October 30, 2020 § Leave a comment

This fourth mix was made for the release of The Golden Morning Breaks in 2005, and it’s probably the most eclectic I’ve ever made, pointing both to my past and future music. Hip hop definitely influenced Everyone Alive Wants Answers, and I’m surprised it took me so long to feature hip hop in one of my mixes (that GZA song…). The viola da gamba piece by Carl Friedrich Abel is one of my favourite pieces for viola and influenced my decision to buy the instrument and make Les Ondes Silencieuses. African music has been crucial to the way I play my string instruments, especially my treble viola da gamba (for instance on 2013’s The Weighing of the Heart). The Gamelan Son of Lion song is part of my long-standing love for anything gamelan, and you can hear gamelan’s echoes in so much of my music… As for Lee Perry’s “Roast fish and corn bread”, it’s a very special song for me: in the early 80s, my parents miraculously bought a Jamaican compilation tape, mostly made up of some seriously weird and powerful Perry productions from his best period, and that’s how I was introduced to the best of Jamaican music at a very young age, on long road trips!!! This of course resurfaced in 2015’s Captain of None.

Gamelan Son Of Lion « Sleeping Braid » ( From The Complete Gamelan In The New World Performed By Gamelan Son Of Lion) 
Loobke « Adhd »
Magnetic Fields « Josephine »
Steffen Basho-Junghans “Smiling Penguins”
Dimi Mint Aba And Khalifa Ould Eide « Yar Allahoo »
Movietone « The Sand And The Stars »
Vashti Bunyan « Train Song »
Pg Six  « Introduction (Letter To Lilli St.Cyr) »
Bridget St John « Autumn Lullaby »
Tiémoko Sissokho « Diagha » Sénégal – Kora Malinké
Björk « Amphibian »
Roots Manuva « Movements »
Harry Partch « Two Studies On Ancient Greek Scales 1 »
East Flatbush Project « Tried By Twelve »
GZA « Liquid Swords »
Martha And The Vandellas « Jimmy Mack »
Jan Bradley « Mama Didn’t Lie »
Brenda Holloway « When I’m Gone »
Lee Perry « Roast Fish And Cornbread »
Carl Friedrich Abel “5 pieces in D minor”
Love “Alone again or”

Photo from Tanned Tin Festival, Castellón, Spain, 5th November 2005, by Zoe T Vizcaino


October 29, 2020 § Leave a comment

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RECORDING OF LP7 STARTED YESTERDAY + SPACE ECHO RE201 CLEANING I officially started recording my 7th album yesterday afternoon, and today Miss Space Echo got her parts cleaned, though I haven’t changed her tape. I briefly discussed this with Gid at @soundgasltd, the incredible people who supplied me with both my Space Echo and the Elka Drummer One, explaining to him that I am loving how the tape sounds after its many months of use, and that I have grown almost superstitiously attached to the idea of recording the album with the exact same tape that I have used during the composing/rehearsal process, but a slight wow and flutter is pretty perceptible now (certainly more so than when I first started using the machine and its new tape), and Gid confirmed that I could just try cleaning the heads and parts of the Space Echo without necessarily replacing the tape. Just done so, and while the heads were very clean, the capstan was pretty dirty, so I’m curious to see if this will contribute to changing the sound.  This little video (mobile phone in one hand, Yamaha Reface YC keyboard under the other) shows the moment of switching on the machine again to check everything’s running smoothly: apparently it is! Chords are from the title track of the album. My cat Sol miraculously stayed asleep throughout the whole cleaning process: I didn’t intend him to be there in the first place as I thought cleaning the Space Echo with him in the same room was a big no-no, since he has actually tried to attack the echo’s VU meter needle (I wish I were making this up… ) – hence the bit of painter’s tape that I now keep close to the meter in case he starts again. But no, he stayed placidly asleep, perhaps because his interest in being King of the Space Echo has actually dwindled over the past couple of months (he now prefers to land sliding on the Grandmother and walk all over the rest of the gear… it was better when he was on top of the Space Echo!!! 😉) #rolandspaceecho #spaceechore201 #soundgasltd #yamaharefaceyc #colleenplays #thrilljockey

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MIX RETROSPECTIVE – 2004 Lie down and close your eyes

October 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

This very quiet hour-long mix done while working on my second album The golden morning breaks spans even more genres and decades than the previous ones, though its geographical area is restricted to Western music (apart from Hamza El Din). France is featured three times – incredible by my standards! – and the Django Reinhardt is from a 7’ that belonged to my mum (there was a cable problem while I transferred it digitally – this was before these things could be done easily 😊).

Mark Fry « Dreaming With Alice – Verse 1 »
Duke Ellington « Fleurs Africaines »
John Cage « Sonata 1 » (Sonatas And Interludes For Prepared Piano)
Barbara « Gottingen »
Django Reinhardt « Minor Swing »
United States Of America « Cloud Song »
Rachel’s « Honeysuckle Suite »
Rolling Stones « Lady Jane »
Animal Collective « Doggy »
Hamza El Din « Munshah »
Delia Derbyshire « Blue Veils And Golden Sands »
John Barry « Mountains And Sunsets » (You Only Live Twice)
This Mortal Coil « Another Day »
Anne Laplantine « Hambourg » 1
Skip James « Devil Got My Woman»
Catpower « Sophisticated Lady »
Stone Poneys « Evergreen Part 2 »
Nico « These Days »
Half Asleep « The Twilight Was Probably Right »
Supreme Dicks « Blue Elephant »
Half Asleep « Tu Sens Le Sommeil Et Les Larmes »
Mark Fry « Dreaming With Alice – Verse 9 /10 »

2005 press photo by Erik Madigan Heck.


October 21, 2020 § Leave a comment

The first mix for my first album was very representative of my various obsessions of the time, among which Indonesian music (and East Asian music in general), African music, weird songs (Sun Ra’s “Rocket# 9” ), sixties girl groups, with a bit of contemporary electronics thrown in and “classics” that transcend their time such as My Bloody Valentine or Terry Riley.

At the time of this second mix, December 2003, I was already thinking about a second album, and reading a Lou Harrison interview in The Wire and hearing the piece that opens and closes this mix convinced me definitively that I would give up samples and start to build up a collection of instruments and learn how to play them. This mix also features some of my all-time old school favs Delia Derbyshire and Raymond Scott, but I’ll let the tracklisting do the talking.

Lou Harrison « Double Concerto For Violin, Cello And Javanese Gamelan » (Music And Arts)

Philip Jeck « Spirits Up » (Touch)

Nobukazu Takemura « Curious Child » (Wea)

Tim Hecker « Hello Detroit » (Alien8)

Delia Derbyshire – BBC Radiophonic Workshop (BBC)

Clangers « Intro Music – Dialogue From Episode One » (Smallfolk / Fellside)

Half Asleep « Sea Shells » (Demo)

Penguin Cafe Orchestra « Cutting Branches For A Temporary Shelter » (Virgin)

Flip And The Dateliners « My Johnny Doesn’t Come Around » (Hmv)

Brenda Holloway « When I’m Gone » (Tamla Motown)

Raymond Scott – Portofino / Good air (Basta)

Amalia Rodrigues « Troca De Olhares » (Pharaon)

Pauline Oliveros « The Fool’s Circle » (Lovely Music)

Lou Harrison « Double Concerto For Violin, Cello And Javanese Gamelan » (Music And Arts)

The photos are from a concert at Les Les Voutes in Paris in December 2003, a place where I played many times, and I must have started to play the cello very shortly before that (I was pretty reckless at the time!).


October 17, 2020 § Leave a comment

I am finally getting close to finishing my 7th album, and if all goes according to plan it will be released in May 2021 (6 months are needed between delivery of the master and the actual release to allow for all preparations). It is now 90% composed with all production ideas in place and tested through tons of demo recordings, though the actual recording hasn’t happened yet, since I am following to an extreme degree the method I started using on A flame my love, a frequency: I want to record everything live with as little editing as possible, and this time I have pushed rehearsing the songs again and again to a more extreme degree, since it’s the first time I’ve really had to play keyboards.

This decision is philosophical, aesthetic and practical: I want the album to be live to reflect its emotionally raw content, but quite simply I also know that joining keyboard parts that go through heavy Space Echo delay or crazy Moog Grandmother modulation is simply not going to work – it will really have to be seamless from the start.

One of the things I realised these past few weeks is that this is the first album that really reflects *all* of my influences, it happened naturally, and I didn’t notice it at first because I’m only using one melodic instrument, which really unifies the wholeAs I know that some of you discovered my music fairly recently, I thought I’d do a mix retrospective so you can get to listen again to the mixes I was invited to do for each one of my albums! Kicking off with my first ever mix for the release of “Everyone alive wants answers” in May 2003! Hope you enjoy these!

Gamelan Degung “Catrik” – Java – Sunda Country (Ocora)

Terry Riley “Poppy Nogood” (Ancient Word Music – Bmi)

Mulatu Astatqe “Yekermo Sew” Ethiopiques 4 (Buda Musique)

The Caretaker “Date With An Angel” (V/Vm Test)

Chet Baker “My Funny Valentine” (Blue Note / Capitol)

My Bloody Valentine “No More Sorry” (Creation)

Novisad “Einsam” (Tomlab)

Sun Ra “Rocket # 9” (Evidence)

Autechre “Rae” (Warp)

Vietnam – Music Of The Montagnards “Hani” (Le Chant Du Monde)

Joy Division “Insight” (Factory)

The Supremes  “My World Is Empty Without You”(Motown)

2003 press photo by Sophie Mandon.

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