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Favorite Album Covers: Jensen Sportag

Posted by Jakub

midisport - 14 footballers in milk chocolate
Midisport
Uwe Schmidt aka Atom TM designed most if not all of the inserts for his legendary techno imprint Rather Interesting under the credits “design sampling by linger decoree”. The CD booklet for Midisport – 14 Footballers in Milk Chocolate is a favorite example of the deadpan humor, fearless oddity and demonstrative detail found throughout the Rather Interesting catalog both visually and musically.

acacia - maddening shroud les visiteurs du soir 'monsiuer guy a' paris' remix
Acacia
A beautifully shocking portrait that we love. I still always look twice when shuffling through house crates. From 1997, the ‘Monsieur Guy a Paris’ mix of Acacia’s Maddening Shroud from this 12″ remix ep is a perfectly cunning piece of french house.

ariel pink-my molly ep - this night has opened my eyes
Ariel Pink
We love Ariel Pinks drawings of detailed sexual dysmorphia. The original drawing used for the My Molly 7″ is in Austin’s personal art collection. Here Ariel musically clones a song by an asexual man with “This Night Has Opened My Eyes” (Smiths cover).

Donald Byrd - A New Perspecive
Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd (Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II, Detroiter 1932-2013) leans suavely aloof behind his spaceage sportscar on the cover of A New Perspective. This is a favorite cover by graphic designer Reid Miles who created all of the Blue Note album covers in its first 10 years of existence thereby inventing the classic look of the legendary jazz label. Ironically Reid Miles did not particularly like jazz.

Plunderphonics - Plexure - 02 - Urge
Plunderphonics
The art for Plexure by Plunderphonics (John Oswald) which blends the defiant stances of Bobby Brown, Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks is an icon of the “audio piracy as compositional prerogative” movement. This is Urge (Marianne Faith No Morrissey).


Once in a while we have artists that we post about Guest Post music they’re listening to. Today we did something a little different had Jensen Sportag share their favorite album covers.

Jensen Sportag’s “Stealth Of Days” is out now on Cascine, available on vinyl.

Guest Music Post: Jessy Lanza

Posted by Jakub

Jessy Lanza - Kathy Lee - by Lee Skinner 07
JessyLanza_1


In September Jessy Lanza released her LP Pull My Hair Back on Hyperdub and now we have the pleasure of her sharing a playlist on ISO50. One of my favorite songs of the year has been 5785021 and the video for Kathy Lee couldn’t be a better example of how its ideas and not budget that makes a memorable video. So, enjoy this playlist she shared with us and you can support by buying her LP.

TRACKLIST

Fantasia ft. Kelly Rowland and Missy ElliotWithout Me
This song is like I’m listening to ‘blame it’ and ‘beez in the trap’ at the same time. It’s fucking amazing.

LegoweltTeen Romance
I love how this track makes me want to dance and gives me anxiety at the same time

Terror Danjah feat. MelekaYou Make Me Feel
This song sounds like the future but it came out two years ago. Someone showed it to me last week and my life feels more complete now.

Le1fPlush
This whole mixtape is so good and it’s hard to pick one track, but the drums and piano on ‘plush’ make it a stand-out for me.

Guest Music Post: Porcelain Raft

Posted by Jakub

Permanent Clean2013-04-08 at 5.07.32 PM


We are proud to have Porcelain Raft join our short list of Guest Music Posts. Mauro’s “Permanent Signal” LP is out August 20th on Secretly Canadian. Pitchfork Advance is streaming his new album this week. Enjoy the selections, i’m really impressed by the Violeta Parra song, I think its a very essential listen from starting to finish.

1. Factrix “Phantom Pain”
I was in Seattle and randomly ended up in a record store. They were playing a strange sounding song, driven by a drum machine and the singer was almost whispering. I liked it right away.
I stayed in Seattle for less than a week that visit, in a very old hotel in Chinatown called something exotic that I don’t remember anymore. This is the perfect soundtrack for old hotels with exotic names and broken neon lights, constantly flickering.

2. Violeta Parra “El Gavilan, Gavilan”
I’m reading this book called The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky. I love his movies and wanted to know more about his life. In one of the chapter, he recalls meeting a famous songwriter and guitar player from Chile named Violeta Parra. She was also a painter, and I was so intrigued by their conversation that I went and checked out her music. I’m not into folk music usually but she is different. She improvises songs and plays long guitar interludes, all recorded with a portable device. It’s so beautiful and the sound is timeless.

3. Richard Skelton “Noon Hill Wood”
I don’t know much about this artist…I do know he’s from UK and he’s published a number of books of poetry and drawings in addition to his music. He has also been known to include artefacts, such as twigs and dried flowers, inside the packaging of his album releases. He uses strings and guitars mostly when recording his music. You should check his bandcamp page and website, which is full of poems and drawings he’s created. A stunning, minimalist world he’s building, away from any sort of spotlight.

4. Randy Newman “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today”
I really got into this on a road trip I did a few months ago, heading to perform at a festival. We played Randy Newman in the van and the experience felt like we were the Rat Pack heading to Vegas for a gig.
It was a very magical moment, as if that music existed solely in that van for us in that moment. The song I picked, “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today”, is one of my favorites. Another one I really like is “In Germany Before The War”, when he sings ‘I’m looking at the river but I’m thinking of the sea…” When I grow up, I want to be like Randy Newman.

Guest Music Post: Ceremony

Posted by Jakub

C

The Brooklyn / DC label that is brought us Solar Year & Bam Spacey puts together a playlist showing off their depth and a short story about each artist.

1. Young Athletes League “We Only Feed Ourselves”

Every label needs a first release. A 3 track EP from London’s Young Athletes League was ours. We found YAL through a Phil Collins remix he posted via MySpace which lead to discovering his original works. Thinking about it now I feel really old but MySpace is making a come back right? “We Only Feed Ourselves” is the title track as well as the closing track to that release — 7.5 minutes of lo-fi electronic bliss.

2. Solar Year “Lines”

This is one of my favorite Solar Year tracks. Everything just works here from start to finish. This track, and Solar Year in general, give off this underlining feeling of dread that is at the same time strangely pop leaning and warm. It may just be how I perceive it but it’s perfect in my book. It most likely has a lot to do with the contrast between Ben’s productions and David’s incredible high reaching vocals. The Waverly album is now re-mastered and sounding incredible, this is a stand out from the flip side.

3. Albert Swarm “Aging Out”

Actually haven’t listened to the first Albert Swarm EP in a while, it’s been Wake (his second release) 24/7. Was really nice revisiting this track when putting the playlist together. “Aging Out” is probably one of the very first songs I heard from the Albert Swarm project. I think the track really speaks for itself.

4. The Soft “Mori (Elysia Edit)”

This is where the playlist get a little warmer! Really excited about the upcoming EP from The Soft. Produced by Luke Abbott and David Pye who just did some production for Brolin. “Mori” is an immense pop track we released for free at the end of 2012, this remix was done by Henry from the band under his Elysia moniker. Without much snuff Henry took this track straight to the dance floor.

5. Prism House “Need You (Part I)”

The Prism House project is our very first NYC signing and we just released their debut Reflections EP on March 5. Love the variety of samples clicking in and out throughout this track as a desperate sounding bass line tries to find some sort of footing but Prism House aren’t really letting it happen.

6. Bam Spacey “Dessa brander”

Hard to choose one track from Bam Spacey. I really wanted to put up some of the unreleased/upcoming stuff because it’s brilliant but he probably wouldn’t be too pleased with that. “Dessa Brander” was the very last single we did from the Land EP. Imagery wise it sits somewhere towards the end of Blade Runner just before the end credits roll as Deckard is driving further and further away from LA and headed towards the horizon. This track plays right around that time and I’d like to think Deckard is taking his girl out to the beach because she’s probably never seen one before and romance ensues.

7. Glenn Jackson “You Too”

This has to be one of my favorite tracks we’ve put out to date. Glenn has a knack for pacing a track to feel just right and “You Too” is a beautiful example of that. One of the more positive and uplifting tracks we’ve done so far cause you know… feeling good is pretty important. The build is exceptional — you wait and wait for that drop and when it happens you’re cruising, shades on, not looking back.

Showcase show tonight in Brooklyn, Flyer by: Alex Koplin

Showcase show tonight in Brooklyn, Flyer by: Alex Koplin

Guest Music Post: Raeo

Posted by Jakub

The Blue Box Home by Mayumi Miyawaki



Rob Fissmer is new contributor to the ISO50 blog, he has been djing under the name Raeo which if you go to his site you’ll discover a large archive of mixes that he’s put together along the same vein as this collection above. Personally I love this package of songs, the downbeat instrumental sound that has IDM influences is some of my favorite and Rob grabbed some of the best most recent examples. Also another fun fact about Rob is that he’s a ice hockey goalie and a fine one at that, if Ninja Tune’s hockey team knew that he might get picked up.

Guest Post: Needledrop’s Anthony Fantano

Posted by Jakub



Today we have a very special guest that you might recognize from Youtube, it’s Anthony Fantano from Needledrop. I really respect Anthony’s consistency and dedication of quality reviews he does on his Youtube feed. He always helps new listeners with describing what he’s listening to with plenty of references and adjectives, kind of like we do it here on the ISO50 blog but he takes it to full on video with characters and all. Enjoy his playlist he put together, its the first time we’ve ever had Metal on here in our 5 year existence.

1. XibalbaNo Serenity
Despite how much it irks some of my loyal viewers, I like to keep a somewhat (ir)regular flow of metal reviews coming. This Xibalba album really stopped me in my tracks with some massive, chugging riffs and the kind of primal ferocity that you’d typically find on a metal-infused hardcore album. I usually prefer my metal to be a bit more, uh, heady, but this was just too good to be true: A teenage favorite mixed with the kind of dense, low-end sounds that my adult self currently enjoys on numerous Southern Lord records. Plus, this is my current favorite workout record.

2. Matthew DearAhead Of Myself
I’ve known Matthew Dear to put together some eerie tracks, but this is the first time he really struck me as being a tender dude as well. He’s got a few moments like that on his new LP, Beams, and I love ‘em–especially this one. The watery synth chords on this track are absolutely intoxicating. It’s like they’re just about to fall into a slumber or something. Meanwhile, Matthew’s seductive croon delivers some mantra-heavy vocals.

3. Meridian BrothersSalsa Caliente (Versión Aumentada)
This is a bit of experimental salsa from Columbian sonic experimentalist Eblis Álvarez. He’s got a new LP on the way titled Deseperanza under the name Meridian Brothers. The dude really took the art form of the genre and mutated it into something odd and subtly psychedelic. The lazy instrumentation, oddball melodies, and lightly tortured vocals add up to something that would sound perfect in a David Lynch movie, for sure. Definitely a strange experience.

4. TNGHT- Bugg’n
The musically savvy are too hard on bangers. Not everything needs to be this big, flowery, moving, significant thing. Loosen up, have fun, go nuts. When it comes to that, TNGHT is my jam. This is about at anti-elitist as you can get while still keeping your listening habits underground. What I like about TNGHT is that they create such visceral music with such experimental sounds. If “Bugg’n” were a movie, it would feature some of the most unlikely casting in music history, featuring the sounds of babies, spaceships, bubbles, and more.

Anthony’s Youtube Channel

Vitsoe LA: On music & media storage









I’ve been an ISO50 reader for a long time—long before Jakub and I put on Ghostly International Roller Hockey Team jerseys and took to a rink in rural New Jersey to embarrass the label—and so when Jakub invited me to take a whack at a guest post, I naturally jumped at the chance. (Meanwhile, does anyone want my (priceless) jersey?)

I’ve since moved to California, where I work out of the Los Angeles “Vitsoe apartment,” which is both the home I share with my wife, and a unique space where we show Dieter Rams’ 606 Universal Shelving system deployed in all ways. From straightforward bookshelves, to workstations, to room dividers, kitchen shelving, and closets, it’s pretty much all represented here (we specifically chose an apartment without any built-in storage).. As a former dj and avid collector of music, my favorite use of the system is for media storage. After all these years of collecting vinyl, I’m finally able to put it all on shelves that will not bow under the weight. Vinyl collectors: contact me, it’s more affordable than you’d think!

I thought it might make sense to do a first post about some of the songs that have been keeping me going while working out of the apartment—and since it’s a Vitsoe apartment, share some images of the shelving put to use for various media, plus the beautiful Dieter Rams equipment we listen to it all on.

LornWeigh Me Down (Illum Sphere Remix).
Unbelievably beautiful reworking of one of my favorite tracks on Lorn’s new album “Ask the Dust.” I’m huge fan of his heavy hitting beats, but this is a nice change of pace, skillfully re-tooled by Illum Sphere. For a taste of Lorn’s own softer side, check out ‘Pause’ from his ‘Self Confidence Vol.2′ unfinished / unreleased / demo tracks over at the Brainfeeder site. A strange anomaly in a very dark oeuvre.

YppahBlue Schwinn.
I’m a huge fan of Joe Corrales’ work as Yppah, it’s sort of a shoegazy version of Bonobo, a combo that is pure win in my book. This track is from his third and most recent release on Ninja Tune, “Eighty One.” Anomie Belle’s vocals are a great addition in an instrumental sense, I love how she’s just swirling around in the background and I’m unable to make out the words.

Lost TwinSoothing Words.
There’s no shortage of great producers in Brighton these days. I can’t remember exactly how, but I found him via Bandcamp, and to my pleasant surprise, he’s offering the whole ‘Birds’ album for free. I would have no problem paying full price (and then some) for his work. Although obviously entirely different in tone, there’s something a little Burialesque about the auto-tuned quick vocal snippets.

DextroRing Cycle.
I’m not sure exactly why Dextro has stayed off most people’s radars for so long: He deserves far more exposure in my opinion. His first release was on Border Community, then the subsequent releases were through his own imprint, 16K Records. Maybe that’s why. I don’t know. What I do know is that his sound manages to successfully bring together elements of Ulrich Schnauss, Slowdive, and dare I say it, BOC. His last album, Winded, from 2009, is a real gem. I’m hoping he follows it up soon, it’s been too long.

A Sol Mechanic[Almst(Touching)].
I’ll never tire of a good “Everything in Its Right Place” sample. In his own words “it’s less of a remix and more of a branch off. N E Ways.” That’s a good way of describing it, because after that amazing initial drop, the sample gets filtered into the background and the minimal stutter beat takes over.

Geskia!Melamine.
Geskia’s sound is unabashedly Scoott Herren influenced, and most of his work occupies a space dead center between Prefuse and the long gone DeLarosa & Asora projects. This is a compliment, as he pulls off what so many other fail to do successfully.

Jai PaulBTSTU.
There’s been a lot of buzz about this kid from London, and deservedly so. I saw a tweet from Four Tet that said simply: “that Jai Paul track,” which of course sent me into a Google frenzy. What I discovered is that there are literally only two tracks under his belt to date. It sounds like he’s in good hands over at XL, in a recent NPR spot I heard them describe how they are giving him loads of space and time to do what he needs to do, because that’s just how he rolls. He really has a grasp on the “Less, but better” approach.

AutechreSee On See (Pixelord Remix).
The thing I like about this unofficial Pixelord remix of ‘See on See’ from 2010′s Oversteps is that it brings me back to the Tri-Repetae days, when the tracks were grounded in dark emotion, and they would hit you in the gut with crisp, hard beats. They lost me long ago, but it’s nice to be brought back if even for a few minutes.

Rob Fissmer

Guest Music Post: Teen Daze

Posted by Jakub



Luke AbbottModern Driveway
I’m always really inspired by minimal music of any sort, and this song is the perfect example of what a good, simple song should accomplish. It takes you on an emotional trip, from the its small beginnings, to it’s lush, layered ending. It builds into something, there’s movement.

How To Dress WellOcean Floor For Everything
The day this single dropped, I was driving across Western Canada, the love of my life beside me, and we listened to this as we entered the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The combination of the insanely beautiful sounds, and the insanely beautiful visuals in front of us, it was hard not be affected. Now, the impressive thing is that upon repeat listenings, it continues that possess that moment-creating vibe. Every time I hear it, I’m taken to a different place. It’s a truly beautiful song, and the new LP is one of my most anticipated of this year.

Kuhrye-ooGive In (For The Fame)
When I first started working on what would become Teen Daze material, I took a lot of inspiration and encouragement from my friends from Edmonton, who had a project called “Gobble Gobble”. It’s been an incredible experience seeing all of the individuals in that project gain so much exposure and love (Cecil is now known as Born Gold, and Corin and Megan are known as Purity Ring). This is a track from Calvin’s solo project, Kuhrye-oo, and this track is just so good. That vocal sample completely steals the show. As soon as it hits the “I knowwww”, my heart melts.

Unknown002
I love anonymity in music, just because it brings something new to the table. No goofy promo pics of the band standing on a beach all looking into the camera with vacant stares. It’s like when you were a kid, and a wrestler was from “Parts Unknown”, it made him all the more scarier. Unknown is a mystery-producer making the rounds on a few of my friends’ blogs, and I think this track is especially good.