MAGIC MIX

easy . exotica . library music . soundtracks

WEEK STARTING 20 Oct

Genre pick of the week Cover of Ypres by Tindersticks.
In early 2011, Tindersticks were commissioned by the In Flanders Fields World War One Museum in Ypres, Belgium to create the soundscapes for the new permanent exhibition commemorating the centenary of the Great War and beyond.

Tindersticks response was to write, record and produce a continuous, orchestral score to accompany the visitor on their emotional journey through the unique story of Ypres in the Great War. The score evolves through the different, distinctive spaces and sections of the museum, punctuated with private contemplative spaces where the music was allowed to be more poetic.

Made from a series of interlocking orchestral loops, the music flows seamlessly all day, everyday, without beginning, middle or end. The aim, for Stuart Staples, was for the soundtrack to “become the sound of air within the museum”.

Ypres was the epicenter of the Western Front in The Great War and was virtually destroyed by the conflict. It has since, only relatively recently, been rebuilt to its original plans. The museum is housed in the rebuilt cloth hall that stands in the centre of the town and was once the hub of the towns industry.

Hundreds of thousands died in Ypres and the surrounding area, with allied cemeteries and graves scattered everywhere. In keeping with the perspective of the new museum, Staples felt it crucial to “bring the essence of the experience to a personal level. To somehow loosen it away from the images we have all become accustomed to.”. Inspiration for the work was found in the quiet, dignified German memorial garden of Vladslo and Kathe Kollwitz’ famous ‘Grieving parents’ statue that resides there.

Stuart Staples and Dan McKinna worked closely to compose the score and felt the museum building resonated with a key of F. The starting point for the music became a musical cluster of E flat, F and F sharp. The recording was presided over by long time collaborator and orchestra leader Lucy Wilkins. The orchestral recordings were made at the Church in Crouch End, London and were then taken back to Le Chien Chanceux studio in France to prepare for the installation. In collaboration with London Sound designers ‘Sound Intermedia’ a bank holiday weekend in May 2012 was spent meticulously building the soundscape for every individual space.

The In Flanders Field Museum re-opened its doors with tindersticks soundtrack on 11th June 2012. Now tindersticks are releasing the recording of the soundtrack on October 2014 via lucky Dog Recordings

Alloy Orchestra

The Man With The Movie Camera

    It was only a lucky few iNDie Festival attendees who witnessed Alloy Orchestra's performance of their soundtrack to the 1929 silent film "The Man with the Movie Camera" in our Blue Room last Fall, so we are pleased to bring the recording to you in the form of a double LP. Alloy Orchestra is a 3-man musical ensemble - Roger C. Miller, Ken Winokur, & Terry Donahue - who use "racks of junk," synthesizers, and all sorts of other unusual instruments, found objects, and unlikely noisemakers to aurally accompany silent films.

    Roger Ebert has called them "the best in the world at accompanying silent films," and we can't disagree. "The Man with the Movie Camera," directed by Dziga Vertov and edited by his wife Elizaveta Svilova, is a documentary with no specific cast or narrative. In the film, a man carries out his day in the city as a member of the proud proletariat, capturing invention and the relationship between man and machine in Lenin's Soviet Union.

    'Loose Change' is a trip to the T&S vaults, the label dusted off the reels to some alternate mixes and previously unreleased songs from the SOTC sessions, including a little interlude featuring the one and only Lee Fields.

    Michels has produced and co-produced many of the Truth & Soul releases including the new Lee Fields record, Emma Jean. He shares songwriting credits with Adele, Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, Aloe Blacc, and has played on records by Ray LaMontagne, Lana Del Rey, The Black Keys and Dr. John. Loose Change is a glimpse into the early, early days of El Michels Affair.

    This is a limited edition 1000 piece pressing for the world and for those that have been asking, yes, there are two new El Michels Affair records in the works.

    10 years ago, Truth & Soul released its first full length record, 'Sounding Out The City'. It was also Leon Michels' first full length record under the moniker El Michels Affair. At the time, the budding retro soul scene consisted of mostly organ quartets a la The Meters and of course, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings were in the early days of their ascent to world domination.

    Leon Michels, who was 18 when recording 'Sounding Out The City' began, had just released 'Thunder Chicken', the first record by his high school band The Mighty Imperials. At the time of SOTC, Michels was just discovering early rocksteady, afro-beat, and 60s garage rock, which inevitably crept its way into the songwriting. He purchased a Tascam 388, an 80s 1/4" reel to reel 8 track intended for home recordings, and began recording music in a 10x10 box with no windows that also doubled as his childhood bedroom. Along with fellow Mighty Imperials Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, and Sean Solomon, and Michael Leonhart, Thomas Brenneck, and some of the musicians from The Dap Kings, Michels recorded the LP over a two year period.

    Upon it's release, it received some rave reviews and the small deep funk community ate it up, but due to the lack luster promotion and distribution the rest of the world was slow to catch on to the instrumental gems featured on SOTC, which Michels appropriately labeled as "cinematic soul". However, in 2005 it found it's way into the hands of the people who were organizing a series of concerts for Scion that paired bands with MC's. El Michels Affair was contacted about playing one show with Raekwon The Chef of Wu Tang Clan fame. The show was such a success it led to a tour, and then to another set of concerts that featured multiple members of the Wu-Tang Clan. This eventually led to the release of El Michels Affair's second record, "Enter the 37th Chamber" which introduced them to a much larger audience and has been their most successful release to date.


    This is the first time his extraordinary music has been released. CD in jewel case with large 16 page booklet, full colour rare photos, essay by Will Fowler. Compiles tracks from the ' Volume One' and' Volume 2' LPs.

    Bruce Lacey is the quintessential British eccentric. Bruce Lacey is an artist, a musician, a filmmaker, a shaman, a genius and visionary. Since the 1950s he’s made film, music, art and performances, and collaborated with everyone from the Beatles to Throbbing Gristle.

    He was part of the groundbreaking Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition in 1968. He even built a robot that won the Alternative Miss World.

    Made and recorded using household objects as well as a modified synthesizer (made by a schoolboy in the early 1970s), it ranges from abstract tribal concrete to droning electronic trance. The music will be released across two separate LPs and one CD. Included will be a fine essay about the history of this inspiring figure by BFI / Flipside archivist Will Fowler.

    Bruce Lacey has been a busy man. Since the 1950s he’s been making film, making music, making art, sculpture, rituals, performances and more besides. Many of his films have explored the basics of life and sex all with a sprinkle of irony, realism and ritualism. Many of his films have required music, music which Lacey made himself, improvising with bottles, rattles, typewriters and a tape machine.

    By the early 1970s Lacey was exploring stone circles and ancient rights; he’d also bought a home-made synthesiser from a schoolboy who’d advertised it in Exchange & Mart. He’d made it as a home project. A week later Lacey bought a keyboard from another schoolboy in Exchange & Mart. Lacey set about slowly modifying this synth and improvising music influenced by his stone circle visits over the next few years.

    This music is made only when “The Muse” descends. It is impossible for Bruce to perform this improvised music live. The music he made was occasionally available on cassette at his exhibitions in the 1970s. The late Poly Styrene (who had a copy) compared Lacey’s music to Tangerine Dream. Lacey had not heard of Tangerine Dream. This is the first time this raw and extraordinary music, by one of the UKs most extraordinary men, has been made available.


    Like all good parables Jane Weaver’s sixth solo album, a concept album called ‘The Silver Globe’, is as multifaceted as it is beguiling. Part coming of age / part cautionary tale and part romantic paeon, this twelve track synth ridden post-apocalyptic prog pop opus is based on tightly embroidered, non-linear recurring themes and inspired by esoteric stories, cosmic imagery and refiltered past experiences.

    Written from the optimistic vantage of a long-standing female independent artist, in an desperately evolving industry, Jane’s latest set of self penned pop abstractions combine mechanical rock / recycled European cinema / empyrean vocalisations and an arsenal of rescued vintage synths to create a futurist narrative backdrop of a allegorical post apocalyptic landscape.

    ‘The Silver Globe’ features collaborations with David Holmes, Australian space rockers Cybotron, Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy), Suzanne Ciani and Andy Votel, as well as a recycled chunk of an 80s Hawkwind track.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Philippa says: The Manchester-based singer-songwriter returns with a wonderful self-produced album that augments her previously folk-tinted sound with krautrock, space rock, cosmic disco, Eastern European cinematica and Moog-pop. Seductive and beguiling, 'The Silver Globe' is Weaver's most accomplished album to date!

    Various Artists

    Northern Soul: The Film Soundtrack 7" Vinyl Edition

      Harmless are proud to announce that we will be issuing the soundtrack to the film, “Northern Soul” directed by Elaine Constantine. Early viewings confirm that “Northern Soul” will be the most accurate portrayal yet of this legendary musical movement which started in the north of England in the late 1960s and has now spread around the world and become a huge international scene. Since 7” vinyl remains at the epicenter of this 46 year old scene with the original records still establishing world-record prices in collecting circles, we felt duty bound to issue a very special edition of the soundtrack on 7” vinyl. We’ve specially licensed all the Northern Soul tracks from the soundtrack plus one bonus track for 14 x 7” discs, all in pic-sleeves featuring key scenes from the film, together with a specially commissioned 60 page hardback-bound book of carefully selected film stills which has been painstakingly edited and re-touched by Elaine Constantine, the director of ‘Northern Soul’. A perfect collector’s item from what will be one of the most distinctive films of recent times. So, that’s 14 x unique 7”vinyl singles and a 60 page hardback book collection of unique stills from a unique film all housed in a solid collectors heavy-duty box. To be treasured forever. Needless to say, these 14 discs present 28 of the greatest Northern Soul classics of all-time, many of which are making their UK release for the very first time. Every one of these tracks has been a floor-filler on the Northern Soul scene throughout its history and many of the original U.S. releases still command a huge value. In fact the cumulative value of all the original pressings in the set comes to an astounding £35,260 (as valued by John Manship in July 2014). A ‘must-have’ purchase for anyone who is interested in British musical culture, U.S. soul music and collecting serious Northern Soul music on its original vinyl format!


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