NEEDLE EXCHANGE 021: An Exclusive Mix By … The Depreciation Guild

[Photo by Drew Reynolds]

Since The Depreciation Guild have a record release party in Brooklyn tonight and the band’s guitarist (Christoph Hochheim) used to DJ a radio show called “Vapor Trails,” we asked the guy to give us a Needle Exchange mix. What we didn’t expect was everything from underground beat conductors (Daedelux, Dimlite) to dashes of Ariel Pink, choice reissues and a street performer named the Space Lady. Oh, and as a bonus, we’ve also included a beat-heavy School of Seven Bells remix (scroll all the way down for that download).

The trio’s latest and-we-have-lift-off LP, Spirit Youth, is available now through Kanine.

Ralph Lundsten And The Andromeda All Stars – Alpha Ralpha Boulevard
The epic opener to this Swedish electronic music composer’s synth-heavy neon-fantasy Alpha Ralpha Boulevard. Makes me feel like I’m floating down a river of orange and pink sherbet:in space.

Daedelus – An Armada Approaches

Daedelus is one of those artists who’s developed such a distinct sound palette over the years, yet still finds new ways to contextualize them. The first track off his excellent new EP (Righteous Fists of Harmony) starts off with his signature 8-bit English horn (that’s the only way I could think to describe it) playing a slow-building melody that lets you know what you’re in for in the best way possible.

Dimlite – Kalimba Deathswamp/Kurt Feelings
I don’t even know how to begin describing this one, but it’s truly some of the most compelling, melodic dubstep/jazz craziness I’ve ever heard. Dimlite contrasts cold electronic sounds with the natural sound of kazoos, unprocessed vocals, clapping, and scotch tape to make for a track that’s as psychedelic as the EP’s cover.

Roberto Cacciapaglia – Quite Still
A recent discovery of mine, Roberto Cacciapaglia’s sheer diversity of releases is truly astounding. This track is off The Ann Steel Album, which he composed for a model of the same name. “Quite Still” is a melancholy “popera” jam, for umm:robots.

The Samps – F.X.N.C.

A track from Cole Marsden Greif-Neill’s new project (also of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti/Nite Jewel). A trill-happy, funky bass plays off a fat synth bass lick layered with tape hiss and lasers. Anyone who can pull off such a slap-heavy jam so well deserves recognition in my book.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Fright Night (Nevermore)
Like that segue? This might be my favorite song off the freshly-leaked Ariel Pink album. As solid as the album is it’s a bit frustrating to a super-fan like me in that it’s virtually all older tracks they redid as studio productions, but this song is an entirely new jam and it slays.

PC Worship Mutant Soul Band – Wake Up in the Dark and There’s Nothing Going On
For a brief period of time Justin Frye (PC Worship) sang for a post-hardcore band my brother and I were in called Tropic of Nelson. It wasn’t until years later that I finally caught a PC Worship set and it totally blew me away. Psyched-out, sludgy riffage that dissolves into a free-jazz noise freakout–truly a stoner’s delight.

The Association – The Time It Is Today
An excellent sunshine-pop band from California in the ’60s, this track reminds me of some of Love’s finest movements. That vocal harmony at the end of the verse always kills me.

The Space Lady aka “Suzy Soundz” – Major Tom
The Space Lady is a street performer who played on the streets of Boston, Cambridge, San Francisco and Berkeley in the ’70s. Originally a song by Peter Schilling, Space Lady’s version is a far more pared down and alien, a really bizarre contrast of humor and melancholy.

Svenne & Lotta – Roly Poly Girl

This is the B-side to the “Bang-A-Boomerang” single released by Svenne & Lotta, a Swedish pop duo from the late ’60s who are still active today. The Yamaha keyboard line right in the intro totally hooked me the first time i heard it and the synth solo in the middle continues to blow my mind. Such a perfect pop song.

Mahmoud Ahmed – Abbay Mado – Embwa Belew

Mahmound Ahmed, an Ethopian singer from the ’60s who recently enjoyed a resurgence of popularity due to the Ethiopiques series started by Buda Musique. This is the first track off his 1975 album Erè Mèla Mèla. I love that warbled organ sound in the background and his bone dry vocals and delivery.

Sudden Sway – Me Says Conscience (humsing)
It’s such a crime that this group isn’t a household name, but I guess that’s generally the case with bands that were just way too far ahead of their time. This is a track off their 1984 double single and computer program (??), which sounds like a mix of Magma, Kate Bush and Animal Collective. ‘Nuff said.