The Greatest Conversation

Original Work: Sebastien Tellier – Look (Brian Park’s Ishmael Mix)

Posted in New Music, Original Work by Brian Park on October 28, 2009

ishmaelcover

Sebastien Tellier – Look (Brian Park’s Ishmael Mix)

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I wont be making a habit of it, but here is an original remix. It’s a Sebastien Tellier track, with bits of Abdullah Ibrahim, Tangerine Dream, and Ralph Towner in there. This is my second crack at mixing this, hope you enjoy it.

Fusion Isn’t Just For Cooking

Posted in Old Music by Brian Park on October 28, 2009

oldman

{Pic has nothing to do with anything, it’s just awesome}

When I listen to a lot of fusion, I imagine artists somewhat stuck in their genre. They are full of brilliant, catchy lines, but lack the musical perspective to produce pieces that are coherent on a greater scale; their music ends up having pop rhythms and melodies and structure, but with the virtuosic playing and disdain for actual pop sensibilities of the “higher” forms of musical composition.

That isn’t to say I dislike fusion. Jun Fukamachi’s Evening Star album is a great example of what I love about fusion: great synth sounds, fun melodies, good playing that shows off just the right amount, and a great rhythm section. I used to have an mp3 rip of this album (it is out of print), but I’d lost it a few years back between computers. Of course, the first thing that came up when I searched it was My Jazz World’s rip of it. Seriously, I owe that guy a lot.

Jun Fukamachi – Sea Horses

This is what I imagine Air would do if they had been born 20 years earlier. They obviously love this synth sound, and they have the same penchant for stuffing a ton of catchy-yet-strange melodies into songs while eschewing more mainstream pop styles. Of course Air as a fusion band is a stretch, but listen to their new single, Do The Joy, and I think you’ll hear the similarities. Jun Fukamachi’s song is catchy as fuck, to the point that I’m surprised it hasn’t been sampled (as far as I know) for Kanye to put shitty lyrics over. I hope you enjoy it, and I do recommend you grab the whole album; it’s all great.

{Audio may not play in some RSS feeds, visit the post to listen}

A Pretty Bicycle

Posted in Random Things by Brian Park on October 22, 2009


Today I built a pretty bicycle at work; figured I’d share it on here as well. The customer was a really nice girl who wanted a pretty, functional all-weather bike and basically told us to do whatever we thought was best for her. I think it turned out really well. EDIT: I guess I should also say that it’s a Soma Buena Vista Mixte frame, with a Nexus 8 speed internal hub.

Nokon cable housing to solve a difficult routing. In the interest of clean lines we decided not to run full housing for the Nexus hub.

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Volume From the Brits

Posted in New Music, Random Things by Brian Park on October 21, 2009

vitasluckus

First off, the picture has nothing to do with anything; I couldn’t find a Brian Eno or Guy Harvey shot I liked. It is by Vitas Luckus, one of my favourite photographers. His book is out of print I think but goes for dirt cheap used these days. Highly recommended. But, I digress; listen to some music.

Brian Eno – Passing Over

Brian Eno’s music is often pretentious. Still, I love his work when he writes pop. This song is pretty cheesy when it’s quiet, but really fucking good when you have headphones on late at night and it’s loud. The production on it is amazing, which isn’t surprising; what is surprising is what he’s chosen to do with that production. The whole album, Another Day On Earth, sounds like arse on my computer/iPod/car stereo, but through proper speakers, when everything is coming through, it’s amazing. The heartbeat sub bass with that amazing piano line over it (2:02-2:25) is perfect.

Elbow – Grounds For Divorce

Changing gears, this is what rock and roll should be. I’ve rediscovered this album a few times this year, and I never get tired of the guitar sound on this song. Great lyrics too. Their liner notes say that there is little to no compression on this album. That means that the album—called The Seldom Seen Kid— is going to suffer if you’re playing it through your shitty iPod speakers too. Still, the production on this is a little more accessible than Eno.

{Audio may not play in some RSS feeds, visit site instead}

Anouar Brahem, or How I Love ECM

Posted in New Music by Brian Park on October 18, 2009

anouarbrahem

Walking into the “World Music” section of any record store is terrifying. There are awful clichés everywhere–so much of the music is handcrafted to appeal to “spiritual” assholes, or housewives that want to appear culturally diverse at their next book club meeting. The last thing I want to hear is sitar over some shitty house beat. On the other hand, sometimes braving the world music section is worth it. I find non-western music fascinating because I know nothing about it; it lets me approach it as a pure consumer, rather than with my own preconceptions of how a guitar should sound, how a pop album should be recorded, how the head should come around in a funk song, or whatever. It is like reading a book without recognizing any of the allusions: only the immediate melodies and sounds matter.

Anouar Brahem is worth braving the World Music section for. He is a Tunisian oud (fretless lute) player that is a master of both traditional Arab music and post-jazz stylings.  I’ve only been exposed to the recordings he has done with ECM Records, but they are amazing. I know that the ECM Records approach has become somewhat of a cliché in itself; sparse, compressionless recordings, art photography covers, simple typography, “aesthetic” jazz albums, etc… populate their catalogue. That being said, the attention to detail that the label brings to world music non-western albums is refreshing.

Anouar Brahem – Seule

This song comes from Khomsa, an album of Brahem’s compositions played by an eclectic mix of jazz musicians. Apparently most of the album’s songs were originally for film scores, though I don’t know which film this song is for [Does anyone? I’d love to know. -BP]. This song features my favourite drummer, Jon Christensen, as well as amazingly busy yet unobtrusive bass playing by Palle Danielsson. Richard Galliano has the surprisingly gentle solo on accordion, while François Couturier’s piano holds everything together. This has an amazing melody; if Amélie had been set in Tunis, this could have been one of the sad themes.

Anouar Brahem – Stopover at Djibouti

From his new album, The Astounding Eyes of Rita, this is a more traditional (not that I’d know), gently swung song. It is plodding, but hopeful, and definitely catchy. The playing isn’t as good as on previous albums. The drumming especially is weak, but the electric bass falls somewhat flat here as well. This isn’t just coming from my love of Jon Christensen, the drums too often sounds like a college drum circle. Despite that, this is a beautiful song: the melody floats, and the the bass clarinet compliments Brahem’s playing well. My favourite part of this song is the major/minor toying around with the lead riff.

Hope you all enjoy it. Buy the albums and put them on while you’re trying to seduce that white chick with dreadlocks and the Arabic script tattoos. No seriously I’m kidding, please don’t do that, they’re amazing songs.

PS. I’m still working on a new site, I just don’t want to move things over until I switch hosts.

Sausage Lynx

Posted in New Music, Old Music, Random Things by Brian Park on October 15, 2009

lynx

Take that title how you will. Here’s some cool shit from the interwebs.

1. Waxy has an amazing analysis of a few Beatles multitracks. Via the Listenerd.

2. The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra is a local gypsy/folk band that just sent over a link to a video of them recording. Also I think the bass player is naked.

3. To promote their Chipsounds softsynth (which sounds fucking awesome), Plogue put together an EP of chipsounds music. Some of the tunes are great, some of them not so much, but it is all fun, and they released the album for free so I’m all for it. Get it here.

4. On a totally non-music note, Riley McMaster has largely taken over Gnarwhale.com, and since he has it has gotten so much better than when Andy and I ran it. There are a ton of new edits and other content; go see!

Mona Monella

Posted in Random Things, Video by Brian Park on October 11, 2009


I saw this clip a while back and it has everything that the internet thrives on: a hot girl, cow shit, and priests sniffing a bike seat. It also has a ridiculously fun song; I’ve been trying to find a version of the song that hasn’t been ripped from the film, but haven’t managed it. Anyone out there have it? It is actually sung by the girl in the film, Anna Ammirati, and it’s catchy as fuck.

PS. A sniffer of bicycle seats is a snurge, making the act itself snurgery.

The Žižek Experience

Posted in Old Music, Random Things, Video by Brian Park on October 6, 2009

zizek

Slavoj Žižek is a Hegelian philosopher, Lacanian theoretical psychoanalyst, Marxist political thinker, film theorist, and cultural critic; he is also batshit crazy in the best of ways. My brother introduced me to him, and ever since I’ve been oddly fascinated. I stumbled onto an excerpt of his on the very odd Turn On The Lights blog, and I think it is a good introduction to the strangeness that is Žižek:

Let us recall the example of a (’straight’) sexual relationship. The success of Peter Hoeg’s The Woman and the Ape indicates that sex with an animal is today’s predominant form of fantasy of full sexual relationships, and it is crucial that this animal is as a rule male: in contrast to cyborg-sex fantasy, in which the cyborg is, as a rule, a woman (Blade Runner) – that is, in which the fantasy is that of a Woman-Machine – the animal is a male ape copulating with a human woman, and fully satisfying her. Does this not materialize two standard common daydreams: that of a woman who wants a strong animal partner, a potent ‘beast’, not a hysterical impotent weakling; and that of a man who wants his female partner to be a perfectly programmed ‘doll’  who fulfils all his wishes, not a living being? What we should do in order to penetrate the underlying ‘fundamental fantasy’ is to stage these two fantasies together: to confront ourselves with the unbearable ideal couple of a male ape copulating with a female cyborg, the fantasmic support of the ‘normal’ couple of man and woman copulating. The need for this redoubling, the need for this fantasmic supplement to accompany the ’straight’ sexual act as a spectral shadow, is yet another proof that ‘there is no sexual relationship’.

(Slavoj Žižek, The Fragile Absolute or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For? p. 59-60)

Now, what does that have to do with my blog? Very little, but I have a sound experiment for you to try. Žižek has a speech impediment that may or may not be intentional, but anyway it is hypnotic and almost soothing; I suggest you get relaxed (pot or scotch), and press play on both the video and the audio below. Adjust the volume ’till it sounds right; stop trying to understand the words, and just listen to Žižek as an auditory anomaly. Fuck you, do it.

Keith Jarrett – Last Night When We Were Young/Caribbean Sky

Okay fine, if you aren’t going to do it, at least listen to Keith Jarrett’s Last Night When We Were Young/Caribbean Sky from the album Tokyo ’96. It’ll do you good.

Montreal Always Wins

Posted in New Music by Brian Park on October 6, 2009

bettybonifassi
Seriously, Montreal has everything. A beautiful city, cute girls, euro fashion without the jet lag, and great music scenes. In electro/triphop circles, Beast has been making the rounds. They’re a duo of Jean-Phi Goncalves doing production and Betty Bonifassi on vocals, and they know how to write songs. Their album was halfway a disappointment for me: too much rap and not enough singing, but you can hear some amazing potential on certain songs.

Beast – Finger Prints

This sounds like everything I like about pop music. It has dark, lengthy melodies, polished and somewhat distinctive production, cool instrumental hooks, etc… I know that the more “trip rock” tracks of theirs are getting most of the attention, but I hope they  move in this direction in the future.

I keep stumbling across music from good old “Lower Canada”, we have to step it up here in the west. Rifflandia, a badly organized local music festival, seemed to have more artists from Montreal this year than from Vancouver or Victoria, and they were certainly better.

{See post if the audio doesn’t show up in your RSS feed}

Depeche Mode’s “Hole To Feed” Video

Posted in Video by Brian Park on October 5, 2009

At first I thought that Major Lazer – Pon De Floor video I posted yesterday was a total ripoff of Flying Lotus’s Dance Floor Dale, but I just realized that Eric Warheim did both of them. Checking out some of his other work, he does some really cool shit. This Depeche Mode video is very strange, and very awesome: old people smearing hotdogs on eachother seems like it would have been a hard thing to pitch (pun intended?) in the boardroom.