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Christmas Mix Club


the anti-lfj
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Hello kids,

The Christmas Mix Club starts here. Participants have until the end of December to do their thing, and then the all-new 2008 Mix Club will get underway, run by larrydavidsanger (assuming he's still up for it).

As with last Christmas, if there's a particular special someone you'd like to send a disc to, please PM me and I'll see what I can do.

Deadline for entries is the almost-festive Wednesday 28th November. If you haven't taken part before, or have moved house, please send me your address. Oh, and if you don't want me to pass your address on for next year please say so.

Go!

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Should be getting an external writer for my laptop in a week or two, so count me in again (at last)!

I've got five mixes just sitting around waiting to be polished up and sent off! Amazing what a few months out will do :(

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Mine's sorted, just waiting for my external disc drive now: apparently won't be getting it for another couple of weeks. Apologies to my recipient!

(Double apologies, as this one's a bit of a high-concept selection of tracks. Not sure how good it really is, but I enjoyed putting it together. Hopefully they'll find something to like about it)

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1 - A fairly inconspicuous start... is that the word? The track isn't screaming "Listen to me" but is just going about it's business quietly and is the better for it, maybe the word "modest" suits it better. Anyway Drums, vocals and plinky plonky keyboards are the main focus if not the only things present, the words aren't too dominant and what they say doesn't seem to be too important as they float by as an accompaniment to the music. I like it the more I hear it, think I'll be revisiting this one in the future.

2 - Hip-hop. It's not a standard hip-hop track, its music has a lot more going on and it sounds like a live band rather than drum machines/pro tools. Quite a slow tempo and the rapping isn't too in your face, no bitches 'n' hoes mentioned either thankfully. I guess it's El-P, it sounds familiar and that's about the only new hip-hop/rap album I've got this year. It's quite good but doesn't grab me enough.

3 - This sounds like a mix of r'n'b percussion played in reverse, Radiohead synth sounds from Kid A onwards and a lot of random moaning over the top. It's perfectly fine but doesn't really go anywhere.

4 - Instantly makes me think of the Beach Boys. Vocals are fairly distant and I can't really make the words out but much like track 1 I don't think it matters too much. The music is fairly repetitive so far, coming up to 3 minutes in and there's not been much variation but it has something about it to keep it from being boring, it's quite dreamy and floaty. Things are building nicely as 6 minutes approaches, everything's intensified although it's kept more or less the same repetitive sequence, around 7 minutes things intensify further with the sequence being drowned out but a louder variation, someone's strumming like mad on the guitar now and the vocals are being dipped in reverb, I'm enjoying this more as it goes along, although 12 minutes is stretching it a bit but it only starts losing my interests around the last minute or so. It could be Caribou but it's not off the latest album

5 - This one's a lot more punchy. Chiming guitar, pulsing bass and then lovely vocals, it reminds me of someone but I can't think who. On the face of it, it's just a nice guitar pop song but there's some nice choral synths in the background, 3 minutes or so long, pretty much perfect pop.

6 - This guy's voice reminds me a lot of one of They Might Be Giants. The vocals dominate this one, very pretty backing vocals helping out the main guy and the guitars add nice texture. Another perfect pop song. :)

7 - There seems to be a big Radiohead influence on this one too, well... at least in the intro's bass and drums. The vocals sound like Beck at times, I'm not sure I like them that much in the verse sections, it sounds like he's trying to be in Modest Mouse or something, but the chorus bit is a lot better. The second half of this is excellent, it keeps building guitar on guitar, vocal on vocal and the guy ends up doing a sort of Thom Yorke whine until fade out.

8 - Lovely keys here, they sound sort of like that warp sound they do at the end of Wayne's World. This is sort of indie with a dance tempo I guess, it builds nicely as it goes adding what sounds like thumb pianos and background chanting that sounds like something out of a Sun Ra album, I like it a lot.

9 - More dreamy, floaty vocals on this one, sounds a bit like Mercury Rev for the first part, then a burst of intense drumming really snaps it into life, wasn't expecting that but it works. As the track progresses it slows again as a second vocal comes in running over the top of dreamy guy and suddenly it snaps back to the energetic drumming. Nothing like Mercury Rev now, I quite like the piano running through the track. Another good one.

10 - This is a nice, uptempo slice of indie. Starts out fairly unremarkably until the echoey guitar comes in, the drums drive it along at a good tempo and when the full band hits their stride everything just works. The vocals disappear into the background and a repeated "There was/no sound" is all that remains as they rock out til the end of the track.

11 - Shellac - Steady as she goes. I always mistake this one for Ghosts for some reason. What is there more to say than it's trademark Shellac and very enjoyable. Another album I've not listened to enough this year.

12 - :) Someone likes Sonic Youth... but I only notice it at the intro, they manage to make a song that takes the attention away from the rip off guitars. The vocals have a Deerhoof sound about them and the song in general has a very stabby, staccato feel to it. Normally not a fan of this cutesy type of singing but it works on this track.

13 - Immediate drum assault, I was worried it was going to be some sort of metalcore/screamy bollocks but it went the complete opposite direction :D Makes me think of Lightning Bolt straight away but then the rest of the instruments come in and it's something completely different. Unrelenting pace to this, strange layered vocals are great and the brass section is the last thing I expected but it works really well. :D this one!

14 - This one's guitar sound and intro remind's me a lot of Black Flag, in fact the vocals are a bit like Rollins as well only it's not really punk but hard rock. There's a bit of Phil Anselmo in the voice too at some points. I'm not really sure what I think of this at the moment, I think it suffers a bit being placed after that last track, I might give some of their other stuff a go.

15 - Fuzzy, heavy guitar, vocals remind me of Butthole Surfers. There's a great energy to this and it's got my foot tapping away, it seems like the whole band is playing until they pass out, nice little weird echoey guitar line towards the end. Jesus, I really feel the silence after it fades out :) Good stuff, sounds like the punkier side of stoner rock, Nebula maybe?

Good stuff this, the only one that I wasn't so impressed with was track 3. I'll be looking into a good few of these bands and probably putting a few on my wanted list for xmas, cheers :)

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Excellent, glad you enjoyed it. I'll post up a full tracklisting later with some comments and recommendations for the ones you liked. Out of interest, which Sonic Youth song did Track 12 remind you of? I hadn't noticed before (it's Marnie Stern - Every Single Line Means Something btw).

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As noted before, this was kinda my "best of 2007" but every time I keep looking at it I see stuff I've missed out or other tracks I should have picked, regardless tracklisting and comments. Apologies for some of the gushing and rambling about some of these tracks - I had to reduce the number of emoticons for my original reply!

You have posted a message with more emoticons that this board allows. Please reduce the number of emoticons you've added to the message

Let me know if you want any more info or would like a sample of any of the albums:

1 - Matthew Dear - Deserter A fairly inconspicuous start... is that the word? The track isn't screaming "Listen to me" but is just going about it's business quietly and is the better for it, maybe the word "modest" suits it better. Anyway Drums, vocals and plinky plonky keyboards are the main focus if not the only things present, the words aren't too dominant and what they say doesn't seem to be too important as they float by as an accompaniment to the music. I like it the more I hear it, think I'll be revisiting this one in the future.

One of my favourite discoveries of this year, all his albums are excellent. This, from Asa Breed, is maybe a little more downtempo than his usual stuff but I find it completely beautiful. A definite grower, it took a few listens to really grab me.

2 - El-P - The Overly Dramatic Truth Hip-hop. It's not a standard hip-hop track, its music has a lot more going on and it sounds like a live band rather than drum machines/pro tools. Quite a slow tempo and the rapping isn't too in your face, no bitches 'n' hoes mentioned either thankfully. I guess it's El-P, it sounds familiar and that's about the only new hip-hop/rap album I've got this year. It's quite good but doesn't grab me enough.

About the only hip hop album I really liked this year, I love the second half of this with the rising piano lines – it has more in common with someone like TV on the Radio than standard alt hiphop. Genuine goosepimples everytime I listen .

3 – Burial – HomelessThis sounds like a mix of r'n'b percussion played in reverse, Radiohead synth sounds from Kid A onwards and a lot of random moaning over the top. It's perfectly fine but doesn't really go anywhere.

The Burial album is a tough one to pick a track from, as much of his appeal is the general atmosphere and feel of the record. I can kinda see what you’re saying about it not really going anywhere, but I love the main melody . A definite headphones record, the soundtrack to rainswept city streets

4 – Panda Bear – Bros Instantly makes me think of the Beach Boys. Vocals are fairly distant and I can't really make the words out but much like track 1 I don't think it matters too much. The music is fairly repetitive so far, coming up to 3 minutes in and there's not been much variation but it has something about it to keep it from being boring, it's quite dreamy and floaty. Things are building nicely as 6 minutes approaches, everything's intensified although it's kept more or less the same repetitive sequence, around 7 minutes things intensify further with the sequence being drowned out but a louder variation, someone's strumming like mad on the guitar now and the vocals are being dipped in reverb, I'm enjoying this more as it goes along, although 12 minutes is stretching it a bit but it only starts losing my interests around the last minute or so. It could be Caribou but it's not off the latest album

Like you say, very Beach Boys influenced in it’s production – the sound of Brian Wilson playing on the otherside of a lake whilst the sun is rising (or it sounds that way to me :)) The first time I heard this was on headphones on a train watching the countryside and when the extended riff section came in it was completely relevatory – I wasn’t expecting it at all and with all the ambient noises you can get completely sucked into the song. The album, Person Pitch, is fantastic, but it’s very much a complete document, and was pretty hard to pick a particular song – they all have a similar dreamlike, oversaturated feel to them.

5 – Miracle Fortress – Have You Seen In Your Dreams This one's a lot more punchy. Chiming guitar, pulsing bass and then lovely vocals, it reminds me of someone but I can't think who. On the face of it, it's just a nice guitar pop song but there's some nice choral synths in the background, 3 minutes or so long, pretty much perfect pop.

A recent discovery, the album it’s from is slightly patchy but when it’s good, oh man. Another great headphones record, really textured and lovely production.

6 – Dirty Projectors – Rise Above This guy's voice reminds me a lot of one of They Might Be Giants. The vocals dominate this one, very pretty backing vocals helping out the main guy and the guitars add nice texture. Another perfect pop song. :)

I wasn’t sure what you’d make of this as he definitely has a unique voice. Hands down the best concept for an album this year, an attempt to rewrite Black Flag’s Damaged from memory (this probably explains it better than I can). The lyrics are roughly the same but everything else is completely different, I can’t say I like the album that much but this song is just breathtakingly gorgeous. I love how the lyrics seem to carry a different meaning to the original, and his voice just claws into my soul – especially on the chorus :wub:

7- Yeasayer – Sunrise 7 - There seems to be a big Radiohead influence on this one too, well... at least in the intro's bass and drums. The vocals sound like Beck at times, I'm not sure I like them that much in the verse sections, it sounds like he's trying to be in Modest Mouse or something, but the chorus bit is a lot better. The second half of this is excellent, it keeps building guitar on guitar, vocal on vocal and the guy ends up doing a sort of Thom Yorke whine until fade out.

I’d never really noticed the Radiohead influence before, but I can see what you’re getting at. There’s an otherworldly atmosphere to this song (and album) that I really dig, it doesn’t really sound like much else to me. I love the little guitar licks too :)

8- Skeletons and the Kings of all Cities - Sickness Lovely keys here, they sound sort of like that warp sound they do at the end of Wayne's World. This is sort of indie with a dance tempo I guess, it builds nicely as it goes adding what sounds like thumb pianos and background chanting that sounds like something out of a Sun Ra album, I like it a lot.

One of the more approachable songs on the (excellent) album, it reminds me quite a bit of African music. It all has a real woozy feel to it (which this track has a little bit too), loads of percussion too – but not necessarily funky

9 – Menomena – Wet and Rusting More dreamy, floaty vocals on this one, sounds a bit like Mercury Rev for the first part, then a burst of intense drumming really snaps it into life, wasn't expecting that but it works. As the track progresses it slows again as a second vocal comes in running over the top of dreamy guy and suddenly it snaps back to the energetic drumming. Nothing like Mercury Rev now, I quite like the piano running through the track. Another good one.

Wet and Rusting, which this is off, is my favourite album of the year I think, just packed to bursting with great songs and ideas. They remind me a little of SFA for some reason, but maybe a bit more offkilter. I can’t recommend it highly enough really, fantastic sleeve design too.

10 – Deerhunter – Cryptograms This is a nice, uptempo slice of indie. Starts out fairly unremarkably until the echoey guitar comes in, the drums drive it along at a good tempo and when the full band hits their stride everything just works. The vocals disappear into the background and a repeated "There was/no sound" is all that remains as they rock out til the end of the track.

Another headphones track, some great production. Shoegaze for 2007, the song builds and becomes more than the sum of its parts. I’d recommend the album too, there’s several dronelike interludes and the songs often segue into each other – worth hearing as a complete whole.

11 - Shellac - Steady as she goes. I always mistake this one for Ghosts for some reason. What is there more to say than it's trademark Shellac and very enjoyable. Another album I've not listened to enough this year.

I almost put The End of Radio on here, but it would have made the CD run over. Like you say, it’s just Shellac really but all the better for it. One of the best live bands I’ve seen this year too – Todd Trainer is a total legend!

12 –Marnie Stern – Every Single Line Means Something ;) Someone likes Sonic Youth... but I only notice it at the intro, they manage to make a song that takes the attention away from the rip off guitars. The vocals have a Deerhoof sound about them and the song in general has a very stabby, staccato feel to it. Normally not a fan of this cutesy type of singing but it works on this track.

I was ever-so slightly obsessed with this track when I first heard it near the start of the year, she can really fucking shred. Zach Hill from Hella is on drums, and it reminds me quite a bit of them – albeit more trad-song structured (just about). I can definitely hear Deerhoof in her vocals now you mention it too.

13 – Parts & Labor – Fractured Skies Immediate drum assault, I was worried it was going to be some sort of metalcore/screamy bollocks but it went the complete opposite direction :D Makes me think of Lightning Bolt straight away but then the rest of the instruments come in and it's something completely different. Unrelenting pace to this, strange layered vocals are great and the brass section is the last thing I expected but it works really well. :wub: this one!

I’m glad you liked this one, this band’s album (Mapmaker) really impressed me – jampacked with ideas and never straying into wanky territory. The horns in this are great, like the light peeking through dark clouds.

14 – Fucked Up – Jacob’s Ladder This one's guitar sound and intro remind's me a lot of Black Flag, in fact the vocals are a bit like Rollins as well only it's not really punk but hard rock. There's a bit of Phil Anselmo in the voice too at some points. I'm not really sure what I think of this at the moment, I think it suffers a bit being placed after that last track, I might give some of their other stuff a go.

The most vital band I’ve heard all year, every song sung like their life depends on it. The riff that comes in at about 4 minutes is fucking amazing, just full of release. Not really your standard hardcore band with extended instrumental sections and atypical instrumentation, their album is probably quite comfortably my most listened to all year. It’s the only one never to leave my car or MP3 player. You can download “Baiting the Public” from Last.fm which has the most incredible opening 3 minutes, never less than essential.

15 – White Hills – Eternity Fuzzy, heavy guitar, vocals remind me of Butthole Surfers. There's a great energy to this and it's got my foot tapping away, it seems like the whole band is playing until they pass out, nice little weird echoey guitar line towards the end. Jesus, I really feel the silence after it fades out :D Good stuff, sounds like the punkier side of stoner rock, Nebula maybe?

Some pure riffage to end it all. A recent discovery but I really like their album, very space/stoner rock but with the intensity of NY Rock’n’roll. They remind me a bit of early Comets on Fire. A bit heavier and heads-down thrashy than the rest of the stuff but it seem to finish it nicely 

Good stuff this, the only one that I wasn't so impressed with was track 3. I'll be looking into a good few of these bands and probably putting a few on my wanted list for xmas, cheers :)

Thanks for your comments, and glad you enjoyed it!

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Jesus, that's me decided, I need either cut out mp3s completely or actually listen to them because I've downloaded the albums by Matthew Dear, El- P, Menomena, Marnie Stern and White Hills but didn't recongnise any of them. That Black Flag cover really surprises me, I thought I knew that song so well but didn't recognize it at all in this form, I'll have to check out the rest of that album, I only got the Yeasayer album the other day but it's got a lot of potential from the few tracks I've heard. Thanks again!

Going to start on mine tonight

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