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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Download // anothercountyheard's Summer 2011 Chillwave Mixtape

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Classic chillwave mixtape from your's truly. Download it as a zip file of separate sequenced MP3s.


01 Purity Ring- Ungirthed
02 Slow Magic - Sorry Safari
03 Rimar - Ways
04 Seabright -Sea Samba
05 NazcarNation - Beeswax (StewRat Remix)
06 Regal Safari - Lake
07 Active Child - Hangin On
08 Flourish Fill - Gentle Beast
09  Team Rockit - första hjälpen (chop n screw u)
10 Blood Diamonds - Grins
11 Phoenix - 1901 (Essáy's Heat Edit)
12 Active Child - Playing House feat How to Dress Well
13 Balam Acab - Motion
14 CFCF - Cometrue (Physical Therapy Deep Forest Mix)
15 Seabright - Faye
16 Hard Mix - Memories (Purity Ring Remix)
17 Alicia Keys - Unthinkable (PHYSICAL THERAPY REAL HEAVY VIBE)


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2011 CLASSIC // Hot Girls (Single + Remixes) by NazcarNation

A 2011 classic from NazcarNation (now Gangplans).
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

DOWNLOAD: Kat Seckz by Imprintafter, 2012 Chillwave Classic


A classic, available for free download, via imprintafter.
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Found on Darla: Light and Waves by i am robot and proud

Something I found through Darla Records facebook page. Listen to "Weird Gravity." I think they're from Toronto. Reminds me of Sweet Trip.
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Download: 愛 by コンシャスTHOUGHTS, Tasty Free Future Funk


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Download: My Vegan Dog by Hearts Bonfire


via Memory No.36 Recordings. Check out their other fine releases. 
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Saturday, October 10, 2015

DOWNLOAD: SAMHAIN Mixtape


Just a little something scary I cooked up for Halloween or Samhain,  its' pagan name, focusing on   artists who had been in Throbbing Gristle, and their associates. Throbbing Gristle split in half, yielding Chris & Cosey (Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti), and Psychic TV (Genesis P-Orridge and Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson). In 1984 Christopherson split off from PTV taking with him Geoff Rushton, aka John Balance, who became Coil. Current 93 is the group of David Tibet who had been in Psychic TV, and split off at the same time as Sleazy and Geoff. Many Current 93 records feature the members of Coil,  Steven Stapleton of Nurse with Wound,  Boyd Rice and Douglas P. of Death in June. "Terminus" and "The Full Pack", both presented in their full length,  dominate the set. They are Psychic TV at the full peak of their power, and are among the scariest pieces of music ever recorded. Listen to it in the dark.

DOWNLOAD SAMHAIN MIXTAPE

Track list
0:00 Psychic TV "Terminus" (1982)
11:30 X-TG ‎ แฝดนรก (Faet Narok) "Faet Narok Two" (2012)
15:00 Coil "Blood From the Air" (1986)
19:40 Chris & Cosey "Haunted Heroes" (1986)
22:45 Coil "Cardinal Points" (1986)
26:30 Death in June "The Wall of Sacrifice" (1990)
33:10 Current 93 "To Feed the Moon" (1986)
38:04 Psychic TV "The Full Pack" (1983)
51:00 Current 93 "Earth Covers Earth" (1988)
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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Download: Oh hi by It Is Rain In Ny Face


Download: YESOD by RUMTUM


More than a year old but fuck, I missed it and this is RUMTUM.
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Download: CHAM! by マクロスMACROSS 82-99



This is the real-deal vaporwave, a whole album of delicious, fully developed tracks spanning the spectrum of rhythms and  styles encompassed under 'vaporwave', from the glowing jazz of "Lost Without You" to the kawaii-house of "Miss Macross", the trap-hop of "Ash" to the future funk of "Sailor Team", my personal  favorite. So there is a lot of variety to the tracks, yet they are unmistakably vaporwave.  Several guest vocalists add immensely to the collection, most notably Diane Shroomy, and the unidentified vocalist on "Sailor Team".

This is music that will leave a big smile on your face, and it's a free download, so wtf are you waiting for?
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

DOWNLOAD: Am I being overdramatic? by YlangYlang

Download: ☾ r e m i x e d ☽ by YlangYlang

Download: Two New Releases from AyGeeTee

Chillwave 2.0: George Clanton's 100% Electronica


George Clanton is the talent behind the vocally driven chillwave pop Mirror Kisses and  vaporwave artist Esprit 空想 100% Electronica is the first album under his own name, and it integrates the approach of his previous incarnations into what may be his final form. The album sounds like the confident and self-assured work  of an artist coming into his own both as a vocalist and producer, ten fully developed songs--all killer/no filler.  From the opening strains of the first track, I had a strong feeling that I was really going to like this album. Catchy, hook-laden and appealing at first listen,  it draws heavily on Eighties new wave and synthpop for inspiration, which perfectly suits Clanton's voice, reminiscent  of Human League singer Phillip Oakley. My personal favorite is "It Makes the Babies Want to Cry". This album is in a class with 2009 classics like Causers of This and Psychic Chasms--the follow-up those artists failed to make, which proves what I've been saying all along; CHILLWAVE'S BACK. Smash that motherfucker (the download button) .

Friday, October 2, 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Download: Flamingosis by Flamingosis


             From our trusty friends at Keats Collective.   Favorite track: "Santa Cruz"
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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Download: BEWILDERBEAST (En​)​tropical EP


Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Fresh Prince of Darkwave: Dennis Hudson and OLMS' Gothic Pop



In preparation for this post, I started looking into the definition of “Goth”. Surprisingly, given the extensive use of the term and the clear significance of it, there is no easy definition for the word. The first use of the term for music was in 1967, when someone described the Doors as "Gothic rock". So what makes a thing Gothic?  The primary attributes of Goth seem to be extra-musical elements, that is, elements not directly involved with the rhythm or structure of music, such as the image and appearance of the artist, the artwork and iconography, and lyrical themes. A common critique of Goth is that its' superficial, which is true, at least on the surface. But look deeper and you will find something  discrete and recognizable.  A thing is either Goth or it's not.  We can recognize it when we see it.

Perhaps the best, most concise definition is one I found on a random website, searching 'Goth Culture'.  It was attributed to Beatgrrl;   "Being Goth, for me, is seeing beauty, and its coming destruction, at the same time. For me, it's the last dance as the walls are crumbling around you."

The essence of Dennis Hudson's music reaches back into the '80s, to the Gothic ideal. He  is one of the undiscovered gems among DIY internet producers, pursuing his non-conformist vision with little regard for trends or microgenres. Amazingly, this 20 year old seems to have absorbed the best of the '80s; the synthpop of Tears for Fears and Human League, the industrial dance music of Ministry and Skinny Puppy, and the dream pop of the 4AD artists. But Hudson is no retro or revival act. He uses these bases as starting points, and his material develops and subdues the themes of Goth to his own insatiable will to self expression.

Death,  infinity, corruption, terror and brutality--timeless, cosmic stuff, crying for form; in the hands of Hudson these Gothic themes meet techno-synth-pop in a comfortable marriage of these sensibilities, which find the near-perfect instrument in Hudson's voice,  eerily reminiscent of Jhonn Balance (Coil).  It's music than relates strongly to rock, distinct from its'  younger hip-hop-based cousin, witch house.

Hudson is consistently creative, splitting his energies between the interestingly named White Christian Male, an outlet for his harder, harsher work, and OLMS, devoted to the lighter, more pop-oriented side of darkness. Recent releases have demonstrated a maturing song writing talent, and with Veil he has delivered his best, most appealing set yet.

From the opener "Blowing Kisses Through the Window", through the closing title track, Hudson evinces an ear for melodic hooks, and inventive track making that incorporates contemporary digital effects such as side chain compression and auto-tune, to dazzling effect. In the song "Radio Hero (for Ian)", the peak of the set, he channels Ian Curtis in a totally convincing homage to the patron saint of Gothic rock, in what may be the best song he's written; an undeniably catchy tune, certain to number among the year's best.  For me, as a child of the Eighties, who now champions the  authentic voice of the DIY-internet underground, Hudson's music is a gift, casting an irresistible spell,  linking to the storied past,  while looking toward an uncertain future with an unflinching eye. Highly recommended.


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Monday, September 14, 2015

Download: Vanilla / For What It's Worth (2013)


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Sunday, September 13, 2015

SONGS: "Looking Glass" and "Backward" by Alice Cohen

                                                              Random image by Fawcett

From the  forthcoming Alice Cohen album "Into The Grey Salons" OESB 
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Witchy House Music of Face Culler's LOSTLANDS


This is one of those increasingly rare releases that sends me running to my blog to share.  A Facebook friend mentioned Occult Research, a tantalizing name for a label, and I proceeded immediately to the page to discover this gem of an album by Face Culler, their latest release.  This music is what I had imagined when I first heard the term 'witch house', before I figured out it wasn't house music at all.  Face Culler has absorbed late '80s, early '90s acid house and techno, jungle and breakbeat, but filters his homage with post-club internet sensibility.  The emphasis is more on listen-ability than  dance-ability. There's sufficient variation in rhythm, every track is distinct. It's highly visual music that will take you places if you let it. The subtle shadings in mood on these tracks keep the listener glued for the whole set. Check out "Two Distant Realities", the album's opener, the jungle acid of "Unlamenting", and the spacey and majestic "Juxtaposition"  for a good representative examples.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Download: Curt Crackrach "Work of Sound"


New from anothercountyheard favorite Dafydd McKaharay aka Nattymari. More on him here.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Download: LP & EP by Iceland Artist CELISTA (2010-2012)


Idek how I found this--just stumbled upon it somehow, and was absolutely delighted. These two releases from Iceland's  Celista harken back to the golden age of chillwave and the sound of 2010 .  Check out "Brooklyn", for starters, and the timely "Warm Autumn", or just trust me and download both zip folders from Mediafire at the links.
Download LP
Download EP
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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pocketknife's MOVING ME UP 2011 Arthur Russell Mixtape


2011 mix by New York Dj  Pocketknife featuring some rare nice edits and mixes.

Arp & Anthony Moore "Wild Grass I (for Arthur Russell)"
Arthur Russell "This Is How We Walk On the Moon (Youth's Return To Base Edit)"
Arthur Russell "Make 1,2"
Arthur's Landing "Love Dancing"
Elodie Lauten "Vision"
Arthur Russell "Let's Go Swimming" loop
Peter Gordon & The Love of Life Orchestra "That Hat"
Arthur Russell "Let's Go Swimming (Walter Gibbons mix)"
Holiday For Strings "Calling Out Dance mix"
Billy Nichols "Give Your Body Up To the Music (Larry Levan remix)"
Loose Joints "Is It All Over My Face (MAW mix)"
Loose Joints "Tell You Today (Allez-Allez edit)"
Lil Tony "Treehouse (Lil Tony rework)"
Arthur Russell "She's the Star (Pocketknife's Continual Cornfield remix)"
Recent Memory "Lucky Cloud (Pocketknife remix)"
Arthur Russell "That's Us/Wild Combination"
Arthur Russell "All Boy All Girl"
Johanna Billing "This Is How We Walk On the Moon (Bogdan edit)"
Arthur Russell "Keeping Up (Pocketknife remix)"
Allen Ginsberg "A Cradle Song"
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Download: Luxury Elite WORLD CLASS

Luxury Elite's World Class may be her  strongest release to date. This album finds her  mining fresh funk from the ruins of '80s pop and delivering 14 tracks that cohere into a solid set. Also included are four interesting remixes that take the tracks in surprising directions. The first edition of 100 tapes, which contained a couple of 'tape-only' cuts,  sold out in like 2 days, but I am informed that another edition coming soon, so check with Crash Symbols. And  these plebs keep running around talkin' 'bout "vaporwave is dead"!

The digital download is free :)
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Powered-Up Vaportrap: Blank Body's EXPLICIT DELUXE


This release stands out, even  among the recent crop of fine vaporwave, which is still the thing, btw, the active stream of underground online art. I was immediately attracted to the artwork when I saw it shared on facebook, and the colorful, dissonant funk of Explicit Deluxe lives up to the promise of its' cover.  It's futuristic and funky, without at all being future funk. There are no slowed down songs, no samples used.  Not entirely either vaporwave or trap, the music that straddles the borders of  those genres. But while so much recent vaporwave and trap has been obsessed with the past, this music is relentlessly forward-looking. It's a meaner,  tougher vaportrap. It acknowledges its' roots without repeating the formula. 


Formerly known as Bine, Blank Body's name may be a tip of the memetic fedora to vaportrap cousin Blank Banshee.  While he's been posting regularly to his Soundcloud for about a year, Explicit Deluxe is his debut release. A noisy and dissonant all-pervading synth keyboard and consistently inventive rhythmic  syncopation  define Explicit Deluxe's sonic aesthetic. It is trap without the affectation,  deriving its' menace from the inherent qualities of the sound rather than sampling and overt hip-hop references. There is an East-Asian theme lends an air of the exotic, and a Detroit techno influence that hangs over the whole set. 

The dynamic tracks never settle into predictable grooves, but develop in surprising directions.  The spectrum of variation in tempo and rhythm is represented, from the industrial techno of "L For L",  the unclassifiable and insane "Explicit" (featuring the moans of Liz Yordy, of spf420), the jungle drum & bass of "Carded 4 Nyquil", the shuffling dub of "Safe Hex 3", to the wicked trip-hop of "Oxtail". The tracks are carefully sequenced and should be listened to as a set. 

The psychic space described by Explicit Deluxe's clanging, restless music is a cybernetic dystopia, but one alive with mystery and unknown pleasures. This is not blue-pill yacht pop. It's music that seems to acknowledge the strangeness of a technologically immersed new world,  a world so disconnected from the past that an uneasy discomfort pervades. This is music for the 21st century. As I listened to the album with my after dinner pipe, I let go and let the highly visual music lead me...

A brand new hovercraft's autopilot beckons me sit down and buckle my seatbelt, the upper reaches of a neon-lit city are obscured with a diffuse mist. It speeds through the night-city, the lights glaring and blurring beautifully on the wet glass, before coming to an abrupt halt. A voice announces  that "You have arrived at your destination." I step out into an empty street. An attractive Asian woman seems to signal me. She is wearing a blue rose. She points at a doorway, and as I pass through you realize I am now outside under the stars of a clear sky, and a stairway leads to an ancient deep dream pagoda...

This is good music. It's powered up; it goes in. It has balls, if I may be excused for using a sexist metaphor, and depth, and that's something I think a lot of people are going to find attractive.  
You can purchase Explicit Deluxe by clicking the BUY link below or stream it from Bandcamp and Soundcloud.
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Download: Savage Sister "Huge Moves" 7"


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Download: Ricky Eat Acid's "Mixtape"



Quietly and without hype, Sam Ray aka Ricky Eat Acid dropped his new Mixtape last Friday. It's a diverse set, elusive to genre-definition. It seems to come from a world of its' own, personal and private. It almost makes me feel like a voyeur just listening to it.
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Saturday, July 4, 2015

DOWNLOAD: anothercountyheard's Psychedelic Ain't Trap Mixtape


The experience of listening to this music while tripping at the beach and the freshwater springs of the Florida panhandle is the inspiration for this mixtape. It's psychedelic, not in the nostalgic sense so often signified by that term, but in the best sense of the word -- music that mimics the effects of psychedelics, beautiful and blissful, but not without a touch of  poignancy. It hopefully captures the  spectrum of feelings experienced in that expanded state of awareness. The carefully selected tracks unite some of the very best early vaporwave with shoegaze and dreampop, in short it's pure anothercountyheard. 

                                                  DOWNLOAD AIN'T TRAP MIXTAPE as a zip

                                                  DOWNLOAD as mp3, mixed

                                               Photo found here ╧ SWAMPGOTH ╧

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Download: Launch Compilation from Speaker Footage


SPEAKER FOOTAGE Denmark
f u t u r e // d a n c e
a r t // m u s i c
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Dope-ass Future Funk: What I Actually Do by Liquid Pegasus


Liquid Pegasus: "I was born to a family of circus performers. I moved to Tokyo in 2006 and found a Juno 106 on the street. I started making music and here I am."
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Download: Eternal Dream System by Various Artists


Via Dream Catalog, an epic free 73 (!!) track album, The material is suitable,

Unravelling the Mystery of Arthur Russell's "Lost" Album, CORN

Charles Arthur Russell

I first heard the name Arthur Russell mentioned in an interview with Animal Collective, referencing inspirations for Merriwether Post Pavilion. One night in the summer of 2013, a social media friend sent me link to an Arthur Russell mp3 discography, which I downloaded and listened to over the succeeding months and years. (I should add that I have since purchased a legit lossless copy of every release available.) For a music geek like me, the discovery of Arthur Russell was a life-changing event; the beginning of many years of obsession.

Arthur Russell is a romantic figure; the frustrated artist or tragic genius, like Van Gogh, who allegedly never sold a painting, Orson Welles or Brian Wilson, who both had commercial aspirations, but had their most ambitious work rejected by their business partners. This unique, multi-faceted artist, a cello player, lived and worked in the then-center of the artistic universe in lower Manhattan; "downtown". His work cut across many genres, and was difficult to market. It failed to find a commercially viable audience in his own lifetime, which was cut short by AIDS. Russell died in 1992, leaving a prodigious body of unreleased recorded music, that, as attested by the posthumous releases, is uniformly brilliant. It’s rich, emotional music, with the full spectrum of life and being expressed and explored with absolute artistic authenticity. Russell’s songs are as deep as the ocean. The singing and cello playing are so nuanced and idiosyncratic, the sound so richly detailed and original, so startling in its’ complexity, that Arthur Russell has no peer in all of popular music. The music was so far out that even in 2015, it is avant garde, and anticipated many of the developments since, including shoegaze and dream pop, much of the dance music of the interval, and even DIY and chillwave.

This week Audika Records, the licensed conduit for the estate of Russell, released Corn, the first set of unreleased Russell recordings to emerge from the vault in seven years. Corn was originally conceived as Arthur's solo debut – the first record released under his name, and has been one of the major  mysteries of his extensive body of work until now. The album consists of  Russell’s own songs, his voice and unique amplified cello interacting with heavy and spare electronic beats, and percussion from Mustafa Ahmed, and Peter Zummo’s and Rik Albani's respective trombone and trumpet. There is a unified production approach, a sort of earthy electro. The tracks seem to belong to a set, though many have noted the demo-like sound quality of the recordings. Steven Hall, close friend and frequent collaborator states flatly, “Arthur would not have released most of those tracks. They were demos.”  

So is this 2015 Corn the unreleased album from 1985, or not? Turns out the answer to that question, like everything involving Russell, is too complex to yield to the simple either-or frame of that question.

Tom Lee's artwork for CORN

From Tim Lawrence's insightful biography of Arthur, Hold On To Your Dreams
"During late 1984 and 1985, Russell recorded approximately twenty tracks for his solo album, and having struggled to find a final version, presented the results on three separate test pressings."
The pressings were all titled Corn but the artist was labeled as El Dinosaur, Indian Ocean and Untitled, respectively. Lawrence’s book gives a track list; “See My Brother, He’s Jumping Out”, The Deer in the Forest – Part I”, “Hiding Your Present from You”, “Calling Out of Context”, “The Platform on the Ocean”,  “You Have Did the Right Thing When You Put That Skylight In”, ‘The Deer in the Forest – Part II”, “Keeping Up”, “Corn”, “They and Their Friends”, and “I Like You”, but doesn’t make clear which of the three versions this represented.


Russell submitted the material to his business partner in the Sleeping Bag Records dance label, Will Socolov. The label’s first release had been the hit “Go Bang! #5”, by Dinosaur L, “produced by Arthur Russell and Will Socolov”, and a commercially successful follow-up had yet to be delivered up by Arthur. Socolov deemed the Corn tracks too strange to be a viable release, and this rejection seems to mark the beginning of the end of their partnership. 

These newly released recordings were made between the 1982 Dinosaur L album and 1983's Tower of Meaning and Loose Joints "Tell You (Today)", according to the press release by Audika. So, are these newly released versions the material that was on the 1985 test pressings? Or was it the more finished versions of “Calling Out of Context”, “The Platform on the Ocean”, “I Like You”, that were eventually released on the 2004 Calling Out of Context compilation?  "Lucky Cloud", “Keeping Up” and “This Is How We Walk on the Moon”, released on Another Thought, sound finished, softened, and unlike the spare, hard tracks of the 2015 Corn. "You Have Did the Right Thing When You Put That Skylight In" is absent, but already was released on Springfield. "They and Their Friends" and "Hiding Your Present from You", and “See My Brother, He’s Jumping Out”, however, sound similar to  the versions released on Let's Go Swimming and Springfield, although we are assured by the notes that “all tracks previously unreleased”. But if you thought you’ve heard Corn because you know these songs, you’d be very wrong.

The tracks on the new release were compiled by Steve Knutson of Audika; “The sequence and track selection are mine and mine alone, except for one deletion by Tom." (The still-missing  track "The Deer in the Forest - Part II"?)
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Although it would be nice to know exactly what the contents of those test pressings were, the finished 1985 Corn album is probably a myth. It’s likely that Russell himself never resolved on a final version, and the test pressings were for Arthur’s own use. The failure to finish Corn ultimately has more to do with Arthur than Socolov.  
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Again, from Hold On To Your Dreams: "“Arthur wasn’t happy with anything he did, so he ended up with all these alternate mixes of the same thing,” notes the Sleeping Bag boss. “He would EQ things a million times and then he would ask me to listen to the tapes. There were times when I could distinguish between them, but I didn’t know what was better, and he just went on and on,” Socolov says Arthur “went crazy” over his recordings." 
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Mustafa Ahmed, told author Tim Lawrence, “I worked for hours on tracks but never got the sense we were finished, because of his constant editing. Anyone who collaborated with Arthur would tell you this was the most frustrating aspect about working with him…. He was never satisfied.”
As late as 1989 Arthur was still re-working some of these same songs, for an album he promised to Rough Trade and never delivered (some of this is on Calling Out of Context), tentatively titled 1-800-Dinosaur.

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'Corn' was a theme of Russell’s,  a connection to his roots in  small town, agrarian Iowa. There is "In the Corn Belt", from 24→24 Music, and he posed for iconic photos in a corn field, and with a John Deere tractor, which later graced the covers of Love Is Overtaking Me and Springfield. There are two versions of "Corn" on the new album, making sense of the title of the previously released "Corn #3".   

There is parallel aquatic theme in Russell's work, that acts as in compliment to ‘corn’. Arthur populated his song with water images. "Let's Go Swimming", "Platform on the Ocean", "Ocean Movie", “Little Lost”,  That’s Us / Wild Combination”, the artist names Indian Ocean and Killer Whale -- all convey a nautical theme.  

Maybe it’s more appropriate to think in terms of a 'Corn period' rather than a Corn album. It's a snapshot - a picture of a phase of Arthur's continually developing work. I do not think of these tracks as demos, which a term of derogation. I'd like to think it sounds exactly like Arthur intended. The quality and content of these recordings should not be compared to conventional commercial recordings.

The sound of Corn 2015 is raw and minimal. Some of the songs share musical passages; "Corn" falls into "Keeping Up" nicely, and it's easy to imagine that might have been intended. "Corn (Continued)” shares beats with "The Platform on the Ocean", and may have morphed into that track by 1985. In this incarnation it's a 10 minute workout of noisy, grinding jam, that is as close to hard rock as Russell would ever get; a worthy follow-up to Dinosaur L's chaotic "Get Set". The new "Lucky Cloud" may be the best of all. It sounds more 'finished' than some of the other tracks, Arthur's cello's "feedback harmonies" cresting in a blissful waves of carefully controlled noise. It's easy to imagine this might have been a hit had it enjoyed proper support and promotion.  
 
"This Is How We Walk on the Moon" is one of Corn’s best tracks, and contains (like many of Russell's recordings) passages of indescribably nasty funk that only lasts for a few bars, making it ripe for a new edit. This version is by no means inferior to the other versions of one of Arthur’s very best songs. The metronomic snare and melodic cello lock into a groove that is danceable, to which is added the trashiest dirty synth sound imaginable, and the “slurry” (as Lawrence aptly terms it) of trumpet and trombone. The same dirty synth shows up in “I Like You”. “See My Brother, He’s Jumping Out (Let’s Go Swimming #2) ” is  a succeeding version of the song of the same name on Springfield, tagged "Let's Go Swimming #1". This track does not appear to be a remix but an entirely different recording of the song, which would continue evolving and eventually be released as a single in 1986. This Corn version features tremendous percussive assaults and intense rhythmic thrust. Whether it's the album Arthur intended or not, the sequencing and selections could hardly work better than they do. Corn is a gem that will delight fans  and lure  new listeners into strange world of Arthur Russell.



The failure to release Corn in its' own time left the seeds of these remarkable songs in Arthur's fertile soil, and they continued to grow and develop under his nurturing protection. These multiple versions should not be thought of as remixes, or even re-recordings, but as variations on a theme, such as in classical music, each being a distinct work.  This obsessive-compulsive, quixotic reworking resulted in a greater body of work being left than we otherwise would have. Russell's bizarre working methods and overall approach to his art call into question the very nature of 'finishing' a work of art, of 'releasing', and even of the concept of audience.  No doubt he had commercial aspirations, but ultimately, made this music for himself. It is the businessmen of the world who are preoccupied with 'releasing', and whatever drove  Arthur, it wasn't money.  

"Some sort of unconscious state seemed to govern Arthur. As he went about his work, he set aside the constraints of everyday reality...He followed his ear in order to live out an ambition that evoked a sublime chaos of the inner psyche -- or a dream  that resembled a dream," writes Tim Lawrence.


He managed to absorb all these impersonal genres, modern classical/minimalist, avant-rock/new wave and disco, dub, hardly known for lyrics or authenticity of personal artistic expression (disco was a lot of things, but individual artistic expression, it was not), and then produce a fusion that was as deeply personal and genuine and authentic as the original American blues. 

The songs and recordings have a life of their own. A new generation of musicians is discovering Russell, and his influence is being felt everywhere in the avant garde of the internet  new music  community.  It's what the world needs, it's love. It's art. It's the best music I have ever heard.
Arthur was a Buddhist, and didn't believe in a heaven, but it's tempting to imagine this angel looking down on us with satisfaction, that his beautiful music is finally being recognized as the work of a genius. I hope to eventually hear every scrap of music he recorded.

Photos courtesy of Audika. Much of this was drawn from Hold On To Your Dreams by Tim Lawrence 2009 Duke University Press. Highly recommended. The film Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell is essential viewing. Thanks to Steve Knutson, Mustafa Ahmed, and Steven Hall for background.

BUY CORN