Apr 19 Reviews / First of the mixes...

As mentioned last week, I'm going to be doing a couple little things to celebrate the 2000th review on this site over the course of the next couple weeks. The first of which is posting mixes of some of my favorite songs each week (a total of five hour-long mixes) for download.

There are loose themes to each in terms of style (you'll hear once you start listening to them), and hopefully you'll hear some stuff that catches your ear a bit. As with the year-end mixes I posted in December, there's embedded artwork, and links to reviews if I've written them.

Without further ado (copy and paste this link into your browser):
http://www.almostcool.org/test/2kmix01.m4a (56 mb)

Also, please check back tomorrow at noon Central Standard Time. I'll be having a contest to give out some of my favorite music ever (one CD per week for the next five weeks).

Commenting has been closed on this article.

ronnie
hey aaron, thanks for taking the time and sharing this mix project with everyone! for me the most sublime moment is the series of labradford into deathprod into the whitman. I think that blends so well. the labradford lulls me into a zone of peace, quietude and world-forgetfullness.. then the deathprod hits hard like a moment of self-consciousness. this is immediatley followed by the gorgeous chords of whitman which lead back into the world with a sense of renewed hope. it's a great deathprod sandwich. it's weird because the words from the deathprod track, although so softly spoken, echo so loud like a tons of bricks amid all the quiet.

Elwin
Arvo = musical greatness
And yeah Fratres are beautifull, there's like 12 versions of it.
Te Deum is also classic

almostcool
Oh yeah. I think that the whole "Tabula Rasa" release by Arvo Part is amazing. My favorite is "Fratres" by Gidon Kremer and Keith Jarrett. Twelve minutes of killer.

Sam
Just wondered, since you love the Alina pieces by Arvo Part so much, whether you'd heard his various Fratres - which are far and away my favourite pieces by him. Immensely moving and with stark, stabbing strings. I'm sure you have...

Jon
Really looking forward to the next mix.

To be honest I'm listening to the first half of the end-of-the-year mix right now, bravo again with that Aaron!

Larry
Thanks for the mix. Very enjoyable!

I second the Pantha du Prince recommendation. It's been given way too little attention everywhere. I was beginning to believe I was alone to have listened to it this winter.

Oh, and if you want a challenge, the Labrador 100 Compilation is out. ;) I'm just saying it cause I'm Swedish and proud of our Pop I guess!

almostcool
Thanks for the comments thusfar. I did indeed spend a fair amount of time finding songs that went together, and it was a lot of fun for me. I realize that some of the transitions aren't perfect, but others I think work particularly well.

The biggest thing was even narrowing it all down to 70 or so tracks for the five mixes. I cut a lot of great stuff out simply because I didn't have time for it, but perhaps this whole downloadable mix thing will become a regular part of the site if people enjoy them.

Adrian
It's apparent that you've spent some time and thought into sequencing this compilation - good work. I tend to shun mixes, comps, or any other form of collecting disparate songs which were not originally meant to co-exist within a single album, but this...well, this was a very nice surprise.

Sam
Now I've listened to it all, and I think it's pretty amazing from start to finish. Some of it I already know and love (Kraftwerk, Fridge, Arvo Part), but most of it is new to me. Particularly striking for me is the Keith Fullerton Whitman track, though the new highlight is the Labradford track, especially the way it evolves out of the This Mortal Coil. Really stunning. And the Marianas track more than holds it own in the company too. Thanks.

Jon
I hadn't heard the closing Arvo Part piece which I absolutely adore...the cut up piano and xylophone was rather awesome as well!

almostcool
That Pantha Du Prince is definitely something I want to check out in the near future Richie. Thanks for recommending it.

Anyone have any comments on the mix? Any songs that you hadn't heard before that sound nice?

richie
sorry, it's called This Bliss, released on Dial.

richie
Aaron, have you heard the new one by Pantha Du Prince? It was released earlier this year and has been overlooked. Really good minimal techno and I think you'd enjoy it.

almostcool
You got it Joel. Drop me an email via the address on my FAQ page and let me know which of the five discs you want, as well as your mailing address.

joel
elsa and zoey

Neil
how's this for news...
Mouse On Mars with Mark E. Smith!!! - 'tis true
EP and full-length sometime soon

almostcool
First question is:
What are the names of my two dogs?

(first correct answer posted in this thread gets their choice of the previously mentioned CDs)

p.s. Yes I know this is a completely silly question considering this is a music review site, but I wanted to start out with a silly one...

Sam
Ah yes, I see now. Very clever. Can't wait for the other mixes. Thanks.

almostcool
To answer your question Sam, it is supposed to just come out as one big track. Within that track, though, there are chapter headings with the related artists, titles, artwork and links.

Michael
Good stuff on the Ben Frost review, Im glad you feel the same was a I do about "Theory of Machines

peter
..but I completely agree that he should be including vocals in his FUTURE material.

peter
Cheers for reviewing Qua's sophomore album, even if I would have given it something close to a 9, 9.5. Since his debut (which deserves an 8.5-9), Qua has been among my favourite artists of the last five years, and now that he has US distribution, it makes it all the nicer for picking up his material.

As for the Mikkel Metal album, I felt the same way through the first number of listens: I kept asking myself 'where are the vocals?' Then I realized that it might have something to do with the label (his earlier matieral, released on echochord) was vocal-less while Victimizer was vocal-ed?) or maybe he had nothing to sing about.

That being said, I really have come to love the album and not miss the vocals really that much. I'd probably have given it a point higher, but I completely agree that he should be including vocals in his material.

Sam
Oh dear - sorry about screwing that up. A copy and paste accident!

Sam
Thanks for this - it is amazing. Can't wait to give it a listen. But when I download to iTunes, it comes out as one Various Artists track, rather than individual tracks with artwork. Am I doing something wrong?

re:trace
never mind. i'm stupid.

re:trace
aww, i came in this morning and the link didn't work! intentional? are you re-posting?

Jon
Oh, and I'm listening to "Goodbye Enemy Airship..." at the moment and just finally heard the crickets in the back ground! At the end of "minmin" and the beginning of "the landlord is dead" they're hard to miss! In saying that I don't know how I missed them before...anyway, always great to hear something new after owning an album years and years.

Jon
Wow, I might get a little competitive about the Steve Reich or Gorecki albums (I still have managed to not have either of those...) :P!

But great idea, I guess I'll be checking back more often than usual then...and thanks again for the mixes, I thought that was a great idea for the end of the year thing.

almostcool
Also, the five CDs that I'll be giving away over the course of the next five weeks are:

Talking Heads - "Remain In Light"
Can - "Ege Bamyasi"
Steve Reich - "Music For 18 Musicians"
Aphex Twin - "Richard D James Album"
Henryk Gorecki - "Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs)"

almostcool
For those that might use something non iTunes and can't see the tracklisting, it is:

"Ultramarine" - Michael Brook (Cobalt Blue)
"Computer Love" - Kraftwerk (Computer World)
"Cut Up Piano & Xylophone" - Fridge (Happiness)
"(Untitled)" - Gas (Pop)
"Song To The Siren" - This Mortal Coil (It'll End in Tears)
"I" - Labradford (Mi Media Naranja)
"6:15" - Deathprod (Reference Frequencies)
"Stereo Music For Farfisa Compact Duo Deluxe, Drum Kit" - Keith Fullerton Whitman (Multiples)
"We Were Safe, Now We're Sorry (Summer Version)" - Marianas (Summering EP)
"An Ending (Ascent)" - Brian Eno With Daniel Lanois And Roger Eno (Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks)
"Spiegel Im Spiegel" - Arvo Part (Alina)