I used to live in Brooklyn and run free among hipsters. Now I live in a factory city in Korea. I still dig me some fresh tunes.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Young Love

Young Love by Dj Ulsan on Mixcloud

Going back a bit to archive one of my all time favorites. The initial title was kind of a rip job on one of my cousins who doesn't always make the best choices in life, but after some reflection don't think I need to be going there so I've changed the name. Wide range of tunes here and it's hard to choose my favorites. A few of these -- particularly Beat Culture, Galapagos and Co La, are things I heard in passing that I wouldn't neccessaily seek out, but that fit along nicely next to things like Smile-era Beach Boys and a Rufus Wainwright ballad. Also really like early 80s pre-"alternative" rock vibe of The Kids "Innocent Girls" and The Bangs "Think it Over." This mix is actually "mixed" and equalized, so it flows well.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I Tried to Make it 16...but I Gave up at 17 -- A Selection of Smiths Songs

Yeah, a Smiths comp. I know. But sometimes you just have state the obvious, even when everyone expects you to say it. Much like the other "best of" compilations I've done by Felt and Epic Soundtracks, these are my favorite Smiths songs as of now. Actually, as of June, but I wanted to let it marinate a bit to make sure I had it right. As the title suggests, I set out to choose 16 of my favorite songs, but in the end I couldn't choose another to eliminate. You'll probably choose one when you look at the titles, as I would if you made me a Smiths mix.

 The difficulty in creating a Smiths comp is that it was such a seminal group to me growing up different albums and periods sit like signposts in my life, but I didn't really want to make a compilation based on my life or history listening to the band. In truth, I probably go back to the band more than any other, even though I don't think I'd normally say it's my favorite group of all time.

 "Strangeways" was the first Smiths album I ever heard. It was so radically different from anything I was listening to at the time. In retrospect I can see it not only changed the way I listened to music, but probably changed the way I viewed art and even myself. It's difficult to not over-represent the album on this sort of mix.

 One thing that will likely jump out to aficionados is that "Hateful of Hollow" dominates my selections. I kind of struggled with this and really wanted to eliminate at least one of those versions, but as much as I like the production on all Smiths albums, there's something about the raw, electric, and often punk sounds of the band that I've loved more as I've gotten older. Likewise, one might notice that Meat is Murder is barely represented at all. That album is my least favorite by the band, and the title track is one of my least favorite Smiths songs. With that I hope you enjoy this, even just to listen to once so you can bitch to the Smiths fans in your life about what's missing and what should never be on a comp like this.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Difficult Shapes

Difficult Shapes by Dj Ulsan on Mixcloud

Have a backlog of a couple that I want to get up on the site. My friend sent me this about a month ago and I think it's one of his best. Bill Prichard is someone right up my alley that I'd never heard of. A look at the cover tells me why, but like I've said before, I was very shallow that way in the late 80s. The other standout for me (among many) is Ronnie Urini aka "Rocket" (Not Focket as I've typed). Had no idea about this one, which is exactly why we've been trading these damn mixes since high school.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Or So I'm Told

Or So I'm Told by Dj Ulsan on Mixcloud

The Monochrome Set -- Eine Symphonie Des Grauens

Downloaded the Cherry Red Pillows & Prayers compilation and decided to build an entire mix around it. Really struggled to narrow it down to 3 or 4 songs as there are only a few tracks I wouldn't consider. Despite that, I knew The Monochrome Set was going first. I love the fact that I can still come across bands from this era that I've barely heard, but really enjoy once I give them a chance.

Empress Of... -- Hat Trick

Not my usual fare, but this struck me as an ear friendly (dare I say mainstream) mixture of Maria Minerva, Nite Jewel and the Cocteau Twins. Not a bad cross pollenation in my book.

Thierry Meyer -- Paradox

Always finding great download blogs and the mostly coldwave/post punk/minimal synth etc. Systems of Romance (est 2007) is no exception. This is an instrumental track of the blog's first compilation, which is very strong the entire way through.

MBV -- Only Tomorrow

Very fun the way this album was suddenly actually happening soon immediately. It's impossible to compare it to Loveless, because no matter how big an MBV fan you are, you're 22 years older than you were then and (hopefully) in a very different phase of life. Fortunately it turned out to be very good.

少年ナイフ -- When You Sleep

Not listed as Shonen Knife, but in the original Japanese on the Yellow Loveless tribute, which is just as well, because I always had an aversion to that band for reasons I do not recall. I may have done something stupid and skipped over it, which would have been a real shame because this version is really really great. Best on that compilation by far.

La Luz -- Sure as Spring

Found on the You're the Girl That Does Everything I Do comp from the So Tough! So Cute! blog, which more or less promotes a club night in London and Malmo. It seems Riot Grrrl has come into fashion for these people, which is amusing to me, having lived through the first incarnation not all that long ago and not caring too much for what I'm sure were silly reasons. La Luz sounds like it could have come out in 1995, to the extent that I was surprised for a second time to see it was released in 2012 when I just looked it up moments ago. Maybe it's the allergy pill I just took talking.

Five or Six -- Portrait

Another off the Pillows & Prayers comp. As I said before I had a hard time deciding which songs to go with off the comp and I decided on this at the end. Angular like Chairs Missing era Wire, but with less edge. Ended up buying (!) the "Acting on Impulse" retrospective and was surprised the other material isn't in a similar post-punk vein.

Part Time -- I Won't be Your Little Secret

Was just thinking in the last day or two that Part Time might just be my favorite group/project of the moment. Something about the music hits me right in my spot -- just the right amount of sleaze and amateurness mixed with a sound I can only pinpoint as Bay Area. Am about the last person to watch a music video, but again, somehow this reels me in.

Golden Donna -- Machete Bathtub

Dâm-Funk-esque. Potato in the tub.

Benoit Pioulard/Foxes in Fiction -- Ground Glass

The first song I found for this mix. I guess it's the "oooohhooohhooooh" hook that gets me. Very pretty song.

Jane From Occupied Europe -- Drift 13

I've said it before, Swell Maps -- overrated. And I say that as a pretty big fan of Epic Soundtracks. The title of the album, and subsequently this band, always stuck with me, so I'm glad there was a band worthy of the cool title.

International Strike Force -- Golden Starlet

Remember when this came out and it was huge at the college radio station I was working at and I totally whiffed on it. It even bugged me that it was so popular. Now, here I am digging it. That's life for ya. Another one from So Tough So Cute!

HEHFU -- Two and a Half Years

Don't remember which blog I found this on due right, but I bought it from bandcamp here. Reminds me of vintage Boyracer, who I was never fully into, but at times I thought they really nailed it.

Beach Fossils -- Sleep Apnea

Didn't like this album when I first got it, but it's grown on me. This song, however, struck me right away. Man, does anyone read this?

Jackson Scott -- Evie

Here's something. First came across it on Pitchfork. It's subtle, but this guy has some very Elliott-ishness about him, which is high praise indeed. Part of it is the double tracked vocals, another part is the way the drums and bass intertwine. Will be interesting to see where this goes.

Case -- Rag and Rock-n-Roller

Danish glam. Can't go wrong there can ye? I once met a girl in Copenhagen online and ended up meeting her. Fell in love. Got ugly.

The Bats -- Tragedy

Beautiful melody here. Where the title to this mix comes from.

The Stray Trolleys -- Gunslinger

Can't say anything about this better than Willfully Obscure says here. Just makes me wonder why this isn't being re-released. This copy is so awful I had to persuade myself to include it here. And yet, what I'm saying is this song is so great I had to include it despite the poor audio.

Ben Watt -- Some Things Don't Matter

Was walking to a train station in Cheonan when this song really hit me and I knew I had to include it here. Was it Cheonan? If you've ever been there you know the answer is no.