Welcome friends to Anticpating Nowhere #13 – we have something a little different for you this time around.
Lee Pylon, he of the wonderful Kites & Pylons show, contacted me a while back and we began chatting about our shows. He asked if I wanted to pull together a guest mix for his show. Absolutely Yes! What an honour. I’ll let you know when that one is released by Lee
I asked Lee if he would like to return the favour and produce a guest mix for Anticipating Nowhere – the response was an emphatic yes and within a few hours the show had landed.
Please welcome Lee Pylon to Anticipating Nowhere; a show I am extremely pleased to present from him, to you. I love the mix Lee has put together and I know you will too. Over to Lee and I’ll see you in two weeks:
About Kites & Pylons
Kites and Pylons is a weekly one hour radio show on internet radio station Mad Wasp Radio (Sun 2300hrs UK time/Weds 1400 hrs UK), presented by Lee Pylon. Those who grew up in the 70’s and were as terrified as Lee was by Public Information Films and films like Threads may get the reference in the show title, if you don’t then it probably doesn’t matter.
Lee has ‘put together a mix inspired by lost futures, roving TV detector vans, abandoned concrete playgrounds on council housing estates, the hum of pylons and crackle of electricity substations. If you enjoy his mix, then you should definitely check out his radio show, which is also uploaded to Mixcloud on Wednesdays.‘
Lee now talks us through how he came up with the idea of this mix and pulled it all together.
The Ploughs and Machines – Hoofus/Ix tab: Front and follow is such a great label. This is from The Blow Volume 1, a series of split releases where artists collaborate without restrictions. The opening ‘This is the best that humans could ever hope for….’ spoken line gave me the idea for the rest of the mix – the present moment disappearing very quickly down the plughole and into oblivion. I have approached this mix a little differently to how I put together a radio show – starting with a single track and thinking about how the track makes me feel, what images does it conjure up, and where could things take an interesting turn?
Double Helix – Emeralds. This album is on Editions Mego. The Cleveland band has released a ridiculous amount of material over a few short years – this is the first to be called ‘pretty’. I could have picked a number of tracks from this album (‘Does it look like I’m here?’) but this is the one that had a real ‘lost futures’ sound that I was going for. You know the sort of thing, the promise of something really good that turns out to be not that good at all, or nonexistent, the essence of ‘hauntology’. Emeralds remind me of the next artist on the mix.
Russian Mind – Oneohtrix Point Never. This is the title track from a 6-track release from Daniel Lopatin (OPN) from 2012. Without reading anything about this when I picked the track, it turns out from later research that Lopatin has Russian heritage. When his Russian parents fled the old Soviet Union they were they too haunted by the ‘Spectres of Marx’ that Derrida talks about (yes, he of ‘hauntology’ fame)? There’s a grit, a grain, a slightly woozy feeling about this track – that’s ultimately why it made it in the mix.
(0) Comments – Mordant Music. Just under minute of a track that sounds (to my ears) like the long version of the music to an old VHS company logo. One that was perhaps recently re-discovered. It is taken from the album Symptoms.
Ladies’ Mile – Beak>. This whole track is utterly terrifying – and that was the effect I was going for – like a good film: when you go from hopeful/not hopeful to mournful to uneasy, this track takes the listener on an unsettling ride through the abandoned kids playground and past the roundabout that is somehow turning on its own….
Felix Menkar – Buscando El Espacio Interior. It might sound like synth noodling to some, but the experimental nature of this track is just right for the collection it comes from ‘80s underground cassette culture Vol 1’. Truly ‘underground’ and very much of the experimental genre, this great compilation also has Doxa Sinistra’s ‘The Other Stranger’ on it, as played recently by Boards of Canada on their mix on NTS Live…. It’s worth the price of that one track alone.
John Gregory – Glass corridor into hall of glass clocks. I play a fair bit of library music on my radio show, so it seemed right to include some here. I selected something from the Standard Music Library that complements the experimental nature of many of these tracks – it sounds like a school music room session. It’s definitely got that haunted quality about it and sounds like it could be incidental music in a weird 70s kids TV show or freaky Czech animation.
Skomorokhi -Michael Chocolak. This is another track from an essential compilation called Switched-on Eugene, on Numero Group. It features artists from 80s Oregon who were part of the Eugene Electronic Music Collective: whose releases came out as part of ‘zines and things like that. I’m a sucker for obscure tape treasures and this is no exception.
For your ears only – Telestation Alpha. This has detuned sampled voices, a sense of foreboding and a graininess that make me recall many nights during my youth spent under the bed covers listening to number stations and odd bits of broadcasting from around the world.
Swinscoe Episode 1 ‘Enter Swinscoe’- The Advisory Circle . TAC’s Jon Brooks is quite frankly, a genius. He is multi-talented, and his albums really do sum up a haunted 70’s childhood. This track is something a little different of his – it has sampled slowed down voices backed by spooky electronics – like waking up in a fever dream as a kid in front of Programmes for Schools and Colleges, watching a few seconds and falling back off to sleep with the TV speakers rattling to the strains of wobbly analogue synths…
Deep water-Danielle Cuillini. Okay, this gets serious. It’s the early 80’s, you’ve just watched Protect and Survive on the telly with your mum and you go to bed with dreams of nuclear Armageddon on your mind. This is the soundtrack to your dreams.
Rimaro Nucleare- Lamartine. Early Italian electronics/library composer Lamartine (whose full name still remains a mystery) sounds like Can or the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. This track is typical of the little output we have of his and is right out of an episode of a Tom Baker Doctor Who episode.
Lost landscape-Luke Abbott. From a new compilation by label ‘Salmon Universe’, curated by Richard Pike (DEEP LEARNING) and JQ. It was hard to pick just one of these tracks from this label’s compilation, but this really fitted the bill between Lamartine and Saif Mode, so in it went. It’s little bit Jon Hassell, especially the opening section, and reminds me of Hassell’s outing with Eno on ‘Fourth World’.
Tristan 1865 – Saif Mode. Ben Hunter (Saif Mode) is a recording engineer who makes music that sounds like it’s from the early 70’s. A lot of it, like the track ‘Tree house’ from the Troubled Heart album (from which my chosen track comes) wouldn’t be out of place on an Open University documentary from 1973 about chemical engineering. However, it is Tristan 1865 that has that air of unease about it that makes it fit well into my mix.
Zeta Beacon – Videodrones. This is from the excellent El Paraiso label by the Danish duo. It has a ‘lost 80’s VHS soundtrack’ feel about it – I guess you couldn’t really make music in a band called Videodrones if it didn’t. The album from which this is taken is the duo’s third, as is a little less like the film cue sounds of the first two releases, but even so, this is a wonderful example of their music.
Hi Screw 2 – Odd Nosdam. Ohio’s Davis Madson (Odd Nosdam) is a wonderfully quirky artist, who has remixed Boards of Canada amongst others. The album this is from is the delightful Off Tapes Outtakes. With some tracks sub-30 seconds long, this is a noisy, wonky record of backwards music, slowed-down crunchy noises, vinyl crackles and lo-fi beats.
Grow in lightness – Les Halles. Lyon’s Les Halles ‘Invisible Cities’ album sounds so remarkably sad in places and has a haunting quality about it. This is definitely the sound of empty social housing estates at 2am on a drizzly Monday morning.
Fertility Control – Cristobal Tapia De Veer. This is from the soundtrack to the short-lived TV series Utopia. The whole soundtrack is terrifying. Cristobal’s soundtrack work is outstanding and does the haunted/unsettled vibe very well. See also the second volume of the music from this series on Silva Screen for more ultra-frightening electronica.
No Countryside – Utley/Gregory. ‘Arcadia’ is a great film, and worth checking out. This is from the soundtrack. The closing sample on the track says it all really – ‘you’d be quite prepared to see a countryside with no wildlife?’ The answer: ‘Yes – it wouldn’t bother me’ speaks volumes of our times.
3C Rev2 – Alex Menzies. This is from the soundtrack to a BBC 4 documentary about the untold story of automata. I was thinking recently about TV soundtracks to little known documentary films and I unearthed this beauty. Bells, chimes, echoes…. The ticking of the clock, something bad is going to happen, isn’t it?
Xodl – Cylob. The sparse, uneasy sounding electronica of Chris Jeffs is a fairly recent discovery of mine. It reminds me of Aphex Twin’s ambient outings, and of Eno at his most left-field.
Falso Movimento A4 – The Tapes. Loops recorded from TV, drum machines, post-punk industrial noise, this ‘Selected Works’ album has many hazy sounds. The Tapes were formed in 1982 by Giancarlo and Roberto Drago. This is a fine example of their output, much of which sounds like early Warp Records. The slowness of the beats here is what makes this so haunting and evokes memories of detuned radios at 3am.
Harpbirds – C-Lone. Formerly lost 80’s synth experimenters C-Lone (or Clone) from Alaska had music released by Finder’s Keepers in 2016 on a split release also featuring Suzanne Ciani’s excellent ‘Logo presentation reels’ advertising music. This is sounds like digital birds giggling in their flock.
Dottie’s messages – Oliver Cherer. From Front and Follow’s ‘Lessons’, a compilation featuring Kemper Norton and Pye Corner Audio. This track has answer phone message samples on it, morse code, and a very queasy sounding score beneath it. Some of the messages are barely audible, which makes it even more intriguing and frightening.
Home telescope Kit – Roj. At the end of the mix I wanted to be going full- on with the dis-harmony and general oddness: this Roj track was perfect for that. From The Amateur’s Attic, this 2013 EP has just two tracks – the other ‘Ludwig’s Children’ is another great track.
This is the BBC – Luke Haines. The sample of the emergency broadcast/tones at the end of this mix is from Luke’s ‘British Nuclear Bunkers’ album. I am yet to play tracks from it on my radio show, and I don’t know why I haven’t yet – there’s just too much to squeeze into an hour a week, I guess!
Of Decay and Shadows – Demdike Stare. I could have played any Demdike Stare track to be honest, but the title alone says it all really. The music is just terrifying – it’s like the scariest of the sounds made by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 70’s backed by a throbbing bass note that tails off into oblivion. And that’s it – the end of the world as we knew it. Pow. But you’ll be pleased to know, you mum has got the dinner on and its fish fingers and chips. With Tizer. Pow.
Hoofus/IX Tab – The Ploughs and Machines
Emeralds – Double Helix
Oneohtrix Point Never – Russian Mind
Mordant Music – (0) Comments
Beak> – Ladies’ Mile
Felix Menkar – Buscando El Espacio Interior
John Gregory – Glass Corridor into Hall of Glass Clocks
Michael Chocholak – Skomorokhi
Telestation Alpha – For Your Ears Only
The Advisory Circle -Swinscoe Episode 1 – Enter Swinscoe
Danielle Ciullini – Deep Water
Lamartine – Riarmo Nucleare
Luke Abbott – Lost Landscape
Saif Mode – Tristan 1865
Videodrones – Zeta Beacon
Odd Nosdam – Hi Screw 2
Les Halles – Grow in Lightness
Cristobal Tapia De Veer – Fertility Control
Adrian Utley/Will Gregory – No Countryside
Alex Menzies – 3C Rev2
Cylob – Xodl
The Tapes – Falso Movimento A4
C-Lone – Harpbirds
Oliver Cherer – Dottie’s Messages
Roj – Home Telescope Kit
Luke Haines – This is the BBC
Demdike Stare – Of Decay and Shadows