Words by Ryan Tabib (Music Librarian 23’24’)
KCSB’s music library is a holy grail for finding forgotten and underground albums but also an archive of some of the best parts of the slowly dying medium of CDs: art and liner notes. So to show some of our collection off, I took a bunch of different CDs, listened to them, and scanned the covers and KCSB reviews which I felt best showcased the variety within our library and just how cool our collection is. Hopefully, I can put you on to some cool new tracks, but if not enjoy the album art. And also this is top secret stuff since you probably can’t access our library since you don’t know the secret password. The door code is four digits and starts with a ‘9’ btw. The other three digits are the square root of the last FIVE digits of my social security number, rounded down. Hope you enjoy!
Mars Accelerator – Frankfurt: Telephonics (Color Coding and Directional Signals)
This album is cool, plain & simple. Mars Accelerator is a band out of Seattle, forming in the early 90s and gaining little traction throughout their span. It’s interesting because considering the time their music is pretty far from Grunge which was probably one of the more predominant music genres of the time, especially in Seattle. Instead, their music is more atmospheric, sometimes in the noisy sense and sometimes in more of a dreamy, ambient sense. The comments left by someone at the station when the album was added read “Awesome…not quite mellow. Not quite noisy, not quite experimental but fucken YOO-NEEK.” I think they’re spot on. Looking into the band online, it’s still such an interesting and satisfying experience to find little info on the band and the album yet it’s in our station’s collection somehow. Anyway…
Recommend If You Like: Slint, Black Midi
So Many Worlds – Rambient
Starting off some picks from our electronic section is So Many Worlds by the duo RAMBIENT.
The album is strange mixing the likes of electronic, rock, hip-hop, and even punk. It tries to do everything and while that may be its undoing, I really like the attempt they made in doing it. The album also boasts many features like from Flea of RHCP but also some smaller names to add vocals to the tracks. Ultimately the album was such a cool listen especially to randomly stumble upon.
RIYL: The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim
Bogdan Raczynski – Boku Mo Wakaran
Okay on to a personal favorite: Bogdan Raczynski’s Boku Mo Wakaran. Translating to “I Don’t Know Either” from Japanese, every layer of this album is extraordinarily fun, from the album cover to the untitled tracks. The album best falls under the genres of breakcore, drum and bass, and IDM, but takes it further with spoken word and field recording sporadically playing over the music. Like the KCSB review says, it’s super glitchy and will definitely surprise you with electronic drum beats I’m sure you’ve never heard before. My favorite songs are Untitled 3, Untitled 4, and Untitled 11.
RIYL: idk this one’s hard … beeps and boops I guess
The Sunshine Factory – Sugar EP
I was drawn to this album because I thought its cover was kind of funny, but ended up truly enjoying the Sunshine Factory’s sound. I think the comment left back in 2011 is pretty spot on, the band mixes the best elements of My Bloody Valentine and Secret Machines. The shoegaze noisiness is there, complemented by great vocals and melodies.
Even more interesting is that the band is out of Mobile, Alabama (of all places!) It’
s pretty awesome stumbling upon this EP randomly given how much I like it. There’s a breed of forgotten 2000s/2010s experimental rock albums that this definitely falls in.
RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Really any experimental noise rock
Warp Sampler 10
For their ten-year anniversary, Warp released this sampler on Matador Records, with a pretty stacked cast. The catalog of songs shows off Warp’s breadth of artists and genres with some amazing mixes of various IDM and ambient tracks. My fav is Aradian by Link (mixed by Mogwai). I’ve been trying to explore the compilation albums in our library more recently and this was a super fun find. I always find record label samplers and comps to be one of the best ways to explore new genres.
RYM: Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Four Tet, Sweet Trip but only if you like the album Velocity: Design: Comfort