Home // Music // Music blog post #1 – Yard: Through The Woods (a mix) review

Music blog post #1 – Yard: Through The Woods (a mix) review

Seventy-five minutes of music by artists I have heard of mixed by someone who I haven’t heard of

I like to occasionally browse the online music magazine http://www.igloomag.com, which features very underground and modern electronic and avant-garde music.  I know that this is a little pretentious, as if I am saying I am better than everyone else because I listen to arcane stuff, but then again, I genuinely enjoy some of the music.  Also in my defence, I do enjoy the occasional pop song or album.  The main problems I have with mainstream music is that firstly, I have heard it a million times already, on the radio and tv, and also, it just doesn’t satisfy my schizoaffective itch for stuff that tears my mind apart and forces my neurons into a new, simpler structure, not that I know anything much about brain chemistry.

I do not like dark music though.  Well that’s not quite true.  There’s dark and moody, and then there’s dark and nightmarish.  It’s the nightmarish stuff I don’t like, such as some heavy metal and classical music.  But my friends have told me once or twice that the music I play is scary, so I guess it’s each to his own.  The music I listen to is not scary, it’s just a little weird and freaky.

On a side note, I occasionally listen to music I have played several times before, and notice that it has voices that I have never heard before.  Just voices, playing over the music.  This is not me hallucinating, they are genuinely there and I didn’t notice them before.  Being someone who has a serious fascination with hypnotism, the intention behind these voices, and the possible outcomes of listening to such hynpotism are scarily profound.  But I do believe that, probably, hypnotism is a load of nonsense.

Browsing the Igloo magazine today, I came across an intriguing DJ mix, whose title is included in the title to this blog post, and to which I will place a link here:  http://igloomag.com/features/yard-the-through-woods-a-mix.

The first 25 minutes are rather nice ambient, quiet yet brooding, peaceful yet profound; but nonetheless absent of frisson, at least on the first listen.   The first track in the mix, Shameny Influence by Zoviet*France, who also go by :$OVIET:FRANCE: is wonderful, proving the class of these scene-veteran Geordies.  The noise then bumbles along in the background in a manner that is suitable for any late-night period, any burning summer day, and any dark winter evening but utterly unsuitable for disco parties or driving, because in the car you would not be able to discern what was music and what was the noise of the road.  Nothing too memorable, but pleasant.

The rhythm gradually kicks in, and is prominent by the 30 minute mark.  By now I have lost track of which artist is currently playing, because no correspondence is made between tune names and time positions, but if I had to guess, I would say that it is Anders Ilar, but I am probably wrong about that.  Listening to this rhythmic music, I wonder if it might sound better with headphones, so I get up from my comfy seat and retrieve my ageing Sony audio-emitting earmuffs.  Actually it is probably wrong to call them earmuffs, because they are not intended for winter warmth for the ears, but I was trying to write interestingly, so never mind.

Earmuffs akimbo, I turn the volume up to maximum and debate whether to continue reading the recently-opened Wikipedia page on Zoviet France, or close it with a deft click of my tatty USB mouse.  I decide to continue reading it, whilst listening to the continuing rhythmic music, which evokes images of cavemen banging sticks around a campfire, or possibly a naturally occuring forest fire, if they haven’t discovered fire yet. I fail to find any facts worthy of replicating on my blog, although to be honest I’m not sure this blog is worthy of anything at all, but having said that I am enjoying writing it, and possibly a number of other people will eventually read it; probably a small number.

As we approach the 40 minute mark of the mix, the track changes into a slightly pleasing rhythm, with a distinctly upsetting vocal sample being repeated in my ears of some irritating male: “party taaahm”.  If I was a male-on-male rape victim, which I don’t think I am, then this would be extremely traumatic.  Thankfully, after a couple of minutes the sample stops repeating, thus ending the impression that an 18 year old with mild learning disabilities is whispering in your ear at a Reflex nightclub.  Not that I have anything against learning disabled people.  I really don’t.  I have spent a lot of time working with various disabled youths, and also socialising with those my age on level terms which I genuinely enjoyed.

At 44 minutes the mood turns disco 80s, and I realise I have been listening to more “party taahm” outbursts without realising.  Five solid minutes of subconscious whispering.  My head is now completely fucked.  Thanks, “Yard”.  Pleease…let it stopppp.

I point my browser towards Yard’s twitter feed, to be found at @yardrec, and I’m not going to link that because it would take an amount of effort which I am not willing to make.  The twitter feed is not very interesting, au contraire, it is banal.  I am not going to add him to my twitter feed just this moment.  (I am @amberoid, by the way.  Please do not hack me and steal my credit card details, I am poor and I do voluntary work and I look after my family and I smile to strangers :))

As the music pummels it’s way on into the 50th minute and beyond, I find that the rhythms are not moving me.  If the rhythm is not addictive and lovely, one cannot appreciate it on an intellectual level.  The basic substance must be there first.  It starts to get a bit better though, when a dubby delay effect is introduced on a chord stab at minute 51.  Electro-dub for the win!  This is more like it.  Now I understand why God created evil.  You must go through the bad stuff to appreciate the good.

It’s at this point that I sit back, relax and inhale some nicotine (in the form of a healthy electronic cigarette).  And the music carries on being good.

Included at some point in the mix are the artists Surgeon, Jim O’Rourke, and Pan Sonic (more on Pan Sonic later, probably).  I mention these because I’ve heard of them.  I state that fact not to show off my underground knowlege, which I admit I am proud of, although it is totally useless; I state that fact to suggest to the reader (in the unlikely event that said reader is not actually myself) that these are important, popular artists, and indeed they are.  Not Britney Spears popular, but popular with people who use the internet to listen to lots of music.  Their gig tickets are probably in the £15-£20 region, that’s how popular they are.

At the hour mark, the music once again slows from the heavy beats into a more laconic (laconicker?) modus operandi, if that’s the correct Latin phrase.  My mouth itches for some more Co-op brand Bitter Lemon, which is probably the most boring fact that anyone has written in the whole of May 2013, but it is enough to motivate me to stand up and proceed to the fridge for some refreshing, nutritionless, sugary drink instead of listening to this headfuck of an mp3 stream.

Drink obtained, I decide that with a mere ten minutes remaining it is worth my while continuing to the end, after all, there may be a happy ending.  The music has become very vocal; is this music made by Satanists?, I wonder.  Not sure how to punctuate that last sentence.  My English Language GCSE has failed me here.  Amberoid!  Stop being boring!

Some interesting electronics come into the soundscape, providing interest to my previously bored brain.  And the final track!  I told you I was going to probably talk about Pan Sonic again, and then, at 67 minutes, a track that I love appears!  When I was talking about rhythm needing to have basic functionality as well as intellectual interest before, this has both.  And I start moving my head back and forwards (don’t imagine me doing that, because if you imagine me moving my head I will get embarrassed.  Oh, I’ve done it now, it’s like trying not to think of elephants, or having a sore thumb.  Actually, I don’t have a problem not thinking of elephants.  I am going to continue not thinking about elephants and start enjoying this finale to a very fun and mixed mix, with high and low points.  And I will post this post now, and I will leave a picture below, because I am kind like that. Peace Love Unity Respect).

This image is probably copywrited by someone or other, so all respects to them.   Probably igloomag.com.

This image is probably copywrited by someone or other, so all respects to them. Probably igloomag.com.

Posted in Music

10 Comments

  • Wow, thanks for linking this. It feels like the best kind of Sunday afternoon. I haven’t heard something so unique that transcends through so many feelings in quite a while… I’m also now following Igloomag, so thanks for that too!

  • Solid post! Took me a while to read it all, but what the hell, what doesn’t kill you..

    Just started listening to the mix, I’ll see where it takes me. Thanks for making me aware of it!

  • I have been into this kind of music for years. Since I was a early teen to be honest. A lot of my peers did not understand why I was not bopping around to mainstream music. Unlike you, I can’t stand mainstream music, and I am not intending to come across as a music snob, but mainstream music touches me in no way at all, whereas ambient, downtempo, trip hoppy type music does.

    Every song I hear in the mainstream charts sounds the same. Nothing is different. A lot of people will say that the music you listen to is scary or depressing, when in reality is is beautiful and uplifting to you.

    I also loved house music before it became popular and the mainstreamed ruined some of it.

    One of my favorite parts of the mix you posted was the song around the 14 minute mark. It has a minimal house yet ambient abstract vibe to it. Beautiful. Thank you 😀

  • This is such a beautiful compilation, I love music that can relax me and also provide stimulating yet calming effects. I’ve never been a fan of mainstream music personally, and I think it is sad how so many great artists go relatively unknown due to the over commercialisation of fairly poor talent. This is really cool!!

  • Your prose really conveys what it’s like to listen to these hour-long compilation mixes. In a fit of musical curiosity, I listened to a couple of DJs in the house music genre a month or so ago. It was…an experience, but all of the lulls and lack of mental engagement I had with the music as it went from “I LOVE THIS STUFF” to “I can definitely live without this stuff” discouraged me from embarking on other hour-long songs. One day, when I have the patience and curiosity again, I will return to this type of mixed music. But, just wanted to say, you really mirrored in your writing how I felt as I traveled that long music road.

  • I really like your style of writing, and I totally understand what you’re saying. I checked out the music mag and I was really surprised to find some great stuff that I haven’t heard before. I can’t say that I listened to the end, because I have a very short attention span, but I liked what I did listen to.

  • You have an interesting writing style. I’m not sure if you convinced me to listen to this mix or not. I think I’ll add it to my “listen later” list, though! House music is one of those things I’m half-interested in, so this should be an interesting mixtape.

  • I like you’re writing style and I really will give this a listen. Hope it’s good!

    • The Most Ordinary Man Ever

      March 10, 2015 at 2:53 am

      Ah well I didn’t think all that much of this mix. It’s ok. Thanks for the compliment. I just wanted to review something, so I wrote the review as I was listening along.

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