OSCOMIX020 - Admir Korjenic

 
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The DJ, producer, and owner of the Bergen based label 'Maksimal' selected one hour of ambient, abstract and electronic music from all over the world for the 20th Osco mix!

Track-by-track commentary by the selecter:


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1. TELEPHONES – 147 STARS

A good friend of mine, it's nice to see him doing so well. He might be more renowned for his balearic and proto-house excursions, but that doesn't take anything away from this masterpiece. A stunning ambient track with a lot of his own field recordings as well. It flows like water and twinkles like the stars. A simple repeating melody with lot's of layers on it. One of my favourite Telephones tracks, and that says a lot.

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2. STEIN URHEIM – WATCH THE VIEW

The Hubro label release a lot of great contemporary music from composers and musicians from Norway and this is no exception. I'm not overly fond of guitars, so if something makes the cut, it has to be something really special. This one definitely fits that category. What really impresses me is his understanding of space, the track is much more about the acoustics, echo and what he actually doesn't play. I love that. It feels really big, even though it's just some guitars and effects.

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3. MICHAL TURTLE – MAID OF THE MIST

You've got to hand it to Music From Memory people – they really know their history. And I love the fact that they are exploring a parallell history – one where a lot of these records would have had more success and some of these musicians might have been stars. One of the things that impress me the most about Michal Turtle is how effortlessly he fuses a lot of different musical traditions. I mean, there's a bit of africa here, a bit of pop, a bit of jazz, a bit of experimental music, a bit wave, a bit house – basically everything but nothing is out of place. I really can't fanthom how you can do that and without sounding cheezy. Brilliant.

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4. RAMZi – FOR VANDA

I'm still waiting for a mediocre Mood Hut record and I'm quite sure that will never happen. The consistent level of releases is unbelievable. RAMZi here is for me everything that is great about contemporary electronic music - she has a wide range of influences, but still manages to sound unique and fresh. Sure, there's a bit of african and middle eastern traditions there, but she doesn't overdo it. She also uses quite a lot of grain delay and processing on her field recordings and drums and it sounds wild and absorbing. You're never sure what might happen next. I love that.

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5. JON HASSELL/BRIAN ENO – CHEMISTRY

When I was picking out these records I suddenly realised I was on a serious trip. For Christs sake, there's even some jazz-fusion here! Anyway, this mix has a “world music” feel to it, even though I really hate that label. And when you're mixing so many traditions and sounds, it's hard not to think of this classic. Probably one of the best records, period. Even though Brian Eno was barely involved in this track, Jon Hassell's trumpet playing is amazing. As with Stein Urheim – there's a great appreciation of space between sounds and that's really what makes this such a great track. You could listen to it for hours without being bored. That's a quality I'm often looking for in music. 

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6. BETWEEN – STATE OF SOUND

I'm a sucker for everything that is remotely kraut-ish or influenced by krautrock (all the krautrock artists hated that term btw) Anyway, I picked this record up at Platesjappa in Lillestrøm, a great little vintage record shop. For some reason they have a lot of great wave, kraut and jazz records. Even though this sounds more like something for the Middle East, it still has that quality that impresses me most about krautrock artists – no matter how spacious, cold or vast the tracks are, they still groove like hell. This one does too.

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7. MICHAEL CHAPMAN – AFRICA

Unlike most of the other records in this mix, the rest of this record is a mess. Too much guitars, too many solos, too many sounds that make no sense and don't fit in. Too much reverb, too much melodies. You get the point. However, this one track more than makes up for it. A super simple, glassy kind of synth melody and some polyrhythmic drums keep it moving forward as guitars and effects enter and dissappear. If only the rest of the record was as good as this track.

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8. RAMUNTCHO MATTA – MARIMBULA

I have issues with some traditional Brazilian music. It either sounds too happy or too crazy. It tends to be overstuffed with too much horns, too much drums and too much guitars. Sounds like a cartoon on speed. While this isn't a record from Brazil, it has many of the same traits, with an avant-garde feel to it. It's composed by Miguel Echaurren and played by an Uruguayan percussionist called Negrito Trasante and a Cuban trumpet player called Guillermo Fellove as well as the Brazilian Cacau De Queiroz on baritone saxophone. I played the whole track at Double Rainbow in Århus and people even started dancing, one of my personal favourites even though it's a bit crazy.

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9. WEATHER REPORT – THE PURSUIT OF THE WOMAN WITH THE FEATHERED HAT

Jazz-fusion sounds something you want to throw up after a late night out. Most of the time it is. Most of this record is a bit too much as well, however, the lead track more than makes up for it. Featuring legends like Peter Erskine on drums, Wayne Shorter on saxophone and the late Jaco Pastorius on bass, it really has everything. Sounds a bit like a jam they might have done at an afterparty in Africa. Groovy, with just enough juice flowing through it. Initially I thought Sting did the vocals in the end there, but no. Just the dudes.

 

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10. CAN – HALLELUWAH

The greatest band ever. Period. I just felt bad that I didn't have room for the whole track. That's my only regret. There's so many great things about this track I don't know where to start. The lyrics that make no sense in any language known to man. The insane groove and rhythm that seem to repeat itself, but always with slight changes here and there. Great, subtle use of echo and perfect, human feel to it. I'm allergic to most guitar-playing, but this is definitely an exception. Just a lot of fun. R.I.P Jaki and Holger.

 

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11. KOUROSH YAGHMAEI – REYHAN

Considered by many to be the godfather of rock in Iran, he was unfortunately deprived of his basic rights as a musician and human being and was tortured, imprisoned and beaten. His music was banned for 17 years as he struggled through Khomeinis Islamist regime. This track is probably a quintessential Kourosh track with his thick, full voice floating over a superb groove and THOSE drums. They are so perfectly tuned, so tight and dry it makes me cry. I have heard a lot of technically proficient drummers but few who can tune their drums as well as they can play them. Changiz Farjad obviously does.

 

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12. DEUTER – THE KEY

Back to the world of kraut. This is probably one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen. Thankfully the record itself is also pretty great. After the vocal-heavy three tracks I needed something else and something more distant to bring the mix to a close afterwards, so this fits perfectly. Sounds like glass being broken, run through a space echo delay but it's probably not. Sounds like something aliens could have made. Not of this world. Can't believe they had the balls to make a track like this in 1972. Respect.

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13. ARIEL KALMA – ECSTACY MUSICAL MIND YOGA

Unbelievable artwork, unbelievable artist, unbelievable music. Jazz musician who got tired of the music in Europe. Moved to India, discovered ragas and drones and went on his own journey fusing jazz, drones, ragas, ambient music and experimental music. Simply great. Here he plays his saxophone, but hardly in any traditional sense. He holds some of the notes ridiculously long but that only adds up to the suspense, before releasing it. Even though he repeats the same ideas and motifs over and over it never gets boring. A genius.

 

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14. RUDI VALDERSNES – UNTITLED B2

Rudi was commissioned by Ekko festival in Bergen to do a piece based on the principles of Terry Riley and the minimalists of the 70s and 80s. Most people would be terrified but Rudi went about his buiness as usual. Lots of practice, lots of repetition. He learned to play his modular drum machine Vermona DRM MK2 and built his own marimba of drift wood from Hardanger. He performed the piece live at Østre where I was working as a producer. On a dare I suggested we record the piece just in case. We listened to it afterward and quickly agreed that it sounded amazing. A perfect blend of dance music, contemporary music and some weird norwegian traditions. So we sent the live recording to London and that's this record. Even though this track is less complex than A1 and B1, it has a mellow quality and I thought would be a good bridge between Kalmas drones and Vangelis' keys.

 

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15. VANGELIS – RÉVE

I don't know much more you can say about Vangelis that hasn't already been said. Simply put, one of my all time favourite artists ever. My ex-girlfriend picked this up for me in Portugal and I couldn't belive my luck as it's probably one of his best records. Moody, melancholic, dreamy and mellow. The perfect end.