Nicolas Jaar — John the Revelator
Nicolas Jaar is an electronic music producer with roots in New York and Santiago de Chile. He’s the dude that would give a five-hour improvised, audio-visual performance at MoMA PS1. He founded the record label Other People in NYC that promotes experimental compilations. Many of them are available at Spotify or on SoundCloud. It “only publishes creator-owned content and splits all profits made from records sales 50/50 with artists”, according to Last.fm. This very song was released by Other People, too, on the album Sunset of a Clown, Vol. 1 (2013) that was a collaboration between Jaar, Nikita Quasim and Soul Keita.
Death in Vegas — Dirge
Death in Vegas is an electronic band from London, greatly influenced by psychedelic rock and punk music. The Contino Sessions (1999), their second album, gave the band much recognition. It contains Dirge that was featured in Levi’s commercial and some films too. In fact, it was subject to lawsuit as well. Five or Six, an also UK based post punk band, claimed that Dirge was apparently too much inspired by their song Another Reason. Listening to Death In Vegas reminds me of my early twenties. I never thought that once I would write down this line.
Farketmez — Okan’s Razor
I met Hasan, a bass player guy, during one of my trips to Istanbul. He showed me a few of demo recordings that they made with their band, Farketmez. They played progressive rock with influences of jazz. I immediately loved it. He wished they would write more songs soon so they can go on tour and eventually have their first album out. Since then this all happened, and this song is on their debut LP Deeelicious (2017). Farketmez literally means “it doesn’t matter” in Turkish. According to the fable, they were about to pick a name for the band, they made a list of hundred names, and eventually agreed on “whatever”.
Sonic Youth — Cross the Breeze
Sonic Youth is just great. It’s hard to tell anything about them without clichés. Post punk, noise rock, whatever from New York. Cross the Breeze I love because it has its own depth and yet sometimes becomes an easy teenage rock hit. I clearly remember this song playing as I was running downhill through a park in Terceira, Azores and Kim singing “I wanna know, should I stay or go”.
Esclin Syndo — Highways
Esclin Syndo is a band with connections to Pécs and Budapest. Fusion of industrial and electronic music might best describe their profile. Although Highways, their single album, was released in 2009, they already performed in clubs and festival across Hungary many years before. I think I heard them first in Süss fel nap as the pre show to Neo’s album debut of Kontroll. The artwork for their LP cover was picked from the low-fi road photo project of Bálint Rádóczy of the same name.
Boy Harsher — Modulations
Boy Harsher is a cold wave duo located in Massachusetts. This song was indirectly suggested by Adam Peresztegi and is here to remember the time we spent together in the winter of 2017 in Portugal.
David Terranova — Kinq
David Terranova is a music composer and visual artist from London. His song Kinq was debuted on Trust (2013), a compilation released by the Jaar’s label Other People. David produced a beautiful visual for his song.
Miklós Lukács — Dawn Song
I came across the album Cimbalom Unlimited as I was exploring the works of Miklós Lukács. I first encountered Lukács in a concert of Mitsoura, a Hungarian world music band he used to play with. Lukács is one of the best cimbalom players in the world. He is widely known and respected in the world’s jazz scene. Cimbalom Unlimited (2016) is a relatively recent collaboration between Larry Granadier, Eric Harland and him. It was recorded and released in Hungary by BMC Records.
Vera Jonas Experiment — Michelle
Vera Jonas is a Hungarian song writer and singer and one of her most successful music projects is Vera Jonas Experiment based in London and Budapest. This song is a cover of The Beatles song.
Gabor Szabo — Bacchanal
I discovered Gabor Szabo’s works back then because I used to listen to Django Reinhardt and I became curious of the gipsy jazz style. Szabo’s roots are in Budapest. He fled to the US during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and became active member of the jazz scene overseas. While Szabo has several solo recordings, he’s also as famous of his collaborative works. Bacchanal (1968) is a crossover jazz co-production between Jim Stewart, Hal Gordon, Jimmy Keltner, Louis Kabok and Szabo. "Bacchanal is a participant in the Bacchanalia. The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus, based on various ecstatic elements of the Greek Dionysia.”
Areski Belkacem — C’est Normal
The record Je ne connais pas cet homme (1975) is a collaboration between French avant-garde composer and singer Areski Belkacem and singer Brigitte Fontaine. Their performances often borrowed elements from theatre and were improvised. This song just makes me wanna sing. C'est normal, tu comprends?
The Turtles — Guide For The Married man
The Turtles was a pop rock band in the 60s primarily influenced by Californian surf rock waves. In fact, their debut album was under the name Crossfires and it’s only later that they rebranded themselves as a folk rock group. Happy Together (1967) was their most successful record. It features the song Guide for the Married Man that was the title song for the movie with the same name.
The Cramps — Primitive
While in California, meet The Cramps too. Enjoy some Psychedelica from the 80s.
Minor Threat — Straight Edge
I only learnt about the straight edge subculture after I apparently inked their X symbol to my arm. Straight edge was a counter movement in the hardcore punk scene to refuse the excessive usage of drugs in the subculture and instead it promoted respect to ourselves and other beings. Starting with the 90s, social issues like animal rights became an active part of the theme and many chose to become vegetarian or vegan too. Minor Threat, a hardcore punk band from Washington DC, released the song Straight Edge in 1981. The title of their song was later adapted as the term to refer to the movement itself.