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Ian

As we exist in the world, we are condemned to meaning.



About Me

Writer (Stylus 2003-7, Village Voice occasionally, PopMatters 2008-now, and anywhere else that wants to pay me), proud possessor of an MA in philosophy, gin drinker, used record store clerk, Canadian, reader, apartment dweller, lover, mix maker.

Favorite Songs

The Ronettes - "Be My Baby"

Joy Division - "The Kill"

The Mountain Goats - "Have to Explode"

And all the space between them.

Favorite Artists

Listing these always kind of depresses me for some reason, but let's just say I can never decide if my favourite band of all time is Low, Joy Division/New Order, or Readymade (from B.C.).

Favorite Albums

Changes too often.

Recent Concerts

Blogs

AAAAARRRRRRRRRRGH

2010-01-05 08:18:23

Mixtapes

From the Archives #16: O

(for overall notes, go to #1) I didn't think there was that much under O, but wow. Sadly deceased Canadian violin genius Oliver Schroer, electronic giants like Orbital and the Orb, everyone from Otis Rush to Orange Juice, one-hit wonders like the Only Ones and OMC, and no-hit wonders like Owsley. I really like the range here.

From the Archives #15: N (Boys)

(for overall notes, go to #1) There was enough good stuff in N that I split the letter up into females and males, and managed to stretch the letter over two months. The Nermal song here is from Something Awful, oddly enough. I feel like tossing in relatively obscure New Order, Neil Young, and National songs is kind of cheating, but hey, I end with one of my favourite songs from a Nik Kershaw album I love that absolutely nobody's heard (and I'm not a big Kershaw fan or anything).

From the Archives #14: N (Girls)

(for overall notes, go to #1) There was enough good stuff in N that I split the letter up into females and males, and managed to stretch the letter over two months. Some stuff here is, I guess, a little obvious (the Nina Simone song they use on Six Feet Under, that Norah Jones song), but it also leads off with one of my favourite unknown songs of all time, the Needles' sublime "Ditherpop." I could have probably made the mix that song repeated thirty times.

From the Archives #13.2: M

(for overall notes, go to #1) And here's the other half of December's mix. A little louder, a little faster, a little more percussive. I quite like how these two turned out, both separately and together.

From the Archives #13.1: M

(for overall notes, go to #1) Because M is such a big letter, because it was the holidays, and because I actually found the time to go through it all, this month's mix was a mammoth two-disc affair. This first disc is the quieter of the two, although in some places the difference is relatively small. I hope the recipient didn't mind the extra heft of this one...

From the Archives #12: L

(for overall notes, go to #1) So after two months I did manage to go through my L songs, and this was the result. There's a lot of electronic music here, although I shied away from making it an organizing principle or anything. Lots of good stuff in this one.

Just because you feel it

It's not so much that I had to take a break from the From the Archives project as I didn't have time to go through all of my L songs... for two months. So this one went out twice as well. This mix is about, like, feelings. And stuff. I'm not sure why there's so much Radiohead on it.

From the Archives #11: K

(for overall notes, go to #1) While going through all the K songs on my computer, I noticed something; an awful lot of them were by women. And seeing as how, like most people I know, my music collection is shamefully top- heavy with males (straight white males, if you want to get specific), I thought, why not just pick from those songs for this month's mix? The result was so good (and I was so busy) that I reused this one in August as well. I will admit that Kate Bush is a bit of a ringer; she's not exactly a rarity in my collection, but how can you not end a mix with "Moments of Pleasure" at some point?

From the Archives #10: J

(for overall notes, go to #1) Somehow I've gotten behind on posting these mixes again. This one, originally from June, is old enough and the method for this series is regimented enough, that I can't really remember anything too interesting about it, although I think "Courage Ain't Strength" and "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time" make an interesting pair (as do Jay Farrar and Jon Brion), and "Dying on the Vine" just might be my favourite John Cale song.

From the Archives #9: I

(for overall notes, go to #1) I is another letter that's awfully hard to make a mix around, and the Idlewild song here (while great) is probably the first time I just said "screw it, I need another song for this one." The Icarus Line one is kind of a ringer too (a cover of an old Spacemen 3 song), but on the other hand if you'd told me I had songs by Isan and Isidore on my computer before I set out to make this one, I probably would have said, "who?"

From the Archives #8: H

(for overall notes, go to #1) I'm trying to make these mixes out of the stuff I'm discovering when going through my music collection, so including Hefner and Hot Chip isn't really in right spirit. But I don't have a ton of H songs, both of those tracks are fairly obscure, and they're just about the closest the two bands come to the other's sound, so I guess I feel okay about it. And there's stuff on here (Haven, Harpers Bizarre, Heidi Hazelton, the mighty and sadly defunct | head | phone | over | tone |) that does fit that spirit to a T. Great, really old Human League song at the end, too.

From the Archives #7: G

(for overall notes, go to #1) I've been slacking on putting tracklists up on the site, but I have been sending mixes out, I assure you. But I've been busy at work and the fact that I'm combining these mixes with an attempt to listen to all the crap that's crept into my non-album music collection means that they take forever to do. So it's a little weird to look at this tracklisting now, in July; I almost don't remember making this one. And it's an odd bird to begin with, full of little genre groupings (the Gary Allan to George Strait part is the most country I'm likely to ever get).

From the Archives #6: F

(for overall notes, go to #1) This one is more abrasive than the other lettered mixes so far, and maybe a bit more of a downer, too... until you get to Future Pilot AKA/the Field at the end. It's also unusually long, compared to my mixes in the last few years. I guess it's just that there's a lot of great bands in F (I'm semi-proud I managed to throw in a Fall track, although the intent here is to mostly pick stuff I DON'T normally put on mixes...).

From the Archives #5: E

(for overall notes, go to #1) More so than the first four mixes, this one includes a bunch of songs I listen to quite often, by bands that I think more people will know or have heard of. Which isn't a problem, things just worked out that way. The Embrace, Elbow and Erasure songs are all relative obscurities, though (and all great), and there were still some nice surprises for myself when I went through the library.

From the Archives #4: D

(for overall notes, go to #1) With IMP mixes, you have to balance your own aesthetic preferences with the fact that you're sending this to a stranger. So while I love the way the first three tracks here fit together, I hope "Exor" isn't too off- putting for my recipient. Then again I see he's in Philly and uses Hall & Oates songs semi-regularly, so at least he'll probably get more out of the Daryl Hall solo track on here than most.

From the Archives #3: C

(for overall notes, go to #1) I could probably say this about most of the mixes in this series, but boy are there some great songs I had completely forgotten about in this mix. And some I hadn't ("'74-'75" is a pretty common listen for me), but stumbling upon something like that Captain song and remembering how much I like it is such a great sensation.

From the Archives #2: B

(for overall notes, go to #1) The first three songs here are just absolute monsters, but things get considerably mellower after that. I couldn't tell you in words what the difference in mood between this and its predecessor is, but there definitely is one and I like that.

From the Archives #1: A

I've been taking some of my spare time over the last little while to go through and do a much needed cleaning up of my computer as far as music goes. This has resulted in a slow increase in the amount of free space on my hard drive as well as some nice surprises, and when going through the 'A's I stumbled upon so many great songs (many of which are one-offs, for one reason or another) that I decided to make a mix comprised entirely of 'rarities' that start with A. Now I'm going through the alphabet; each month will see one or more letters tackled in mixes that are going to avoid songs or bands I tend to put on mixes in favour of stuff I'd forgotten I had, or forgotten I loved and what have you. So far these have been a lot of fun to do.

Oh those summer nights

So late one night I was listening to music, as you do, when the first two tracks of this mix popped up in conjunction. They just seemed so powerfully fitting for the darkness outside, and the feeling of solitude that you can only get when it seems like everyone else is asleep. So this mix, unlike every other one I've ever done, was made, tested, altered, etc. only after the hour of about 2 am. I almost left out the monolithic Plastikman track, but the match with the end of the Loney Dear song was too uncanny. This mix should definitely only be listened to when it's dark out, when you're up later than you usually are, and when you're alone against your will. It works best that way.

Excerpts From the Wedding of Aaron and Christa

Coincidentally enough, two good friends of mine got married (and asked me to handle the dinner music) just before Ryan Mixtape suggested we do wedding mixes. I put together 2 1/2 hours of stuff and we ran it off my iPod (twice). It was an incredible day and it was great to be part of it. To make it, they came over and listened to some samples, then left me with enough direction to put the rest together. This is about an hour carved out from the full mix, and luckily both version flow really well. I'm amazed at how much tinkly piano crap it turns out I have.

Summer Pain

This year, I did my Summer Jamz mixtape with the estimable Nick Southall. Details including a lengthy writeup found here: http://passionweiss.com/2009/06/09/summer-jamz-09-nick-southall-ian-mathers-risottoberg/

Boys

The companion to last month's mix. I don't know whether it says anything that most of the songs with women's names for names were about generic women, whereas most of the ones I could find for guys were famous people, but there you are. And yes, if anyone is wondering, the Plumtree song is where Brian Lee O'Malley got the name. Knights of Jazz is some guys from high school (at a school assembly, recorded by cassette tape). Crazy fuzz on that one.

Girls

Each song in this mix has a woman's name for its title. Pretty simple, eh?

Against Waste

Honestly, this one is too complicated to explain in this space; I made a blog post that does so here: http://fractional.blogspot.com/2009/05/against-waste.html

Instrumental tracks from vocal bands

I'd been working on an instrumental mix for a while, and so when I ran into lateness problems in January I decided to finish it off. But it wasn't working and I realised my scope was too wide. After looking at what parts WERE working and what wasn't I shifted to only including tracks from bands that normally use vocals. I think it makes it more interesting (hopefully?) and surprising and I'm really, really happy with how this one flows. So much so that I reused it for February (well, that and I had no time to make a new one!). I hope neither recipient minded. Image shamefully stolen from http://www.davocyan. co.uk/

A long December

I feel bad for the pun in the title. I had a kind of crappy December (until the end) - the new job was nice but the transition is always stressful and financially draining, and although 2008 ended with some personal stresses cleared up, dealing with them took up a good deal of the month. So I was feeling kind of gloomy and then a friend introduced me to "Fast Trains" by Red Rocket, a band that seemingly existed for the length of one (really great) song, and something about the mixed fatigue and hope of the song appealed to me, and it that effect partly relied on the song's length. So a mix of longer songs it was - I've always meant to get "Heads Falls to Shoulder" on a mix anyway, "Shooting Shark" is unexpectedly one of my favourite songs ever, and I really like the way this mix flows, right down to the vinyl-only Neil Young postscript.

A Mix for Erick Bieritz

I knew Erick from Stylus, so when I saw he was my recipient for the month I dropped him an email asking if he had any requests. I forget the exact wording, but he expressed an interest in obscure old post-punk, off kilter folk music and any noise stuff he might not have heard. I actually had little that met his suggestions dead on (except for Manicured Noise, who are fantastic), but I tried to make a mix sympathetic to the spirit if not the letter of what he wrote. Hopefully he liked it.

For Every Kiss You Give Me, I'll Give You Three

Maybe someone's already done this here, but I thought it'd be neat anyways: Every song here contains, somewhere, obviously or not, that immortal opening beat from the Ronettes' "Be My Baby." The one kind of exception is the other Ronettes song near the end, which 1. kind of has it 2. is awesome. That's it, that's all. I do like all the songs, with the possible exception of the early Depeche Mode one (not because of the lyrics, but the chintzy music). I'm sure there are plenty other examples, but these are the ones I had.

Uncle Ian's Faux-Olde Timey Heartbreak Hour

I have no idea if this makes sense outside of my head, but a bunch of these songs feel old-timey to me despite being new and often not even of genres that you'd think would be appropriate. A lot of those songs happen to be gloomy, hence the title, and this is generally an autumnal, inside on a rainy day kind of mix.

Doubled

I've toyed with this idea for literally years, and I'm not sure why it came together this month: the first and last track are by the same band, the second and second last, and etc. There are other commonalities, too - it literally wasn't until I went to go write this one up that I noticed the nominal similarity between the Twilight Singers and the Twilight Sad. Weirdly enough for such a formalized mix, this one has more (personal) emotional impact than I've felt from a mix in a while - blame "The Killer," Ola Podrida, Phosphorescent and the last two tracks.

The Obligatory Covers Mix

Well come on, we all have to do one sooner or later, no? I had to be careful not to rely too much on any one source for these (say, that big two-disc Radio One covers thing from a while back), but I think this was a good mix in both senses of the phrase. I semi-cheat twice; Malcolm McLaren's track is more mash up than cover (of Joy Division and the Captain and Tennille) and the DJ Earworm track is this great, kaleidoscopic reworking of the 2007 US top 20. But both have the right spirit, I think. I'm glad the recipient liked this one, you always worry...

The difficult month

More than any mix I'd done so far, this one was dictated by the recipient. Meatbreak not only wrote the lovely eulogy for Stylus that graced the front page of the IMP site for a while, he was also an active commenter there and a correspondent of mine since, so I am well aware that he doesn't mind things a bit more atonal, abrasive or just plain weird. Which meant I could finally finish off and send a mix I'd been toying around with for months - it'd be cruel to send, say, Incapicitants to just anyone. I love the music on this mix, but not everyone would - luckily Meatbreak did. I even managed to squeeze in some friends (IMP's own Rachel Kiel, and also my buddy Jonathan Bradley under two different guises).

Make It All Right, It's Bearable

I guess I was just in a good mood this month? The Wheat song that opens the mix and gives it it's title sets the tone well, I think. Only the opener and closer are more than four minutes long (pop songs!), and while it's not without patches of melancholy, this mix is in a good place. Two of my favourite "I love you, live with it" songs too, courtesy of Elbow and the National. Thanks to Andrew Unterberger for the Pretenders re-edit.

Connected to Our Hearts

For the first time in at least half a year (maybe much longer), there's no overriding theme/mood/method to this one; just is just a bunch of songs I've been listening to a lot recently, arranged in a hopefully pleasing fashion, with some old favourites added in as mortar. The Elbow, Stratford 4, Los Campesinos! and Kills songs were especially dear to me when I made this one, but I think the whole thing works well.

40 Tracks in 50 Minutes

Does what it says. Nothing longer than 2 minutes. Fun to make, and as far as I can tell, fun to listen to. Hidden bonus: Another IMP member made one of these songs...

Personal One Hit Wonders

It wouldn't be interesting to put together a mix of actual one hit wonders, so I did something else; these are songs by bands that would be one-hit wonders if everyone liked the same stuff I did. I kind of cheated with Beck (I love him up to Mutations, just not anything after) but I can honestly say other than that these are the only songs I like by these bands. Sometimes that's because I haven't heard anything else (the Raincoats), in some cases I respect the artist in question but just don't like anything else (Patrick Wolf), and some of it is by bands who I dislike or outright hate (Razorlight). I kind of tried to get a similar mix that our real one hit wonders have - one-off oddities, foreign stuff, total hacks who occasional hit gold, cult acts who briefly break through. I really like how this one plays.

Can't Get No: A Meditation on Dissatisfaction

Once again, we have a mix where I notice two songs iTunes juxtaposes for me suggest differing elements of the same emotion. In this case, "The Cloud Prayer" ("I went into disguise for you/So of course, almost no one knew") and "Self-Healer" ("When it feels like culture gets too much for me I go, I go outside") sound very different and are in some ways speaking about very different things, but like every song in this mix, they're both missing something very important to them. If I'd thought of it before the CD was burned, I would have put on Cat Power's Rolling Stones cover - that I forgot it and had to leave it out is kind of fitting.

Its difficult not to worry about what happens next

I was tempted to go the Big Black route and just call this Songs About Fucking, but I decided against it. I actually don't tend to listen to music when getting romantic, and this isn't straightforwardly a set of seduction songs or anything like that; it's an assortment of tracks that I think are sexy in different ways, or remind me of past encounters and relationships or just say something interesting about carnality. In the interest of not being too self-revealing, I'll leave which is which unsaid. I will say the mix's title comes from the opening track, which like the closing track comes from one of the most unexpectedly sexy albums I've ever heard, Songs: Ohia's The Lioness.

If you can find any reason

This one started with "Starshine" and "Blackhole," as both sound so very alone. But while "Starshine" is pretty desolate, "Blackhole" is actually kind of comforting... as with many mixtape germs, I couldn't find enough songs with quite that feeling, but the mix is built around that shift, I guess. I finally got that Six By Seven song on a mix, as well as Clinic's "Porno" (despite the title, one of my favourite songs of theirs). The Deacon Blue songs are pretty great too - they really tie it all together. This is, to me, one of my 'smallest' feeling and most self-contained mixes.

Seconds: Perfect Moments in Pop

As Ryan Mixtape mentioned in his November email, the venerable online music magazine Stylus closed its doors on Hallowe'en. I should say "our" doors, as I wrote for Stylus for four years. It's where I heard about the IMP, and that's just a (relatively) minor example of the influence writing there has had on my life. One of my favourite columns to do lends its name to this month's mix; a selection of songs I wrote about in some depth for Stylus. The site is still up, and the curious can find links to all of these articles on my staff page. I selected these ones in particular both because I particularly loved the songs and also to hopefully get the ones where the writing turned out well; this selection was pruned down from about four hours worth of tracks. They're arranged, as far as I can tell, in the order I wrote them. This is definitely one I'd be willing to share with anyone who asks.

Darkness at the Close of Day

This is a rarity in my IMP mix-making experience: a one-take mix. The Nilsson and the Aphex Twin happened to be juxtaposed by iTunes, and I loved it enough I opened a playlist for a possible future mix... and then iTunes just kept mining the same minor key, fairly gloomy vein for the next hour or so. Almost everything here - one of my favourite Doves songs, the transition from it to the great Josh Rouse tune, the double-dose of live Portishead - happened without any real intervention (or skipping!) from me. I did make one change, listening to it the next day; I felt the transition from "She Sends Kisses" to "Drive" was too abrupt and so added in the brief "Cello" to make it a bit more plausible. I love it when this kind of thing happens, although it's never happened quite this smoothly.

Varieties of Angst

Not autobiographical, thankfully; I made this one for a friend, after playing the first two one after another and noticing that despite the huge difference in tone, they were both describing aspects of the same thing. I mentioned the idea for the mix to her and she was so enthusiastic I not only had to do it, but I had to really make it work well. I really like this one, although while I went all out for the friend version (art, each song given a description like "Disingenuous asshole angst" (track 6) or "Mea maxima culpa angst" (track 15)) I didn't have the time or energy to do that for the IMP one... sorry! This one went out a few days late as well, hence my hurry/recycling of an already made mix, which I also feel bad about. But the actual mix, that I like. "Far Away" by Tinstar is probably its hidden gem, a band that had one forgettable single and a few not-great albums.... but what a song!

Beats, Bleeps & Buzz

I guess it's all electronic (or can we still call it "dance"?) music, and until a turn for the uplifting at the end it's all pretty harsh. The ridiculously overdriven beeps on "EQing" are pretty indicative of the rest of the mix, which is something I love but hopefully something not ONLY I love.

Songs of Hidden Encouragement

"Hidden" because Bjork telling you that "It's not up to you / It never really was" and Mark Kozelek asking "Have you forgotten how to love yourself?" might seem kind of negative on the surface. But the way each sings those lines makes the songs they come from (which were the genesis for this month's mix) kind instead of cruel. I mix that sort of song with some more straightforwardly uplifting songs, because the former are hard to find, but I defy anyone to hear the two Future Pilot AKA songs and think they have anything but your best interests at heart. Even John Darnielle gets in on the act, albeit Biblically. This also marks my first use of the Beatles on an IMP mix, and possibly on any mix I've made.

Numerology

So yes, I started amassing songs with digits in their titles. My method was a little scattershot; I had a large quantity of songs to pick from, so some got the nod due to the mostly or wholly numerical nature of their titles, some just because they were great songs. At first I planned to put these all in order (and the run from "14 Days" to "49 Percent," which works wonderfully, is a holdover from that stage), but ultimately I wanted to both mix things up a bit and also ensure "66" wound up at the end. I've listened to 1965 way too much the past few months.

Autobiograph

A month late with March's assignment, but I already did one (or two) of the single-artist comps that prompted April's suggestion, so we're even. This isn't one song a year or even my 18 favourite songs or bands (although I think every one of these have been my favourite band for at least a while); but it is a kind of brief, imprecise sketch of the mainstream of my listening since I hit seventeen or so (except for the first two tracks) and actually became a music fan. The order of the beginning and end are pretty precise, it gets a bit wobbly in the middle... and I still love all of it.

Every day my sentence is remanded

I really, really enjoyed Burial's debut album, and as I listened to it one night I decided I should use a few tracks from it to anchor my next mix. The Kepler, Kid606 New Order cover and Spiritualized tracks (all of which I was obsessed with) seemed to fit, and I built it from there. Another gloomy one, I guess, but uplifting gloomy. And the Lekman/Burial/Maps/Kid606 run might be the best sequence I've done to date.

Nautical Disaster

...and so ended the great "Ian uploads all of his old mixes on the IMP website" binge of February 2007. I should have been writing for school instead, really. But I love that we have a website now! In any case, this one started with me liking two songs called "Lost at Sea" and went from there... the theme is obvious from song titles except maybe British Sea Power (heh), and that one has an ocean-referencing chorus. Superchunk is the closest we get to a ringer, but I frickin' love that song.

Knowing you're going

The shortest mix (still nearly an hour) I've ever made for the IMP, on the heels of longest I made to date. Not much going on here - some songs in honour of a friend who is moving across the country at some point, some other quasi-random stuff, and the Beta Band's "She's the One" tacked on to the beginning, because it added some much-needed length, and that song is seriously incredible. So is the Prince cover by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, and the Wheat song, and Elastica's "The Menace," which needs to be posthumously recognized as amazing.

A Low Primer

If they aren't my favourite band they're close. glenn mcdonald of the War Against Silence is responsible for me getting into them in the first place, but I own all of their albums and the box set and love all of them totally and completely (and no, they don't all sound the same). As with my COIL primer this isn't supposed to definitive or ultimate or anything, although this one is a lot more balanced - I believe there's at least one or two tracks from each album (and the first and last tracks are from the upcoming Drums and Guns, which is AMAZING), and then a bunch of fairly rare stuff from the box set just in case the recipient already knows Low. Out of all my mixes, this is the one I hope was loved the most. Also, there are a few tracks I would normally include on any Low mix that were left off for reasons of space ("Violence," "(That's How You Sing) Amazing Grace," "Two-Step," "Days Of..." etc).

There are people who are good for you

Title is taken from the first song, by Australia's Bluebottle Kiss. Sometimes when you've been doing these for a while it helps to pretend you're doing one for someone you know, in order to get some inspiration. I took longer with this one than most, and I think it works really well. It does, however, mark the third IMP appearance of my favourite Eluvium track - I hope none of these people mind ten minute long songs.

Untitled 6 (Structural)

I'm not sure what the impetus for this was, other than it just occurring to me, but this is structured as two distinct "sides" - mini mixes - with Damien Jurado as an interlude track in the middle (so 1-7 and 9-15 are the two sides). I don't think I was trying to say anything specific, this is just a bunch of recent music (recent to me, anyways) I happened to like... the S&C Coldplay is by my man Jonathan Bradley of Screw Rock 'n' Roll and Stylus. Jet Alone is actually some stuff I whipped up using FruityLoops, sadly enough... "Through the Trees (At Night)" is a drone piece I actually still like. I hope the recipient didn't mind. And the Gritty MIDI Gang includes the younger brother of talented scribe (and fellow lover of R.E.M.'s Up) J. Edward Keyes - luckily the song is fucking amazing.

If you're going to talk about the things I need

Ohhhh, this is embarrassing. I have got to get out of the habit of working through stuff in mixes if I'm going to post them to the internet... although to be clear, in addition to getting a little cathartic, I'm enough of a nerd I always try to make these evocative and entertaining for anyone else too, and so sorting reasons for song choices out between "hmm, this would go nicely next" and "ANGST and WOE" is nearly impossible for me to do. Still, I wince a little at this one, although I think it works pretty darn well. Great song by the Nerves, too. And the rest of the lyric from the title is "then you're gonna have to find out what they are." I was kind of in a bitchy mood this month.

A Single Year

Ah yes - when making this mix, it occurred to me that I was coming up on a full year of being single again. Which was kind of odd - and emotionally this mix is all over the place, which makes sense as none of these should be taken as some sort of great emotional unburdening on my part. Still, I was feeling pretty conflicted at the time, and it's probably pretty obvious - I think it still works as a mix, but it's a little all over the place. That Will Young song at the end is fucking fantastic, though, even if you've previously discounted him.

Songs for Humid Rooms

I kind of cheated; this was my mix for the Stylus Summer Mixtapes article this year, and once again it kind of focuses on my hatred of heat (and we were having 30, 35, even 40 degree days at this point), especially the sticky humid kind where I can't even type at my computer without sweating. Ugh. So this is a set designed to still motion, to slow things down, to wait until dark and cool. "Have to Explode" shows up again, of course. I wound up using this mix for August 2006 as well - I think I just ran out of time, sorry.

Every Year, Exactly This Time of Year

You can tell this is when I first heard Hot Chip, because suddenly they're titling my mixes. The Warning was one of my favourites from last year, and this probably marks the first mix of mine to have any real romantic angst ("Walk On By" into Snow Patrol, for chrissakes!), for predictably mundane reasons. It really wasn't and isn't that bad, I just found these useful for grouping songs together that I didn't particularly feel like sending to the actual people involved.

A Version of COIL

As may have become apparent via the past few mixes, I was listening to COIL a lot at this point, due to Jhonn Balance's death, and my subsequent finding of several releases of theirs. Credit goes to Scott McKeating, ex- of Stylus and still with Brainwashed, who let me pick his computer clean. I've still got a lot to go through. One of the best bands ever - this is a primer, so it's not supposed to be impartial or complete, and I definitely focused on the quieter side of the band.

Acoustics, Organs and Ambient Dub

What it says on the tin, pretty much. The Pan*American, Pole and COIL tracks came first, and the rest got built up around them. The Mountain Goats song is pretty much my favourite track of theirs ever, and also partially included here for the remarks on ambient dub in the liner notes to Tallahassee.

Indulgent

I can't remember if I was also in a hurry or what, but I did want to see how many long, slowly building songs I could put in without being ridiculous and just making a Necks track my mix by itself or something like that. I really like the results, but I kind of assume out of all the mixes I've made this is the one that's mostly likely to be hated by the recipient.

Untitled 5 (Rap!)

This one got sent to the owner and proprieter of this here site/community, and he liked it - which was a HUGE relief as I know next to nothing about rap and the selection here draws on fairly few artists. But hey, they're all pretty great songs - and if nothing else, I love the feeling of the Cadence Weapon and Eddie & Ernie tracks at the end.

Driving

The last track here was 'hidden' - I didn't write it in the tracklisting deliberately, to be clever. Also it has nothing to do with driving, which all of the other songs here do - the only one where the connection isn't explicit in the title is the cover of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and, well, I don't need to explain that one, do I? This was a lot of fun to make, and if you scoff at the idea of the George Thorogood track... you really need to hear it. Fierce. And because it's cut off, the full title of the Two Lone Swordsmen track is "Driving With My Gears In Reverse (Only Makes You Move Further Away)."

Untitled 4 (Leave me alone)

It wasn't deliberate, but looking back at this one I think I was pissed off at someone; between the Jesu, New Order, Wire and Calla tracks (and just the feel of the whole thing) I'm sure there was something I was upset with... but this was almost a year and a half ago, so fucked if I can tell you. Might have just been the phase of the moon. I still think it works pretty well, although starting off with a ten minute track might have been unintentionally off-putting (hmm, I should have found room for Six By Seven's ten minute "Leave Me Alone"...).

Untitled 3 (Imaginary Friends)

This really did just start with the Brion/"Lisa"/Mogwai triptych at the beginning, and I just built it from there. It's very quiet for the vast majority of the mix, although it perks up at the end. I don't think I remembered I was re-using "Chloroform" at the time - I just wanted a short linking track (I don't mind re-using things, I just prefer intending to do so). This Dirty Three song, although I do really love it, kind of counts as cheating - it's 13 minutes!

Untitled 2 (Pasolini)

I noticed that one of my favourite songs by Scott Walker and one of my favourites by COIL were both ostensibly about the death of Pasolini... so I bookended this mix with them. I didn't realise it at the time, but looking at the track listing now, this is a pretty desolate collection of songs - and also one of my favourites. Also, the transition from Pärt to the Russian Futurists is just fantastic, one of my favourites.

Untitled 1

I've had titles recently, but at first I didn't tend to... this one started with the Fall songs at beginning and end (both from my favourite Fall album, Code: Selfish) and sort of built from there. No theme, just a bunch of songs that are supposed to sound good all in a row. The SFA into the Screamadelica track worked especially well, I think.

I seem to be having tremendous difficulties

Full title continues "with my lifestyle," yes it's from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The mix has nothing to do with the books/radio play/TV show/movie, I just heard the first couple of tracks in a row and the title seemed to make sense. So yes, a little gloomier? Next month there had been a mixup and we hadn't all gotten this assignment, so I replaced 9 with "2 Rights Make 1 Wrong" by Mogwai and 13 with "The Negatives..." by Hood (both improvements, I think) and sent it out again.

Inaugural

My first IMP mix; kind of scattered but I like it. Never underestimate the ability of the random function to find good segues.

Comments

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stanley

Hey Ian, just sending your April Mix off by the latest tomorrow. I apologize for the delay. I got caught up workplace life and failed to remember my mixtape life.

Sean

Apologies for not getting in touch sooner. Your parenthesis mix is excellent. Great idea and even better, great music. Thank you very much. Love the Low tune.

Danielle

Just got the mix -- thanks, Ian! Christmas came early!

Adrian

Hi Ian. Somewhat predictably, my October mix to you is running late. Due to a house move and a holiday at the same time - I won't plan things like that again! I'll get it to you as soon as I can. Cheers, Adrian.

Leisa

Got the mix today, it is well worth the wait!

Leisa

no problem :) thanks!

Leisa

Yes, 94583 :)

Jon

Just back from the Post Office @ Sharlston Ian*Where your September mix was dropped into the system*Hope you are happy & well*Jon

Leisa

Haven't received the mix yet, just wanted to give you a heads up, I didn't click that "i didn't receive my mix" button though since you warned me it would be late. ;)

Leisa

Thanks for the heads up! I'm patient, I'll wait for the tangible mix. :)

James

hi ian, just made the traumatic discovery that my address has been wrong for the last few months. Been wondering why i had not received anything for a while. Any chance of a resend of my Jan mix ? Correct address is James Bridger, Commerzbank,PO Box 52715, London, EC2P 2XY. thanks

Sean

Just checking to see if you have received my package for February.

Cal

Just wanted to say I really enjoyed your "Sonic Fatigue" piece. I take it as both a warning and a relief. Being a music reviewer but not really making any money at it, I struggle with the issues you've mentioned but I can't help myself; I'm driven to make a go at this writing thing. I usually take the beginnings of years to not listen to anything new for a while, take comfort in old faves, and before long I get the itch (and the promos start piling up). It's really the only thing I've found yet that I'm good at, but in my heart of hearts I wish I'd happen upon something out of the blue that I enjoy just as much so I wouldn't have to worry about burning myself out before I can even make a living...but anyway, thanks for writing that. Maybe I'll have to revisit that Asva album; it seemed impenetrable but maybe things have changed...

Michael

Hey, your (really late and I am sorry) mix went in the mail today. It should arrive soon.

Rachel

HEY FRIEND like your new pic. that is all.

Jon

Happy New Year to ya Ian* No mix turned up, would like to hear your choices* Think it could be a superior selection.Enjoy Today.Jon*

Jon

Evening Ian* No mix yet but the heavy weather off and on has snarled things up* Sure it's safe in the post.Have Fun * Jonny*

Andy

Hey there, Due to the delay in my friend fixing my laptop, Novembers mix was sent to you today (14th Dec). It's coming from Manchester in the UK so may take a couple of weeks. Hope it's to your liking Andy

Jon

Dear Ian* I can see it's going to be worth waiting for. You stay cool. Jonny*

Sarah

I am an extremely disorganized person. This is why I can't remember if I've sent your mix or not. If so, I hoped you liked it! If not, please let me know and I'll do so promptly.

Monica

Loved the mix! Who knew that so many Katies (or variations thereof) made good music?

Taia

hey, one day i will send the tape on time. today is not that day. off to the post office to send your June mix...sorry for the delay and hope you enjoy it.

James

6/3: I'm sending your May CD today from Washington, DC. Cheers, James

stanley

Received the mix today...Will give a spin soon...Thanks!

stanley

No worries, I'll keep my eyes peeled. Thanks.

Mike

Hello Ian: Your February mix mailed today, along with a bonus mix. Happy listening! Mike

Trista

Dude, if you have another copy of your "For Every Kiss You Give Me, I'll Give You Three" mix I'd love a copy! That line right there was how I google-searched the random Ronette's song I heard at Taco Del Mar and opened my eyes to the epicness of their kitsch!

Trista

Totally agree with you on the "Capitalize when you enter your music info" thing. It makes my mixes look shitty, too. Good to know I'm not the only one.

Evangeline

Hey Ian, finally got a chance to listen to your mix all the way through. Good stuff! I'm glad I got to benefit from your hard-drive-cleaning endeavor. :)

Cornelius

Thanks for the mix my friend! I got the mail the other day on my way out, and saw your package in there. I immediately tore it open and popped it into the car CD player and cranked it up. Thank you very much. I really enjoyed the ride!!!

Cornelius

Not a problem Ian, I won't throw a curse on you this time. Happy Halloween.

Ashley

Hi Ian: I am your June MixMaker. I put the disc in the mail last week (6/24) and it should be making its way to your mailbox any day now. Hope you dig it! Thanks, Ashley

Meatbreak

Hi Ian. I will write you properly soon - for now, I'm just dropping this of >>>> Yesterday I went a bit IMP fan-boy and made an IMP group on last.fm. Don't know if you use it at all, but I really like it - I've gotten into it over the last 6 months so much so that I combined my love for IMP & L.FM and made this: http://www.last.fm/group/International+Mixtape+Project. Hopefully we can get some good use out of it, there's a lot of potential in it I think (but then I would, I made it!!) MxBx

Jenny

Yes, I am your December mix buddy. I am looking forward to your thoughts on the mix! :)

Jason

Ian, Just got your mix and love the concept. I haven't been able to listen to it all the way through yet but I look forward to it. Thanks again.

Megan

Thanks for the great mix-- I just got a chance to listen to it all the way through, and it's a fun one:)

Meatbreak

Hey Ian - the mix arrived yesterday. Great stuff indeed, Religious Knives & Goslings & Incapacitants. Anyone would think you knew me. Thanks! This one's a keeper. MxBx

Meatbreak

No pressure, but I am expecting to be given a lesson in the art of mixtaping the likes of which I have never heard. No pressure though. Dx.

Meatbreak

Ummm... some 21 year old girl from the North-East US? or....something to look forward to.

David

Hey, abrasive is my middle name.....well, actually it's Sterling....but abrasive sounds much cooler....

David

It arrived alive. Good mix, man. I especially liked the You Say Party! We say die! track and The Kills, Clutch and Elbow tunes. Thanks. See. It all worked out in the end.

David

Just emailed you the pertinents. And hey, don't apologize. It's no biggie. It's just that a had a lot more going out for a few weeks there than ended up coming back, so I thought I would gently shake the tree a little.

David

Hey, that mix never arrived. Not to make you feel guilty or anything...I'll assume you failed all of your finals, are suicidally depressed and couldn't get to the post office. That makes me feel better, anyways.

Manda

Hey! I'm sorry that I'm pretty sure I left off the tracklist for your March CD. It is posted on my page! Manda

David

Hey, it's Tardy O'Toole here...after much dithering I've finally got something in the mail for you.

David

Ian : I've been having trouble with my email,but it appears to be up and running again. It's david.haw@cogeco.ca Thanks.

Meatbreak

hey Ian. hope all's well with you. I just finished December's Not For Resale mix and thought you might like it. Here's the link to download it: http://www.sendspace.com/file/6h3r3v. Let the demo mayhem commence!!!!! happy holidays. MxBx

Jake

Hey Ian. I just wanted to let you know that I've really enjoyed your mix from November. After a few listens it became very enjoyable...and plays best in the mornings. Thanks again !

Meatbreak

Hi Ian. No problem at all man, RIP indeed, sincerely. I really am missing it. I would love a copy of your Seconds mix, that's a great idea and it looks like a great listen as well as a memento. Also, I notice that you and me both made random ITunes mixes last month. Curious. MxBx

David

I'm easy ( on all levels)....you decide what to send. Something you've already done. Something new. Up to you. My email is david.haw@sympatico.ca We can trade snail mail addresses. Looking forward to this.

David

Hey, Ian!!! Would you be inclined to do a side trade?

Meatbreak

Ahh, I like the new electronic mix racklist a lot - Black Strobe, yes: Can't get enough of that black metal techno.

Son of Ravyn

Hi there. In addition to being IMP member, I am a freelance music writer. I have been working on a feature article on the IMP for my local alt-weekly, The Houston Press. I was wondering if you might allow me to ask you a few questions: How long have you been an IMP participant? Do you know Ryan outside of the IMP? Were you a mixtaper prior to participation in the project? Why do you make mixtapes? Do you get more out of making mixtapes or out of receiving them? Have you found IMP to be a good source for discovering new music (even if that would be old music thatâ??s new to you)? What is your occupation? How much time do you spend, on average, per Mixtape? Do you feel that artwork is an important part of a Mixtape? Would you recommend IMP to others? In addition to these few questions, anything youâ??d like to add would be more than welcome. Feel free to be as loquacious or succinct as you like. nicholas.l.hall@constellation.com

Meatbreak

Ah, nihilism is cool. What about the 'marmot' wielding nihilists in the Big Lebowski? How cool are they? Exactly. Doorposts. That's that settled. i won that BBC vote, and I'll be back to harass you for the final, I'm sure. The competition is getting pretty impressive, but I'm still stuck out there looking like the freak with my demos. Good good. Wouldn't have it any other way. I'm still threatning to submit a pure Noise/Black metal mix for the final.....It really is tempting.

Meatbreak

Hey Ian. Thanks for the nihilism comment on Stylus. It might be egotistical of me to think it, but I can't help assuming that was for me. I am currently being destroyed by the new KTL record. Wonderful.

Mary-Kate

Yay! Awesome mix! Thanks!

Martin

I hope you enjoy the CD, to be called "Dude" is a compliment isn't it? I sense we may have both spent far too many happy hours sifting through bargain bins in record shops!

Martin

I've sent the May mix off to you Ian. I hope it can match up to your expectations, you seem to have a lot of experience with this mix-taping lark! The track listing is on my profile if you'd like a peek.

Son of Ravyn

http://www.nonalignmentpact.com/2007/02/art-of-tangent.html Here, you will find a ridiculously academic introduction to the Goslings, specifically the track Sanibel. Also, NAP is pretty fucking awesome. Thanks for the comment.

Laura

Ian, You are rad. Your mixes are rad. Stylus is rad. Sincerely, Laura in NC

Meatbreak

think you're starting to freak out, then lets rip. Working backwards, the track that preceeds that is the one with all the piano in it and it comes in over a lull after you think the song has climbed as high as it can then it fries your mind with the blinding rays of sun beaming from the keys and an ambience that threatens to explode your heart. Well, it did to me at 11.30 last night. Iâm quite surprised you havenât heard them yet and strongly suggest you obtain all three albums as soon as possible.

Meatbreak

The laziest description would be to say Mogwai + Aphex Twin, but that's barely half the story, though it does give you a reasonable idea. Intricate electronics, clicks, hums and Warp/Rephlex beats along with post rock guitars - more liek Do Make Say Think than Mogawai I guess, because the songs aren't so linear in the repetitious way Mogwai's are. They are one of the few bands where the prospect of new albums make me overexcited. Three albums in and they don't so much make new leaps but just add enough extra elements, carefully enough, to suggest that they are in total control of their destiny. This is their third, and like Mogwai marked quite a substantial change in sound with Come on Die Young, so does The Destruction of Small Ideas: with violins, better piano sounds (probably real ones this time), and yeah, the aforementioned singing which - without trying to ruin it, because it's in the last song only - filters it's way slowly up in a way that makes you th

Meatbreak

P.S. Oh my word, is the new 65 days Of Static not the most amazing thing this year?! The singing!!!

Meatbreak

I would be pretty disappointed if that happened to me too. That's so strange. The first time I listed to Blur's 13 I played it through a really shitty practice amp to rough it up more ans I think that was the right thing to do. Not quite the same though. I did play Another Love Song and it went down pretty well - luckily Six By Seven is the easiest band name to signal across a murky club.

Meatbreak

I think I will be playing Another Love Song out tonight. It still got a mighty fine beat.

Meatbreak

Ah man, That Six By Seven album is amazing, I still listen to that occasionally - just the sound of it is quite different, but its hard to put a finger on what it actually is, like it's screaming in your face from a mile away.

Rachel

You're definitely right about getting mixes to flow smoothly--I like a good all- rock or all-hip-hop mix sometimes, because it's definitely nice to get in a mood a stick there. With this genre one, I worked pretty hard on the transitions in the hopes that they wouldn't seem too jarring, although I have to admit that I put Buck Owens after Mastodon just because I thought it was funny.

Alan

Nice use of the album column for times! For a second there, I thought the Benevolent IMP Overlords had added another column and I was going to have to go back and update all of my mixes (which I'm going to have to do anyway). The mixes themselves also look pretty great. Lots of stuff that I don't know.

ANDY

I've just been getting into Hot Chip. They're fun. What a beautiful selection you've got going here.

Rachel

I've never heard "Series of Dreams." What album is it on? I really recommend the album that "Most of the Time" comes from, Oh Mercy. It was one of this better 80s ones. And I love The Futureheads' "Hounds of Love," which is surprising to me, because I usually like whichever version I hear first, but they just strike that balance between making it their own and not losing the urgency/ emotional heft of the original. Wouldn't it be cool to see Kate and them perform it together? I wonder if it will ever happen.

Rachel

Thanks! "Most of the Time" has been my favorite song since I was maybe four years old. There's just something I like about Bob getting all choked up but sort of trying to play it off awkwardly. And there is just nothing anyone can say to do justice to "Hounds of Love." I always imagine Kate Bush running across a moor in the wee hours of the morning with her hair all crazy and her big shimmery tunic getting caught on all sorts of brambles. And your top favorite songs are pretty fantastic too, by the way.

Tanya

Damn him! Tell him to leave some for other people! *grrrrr* ;)

Tanya

We need a "friend list" type thing on here - it's hard to keep track of all the comments and know when people respond! Nice to meet you .. I need to go to Timmy's .. I want to Roll Up my rim and win .. I doubt you really win 1 in 9 .. I think I've had 4 or 5 and not gotten anything yet! Dammit!

Tanya

Damn that's a lotta music. We Canucks have some serious issues when it comes to showing the "notes" of our loves.. Whatever that means. Canucks UNITE!

Eric

I, Enjoyed your February mix. The "Nautical Disaster" them is a great idea, and I love the mix. Great flow (no pun) of tunes. The Radar Brothers song, Low, and Superchunk are some of my particular faves. Glen Campbell is a sublime touch. Thanks a lot. -eric

David

Yeah, Rated R's the best so far. But No One Knows is good. I still have hope for the boys. And I must have had a bout of typing Tourette's because I don't even own The Life Pursuit.

David

You know, I used to think I was pretty hot shit when it came to having an extensive music collection and knowing a wide range of artists. And then I took a look at your mixes.............Good God Man!!!!! I only recognize about 30 percent of the names you've included. My first reaction was to be humbled. Then I was all indignant and ; "Okay junior.. let's talk about 70's A.M. radio stars - let's see you tell me who had the number one Billboard song in 1975!!!" But now I'm on a bent to check out as many of those songs as possible, so that if you and I ever meet and have a discussion at a cocktail party, I can at least hold my own for a few minutes.

Meatbreak

Half the time I want to be as vindictive as putting Sheets Of Easter after Night Falls....but then I always change my mind. Mainly because if it's not working for someone, they're not going to persevere listening for the sake of the person who made the mix. At least, that's what I assume. Interesting article on Stylus today. Glad to hear you love writing about music. I'm sure it comes in handy!

Meatbreak

Yeah, get on to Stew about WOLD - definately worth hearing and I'm sure you can take the pain. Really liking your mixes, especially your primer ones for Low and Coil. I've no idea how I would choose songs for a Coil mix, though I'd probably go for the scarier stuff! I guess I should really check out Eluvium since they feature so heavily in your comps - that's got to mean something good. I like your 'Indulgent' one too - My 'Ativan Experience' one was built on similar terms - i.e. length - though mine was based on repetition rather than build. The recipient nearly got Sleep's Jerusalem/Dopesmoker and on other song, but I thought that's not really quite in the spirit of things.

Ryan Mixtape

Hey Ian. Yeah, looking at your other mixes, that rap piece was about as far from your everyday listening (or mixing) as a pickle in a henhouse. I'm kinda loving going through your tracklists right now. You really get the whole making-a-mixtape-for-a-stranger thing better than almost anyone on here. So thanks for all that. I'm sure you're busy enough with writing for Stylus (and whatever other gigs you have going), but if there's ever anything you want to put out there that wouldn't otherwise fit into one of your more common forums, feel free to slide it my way. Now, excuse me while I get back to watching one of the worst music movies ever made: Idlewild (really, what dreck is OutKast responsible for these days).

David

For me, I'd listen to Mr. Sandman by the Chordettes over and over again. That song just creeps me out generally, but after about 8 listens in the cold and the dark North; I'd go apeshit.

Meatbreak

haha. i take all things like 'goons', 'freaks', and fuck it, even 'cunts' with affection. I am pissed. Should not be on the internet. Never mind - too late. Your driving mix is good man, real momentum there. Plus you put a hidden track on. Sytrange coi9ncidence there, in that I made a driving mix AND I also made a comp of hidden tracks. Which you may have noticed if you scanned my mixes. Anyway, best get off this thing now before I wind up saying something I'll regret. other than - dig out more stuff like the Goslings on Stylus. God knows the readers need to be tipped in that direction. Like WOLD for instance. Did you hear that? Sdcreech owl is so far my album of the year. Has a lot in common with Goslings in terms of buring genuine song structures under a tidal wave of horrendous noise, 'cept WOLD go much further - waaaaaaaaaaay toooooo far some might say, but I refer thee back to my third acceptable term of endearment for them peoples. Se

Meatbreak

Ian Mathers? You turned me on to The Goslings back in March last year - Can't thank you enough for that.

David

I just accidently deleted your "music at the North Pole" comment...opps...but I remember it. That's interesting because I had a theory that people would either embrace the cold and darkness in their choice of music (like you have) or try to fight it by listening to Katrina and the Waves or the Beach Boys or something equally cheery.

David

It's a matter of taste to be sure, but....I just went back and listened to the Moroder/Sparks album. and assuming you weren't pulling my leg... "Tryout" is okay but it doesn't hold a candle to some of their otehr stuff. If you really want to blow your hair back listen to these big four albums from the 70's. Indiscreet (all of side 1), the one simply titled; "Sparks" from 1972 (Big Bands and No More Mr. Nice Guy being the best), A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing (all of side one) and last, but certainly not least... Kimono My House (the entire album). And to top it off their two most recent albums were pretty good too.