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MTT 225 / Nobody Home

Posted by Cameron Vanderzanden on . Tagged ambient, audio download, dj mix, electro, idm, mixcloud, movement through thought, music.

MTT225 Spectrogram

An hour of relaxed melancholic electro and IDM floating around 120 BPM. This set features new tracks from Brokntoys, CPU Records, and another piece from Mariska Neerman's Finding Our Way Back Home EP.

Right-click save-as here or on the spectrogram above to download this mix. This mix is also available at mixcloud.

  1. R 325 / 191209719 00:00
  2. Silicon Scally / Walk Over (Carl Finlow Remix) 03:34
  3. Raw Stevens / Electronic Traveller 08:20
  4. Adam Jay / Cerium 10:51
  5. üNN / Fear 14:00
  6. Quinoline Yellow / LCC Basement 18:17
  7. Mariska Neerman / Anima Sola 20:30
  8. The Guide Girls / Moonglade Temal 22:42
  9. Mikron / Out Of Body 27:12
  10. Salmz / Revidants 32:03
  11. Vertical67 / Nightingale 35:55
  12. Yazoo / Midnight (Post Remix) 40:02
  13. Dez Williams / Lunchunmeet 42:45
  14. Megabeat / Strange (Boris Divider Remix) 45:59
  15. Freezie Freekie / Slow Decay 50:46
  16. Transparent Sound & Scape One & Karoshi / Abstrakt Sound 54:47
  17. The Pad Foundation / Dream Sequence 57:43

Track #1 191209719 by R 325, #11 Nightingale by Vertical67, and #13 Lunchunmeet by Dez Williams are all from the famous and consistently excellent label Brokntoys. R 325's Mouvements came out November of last year, Nightingale is a subscriber exclusive from March, and Lunchunmeet is from a compilation called A Call Too Close also from March. All three are fantastic additions to an already great catalog, so check 'em out. Call Too Close is particularly good and captures the sound of Brokntoys well.

Track #2 Walk Over (Carl Finlow Remix) by Silicon Scally and #9 Out Of Body by Mikron are both from the (also famous) Sheffield label CPU Records. I talked a tiny bit about Silicon Scally's Revelations last week - all four tracks are good but I think I like the two remixes best. Definitely worth a listen (if you haven't heard it yet). Mikron's faded and hazy (dare I say lo-fi) Warning Score has held up well over the last five years, I think. I still listen to it often and am always happy to play something from it.

Boris Divider's mix of Strange by Megabeat was the first piece I pulled while working out tracks for this set. It's on a four-track remix 12" from 2005 on the Spanish label MSX. I've never heard the originals of these tracks to compare, but I really like Divider's version of Strange and Jaumëtic's version of Ducted. A fine record, one to look for in the used shops.

And that's all the writing I have in me. I got a late start today so this one is publishing closer to midnight than usual. That's alright I suppose, the tracks are still good and I didn't get in the way of them too much. I'll be back next week Thursday evening with the usual end-of-the-month slow set.


MTT 224 / Out At Night

Posted by Cameron Vanderzanden on . Tagged audio download, breaks, dj mix, electro, mixcloud, movement through thought, music. Fediverse thread.

MTT224 Spectrogram

Playing mostly familiar tracks this week, although there are a couple new ones. Electro, standard 130, spacey stuff. New music from Silicon Scally's Revelations EP on CPU, London Modular Alliance's Cracked Dice EP also on CPU, and Mariska Neerman's Finding Our Way Back Home EP on HC Records.

Right-click save-as here or on the spectrogram above to download this mix. This mix is also available at mixcloud.

  1. Rokton Ensemble / Runout 05.08 00:00
  2. DJ HasH / Universal Atom 02:28
  3. Lazer Kontinent / Arproton (Juno Lazermachine Version) 04:43
  4. Mariska Neerman / Fresh Eyes (Shawescape RMX) 07:55
  5. Silicon Scally / Revelations (Fleck E.S.C. Remix) 13:20
  6. LektroiD / Communication 17:31
  7. Burrito Boys / Untitled [AT04 A2] 21:43
  8. dbacon / Aches 23:28
  9. Kerr Knoll / 808 Tape 26:06
  10. London Modular Alliance / Chemical Peel 29:06
  11. Nullptr / Reflector 33:39
  12. Sonar Base / Last Transit 37:02
  13. Morphology / Floating Point 40:00
  14. E.R.P. / Lodestone 45:38
  15. Heuristic Audio / Dawn Over The City 51:30
  16. Brothomstates / Flue 55:17

Tracks #13 Floating Point by Morphology, #10 Chemical Peel by London Modular Alliance, and #5 Revelations (Fleck E.S.C. Remix) by Silicon Scally are all from the excellent CPU Records. The latter two are both new, both electro four-track EPs, and both absolutely terrific.

Track #4 Fresh Eyes (Shawescape RMX) is from Mariska Neerman's Finding Our Way Back Home EP on HC Records of Spain. The whole EP is wonderfully lush synth-y electro and techno. I can't wait to play more from it. The Shawescape remix featured here is of course a remix from Jeremiah Shaw AKA J. Shaw, who produced MSIA027, one of my favorite releases on Militant Science. Anyway, strong recommendation for Finding Our Way Back Home, no bad tunes on it.

This set was put together faster than usual so a lot of tracks run long, in particular Lodestone. This is my second crack at playing Lodestone (the first being MTT 168 / Turbulent Flow); I hope I came up with a better mix this time. A fantastic track from a huge two-track release (originally a 10", discogs tells me).

OK, that's all I've got to say this week. Thanks for listening, be sure to check out the albums linked above, and I'll be back next week on Thursday the 17th with another mix. Catch you then.


MTT 223 / Crossed Mind

Posted by Cameron Vanderzanden on . Last updated . Tagged audio download, dj mix, electro, mixcloud, movement through thought, music, techno. Fediverse thread.

MTT223 Spectrogram

Electro, techno; Technobass. This mix features new music by Dvidevat, Nulla, and DJ Di'jital as well as a newly remastered track from the excellent label Southern Outpost.

Right-click save-as here or on the spectrogram above to download this mix. This mix is also available at mixcloud.

  1. I-F / Moonbase Next To G. 00:00
  2. CYWU / Spring Space 03:33
  3. H&S / v983.1 07:05
  4. MAS 2008 / Electro Caleidoscope 10:22
  5. dvidevat / PSH 13:20
  6. Adam Jay / Reaction Chamber 16:49
  7. Mat Carter / Solid Gear 20:32
  8. Alex Cortex / Memory Overload 24:35
  9. The Sentinel / Wrong Time 27:40
  10. D.I.E. / Not R Fault 30:40
  11. DJ Di'jital / NWEO Saga 34:07
  12. Aux 88 / My A.U.X. Mind (2005) 36:53
  13. Slade Brothers / Episode 76 40:48
  14. Luke Slater / All Exhale (Rude Solo Remix) 42:37
  15. Agent Patrick & DATA / Night Op 47:03
  16. Turk Turkelton / N.I.T.N.T. 50:04
  17. Andy Düx & Bombing F / Cyber Vision (A. Mix) 53:47
  18. Nulla / Ambinet 57:55

Both track 5 PSH by dvidevat and track 18 Ambinet by Nulla are from the 068/078-1 split on the Slovenian netlabel Kamizdat. Nulla's side is snappy, edgy, and modern; dvidevat's side sounds to me more round, smoother, more like techno. I like this album a lot, I like the variety of it, and it's currently available name-your-price, so give it a listen, check it out.

This selection came together mostly as a reason to play something from the newly remastered Setting The Agenda EP and/or Boogie Down 313 EP on Southern Outpost. One tune from the two made it in, #15 Night Op by Agent Patrick & DATA, but know that both EPs are top quality technobass. Track #9 Wrong Time by The Sentinel is also off Southern Outpost and is also killer. Huge thanks to the folks at Southern Outpost for making these releases available digitally.

Track 17 Cyber Vision (A. Mix) by Andy Düx & Bombing F is an old (1996!) piece from the German label Over-X-Posure. It's huge - it plays at 45 and takes one whole side of OVER-X-PO 03. I have it running at +6% in this mix so if you want to hear it in its original buzzy glory I recommend tracking down a copy of the 12". (Frankly any Over-X-Posure 12" you spot in the wild is probably worth checking out).

One last programming note: the mix of Not R Fault played here as track 10 is the original (not live) version as released on M.A.P. Records. I've linked to the Clone West Coast Series re-release of The Unseen in the tracklist above to lend them some support, but please know that the original mix is not on that release, only the live version.

I think that's all I've got to say this week. Oh, one last recommendation: be sure to check out Di'jital's new EP ElectroHop II, the source of track 11 in this mix, NWEO Saga. That's new proper electro-techno business. Anyway I'll be back next week Thursday my usual time with another mix, something slower, probably more electro.

Edit: Turns out I did have something more to say. It seems Mat Carter has brought back his label Varial Records and reissued some of his old tracks. Notably Venting Steam and Solid Gear, previously released on the first of the Firewire Split Series, is now available digitally from the Varial Records bandcamp page. I have updated the tracklist link above to reflect this.


MTT 222 / Neither Nor

Posted by Cameron Vanderzanden on . Tagged audio download, dj mix, downtempo, drum & bass, dub, mixcloud, movement through thought, music, skweee, synthpop. Fediverse thread.

MTT222 Spectrogram

Some beats, half-time drum & bass, and dubby stuff to close out this month. This hour features mostly old tracks, with a few from Om Unit's excellent label Cosmic Bridge and a few from Coco Bryce's label Myor (still so hot right now).

Right-click save-as here or on the spectrogram above to download this mix. This mix is also available at mixcloud.

  1. Seefeel / Gatha 00:00
  2. Apologist / No Closer Than The Moon 02:44
  3. Margari's Kid / Defender (Crypticz Remix) 05:03
  4. Fracture X Kid Drama ft. Lucie La Mode / Tell Me How 08:49
  5. Massive Attack / Weather Storm 13:31
  6. Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor / Cool Monsoon (Weather Storm) 16:21
  7. Mad Professor / Solar System 19:16
  8. Vangelis / Le Singe Bleu (Om Unit Edit) 21:03
  9. Tourist At Home / You And I For A Long Time 25:12
  10. Ben Businovski / Deleted Scenes (Vaporwave) 28:58
  11. Kuedo / Salt Lake Cuts 32:55
  12. Kromestar / Don't Make Sense 37:26
  13. Mesak / Meswalk (Edit) 41:35
  14. Coco Bryce / Shower Scene 44:13
  15. The Chemical Brothers / One Too Many Mornings 46:51
  16. Dagobert / Sky High 50:03
  17. DJ Taye ft. Fabi Reyna / I Don't Know 53:28
  18. Gary Bellington / Merry Go Sound 56:43

Track #3 Defender (Crypticz Remix) by Margari's Kid, track #8 Le Singe Bleu (Om Unit Edit) by Vangelis (listed as Le Singe on Om Unit's bandcamp), and track #12 Don't Make Sense by Kromestar are all from Om Unit's label Cosmic Bridge. Of those the moody and dramatic We Are Ghosts Now EP by Margari's Kid is my favorite. (Titan and Darkness Is Older Than Light are particularly incredible).

Tracks #13 Meswalk (Edit) by Mesak and #14 Shower Scene by Coco Bryce are both from Bryce's label Myor. Skweee and bright sunny instrumental hip-hop respectively. I need to go digging through the Myor catalog again, so much of it is good and I'm sure I missed a lot on my first pass.

A couple more things to recommend. Fracture & Kid Drama & Lucie La Mode's Tell Me How is fantastic and has been stuck in my head since I picked it up last month. DJ Taye & Fabi Reyna's I Don't Know from Taye's hi-tech footwork album Still Trippin' has also been stuck in my head. That's an album I've been revisiting lately, rediscovering just how far ahead DJ Taye is.

Aside from some volume level troubles and an unfortunate zip noise at 2:41 this one is pretty good. I love all these tracks. Anyway I'll be back next week Thursday with another mix, probably some fast-ish electro.


MTT 221 / Free Routine

Posted by Cameron Vanderzanden on . Tagged audio download, dj mix, electro, idm, mixcloud, movement through thought, music, techno. Fediverse thread.

MTT221 Spectrogram

Electro, IDM, techno-ish selections this week. A mess of a tracklist, but the tunes are all good. This hour features new tracks from Apologist's album Air Foundry on Frequency Domain and ΠΕΡΑ ΣΤΑ ΟΡΗ's new EP IMMI on Musar Recordings.

Right-click save-as here or on the spectrogram above to download this mix. This mix is also available at mixcloud.

  1. Myoptik / New Life 00:00
  2. Apologist / Signals 02:23
  3. Volum / Forced States Of Matter 07:40
  4. Biepang / Bleak Leisure 11:08
  5. Mitch Murder / Bertone's Theme 14:49
  6. üNN / Reality 17:29
  7. Silicon Scally / Rendered 21:20
  8. User18081971 / Bimbongo 25:34
  9. Intelligent Communication / Open Loop 27:48
  10. dbacon / Just Hold On 31:17
  11. Delta Funktionen / Moonstone Road 34:55
  12. Drexciya / Surface Terrestrial Colonization 39:37
  13. E.R.P. / Gallup String 45:30
  14. M_Step / Atarv5 49:00
  15. ΠΕΡΑ ΣΤΑ ΟΡΗ / BOUNCING/LASSITUDE 52:59
  16. T.Power / Complexification 56:03
  17. Bola / Serge2 (Octagon) 61:55

The first two tracks in this mix - New Life by Myoptik and Signals by Apologist - are both from the UK label Frequency Domain. Both are from terrific albums, the former a varied ambient split between Matt Whitehead and Myoptik, the latter a new dubby electronic eight-tracker from Apologist. I highly recommend both.

ΠΕΡΑ ΣΤΑ ΟΡΗ's odd track BOUNCING/LASSITUDE is from their recent IMMI EP on Musar. A cryptic, menacing, weird EP; I like it a lot. And it sets up a slightly awkward but cool transition into T.Power's Complexification.

Track 10 Just Hold On by dbacon (AKA Being AKA The Wee DJs) is also new. It's from Half-arsed Cupboard Jams, a collection of sweet lo-fi-ish electro and techno sketches from Mr. Bacon's studio. If Just Hold On (and Aches) is what comes out of your cupboard then I love it too.

I got a little bit carried away at the end of this one and ran long; I really wanted to hear Complexification (and Bola's Serge2). I hope nobody minds. Anyway I'll be back next week with another upload on Thursday, my customary end-of-month slow set.


Music File Management 1: Formats, Names, and Tags

Posted by Cameron Vanderzanden on . Tagged freebsd, linux, music, software.

Like most DJs I have a lot of music and a lot of that is files. CD rips, recordings of cassettes and vinyl, flac and mp3 purchases from online record stores, and so on. Articles and conversations about music library organization are always interesting to me, so I thought I'd take a minute here to document how I handle my own collection.

I manage and interact with my digital music library using a computer that runs FreeBSD. Everything is done from the command-line using the Bourne shell, the standard file utilities, some shell scripts, and a few specialized encoders and tagging programs that I'll list next. I don't use Picard or any of the other automated taggers.

File Formats

FLAC is good. I store my own recordings in flac and either purchase flac or other lossless (.wav) that I then convert into flac. I use the reference encoder from xiph.org; I haven't had a single problem with it in 15 years of use. It even comes with its own tagging utility: metaflac(1).

MP3 is bad. When I do have to work with mp3 I use LAME to encode, libmad (with cmus) or mpv to decode, and mid3v2 to handle tags.

I don't keep any other formats in my music library. (Tracker modules are kept in a separate collection).

Directory Structure & File Names

I sort most of my collection by record label. Each label gets its own directory, then within that each release gets a subdirectory. Each release directory name has three key pieces of information: catalog number, artist, and release title. An example:

$ ls "music/By Label/Dominance Electricity"
...
[dr-022.008] trv - technical remote viewing
[dr-023.009] various - global surveyor phase 2
[dr-027.012] imatran voima - commando
...

That's an excerpt of my Dominance Electricity directory. The last entry in that list is catalog number DR-027.012 by artist Imatran Voima titled Commando. Compilations and split releases are given the artist name "various", like Global Surveyor Phase 2 above.

Releases organized by artist are given a directory for the artist then a subdirectory for each release and use the same basic naming convention except that catalog number (in square brackets) is replaced with release year (in parentheses):

$ ls "music/By Artist/Pop Will Eat Itself"
(1990) pop will eat itself - dance of the mad
(1991) pop will eat itself - x y + zee

Files within each release directory look like this:

$ ls "music/By Label/Dominance Electricity/[dr-027.012] imatran voima - commando"
00 back.jpg
00 cover.jpg
00 side a.jpg
00 side b.jpg
a1 imatran voima - commando.flac
a2 imatran voima - commando (bonus beats).flac
b1 imatran voima - commando (sbassship remix).flac
b2 imatran voima - on speed.flac

This is a pretty standard layout of tracknumber then artist followed by tracktitle. For cassette and vinyl releases I usually indicate side then track as shown in the example above. Everything else gets a normal 01-99 tracknumber. Album artwork, press release PDF files, and any other files associated with the release are prefixed with '00'.

This is a common naming scheme, I think. I manually rename all files to follow the above conventions. I chose this layout because it's simple, it displays and sorts correctly from the shell, and it's easy to work with and remember.

Tags

Every flac and mp3 file in my library has at least the following tags:

Display Name id3v2 tag FLAC tag
Artist TPE1 ARTIST
Track Title TIT2 TITLE
Album Title TALB ALBUM
Date TYER or TDRC DATE
Genre TCON GENRE
BPM TBPM BPM
Key TKEY INITIALKEY
Album Artist TPE2 ALBUMARTIST
Track Number TRCK first field TRACKNUMBER
Track Total TRCK 2nd field TRACKTOTAL
Comment COMM COMMENT

In addition to the above tags I store replaygain info in every file. This is done using metaflac's replaygain feature for flac files and mp3gain (through a shell script) for mp3 files. Replaygain is my preferred loudness-normalizing method because it's non-destructive (it's just metadata) and it's built into the tools I'm already using (flac, metaflac).

I use a shell script frontend to metaflac and mid3v2 to edit tags regardless of their filetype; I'll go over that script in the next article in this series. Each tag's content usually comes from either the release packaging or from discogs.com. "Albumartist" is "Various" for compilations and split releases. "Key" is auto-calculated using Mark Hills's key-tools, which itself uses the key detection algorithm developed by Ibrahim Sha'ath for his excellent keyfinder program. "BPM" I tap out for each track with a little tap-tempo program. "Genre" is a bunch of nonsense I make up (just like the various genre tags on this website).

Closing

This is a labored explanation of something pretty simple, but maybe it'll be useful to someone. I figure I'll write two more parts in this series: one about the various shell scripts I use for tagging, and one that'll cover how I have my music player CMUS configured.