Wednesday Night is Garbage Night – Autodidact Edition

Fantasy 70’s Music school.

Never went to music school. Like many people I played the same records over and over and picked up hints about how to do stuff. Maybe I didn’t know what it was called but I knew it sounded good.

Here’s a bunch of records I cribbed when I was learning how to make music, and present here so you may too. That also satisfies the elderly listening audience, while presenting ideas for the younger. If you want newer music, please go here: Phantom Circuit.

They are not particularly rare or high art but each has much to teach. Occasionally they overlap because that’s kind of how I used to listen to them back then. Just playing all these old things explains much more about where I come from than a wall of text. Google it. (Actually DuckDuckGo it).

  • John Cale Heartbreak Hotel the barest sketch/analysis of the original, discord
  • Daniel Miller and Boyd Rice Cleanliness and Order found sound source. pop music deadness
  • This Heat Health and Efficiency deconstruction of recording process at end, manual looping with errors changing the loop, symphonic structure
  •      +John Cage Suite For Toy Piano 1 (excerpt)
  •      +Beatles Revolution Number 9 (excerpt)
  • Cluster Hollywood very pretty and sounds coherent although unstructured
  •      +Leslie Hutchinson Broken Hearted Clown
  • The Monkees Valeri 60s stereo production is very interesting, a great slab of sound, vocal harmonies, reverb
  • Wire The 15th guitars layered like classical instruments, EMI reverb HARVEST BAND tiny little keyboard melody almost unheard
  •      +Konstantin Raudive Breakthrough voices of the dead almost unheard
  • Pink Floyd See Emily Play psychedelia, intricacy, EMI echo HARVEST BAND
  • Orchid Spangiafora Hold Everything sound music, cut up, tape loops, spoken word
  •      +The Barrons Theme From Forbidden Planet
  • The Monochrome Set Eine Symphonie Des Grauens interesting quasi 60s production, lyrics
  • Brian Eno The Great Pretender production, especially the prepared piano & EMS-AKS crickets, 8 track recording
  • The Flying Lizards Hands 2 Take bassoon punk! dub technique, anti-guitar solos
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra Pure Jam tightness, neo psychedelia, analogue sequencer + real drums, seriously that guy is a drum machine
  • Suicide Dream Baby Dream minimal synth! lo fi, warmth, drones
  •      + The Lost Jockey Rise & Fall because these two fight each other nicely
  • Kraftwerk Pocket Calculator funkiness completely lost when remade later because they did not leave holes, electronic dub, less is more, HOLES
  •      +Subbulakshmi sitar drones FILLS HOLES
  • Dangerous Liaisons Los Ninos Del Porque grinding + holes, electronic punk, voices
  •      +Vincent Price The Broomstick Railroad widdershins
  • Holger Hiller Chemical & Physical Discoveries early sampling, was intriguing at the time
  • Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows tape loops, tape everything
  • Smegma Can’t Look Straight sound music, cut up
  • DEVO Satisfaction the barest sketch/analysis of the original, HOLES
  • Mark Stewart Blessed Are Those Who Struggle intense destructive dub
  • Chrome Half Machine Lip Moves heavy distortion as a musical device
  • Popol Vuh Aguirre Wrath Of God air
  •      +Throbbing Gristle IBM air
  • Wirlywhirld Window To The World 70’s keyboard rock, Australian post punk, pretty
  • Sparks Angus Desire it’s a song about screwing cows and sounds oddly buttery?
  • Snatch & Eno RAF looping found sounds funk
  • Status Quo Pictures of Matchstick Men psychedelia, tinnitus
  • Telex A.B. electropop
  • The Reels 3. electropop, early 80’s snare used like a kick
  • Simple Minds In Trance As Mission the negative of a bass riff, playing guitars like a cuckoo clock
  •      +Steve Reich It’s Gonna Rain strangely have a lot in common
  • General Strike Parts Of My Body tuba punk! dub

listen (This is a m3u file which can be associated with QuickTime PLayer, Windows Media Player or iTunes to stream the file.)

They all share some kind of internal principle, a process stated or unknown, a feature that can be recognized and practised. They are also attractive, there is no ‘difficult listening’ here. To make something that is both pretty and deep is far more interesting than noise.

13 thoughts on “Wednesday Night is Garbage Night – Autodidact Edition

  1. And here’s it as a Spotify playlist. Or at least, the tracks I could find. No Beatles for you Mr Spotify! Still, good as a bit of a starting list for those of us who were in Country NSW under 10 years old for most of this.

    Oh and I stuck Senor Coconut’s cover of Pure Jam. Faithful enough 😉

  2. Re The Reels – “No.3” – Now, I can’t find a reference or even the song itself now, but I do remember hearing an interview in which it was said that the harmonic and melodic structure came from them playing an earlier single of theirs backwards. Perhaps that what resulted in the use of a snare as kick. This will haunt me now until I find the song again and reverse it …..

    • Brain scratched deeper …. No, it was actually the track “Return” on the EP “Pitt St Farmers” which was based on “No. 3” played backwards. As you were.

    • The fashion appeared to be to use the snare as the main pulse and to vary the (teeny) kick and that seems to have flipped as the 12 inch remixes got into stride. I would love to know which year it hit the tipping point. 86-87 maybe.

      All I know about Number three was that it was named after Alberts Studio number 3 where it was recorded.

  3. Awesome, thanks for chundering an mp3 up there – always interested in hearing the influences of influencers, if you will.

  4. Hands 2 Take features Michael Nyman playing that Piano. Or hitting that piano.
    and don’t forget the french horn.

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