Posts by Ethan Simonoff

“My Pulse” is a song taken from Peter Hammill’s 1983 album Loops & Reels, a cassette released on Hammill’s own label (and studio) Sofa Sound. Hammill was a founding member of the English progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator along with Hugh Banton, Guy Evans, and Chris Judge Smith. The band has changed lineups and experienced several hiatuses over the years, most notably between 1978 and 2005. The band is still releasing music regularly; earlier this year, they released ALT. Hammill has had an extremely active musical career spanning several decades and genres, releasing some 35 solo studio albums, in addition to 13 VDGG albums and even more live albums. Today’s song was also used in a ballet by Nicolas Dixon, performed at London’s Riverside Studios.

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Peter Hammill - Loops & Reels

The Paper Hats is an alias for Nashville-based guitarist WIlliam Tyler. Tyler has also played and recorded with the bands Lambchop and SIlver Jews, in addition to releasing music under his own name. Though the work he has done with aforementioned bands generally falls into indie/alt-country territory, his solo work more exclusively features fingerstyle solo guitar. A few of us from the station missed his solo set at Hopscotch Music Festival this past summer (although not without picking up his incredible 7″, featuring JEFF the Brotherhood drummer Jamin Orrall), but his performance is available for download from NYC Taper.

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The Paper Hats - Desert Canyon

The Hototogisu, the Japanese name for the Lesser Cuckoo, comprises Matthew Bower and Marcia Bassett. Bassett’s primary contribution to the band comes in the form of violin; Bower plays guitar and electronics. Both have played in several other bands, including Skullflower, Double Leopards, and many others. Today’s track is taken from the album Cuckoo Cloudland, released on De Stijl Records in 2001. The duo has also released music on Sub Pop, Important Records, and their own label, Heavy Blossom. They have also collaborated a few times with like-minded musicians Burning Star Core.

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This track comes from Madalyn Merkey’s album Scent, released earlier this year. The album was mastered right here in Chicago at Experimental Sound Studio, which is definitely worth looking into; Merkey is a Chicagoan herself. She released the album on New Images Ltd., which is run by Real Estate’s Matthew Mondanile, aka Ducktails. Though this song features mostly synthesizer and effects, the album features heavily vocoded and otherwise processed vocals. Though I am wary to make unnecessary comparisons, I can’t help but draw parallels between her and fellow synth-goddess Laurie Spiegel. Decide for yourself!

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Madalyn Merkey - Scent

Today’s track comes from Bibio, also known as English musician Stephen Wilkinson. This song is taken from the 2006 album Hand Cranked, on Mush Records. The dude is named after a whole mess of flies. Wilkinson began his musical career while he was studying “sonic arts” at Middlesex University; his early work incorporates found sounds and field recordings along with tape looped guitars/effects. Apparently, his first record, Fi, was recommended to Mush by none other than Marcus Eoin of Boards of Canada. You might have heard some of his newer stuff (released on Warp Records) in commercials, but, if you ask me, I would just stick with the three albums (and one EP) released on Mush.

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