Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

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Vol 08 / Trk 12 / Leak at the Disco / Baxter Dury

The XX’s minimalism is their secret weapon—it can come across as slacker naivety, but it provides a lot of space for the listener to live in. You hear every instrument, every note, every word without pretension.

Baxter Dury has that same kind of minimalism, and though everything’s cranked up a few notches, he makes sure it’s all still crystal clear. The bass is the first thing you notice, but then you hear the intake of breath by the background singer at the chorus, the wonderful chord change by the guitars, the mechanized drumbeat, every rotor blade sound. Even his thick Cockney speaking voice shows that this is a guy who doesn’t give a shit if you think he’s talented or just cheeky.

I’m well-aware that Dury’s narrating style is something of an acquired taste, though again, don’t let it cause you to overlook something special—in this case, some acutely interesting lyrics (“The Chiswick disco had a leak of egos, and I waded through it like an oil spillage…”) If you’re looking for an even better example of this storytelling, with an even more addictive bassline, seek out his 2005 track “Cocaine Man,” a stone-cold classic of English indie rock.

m. joosse


Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 08,

Vol 08 / Trk 11 / VCR

Frankly, I don’t know how Mr. Joosse does it. Responding with a reply song in a day or sometimes in a matter of hours. I have spent the better part of a week listening to Bad Street and three solid contenders for the next track, paralyzed by indecision. I kept hoping that percolating on it for another day would make the choice suddenly obvious. Only to uncover other possible contender. So with this I am just jumping in going with my gut.

The Mercury Prize winning The XX are the synth pop band only the “aughts” could produce. Combining traditional organic instruments with mechanical beats and synth touches, they produce some hauntingly beautiful pop that is perfect for the dreamy quality of the mix thus far. And VCR is proof positive. I feel like it delivers on the 80’s urban vibe in spades. When I listen to it I can only imagine walking the rain soaked streets of NYC late into the night.

r. smigielski

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 08,

Vol 08 / Trk 10 / Bad Street / Twin Sister

I’m glad we’re veering in a more organic direction, because let’s be honest: I was getting as tired of typing the phrase “synth-pop,” as I’m sure you were reading it.

So in this world tour of…that phrase…we finally arrive at the New York version. Twin Sister is equal parts ZE Records disco, Talking Heads urbane punk, Debbie Harry seduction, and Santigold playfulness. Technically, Hooray for Earth are from the same city, but while that band sounds like it’s being broadcast from a zeppelin over Manhattan, “Bad Street” is ground-level, gliding along narrow streets and breezing through packed intersections. It incorporates brief glimpses of soul, funk, Hair-style singalongs, and more, like passing storefront AM radios on a sunny afternoon. It’s another winner from this year, and a track I hope will make your iPod’s designated “walking through a city” mix.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 08,

Vol 08 / Trk 09 / Still Sound

There is much to love about this song— the MJ style quick rap vocals, the staccato bass line, the wonderful soprano melody in the second half, the 70’s hammond organ solo—all completely awash in glossy production. Yet it still feels very much human. Passionate. A product of yearning. It’s not going to be a top 40 pop hit, but it’s unassuming nature is a sly creature that will get you in the end.

r. smigielski

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 08,

Vol 08 / Trk 08 / Matter of Time / The Chain Gang of 1974

One of the first synth-pop bands I got to know was New Order. Not the hip “Blue Monday”-era New Order—that came later—but the post-hiatus “Crystal”-era New Order. Get Ready is one of my favorite albums of the last decade, and what I liked most was that every song on that album took its sweet time getting to where it was going. Usually there was a minute-long instrumental buildup before the vocal started, then three or so minutes of fairly basic groove, then another minute-long instrumental outro. All of this had a calming effect, with each track unfolding gradually, causing the album as a whole to feel quite lived-in for its hour-long runtime. As a result, there didn’t have to be much experimentation on the band’s part; each track followed the same basic template for success.

I mention all of this because The Chain Gang of 1974’s Wayward Fire is a similar album, with many songs passing the five-minute mark thanks to that same relaxed wind-roll-unwind structure. “Matter of Time” is definitely not a groundbreaking song. It doesn’t do anything unusual in that same ground between Chromatics and Cut Copy we’ve been exploring this volume. But it’s a whole lot of fun, with everything sounding massive and glittering-clean. Sometimes the wish to play a song for everyone trumps every other need.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 08,

Vol 08 / Trk 07 / Feel The Love

There are several reasons this post has taken so long. Many of which I’ll not get into, but the primary one was simply how confoundingly good the previous track was. While not a synthpop uber fan, I feel like I have a pretty good pulse on the genre as of late. But that track was in some ways impossible to respond to. It just had so much diversity and each done so well, which would I focus on? There would be no other track that would do as much with as little I was sure.

The only track for the longest time I thought I could post was Fascination by Alphabeat. A track that has an identical melodic undertone. It is a simply breathtaking track that Mr. Joosse exposed me to a couple years ago. It is sublime. Go find it.

But I couldn’t possibly post that. That would be like Joosse responding to himself. I have more self respect than that. So I give this really great ditty by Cut Copy. Wonderful 80’s references that start off a little rock pop but end up a whole lot synth pop.

Again, sorry for the delay. Let’s get this mix going again.

r. smigielski

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 08,

About the NEIMT

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.


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