Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: San Francisco sound artist Loren Chasse and Dutch dubstep producer Martyn.
Listed: Loren Chasse + Martyn
At the heart of Loren Chasse work is his interest in and ability to listen, often explained through the metaphor of the microphone being an extension of the ear. Using his sound locations as both the instrument and the studio, Chasse looks for particularly resonant and acoustical situations that are reflected in a peculiar way. Like many artists who push the boundaries of traditional art forms, Chasse is continuously drawn to seek new acoustic possibilities, and he is continually searching for new venues and modes of self-expression. Collaborations have been key to Chasse’s work as he founded idBattery with Brandon Labelle in the mid ‘90s before pursuing the polyphonous psychedelia of Jewelled Antler, an umbrella to such ensembles as Thuja, The Blithe Sons, The Child Readers, and Of.
Chasse credits his work with young people for helping him recognize the importance of listening in the moment. It is important to just listen, Chasse believes, and not feel obliged to capture and preserve every sound on tape. This valuable lesson is one that he passes on to his students as a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District. Chasse is also the Director of Education of the sound arts collective called 23five, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the awareness of sound in the public arena. – 23five.org.
Chasse will be performing live with Keith Evans at the San Francisco Exploratorium on Saturday, Feb. 21. A CD/DVD with Evens, entitled Chresmologues, comes out soon the Invisible Birds label. His latest records, Of’s Rocks Will Open and his own The Footpath will be reviewed in Dusted in February.
An autobiography told in records…
Judy Collins - Who Knows Where the Time Goes (Elektra 1968)
Thanks, Mom! There was this voice I heard from the backseat on so many car trips and on nights you had a boyfriend over and I was upstairs, ‘tucked in’ for the night. I discovered Neil Young, John Denver and Pink Floyd in your record stash a few years later (all of which still give me great joy to hear) but I’ve grown to love Judy Collins more and more the older I get.
Yes - Close to the Edge (Atlantic 1972)
When I first started buying records, the impulse was solely based on cover art. Beyond the green fade and water-covered plateau kingdom reached by hanging bridges, the music on Close to the Edge opened up a portal to a world way more interesting than Allentown, Penn., could give me. “And You And I” (the bass drum and triangle pattern gets me every time) closed out countless mix tapes over the years and I still say it’s one of my favorite songs ever (next to “Expecting to Fly”!).
Fripp and Eno - Evening Star ( EG 1975) / Eno - On Land (EG 1982)
They both landed in my lap around the end of high school and I used them interchangeably as soundtracks for late-night drives into rural Pennsylvania. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to either of these records and not heard some new layer or event. I was convinced that ‘fripp’ and ‘eno’ were words that described something (no doubt sonic) in an extraterrestrial language. Thanks to these records for pointing my ears in a different direction.
Eyeless in Gaza - Drumming the Beating Heart (Cherry Red, 1982)
Martyn Bates and Peter Becker make a lot of awesome records but this is the first one I heard, during college. “One by One,” “Lights of April,” “Pencil Sketch”…they still get under my skin. Eyeless records are so compelling because songs don’t pile up – atmospheric instrumentals absorb the pop of one song before another begins. A lot of Eyeless instrumentals, along with the music of :zoviet france: were like imaginary ethnic music. The organ wails, guitar jags and sparse, in-your-face drum lines of the earlier Eyeless records, such as this one, best bring out the tattered edge of Bates’ voice. This doesn’t mean the fruitier and/or more polished later records aren’t also stunning.
The Camberwell Now - All’s Well (Originally release 1982; reissued by RecRec, 1992 and ReR Megacorp 2006)
I haven’t put this record away since an old friend turned me onto it via the original LPs. Already smitten by This Heat at that time, Camberwell got even more carried away with melody and epic pop excursions, while keeping the atmospherics and musique concrete elements that made This Heat so awesome. I obsessed over many of Charles Hayward’s drum licks and flourishes as well as his singing/wailing/belting about absolutely mundane things (such as life at sea, the dole and living in working class London).
Terry Riley - Poppy No Good All Night Flight (Organ of Corti 1997)
I wish I had been around for such happenings as this one held at SUNY. My introduction to beta states. ‘Persian Surgery Dervishes’ and ‘Sri Camel’ came next, but this live one is the fuzziest.
Keiji Haino - Forest of Spirits and The Third Heart (Discs 2 and 3 of the Soul’s True Love box set) (Purple Trap 1995)
These came into my life at the same time and even though they’re quite distinct from one another, they belong together in my ear…adjacent ghost worlds. Third Heart makes me remember the organist from Carnival of Souls who, despite drowning tragically, just can’t let go and so returns to a hazy mortality only to make such gestural and creaking music as this (while the dead keep interrupting!). Forest of Spirits is sound in a haunted space – gases coalescing into apparitions, with a lonely whistle guiding them in a grey light.
Robin Williamson - Myrrh (Edsel Records, 1972)
As much as I love the Incredible String Band, Myrrh takes me someplace more pronouncedly mystical. I must listen to it at least once a week, especially on coastal drives under brooding clouds.
The Knit Separates - The Memory Relaxer (Three Acre Floor, 1997)
The Knit Separates are one of my favorite bands of all time and the two earliest recordings – 7”s – are gorgeous. Someone said about this band once that it was like music falling down stairs. Jason Honea’s vocals and lyrics are beautiful and embarrassing. Glenn Donaldson’s guitar/organs/drums/ mixing/etc…epic and weird the way Eno on a budget would have it. It’s hard choosing a favorite pop band but when I listen to these Knit Separates records I get doses of the essential things (timbres, tones and poetry) I love about other bands (Television Personalities, the Smiths, Brighter, Suicide, Hidden Cameras, Xiu Xiu, Blackout Beach)…and besides that, these guys are my friends.
Roy Harper - Stormcock (1971 Science Friction)
I’m so happy I finally found out who was at the center of that song on Led Zeppelin III. He had “legendary” status for me as a kid but I never heard his music (other than on a Pink Floyd song). The four songs on this record are epic masterpieces and will never leave my side.
Martyn (real name Martyn Deykers) has been DJing since the mid-’90s, but he’s garnered some serious ears lately thanks to his embrace of that South London sound we call ‘dubstep.’ Being from the Netherlands himself, he surprised the scene in 2007 with his "Broken” b/w “Shadowcasting” 12”. Since then, his songs have appeared in sets by Ricardo Villalobos, Laurent Garnier, Ame, Mark Pritchard, Skream, Kode9, Pole, Attias, Luciano, Underground Resistance, Scuba, Slaughter Mob and Appleblim of Skull Disco.
Teaming up with old friend and street artist Erosie, Martyn started his own label 3024 in November of 2007. The label is a playground for all the music (in various styles) Martyn is producing and collaborations with other artists. The first release came out in December 2007 : “Velvet” b/w “Twenty Four”, and was followed up in June of last year by "Natural Selection" b/w "Vancouver," two of the best cuts of 2008 according to many. The best, however, is (hopefully) yet to come. Martyn will release his debut full-length, Great Length, on 3024 in late March. More info at http://3024world.blogspot.com.
I recently moved to the U.S., and with my vinyl collection being far too big to ship over in its entirety, I’ve had to put myself to the daunting task of selecting some of my personal favorite records and ship them in 50 lb. boxes. Box No. 1, the first box with my ultimate selection, is all taped up and ready to be sent, so I decided to theme this Listed with 10 records that, I pray, will arrive in one piece on our apartment’s doorstep soon:
1. Talking Heads - Fear of Music (Sire Records)
One of my all-time favorite bands, and my favorite album, this was the first record I remembered being in Box No. 1. Fear of Music sees the Talking Heads in ultimate punk rock / new wave form, before they started to incorporate all sorts of other influences into their sound (world music). "Air," "Heaven,” "Mind” - it’s really just filled with great, great songs.
2. Pharoah Sanders - The Best of Pharoah Sanders (Impulse)
One of my top three biggest jazz artists. Pharoah Sanders is such an emotional player, his sax sounds like a rusty old whiskey drinking grandpa at times, but he switches it up just as easily to very light-hearted notes (sheets of sound) or just play plain texture. This album has some of his best tracks: "Thembi,” "Hum-Allah" and "Creator has a Master Plan.” Not for the faint hearted, but once you get into it, there’s no turning back!
3. V/A - Underground Anthems Vol. 1 (Sistrum)
Contains Patrice Scott – “Do You Feel Me,” one of my favorite house tracks of the last good few years – it’s slow, it’s pumping, it breathes, it’s got a rainy sadness to it, similar to some of Moodymann’s and Theo Parrish’s music. This track put Patrice Scott on the map for me, and he hasn’t disappointed since.
4. Deepchord - Electromagnetic Dowsing (the final step) (S Y N T H)
Proud owner of this powerful exercise in how dub techno should be done! Played this track out at clubs so many times and just never get tired of it. “The Final Step” version has that energy that I miss in a lot of dub techno nowadays, where it just gets a bit too ambient - I don’t think that’s what Maurizio (Moritz von Oswald & Mark Ernestus) meant it to be back in the day. Well, what do I know anyway, this is just a great record.
5. Slum Village - Trinity (Past, Present & Future) (Capitol)
I have the feeling this album gets overlooked a lot, but for me it’s one of Detroit hip hop’s greatest moments. Absolutely serious, innovative production by Waajeed on the beautiful "Star" with Dwele and T3, but it really all comes together with Jaydee on the super-deep "Hoes" and my favorite "One,” where Baatin takes the track to a whole different dimension at the end. I miss Baatin!
6. K. Alexi Shelby - All for Lee-Sah (Transmat)
Have looked for this 12" for years and eventually just shelled out a lot of money for it because I was sick of not owning it! In a dark acid sort of way, "All for Lee-Sah" is possibly among the most sexy club tunes I have ever heard.
7. Bobby Hutcherson - Happenings (Blue Note)
There are many classic jazz albums in my boxes, but this is one of my most coveted. Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson was in with a lot of the cool "cats" in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, but this solo album is mostly his own compositions, bar a version of "Maiden Voyage" by Herbie Hancock – who appears on all the tracks, as well as drummer Joe Chambers. While the album is quite a relaxed jazz album, it’s "The Omen" all the way at the end which leaves you with a real uneasy feeling – very dark, very sinister. Oh and the sleeve art on the album is worth whatever you need to pay for it.
8. Anthony Shake Shakir - Assimilated (Natural Electronics)
Shake is probably THE most underrated Detroit-based producer. He has done some genius music that was far ahead of his time, combining hip hop style sampling with techno compositions. With an honorable mention for "Fact of the Matter" on Seventh City, "Assimilated" is Shake at his best. The way the track builds from many tiny little samples into a great symphony of off-key techno has been a major source of inspiration for me.
9. Kode 9 & Daddi Gee - Sine of the Dub (Hyperdub)
Just wanted to include at least one defining moment in music that is somewhat recent. "Sine of the Dub" was not only a major introduction for me to "dubstep" (altho it’s nothing like anything else that has been named “dubstep”) but (I later found out) also a cleverly done ode/reference to Prince. "Stalker" on the other side is just a cold-hearted, bass-heavy killer of a track. An essential record, this one!
10. Johan Cruyff - En un momento dado (dvd)
Not a record, but packed in my box – a little football treasure. (Almost) every Dutchman has football (soccer) embedded in his consciousness, and this movie is a must-watch. It’s an interview with Holland’s greatest player/coach/TV-pundit/businessman/philosopher Johan Cruyff, with many highlights of his career on and off the pitch. I would not know how to describe how much of an icon Cruyff is in the Netherlands to an American, but think a ‘70s football version of Miles Davis? http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8kgoJTB6cds
By Dusted Magazine