Mix: Night Tearers

Been wanting to make this one for a while. If you were to get kicked to death in the pit (if those are even still a thing after all this) and sent to hell, this is what your eternity of suffering would sound like. Could be worse.

JLbari, ‘Nighmare 2’

00:00. Hayworth – “15 Seconds Alone in the Hot Tub” from I Now Pronounce You Fucked and Depressed (self-released, 2009)

01:10. IDYLLS – “Lied to” from Prayer for Terrene (self-released, 2014)

07:41. Arkan Azid – “ASTRALSUIZID” from ASTRALSUIZID (self-released, 2020)

10:54. Gaza – “I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die” from I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die (Black Market Activities, 2006)

12:13. Unyielding Love – “The Pregnant Hurt” from The Sweat of Augury (various, 2016)

16:44. Irhagar – “- ̢̛҉͠ ̕͟ ̵͟͠ ̵̶̀͘ ҉ ̵̨́́̀ ͏̵ ̴̡͘” from Sutra (self-released, 2020)

18:36. Mahr – “Noctaeon” from Antelux (Amor Fati, 2018)

21:31. Endon – “Etude for Lynching by Family” from Mama (Daymare, 2015)

26:22. Miscarriage – “II” from Imminent Horror (Sentient Ruin, 2019)

33:41. Shora – “To Further Confines” from split with Merzbow (Bisect Bleep, 2002)

Mix: Staring Into Space, Amps on High and Tilted Skyward

The title of this mix comes from the artist description on RST’s Bandcamp page. A slab of heavy, enveloping, rough-hewn drone music: pillars of light exploding from your body and stabbing through the clouds.

Still from ‘Sunshine’ (2007)

00:00. Bügsküll – “Intro” from Phantasies and Senseitions (Road Cone, 1994)

00:16. Pelt – “Ashes of a Photograph” [excerpt] from Effigy (MIE, 2012)

08:41. Natural Snow Buildings – “Black Pastures” [excerpt] from Daughter of Darkness (Blackest Rainbow, 2009)

16:28. My Cat Is an Alien – section I [excerpt] of Cosmic Light of the Third Millennium (Important, 2006)

20:09. Alex Cunningham – “Faith” [excerpt] from Rivaled (Void Castle, 2021)

28:05. K-Group – “Carrier” from K-Group (Corpus Hermeticum, 1997)

33:14. Jim O’Rourke – Happy Days [excerpt] (Revenant, 1997)

40:17. RST – “Transform” from Warm Planes (Corpus Hermeticum, 1999)

49:37. Axolotl – “Way Blank” from Way Blank (Psych-o-Path, 2005)

55:46. Bada – “Roj Friberg” from Bada (Pomperipossa, 2020)

Mix: The Spindly Insect Legs of Love and Loss

“The tender gesture says: ask me anything that can put your body to sleep, but also do not forget that I desire you—a little, lightly, without trying to seize anything right away.” —Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments

The microscopic unutterables of a doomed love: first the curious, tentative, beautiful pirouettes of fingertips tracing new territory for the first time; next the invisible buildup of stagnancy, doubt, uncertainty, fear, sabotage, still with fleeting spots of light; then the loneliness, despair, longing touches meeting only empty air; and finally the idealistic but ultimately futile look toward something new. Never let go.

Fireball painting by Helen Frankenthaler
Helen Frankenthaler, “Fireball” (1981)

00:00. soft tissue – “glass master” from soft tissue (Penultimate Press, 2019)

02:28. Nathaniel Young – “exploit_01” from Stringed Exploits (_phinery, 2016)

04:32. Ivan Palacký – Sanctuary [excerpt] (piece for Amplify 2020 festival)

06:29. Peter Lenaerts – fourth part [excerpt] of Serbian Orthodox Church of the Prophet Elijah (Very Quiet, 2013)

09:16. Kim Cascone & Scanner – “Behavioural Sink” [excerpt] from The Crystalline Address (Sub Rosa, 2002)

10:33. Porcje Rosołowe – “Metua Tympanis” from Insects 4-7 (Crónica, 2015)

13:00. Klaysstar – “Right” from More No Place (Outlet Archival, 2020)

14:52. Sachiko M – Salon de Sachiko [excerpt] (Hitorri, 2007)

20:14. Takamitsu Ohta – “cqicx,qikcco.cqqico,,” from Three Ways to Output from a Recorder (Careful Catalog, 2019)

24:35. Dominique Vaccaro – “05” from Close Distances (Dinzu Artefacts, 2018)

26:09. Massimo Toniutti – “Scraps upon Tempered Fields” [excerpt] from antidocument/groundwork (Vitrine, 2016)

28:54. Shirt Trax – “crtL” from Good News About Space (OR, 1999)

31:49. Climax Golden Twins – fifth untitled track from Dream Cut Short in the Mysterious Clouds (Anomalous, 2000)

35:24. Daphne X – “Yoga” from NaCl (self-released, 2018)

Mix: Lifeless Electronics

No humans allowed. Screaming terminals with corroded circuits, samplers and toy keyboards caught in merciless error cycles, malfunctioning alarm systems and tactile glitch maelstroms and mind-numbing trash-frequencies. Do we really deserve anything else?

Decorative picture of discarded circuit boards

00:00. Su Sous Toulouge en Rouge – “Of Course We Play Basements, We’re the Underground… Duh” [excerpt] from Byte 0FX0 (Poor Little Music, 2016)

03:44. Chris Fratesi – “247” from Red Lead (Anathema Archive, 2020)

05:57. Archival Frequencie – Death of a Tax Collector [excerpt] (7Form, 2020)

09:52. Ashcircle – “Delusion” from Off the Cliff Edge (Fractal Meat, 2020)

14:37. Network Glass & Christian Mirande – B side [excerpt] of Arbuckle 7/28 (A R C H I V E, 2018)

17:40. Wetkoff – “Nuke Ranks” from He Is Lying (self-released, 2020)

22:59. Hardworking Families – “A Frog in September” from A Room and a Frog (Invisible City, 2020)

25:25. Glia – “gaderffii-i_ii” from Totokia (Dasa Tapes, 2021)

27:17. UVC – first untitled track from Mixed-Control Interpretations (Born Physical Form, 2020)

32:02. C. R. Odette – second untitled track [excerpt] from Castle Two (Chocolate Monk, 2017)

33:44. Rich Teenager – “Sardanapalus” [excerpt] from Sardanapalus (self-released, 2020)

35:56. Cabrita – “OIESHI” from 1 (self-released, 2018)

37:17. Mindload – first untitled track [excerpt] from Different Plug (Scumbag Relations, 2009)

38:38. Peea – “My Acl0nium” [excerpt] from Ins0lemnia (self-released, 2021)

Mix: Sublime Delirium

A sequel of sorts to Cooped Up, this collection of tracks traces the acceptance of profound absurdity and incoherence with regard to one’s existence, as well as the fragile and queasy yet undeniably peaceful state of mind that arises once the platitudinal farces of meaning, pleasure, and purpose are finally set aside for good—or it’s just something to relax/fall asleep to, if you’re in a particularly strange mood. Take your pick.

Artwork by Nancy Andrews
Piece by Nancy Andrews for her blog ‘Art and Science of Delirium’

00:00. Black Dice – “Head Like a Door” [excerpt] from Lost Valley (Tigerbeat 6, 2002)

03:59. Michael Barthel – “Verbündete” from Ververbüntede (Coherent States, 2019)

08:26. Sister Iodine – “Les Île” from Helle (Textile, 2007)

16:40. Breeze – “Comfortably Dumb” from Car Masters (Music for People, 2020)

19:47. Pumice – “Murupara” [excerpt] from Land (Soft Abuse, 2014)

25:58. Spectral Park & Kot Kot – “Tuman” [excerpt] from Spectral Park & Kot Kot (Goaty Tapes, 2018)

27:21. Weyes Blood – “Many Voices in the Sand (Transversal Desert Contact)” from Strange Chalices of Seeing (self-released, 2007)

31:32. 1/3 Octave Band – “The System Likes You” [excerpt] from The System Likes You and Wants to Be Your Friend (PseudoArcana, 2005)

35:08. Karnites – “Search” [excerpt] from Pop After Birds (self-released, 2020)

37:05. Mosquitoes – “VS” from Vortex Veering Back to Venus (Feeding Tube, 2019)

Mix: The Noise Not Music Comfort Robots Present a Lullaby for Those Too Scared to Sleep

The last mix was already quite calm and reserved, and usually I try to switch things up, but the description I wrote for that one was bleak as hell anyway and frankly my knotted-up brain needs all the cozy music it can get. I’ve realized that if I’m given curatorial control of any kind of mix I’ll inevitably turn it into the platform for some disturbing, mood-killing existential treatise, so the board and I have made the mutual decision to hand the reins to our in-house Comfort Robots. The cost of getting them fully programmed was pretty damn steep, so we didn’t do that, but they have had the concept of beauty verbally explained to them, which we feel is sufficient. If you find any errors in the content they’ve produced (available below) don’t hesitate to reach out; to be honest I really need a reason to turn these annoying little fuckers into scrap. They keep trying to hug me.

Cartoon of a confused robot
This is what CR-008b (“MOMO”) looks like when it asks me if it can use the botroom

00:00. Axolotl – “Telesma” [excerpt] from Telesma (Spooky Action, 2006)

06:22. Wim Dehaen – “Ústí OST” [excerpt] from 12 Elegies for Pierre Boulez / Ústí OST (ACR, 2018)

07:07. Désormais – “Brief Lights, Broken Compass” from Iambrokenandremadeiambroken… (Intr_version, 2003)
[title comes from another song on this album, and no, don’t worry, your headphones are not broken]

13:12. Biographs – “ground felt softer today” from must dissolve (Reckno, 2014)

18:03. Belong – “I’m Too Sleepy… Shall We Swim?” from October Language (Carpark, 2006)

23:04. Pure & Ultra Milkmaids – first untitled track [excerpt] from s[e]nd (Vacuum, 2000)

25:16. Open Marriage – “Domestic Science” from Destiny USA (self-released, 2014)

33:23. The Hers – “How Night Works on the World” from Tough C~~t (Sex Lies Magnetic Tape, 2012)

35:09. Erik Levander – “Under timmerstockarnas stilla flykt” [excerpt] from Couesnon (Katuktu, 2018)

Mix: Kidz

Whether or not you agree with the act of procreation on ethical grounds, most of us can concur that—much like the somewhat analogous case of house pets—it doesn’t do any good for your beliefs to affect how you treat a conscious, emotionally sentient being that has already entered this plane. But the fact is, this happens all the time, just in the reverse of what you might expect: children are either shielded from the “bad things” in the world because they’re not ready to handle them, held in a sterile gossamer cocoon of safety before eventually being jettisoned alone into the merciless void of self-awareness; or they are neglected and cast away completely because their presence is a burden or inconvenience. It’s unfortunate for every child ever born that their parents couldn’t take the time to consider what a fucked up thing it is to create a new consciousness for one’s own personal gain, and how much of a responsibility it is once it’s here, until after the deed was done, but they were born nonetheless, dragged out of blissful nothingness to think and hurt and struggle and cry with the rest of us. In the face of that profound violation, we owe them the respect of treating them like the intelligent, fully perceptive individuals they are, rather than slinging the the cloying condescension of baby voices, sugarcoating, age-based exclusion, etc. And yet, despite being walked all over and denied decency since their first breath, they remain the most creative, wisest, and happiest of us all. Here are the beautiful sounds of bittersweet existence.

A treasured gift from one of the wonderful young people with whom I had the honor of working

00:00. IT IT – “Pig Death” [ending] from IT IT (self-released, 2016)

00:39. Matinee Orchestra – “It’s a Fantasy World / Everyone Has the Right to Protest Even If No One Listens” [excerpt] from Matinee Orchestra (Arable, 2006)

05:21. Ludwig Berger – “After Nature” from Cargo (Canti Magnetici, 2019)

09:54. Áine O’Dwyer – “The Little Lord of Misrule” from Music for Church Cleaners (Fort Evil Fruit, 2012)

17:45. John Collins McCormick – “Oh Boy” from No Most Fatigue (self-released, 2018)

18:25. Horaflora – “Lunacy in the Garden of Forking Paths” from Eaves Drop (enmossed, 2020)

20:46. Raven Chacon – “MVHS” from An Anthology of Chants Operations (Ouidah, 2020)

22:39. Manja Ristić – “Spring” from The Nightfall (Naviar, 2018)

28:42. Ezio Piermattei – second untitled track from Gran trotto (Chocolate Monk, 2018)

32:19. Nina Ryser – “Whoever Listens to This Tape…” [ending] from I Hope All of Your Dreams Come True (Ramp Local, 2016)

32:33. Climax Golden Twins – first untitled track from Locations (Fire Breathing Turtle, 1998)

35:26. Mémoire vide – “B” from Mémoire vide (Affenstunde, 2020)

Mix: Next Generation Leeders

My attempt to survey the variegated Leeds noise rock “scene” from the other side of the Atlantic (and as such no one, I repeat, no one, is more qualified to do so). Everything from barely rhythmic shit-fi free skronk to tight, claustrophobic, angular constructions. With the wide range of genres and influences also comes significant variance in production styles; I did my best to get all the tracks to be the same volume, but shit’s difficult.


00:00. Belk – “Cows” from Belk (self-released, 2020)

02:42. Thank – “Fragile Ego” from Sexghost Hellscape (Cruel Nature, 2017)

06:09. Klöße – “Sent Home with a Puzzle” from Klöße (self-released, 2020)

11:27. Guttersnipe – “Pipa Pipa Portalspawn” from My Mother the Vent (Upset the Rhythm, 2018)

14:16. Cattle – “Tanking the Piss” from Nature’s Champion (self-released, 2016)

18:47. Irk – “Spectre at the Fiesta” from Recipes from the Bible (self-released, 2018)

21:36. Blacklisters – “Fantastic Man” from Fantastic Man (Buzzhowl, 2020)

25:39. Hookworms – “Away / Towards” from Pearl Mystic (Gringo, 2013)

34:11. Cool Jerks – “Eh” from England (Night Versus Day, 2020)

37:02. Polevaulter – “Ra” single (self-released, 2020)

Mix: Unruly Electronics

A selection of tracks for when one needs a nice brain-scrubbing but also desires something more structurally and texturally complex than plain ol’ harsh noise. Solo artists, duos, and larger collectives make use of a wide variety of electronic materials (I’ve provided the materials used to create each to the best of my ability) to generate the sizzling blasts of static and percussive oscillations that grace these eight pieces, yet all maintain an addictive, complete volatility.

Jin Sangtae live in Baltimore 2018

00:00. R/S – “(20.27)” [excerpt] from One (Snow Mud Rain) (Erstwhile, 2007) computer, synthesizer

06:01. Kiiln – third untitled track [excerpt] from Is Music Invisible? (caduc. recordings, 2017) tapes, radio, objects, guitar, piano

11:09. Jin Sangtae – 25th untitled track from Shadow Boxer (popmusic25, 2015) hard drives

13:10. William Hutson – “170214 (Dedicated to Ellen Gallagher)” from Six or Seven Steps to the Door: Solo Improvisations (a wave press, 2017) reel-to-reel tape

17:25. Klaus Filip, Toshimaru Nakamura, Andrea Neumann & Ivan Palacký – “M1 Crab Nebula” [excerpt]” from Messier Objects (Meenna, 2012) computer, no-input mixing board, inside piano, amplified knitting machine, photovoltaic panels

21:56. Gert-Jan Prins – excerpt from side A of RG-58-GJ (Creamgarden, 2002) radio, television, percussion

24:15. MIMEO – third untitled track from second disk of Lifting Concrete Lightly (Serpentine Gallery, 2004) a whole-ass ARSENAL

29:59. Choi Joonyong, Kevin Drumm & Hong Chulki – second untitled track [excerpt] from Normal (Balloon & Needle, 2015) CD player, turntable, guitar

34:32. Cremaster – “8,40 n​/​m²” from 32,41 n​/​m² (absurd, 2003) mixing board, pickups, prepared guitar

Mix: Dusty Sun (Remastered)

My favorite Darksmith track is the haunting “Everything Is Breaking” on Total Vacuum because during the all-too-often times when everything around me is breaking it seems to be the only thing that gets it. Unfortunately, now is one of those times, and this latest breakage is uniquely catastrophic, so demoralizing and destructive that I find myself reaching to memory, nostalgia, other distant inner-intangibles because the present is no longer survivable. I’ve gotten a lot better at making mixes since I cobbled together Dusty Sun more than half a decade ago, both in terms of technical arrangement and thematic curation (and Mark Kozelek has become a lot more of a known abuser), but this time capsule of my favorite tracks from days spent neglecting the sunsets remains a somewhat entertaining hour of music—at least, in my opinion—so I’ve kept the original cuts the way they are. The answer is in the amber and I can only keep averting my eyes for so long.

© Renee Tolliger

00:00. Astrobrite – “Crasher” from Crush (Clairecords, 2001)

04:03. Galaxie 500 – “Tugboat” from Today (Aurora, 1988)

07:44. Women – “Narrow with the Hall” from Public Strain (Jagjaguwar, 2010)

10:16. No Age – “Eraser” from Nouns (Sub Pop, 2008)

12:49. Nothing – “Hymn to the Pillory” from Guilty of Everything (Relapse, 2014)

17:25. Slowdive – “Brighter” from Just for a Day (Creation, 1991)

21:02. Atlas Sound – “Walkabout (w/ Noah Lennox)” from Logos (Kranky, 2009)

24:57. Sun Kil Moon* – “Salvador Sanchez” from Ghosts of the Great Highway (Jetset, 2003)

31:23. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)” from II (Jagjaguwar, 2013)

34:06. The Microphones – “The Glow” from It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water (K, 2000)

45:03. Have a Nice Life – “There Is No Food” from Deathconsciousness (Enemies List, 2008)

48:49. Titus Andronicus – “Albert Camus” from The Airing of Grievances (Troubleman Unlimited, 2008)

55:04. Toy – “Endlessly” from Join the Dots (Heavenly, 2013)

59:38. The Jesus & Mary Chain – “Just Like Honey” from Psychocandy (Blanco y Negro, 1985)

* Please do not financially support Mark Kozelek (which includes streaming), especially not on my behalf.