After a shaky start, wherein we became a two-man operation and technology threatened our way of life, we emerged with the most cohesive mix since Volume 2. It was also the quickest, where more than ever we trusted our instincts and moved the mix forward musically in smaller steps instead of huge leaps. But more than that, I had a hell of a lot of fun working on it. I can’t really say that for the last couple volumes for whatever reason, but this one was just a joy to produce.
I believe that when you play this volume from start to finish, it’s going to sound like a deliberate change in mood. We started at a relatively mysterious place and, with the establishment of a strong rhythm, found a focus that led us slowly but surely from noise and discord to melody and unity. I’m shamelessly addicted to that kind of movement, that need for a happy resolution for all involved. For lack of a better word: it’s the light. Discovering that in this volume, step by step, was a tremendously good feeling that just built and built over the last few weeks as we hurtled toward track 15.
But like I said in the last post, this isn’t an ending; it’s just a milepost along the way. Volume 6 will start right where we left off and we’re quite happy about that. Thanks for making the journey with us.
Download the Mix as a 114 MB zip file.
Now using sendspace to deliver these massive files. Email me if the file expires.
The tracklist is as follows:
01. Me, White Noise by Blur featuring Phil Daniels
02. Did I Ever Tell You About the Man That Taught His Asshole to Talk? by William S. Burroughs and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
03. Come in Houston [Sax Version] by Morphine
04. Satellite by TV on the Radio
05. Love Missile F1 Eleven by David Bowie
06. Middle Class Revolt by The Fall
07. Red Shoes by the Drugstore by The Wedding Present
08. In the Art of Stopping [Live] by Wire
09. Magnetic City by Silverbullit
10. Gilt Complex by Sons and Daughters
11. Bored in Belgium by The Victorian English Gentlemens Club
12. Busy Doing Nothing by Love is All
13. Something Clicked & I Fell Off the Edge by The Rakes
14. Dance Steps by The Natural History
15. Wake the Breathing Light by The Shaky Hands
Everything The Natural History recorded sounds most appropriate for the post-midnight hours, when the party’s waned and you start thinking about heading home.
But just before that happens—just before you fear you’ll be seeing daybreak soon—you need one last song to end the party on the right note. Something that unites the stragglers together with ragged passion and a slow-burn roar. An epic that, like this mix, urges you to keep it alive wherever you go next.
All moving objects must give in to the gravity.
And even never-ending parties eventually peter out.
The universe demands it.
This song is about the afterglow.
The moment yesterdays antics become tomorrows stories.
Take us home Mr Joosse.
My everlasting thanks to Robb, who, in the home stretch of this mix, is turning it into the Never Ending Party. Love is All is a really wonderful example of how a band can always teeter on the edge between melody and madness, always sounding like they might just derail at any moment in a caterwaul of shrieks and saxes.
So it’s time to go over that edge. The Rakes were one of the last great children of Britpop to ensure that every b-side must be as good as the a-side. This one, with its superb title and innumerable hooks, is an early track and one where the band deconstructed its clockwork precision and proper English accents in favor of a hell of a good time and that Cockney speak-singing that’s kept popping up. Its primal howls and chugging guitar lead to a rip-roaring climax that never fully explodes—meaning our next two songs will find its proper conclusion. In the meantime, I’ll be pogoing around the room. Where’s my cigarette and drink?
Wow! What a great follow up track. I mean REALLY great. Mr. Joosse is fucking good at this whole music-tennis-as-bloodsport thing. That song is so fucking catchy. It instantly implanted itself into my brain. Lodged in there really good. So much so, that I spent the following evening scrubbing through what felt like tens of thousands of songs, trying to find the one it so distinctly reminded me of. You know the one with that very similar “kid chorus” chime along.
You know the one? Really?! Tell me god dammit! I’ve been searching for it for days!
What do you mean you don’t have it? Seriously man, don’t fool around with me. I’m a race car in the red. And you know what you don’t do with a race car in the red.
Forget you. You’re no help. You’re just a music blog lurker. You’re probably not even going to comment. You know, we don’t do this for free. We get paid in comments. Or likes. Choose. Don’t lurk.
Actually you can just lurk. It’s cool. It’s all about sharing the music. Ya know.
I know that song is out there somewhere. And one day, a long time from now, it will rear it’s adorable little head, and my hand uncontrollably punch myself in the face.
Stepping back from the ledge, I only add that I really love “Bored in Belgium”. There are so many things to love and respond to in that song. The art school recklessness. The cockney talk singing. The tight post-punk instrumentation. The non-chorus chorus.
Just when I think this mix can’t please me more, Robb goes and pulls out Sons and Daughters, one of my favorites. I love just about everything the band’s ever done. I love the dynamic guy/girl interplay, the way their drummer is a human metronome, the bewitching combination of sly and sinister present in their best songs.
I didn’t want to stray far from those elements, since together they’re a strong recipe for success. So we continue our European vacation with The Victorian English Gentlemens Club and this tale of continental life gone sour. It’s a great song, bursting with a Fall-like bass and chugging drum—simple rock done very right.
If there is anyone actually listening to this little blog. They have to be just smacking themselves in the forehead in disbelief at all the hits that keep coming one after another. That Silverbullit song is a total gem. It sounds so familiar, in a really comforting way. As if it’s really standing on the shoulders of musical giants, not redefining but simply refining the universal sounds of exhilaration.
I can only describe this song by Scottish band Sons and Daughters as a separated-at-birth-sibling of Magnetic City. The constant building rhythm of the vocals and the focused, repetitious riffage really drive things forward with great tension. It was an easy pick.
Musicians pausing in mid-song for half a second to yelp the word “Go!” is definitely in my top five rock and roll flourishes. It’s an almost wildly unnecessary device, yet to me it always speaks to the sheer dumb fun of performing, of getting the order to pull the level and turn the music on. Particularly with Wire, we’ve been looking at songs as machinery, though I suppose I felt I wanted to add some color and break out a little further.
This track, released to zero fanfare in 2001 by the Swedish band Silverbullit (renamed due to assumed Coors-related copyright infringement in the US as Citizen Bird), was the only way to follow that fantastic Wire track. In fact, the first time I heard this was ten years ago in a designer’s presentation. I’ve forgotten all context by now, but it was an animation he created unofficially for the song. I think it involved a train passing through various European countries identified by flags, and in between those flags was the same few seconds of animation repeating itself until the end. At the time, the song’s dynamism quickly made us forget about that loop; all these years later I realized the only way to illustrate the song was to accentuate that glorious repetition. I heard it just the once and subsequently spent years hunting it down.
This mix is really starting to age well. I love where it’s going. Finally a home for my long hidden passion for the song-of-one-dimension. This could really go on for weeks.
Thus I give unto the mix this really awesome track-of-1-dimension from Wire’s third incarnation as a band. I prefer this live version—it has more power, more fuzz, and more fun. They attack it’s singular riff with such abandon and reckless repetition.
I hesitated at first, because it didn’t really build on the stripped-down “spindlyness” of the Wedding Present track. But then I noticed that the Wire riff is basically the same melody as Red Shoes, only slightly backwards. It was destined. I can’t wait to see where this goes.
I, meanwhile, love The Fall. I love their sloppiness, their Englishness, their aggressiveness, the way they seize upon a hook and just beat it to death. Robb can attest to my habit of putting Fall tracks on mixes every chance I can get. So because I can’t post another Fall song as a response, I’ll go to the next closest thing.
“Red Shoes by the Drugstore” is a cover of a Tom Waits song, and I’m perfectly content to have never heard the original. Years ago, when I finally dove into The Wedding Present’s back catalog, this was the first song that really caught me. It’s probably the heaviest song they’ve ever done, built on a locked-groove bassline and featuring David Gedge speak-singing his way into a Mark E Smith impression, tossing off details and asides in a thickening accent. The rest of their quite substantial catalog plays much more with restraint and acoustic melody, but this one still stands out as a wonderful anomaly, punishing but thrilling.
After working through a ridiculous number of potential replies to the Bowie track, I am putting forth one of the first tracks I had set aside as potential replies. I’ll admit I really didn’t want to post this song at first. Cause I am just not the biggest The Fall fan and I thought I’d be posing a little to use it. They have great tracks strewn throughout a fairly unlistenable catalog (IMO). So I tried and tried to find another suitable next track. In the end, I succumbed to it’s rhythm, it’s fuzz, it’s relentless melody.
Having listened to it probably thirty times in the process of my deliberation, I grew to love this song much more than I thought I could. Hell, it’s not even a song. It’s a treatment. A tone. It does one thing. And it does it really well.
It is a tonal dystopia on a sweaty dancefoor. If we are back on earth, I guess with The Fall is a great place to be.
About 20 seconds into listening to “Satellite,” I reached for The Best of Bow Wow Wow to use as a response. I wanted what I refer to as “Adam Ant drums”—a tribal-like beat anchoring a song, primal but controlled, sounding like a small army of street drummers in the subway. It’s a distinctive sound but one that entrances me. Bow Wow Wow—and one song in particular, which will go nameless here in case I can use it someday—probably did them the best. But as “Satellite” drew to a close, I had another thought.
See, last Friday I spent the full day only listening to David Bowie, skipping around his catalogue and remembering once again how he would just pluck genres out of the air and mix them together for fun. Buried on the second disc of a rare deluxe edition of Reality, from 2003, was this cover of the famous Sigue Sigue Sputnik song. I found myself playing it over and over, hypnotized by its beat and how remarkably odd it is even for Bowie. “Fun” is an important word here—this version is fun as hell. It’s TV on the Radio meets Bo Diddley, with a rollicking electric piano and clipped guitar distortion and that mighty backbone that sounds like it stretches to infinity. It manages to feel far more human and less processed than the original, so much so that it feels vaguely incomplete, like a hour-long studio jam put to tape.
There’s a Buckminster Fuller quote I love: “Nevermind that outer space stuff, let’s get down to earth.” If “Come in Houston” is the sound of liftoff, reaching a plateau that no one else could see; and “Satellite” is the sound of orbit; “Love Missile F1 Eleven” is the sound of hurtling home with reckless abandon and total joy.
If there was one thing I was really digging about the Morphine track was that it only did one thing. I really have a soft spot for songs that have the confidence and economy to just do one thing. One rhythm. One chord progression. One direction. It’s an admirable thing.
So I set about searching for a great song that only did one thing. Then Mike put the request in for less “weird-ass” and more “rock”. Which really put a damper on where I was likely headed.
When combining the criteria of “one thing” and “rock”, only a few real standouts remained. One of those is this great propulsive track from TV on the Radio’s first EP. Hell, it almost sounds like a song Morphine would have wrote. But it retains some of the lush electronic flourishes that this mix started with.
I’ve been trying to figure out a good place to use Morphine in the mix for a long, long time now—way back to the Blurt track, which was almost a Morphine track, though I no longer remember which one. Morphine is, to me, one of the very best American bands to ever exist. Their sound isn’t likely to be heard on this planet again. And why would it? I have to believe that anyone who hears this band respects it enough to let it be. They left behind a discography that was brief but glorious, always moving forward and upward and outward.
The Morphine songs I like best are the ones with urgency and power, sex appeal and melody bursting out everywhere. But as the years have passed since I first heard “Honey White” on my favorite station in high school, I’ve grown to appreciate the detours they took into the weird territory. “Come in Houston” is one such path, difficult but strangely alluring, tossed off as a studio jam or calculated to sound nearly disorienting. Either way, it’s probably the first- or second-weirdest song they ever recorded. Recording and release info is scarce; as a result, I only know it was created near the end of the band’s lifespan. I don’t even know where I got it from—it just showed up one day when I was searching aimlessly through my collection. It’s like it exists outside of time, like the backing track to some future poet’s ravings about life and death and space, waiting to be pulled out of orbit and used for some purpose we can’t yet guess at.
Art songs + sweet beats + spoken word. There is only one thing I could post. Like many disaffected college youth in my day, I became obsessed with William Burroughs without actually being able to get through any of his books. They just have way too much fluids in em. Jizz, blood, sweat, spit, ectoplasm, etc. It just becomes too much for me after the 50th page.
Anyway, my fascination led me to start collecting his spoken word and collaborative albums. His voice has an amazing instrumental quality. The album this comes from is by far the best. It has some great stories, set to great beats and instrumentation. This track in particularly has always stood out. It’s simply hilarious and frightening.
Plus I am interested to see how Mike deals with this moving forward.
We have moved off of soundcloud with our MP3 player. Love that service but there committment to thwarting unlicensed music sharing was getting ridonkulous. Turns out that wordpress has its own decent flash player. So there we go.
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.