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.

Mix: All Hallow’s Eve

This is the fourth and final of my Halloween mixes. Tomorrow is the big day, so here is a collection of immersive horror-soundscape tracks, spooky samples, and general scariness to get you in the spirit.


00:00. JC Greening – “Trick ‘r Treat” from Halloween Haunts & Terror Tales Volume I: Trick ‘r Treating for Children (self-released, 2018)

02:46. Walt Disney Sound Effects Group – “The Dungeon” from Halloween Songs & Sounds (Walt Disney, 1997)

05:37. Tobe Hooper & Wayne Bell – main titles from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (dir. Tobe Hooper, 1974)

08:55. KevOz – excerpt from “Part 2” of Haunted Halloween: 1 Hour of Spooky Music and Scary Sound Effects (self-released, 2017)

13:04. Black Mountain Transmitter – excerpt from Behold the Undead of Dracula (Lysergic Acid, 2019)

16:40. Nick Reinhart – “Post-Slaughter” from Scary Sounds II (self-released, 2014)

19:59. Vacation Bible School – “t h e _ s a t a n i c _ p a n i c” from Fall Festivals and the Satanic Panic (self-released, 2019)

23:52. Edward Is My Middle Name – “heed” from Halloween / Autumn (wdgrain, 2018)

25:31. Loyalty Freak Music – “The Swamp” from Witchy, Batty, Spooky, Halloween in September !! (self-released, 2018)

28:39. Unknown Artist – excerpt from side B of Campfire Tales (Tribe Tapes, 2020)

32:08. Avery Alexander – “Butcher” from Halloween 2020 (self-released, 2020)

35:00. Climax Golden Twins – “Disappointed Expectations” from Session 9 (Milan, 2001) [continues to end]

37:36. Kill the Hippies – “Buried Alive (Just Before Retirement)” from Spectacular Halloween Sound Effects Vol. I (Phoenician MicroSystems, 2015)

Mix: Grave Rave

The music plays, the bass thumps, thuds, thumps. The moon shines high overhead despite you being 90% sure you’re inside. Fog rolls in across the sticky beer-drenched floor and a chilling wind blows, but it just feels like a nice breeze to your overheated, sweat-drenched body. What’s that on your forearm? Looks like a rash. You go to scratch it and recoil in horror as a decent-sized chunk of skin comes off with a single rake of your fingernails. Kneeling down to pick up the glob of gore only causes more to slough off as the rotted flesh of your back splits wide open, exposing your spine and your rib cage, out of which slide two sluglike, smoke-blackened lungs. You look around in helpless terror to see all of the other clubgoers gleefully shedding their outer layers, down to realize that it’s not beer that stains the floor, but blood, and up to the ceiling/sky, where the moon now shines a deep orange, casting the mass of dancing, prancing skeletons below in a bath of jack-o-lantern light. Welcome to the grave rave.


00:00. Kim Petras – “Close Your Eyes” from Turn Off the Light (BunHead, 2019)

03:47. Darkless – “Unholy” from Unholy (No Tomorrow, 2020)

08:14. Pink Tooth – “Unlock” from Mustard (self-released, 2016)

10:21. Owl Vision – “Dead Shall Rise” from The Black Plague (DGA Fäu, 2011)

14:26. Knife Party – “Ghost Train” from Lost Souls EP (self-released, 2019)

18:42. Toy Shoulders – “Crypt Delivery” from EP G (self-released, 2017)

21:13. KSHMR – “It Follows [Halloween Special Remix]” (self-released, 2015)

24:12. Video Life – “Inner Thought” from Eat Your Friends EP (EDM Network, 2015)

31:19. Randomer – “Stigma” from HS002 (Headstrong, 2018)

37:00. clipping. – “Body & Blood” from CLPPNG (Sub Pop, 2014)

Mix: Wholesome Halloween

Halloween has been my favorite holiday literally since I was born. See below for proof (I’m on the left). It’s the only one whose “spirit” rivals that of Christmas, and shaped so many of our childhoods in important ways through its complexities of disguise, fear, independence, etc. For the entirety of my trick-or-treating tenure I was obsessed with the truly scary aspects of the holiday, always hiding behind corners to scare friends or carving horrifyingly grotesque jack-o-lanterns or getting sent to the principal’s office for my disturbing pencil drawings. But as I grow older, I’ve begun to see how the immense space that Halloween occupies in our culture remains largely unchanged in both size and content: nostalgia. For many people (including me), the farther away from your childhood you get, the more you want to reclaim it in some way; since Halloween is something of which almost everyone has fond memories, we collectively feed into the stagnant, nostalgia-fueled zeitgeist of “spooky” songs, classic movies, unchanging traditions, and general atmosphere of fear and fun at the same time—mostly fun, I’d argue. I don’t think anyone loves Halloween because they like to scare or be scared. We love it because it’s nearly impossible to feel otherwise, and that’s not a bad thing at all. While you may not appreciate my rambling pedantry, I hope you will feel differently about this collection of wholesome Halloween tunes (appropriate for all ages).


00:00. Lonesome Wyatt and the Holy Spooks – “Halloween Is Here” from Halloween Is Here (Tribulation, 2013)

02:24. Ray Parker Jr. – “Ghostbusters” from Ghostbusters Original Soundtrack (Arista, 1984)

06:19. Dead Man’s Bones – “In the Room Where You Sleep” from Dead Man’s Bones (Anti-, 2009)

09:29. The Marshmallow Ghosts – “The Hearse Song” from The Marshmallow Ghosts (Graveface, 2011)

13:10. Oingo Boingo – “Dead Man’s Party” from Dead Man’s Party (MCA, 1985)

19:30. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – “A Nightmare on My Street” from A Nightmare on My Street (Jive, 1988)

24:28. David Bowie – “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” from Scary Monsters (RCA, 1980)

29:17. Whodini – “The Haunted House of Rock (Extended Version)” from The Haunted House of Rock (Jive, 1983)

35:45. Rockwell – “Somebody’s Watching Me” from Somebody’s Watching Me (Motown, 1983)

39:31. Orange Hell – “Hybrid Moments” (Misfits cover) from Three Hits From… (Funeral Party, 2018)

Mix: The Shadows of Memphis

Someone on a forum once asked if it was perpetually Halloween in Memphis (not including the actual quote here due to its less-than-subtle coded racism), referring to the oppressive, gloomy, even disturbing atmosphere that was laid to so many inches of tape by many of the artists in this selection, among others. One could spend their entire life studying the complex 90s Memphis hip-hop scene and its stylistic or cultural impact, and this fascination with the gritty and the macabre is just one facet of those formidably creative artists’ work that survives in modern trap and other subgenres. This is the first of several Halloween-themed mixes I’ll be posting over the next few weeks (I am attempting to salvage at least some of the holiday spirit that seems to be dead-on-arrival this year), and combines my favorite examples of actual horrorcore—hip-hop that is legitimately scary or unsettling (ICP fuck off), and not always in a confrontational way—both classic and contemporary.


00:00. Blackout – “Mission of a Murda” from Dreamworld (Snubnoze Muzik, 1995)

04:44. Lord Lyrico – “Hell Made Me w/ ayeisaac” from Heartbreak & Savages (self-released, 2017)

07:27. Graveyard Productions – “Lookin for a Murderer” from The Havoc (self-released, 1994)

10:51. JAK3 – “Vulture (feat. DJJT & Outby16)” from Moonlight Radiation (self-released, 2019)

13:13. MC Holocaust & DJ Akoza – “Time 2 Brutalize” from Products of da Undaground (DOOMSHOP, 2017)

15:42. Lady Bee – “Mask to My Face” from Strictly for That N***a (Gimisum, 1994)

19:47. Orange Juice Click – “Homicide” from Gangsta Tales (self-released, 1994)

25:10. Lo Key – “Wassup Now” from Test My Nutz (Street Smart, 1994)

29:41. Slim Guerilla – “Morgue 12 Gauge” from Blue Light Cemetery 2 (self-released, 2020)

31:21. Koopsta Knicca – “Crucifix (feat. DJ Paul)” from The Devil’s Playground (self-released, 1994)

35:24. Krone – “////AMMONIA//// (feat. EVILLAIRE)” from XRK NeBULA (self-released, 2019)

37:43. The Buttress – “Ratcatcher” (demo) from My Name Means Heavy (self-released, 2016)

Mix: Anything Goes

You can make music too! Confine yourself to a room with some trusted lunatic loves. Bash some metal garbage cans, scream your takeout order from last night over and over again, stomp on a thrift store guitar until it begs you to stop, use your human body as the highly mobile vehicle of destruction that it is. You’d be surprised at the amount of completely unmarketable trash you can generate. But hey, if it’s quality trash, someone—probably just me, but someone—will listen to it and put it on a mix.

Note: Be prepared for some jarring transitions. Maybe this will teach you to always stay on your toes.

Micro_Penis live in 2009, photo by Pascal Bichain

00:00. Akke Phallus Duo – “Kendal Black Drop” from An Insatiable Demand for Tea (Devastation Wreaked by) (Tanzprocesz, 2015)

06:37. Global Distance – “I’m Dancing (My Troubles Away)” from Lover’s Cove (Human Conduct, 2012)

10:22. Roman Nose – “Ty Tryst” from Roman Nose (Singing Knives, 2018)

14:46. A Band – “All Good Things” from April Twelfth Nineteen-Ninety-Two (self-released, 1992/2009)

17:39. Micro_Penis – “Chimio” from Tolvek (Doubtful Sounds, 2015)

20:25. Katz Mulk – excerpt from side B of Katzenungen (Sacred Tapes, 2017)

24:42. Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble – “Hummus” from Out Patience (Butte County Free Music Society, 2011)

28:31. Can – “Peking O” [excerpt] from Tago Mago (United Artists, 1971)

32:22. Prick Decay – “Sneaker Pimp” from Guidelines for Basement Non Fidel (Very Good, 1995/2016)

36:41. Psychic Sounds Ensemble – “Batch 2” [excerpt] from Sonic Fermentations (Psychic Sounds, 2019)

Mix: Temporary Places

This is a collection of mostly abstract pieces that seek to converse with both natural and industrial surroundings in ways well beyond simply documenting them. The title comes from Nicolas Snyder’s recent release of the same name, which also provides the first track of the mix. Each of these tracks has its own unique world or environment of direct field recordings, skeletons of melodies, wistful drones, spidery percussion, assorted audio detritus, crackling auxiliary textures, low frequency rumble, and other elements, beautifully coalescing into semi-stagnant meditations, immersive excursions, temporary places.

Additional artwork for ‘Temporary Places’

00:00. Nicolas Snyder – “CLAYhands” from Temporary Places (Shhpuma, 2020)

07:29. Daphne X – “First the Mouth” from Água Viva (tsss tapes, 2020)

09:43. Ximes – “like some gamelan of the dead” [excerpt] from Zener_04 (Sensory Leakage, 2019)

12:58. @c – “76.4” from Music for Empty Spaces (Baskaru, 2010)

17:20. R. Schwarz – “Wind 4” from Wind 4-7 (Audio. Visuals. Atmosphere., 2018)

21:27. Small Cruel Party – “La Poussière des Murs Détruit le Passé” from An Accident in Substance (Harbinger Sound, 2012)

25:08. Manja Ristić – “Autumn” [excerpt] from The Nightfall (Naviar, 2018)

30:56. Radio Cegeste – “1897, Detail (Song for Richard Henry)” from three inclements (Consumer Waste, 2014)

Mix: Motivational Motorik

A collection of my favorite propulsive, driving motorik(ish) grooves. There’s more of a unifying vibe than that, but you’ll see what I mean. For the most part, the intensity ramps up as it progresses. Use it for a cleaning day or maybe a nice drive.

Klaus Dinger (photo by Wolfgang V. Groote)

00:00. Broken Social Scene – “Pacific Theme” from We Forgot It in People (Arts & Crafts, 2002)

04:52. Caudal – “Well, I Suppose” from Fight Cry Fight (Katuktu Collective, 2018)

09:01. Salaryman – “The Companion” from Karoshi (City Slang, 1999)

12:54. Blue Man Group – “3 to 1” from Three (Rhino, 2016)

16:51. Public Service Broadcasting – “Spitfire” from Inform-Educate-Entertain (Test Card, 2013)

20:40. Maserati – “Synchronicity IV” [excerpt] from Inventions for the New Season (Temporary Residence, 2007)

24:35. Pell Mell – “Vegetable Kingdom” from Interstate (DGC, 1995)

30:34. Holy Fuck – “Silva & Grimes” from Latin (Young Turks, 2010)

35:42. Oneida – “The Adversary” from Happy New Year (Jagjaguwar, 2006)

Mix: Broadcasts from… Elsewhere

Someone from elsewhere is trying to tell you something. They’re trying to reach you through any primitive sound-producing devices you may have lying around—dictaphones, radios, megaphones, old broken speakers, the vibrations of the air itself—fiddling with knobs and dials and settings to accomplish varying degrees of successful communication. It could be useful advice, or a desperate cry for help from somewhere on the other side of oblivion. Better listen and find out.

Photo by Valerie Everett

00:00. Cássio Figueiredo – “Lembrando Aspectos Mortos” No. 1 from Lembrando Aspectos Mortos (Banana, 2017)

01:53. Sammartano – excerpt from Walkman Jazz (Canti Magnetici, 2019)

05:20. Posset – “Memory Piece for Shipley Art Gallery” from Totally Corporate! (Kirigirisu, 2018)

08:37. Angélica Castelló – “Lepidóptero II” [excerpt] from Lepidóptero (Thalamos, 2018)

11:52. Modelbau – excerpt from side A of A World of Difference (Regional Bears, 2019)

15:13. Michael Barthel – “Sammlung. Musik Für Sammlung” 1 from Stapel. Efeu-Fährten (Tochnit Aleph, 2013)

22:24. Aki Onda – excerpts from side A of A Method to Its Messiness (Thalamos, 2019)

25:50. Daniel J. Gregory – “Mechanical Medicine Trap” from Heard Under Orphan Eyelid (self-released, 2020)

31:34. Alyssa Festa – “websdr_recording_2017-07-06T22-50-42Z_131725.0kHz” [excerpt] from Alyssa Festa (A R C H I V E, 2018)

37:33. Graham Lambkin – “Ghost Boxes (Dedicated to Friedrich Jürgenson)” from No Better No Worse Vol. 2 (self-released, 2018)

Mix: Psychedelic Slabs

I’ve made plenty of mixes showcasing the best in abrasive, in-your-face harsh noise, but there’s a whole other subsect of the genre that mines a somewhat less immediate, but no less affecting, viscerality from the tried-and-true formula of maxed-out electronics, evoking haze, lethargy, and claustrophobia via sleazy, droning, psychedelic transmissions. You can read my recent review of the new Manure Movers of of America tape for my take on this approach, but in truth this is great music for a variety of situations—a late night smoke session, perhaps, or even a lazy afternoon nap for the adventurous.


00:00. Manure Movers of of America – “Shit Happens” from Cassette Tape #2 (Already Dead, 2019)

04:28. Arv & Miljö – “Gångtunnlar Alltid Utsatta” from Förändringens Frö (Järtecknet, 2011)

09:23. endling – “b” [excerpt] from two sides of a fallen mountain (self-released, 2020)

14:48. Blod – “Shitsoap” from Primordial (Electronic Ejaculation, 1999)

17:01. Ashpa – “Raureif” from 1 (self-released, 2013)

22:38. Laurel Noose – “Indian Summer” from University District (unknown label, 2011)

28:29. Jason Zeh – “A Vacant Lot to Be in” [excerpt] from A Vacant Lot to Be in (Crippled Intellect, 2013)

35:06. Haare – “Psychedelic Funeral” [excerpt] from Psychedelic Funeral (Abisko, 2007)

37:30. Aube & Maurizio Bianchi – “Metamorphic Humus” [excerpt] from Mectpyo Saisei (PARA Disc, 2005)