Monday, November 26, 2012

The Hex Factor 2012

After my own False Consciousness diversion, Sonic Truth once again proudly hosts the latest Hex Factor year-end mix of danceable rock goodness by DJ Corky. These are his words:

If the Mayans/conspiracy theorists are right, this is the year the world ends and you have but days to listen to the Hex Factor 2012, this year’s mix of the records that moved me like no others.

2012 has been another year of doom and gloom - continuing austerity, spending cuts and wage freezes, freak weather and floods, celebrity paedophiles and political sleaze, the never-ending wars, enlivened by hell freezing over as City won the league.

This year took me to places I’ve never been before, including Eastbourne in winter, not a pretty sight! Musically I made some new discoveries, including Pop 1280, Savages, Soft Moon and Haxan Cloak (not included here for reasons of track length, but well worth checking out). I think this is the first year that a cover version made the Hex Factor and it was also the first time I’ve eaten gluten-free wedding cake.

Old favourites Factory Floor, School of Seven Bells and a resurgent Jon Spencer Blues Explosion continue to delight. For the second year running, Blackest Ever Black is my label of the year and the event at Corsica Studios has already been blogged so I won’t harp on about it here.

If you are reading this, I’m assuming you don’t watch the X-Factor, but if you are, I hope it’s because you actually enjoy it and not just so you can spend Saturday night filling up my twitter timeline with your oh so ironic comments.

Remember to dress in black, wear pointy shoes and don’t take sweets from Jimmy Savile.

Download from dropbox here.

You can buy the individual tracks on vinyl from your local record store, digitally via your MP3 purveyor of click through to the bands’ websites

The Soft Moon / Factory Floor / CREEP / O Children / Crystal Castles / A Place to Bury Strangers / Kontravoid / Mark Lanegan / VCMG / Pop.1280 / Powell / Cut Hands / Liars / Tindersticks / Erol Alkan / Ike Yard / Tropic of Cancer / Midnight Davis / Chapman Family / Deathface / JSBX / Savages / Haxan Cloak

and here's his Hex Factor 2011.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mix: 3-for-2 on False Consciousness

Part 1 Part 2

So it's all there: streaming and gleaming, forget all other christmas party options with this cheeky all-rounder in play. Thoughts about it over here. Soundcloud page here. The network, the network. You have a listen. I'll move on to something else now.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Initial mix notes

* The completion of something vaguely artistically coherent, which started with a roll-call of 70-plus tracks in contention, in dire need of a narrative and proper slicing, dicing, mixing and fixing, inspires a rush of vanity. As does the playing again when out on the bus or back home from the pub in need of good sounds. It may not be perfect in terms of sound quality or technique, and some segues will make people laugh at the stupidity of the ideas, but it's my imperfect. Thus never let out of sight the fact that, though CDs with cover art + info are ripped for distro, the mix streamed on the web and the message broadcast on social media, this is a project PRIMARILY FOR MYSELF.

* Just as well, because the web is a busy place and there are proper djs out there whacking up good quality mixes (albeit usually contemporary, usually genre-specific - they lack my 'vision'!) every week.

* Many copies will be thrust into the hands of 'mates' who don't give a flying one about alternative dancey-hipster shit and go cold when they see a list of names they don't recognise. With others it won't fit into their 21st century entertainment modes of, for example, everything through the Apple TV.

* Yet if i get even a few compliments that'll do me. Those who do listen do so on good quality speakers or headphones. It is not optimised for tinny laptop or sodcaster smartphone.

* I'm still using Audacity, to go from MP3 to wav, and SoundStudio, basic sound editing software suited to these needs that came with the anglepoise Mac we bought nine years ago. Once it was done the mac, whose desktop as i write has now gone a nasty man u red indicating terminal decline, would not burn to disc so i used my phone as usb stick to put it onto a laptop, where many of the original tunes were located, that would.

* With that mac reluctant to save anything properly over a few MB (I processed it in four files totalling about 1,000MB once all the tracks were on) one of the many problems i encountered came after i had declared it a wrap and started burning CDs. An Uncle Jim track was at its mid-point when it cut back to the start. it wasnt too clumsy and his rhymes are always worth hearing so i thought of calling it a digital REWIND!

* But then I thought, sack it, 120 seconds of repetition can't be justified and so i went back to the file, cut it down and was able to get my originally desired finale on.

* That also brings to mind the hours wasted getting a decent cut of an old Rammellzee track. Initial vinyl rip had been poor quality, so i went trawling through the web for an MP3. Controls seem tighter these days on the freebie sites, so i signed up to a legit US hip-hop page, only for my paid-for download link not to work (u can stick your 99p). i then proceeded to ingratiate my IP address with just about every dodgy russian or otherwise MP3 host out there before i decided to try the vinyl again. Sound came though my midi fine, to end a maddening afternoon.

* I'll be honest enough to admit that much of it comes from the Boomkat digital warehouse, along with free D/Ls from the legal MP3 sites, but there is old vinyl where tracks I'd been listening to were seen to fit, and it's not all what we seem mostly to be calling electronica now. It's also very far from up to the minute; again, go to proper DJs for that. There is field music and other oddities too.

* There's one of mine on it as usual. I'll put a link so you can nab the full MP3. Brace y'sen.

* I hope that fucking mac reboots properly tomorrow or it's on to Plan B for the artwork.

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