Archive for the ‘ Music ’ Category

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:

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

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!

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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:

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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 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, 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!

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

Film In America – The Saddest Girl In School E.P.

Film In America - The Saddest Girl In School E.P.

Click for Large Version

In the interest of full disclosure we’ll start this post by pointing out that while this is the first real new update in nearly 8 months, it is technically still 2009 (well, not technically – it *is* still 2009) and so we are still operating under the strictures of the New Year’s Resolution to post all the old music that has been polluting our iTunes library for the past half-decade. Lucky you and Happy New Year in 2009!

With that in mind we are proud/obliged to bring you the debut/sole existing output from Film In America. As a special “bonus”, we are additionally proud to present it uncut, unedited, and complete from start to finish. Actually there was no question about how it would be presented, what else were we going to do with it? So yeah, it’s all here.

Film In America is yet another “rock” band in the “rockist” tradition of “rock music”. Or something like it. Existing for a scant two days, the band’s less-than-spectacular career is represented in its entirety by this E.P. Give it a listen and decide for yourself, and notice that all but one of these “songs” is under the three minute mark – a good sign in most cases.

Film In America – The Saddest Girl In School | 1:07
Los Angeles CA, 2007
There are several conflicting stories related to the brevity of this track. The most reliable witnesses point to the fact that the original guitarist Jefferson Prantz was a complete asshole who refused to work in a room oriented on the north/south axis due to some kind of “energy drain” and abandoned the session (and ultimately the band) based on this and other “negative wave field attacks” he discovered surrounding the studio’s drum kit. He appears on this track only and is currently living in a hotel room ouside Joshua Tree with his dog Petey.

Film In America – Portion Control | 2:55
Los Angeles CA 2007
The following session found the band with a new lead guitarist, Mark “Mondo” Monroe,  who the band discovered playing in an 80’s cover band at Pepper’s in the City of Industry the night before this song was recorded. He proved to be both a blessing and a curse, as he could be heard constantly rehearsing the solo to “Dr. Feelgood” between takes. Ultimately (actually 20 minutes after his final take) the band’s drummer Ira Mountain offered to drive Mark to the nearest 7-11, which was supposedly 15 miles away. Oddly enough, Mark never made it back to the studio, but the track was deemed “done enough” for inclusion here.

Film In America – Points Deleter | 4:37
Los Angeles CA 2007
Fed up with the seeming lack of guitar talent in the immediate vicinity of the studio, the band decided to move in a more “keyboardly” direction with its next session (held later that same afternoon). This track stands as a testament to the evolution a two-day old band can experience during the course of a single recording session, especially when you let the bassist start writing the songs.

Film In America – On the Fix (Mono Version) | 1:50
Los Angeles CA, 2007
The final output from a band born to lose, this track was recorded in new lead singer David Goldberg’s “music room” (actually, a broom closet with a tape deck in it). It captures the band’s first – and thankfully last – brush with vocals. Following the tracking of this song every member of the band took a vow to never play music again, a promise that they have kept as far as the other band members are aware. Regardless, we are honored (obligated) to provide this E.P. as a document of their instant rise to mediocrity. Please enjoy responsibly.

The Good Life Most Will Never Find Compilation (Part One)


Click for Large Version

A couple of new tracks tonight from the (pointless) imaginary compilation, “The Good Life Most Will Never Find”. The title itself is an homage to/ripped off from Deth P. Sun, an artist whose work we feel has had some impact on this compilation, but he’ll most likely never see this so who cares. Anyway, on with the hits!

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

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

Keeping the easy-listening hits going with a couple of cuts by I Am Eagle! Taken together, these two tracks bookend the four-year-long career of this particular band (whose entire recorded output actually contains only one additional song). Featuring drumming by “Robot Steve”.

Sarisataka – Frisbee Detector | 3:02
Previously Unreleased
Los Angeles CA, 2008

A somewhat new band with a thankfully brief history, Sarisataka focus on shorter, more electronic-oriented drones produced predominantly on the critically despised Roland MC-303. This particular recording features real live crickets for added “fun”!

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth – The Good Life Most Will Never Find | 7:18
Previously Unreleased
Long Beach CA, 2006

Another sonic collage in the spirit of the first post. Consisting of processed acoustic/electric guitar and melodica, this mid-length piece from WDRtE explores the lack of focus and where that gets you eventually; evolving reality; and communication between sentient rocks. Cough! *_*