Mickstape 2013


So I usually try to put together some sort of end-of-the-year roundup of tracks that I liked for the year; we used to put them on CDs and share them but that probably hasn’t happened since like 2004. Anyway, here’s the mix I put together for 2013. I’m not calling this a “best of” cos who the hell cares what I thought was the best; just a bunch of tracks I liked that all happen to have come out in 2013 and have some rough sonic consonance.

I admit my DJ skills are “challenged” at the best of times but what a deal: nearly an hour and a half of shoegaze/ambient/dream-pop from the year 2013. Please enjoy and let me know what you think.

Download link: http://www.etokle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Mickstape-2013.mp3

Mickstape 2013 Tracklist

  1. No Joy – Slug Night
  2. Deerhunter – The Missing
  3. Pure Bathing Culture – Pendulum
  4. Mountains – Living Lens
  5. Yuck – Somewhere
  6. Mogwai – Special N
  7. Mood Rings – Come Lay Down in Lined Arrangements
  8. The Besnard Lakes – At Midnight
  9. Implodes – Melted Candle
  10. Mark Kozelek – Silly Girl
  11. Steve Hauschildt – Uncanny Valley
  12. Grouper – Cloud in Places
  13. Boards of Canada – Split Your Infinities
  14. Karen Gwyer – Part B
  15. Youth Lagoon – Dropla
  16. Tim Hecker – Incense at Abu Ghraib
  17. Waxahatchee – Blue Pt. II
  18. Mark McGuire – Red and Green Lights
  19. Yo La Tengo – I’ll Be Around
  20. Jon Hopkins – Abandon Window
  21. Wild Nothing – Hachiko
  22. Cuushe – Butterfly
  23. Oneotrix Point Never – Cryo
  24. Daughter – Smother
  25. Mutual Benefit – That Light That’s Blinding
  26. Julianna Barwick – Look Into Your Own Mind
  27. Volcano Choir – Alaskans
  28. Benoit Pioulard – Censer

The Golden Breed EP – The Pretense of “Surf Ambient”

etokle_the_golden_breedSo while we mentioned this album earlier as an “upcoming release” we failed miserably to actually announce the final release of the album, such as it was. With that in mind: we are delighted to inform/warn you that this album has been released.

We’ve worked with Chicago independent upstart Minor Sphere Records to bring The Golden Breed EP to some of the finest (if not less than marginally relevant) online retailers including iTunes and Amazon. If you’d like to listen to it without committing to buying you can check out the whole damn thing in Soundcloud below. Of course, you could continue to avoid the entire enterprise entirely and be none the worse off for it, but if so at least take a look at our wonderful custom shoes.

As mentioned previously, this is our foray into “surf ambient;” a nascent genre we are hoping to create, exploit, flog mercilessly, and eventually regret coining.

These tracks were recorded over the course of a year, each one a fully improvised solo guitar performance, and in each case were played exactly once – after which they were transferred from the cheap handheld recording device on which they were captured into the Reason DAW and then (basically unprocessed) into their final WAV form.

Through these tracks we explore the context and subtext of the idea of ambient vs. surfing: improvisation, responding to moving and ever-shifting waves, staying in the correct space but working within defined parameters for maximum effect, being propelled but also in command of the forward momentum – all true in both surfing and the improvisational sessions during which these tracks were performed. Plus we played a Fender Jaguar.

This is added to our historical and current love and reverence for the “California Lifestyle” (expressed most beautifully in the iconography of mythic Sixties Surf culture) and the mental state of mind (whether imagined or actually lived) of both these idealized surfing gods and our current reality: laid back, darkly bright, natural artifice, sun-baked and salt-encrusted, beauty and truth (both real and put-on), with a healthy dose of fuck-ups.

We like to think that this music captures some of these ideas, at least enough to forgive us the categorization. If you’re still reading at this point, please give a listen below and see just how far off base we might be. Thanks.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/11054575″ width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

etokle – the shoe

In honor of literally nothing at all we bring you the etokle custom colorway Adidas Gazelle shoe, available for the first time here. Maybe.


Inspired by the “classic” compilation “The Good Life Most Will Never Find” and the debut “the golden bear and other works” this shoe has been carefully designed to make you look moderately interested in footwear and/or completely unheard ambient/drone music. Limited to as many as ordered or 5 pairs, which ever is least. We have a feeling this will be a one-off but feel free to prove us wrong.


the golden bear and other works l.p.

etokle – “The Golden Breed” EP

So I have been ignoring this blog. Since we last spoke I have recorded and released several albums, which I won’t delve into in this post. Rather, we would like to discuss the “new” etokle release, “The Golden Breed” EP. Please indulge us by taking a look at this very brief promo video:

Sporadically recorded over the last year, each of the six songs was improvised and recorded live to a small hand-held device, with minimal-to-no overdubs and almost no post-processing. All tracks consist of solo guitar only (with the exception of Here Come the Warm Jets, which adds a bit of synth and kick drum). The resulting output has an immediacy and loose structure that differs completely from the etokle debut, as well as that of There Is No Teenage Love.

Conceptually, we are defining the music on offer as “ambient surf guitar” – sort of a long-distance relative of The Ventures, Dick Dale, The Surfaris, et al. However, it is ambient through-and-through. Through these tracks we champion our hometown of Los Angeles, and Southern California in general, as a paradise that is continually being lost and reborn. It is an elegy, a memory, a faded hymn to the dreams of perfection exemplified by Sixties surf culture.

“The Golden Breed” is being released in partnership with Minor Sphere Records and There Is No Teenage Love and will be available through most leading online music stores starting July 31. We hope you will consider giving it a listen, preferably when lying down somewhere comfortable with a headful of fine indica.

Track list:
1. Salt-Sparkle Green – 1:02
2. The Golden Lights – 3:18
3. Santa Monica Airlines – 6:08
4. Summersmoke – 3:50
5. The Slow Rollers – 10:52
6. Here Come the Warm Jets (Brian Eno cover) – 4:45

Autumn is for Ambient

So holy wow, you know – I haven’t posted up here in a long, long, LONG-ass time. It’s not for lack of new material; nope. In fact, I’ve posted up several new albums worth up at the old soundcloud. One, my “summer album”, will be presented here shortly – just in time for Christmas! But for now, I bring you a selection of ambient/drone material, perfect for cold autumn nights in front of the fire and/or sleeping in your clothes on the couch.

The selection of tracks included in this set run the gamut from old archival material from 2006 (recorded in the LBC no less) to brand-new work just created here mere hours ago. Some of this is already posted elsewhere, some of it is from “summer skulls”, some of it is potentially boring. Consider yourself warned.

And now without further ado, Ambient Autumn for the kids!

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/492823″ params=”show_comments=true&auto_play=false&show_playcount=true&show_artwork=true&color=f30099″ width=”100%” height=”265″ ]

High In the Cemetery – Old Ways and Old Waves

op Figured I’d wasted enough time since dropping the INCREDIBLE album release news. So yeah, I made a record. You can buy it. I have CDs. You can buy them. Please buy them.

BUT I have also been working off and on on a couple of additional albums; this one I have been sitting on hoping that I would eventually add vocals. I am now sick of sitting on this album. Introducing High In the Cemetery, my latest dreampop/shoegaze avatar, and “their” album Hey Joe, dedicated to my friend Joe who refuses to listen to anything not released before 1997.

Anyway, I have posted 4 of 7 tracks up at the old soundcloud for perusal. Please give a listen here:

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/529973″ params=”show_comments=true&auto_play=false&show_playcount=true&show_artwork=true&color=f30099″ width=”100%” height=”500″ ]

Going “Legit” With a Sure-fire Hit!

etokle – “the golden bear and other works” l.p.

etokle - the golden bear and other works l.p.

Long-time readers will undoubtedly recognize the cover at left  – with a few minor (though important) changes: we are no longer self-releasing this particular album here at etokle.com. Rather, Danish ambient/drone stalwarts Auraltone Music have recently worked out a contract with us to provide worldwide distribution for this landmark release (and by landmark we mean “first album”) and soon it will be available at better online retailers everywhere!

The album is currently available as a digital download at both iTunes and CD Baby and is in the process of being manufactured for full-on 20th century “compact disc” fetishists to eventually purchase, collect, and burn into iTunes! We’re also planning to give one to our mom for “scrapbooking” purposes.

We personally couldn’t be happier that this has come to pass and would like to offer our sincere thanks to Tim, Claus, and everyone else at Auraltone for having the excellent smarts and taste to contract this mighty work and help us to fulfill our New Year’s Resolution for 2011 (and most every prior year this century). This marks a banner event for us at etokle.com, and we hope you all will help celebrate by buying multiple copies for everyone you’ve ever met or known in your life – take it from us, EVERYONE loves hours-long droning sonic existentialism!

From the press/publicity “kit”: “Debut epic from Silver Lake ambient guitarist/producer Erik Tokle, “the golden bear and other works” fluidly combines guitar drone narcotics, vintage synth warmth, and processed field recordings to create a release that weaves and warps the fabric of consciousness. Consists of three tracks exploring the dichotomy of Californian paradise lost and found, existentialist beauty, and the science of sleep as sonic blanket. A distillation of the geological timescale into a single hour, think of this as reality TV for the hypnagogic state. Goede tijden!”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Teenage Tombs – Time Wants Your Haircut

Teenage Tombs – Time Wants Your Haircut | 6:41
Oct. 2010 Los Angeles CA

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/8256035″ params=”show_comments=true&auto_play=false&show_playcount=true&show_artwork=true&color=f30099″ width=”100%” height=”265″ ]


Thanks to a very well-written “band name generator” I’ve had the (mis)fortune to start up yet another imaginary band. Light on the details, but apparently influenced by Can, Black Sabbath, and sleep deprivation. Good luck sitting through this one.

And while we’re at it, I’d like to point out that this is my first post for 2010. I’ve actually recorded several albums worth of material over the last year and have meant to post something, but instead I got side tracked and started collecting skateboards. That’s one of them right below.

So yes: I will be posting more “material” soon. Look out weekend, here we come; because weekends were made for fun.

I Am Eagle! – Dead In Amsterdam E.P.

I Am Eagle

Click for Large Version

One month to go in this illustrious “Naught-ies” decade and we’re happy to provide one more post — and with that, to step forward into a glorious new era in 2010, filled with even more “exciting”, “compelling”, and “really long” pieces of “music” than ever before! Although we haven’t finished posting all the old material we have laying around (not by a long shot) it is our sincere desire to start posting things recorded this very year. We’re thrilled at the possibility of any one or more of the following outcomes:

  1. you might listen to at least half a song before having second thoughts!
  2. you aren’t reading this post and never will asshole!
  3. you’re our mother and will love whatever it is we put up here, even if it’s a 40 minute long track of someone banging on a bucket with a miniature Dodgers bat while several 10 year olds make fart noises fed through a digital delay pedal!
  4. you’ve already clicked the Back button and have returned to reading all the Farmville updates!

In any case, we’re pleased and delighted that you’ve spent some time here and hope you’ll be back in the FUTURE!!!

Now on with the hit parade!

I Am Eagle! – Bark Beetle | 3:31
Long Beach CA, 2005

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What the…? All that intro and here’s a track with a stupid name we’ve already posted? Well, yeah. It’s true, but now it’s being included with the FULL E.P. and NEW ARTWORK! See, we’re just like THE MAJOR LABELS!!!

I Am Eagle! – Dead In Amsterdam | 6:10
Long Beach CA, 2007

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So you know how you go to an Amsterdam coffee shop jet-lagged in the middle of the night, sample something called NYC Diesel, enter a visionary trance out on the tram on the way to Central Station, wake up being cradled by a beautiful and kind Italian couple after the tram operator makes an emergency stop thinking you’ve had a seizure and end up in a convenience store that doesn’t sell any water? This song has nothing to do with any of that; it’s just supposed to sound like an old Slowdive song.

I Am Eagle! – Ass, Grass, Or Gas | 2:34
Los Angeles CA, 2008

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Yeah, yeah, we know: another repost. We happen to like this jangly little 3/4 number and besides, it’s fairly short. Still featuring drumming by “Robot Steve”!

I Am Eagle! – Method Air | 3:36
Long Beach CA, 2006

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We’ll admit to being pleasantly bemused by this cut; it presents a subtly different shade from the I Am Eagle! palette, and is sure to delight and confound the expectations of close listeners. Appreciate if you can the way the studio engineer explores and subverts the “spectator/participant” dichotomy, casting aside the usual strictures of “ABACBABB” songcraft with a challenging — yet not unfamiliar — digitally processed and manipulated pattern of notes and guitar figures that play off one another, the stereo-spatial field, and ultimately the listener’s expectations in a surprising array of tonal colour and variety.

Oh who are we kidding, it’s another vocal-less song with guitars and drums and shit. Yeah!

Sarisataka – Paintgun E.P.

Click for Larger Version

Click for Large Version

Yes, it’s true: with last week’s post only barely forgotten, we are proud to present yet another artifact of questionable musical content. This time, we bring you the long-unheard and longer-ignored E.P. from Los Angeles instrumental unknowns Sarisataka (previously introduced here with the “Frisbee Detector” track from the “The Good Life Most Will Never Find” compilation).

This E.P. chronicles the band’s “pink” period (as the music clearly demonstrates). Sarisataka describes their compositional style as “blind sonic macrosculpture”, using randomly selected keyboard tones, carelessly chosen thrift-store record albums, and reinterpreted found sounds created by accident/surprise to achieve a set of compositions that can only be described as “somewhat listenable”and “occasionally coherent”. Recommended for fans of The Eagles and Whitney Houston!

Sarisataka – Paintgun | 6:00
Los Angeles, CA 2007

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Tone field Roland MC-303 abstract expressionist interpretation in pink, black, white. Pure synthetics.

Sarisataka – Au revior Edith (avec des poulets) | 8:00
Long Beach, CA 2006

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Reinterpretation of Edith Piaf for Roland MC-303, electric slide guitar, hand-spun sound effects record w/ random needle drop, Roland 808 drum kit

Sarisataka – Sunset & Alvarado | 5:20
Los Angeles, CA 2007

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Contextualized radio interference from Echo Park Mexican evangelical pirate radio station, Fender Jazz bass guitar, Roland 909 drum kit, Fender Stratocaster guitar/e-bow