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Monthly Archives: February 2013

This new remix by Atom TM on Shaddock records is just stupid good. Absolutely perfect party music. Few things are more enjoyable than Atom TM doing acid house. “Atom TM Presents Acid Evolution” is one of my favourite things he has done. I hope this is a sign he might start making some more of it again…

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After a fun Sound Garden last weekend with Sigha as our special guest, tonight we are back at Dommune with an old friend, Eli Verveine. She’ll be playing for the whole 3 hours, so it should be a very fun night… If you are in Tokyo and would like to come, register here, otherwise tune in to Dommune. It’s on from 21:00 – 24:00 Tokyo time, which is 23:00 – 02:00 Melbourne time,  13:00 – 16:00 Berlin time, 12:00 – 15:00 London time, 07:00 – 10:00 New York time. Or something like that… And tomorrow Steffi and Virginia will be on Dommune, so I’d recommend tuning in then too.

On Friday night, Andy Stott is playing an early-ish show at the Liquid Room. The main event finishes at 1am and then things move upstairs to the Time Out Cafe for the after party. It’s free entry and I’ll be DJing some ambient stuff, so it should be a night of good music.

It has been a busy period here, but I will hopefully do some release-related posts next week…

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With the very untimely passing of the legendary Pete Namlook late last year, the incredibly prolific FAX label came to a very unexpected end. Unfortunately some of the best releases are hard to get, and the label never became widely available in digital format (actually most of the whole catalog is on itunes, but at stupid prices and in shitty quality, so they can get fucked). Luckily a few FAX-related releases are starting to appear online, one of which is “FAXology” by Mick Chillage. I actually have a CD copy, but now it is available digitally I want others to know about it, because I think this is probably the best thing FAX released in the last few years. `On this release, Chillage perfectly encapsulates the FAX sound, without it ever feeling like a simple imitation. It is a kind of homage, but with more than enough artistic skill and originality that it stands on its own. When I heard the sad news about Namlook, it was not actually one of his tracks, but something from this album that I turned to. I listened to “Returning Home” and thought of Namlook’s spirit drifting off into the cosmos…

 

 

It is a shame that there is not too much of this kind of deepspace ambient still being made today. I guess this is partly because the chill out rooms of the ’90s have largely disappeared, even though some of us are still trying to keep these spaces alive. But there is definitely still room for this sound, as Mick Chillage shows.I strongly recommend “FAXology“, and if you are after more, his “Night Works” is also very good. Both are available through his bandcamp page.

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The “Sunday sounds” posts were always a favourite on ssgs, and since I still have a life that involves me working quite often on this day of the week, I figured I might as well start it up again… While I sometimes am in the office on Sundays, generally I find it much less stressful, party due to the lack of other people, and also because I normally find some nice, low key mixes to keep me company… Today it has been this collection of live jams by Confused House (one of many aliases, perhaps Steve Summers is the best known). It’s nothing too mindblowing, but has a warm, easy analog house vibe that has matched my mood nicely. The recording also has a good trajectory, with the final track being the standout. Have a good Sunday people.

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The second half of February is looking very busy in Tokyo with lots of parties coming up. Unfortunately there are some clashes, but I’ll be trying to get to all of these if possible! The Tokyo scene has been suffering from too many conservative bookings, with the same names just coming over and over again. Francois K might be a legend, but we don’t need him here every 2-3 months… But for all of these artists listed below (except NHK) this will be their first or second visit. Hope to be seeing more fresh blood here in 2013.

Thursday 14th: BvDub at Seco Bar (Japan debut!)

Thursday 14th: Norman Nodge at Dommune

Friday 15th: Norman Nodge, Tobias, Nobu at Eleven

Saturday 16th: NHK’Koyxen + more at WWW

Saturday 16th: Jackmaster at Module (Japan debut!)

Saturday 23rd: Sigha at Eleven

Saturday 23rd: Eli Verveine at Saloon (Japan debut!)

And once those are all done, we’ve got our next Sound Garden party on Sunday 24th. This will be our first one since October last year, as we had to unfortunately cancel last month’s due to an unexpectedly large amount of snow grinding Tokyo to a halt. We’ve got some new plans for Sound Garden, and we are really looking forward to being back at Orbit. We will also be having a special guest that we will be announcing on the day. Details are:

Sound Garden – February 2013 edition

Sunday 24 February
16:00 – 23:00
Bar Orbit, Sangenjaya
FREE

Chris (MNML SSGS)
David Dicembre (RA Japan)
Jelomu (Drone)
+ more TBA

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I just wanted to do a quick post about “Blowing Up the Workshop“, which is a really good site / mix series that has been developing overthe last year. It kind of links into the “outsider dance” movement that people have been very excited about (LIES and PAN being the two obvious examples), but I think the way this project is exploring these connections could be a little bit different. I’m still working my way through the mixes, but it seems like it is headed in an interesting direction. The latest one is a cool live techno workout from Shaun O’Sullivan, who put out a very strong EP last year on WT Records. This track almost feels like a cross between Dozzy and Dundov:

Continuing on this tangent, I’m a bit surprised WT Records hasn’t been getting more attention, they’ve been putting out some interesting stuff. I’d suggest exploring their bandcamp page. WT have just released a few DJ Muscle EPs, which has got an interesting mix of tracks, of which is probably the strongest:

Willie Burns is doing WT, and he’s recently done a very enjoyable mix for electronique.it, which is also worth checking.

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MNML SSGS was a collaborative project that lasted from the end of 2007 until the middle of 2012. When PC and I closed the blog its creative and critical potential had been largely fulfilled, and in some ways it had actually become more of a burden than a way of sharing our passion for electronic music. And with it gone I found, somewhat to my surprise, that actually I did not miss the blog so much. I discovered that the feeling of constantly needing to produce fresh content / mixes / enthusiasm had actually been inhibiting my own engagement with music. And so with the blog gone I began exploring more… Since then I’ve been spending much of my time digging deep into early electronic music, synth stuff, electro-acoustic works, a decent chunk of Muslimgauze’s exhaustive catalogue and anything else that has caught my eye. I’ve also been continuing my involvement in the scene in Tokyo, DJing some more (which I’ve been enjoying), and slowly building the motivation and purpose to return online. In December I contributed a mix to the excellent Secret Thirteen series. If you are not aware of S13, I’d strongly recommend checking them out – they have easily one of the best mix series / podcasts currently operating. Anyway, the mix I put together encapsulates a lot of the thinking and research I’ve been doing since the blog ended.

I’ve been thinking about commencing something new for a while now, but I have remained unsure about if it is something I completely want to commit myself to. To be honest, I still am uncertain. I guess there is just only one way to find out… In the end, the inspiration to start this came from my engagement with Ukawa-san (the man behind Dommune) over the last few months. As a result of playing for him a number of times, and discovering more about his approach to music, I received much of the fresh inspiration I needed to bring this project to life. 

I am not sure how long this new project will last for, what form it will take, or where it will lead. To begin with, Interstice(ssg) will probably be something akin to a longer, annotated version of the kind of things found on the MNML SSGS twitter – releases and mixes I’m liking, upcoming events in Tokyo, some occasional commentary, and whatever else takes my fancy. I’m also not sure how much I’ll be posting, but it will likely be less frequent than before. It’ll probably take a bit of time to get everything setup and running smoothly, as I remain pretty useless at internet stuff and I am new to wordpress, so please be patient. At this point I am not planning on a mix series or anything similar, but I may consider hosting mixes from friends and past / present collaborators. 

Right now I have very little interest in most contemporary techno and house music, so don’t expect too much of that, except for some (predictable) exceptions. If we want genres, I presume it’ll probably be more focusing on ambient, early electronic music, a bit of experimental stuff, some synth music and other related sounds that relate or fall in between these various categories. The soundtrack to writing this first post has been Kevin Drumm’s new drone album, “Tannenbaum“, which I have been really enjoying so far and is probably worth checking, especially considering his last release on Hospital, “Imperial Horizon“, is one of the best pieces of ambient / drone music that you will ever hear. So that might be an indication of where we are starting.

Ultimately the decision to commence this site was driven by a motivation to try to contribute again, to lend my voice to artists, labels and sounds that deserve attention, to question the bullshit and to continue to show the nuance and texture of electronic music that too often gets lost or forgotten. In this sense, it will be informed by the same aesthetic that defined MNML SSGS (hence the ssg in the title) and continues to guide my engagement with music (I am also still using MNML SSGS for Twitter and parties in Tokyo, but this is just because trying to change them now would be a bitch). 

Interstice(ssg) is meant to be a space in between – or a space in between spaces perhaps – where hopefully I can starting making a more sustained contribution to the music that I love. Let’s see how things go…

Chris