The Lloydbrary Sample Sessions 1 – Better Living Through Chemistry

Ian Fondue from the Lloydbrary Podcast has a really good idea for a show/mix series called the Sample Sessions, where as he says “Take a sample based album, then do a mix of the sampled tracks in album track order.”. The first one is a favourite album of mine, Fat Boy Slim’s ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’ – which was a formative influence and got me into big beat, and sounds like it was the same for Ian too. First session includes tracks as diverse as Lulu, Yvonne Elliman, Idris Muhammad, Kraftwerk, Fela Kuti, Keith Mansfield, The Incredible Bongo Band and more.

It’s fascinating to hear a track and go ‘did they really sample THAT?’ and wonder what on earth it could be….then 30 seconds later a very familiar bar or loop appears!

A birdie tells me the next one is a rather (in)famous hip-hop album…must be fun trying to unlayer that one! And you might hear it over at Radio Clash Live at some point soon (after Lloydbrary 61 and SS 1 methinks) as part of Ian’s Lloydbrary slot, 4:45am and 8pm weekdays UK time, latest show is on Mondays (hopefully…I’m working on improving that code as I have to give the server a kick sometimes!). And of course I’m sure he’ll post it over at his Mixcloud soon.

Radio Moscow Nights and Time Zones

I know Radio Moscow not so much from my shortwave exploits (although a little, I was a World Wide Catholic Radio kind of girl…so much death, gloom and hypocrisy translated in stilted language, so little time!) but more from Time Zones by Negativland. But a friend posted about Moscow Nights by Vladimir Troshin, which I never knew in the heights of the cold war was a hit in the West by Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen (yes HIS Jazzmen, you can’t have them, they’re not any old jazzmen…). It’s a beautiful song, but also was used as the ident from Radio Moscow and Radio Mayak. You can hear the Troshin version and the scarily upbeat Radio Moscow version, and Radio Mayak using it as a jingle. Interesting how the song spread over radio…

Always been entranced by the strange pronunciation from the English-speaking World Service of Radio Moscow, it’s a bit uncanny valley…almost American/Western but not quite? Stilted. Still Moscow Nights is a beautiful song…must’ve sounded amazing phasing in and out bounced across the clouds on shortwave. Hence the broadcast at the top from 1980 (no dancing Brezhnev this time, thanks) with the time signal and another song I originally thought was Moscow Nights but was another, Wide Is My Motherland? Which sounds better as an ident jingle, I can tell you. It’s USSR pomp to the max, only place on earth that still does that is the (Un)Democratic People’s (Non) Republic of Korea – what is it with the places that have to shoehorn so many Democratic/People’s/Republic/Free in their country names etc tend not to be that free, democratic, of the people (or for that matter even a republic)?

As a time related aside, Russia has just abandoned summer time aka Daylight Savings Time, so has gone back to standard time, +3 UTC permanently, but in the UK we’ve just gone off British Summer Time temporarily – it’ll be back, unlike the summer. Happy Minus BST! Although in the geopolitical world, the two contested areas in the Crimea / Ukraine – Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic – as well as trying to hack this site (well hackers from Ukraine generally are – hi guys! :-p) are going on to Moscow time now. Who said time can’t be political?

Which reminds me of the odd fact, that during the last world war, an the cold war the apparatchiks that set the time, International Time Bureau all countries still met every year to basically ‘synchronise their watches’ on a larger scale. Dunno why that freaks me out so much still, it’s probably that behind the curtain of OMG END OF THE WORLD propaganda, they still needs bureaucrats to make sure the clocks all work? Can’t be having Pythonesque debates about turning up for a battle at 6am and the Hun turns up at 5:57am spoiling it all, I guess? :-/ Pretty sure the ITU or someone met up during WW2 and the Cold War so they could also contact each other on the same frequencies too? My mind kind of boggles to that, really.

It’s like having the missiles pointed and about to press the red button, then stopping cos the engineer has arrived to wire in a new phone so you can contact who you are about to bomb? Diplomacy is odd.

Pavlov’s Pop – Is Pop Music Brainwashing You?

Pop music – does it really exist? I mean of course it does, but as something that is popular, in the way that you choose it? It seems increasingly you don’t – like in Russia the pop chooses you, through incessant repetition. The video from PBS’s Idea Channel above and this article describes it as a sort of musical Stockholm Syndrome, but I like to think of it more as a Pavlov’s Dog experiment, with Fancy or Blurred Lines – or that frigging Happy song – as the bell.

So combined with payola and the gatekeepers wanting their latest signings to be a success, there is a sort of not-that-virtous cycle, a Pavlov’s Dog eating it’s own tail. You see this as much with Rolling Stone, NME as with daytime radio and MTV – even the classic ‘is this person deserving of success?’ (e.g. Lana Del Rey, Gaga, Miley etc) from Guardian to Perez Hilton is part of this constant news/promo cycle. The end of this cycle for an artist seems to be either some Gangnam Style level ‘don’t want to hear that anymore’ or Gaga-level meh.

But certainly what gets popular is not what the public has chosen, but what was chosen FOR it, what’s chosen to be part of this cycles, from competitions to Best New Music of 2014 to playlists, TV and Films. Yes, even the public broadcasters are guilty of this as much as Clear Channel and the like. It’s all part of the mere-exposure effect, making the unfamiliar familiar by repetition.

It’s why I’m wary about the label ‘popular music’ (popular from/by whom?) and tend to mash it up with stuff that isn’t in the current news/release cycle. Much more interested on the podcast in rocking stuff off Bandcamp then some old ska tune, than pay lip service to another Bieber construction. And it’s more creative.

(Oh and yes, Fancy is TERRIBLE – Iggy Azalia can’t rap for shit, and I say that as a hip hop head, only one part of the hook is any good and I suspect they filched it. Oh well, at least it annoys Azealia Banks…)

Also not sure if I posted this Idea Channel on Mashups destroying Genre:

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