might be a good way of figuring out what my favorite albums are.

robot djs
It's gonna happen. We're gonna have access to every song ever, and we're going to want smart software that helps us figure out what to listen to. Different people will want different personalities for their robot djs - didactic, mischievious, dependable. It'll be interesting to see if the maps of recorded music all the different robots build converge anywhere.

the homosexuals
Apparently this is some kind of obscure music holy grail.

from brief skim: well-connected londoner's music weblog

now here: woebotnik

stolen from ilm
My next album is going to be called "I Swear To God I'm Totally Going To Kick Your Ass"

sheep beats

Eric, Air's "Talkie Walkie" is fucking gorgeous, and you should go buy it. The rest of you, too.

songs to find, somehow
Patrick Cowley's 15-minute-long version of "I Feel Love"

notes from the metalevel
Lisp-based computer music composition.

swen's blog
Customers that liked inevitable backlash also liked...

Criminal Records
article about UK pirate radio, from the Sunday Times

So on this page I read about how 50 Cent is apparently a big Talib Kweli fan, interviewed him for XXL and everything, and I'm like WTF? so I Google 50 cent talib kweli and end up at Jason's paper which is pretty fucked up. O, and somebody on the ilm thread mentioned Hua, too. Weeeird.

Holy shit! Dizzee Rascal and Basement Jaxx did a track together! It's going to be on the new Basement Jaxx album! Holy living fuck!

A couple weekends ago I got drunk and yelled at an URB writer who doesn't like the Streets. It was fun. I suppose that makes me a deranged fan.

Does p2p music charts for biz types. Skewed toward young people comfortable with technology (university-provided broadband.) And based on the top 20, yeah, hip-hop rules the world.

Autechre Top 10
"Autechre picked the following Top 10 tracks for March 1997."

me: "he's best when he sticks to melancholy tracks with weird drum noises."
me: "come to think of it, that describes about half of the music i like."

A: "Yeah, I listened to Music for Airports...not that impressive. Track 1 is just some piano loops with delay..."

B: "Just a lot of...Good Lord, man, did you listen to the NOTES?!"

I swear to God I read that in a newsgroup somewhere.

Simon Reynolds' blog
I hear he's a really excellent dj. Damn.

Top 10 Musical Works I Like That No One Else I Know Does
by Travis Morrison of the Dismemberment Plan

The general rule is you don't want to listen to artists talk about their own work. But other people's work...oh man: "And, in the middle of the record, the song that Blake Schwartzenbach is going to spend the rest of his life trying to write: "She Moves On". It always kills me, every time I hear it. (It's okay, Blake, I'm still trying to write "Once in a Lifetime.")"

cool christmas tunes
This may be useful.

friday oct 18 02, record recommendations from roy
roy: ok here's mine: J5-power in numbers; jack johnson-self titled; michael jackson-off the wall; soul coughing-el osso; the x-press2 thinger
roy: they are all not new
roy: except the j5

roy: also dj patife
roy: he is from brazil
roy: and does bossanova over dnb

(for the record, my recommendations were the streets - original pirate material, david bowie - low, and new order - power, corruption and lies)

New Music Jukebox
New music from American composers.

we are the music makers
Remember when there were only like three artists you cared about, and they were all on Warp? So: fanboy-obbsessive coverage of Aphex, Autechre, Squarepusher, and, uh, Boards of Canada. (Since when are they in the canon?)

The Ondes-Martenot
"The Ondes-Martenot became the first succesfull [sic] electronic instrument and the only one of its generation that is still used by orchestras today."

I am sitting in a room
"The score begins: 'choose a room the musical qualities of which you would like to evoke.'"

the original recording


"The Pistols might have been swearing on T.V. inciting a generation of kids to "Get pissed! Destroy!" but if "God Save The Queen" had not stuck rigidly to The Golden Rules* (*THESE WILL BE EXPLAINED LATER), The Pistols would never have seen the inside of the Top Ten."

[cheesy 3d rendering of the words ACID HOUSE goes here]

Finally, got my summer soundtrack: Readymade, "Bold", and Recloose, "Cardiology". (thanks, recordcamp) (update: add DJ Shadow's "The Private Press" to that list, obviously)

You have to understand that my shallow mental life pivots on this kind of stuff.

Oh, ick. Disco Floyd. And yet...can't turn away...

Janet Cardiff's 'forty part motet'
Ironically, and no offense to Mutek, this was the most powerful musical experience I had last weekend. The music. But also the ability to move between concentrating on individual singers and the choir as a whole.

Whisper the Songs of Silence
"It is so esoteric, it would be very difficult for any city to get a critical mass of people interested in it," Russell said. "But out on the Web, it's easy to. I was going towards this aesthetic for years but I thought I was going crazy. None of my friends enjoyed it. But then I turned to the Web and I found a lot more people turned on by this. I think that's been the case for a lot of people."

What is he talking about: a new, obscure genre of electronic music, or a new, obscure sexual fetish?

Manuel Göttsching: E2-E4
Kickass techno/trance track. 31 minutes long, spread out over both sides of a twelve inch. Oh, and it's from 1981.

Oh, and one of the punters on Saturday night didn't buy my take that AFX's 'Flow Coma' remix is acid house. Sneered, he did! I didn't back my position up that well, but then, I shouldn't a had to.

"At this point in time, I'm investigating house music." --Grandmaster Flash

"Is jazz as we know it dead?
That all depends on what you know, heh, heh, heh."
  • Lester Bowie

I've long had this juvenile fantasy that the sullen clerks where I buy my records would recognize my taste in music and welcome me as one of their own. Last night it actually happened. They were playing Pepe Braddock's mix of Iz and Diz's 'Mouth'; I asked what it was, and he handed me the sleeve: "House record of the year." We started talking, and before long he was handing me records to listen to, saying "where is it, it couldn't have been sold, nobody ever buys good music in this store" and gratifying stuff like that.

I'll believe it when I hear it, but I'll have to check these out:
"top quality tech trance DOES exist actually and one of my psy-trance friends has really turned me on to some great music. I consider it to be slammin' techno with psychedelic trance overtones.

Check out Son Kite, Atmos, Planet Ben, Eargear/Flethcher Mundson Syndrome, MOS, anything on Iboga Records....

Really, no joke - there's some great music out there for the trance heads."

Who is inevitable backlash? 'inevitable backlash' were a Belgian art-rock outfit that released a couple of demos in the mid-70s, then imploded. Heavily influenced by Can, Iggy Pop and Astor Piazzola, their music was described by one critic as "a monolith of terrible perfection, placed among uncomprehending savages". I hope to get some audio samples up soon.

What I love about this site is how it legitimizes my every insane impulse. The fact that someone might see it someday somehow makes it ok for me to obsessively collect music links and check out weird web cul-de-sacs. And I could, for example, put together an alphabet of electronic music, and not be considered crazy. It could start this way:

A is for Abtruse.

Sweet idea: open source music.
In the same way that compiled code can't really be edited or modified, it is difficult to work with mixed down finished music. It is difficult/impossible to isolate the individual tracks and do anything useful with them (not really an issue, since most music is copyrighted anyway).

Our idea is to have willing musicians and engineers producing music that is open and available for others to use, modify, and redistribute. The music would available in its raw individual tracks, so any or all of it could be used by other.
Sounds like an updated version of the mod community. I want other people to get this going so I can play with their tracks.

Maybe Buzz? (Ok, apparently one of the artists on Force Inc uses Buzz, I'm sold)

Crazy drum 'n' bass bulletin board, people talking shit about artists, djs, tracks, sharing gear tips etc. About the level of discourse you'd expect from a bunch of jungle thugs, but, the dubplate section looks killer...

Interview in Rolling Stone - Tom Petty remembers George Harrison. Neat tidbits, like George obsessively recording Dylan when they were hanging out together.

Possible excellent sample source (I suppose the music is probably good as well): Internet Chinese Music Archive.

This will soon be deleted.

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