Not much to say about this mix. The results are equally inspired and baffling. I almost would label the theme as “confounding insubordination to thematic constraints” because the mix takes wild left turns at almost every opportunity. Don’t turn your back on it for even a second. It will betray you and probably poison your pets while your at work.
But having listened to it several times now, I have found that there is hidden thread of continuity tying it all together. Only these elements are linked no at the highest level but within the details – within the elements that are subconscious and unnoticed. That is an unexpected outcome that gets me really excited for the next installment. Take a listen. Let us know what you think. r. smigielski
Download the Mix as a 143 MB zip file.
Now using sendspace to deliver these massive files. Email me if the file expires.
The tracklist is as follows:
01. Born Free by M.I.A.
02. Attack Ships on Fire by Revolting Cocks
03. Hu Hu Hu by Dig
04. Psyche Out by Meat Beat Manifesto
05. Cool it by Nodern
06. Hidden Place (Hearts and Bones Remix) by Bjork
07. Run the Heart by Sleigh Bells
08. Godmorgon by Consor
09. We’re Not Adult Orientated (Neu Wave Live) by Stereolab
10. The Lisbon Maru by Fuck Buttons
11. La Guitaristic House Organisation by Rinocerose
12. Turbulence (Bis Remix) by Arab Strap
13. Bang! Bang! by Le Tigre
14. God and Country by The Thermals
15. Hadda Be Playing on the Jukebov by Rage Against the Machine
Protest song. Art Song. Meet this unlikely (and rare) live track from Rage Against the Machine. Yes that’s right. Those fine purveyors of mallrat white angst bring you a spoken word performance of an Allen Ginsberg poem. It’s every bit as ridiculous, paranoid, pretentious, furious and awesome as you’d expect. This blew my mind when I was 17.
FWIW, I always felt Rage were generally of higher quality than the rap rock douche bags that continue to clog the airwave in their name to this day.
And so ends a really weird mix, full of intense, and four months late. We lost one of our authors along the way. But perhaps Epp will be back someday. Mike and I are going to carry on this musical tennis match and hopefully the results stay interesting. Full mix download and cover art on it’s way in a couple days. r. smigielski
I really wanted to do something kraut-y in honor of Epp’s departure. But the more I listened to “Bang! Bang!,” the more I was pulled toward the idea of following it up with another protest song. This track was the only conclusion.
“God and Country” is pretty much the angriest song I can think of. It came out in the summer before Bush’s reelection, as we watched John Kerry grimly flail about but still hoped he could prevail. Only, the Thermals knew to write a song about it. It’s filled with rage, the kind of rage that leaves you shaking, fingernails pressed into your palm, eyes closed, almost unable to function. It’s two minutes of blind fury, loud and rough and unleashed squarely at the president and his subversion of religion. “Pray for a new state. Pray for assassination. I can hope, see? Even if I don’t believe.”
Le Tigre’s approach—of turning that rage into something close to art—will always be more effective. But every so often you need something closer to noise, a two-minute explosion that’s impossible to suppress. You need something that stands for you, that says what you’re not supposed to say out loud. You need to play it on repeat at full blast. Fuckin A, you do.
Needless to say, it’s been a while since the last post. More then 5 months. The last year has been a crazy one for me personally. I have been busier than at any point in my life. And I spread myself too thin. Volunteered for too many opportunities. Took on every responsibility that came my way. Started too many personal projects.
On top of that 2010 was one of the worst years for me musically. I stopped reading music press. Stopped paying attention to new breaking artists. Stopped listening all together.
All that added up to participating in the NEIMT not being high on my list of priorities. Which is a shame. Because I believe the experiment of this new version of NEIMT was really producing interesting results.
Anyway, things are starting to even out. Projects are slowing down and I am back to prioritizing what things I want to be a part of. NEIMT is one of those things. And now I am listening to music again. I actually have Kanye West to thank for that. My Dark Twisted Fantasy really broke through my malaise. Listened to it non-stop for weeks. Amazing, beautiful piece of art that record is.
Moving on and picking up where this mix left of was also daunting. With all the momentum sucked out of it, it could go in almost any direction. The question even came up as to whether or not we just end it where it was and start over.
But then, a couple days ago I was in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. And there was a really great Art of Music exhibit. One of the featured songs was this little ditty by Le Tigre. I hadn’t really heard it since it was released and it was very refreshing to hear again in the context of an art museum. It’s a really great example of how pop music can be confrontational, relevant, effective and still rock. This track is really a work of art.
Volume 04 has really gone all over the place sonically, in the best possible way. Bang! Bang! brings it back around to the beginning in a way for me. As if MIA could not do what she does without the foundation of Kathleen Hanna.
Enjoy. And tell your friends that the NEIMT is back. r. smigielski
I’m writing from a hotel room in Phoenix, without my usual massive hard drive to pull something from. So in between writing a presentation and feeling my flesh burn in 105-degree weather, I dug up an Arab Strap song from a few years ago, when the band broke up. They had a neat trick they pulled out every so often—creating dance music that was almost terrifyingly bleak and sad, but you didn’t really notice because it had a fast beat (and a thick Scottish accent). That doesn’t mean it sounds fun, but it does sound thrilling, and best of all, it has lyrics that tell a story in complete sentences, which we haven’t seen in a long while. m. joosse
I’ve been looking for a way to slip in something more organic and dance oriented to lift and chill the mood. I think it fits nicely between Sterolab and Fuck Buttons. Here’s rinôçérôse from their super danceable Installation Sonore (1999). I saw them at an open air on a summer’s evening a few years ago and man was that a fun show, dancing everywhere, nonstop.
This will be my second to last post for NEIMT. Though it’s great being a part of it, I am not able to respond to posts in a reasonably timely manner. Though I will continue to listen eagerly. And I promise to deliver my final post within the agreed upon 2 days! m.eppelheimer
Well this is fascinating. When I started this volume, I was expecting that it would explore an upbeat electro-pop realm. I found it interesting when it started to veer into ambient territory. While that’s a genre I very much love, I couldn’t give in so early in the chain, so I tried to steer the mix back to a more upbeat pop realm with the Sleigh Bells. Which Mike promptly let me know “he really didn’t like.”
Only to get the big “FU” from Epp with that Godmorgon track. Not that I didn’t like it, but it upset all expectations in the harshest of ways. Then another “FU” comes from Joosse with another sharp left turn back into pop territory and a new emphasis on a guitar driven sound.
I have been left sitting this last week thinking, “well what the hell am I supposed to do now?”. Pop for mike? Noise for Epp?
I have sifted through countless tracks. I almost posted a very beautiful but highly repetitious 15-minute Papa M track as my own passive aggressive move. Instead I posted this 9-minute journey through the cicada infested wilderness of Fuck Buttons. Their second album, Tarot Sport, is just phenomenal. They are really towing a nice line between the noisy and melodic sides of the ambient sound. This song is just so beautiful. Enjoy. r.smigielski
It’s interesting to me that this last round of songs has been highly random—we’re purposefully leaving very few breadcrumbs for the next person to follow our trail through the mix. This is the first time we’ve had a sustained length of songs where we seem to be following our edict (this song is a reaction to the previous one) from our guts instead of our ears. Which means we’re going a lot of weird places.
So the one breadcrumb that leads from the utterly baffling Consor to this rave-up from Stereolab is the way the electronic buzz overpowers everything else, toeing the line between earworm and earache. This song is as much a reflection of how badly I want us to return to warm pop territory as it is a representation of the cicadas that have lately been humming incessantly outside my window at night. m. joosse
I was going to put up an LFO (Mark Bell, who produced some Björk) track that fit in nicely but it felt like too much of the same. Mixes should have pauses, or spaces to reset while a theme develops so here’s a piece by Consor. Some of my favorite tracks are long with a sense of drama and build that start with a theme and dance around it and return to it (Eno, Mogawi, Godspeed). This one reminds me of Music for…-era Eno and has the electronica and scratchiness we’ve been grooving on. I like the ambience and slowness and those deeper pipe-organ-like notes that run throughout.
So I agonized quite a bit over this track selection. The ambient, glitch-tech sound is very much in my wheel house and I could comfortably stay here for a while. Part of me feels that’s too easy and just wouldn’t feel right. For some reason I am compelled to post this great track by Sleigh Bells. It just feels like the right song to relate to the swells of random noise this mix is veering towards. But it also picks up the pace slightly and guides us towards the second half of the mix. r.smigielski
Speaking of straying from a path, I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to use a Björk track for this post. She’s done industrial, she’s done great beats, she’s done dark, she’s done killer vocals. For restless experimentalism and relentless innovation, I’ll always look to her, because even if she produces something I don’t like, I still know she followed her muse and it took her to somewhere in deep space and back.
But which Björk to use? The Debut era quickly became dated-sounding. Post and Homogenic have some spectacular songs that will live forever. My attention wavered from Vespertine and Volta by emphasizing mood over melody. And I found Medulla flat-out impenetrable, even though it did with voices what Robb’s and Epp’s tracks did with synths, and that would’ve been a cool place to take the mix.
But this “Hidden Place” remix hit all the right notes with me. It seems to almost literally exist outside the Björk canon—available only as a download from her website, it removes much of her vocal parts and reconstructs the song into a twitchy, human-mechanical hybrid that doesn’t resemble the original version even a little. I love how the very warm-sounding hi-hat bears the unmistakable footprint of a human being, which Björk—and much of our volume so far—had seemingly been running away from at that point. m. joosse
I don’t know how I came across the video below, but it induced me to go straight to iTunes and buy the album. I’m straying from the industrial path a bit but this track has great beats, atmosphere, and is well dark. Nodern is the moniker of a South African artist/musician named Mitch Stratten who built that crazy dog including animatronics.
I used to work at this rock’n'roll t-shirt shop in Phoenix AZ. It was a dream job for college. Sat around all day folding t-shirts, selling Dr. Martens and those Calvin pissing on Ford/Chevy stickers. We sat around and listened to music. Any music we wanted. When I first started, I was fresh out of high school and completely ensconced in the Seattle grunge thing. The other guys at the shop quickly labeled me “seattle boy” for the fact that the music I brought in to play was so idiotically narrow-minded. Needless to say, I discovered a lot of music by working there and quickly outgrew my grunge fixation.
One of the guys there claimed to have 5000 cd’s (which i never actually saw but for the most part believed). He played a lot of industrial music (Front 242, Skinny Puppy, etc…). I heard a lot of it over and over again, and I wondered if the repetition would eventually empower me to “love” it. But it always just washed over me like lukewarm water. Complete indifference. Some things did stand out that I grew to completely love. They will remain unnamed as they actually might appear further in this mix.
But Meat Beat Manifesto is one of the greats. In particular I find the album 99% to be masterpiece. Probably because its the one that focuses on vocals more than samples. The vocals are what just kill on this album. And Psyche Out kills perhaps just a little bit more than anything else. r. smigielski
I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to industrial music, which I found terrifying at first, based on brief glimpses of Front 242 and Ministry on late-night MTV, but came around to realizing how much beauty there was in its perpetual motion machinery.
And I used to think Virtuosity, the source of this song, was a great movie. Then I realized it would be trapped in time as pointing the way to a future that never came and was never really wanted. And it dumped Russell Crowe on America. For that it must be punished.
“There are no bad guys, just disturbed guys.” It reminds me that I’m always misunderstanding something. m. joosse
The minute I heard this song, I fell in love with MIA all over again. She does this to me with every record. Perfect blend of dance, punk, and art noise and that Suicide sample is just infecting. Felt like it captured some of the eclectic rambunctiousness of last mix but most of all I was really interested in where this track would lead us for a new mix. I already have like 25 tracks that might fit somewhere in there. But that depends on how the other’s interpret it.
And if you haven’t check out the youtube “banned” video:
Every couple of days, one of the NEIMT authors will post a song that is in some way a reaction to the previous song posted by another author. Every 15 songs will be packaged up with cover art and presented for download as a complete mix. The only rule is that no artist can appear more than once in the same volume.
The best way to be informed of NEIMT posts is to subscribe in the field in the upper right. You can also follow the page on facebook. We longer maintain an email list. Email is dead to us. We'd love to hear your feedback in the comments of this blog, but if you'd like to contact the NEIMT directly, email to: robb (at) agrayspace (dot) com.
You can still see the old mixes at neimtarchive.blogspot.com. Some of the old download links might still even work.
We freely admit that this blog is probably a violation of artistic copyright law. We put together these mix "tapes" as way to share great music in a way that encourages artist support and utilizes grassroots promotion by purposefully violating those copyrights. We would like to imagine that no artist in their right mind would oppose such altruistic intentions despite its bureaucratic insubordinance.