Full Moon Mix: Made To Measure

Made To Measure is one of the most comprehensive series of experimental music out there, and it’s certainly one of the most intriguing. Between 1984 and 1995 the Belgian label Crammed Discs released 36 volumes featuring a variety of artists, from avantgarde icons like Fred Frith and John Lurie to lesser known composers like Hector Zazou and Yasuaki Shimizu.

After a hiatus of over 10 years the series was revived in 2006 and is presently counting 42 volumes. What do all these albums have in common? According to Crammed Discs Made To Measure is “a collection of aural garments that have or could have been commissioned as soundtracks”. Indeed, most of the albums have a distinct soundtrack feel, though some weren’t written for the screen, but rather for ballet or performances.

The Made To Measure series mainly consists of instrumental music, ranging from ambient and tribal to neo-classical and jazz. A central figure contributing to this stylistic diversity is the Belgian electronic artist Benjamin Lew. Besides his wonderful solo album Nebka he also recorded three collaboration albums for the Made To Measure series, one with Samy Birnbach, leader of the Israeli group Minimal Compact, and two with Sam Brown, saxophonist of Tuxedomoon.

Benjamin Lew’s criminally underrated output serves as the guiding thread on our round trip through the Made To Measure universe. On our way we encounter the pioneering turntablism piece Scratch Holiday by Aksak Maboul, we hear an excerpt of the tribal ballet piece Pretty Ugly by Peter Scherer and Arto Lindsay, we listen to the Philip Glass like minimalism of Daniel Schell & Karo, and delve into the Desert Equations of Sussan Deihim and Richard Horowitz, before we end our journey in dissonance with John Lurie.

Download

1. Benjamin Lew – Comme Tout Embue, Tout Danse
Nebka – Made To Measure Vol. 17, 1988

2. Aksak Maboul – Scratch Holiday
Made To Measure Vol. 1, 1984

3. Benjamin Lew & Steven Brown – Bamako Ou Ailleurs
Douzième Journée: Le Verbe, La Parure, L’Amour – Made To Measure Vol.15, 1988

4. Samy Birnbach & Benjamin Lew – The Wheel
When God Was Famous – Made To Measure Vol. 19, 1989

5. Peter Scherer & Arto Lindsay – Pretty Ugly (Excerpt)
Pretty Ugly – Made To Measure Vol. 23, 1990

6. Daniel Schell & Karo – Un Celte
If Windows They Have – Made To Measure Vol. 13, 1986

7. Benjamin Lew & Steven Brown – Profondeurs Des Eaux Des Laques
A Propos D’Un Paysage – Made To Measure Vol. 16, 1985

8. Sussan Deihim & Richard Horowitz – Desert Equations
Desert Equations: Azax Attra – Made To Measure Vol. 8, 1986

9. John Lurie – Sixties Avant-Garde
Music From The Original Scores: Stranger Than Paradise And The Resurrection Of Albert Ayler, Made To Measure Vol. 7, 1985

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Full Moon Mix: Walk With Jesus

This mix preaches the gospel in many different ways: apart from afroamerican choirs we hear the Agnus Dei of the folkloristic Argentinian mass Missa Criola, an excerpt of a psychedelic rock mass by The Electric Prunes, a fragment of the Rock Requiem by Lalo Schifrin, a xian songwriter called John Ylvisaker and the DIY gospel genius Otis G. Johnson who’s using a beat machine to accompany his praises of the lord.

Download

1. The Pilgrim Travelers – Poor Pilgrim Of Sorrow
Look Up (Andex, 1957)

2. Los Fronterizos & Cantoría De La Basílica Del Socorro – Agnus Dei
Missa Criola (Philips, 1965)

3. Lalo Schifrin – Gradual
Rock Requiem (Verve, 1971)

4. The Electric Prunes – Holy Are You
Release Of An Oath (Reprise, 1968)

5. Otis G. Johnson – Walk With Jesus
Everything – God Is Love 78 (Holy Spirit, 1978; reissue by Numero Group, 2013)

6. John Ylvisaker – Joseph
A Love Song (Avant Garde Records, 1968)

7. Cyndee Peters – Wayfaring Stranger
Black Is The Color (Opus 3 Records, 1977)

8. Eddie Bonnemere & Robert E. Bornemann – Agnus Dei
Missa Laetare (Fortress Records, 1969)

9. Louis Armstrong – Motherless Child
Louis And The Good Bock (Decca, 1958)

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Full Moon Mix: Shellac Blues

The ghostly hiss on this mix tells that these songs have travelled a long way. In fact, they go back almost a hundred years. With this compilation we take a closer look at the very beginning of recording history. All of these tracks were produced in the late 1920s, when shellac served as a medium to spread the emerging sounds of blues and jazz.

On our journey into the golden age of the blues we meet the ghosts of Clara Smith, billed as The Queen of the Moaners, Bessie Smith, known The Emperess of the Blues, and Jimmie Rodgers aka The Yodelling Brakeman. We listen to the soulful laments of the immortal blind bluesmen: Blind Willie McTell, Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Blind Willie Johnson. And of course there’s the obstetricians of jazz: King Oliver and The Duke.

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1. Clara Smith – Ease It (Columbia, 1926)

2. Duke Ellington and His Orchestra – The Mooche (Okeh, 1929)

3. Hokum Boys – Gamblers Blues (Paramount, 1929)

4. Kelly Harrell – The Cuckoo She’s A Fine Bird (Victor, 1926)

5. Blind Willie McTell – Stole Rider Blues (Victor, 1927)

6. Blind Blake – Georgia Bound (Paramount, 1929)

7. Blind Lemon Jefferson – See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (Paramount, 1928)

8. Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was The Night (Columbia, 1928)

9. Mississippi John Hurt – Stack O’Lee Blues (Okeh, 1929)

10. Lillian Glinn – Shake It Down (Columbia, 1928)

11. King Oliver and His Orchestra – West End Blues (Columbia, 1928)

12. Edith Johnson – Nickel’s Worth of Liver Blues (Paramount, 1929)

13. Bessie Smith – Take It Right Back (Columbia, 1929)

14. Ike Rodgers – Screenin’ The Blues (Paramount, 1929)

15. Memphis Jug Band – Memphis Yo Yo Blues (Victor, 1929)

16. Jimmie Rodgers – Never No Mo’ Blues (Victor, 1929)

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Halloween Mix: O.S.T. For An Imaginary Horror Movie

A little late for the full moon of October but just in time for Halloween our monthly mix is finally ready. It’s a soundtrack for an imaginary horror movie that has been recomposed out of a variety of movie scores, a few library records and a rock opera. The movie we have in our minds isn’t a splatter movie, but rather a spooky thriller that slowly builds tension, as if directed by a scholar of John Carpenter.

We imagine the following scene: On Halloween a small town is haunted by strange incidents. Mirrors are breaking and devices are crashing. Rumours about a dreadful slasher foster the suspense that lies in the air. Fog looms heavily over the cars that are parked amidst fallen leaves. We visit a smoky barroom and an eerie dungeon. On a creepy graveyard occult seances are held. We see love and hate collide. Good fights evil and we’re not sure who wins, but the ending seems rather sad.

Download

1. Thomas Fehlmann – Prolog
Der Kuss des Tigers, WEA, 1988

2. John Carpenter – Main Title
Halloween, Celine Records, 1983

3. Irmin Schmidt – Der Tote bin ich (Solo)
Filmmusik, Spoon Records, 1980

4. Bernard Fevre – Skeeze
Suspense, Musax, 1975

5. Vangelis – Chromatique
Opera Sauvage, Polydor, 1979

6. Hero Wouters – Voorstudie Fiction
Fiction, Herophone, 1981

7. Arsen Gedik & Christian Bonneau – Drama
Dreams And Nightmares, Musical Touch Sound, 1982

8. Eddy Orini – Wind Palace
Geniusland Is Geniuslight, TCB Records, 1985

9. James Horner – The Scriptorium
Der Name der Rose, Teldec, 1986

10. Luis Bacalov – Voci Nella Città Delle Donne
La Citta’ Delle Donne, CAM, 1980

11. Laurie Anderson – Angel Fragments
Wings Of Desire, Mute, 1981

12. Michael Shrieve & Patrick Gleeson – Denise
Bedroom Window, Varèse Sarabande, 1986

13. Tangerine Dream – Dr. Destructo
The Tief, Virgin, 1981

14. François De Roubaix – Plongée De Glace
L’Antarctique, WéMè Records, 2009 (recorded ca. 1973)

15. George Dunning – Wail For A Village
The Devil At 4 O’Clock, Colpix, 1962

16. Eleni Karaindrou – Song
Music For Films, ECM, 1991

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Full Moon Mix: Robots Are Coming

As science fiction slowly turns into reality, we’re more and more surrounded by intelligent machines. A few decades ago robots were still mainly a pop-cultural fantasy, which was prominently introduced into music by Kraftwerk. The release of The Man Machine entailed dozens of songs dealing with artificial intelligence.

This mix demonstrates how robots we’re taking over pop music in the early 80s. The topics addressed by the vocoder voices featured in these songs seem strangely contemporary. We hear androids say ‘Gimme your job!’, encounter a nurse robot caring for a baby, get introduced to a computer who likes bananas and witness party machines taking over the discotheque.

Download

1. The Android Sisters – Robots Are Coming
Songs Of Electronic Despair, Vanguard, 1984

2. Mythos – Nurse Robot
Quasar, Sky Records, 1980

3. Der Plan – Ich Bin Ein Komputer
Normalette Surprise, Ata Tak, 1981

4. Patrick Cowley – Mutant Man
Mind Warp, Metronome, 1980

5. Kraftwerk – The Robots vs. Die Roboter (Bilingual Edit)
Die Mensch-Maschine / The Man Machine, EMI Electrola / Capitol, 1978

6. Bruce Haack – Party Machine
The Electric Voice, Stones Throw, 2010 (recorded 1983)

7. Trans Volta – Disco Computer
Disco Computer, Vogue, 1979

8. Laurie Anderson – O Superman (For Massenet)
Big Science, Warner, 1981

9. Klaus Schulze – Death Of An Analogue
Dig it, Brain, 1980

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Full Moon Mix: MPB

While the athletes have been chasing records in Rio we’ve been listening to records from Brazil. This mix is an attempt to trace the evolution of the Música Popular Brasileira (MPB). We start off with some breezy Bossa Nova, ride up the Amazon to encounter the mysticism of Brazilian folk music, and finally plunge into the golden age of Tropicália.

Download

1. João Donato – Vento Do Canavial
The New Sound Of Brazil, RCA Victor, 1965

2. Astrud Gilberto – Agua De Beber
The Astrud Gilberto Album, Verve Records, 1965

3. Rosinha Da Valencia – Thema Pro Luis
Folklore E Bossa Nova Do Brasil, SABA, 1967

4. José Barrense-Dias – Itapicuruassu
Isto E Brasil, M Records, 1977

5. Quinteto Violado – Acauã
Quinteto Violado, Philips, 1972

6. Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’77 – Promessa De Pescador
Primal Roots, A&M Records, 1972

7. Erasmo Carlos  – Cachaça Mecânica
1990 – Projeto Salva Terra!, Philips, 1974

8. Antonio Carlos E Jocafi – Kabaluere
Mudei De Idéia, RCA Victor, 1971

9. Mutantes – Ando Meio Desligado
A Divina Comédia Ou Ando Meio Desligado, Philips, 1970

MPB Covers

Full Moon Mix: Children Of The New World

This mix is dedicated to all the children who were born under the last full moon. May they live long and prosper.

Download

1. Daevid Allen & Euterpe – Children Of The New World
Good Morning, Virgin 1976

2. Tunng – Mother’s Daughter
Mother’s Daughter And Other Songs, Static Caravan 2005

3. Bill Callahan – Baby’s Breath
Apocalypse, Drag City 2011

4. Curtis Mayfield – Little Child Running Wild
Super Fly, Curtom 1972

5. Ramases – Life Child
Space Hymns, Vertigo 1971

6. The Comfortable Chair – Child’s Garden
The Comfortable Chair, Ode Records 1968

7. Nancy Sinatra – Friday’s Child
Nancy In London, RCA 1966

8. The Zombies – Summertime
The Zombies, Parrot 1965

9. Nina Simone – Brown Baby
At The Village Gate, Colpix Records 1962

Children Of The New World Covers