As a long-time fan of Oneohtrix Point Never, I was disheartened that his last album Garden Of Delete was so difficult to love. It was a bloody-minded record, daring us to enjoy a dense, arhythmical odyssey, all the while knowing that it was essentially impenetrable. Thankfully, the follow-up is almost a complete U-turn, rippling with beautiful broken vocoder pop, lush electronics and a starring role for the harpsichord. It’s as bold as it is unorthodox, a breath-taking revision of electronic music and modern composition. It proves that true originality and innovation need not repel, but can instead deliver a warm embrace, and reassure us that this Age Of… whatever is going to work out just fine.
Looking back at the collection of mixtapes that adorn the elongated top shelf of my CD stack, it’s fascinating to watch genres, trends and styles come and ago. As much as the mixtapes pin down flashpoints in time and space, they also reflect a linear narrative of sorts. Buried in between the idiosyncratic choices that I’ve made, are signals that indicate a broader passage. Some genres bleed in slowly over months or over a sequence of multiple tapes, others crash in without much warning, overtaking everything in their path. However, it’s often hard to distinguish whether I’m being pulled, or I’m doing the pulling. Am I responding to signposts in the ether, or am I fashioning my own?
Certainly on ‘All That Glitters Is Gold’ artists such as Gary War, Cold Cave, Oneohtrix Point Never and Best Coast (a post-Pocahaunted project for Bethany Cosentino) are garnering an increasing recognition factor from blogs worldwide, however Australian artists such as Cabaret Callado, Pompey, Hi God People or the newly reissued Pelican Daughters (Itch-E & Scratch-E‘s Andy Rantzen in experimental / post-punk mode) remain almost entirely obscured from view, even in their home country. So, is this my story, or someone else’s? Truly, like all good mixtapes, it’s an eccentric combination of both.
What surprised me when pulling together this selection was the complete absence of remixes or covers. Instead, this is (with one slight exception) the original instance of all the tracks represented, not a reversion in sight. Perhaps the seemingly unstoppable glut of remixes and bootleg versions over the years has finally taken their toll on me – I need to return to the source. This theory is bourne out by events in my life – twelve months ago I was running down a clu-de-sac flogging ‘global ghettotech’ on Fat Planet, today I’ve reconnected with what drove my love of music in the first place: free experimentation, unbridled by a sense of scene, or notions of taste. Whether this is symptomatic of a wider condition is unclear, but I defy anyone to send me a bootleg electro remix via email and expect to see it cropping up on a mixtape anytime in the next era.
The title reflects this – these tracks shimmer and glow in their own right, with no need for spit or polish from any third party. It’s also a phrase culled from the closing track (the caveat mentioned above) – Buttress O’Kneel and Lucas Darklord‘s destruction of the Led Zeppelin classic. In Lucas’ own words, this is not so much as a remix, as a “ruin”. And it befits a mixtape whose underlying purpose (initially unbeknown to me) was to draw a line, to ruin the past, and to plant a signpost for a different kind of future.
- 1. Pink Priest – Field Of Orgasms [U.S.] 2:02
- 2. Teeth Mountain – Black Jerusalem [U.S.] 5:42
- 3. Lucky Dragons – Power Melody [U.S.] 3:46
- 4. Gyratory System – Cargo Cult [England] 4:34
- 5. Blank Dogs – Set Living [U.S.] 3:18
- 6. Peace In – Candy Rug Lizards [U.S.] 2:52
- 7. Oneohtrix Point Never – Zones Without People [U.S.] 4:00
- 8. Cabaret Callado – Ware [Brazil / Australia] 2:56
- 9. Gary War – Good Clues [U.S.] 2:51
- 10. Cold Cave – Life Magazine [U.S.] 2:56
- 11. Flight – Flowers [U.S.] 2:51
- 12. Hi God People – Thunder On The Way To Funan [Australia] 8:24
- 13. Pelican Daughters – The Haywain [Australia] 3:38
- 14. Zaza – Sooner or Later [U.S.] 5:06
- 15. Pompey – Hands Miniature [Australia] 2:56
- 16. Best Coast – Something In The Way [U.S.] 2:11
- 17. Polyfox & The Union Of The Most Ghosts – Cross Boa Tangles Gently Around Polyfox [Australia] 3:02
- 18. Fol Chen – Cocktails at Shadeland [U.S.] 0:59
- 19. BOK Darklord – Stairway to Heaven [Australia] 2:12
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