Sunday, March 6, 2011

PC presents - a mixtape made of my 010100010s

Hello all,

A few weeks ago in the midst of a paper I was writing on Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, I began obsessively compiling a mixtape; maybe doing so was a way of dealing with a lot of the feelings that writing about Zarqawi provoked.

This one had to fulfill all the cassette-era criteria: be about 90 minutes long, and 'work' as a sequence of songs and tracks, without the ability to beatmatch, cut or fade. Here it is: all tracks played in full at +/- 0, in the order that made sense to me, ear tested through three drafts that didn't quite work, and finally allowed to settle for a fortnight, before a final play to check and see if it holds up. I think it does.

The title is taken from a speech made by George W. Bush on September 6, 2004. It's so bizarre to think about those times now, in light of the carnage and stupidity and every other damned thing it involved (and involves). It was a time I found totally gutting, a gutting doubled by being utterly powerless to do anything. None of this context is audible – or is it? It's all in there somehow, I think. Well, I'm not sure, but as soon as I remove the mentions of Zarqawi, the mixtape feels incomplete. I'm willing to just let that one be. Hence that pic.

The only thing that makes these songs and tracks audibly a 'set' in any way is their personal relation to me; they're all compositions or contain 'something' that I can't get rid of, that's stayed with me. So then - a personal sound
spectrum, with slight hauntings, from one ssg to all you others. I hope you enjoy it.

9/6/04: 'We must take threats seriously before they fully materialize.' (Applause.)



  1. Impeccable selection, not sure about the verbage.

  2. Thanks Pete - a very soulful selection. Trying to place the 2nd track (Mala maybe?). This and Chris's Into Light mix most enjoyable.

  3. tat sprinkles track in the middle is dreamy.

  4. 19 minutes in and enjoying this so far PC. It's the first music i've actually listened to for a while but it's going down well.

  5. The Zarqawi context is immediately and undeniably apparent in your mixtape. As I hope my outrage at Nestlé's treatment of Ethiopia is in this spirograph I drew -

  6. Love this!
    Particularly the track the spoken word track at 1:11:00 - numb, isolated & distantly horrified by his own helplessness.

    Sounds like the bush years to me.

  7. @ Pinker than thou & hknbrk: fair cop, mea culpa... ...but this is certainly not the first time someone has made a dubious link to Zarqawi, nor is it the most dubious link made. But of all the dubious links, it's the one with the least political effects. Yes, but, it is a bit of a lobster on a telephone...

    @ millmeister: tracklist will be forthcoming in due course... it is a peverelist track, one of my faves of his.

  8. No apology needed, I should have been clearer. You piqued my intrest, and I was just being greedy wanting to read more on your take while I absorbed the mix. Thanks again.

  9. @ hknbrk: hmm, but you're right to raise it... what is the connection?

    Like I said, I take the pic out, it wants to go back in again.

    I guess it's just - I was really obsessed writing the paper on Z, but it tired me out mentally, and so I poured all that energy into the mixtape... rights if it's Zarqawi it should be Shackleton and Mordant Music all the way through, but I'll leave that to them, they're so good at it!

  10. @PC In fact if you just put in the picture without the explanation I'd find it easier to take. I don't think there's any harm in having a concept and of course mixes made with feeling and thought are rare and welcome. I just think it's best to allow listener to find whatever "hauntings" they may, whether they decode in a way you had in mind or not.

    As a slight aside, but related I think, I love David Lynch's description about his struggle with interviews where he explains that it takes him years to convert words, phrases, ideas and concepts into the fully realized expression of a film. No sooner is that done, than he's asked to break it back down into the words, phrases and concepts.

    Anyway, props on the Fatima Yamaha inclusion and looking forward to finding out what the track around 1:12 is.

  11. Hi, What's da sound begin 59:15' ? Just after Kraftwerk, Computer love. Thank !

  12. really excited about this. bring on the politics in music ... not just clever track names but actual concepts, idea, that challenge. people are gona say 'hippie' but i dont care. lets try to wake some of the zombies...

  13. @ Pinker than thou: I think I agree with you all the way :)

  14. Quality compilation PC. Really enjoyed it and looking forward to seeing the track list. A few gems in there for sure.


  15. Really great mix, it is probably a little bit more comprehensible then the lobster on a telephone.

    Looking forward to the track list too!

  16. Guys, guys what is the id of the track that starts at 14:22 ?

  17. The concept seems fair enough and the mix is more than fair. It's hard to explain how a certain idea inspires a work of art or a mixtape or what have you.

    I'd like to imagine that the female voice around 19:00 is Zarkawi's inner monologue. I'm not being cheeky- I think there is common ground between the mind of terrorists and angsty teens. "I'm 15 years old and I feel it's already too late to live" is unfortunately not too far off from jihadist fatalism.

    Anyway-Great mix.
    I'm surprised that you had the restraint not to put Blood on My Hands on the mix. Then again, maybe it's only Americans that conflate Iraq and 9/11. ha ha

  18. This is truly lovely, thank you PC

  19. Nice one Pinker than thou, that made me laugh.

    Tracklist pleeease!


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