Well it's July and I haven't blogged about the end-of-year mixtapes from 2012. Argh.
But something seems to have happened to my mixtapes this year. I haven't relished and revelled in them like I used to; maybe because I've used up many of the tracks and themes that were 'immortal' and i'm just not discovering as much music as I used to; but this year my mixtapes have been slightly more direct than previously.
First, I did a compilation of different mixes of Klein Bottle Fish Tank. Only 17 minuets long, this charts the evolution of the track from fruity loops sketch through to the To The Boats..! cover of it, and into Unimbued's ambient soundblip of it.
Then I felt the need to compile all the original versions of tracks I remixed for 'The Page You Made'. It has always frustrated me that most people wouldn't investigate remixes of tracks they had never heard; I mean, frustrating in general, and also the feeling that people might skip over TPYM because they wouldn't 'get' the remixes. So I wanted to rememedy that, but also show my work by making those originals more accessible. So another rather academic collection.
Then I did this mix, which isn't a mix, it's just what I believe it the entirety of the Valerie back catalogue.
Valerie where a massively important band for me. I found them supporting Sleater-Kinney in Manchester, and they changed my idea of what you need to be in a band. It's hard to put into words, but everyone I brought to their shows was touched by their backhand genius. I just felt this needed to be online and accessible, not hidden away on random 7"s and 10"s. Their output, like their musical ability, was so limited, yet they were their doing it, an open invitation to get up and rock, as the results were so stunning.
Lastly, I curated this MJ Hibbett and the Validators retrospective. This one takes a bit more explanation.
Back in 2005 or so, Hibbett started a newsletter. I found hibbett on rathergood.com, when they put up an animation of "Hey Hey 16k". It was good, I checked out his website, and was so impressed by his songwriting that I picked up 'This is not a Library'; the song that really got me to splash out was 'Holdalls'. Ever since then, I have picked up as much Hibbett/Validatorage as I can get (although a few solo albums have slipped me by) because the songs are simply such a constant source of uplifting amusement. Its feel-good, like the film 'Together' is feel-good: wholesome, and wise, goodness. goodness that comes from knowing that the badness is behind you. Pain necessary to know has been known and dealt with, so now: Tell me something that you *do* like.
It's shocking the songs that didn't make it onto this collection, and I can't claim it's a best of, rather it's a collection of good songs by this one particular band. There's plenty more on their albums.