Spotify playlist: http://open.spotify.com/user/karlward/playlist/1dj2hVomZqF6W38fh36SP7
Diversions playlist: http://open.spotify.com/user/karlward/playlist/5thLRMQP6YnBOm1nnmqMeR
1. “Corrupt Cops (Evol Intent Remix)” - Pish Posh with Evol Intent. KW: Another golden gem from an earlier wave of drum and bass. This one picks up where last month’s beat left off. Let’s get weird, as we discussed. Electronic, dirty, strange.
2. “Pon De Floor” - Major Lazer. JW: Electronic, dirty, strange? Gotta start somewhere. This track makes my vas deferens jump. I have also, notably Instant Messaged this video to people while they are in a class. Specifically Dan O’Sullivan’s. It probably should have been projected for everyone to analyze.
3. “C*nt” - The Internet. KW: I don’t know anything about The Internet. I can’t imagine what that obfuscated word in the song title is, but I suspect it’s just as dancefloor nasty as Major Lazer.
4. “Wild For The Night” - Skrillex (feat. A$AP Rocky, Birdy Nam Nam). JW: Speaking of C*nts... More trend than zeitgeist, I’ve been trying to reconcile dubstep and the shooting star popularity of Skrillex. My previous love of Drum & Bass and TripHop made me think I should like Dubstep. But then why don’t I? I’m starting to realize that its not simply the conventions and mechanics, but what you choose to do with them. Stella Adler famously said, “Your choice is your talent.” So, then yes, I generally think Skrillex eats a steamy turd. I’d put his best ten against Fatboy Slim’s any day. I mean, I guess. Who cares. Oh, I also sort of feel that way about A$AP too. But that’s a discussion for the next Hip Hop or New Music list. Anyway, I just used “Skrillex, zeitgeist, turd and Stella Adler” all in one paragraph. What’s more electronic, dirty and strange than that!?
5. “Come On My Selector” - Squarepusher. KW: I hear dubstep and I think “you motherfuckers don’t know dirty.” This track can be understood as Squarepusher’s talented middle finger, politely extended to anyone who might ever consider challenging him for the title of nastiest rinse out. I laughed out loud the first time I heard this track. The guy is a fucking genius. No one plays bass breaks like that.
6. “Beatbox” - Roni Size/Reprazent. JW: Truth. I don’t have anything that can go toe to toe with that Squarepusher track. So let me cleanse the palate with some good new fashion beatbox. I love Roni Size. He’s like the Jimmy Page of Drum and Bass. There are so many directions to go. But that’s what the Diversions list is for. This felt like an appropriate wine pairing.
7. “No Time to Wait (Anicca Remix)” - hitRECord and Cibo Matto. KW: I hear beatboxing recontextualized and it brings me to Cibo Matto. Two Japanese girls going wild with samplers and recontextualizing hip hop beats into pop freakouts. It’s so good to hear new Cibo Matto, and to see them live for the first time in a decade a few weeks back. And a jam like this one, getting mad funky on the distorted organ and monophonic synth, “oh my god, are you serious?” Aside: the original track is kind of a jam too.
8. “O Green World” - Gorillaz. JW: Is this a band? Is it electronic? They perform behind a projection screen. How do we even know that the people behind that screen aren’t androids!?! We know the names Albarn, Del, Miho, Mick Jones if you look hard enough. But George Clinton said it best, “Who says a jazz band can't play dance music? Who says a rock band can't play funky? Who says a funk band can't play rock?” This track takes it out of the club and k-hole scene, and isn’t 10,000 bpm. But it still breaks right. And it’s a little strange.
9. “Cable TV” - Fol Chen. KW: Is this a band? Is this actually a Gorillaz track with different singers? I guess there isn’t enough strumming guitar in it to make it a Gorillaz track. I heard these Fol Chen folks were mad popular a few years ago, but that went right past me and I didn’t hear them at all until recently. This song is a cut above their other material. It’s my jam. Again, the monophonic synth just kicking it, that’s my steez. You know my steez.
10. “Hold Tight London” - The Chemical Brothers. JW: Somehow we’ve meandered away from “dirty”. But we can’t dive straight back into Aphex Twin! We’ve got to eaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzze into it. Listening to the female vocals on Cable TV got me thinking of Beth Orton and Chemical Brothers. Alive Alone was an incredible and beautiful track. I heard it live once it was ten times cooler. But it’s a little sleepy for this mix. There are many Chemical Brothers tracks that I “get deep” with, I’ve put some on the Diversions Playlist. Hold Tight London, feels like the soundtrack for the morning after. Making it through the night, overcoming obstacles, emerging from a service entrance into daylight, driving past people who have no idea what you’ve been through... Kind of like GO, but for adults. And teenagers who feel like adults. And adults who feel like international spies. And spies who feel like teenagers.
11. “Love in Vein” - Skinny Puppy. KW: And we’re back to strange. Nivek Ogre married my high school geography teacher’s daughter. I had heard Skinny Puppy back then, at parties and friends’ houses. There was this one summer when it seemed like In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up was always on the TV, and either Pigface, Ministry, or Skinny Puppet was blasting out of some stereo. But Skinny Puppy will always remind me of playing Quake in my dorm room. Anyway, this track is nasty. It turns into demented dance music, like the kind of music that Alain Jourgenson has playing during his own nightmares. I think. Remind me to put some Ministry Twitch on this MF.
11. “Just Like You” - Ministry. KW: You know what? I’m skipping right to Ministry. This is demented dance music. At any random time in high school, there’s a good chance I was listening to this (or The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste) while walking the halls, imagining my world as a weird nonstop underground dance party run by a Cuban with a fake English accent standing behind a table of synthesizers. That’s what sunny Houston, Texas was like, in my mind. “1980s was run by a person who’s crazy! Like you!” Gotta love that line.
12. “March of the Pigs” - Nine Inch Nails. JW: I went to Lollapalooza #1 (and 2, 4 and 5, maybe 7) and moshed to the pulsating light assault of Trent Reznor and the Starplex Amphitheatre. The next year, during Ministry, I thought, “This guy is crazy!” My body really didn’t know what to think. My knees thought it was speed metal. My ears thought it was dance music. My balls thought, “Damn! This guy hates George Bush!” That more or less puts them on the shelf next to the arabesque between NIN’s Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral. As for walking the halls channelling the lyrics, we used to just blurt out “Hey pig, piggy, pig, pig, pig.” But that is too smooth for this mix. So I’m gonna do-si-do to March of the Pigs, with my dad’s army boots, spray painted silver and blue, knees up in the air, pushing in a circle, some dude’s head full of Pert Plus whipping me with sweat and the adrenaline of surging in a crowd with the same philosophical energy. KW: The first time I heard this song I was JW: a cheerleader. KW: You know it. I was in a pickup truck headed down to Interstate 10, for who cares, and it came on the radio, and I was like [Neo voice] “whoa.”
13. “Kiss King” - Pigface. KW: Fuck it up Pigface. I could have dropped “Suck” because it has Reznor singing on it, but damn this song is the hotness. Is there anyone Pigface didn’t collab with in the early 90s?
14. “Climbatize” - The Prodigy. JW: I’ve been taking a lot of trains lately. Kiss King made me think that we were heading to that Purgatorio between Underground and Pop. What the 1990’s called “Indie”. One part Soup Dragons, two parts KMFDM, four parts Jane’s Addiction, and picking its teeth with Scott Weiland’s needle. Watch out son, we almost veered headlights first into Shreikback. But the only way out of an Industrial vortex is Tool, and Spotify don’t have that. So, sitar? I was leaning to Narayan, but as I said, I’ve been on the trains. A “bad case of the trains” you might say. So electronic, dirty, strange + trains = Climbatize. Roll with it.
15. “House of Jealous Lovers” - The Rapture. KW: James Murphy co-produced this track back in 2001 when few people knew who he was, right at the beginning of the wave of mainstream electronic music that followed after the Chemical Brothers / Prodigy era. I just heard this song for the first time a minute ago. Swoon. I’ve been getting deep into DFA. I’ve never been much for house music, I tend to like it best when it goes into a weird direction. This is definitely a weird direction. I love that messy, disco rock Motown intro. Too strange. Just right.
16. “Friday Night” - Girl Talk. JW: Post-Chemical Brothers. Post-house. Post-Post-Modern. Who was saying they like the word “Simulacra”? Girl Talk takes weird directions and makes them just right. He also takes tracks that were just right and makes them DIRRRRRRTY. Filthy. And just when you think it can’t get harder, it goes askew. But then it finds its way back. It’s a crime we made it all the way to July, without any Girl Talk. So just to messy up your Rorshack for the next pick, let me list some of the samples in this song: Ah! Leah! by Donnie Iris (1980), The Stroke by Billy Squier (1981), I Know What Boys Like by The Waitresses (1982), Rebel Without a Pause by Public Enemy (1987), Let's Talk About Sex by Salt-N-Pepa (1990), Hard to Handle by The Black Crowes (1990) The Choice Is Yours (Revisited) by Black Sheep (1991), Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg by TLC (1992), Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang by Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg (1992), Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison (1996), Hypnotize by The Notorious B.I.G. (1997), Like a Feather by Nikka Costa (2000), Nothin' by Noreaga (2002), Tipsy by J-Kwon (2003), I'm Really Hot by Missy Elliott (2004), Touch It by Busta Rhymes (2005), Run It! by Chris Brown feat. Juelz Santana (2005), Random by Lady Sovereign (2006)
17. “Spirit They’ve Vanished” - Animal Collective. KW: This is the “Born Slippy” moment in this mix, the long embrace on the dancefloor, just before the DJ drops something raw. Drop something raw.
18. “Stronger” - Kanye West. JW: Let’s get lost tonight. I can be your black Jon Wass tonight. I would argue that Animal Collective was the "Skym" moment, and that's what I would have followed with, had you not called the shot. I racked my brain for a strong DJ drop joint, and that took me to many of the formative touch points of millenium era crowd-pleasers. You’ll have to check the Diversions playlist for those. So, once Alice goes through the K-hole, she finds herself in the hall of mirrors that is Daft Punk, Kanye, and even Dwight Schrute. Since OJ had Isotoners. Take this haaaaaters.
19. “Time to Pretend” - MGMT. KW: We’re dropping the dance floor jams from 5 years ago. OK. This was a jam. You could say it got played out, and you would be right. But also, this has maximum dancehall uplift, that build up to the chorus is killer. Aside: I was going to drop “Bear Hug” by The 2 Bears (maximum dancehall uplift) but I remember you saying you weren’t down with that. You’re wrong man. Then, instead, I was going to drop “Go Bananas” by Joe Goddard, which is basically Kanye’s internal monologue presented as a dance track. Anyway, “Time to Pretend” is a dirty track, at least as far as its drugs and sex and avoiding the shit out of your boss. Your boss sucks. Fuck art work let’s dance.
20. “Tribulations” - LCD Soundsystem. JW: There’s a thing called the photoshoot playlist. Especially with fashion shoots. You need music that is “upbeat” and “funky”. Music that people have heard, but that is new enough to be hip and maybe you have to ask what it is. MGMT is like the Mario Lopez of that shiz, circa 2007. Kids and Electric Feel topped every ipod/Pandora. So did Tribulations. So did Miike Snow, Scissor Sisters, Peter, Bjorn & John. Arcade Fire is an all-star. So was Interpol. But not anymore. Where am I going with this? Who knows? But LCD strikes again! AND picks up the 7-10 split. What CAN’T James Murphy do?
21. “Today I Started Celebrating Again” - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. KW: I got introduced to LCD Soundsystem by a certain young (Wasser)man who asked me one day “hey, have you ever heard ‘New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down’?” Here’s something right there in that same vein, maybe, by a guy who first found his fame in New York but then left. I think that’s true. I need to buy that new Will Oldham book. My friend Quinn heard this song once and said “wow, somehow he managed to make a drum machine sound sad.” This song is amazing. It’s the anti-over-the-top dance track. The Beastie Boys should give grooveboxes to folkies more often.
22. “Separator” - Radiohead. JW: “It's like I've fallen out of bed from a long, vivid dream.” I think your buddy Quinn is right. Sad. Melancholy? Maudlin? No, hopeful. Hopeful like Lou Reed helping Charles Bukowski put his pants on straight before they go for a tandem bike ride. Like a bizarro world of :23. I’m taking your silky smooth cadence, and putting a little junk into it. “If you think this is over, then you’re wrong.” “Wake me up, wake me up.”
23. “See Birds (Moon)” - Balam Acab. KW: I’m pretty sure this song is that dream.
24. “Sexy Boy” - Air. JW: Europe. Dawn. Morning wood. Cobble stones. Rizlas. Vespa. Denim. KW: Ah the French with their cafe racing and their denim. Real men don’t wear pants. Or is it the Italians who do cafe racing? Either way, no pants. Nunca. Jamais. Giammai.