Matthew Kent’s Blowing Up The Workshop mix series is a riveting mix series – rather than easy, instant mix after mix after mix after mix gratification, the project deviates from the norm of intensive publicity and has a more focused selection of broadcasts who are often focused in their own turn. From commissioned work, sounds from ancient keyboards and mixes recorded on 4-track cassette recorders, the diverse collection of mixes by the likes of Shawn O’ Sullivan, the Honest Jon’s crew and Bandshell is a great pleasure to listen to. More importantly, the BUTW series is responsible for one of our favourite recent musical projects: Galcher Lustwerk‘s instalment entitled “100% Galcher”. If you aren’t familiar with “100% Galcher” yet, drop everything right now and get to know. No excuses – drop everything RIGHT NOW. The mix does exactly what it says in the title: it strictly consists of original productions (tracks and stems) by Galcher himself, produced in 2012 and carefully mixed together. We dare you to give it a listen or two and not have it on repeat for the rest of the month – it is a beautifully unique tape, and it is uniquely beautiful. If you have already listened to this over a hundred times and/or want more, this White Material mix for Welcome To The Room featuring man like Galcher himself as well as DJ Richard and Young Male will do the trick.
Stream: Galcher Lustwerk – 100 % Galcher (Blowing Up The Workshop 12)
The Midnight Episode is a duo based in Sweden (and possibly also Manchester) comprised of Nicola Cunningham & Karl Skagius. So far this short bio and three mixes are all that is out there about them. It is through Kassem Mosse (a kindred spirit musically with Cunningham & Skagius in many ways, as one discovers listening to their broadcasts) that we discovered the latest of their mixes. A guest spot on the Future Music FM show with Austin Cassell, Midnight Episode put together a selection of spooky synth tracks, moody house (including an untitled track from Mosse, whose Ominira label is releasing an album by the pair sometime next year) spoken word recordings, techno, icy synth-pop and all manners of other fun, idiosyncratic music.
Stream: The Midnight Episode…
As winter’s unforgiving cold and shortened days gradually set in, we have found ourselves increasingly turning to E.M.M.A’s Lost Encarta Files mix that surfaced back in August. The crystalline, ice-laden melodies that course throughout seem particularly fitting for the hoods-up, gloves-on bitterness of night time journeys as December approaches, whilst providing a warming effect through just how lovely this quirky collection of tunes is. In addition to a smattering of tracks from her debut LP, Keysound’s recently released Blue Gardens, a number of earlier, unreleased works crop up. Whilst perhaps a little less refined than some of the album material, tracks like “Grey Garden” and “Glass Eye” capture this kind of magical, forgotten sound that’s like an echo of music from bygone times; twinkling arpeggios and splayed metallic twangs like pins strikes on the rotating cylinder of one of those old music boxes, laid out over sparing drum applications built loosely from the percussive structures of grime, hiphop and funky. As the title might suggest, the mix comprises of tracks that have drawn inspiration from the pre-internet encyclopaedic CD-ROM series, and for anyone that remembers the incorporated game, Mindmaze, you could imagine the aesthetic E.M.M.A has created providing the perfect soundtrack for wandering through those medieval halls and shadowy, candle-lit corridors.
Stream: E.m.m.a. – Lost Encarta Files
We’re big fans of Sonic Router here at the Truants Mansion, with an ethos so similar to our own it’s great to acknowledge what’s going on over there. This particular mix comes from Joe. Now, Joe is a producer that needs no explaining, to those of you with your ear to the ground (which Sonic Router so obviously did with this mix gracing the internet in January of this year) you’ll have picked up on this extraordinary talent. Releasing some big tracks last year, some dropping on Untold’s Hemlock Recordings label, 2012 proved to be a big one for Joe. If it’s possible 2013 may have been even better, with a meticulous eye for detail and a well executed precision, Joe dropped two tracks on none other than Hessle Audio for their 25th release. Given the nature of his past releases, this mix on Sonic Router shows a unique side of his taste; starting with Mama Cass’ “California Earthquake”, and rolling into Ahmad Jamal’s “Misdemeanour” sets the scene for this calming 70’s inspired tape that flows effortlessly into his own production. This one definitely falls into all-rounder category, we force anyone not to sit down with this and feel instantly better about the state of the world, or day, or whatever.
Stream: Joe – Sonic Router mix #149
We already know that Zach Koeber, aka Kroba (one-third of Brooklyn outfit Archie Pelago), is a beastin’ sax player, but – and this comes as no real surprise – he’s got great taste too. His “Lifetime” mix blends lengthy jams by legendary players and band-leaders (Grachan Moncur III, Eric Dolphy) with contemporary techno segues (Donato Dozzy plays Bee Mask), Hi NRG disco (Sylvester), of course one of Archie Pelago’s own tracks and, of all things, incidental Kurosawa music. Two words – NOT MAD.
Stream/download: Kroba – Lifetime
Written by: Soraya Brouwer, Eradj Yakubov, Oli Grant, Jess Melia & Aidan Hanratty.