Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

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The Neverending Roads / Vol 12 / 013113

Mr. Smigielski came to me in the winter of 2010 with an idea to build a mix with multiple participants, pushing and pulling against each other’s diverse tastes and interests to create an audial document in real time. How could I not be excited? It was a challenge that I’d never seen before. So we started, with no idea where it would go. With our friend Epp, we moved through volume after volume, and picked up Mssrs. Klops and Woodford along the way. We saw our number of followers build and our traffic increase. We even had an app made.

The mix took a lot of twists and turns, and perhaps inadvertently reflected life itself. In the last few months, one of us moved to London; one of us moved to Chicago; one of us turned in his notice that he would be leaving the mix; some of us found our relationships to music changing; and all of us found ourselves insanely busy with careers, lives, and other priorities. When we stopped to take stock of everything, we came to the conclusion that the end of this volume was the right time to put the Neverending Mix on hold for the foreseeable future.

I can speak for all of us when I say that it’s been an incredible experience working on this project. We hope the NEIMT introduced you to a new band or song, made a new connection to something you already loved, or got you to make your own mixes. We hope it changed, even just a tiny bit, the way you interact with music. It did all of those for us. We might be back someday, maybe in a different form or with new writers, but we’ll always be out there devouring music, thrilled by its possibilities, curious about the neverending roads it will take us on. We’ll see you out there.

m. joosse

Download the Mix as a 116 MB zip file.
Now using sendspace to deliver these massive files. Email us if the file expires.

The tracklist is as follows:

01. Sitting Still, Talking About Jets by the Detachment Kit
02. Odessa by Animals as Leaders
03. Screams of Joy by Lungfish
04. I Built Myself a Metal Bird by Silver Mt. Zion
05. How Near How Far by …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
06. Out of My Mind by Dope Body
07. Silencer by mewithoutYou
08. List of Demands (Reparations) by Saul Williams
09. Kung Fu by the Dirtbombs
10. Little Bit of Feel Good by Jamie Lidell
11. Free by Graffiti6
12. Good Music by Colorama
13. Believe E.S.P. by Deerhoof
14. Long Flight by Future Islands
15. Blinders by Geographer


Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12

Vol 12 / Trk 15 / Blinders / Geographer

As with past volumes, when I’m assigned their final tracks, I tend to go for ones that sound epic—a single take, a sunset, a long sigh. “Long Flight” put me in a reflective mood, and I wanted to return to some of the slower tempos from earlier in the volume. I like Future Islands and their off-kilter, dark new wave sound, so it was difficult to parse a response down from a vast library that’s been invaded and conquered by new wave-influenced bands year after year.

Or perhaps I just didn’t know where else to go. This volume has been, to say the least, erratic. It was driven almost more by personal whims than a desire for consistency. In many ways, that’s been proof of our unofficial motto around here: follow the music, post from the gut, do what feels appropriate. If this volume has meandered down a river, perhaps I consider “Blinders” to be the time when the dock finally comes into view.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 12 / Good Music / Colorama

Graffiti6’s pop meets Northern soul with this Edwyn Collins-produced Welsh gem from this past summer. It’s young, it’s dumb, it’s…pretty self-explanatory. I heard last week that the word “earworm” got added to the dictionary in 2012. I assume the photo underneath is of Colorama.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 09 / Kung Fu / The Dirtbombs

As is becoming the norm, Mr. Klops leaves me curiously flabbergasted with where this volume is going. But I’ll try something different this time and respond to his one track only, instead of the cumulative direction of the mix. It’s going to take us further away from the heaviness of the first half, but let’s see what happens.

The vocal similarities between Saul Williams and Mick Collins are there, and there’s an interesting line about Collins as an African-American, but there are only a couple of songs I can think of by Collins’ band The Dirtbombs that could follow “List of Demands.” “Kung Fu” is one of them, and I’d like to think that after the mono-quality previous track, this one explodes in full stereo (and does some nifty fuckery between channels). It’s also the best Bauhaus homage/theft I know, using the singularly awesome backbeat from “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” as a propeller into the bulk of the song where fuzzy Detroit guitars squall. It’s another interesting combination of the human and the mechanical, which I suppose I’m inadvertently turning into a theme lately.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 06 / Out of My Mind / Dope Body

THIS was the track I wish I’d posted the last time. But alas, it only came into my possession two days after that post. Sorry, B.

A general rule I live by is that anything involving J. Robbins is worth a listen. He hits a sweet spot pretty much every time, always with an emphasis on crunch and melody. You can pretty much always identify one of his songs if you encounter it in passing. In recent years, he’s expanded his palette a bit—whether this has anything to do with the remnants of emo going away or the DC-Baltimore axis mutating is almost beside the point; it’s still quite nice to see a guy change things up.

So that’s where Dope Body comes in. I read a description of the band as “sludge-punk” and another as “bro-rock,” neither of which I’d normally associate with Robbins. What I love about this track—and the great majority of their new Robbins-produced album—is that he uses his sound as a base to build on, not the end result. So above his trademark ADD bass is a pummeling drum, throaty growl and skull-rattling guitar. And a semi-automatic cowbell. Above all, the melody is still vital, even if it’s pleasingly menacing. Hopefully this volume doesn’t veer into screamo territory, but if we do, at least I had a good time getting there.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 03 / Screams of Joy / Lungfish

Mr. Klops, I love you but you’re bringing me down.

I had a visceral reaction to “Odessa,” and not in a good-want-to-barf way. That sound of math rock melding into nü-metal is painful. I can sort of appreciate the precision musicianship, but it’s been bled of heart and light and melody. It’s the sound of doors closing and walls appearing ever tighter. And aside from all that, it contains nothing that I admired about the Detachment Kit track—a slow burn, space between notes, raw emotion, an understanding that it was created by humans.

So I submit my own version of song-as-monolith, a recently dusted and polished track from Baltimore’s Lungfish, recorded in 1999 but finally given release in 2012. The slower—no, wait, I want to use the word ‘deliberate’ instead—tempo allows it to unfurl, giving you time to create peaks and valleys out of almost-imperceptible changes in the repetition. The drums pound rather than pummel, the multitracked vocal echoes across the valley. I respect the request to go heavy in this volume, but my version of heavy must be warmer and more organic.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 01 / Sitting Still, Talking About Jets / The Detachment Kit

The following is a special guest post from our friend Craij, who’s been a fan of the Neverending Mix pretty much since we started. A shockingly talented developer, Craij took the site’s RSS feed and built an NEIMT Air app that anyone can download free at Google Play. We struck a deal: when the app gets 1,000 downloads, Craij kicks off the next volume. That was a month ago, when we were at 900 or so downloads. As of today, we’re at 1,565, which is a massive thing. We’re thrilled to get into Vol 12 and say thanks to Craij’s work (and your listening).
First, I’d like to thank you guys for the cameo entry.  So many times I plug into NEIMT and groove out while I work or relax. Now I get a chance to influence a volume! The final track to the last volume was about as close to perfect ending to that collection as one might muster—nice work, Joosse! I love that ending. Drone, drone, drone and drone some more. I stare at the floor as I fall into the abyss of FR’s impressively crafted track. I visualize dropping through a campy 80s sci-fi animation for hyperspace.  Feels nice….
The way I see it, I have three choices as a follow-up here:
1) latch on to the drone and request some slow dive or rave down
2) slide further into the mud and post something dark and pissed (a great cure for the cheery)
3) put on my jetpack and blast off into the energetic….Yes, I have one of those.


Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 11 / Trk 15 / Fuck This Place / Frightened Rabbit

I couldn’t tell if I was affected by Mr. Woodford’s Sparklehorse post and knowledge of how that story ended, or just felt that this volume needed an epic downer for an ending. Either way, all the songs I’d earmarked for this post had appropriately titled songs: “Plane Crash,” “Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend,” “Too Old to Die Young,” etc.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Need something huge-sounding? Hit the highlands and chat up the first indie band you meet. And no one does epic downer better than Frightened Rabbit, a band that was born bearded and furrow-browed. On this, possibly their scrappiest song of their career, they’ve brought along Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura, making this a Scottish version of the Justice League.

“Fuck This Place” is thinner than most FR songs, only because you can pretty much hear every layer. At the back is a field recording of a rainy street corner; in the middle is rough and tumble percussion that I think Mark Linkous would appreciate; to the front is a rather regal brass section that swells softly. All wrapped in a lovely duet that builds in emotional plaintiveness before fading out in a rush of fuzz and hum.

It’s closing time on Vol 11. I’m left feeling a little weighted down by the music. Take me home.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 12 / Yard Work / Lambchop

Sorry guys, I don’t buy it. Being happy because you’re happy—it’s nice and all, but it’s not real life. It strikes me as unsubstantial and kind of boring. Call me cynical or post-millennial or overly pragmatic, but isn’t it far more rewarding to see the sun emerge from behind a cloud than to see a fully blue sky? Besides all that, I think there was a lot more indie pop to explore before moving on to another sub-genre. So I filed away the horn-heavy tracks and the simplified lyrics and decided to try and refocus the volume a bit.

Lambchop is one of the great American bands of the last 20 years, effortlessly wandering between country, rock, jazz, R&B, and much more. “Yard Work,” an unreleased-in-the-US track, finds them in an uptempo mood, musing over the state of Kurt Wagner’s grounds. It takes a couple of listens, but many smile-inducing elements start to announce their presence. Like the background piano lines, the “ooh wah hoo” chorus, the vibes, the oddball references to CBS and the Pointer Sisters, the brushed drums. Outside of “Up with People” and “You Masculine You” and maybe two others, this is one of the happiest tracks in Lambchop’s vast, vast catalog. As a representation of joy, it’s the kind that grows on you, until you didn’t realize you were smiling already.

Honestly, that aforementioned cloud isn’t meant to rain on a parade, just maybe show it in a different light.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 09 / Cheating the Game (demo) / James Yorkston and the Athletes

Mr. Smigielski’s going to sit out the next couple of rounds, so we’ll move full speed ahead into the volume’s final third. Or is that half speed? Frankly, this sweetly relaxed end of summer thing we have going here is too nice to give up. Nothing in my collection speaks to this time of year quite so well as James Yorkston and the Athletes’ Moving Up Country, a folksy masterpiece from the wilds of Scotland. It’s soundtracked my starts of falls and sunny winter days every year for the last decade like a trusted and comfy chair. Recently given a re-release for its 10th anniversary, it came with a disc of demos and live-in-studio versions that were quite illuminating.

“Cheating the Game,” in its original form, is acoustic, warm, bright and crisp. This demo is rawer in all senses—the electric guitar (almost never heard on the original Moving Up Country) borders on jangly, which I say Stuart Murdoch and co. would approve of; the percussion is moved further to the background; and there’s plenty of room to breathe and move around between the bass (which Lou Reed would like) and the slide guitar (which Great Lake Swimmers would like). It’s exactly what you want to find in an unearthed demo: the sound of musicians loose and spry, capturing the start of something gorgeous and colorful before more order sets in, revealing a side of them you always hoped you’d be lucky enough to hear one day.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 06 / Think That You Might Be Wrong / Great Lake Swimmers

I wanted to follow “River” with something equally upbeat, but something kept pulling me away to the gorgeous lushness of this Great Lake Swimmers track. It sounds like a lot of summery things—open windows, lightning bugs wandering by, standing in a river—all of which inject a certain amount of peace into this volume. Its airiness is elegance personified; it brings back the delight of the indie pop I saw earlier and marries it to the graceful Americana that we’re just starting to delve into.

The heat’s broken, dusk is coming, let’s turn the lights down low so they burn a soft yellow instead. Let’s move to the floor and close our eyes and sway together.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 02 / You’re Not Supposed To / Field Music

How do you solve a problem like Iceland? Something about that island and its quirky bands—I don’t know. The Sigur Rós track was indeed delightful, and I had the perfect follow-up in mind: Björk’s “In the Musicals,” which amped up the oddness with a hefty dose of Looney Tunes batshitery. But alas, my external HD is fried at the moment so I can’t get to it. And besides, we’ve gone 11 volumes without repeating an artist, so why start now?

That brought me to the dreary north of England, where a number of bands have fought against rainy winters to produce tight and wonderful albums. The most inventive of these is Field Music, who grow more interesting with each passing year. Two brothers and their friend create complex songs that rope in a capella harmonies, ‘70s-style soft rock, chamber pop, ‘80s Fairlight synths, string sections, handclaps, cowbells and much more. “You’re Not Supposed To” is from a 2005 single, and perhaps doesn’t quite echo “Gobbledigook”’s wild joy as it smoothes out its edges and streamlines it, like coal under pressure, to create a compact, sturdy, shiny diamond of a pop song.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 10 / Trk 15 / Don’t Give Up / Lake

32 seconds into “Don’t Give Up” is the sound of a tambourine shaking exactly twice, then going silent. The tambourine starts back up later as a percussive track throughout the rest of the song, but this stray moment is quite clearly the work of a human being making a small but delightful error. Here’s my thesis statement: this moment is the climax of this volume. The last 14 tracks have been a slow but steady determination to show how musicians control their power of machines and instruments. Track by track we’ve shown more of that power—Yann Tiersen kills on the harpsichord; only H-bombs rival the destructive capacity of Caribou’s drumming; even Múm knows when to replace the glitchy samples with actual singing.

It wasn’t hard to pick out Lake to follow No Kids; we’re back to the sound of a handful of people playing live in a room, and—like us neverending mixers—excited to hear what comes out of it.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 12 / What Do You Think Will Happen Next? / Final Fantasy

What I love about “Les Jours Heureux” is that it pretty much catapulted us into the next volume. Not literally, of course, but I have to admit that I was feeling in a rut with regards to electronic music. It was really nice to hear something so human and warm—and jaunty! Never forget the jaunty—even though I wager Mr. Woodford would himself say that his leap ended up being further than perhaps he anticipated.

But no matter. My favorite mixes are circular, rather than linear. They force you to listen for details that’ll come back later, little notes or melodies or time signatures that might be easily forgotten and uncovered several listens later. “What Do You Think Will Happen Next?,” aside from its awesomely on-target title, brings back around the cosmopolitan good humor of Yann Tiersen, the curious horns from Efterklang and the joyous victory of Holy Fuck. I’m glad to be able to use one of Final Fantasy’s most cheery songs and thrilled that we’ve entered yet another uncharted sea for the Neverending Mix.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 08 / Alike / Efterklang

While I love the party time Mssrs. Smigielski and Caribou threw down, I found myself more and strangely attracted to the previous two tracks for the ways they seemed to approximate shifts between black and white to CMYK. “Yeti” is kind of at the far end of the scale—it’s Technicolor, possibly on shrooms—but something about the way the others shifted from crackling hesitation to bursts percussion and instrumentation drew me in. Meeting in the middle led me to “Alike” and its blossoming widescreen color. Efterklang doesn’t try to balance genres; they’re a band that seems to beg you to not use that word to describe them. Here, everything is a delicate balance: fragility and confidence, horns and drums, hooks and catharsis. Why I couldn’t follow the blistering fun of “Yeti” with something even more frenetic and playful is beyond me. I must be getting older.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 04 / Thank You Caroline (Andy Votel mix) / The Avalanches

I was born without the gene that censors self-doubt, so I’ll start by saying that I’m not entirely certain this is the right track to follow Mouse on Mars. But after two days of ransacking my house for an appropriate response, this one worked its way to the top. Mainly because I was both repelled by and attracted to the way that “Butterflies” felt like several songs in one. While I liked the idea of finding something that would isolate a portion and move into a more streamlined theme, I also liked the idea of finding something equally complex.

So I turned to the guys who put the “yeesh!” in “pastiche,” The Avalanches. Whole subcategories of music criticism have been created to discuss how they’ve twisted the entirety of pop music around their fingers. But while their songs are usually hyperkinetic and hyperaware, when in the hands of a skilled remixer, they turn into something else entirely. Hence this Andy Votel remix, which strips away any impulse at sampling and focuses on live instrumentation. True, a lot of the band’s sense of pure joy is gone, but in its place is a more straightforward groove, turned downward in the same way as every track I’ve ever seen him get his hands on. And just when you find yourself wanting a change, the track revs up for the last 90 seconds into something that resembles a jam, albeit one for vaguely dour librarians.

In other words: it may not be a smart choice, but I love that it’s a smart track.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10, ,

Everything That Converges Must Rise / Vol 09 / 031112

I think I can safely speak for Mr. Smigielski that we’re very happy we expanded to a quartet of authors for this volume. It’s been great to get some fresh perspectives and voices to help keep things moving forward. Or sideways. Or upside down. Though not our most consistent volume, I think it strikes a fine balance between evolution and adventure, passing from cool Europop to sample-heavy strangeness to lockstep Krautrock to somber indie electronica and ending up at twitchy R&B.

We welcome any interpretation of meaning you may want to apply to the resultant volume—my own is that this is a mix that reflects a difficult winter. Not necessarily weather-wise, but emotionally and mentally. It’s frequently cloudy and darkens easily, it sometimes lacks a strong human warmth and it often prefers a serious fragility to the cheer and pleasure we’ve seen in past volumes. On this, a day where we get the gift of more sunlight, my hope is that the next volume will shake off the gloom and embrace the joy of spring.

m. joosse

Download the Mix as a 93 MB zip file.
Now using sendspace to deliver these massive files. Email us if the file expires.

The tracklist is as follows:

01. Got it Together Again by Saint Etienne feat. Nathan Bennet
02. Let’s Call it Off by Peter Bjorn and John
03. Little Bit by Lykke Li
04. By Your Side by CocoRosie
05. Bats in the Attic (Unravelled) by King Creosote & Jon Hopkins
06. CMYK by James Blake
07. Ice by Patten
08. Mexican Grand Prix by Mogwai
09. Paradise Walk by Neu!
10. New Rock by Buffalo Daughter
11. Smoke by Cornelius
12. Be Good to Them Always by The Books
13. Alienation by Lali Puna
14. Rock My Boat by Dntel feat. Mia Doi Todd
15. Portofino by Teengirl Fantasy
16. Osaka Loop Line by Discovery

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 09

Vol 09 / Trk 13 / Alienation / Lali Puna

Though I appreciate the twitchy glitchiness of “Be Good to Them Always,” I want to see a smidge more humanity. Thus I went to Lali Puna, one of the few girl-fronted bands who can successfully combine pop-song allure with electronic alarm.

“Alienation” is sort of a little sister to the Notwist’s “Consequence,” a track I very nearly used here but pulled away from due to my having championed it on mixes and in conversation for a full decade now. Both are the emotional climaxes on their respective albums, but where “Consequence” rides a dizzyingly haunting melody and jockeys for the title of Saddest Song I Own, “Alienation” absorbs patterns of noise and additional instruments to blossom into something quite beautiful. I love those sounds—typewriter keys, striking matchsticks, plucked strings—but they’re no match for the breathy vocal and piano and the almost-hidden guitar. Why have I not been talking about this for years too?

I promise my contributions to the next volume won’t be so German.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 09,

Vol 09 / Trk 09 / Paradise Walk / Neu!

Somewhere between the mechanical menace of Mogwai and the, well, shit-ass weirdness of Patten lies “Paradise Walk,” certainly the krautiest of all the krautrock in my library. Which is only really Neu! and Can, so maybe that’s not saying much. I first heard this album—recorded in 1986, bootlegged in 1995, and officially released in 2010—last year in New York, and it’s always retained that wide-eyed wonder of wandering a massive city. It’s a pretty awesome coexistence of order and chaos, with samples and disembodied voices and the occasional windchime gliding over and under and through that wonderful drumbeat. When the synth line rises from the murky depths…I don’t know, it sounds like pure hope.

P.S. This one’s for you, Epp.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 09,

Vol 09 / Trk 05 / Bats in the Attic (Unravelled) / Jon Hopkins & King Creosote

King Creosote is like an insomniac uncle, tinkering about the garage in the middle of the night. He’s amassed dozens of albums and home-recorded hundreds of tracks—the coastal Scottish equivalent of John Darnielle—and released them on CD-Rs and 7”s on his own label. He began cleaning up his sound around 2004 and last year reached what may be the pinnacle of his career, a collaboration with electronic artist Jon Hopkins. Few traces remain of the scrappy, ragged DIY quality of old songs re-recorded over and over to make his whole discography yet more serpentine. But in place of that is the definite sound of a man getting older and being surprisingly okay with it, ready to trade in the four-track for the two-car.

I labored over 10 or so KC tracks from the last decade, any of which would’ve been great but led us down wildly divergent paths (the mopey singer-songwriter, the droning guitar player, the happy accordion folkie, the sampling-heavy weirdo, etc.) In the end, I couldn’t pass up the grown-up-edness of this track, a Hopkins-remixed version of the highlight from Diamond Mine. Its melody and optimism bloom gradually, like the spring always around the corner.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 09, ,

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.


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.

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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.

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