14th birthday mixes

Just recently, Was Ist Das? hit the milestone/millstone of 14 years. To celebrate I banged out a mix. It was meant to be all-encompasing but as it was knocked out while buzzed up on stout brewed with strong coffee things got a bit…..banging? So a downbeat sequel had to happen. It’s science, dig? What goes up must come down. So here it is.

And here’s the hyper original:

And the 15th anniversary will have more to offer, I promise.

bunch of reviews posted

Yesterday Was Ist Das? turned 14! Awkwardly my old laptop had finally gone over a cliff and my new one didn’t arrive until the end of the day. So today is more of a celebration as I was actually able to do stuff (and I was off work). Anyway, I just stuck up six new reviews. Well, I say new, one of them was from February and somehow got lost and with it being an anniversary it seemed a great time to revive it (Teeth of the Sea) but one of them is from 4 years ago when I lived in the UK. It was a typed review I found in a cloud when setting up the new laptop. So I slapped it down over a recent photo (Steve Gunn & The Black Twig Pickers). What else? There’s folk, there’s synth pop, there’s abstraction of the finest order. Go on over to the Features page for all the options.

Now my laptop has a bigger screen, the website will be designed accordingly. I know nobody has computers anymore and they’re all using smart phones. I have one too. I’m just a creature of habit.

A young person’s guide to Andrew Liles

To celebrate the fact that he’s managed to go over fifty years without dieing, Andrew Liles has released the second half of his enormous “Colossus” project which you can check/buy/peer at right here. Our review, the biggest we have ever done, is on the way this week but for a more timely marking of the occasion, here’s a quick Was Ist Das? 5 release primer for our personal picks from his enormous discography. Two points to note, one is that we are ignoring Current 93 and Nurse With Wound. He may have made some major contributions but they ain’t his babies. He’s just the wet nurse. Secondly, as he is prolific, I haven’t heard everything but I have heard a lot and I know what I like.

1.Fini

A collaboration with Jean-Herve Peron of Faust and a joyous treat. JHP’s dadist sensibilities get fed into Liles’ Hi-Tech but surreal world. The result is rather like what if Faust had entered a time machine in 71 and made their next album in a modern studio.

2.All Closed Doors

A 2003 release that really showcased that here was an electronic artists who may well have inhaled the entire Warp Records catalogue but could coldly outweird them all. For the Bandcamp reissue you get two versions, the original 2003 mix and a special binaural remix for a 3d headphone experience.

3.The Vortex Vault

A twelve CD series, released monthly, this was the first grand declaration of the strange mix of prolific and proficient. With a vast rogues gallery of collaborators, it’s a real feast of sounds. The whole damn set is available as one download for 24 quid which is insane as it’s a huge collection.

4.Like Swallowing Eclipses

I know I originally said no Current 93 but this is actually the first five C93 albums (plus ‘Faust’ and ‘I have a special plan for this world’) remixed by Likes. Rather than doing anything crazy or blasphemous, though, he sort of reimagines the albums as they would sound if they were recorded today. Not that there aren’t plenty of changes, it wouldn’t be worth bothering otherwise, he just drags them into the modern world. It’s a remarkable achievement.

5.The Power Elite

An almost retro approach to the classical avant garde except it’s in blisteringly high quality. Fidelity aside, though, this is straight back to the good old days when you could find this kind of music in charity shops for 50p, content betrayed by being in the classical section with a modern art cover. It really does sound like he’s kidnapped a classical ensemble and is forcing them to do weird stuff in his basement.

So there you are. I’d like to say here’s to the next fifty years of music but by then he’ll be dead and those of us still alive will probably be shitting in caves and eating dogs.

reviews for Andrew Liles & Black To Comm up on the site

The dust is slowly falling off the pen, the camera snaps away and then enventually the laptop starts up and it all falls together. The latest reviews on the site are both for very odd, very entertaining electronic music. There’s an enormous Andrew Liles album and the new on from Black To Comm. Hope you can read the handwriting. They’re over at http://wasistdas.co.uk/Features.htm

Free compilation from Flower Room Records

Always been a big fan of the works and projects of Matt LaJoie such as Herbcraft, Endles Caverns and, of course, his work with MV & EE. Recently he’s really been on a majorly productive streak with his Flower Room Records putting out a whole tide of killer jams. To give you a perfect primer on his recent action, there’s a free compilation called “Arrangement 1” right now. Check it out:

Was Ist Das? Shutdown Ends

Following a shocking festive season during which the warring elements of my soul were unable to find a compromise, Was Ist Das? is finally posting new stuff. First up, reviews of Heather Leigh and Scanner are up on the Features page http://wasistdas.co.uk/Features.htm

Then, over on the Label Page, I’ve created a page that just shows a bunch of picks of previous releases. You can’t click on them. It serves no practical purpose. I’ll probably only update it once or twice a year. I don’t care. I just wanted it. Just look at it! http://wasistdas.co.uk/label.htm but don’t confuse it with our normal Label page which is at http://wasistdas.co.uk/label/

Hoping to be making it out of date very soon with some great releases.

Trembling Bells singer Lavinia Blackwall bounces back with debut solo video

Like most true music fans, I felt a pang of sadness when Lavinia Blackwall announced she was leaving Trembling Bells. I first heard her mighty pipes on James Blackshaw’s “The Glass Bead Game” and have been quite in awe of what she does with her voice ever since. So, it was with great delight that I received a link to this wonderfully tongue-in-cheek retro video and to read that a solo album is on the way. Viva la Vinny!

Reviews!

We’ve covered M Geddes Gengras’ trippy double CD album, Ulver’s mighty new EP, authentic Afghan folk meet desert psych and our beer page has finally updated with a whole bunch of new entries including accounts of the finest bars in the South West of the USA and a delve into the original bourbon barrel aged stout. All the music reviews include embedded Bandcamp links and all the beer was lovely.