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.

August radio show now on Mixcloud

The August Was Ist Das? radio show is now up on Mixcloud for your eternal enjoyment. It also features the last ever recording of the Yeti woof.

This month’s show is another mix with just me yapping at the start and end. The playlist was chosen by shuffling my music library and I then mixed it all together in an order that made sense. It was just an experiment, an idle whimsy but the results surprised and delighted me so Ishall return to the practice again in future. The track list is:

Nelson Riddle – Dauntless-Ness
Sylvain Chauveau – Pour Les Oiseaux
Cluster – Dem Wanderer
United Bible Studies – More Tongues To Catch The Snowfall
Bird People – Bark of Birch
Ken Camden – Adenosine
Guenter Schlienz – Presentation Three, Electric Organ & Modular Synthesizer
Andrew Liles – 45 rpm NINE
Paddy Kingsland – Electronic Effect 11
Charlambides – Saratoga Reel
Casey Denman – The Wolves Are Running
Trad, Gras och Stenar – Munfiol
Scammers – Born With The Best
The Chills – Brave Worlds (BBC Session version)
Joy Division – Isolation (live at University of London Union Feb 8th 1980)
Psychic TV – Cadaques
Anla Courtis – Glaucidium Jardinii
Sandro Brugnolini and the Modern Jazz Gang – Metting At Eur
Traveling Circle – Conduit Is Closing
The Syndicats – Crawdaddy Simone
Vibracathedral Orchestra – Ridin’ Free
Malaise – unknown
Carlton Melton – The Barrier
Half-Japanese – Man Without A Head
Kasper Hauser – Dole Inside
Guttersnipe – Long Pincers Dips In The Tin
Uniform – Habit
White Hills – H-p1
Demdike Stare – Filtered Through Prejudice
ElpH vs Coil – The Halliwell Hammers
Maurizo Bianchi – Untitled
Del Close and John Brent – Field Trip No.3
De La Soul – Into The Woods
System of a Down – Jet Pilot

R.I.P. Yeti

We lost a vital member of the Was Ist Dad? family yesterday, our dog Yeti. His main contribution was wandering into the frame during my video reviews with an almost knowing approach to mise-en-scene, bringing a little life and humility to counteract my music rambles. He also sat next to me while I DJ’d a couple of times. You can also see him on the poster for the Tor Ist Das! Festival. A celebrity on the Hebden Bridge pub scene, he will be sorely missed.