The Signal: EP121


The Signal: EP121 – It’s pouring outside and the apartment is quiet. A cat tries to find the most imposing position possible that it can use to sit on me. On top of everything else, now there’s 45 minutes of music from around the world, available for download. What an age we live in.

This installment, you’ll be hearing some unique sounds from South Africa, rock from Hungary, Canadian pop about California, rocksteady from Jamaica, funky music from the U.S. and France, an avant garde vocal ensemble, vaporwave from New York, and a homemade blend of sketch comedy with plunderphonic Hawaiian vibes. If that sounds at all interesting, click on the link or image above to get yourself a copy.

The file is posted for a limited time. If you want to know artist/song titles, that information is in the id3 tags of the file itself. Most players can read that info for you. I have a few notes below about the process, should that be of interest.

01. I paid more than I wanted to for this album because dang it, this song really got me, and since the band hails from South Africa, and the album is already years old, I can’t have any idea if/when it’ll go on sale. Hope you found it as instantly intriguing as I did.

02. Found this track in a DJ’s compilation that’s completely lacking in artist information. I get that they’ve been crate-digging and might want to keep some info back, but since they gave away song names, it was pretty easy to track down this Hungarian singer.

03. One thing I’ve been doing recently is actually using this cheesy “heart” function on my unhip mp3 player to mark songs so I don’t forget that I heard them on shuffle and liked them… especially instrumental songs, as they tend to A) come in compilations that have lots of tracks and B) since there’s no lyrics, there’s no easy way to find them later without a system. This is one of the tracks I’ve managed to¬†rediscover using this method. Thank goodness.

04. and 07. For whatever reason, my mp3 player was serving up some rocksteady this week and I was totally into it. So there’s two rocksteady artists in this mix.

05. Actually, I’ve been feeling a bit broke recently, so much of this mix isn’t from albums I bought this month, as it tends to be. This track came up on shuffle as well. I love how this singer’s broad accent messes with my expectations as a listener as to what the vocalist on a track like this should sound like.

06. I know, I know. I included a song off this album just two Signal mixes back. But I said at the time that the album– which was my favorite from last year– had¬†so many singles that you were bound to hear more from it. And I just couldn’t wait. She’s got a great new music video out for the other song that would have been in the running for this mix.

08. After the wooing and romance of track 7, we shift thematically to a band deciding to skip the romance and go straight to a commercial transaction. Funky as heck!

09. Another instrumental rescued from the murky depths of the Shuffle function.

10. This production group first appeared back in EP010 back in 2006 so I’ve been digging them for 10 years!

11. Ever since I decided to use “45 minutes” as a strict limit for these mixes, at some point in the creative process, I’m left with a gap that has a set number of seconds that need filled. It usually leads to some interesting discoveries for me… stuff I’m not necessarily familiar with, or otherwise wouldn’t have set aside for inclusion. I don’t know this one at all, but it fit, and it’s interesting. I’m looking forward to getting to know it better.

12. I may never find someone else as similarly enamored with the album this comes from. I love the concept of an album that attempts to sonically create for the listener a trek through a grocery store in some unknown dreamlike locale.

13. During my commute, the ol’ Shuffle function sometimes brings up old Signal mixes and I find that some of my favorite bits of old mixes are when I was trying to create something original… not just one track after another, but a fusion of some elements to make something new. So I put this bit together, unsure if it would open or close the mix. So far, I like it. I hope it works for you as well.