Been wondering why I haven’t posted a mix (or anything, really) in a while? It’s because I was working on this. In the unlikely event I’m ever hired for a DJ gig this is a good approximation of what I would play. I’m no virtuoso by any means—no seamless beatmatching or spot mashups here—but each and every one of these tracks does the work for me by being irresistibly danceable. To me, that is; I hope you agree.

Note: I use “trance” to reference a vibe or atmosphere rather than the actual genre. No Shpongle or Hallucinogen, don’t worry. 

00:00. The Lift Boys – “Kazoo of Zero” from Tide Y Edit (self-released, 2012)

02:20. Food Pyramid – “I Know What I Saw” from Mango Sunrise (Moon Glyph, 2012)

07:32. Aqatuki – “Pop” from Aqatuki II (IQAS / 5bit, 2019)

11:07. Dachambo – “Picadelia” from Aphrodelic Ngoma (Pleasure-Crux, 2004)

20:08. Soft – “Singing Mirror Ball” from Sun Box (Comma, 1999)

33:01. Juzu a.k.a. Moochy – “Oneness” from Re​:Momentos Movements ‎(Crosspoint, 2010)

38:57. Polmo Polpo – “Riva” from The Science of Breath (Substractif, 2002)

48:12. Nisennenmondai – “B-1” [You Ishihara Mix] from self-titled 12″ (Zelone, 2013)

56:51. Buffalo Daughter – “Cyclic” from Pshychic (V2, 2003)

64:53. Kinocosmo – “Caveman Rebirth” from Caveman (Hypnodisk, 2005)

71:08. Guitoo – “Ruby” from Cyclotron (A.K.A. / WEA, 1999)

76:29. Boredoms – “Ω” [excerpt] from Vision Creation Newsun (A.K.A. / WEA, 1999)

78:36. Ukiashi – “Forestom” from The Ground Swell compilation CD (Anoyo, 2000)

85:22. EYE – “777” from Experience: Psy-Harmonics Volume V compilation CD (2001)

87:20. AOA – “New Bravo” from Domegapeace (Comma / Music Mine, 1999)

95:01. Fuck Buttons – “Olympians” from Tarot Sport (ATP, 2009)

Mix: The Yule Goat

Following last December’s The Tryal of Old Christmas, the venerable Brachliegen Tapes has once again brought festive tidings to eager wind-reddened ears with The Yule Goat, a dark, icy trudge into the melodies and mysteries of the all-powerful solstice. In recognition of George Rayner-Law and friends’ consistently sublime work, and in the interest of remembering the roots of certain now-unrecognizable traditions, let’s gather around the hearth for a spell and listen to the snow fall. May Winter be merciful.

Straw Yule goat in Sweden covered with snow

00:00. Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescalleet – “Listen, the Snow Is Falling” from The Breadwinner (Erstwhile, 2008)

07:25. Degradation – “Ebb, Static…” from The Yule Goat (Brachliegen, 2022)

12:30. Brian Whitman – “City Sidewalk Steadfast Clime” from A Singular Christmas (self-released, 2004)

15:02. Carlo Giustini – “Quando qui vivevano altre ” from Non Uscire (No Rent, 2018)

21:17. Nuno Canavarro – eighth untitled track from Plux Quba (Ama Romanta, 1988)

23:58. Lower Bar Collective – “Holy” from Christmas (self-released, 2021)

33:35. George Rayner-Law – “Prudence in Your Entertainment” [excerpt] from The Tryal of Old Christmas (Brachliegen, 2021)

36:07. Plinth – “St. Lucia’s Day” Pt. 3 from Wintersongs (Dorset Paeans, 2001)

39:22. Chartreuse – “Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella” from Last Winter We Didn’t Sing V/A comp (Thor’s Rubber Hammer, 2008)

45:12. Aarktica – “Like Embers” from We Will Find the Light (Darla, 2022)

Mix: Freeze Like a Fucking Progress Bar

Glitched-out noisescapes that intentionally or unintentionally, one way or another, tend toward power/heavy electronics tropes. Not for carbon-based eardrums.

00:00. No Disc – “Paper Jam” [excerpt] from Instant Error (Liquid Library, 2019)

08:33. No Artist – “I am ill” from Dear Master, […] (Chained Library, 2022)

11:23. Cicada 3301 – “Deburan dan Dengung Bumi” [excerpt] from split with Broken Cursór (Boil Your Angel, 2021)

16:28. Eir Luna Calypso Mazur – “vb1_2.wav-samplebrain.flac” from DivX Output Parcels ​/​ Dollar Dollar C​.​E​.​N​.​T​.​S. (Fire! Fire​!​! Fire​!​!​!​) (The Vapor Vault, 2022)

20:47. Seth Cooke – A side [excerpt] of Weigh the Word (self-released, 2019)

27:52. Hydra – “Real Power” from Your Name (Everyday Samething, 2022)

28:56. The Cathode Terror Secretion – “Ascension / Purification” from Singularity (Accretion Disk, 2007)

33:27. Interracial Sex – “The Buck and the Bull” [excerpt] from The Buck and the Bull (Meaning Corrupted, 2015)

Mix: Heartwood Stomp

The specific essence these tracks share is difficult to define, but I hope that gathered together they’ll do that for me. Let’s pound our heels into the floorboards until we leave our mark, clap the day’s work’s dirt off our hands and scrub the rust from our joints; dance until the eave-dust rains down on whatever’s below us. Folk music from and for hard-beating hearts.

00:00. Amps for Christ – “Branches” from The People at Large (5 Rue Christine, 2004)

02:11. Exuma – “Damn Fool” from Exuma II (Mercury, 1970)

05:53. Scatter – “Alternations of Pasture and Urban Conurban” from Surprising Sing Stupendous Love (Cenotaph Audio, 2004)

10:24. Holy Modal Rounders – “Bound to Lose” from The Holy Modal Rounders (Prestige, 1964)

14:39. Megafaun – “Gather, Form & Fly” from Gather, Form & Fly (Hometapes, 2009)

18:56. The Woes – “The Secret” from Heaven Knows (self-released, 2009)

22:57. Drakkar Sauna – “How to Approach an Accident Victim” from Rover (Marriage, 2004)

26:20. Big Blood – “…Is All We Have” from Dark Country Magic (Don’t Trust the Ruin, 2010)

31:19. Peter Stampfel – “Oomalooma Messy Dessy” from Dook of the Beatniks (PFAM, 2009)

34:53. The Ebony Hillbillies – “Cream” [Prince cover] from 5 Miles from Town (EH Music, 2017)

Mix: Blunt Scissors

The dizzying technicality of fast-paced cut-up noise is often best rendered with a production approach that reflects the sharp, sterile abrasiveness of the music—often, not always. These are the other cases: the crudely clinical, the sloppily stitched, the rusty-blade incisions. Ouch.

00:00. Romance – “Organ Builders Manual” from Gateshead Sessions split w/ Shift (Unrest Productions, 2006)

08:23. T.E.F. – eighth untitled track from Armature (Trauma Tone, 2002)

11:35. Laurel Noose – “Midwest Farmers Use Anhydrous-Ammonia Fertilizer on Crops” [excerpt] from Chirality (unknown label, 2012)

15:36. Âmes Sanglantes – “Satin Vagina” from Once You Bleed (Antihuman, unknown year)

19:14. Mason – “Imminent Collapse” from Cremation Limit (Deathbed Tapes, 2021)

25:07. Negation – “Optimism” from Solar Torque (Unseen Force, 2020)

33:57. Anthracite – first untitled track on A side of LA Times Building 1910 (Joy De Vivre, 2015)

37:10. Breaking the Will – “Counterinsurgency Doctrine” from Summer Scum 4-way split (New Forces, 2013)


Melbourne band HTRK’s output has undergone significant stylistic changes in the fifteen years since the 2007 major-label release of their debut Nostalgia with its self-descriptive opener “Hate Rock Trio” (much of which occurred in the wake of moving forward without bassist and drum programmer Sean Stewart, who died in 2010). By the band’s own description more than a decade on, the music they’re making now is “not as sad anymore because we’re not as sad.” But the minimal, nocturnal, smothering rock music of their first few records still stands as a great achievement in the long-running tradition. This mix collects material by other artists who dive to the depths of convention to create (conjure? summon?) apocalyptic heaviness. More doom and gloom than so-called “doom” itself. Rock ’n roll left out in the cold. It doesn’t want to be here. It’s angry that it has to be here. It hates you. Until it doesn’t.

00:00. Ukiah Drags – “Intro” from In the Reaper’s Quarters (Wharf Cat, 2014)

02:19. The Dreebs – “I” / “Reese” from Forest of a Crew (Ramp Local, 2018)

06:24. HTRK – “Look at Her” from Nostalgia (Fire, 2007)

10:54. Raime – “Your Cast Will Tire” from Quarter Turns Over a Living Line (Blackest Ever Black, 2016)

16:01. Snowman – “She Is Turning Into You” from The Horse, the Rat and the Swan (Dot Dash, 2008)

21:34. IT IT – “The Garage Pt 2” from Living Doll (self-released, 2018)

24:17. YC-CY – “Stalker” from Every Time I Close My Eyes (X-Mist, 2021)

27:24. Moin – “Elsie” from split with Pete Swanson (Confessions, 2012)

31:14. Dive and Dissolve – “Assimilation” from Abomination (Dero Arcade, 2018)

34:55. HEALTH – “Perfect Skin” from HEALTH (Lovepump United, 2007)

Mix: Out There

I hesitate to label this elusive subgenre with the “outsider” descriptor, because I’d bet that most, if not all, of these artists are extremely well-versed in the very conventions they subvert. Some I’d call “deconstructed,” others “detached,” a few “disconcerting.” But all of them transpose the key components of hip-hop music into an approach much more abstract and textural, without ever leaving the beat behind completely.

00:00. Model Home – “Night Breaks” from Both Feet En Th Infinite (Don Giovanni, 2021)

05:30. Zeroh – “Saddlelight” from awfulalterations (self-released, 2011)

08:06. al.divino – “Abu Simbel” from Monumentality (self-released, 2018)

10:31. MC Trachiotomy – “ANOTHER Cigarette” from Robot Alien or Ghost (Skin Graft, 1998)

12:36. 9$ – “Honest Expression” from Court Side Demo (County Tapes, 2020)

15:42. Davis – “Salu Henbane” from Davis (Leaving, 2016)

18:36. Sensational & Kouhei Matsunaga – “417” from Sensational Meets Koyxeи (Skam, 2010)

21:43. Jurmainson – “Eye Twitch” from Boom! (self-released, 2021)

23:31. Coin Locker Kid – “Where the Angels Lie in Wait” from Traumnouvelle (self-released, 2012)

27:44. The Koreatown Oddity – “The Gov Got $$$” from No Health Insurance (self-released, 2013)

30:21. Earl Sweatshirt – Solace [excerpt] (self-released, 2015)

33:36. Pacific Yew – “(((( magazine ))))” from Lamest Days (Hot Record, 2017)

Mix: Tulia, Tulia, Tulia

Not only have I been bombarding you all with reviews of loud, harsh, abrasive music, but this week has also been a tremendously rough one for me and too many of the people I love, so the series of sunnily disposed mixes will continue. With this one I’ve compiled some of my favorite pre-’90 African dance music tracks; it’s mostly highlife and related genres, but there’s also some benga, rhumba, mbaqanga, soukous (the Swahili title comes from the chorus of Ugandan/Congolese band Orchestra Makassy’s best known single, “Mambo Bado”), and others. Enjoy, and remember to calm down, calm down, calm down.

00:00. Le Grand Kallé et l’African Jazz – “Jamais Kolonga” from Merveilles du Passé, Vol. II (African, 1984)

02:24. Daudi Kabaka – “Pole Musa” from The Very Best of Daudi Kabaka (Music Copyright Society of Kenya, 1983)

05:29. Mahotella Queens – “Xola Mama” from Izibani Zomgqashiyo (Gumba Gumba, 1977)

08:03. Vis-a-Vis – “Gyaesu” from Obi Agye Me Dofo (Continental, 1980)

11:54. African Brothers Dance Band (International) – “Hini Me” from self-titled LP (Happy Bird, 1969)

15:52. Pablo Lubadika – “Tolingana” from Concentration (Syllart Production, 1984)

23:07. Orchestra Makassy – “Mambo Bado” from Agwaya (Virgin, 1982)

28:30. Hedzoleh Soundz – “Rekpete” from Hedzoleh (EMI, 1973)

31:58. Rail Band – “Bajala Male” from self-titled LP (RCAM, 1973)

36:46. Gasper Lawal – “Jeka José” from Ajomasé (Cap, 1980)

40:27. Daniel Owino Misiani and Shirati Band – “Augustin Opiyo Ochino (An Ex-Member of Shirati)” from Benga Blast! (Earthworks, 1989)

Mix: Righteous Radio Rock

Perhaps a spiritual sequel of sorts to the Inimitable Indie Introductories mix. I know most of you probably don’t come here for this sort of music, but for better or worse this is the stuff that’s getting me through the dark, frigid doldrums. Naïve lyrics, earworm anthem-choruses, brickwalled overproduction (almost all of these tracks have noticeable artifacting—part of the charm, if you ask me), and just, well, righteous. No idea if anyone other than me will get anything out of it, but when have I ever cared about that?

00:00. The Sheila Divine – “Kardashian Plastic” from The Things That Once Were (Zippah, 2012)

02:09. Wintersleep – “Jaws of Life” from Untitled (Dine Alone, 2005)

05:12. Foreignfox – “Exit Frame” from The Long Jump (self-released, 2021)

09:14. Vigo Thieves – “Forever” from Heartbeats (Hijacked, 2016)

13:31. Laivue – “Saattoväkeä” from Laivue (Ektro, 2010)

18:52. Then Thickens – “My Amsterdam” from Colic (Hatch, 2015)

24:48. Restorations – “The Red Door” from LP5000 (Tiny Engines, 2018)

28:23. Outsider – “Míol Mór Mara” from Karma of Youth (OK! Good, 2020)

32:08. Kodaline – “Ready” from Coming Up for Air (B-Unique, 2015)

36:00. Kings of Leon – “Waste a Moment” from Walls (RCA, 2016)

39:02. Casa Murilo – “Head for the Door” from The Rise and Fall (Sony, 2012)

42:51. Sleeperstar – “Everything Must Find Its Place” from Just Another Ghost (Duckpin, 2010)

Mix: Free Country

With both the immediate and the feels-like-distant-but-is-probably-also-immediate future looking bleaker than ever, I think we all need not just a break, but a break soundtrack as well. This mix began with a stylistic basis (the title comes from Davenport’s Free Country), focusing on tracks that repurpose country or Americana conventions/instruments for something much looser and, well, freer, but it evolved into what I hope is an auditory distillation of feelings many of us have all but forgotten: the gift, not the curse, of solitude; the strange comforts of the shadows and darkness that lurk just out of your reach; the alluring, unchecked expanse of the horizon; the unspoken promise that there will be something even more beautiful beyond it.

00:00. Old Saw – “Dirtbikes of Heaven, Grains of the Field” from Country Tropics (Lobby Art, 2021)

06:41. Rameses III – “No Water, No Moon” from I Could Not Love You More (Type, 2009)

12:57. Jacob Sunderlin – A side [excerpt] of Hymnal (Null Zone, 2017)

16:11. Jackie-O Motherfucker – “Falling Light” [excerpt] from Candyland (self-released, 2006)

19:58. Davenport – “The Light Ahead, the Dead Fields Behind” from Free Country reissue (Gutter Prog, 2014)

24:35. Mémoire vide – A side [excerpt] of Mémoire vide (Affenstunde, 2020)

30:32. Lake Mary & Oxherding – “Slow Grass” from With the Windows Open (Distant Bloom, 2021)

35:47. Lowercase Noises – “Roaring Forties” from Passage (self-released, 2012)