Iannis Xenakis – “Mélanges” (1979)
As an architect, Xenakis is a sworn enemy of mine, a direct disciple of Jenneret-Gris (aka “Le Corbusier”). Fortunately, unlike the avant-garde Modernists in architecture, their musical equivalents didn’t try to literally destroy what came before (or at least they didn’t succeed). Indeed, this percussion work at times recalls Indonesian gamelan; at other times it brings to mind the push-and-pull of the rhythm elements of Charles Ives’ Symphony No. 4. Also unlike the blank, indifferent banality of post-war avant-garde architecture, this music is highly visceral, abstract as its highly dynamic progress may be. [Xenakis is incorporated into several experimental-but-visceral mixes at Musicophilia.]
Roy Budd – “Goodbye Carter” (1971)
This soundtrack and Budd’s ‘Diamonds’ are two of the coolest British soundtracks, and this track captures it all: jazz-ish upright bassline, tabla, great echoing harpsichord (?), electric piano, and fantastic production with plenty of space in the staging. This track was featured in the most recent ‘Le Tour du Monde’ mix at Musicophilia; if you like this track, it’s a good bet you’ll dig the mix–and keep your ears open, further installments are coming soon, after a hiatus from the wonderful world of the funky 70s.
Stevie Wonder – “All Day Sucker” (1976)
You just can’t fuck with Stevie Wonder. Unless, I guess, you’re the woman to whom this song is directed. From a 7″ appended to a double-LP (who else could pull that off?) but running circles around most anybody else’s title track, “All Day Sucker” is proof, if any is needed, that everybody with good ears listened to Wonder, including weirdo post-punkers who’d try messing around with similar squelchy synths and percussive instruments and grooving basslines a few years later. [Stevie Wonder is featured in one of my favorite mixes at Musicophilia.]