August 20, 2010 Playlist

"Hymnen" by Karlheinz Stockhausen (1969)
Karlheinz Stockhausen  "Hymnen"  1969 (Germany)
The late great Karlheinz Stockhausen was born on August 22 in 1928, so every year we delve into the daunting sound world of this influential genius.  Hymnen ("Anthems") is one of Stockhausen's masterpieces, consisting of two hours of electronic tape music in four-channel surround sound.  The building blocks of the piece are national anthems from around the world, manipulated in all sorts of bizarre ways.  One of the most fascinating sequences involves a melody that turns into the sound of birds, and then into a duck that quacks the French national anthem!!  Recorded during 1966-67 and released on LP in 1969, this piece may have been the key influence on The Beatles' notoriously avant-garde "Revolution #9".  Indeed, if you compare the two it's easy to think of the Beatles piece as an attempt to squeeze Hymnen into the pop single format ("Revolution #9" was originally intended as the B-side to the "Revolution #1" single -- until McCartney came up with "Hey Jude" for the A-side instead, and so they recorded a hard rocking remake of the non-avant-garde "Revolution" for the B-side.)
Here's a bit of a documentary introduction to one of the most controversial characters in 20th century music.  And here's some annotated clips of his very modernistic compositions:  "Elektronische Musik Studie I" was a very early example of pure electronic music, and perhaps his most famous piece is the choral-electronic masterwork "Gesang Der Junglinge".  He also composed for traditional instruments as well:  "Klavierstuck IX" is a solo piano piece in which one chord is played for a very long time!  And finally, here's a few minutes of "Hymnen".
(N) = New Release
(R) = Listener Request

Artist Song Album Year (label) Country
Serpentina Satelite Sangre De Grado
   / Mecanica Celeste
Mecanica Celeste (N) 2010 (Rocket) Peru
Endless Boogie
Empty Eye Full House Head (N) 2010 (No Quarter) USA
Funkadelic (R) Let's Take It To The People Tales Of Kidd Funkadelic 1976 USA
Funkadelic (R) Better By The Pound Let's Take It To The Stage 1975 USA
Funkadelic (R) Hardcore Jollies Hardcore Jollies 1976 USA
Magic Lantern Showstopper (Iron Knowledge) A-side 7" single
   / Platoon
(bonus track on CD version) (N)
2010 (Not Not Fun) USA
Evil New War God The Bride Screamed Murder (N) 2010 (Ipecac) USA
No Gitar Stuffed (N) 2009 (Seeland) USA
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Revolution's A Lie Before Today (N) 2010 (4AD) USA
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers That Summer Feeling (R) Jonathan Sings 1983 USA
Sylvester Anfang II Offerbloed Van De Maansekte split 7" with Burial Hex 2008 Belgium
Second Family Band Side A (excerpt) Veiled Gallery (N - cassette) 2010 (Brave Mysteries) USA
Dead Luke
Luke Is Not Dead American Haircut (N) 2010 (Florida's Dying) USA
MV & EE Anyway Drone Trailer 2008 USA
Wand Agent Of Destruction Born Bad 2009 USA
Sleepy Sun Marina Fever (N) 2010 (All Tomorrow's Parties) USA
Tokyo Police Club
Bambi Champ (N) 2010 (Mom & Pop) Canada
Change A Sufi And A Killer (N) 2010 (Warp) USA
Tobacco (from Black Moth Super Rainbow) Stretch Your Face Maniac Meat (N) 2010 (Anticon) USA
You Do Voodoo Make It Real (N) 2010 (Not Not Fun) USA
Black Tempest   Invisible Moon Ex Proxima (N) 2010 (Tempest Towers) UK
Kraftwerk Morgenspaziergang Autobahn 1974 Germany
Karlheinz Stockhausen Hymnen, 3rd Region (excerpt) Hymnen
1969 Germany
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