Aug 20, 2017

Sundaze 1734

Hello, the Vuelta started yesterday, that's 3 weeks of  ole!

Today's Artist is a DJ, musician, journalist, and self-described "international cheerleader of ambient," who has been one of the most visible -- and most active -- proponents of new ambient and electronic music. As renowned for his inventive, wide-casting DJ sets as for his original works under the Irresistible Force name, his influence on the direction of post-rave electronica has been enormous. From his relentless tour schedule, weekly playlists, and monthly release reviews to his extensive website chronicling the evolution of ambient and experimental electronic music, Morris has helped bring a whole range of otherwise obscure artists (from Terre Thaemlitz to Photek; from Ken Ishii to Robert Rich) to a wider audience. And while his holographic suits, Zippy connections, and soundbite approach to musical evangelism might seem a bit ridiculous, his commitment to the music and the quality of his ongoing contribution is undeniable. ....N'Joy

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Mixmaster Morris (born Morris Gould, 30 December 1965) is an English ambient DJ and underground musician. Relating specifically to ambient music, Morris stated "It's exactly what you need if you have a busy and stressful life".

Morris Gould was born in Brighton, Sussex, England, but grew up in Lincolnshire and was educated at Millfield in Somerset, and King's College London. At 15 he founded a punk rock band, The Ripchords, whose sole release, an eponymous EP with four tracks, was championed by the BBC Radio One DJ John Peel. After leaving university, he got his start as a DJ in the early '80s -- not in warehouse party chill rooms, but in dive-bar punk clubs spinning experimental rock, jazz, electronic, and other assorted weirdness in between bands. Eventually taking his deck proficiency and rapidly expanding record collection to pirate station Network 21 (where he worked with Jonathan More and Matt Black of Coldcut), Morris earned his nickname from his eclectic "Mongolian Hip Hop Show" , during which he might pair Terry Riley with Tibetan monks or Captain Beefheart with Amazonian field recordings. After finishing college in the mid-'80s, Morris worked in computer systems administration before forming Irresistible Force with friend Des de Moor in 1987. The pair played clubs and toured with Meat Beat Manifesto, eventually releasing a single before Morris dissolved the partnership in 1989. Retaining the Mixmaster name, Morris became involved with the emerging UK acid house scene, after organising Madhouse at The Fridge, Brixton in 1988 – which was the subject of a piece by Peel in The Observer. A show with the band Psychic TV led to him becoming full-time DJ with The Shamen, and touring with them on their 'Synergy' tours for nearly two years, meanwhile organizing London's first ambient club events, Telepathic Fish

Although Morris had experimented with real-time tape loops and low-rent electronics since the mid-'80s, it wasn't until the early '90s that he began to seriously pursue recording. He released his first full-length work, Flying High, on the Rising High label, and recorded a celebrated collaboration with Frankfurt ambient composer Pete Namlook, Dreamfish. Both albums landed Morris at the forefront of the new ambient movement -- a position he graciously accepted -- and a string of remix work for the likes of Coldcut, the Shamen, Barbarella, Rising High Collective, and Higher Intelligence Agency followed. Growing problems with his label, however, would plague Morris into the recording of his second album, which was delayed for two years. Following the release of Global Chillage in 1995, Morris dissolved his relationship with Rising High and began recording for old friends Coldcut on their Ninja Tune label. After a period of legal problems the third album It's Tomorrow Already came out on Ninja Tune. He also collaborated with SF-based musician Jonah Sharp and Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra he made the album Quiet Logic for the Japanese label Daisyworld.

In 1990, he made one of the first chillout compilations, Give Peace a Dance 2: The Ambient Collection for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, followed by the series Chillout or Die for Rising High Records. A mix tape for Mixmag shared with Alex Patterson was also released as a CD. The Morning After became his first major-label mix album, followed by Abstract Funk Theory for Obsessive. Through the 1990s he was a regular DJ in the chill out room at Return to the Source parties in London, around the UK and abroad. In 2003 he released the mix CD God Bless the Chilled for the Return to the Source Ambient Meditations series.

In the early 1990s his key residencies were alongside the Detroit masters at Lost, Megatripolis at London's Heaven, and also the Tribal Gathering parties. He became known for wearing holographic suits, produced by the company Spacetime, which he modelled for Vogue magazine. Throughout the decade, Morris wrote about electronic music for the NME, Mixmag, and i-D. He was resident on Kiss FM for several years, and then a regular on Solid Steel, the Ninja Tune syndicated radio show. He made his film debut in Modulations (Caipirinha Films), and his music was used in a number of other films including Groove and Hey Happy.

In 1998 he joined the UK's Ninja Tune record label, with whom he toured as a DJ and made three releases. 1999 saw him win 'Best Chillout DJ' at the Ibiza DJ Awards at Pacha, Ibiza, and in 2001 he won the title for a second time, becoming the first DJ to achieve this. He has appeared in many lists of the worlds top DJ's including the Ministry of Sound book The Annual and 2003's DJs by Lopez, and URB Magazine's Top 100 DJ list. Morris records regular radio shows for the Japanese internet radio station Samurai FM. In 2006 he started a new club at the Big Chill House in Kings Cross, London, and did a guest mix for BBC Radio 1's The Blue Room show. His essay about jazz was published in the book, Crossfade, and he made a one-off appearance reading it aloud.

Morris has produced many remixes since 1985, including Coldcut's "Autumn Leaves". This remix was nominated by Norman Cook as his favourite chillout track on BBC Television. His mix for INXS was a Top 20 hit in the UK. Other early remixes were of Lloyd Cole, Dave Howard Singers, Bang Bang Machine, Stump, Higher Intelligence Agency, Sven Vath and Rising High Collective. The Mixmaster has played in over fifty countries at nightclubs and parties, and particularly music festivals such as the Full Moon parties in the Mojave Desert, Glastonbury Festival, Rainbow 2000 and Mother SOS in Japan, Chillits in Northern California, and Berlin's Love Parade. He also ran the downtempo night Nubient in Brixton. In 1995, he played at the first The Big Chill festival, and then became a resident for the next 16 years.

In March 2007, together with Coldcut, he organised a tribute show to the writer and philosopher Robert Anton Wilson, which they performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. He also played in Goa for the first time with The Big Chill, and started a new residency at The Prince in Brixton. In May 2008 Morris undertook an ambient mix on BBC Radio 1, and put a The Irresistible Force band together to play at The Big Chill festival. In 2009, he compiled a podcast for Tate Britain to accompany their Altermodern exhibition, and opened a new AV night called MMMTV in Camden. The mix CD, Calm Down My Selector was released in January by Wakyo Records, and he made a tour of Japan to promote it. In 2010, he won another Ibiza DJ Award, for the third time. In October that year, he was announced as Head of A+R for Apollo Records. 2011 saw him rejoin Bestival as part of their "Ambient Forest" team.

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This is a wonderful soundtrack for some lucid dreaming or a spaceage cocktail party, while also having enough emotional heft and feeling to be stand-alone, focused listening. Namlook restrains some of his wandering and repetitive meanderings, and Morris clearly shows his avant-garde & experimental bent, pulling Namlook along on the way to turning out some of his best collaborative work. "School of Fish" instantly kicks (if that is possible on an ambient record!) into gear, twinkling and throbbing with a gentle melody and percussion that dances rather than dictates. A low bass swirls in the background, propelling in a most relaxed way. If you were to pick a track to show what FAX is capable of, it would be difficult to select better than this. "Hymn" trances (with a gratuitous Terence McKenna sample) along quickly, and seems a showcase for Namlook rather than Morris. "Fishology" has a delightful croaking noise that, to me, magnifies the fish element of the album, and sounds entirely unlike anything else I've heard on a FAX record. The final piece, Under Water returns the listen to the depths of the liquid ocean, the deeper depths. The feeling of floating with fragments of the previous piece still stable as one drifts deeper and deeper into a subtle tranquility. Let the Dream Fish take you deeper into Inner Space...

Pete Namlook n Mixmaster Morris - Dreamfish  (flac 340mb)

01 School Of Fish 18:26
02 Hymn 28:09
03 Fishology 9:25
04 Under Water 15:18

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Dreamfish 2's three tracks all have a unique feel. Better yet, Morris keeps Namlook from injecting his patented keyboard noodlings, although they do make an unfortunate (albeit mercifully brief) appearance in the last track. Highlight is "Submerge", its delicate spacey textures and subtle rhythms are vintage 90s ambient -- in a good way. The melody is 303-based but it's nice and not overdone. Great stuff.

Pete Namlook n Mixmaster Morris - Dreamfish 2 (flac  256mb)
01 Aquarium 24:33
02 Caviar 12:03
03 Submerge 24:23

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Mixmaster Morris together with SF-based musician Jonah Sharp (aka Spacetime Continuum) and Haruomi Hosono of Yellow Magic Orchestra created the album Quiet Logic in the YMO studios for the Japanese label Daisyworld.

Mixmaster Morris and Jonah Sharp ‎– Quiet Logic (flac 386mb)

01 Waraitake 17:54
02 Uchu Yuei (Swimming In Space) 9:34
03 Wakarimasen 7:01
04 Quiet Logic 7:45
05 Tsukimi (Moon Viewing) 8:55
06 Dr. Gauss / Yakan Hiko (Night Flight) 6:18

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Compiled by erstwhile downtempo DJ Mixmaster Morris, The Morning After is an impeccably solid collection of ambient and breakbeat techno, with many tracks only available on limited 12" releases before inclusion here. A possible highlight is "Sarcacid," a song recorded -- as Alroy Road Tracks -- by Tom Jenkinson, better known as Squarepusher. Near perfect mixing and tons of classics. Uplifting tracks. Serious tracks. Playful tracks. And memorable tracks. Mixmaster was a legend already when this came out. The "morning after" a night of hardcore dancing, there's nothing more melodic to ease that transition from night to day.

Mixmaster Morris presents The Morning After (flac 405mb)

01 Innersphere - Out Of Body 6:17
02 Icons - Repro House 4:32
03 Hector Zazou & Harold Budd - As Fast As I Could Look Away She Was Still There 4:04
04 T.Power - Indigo 3:26
05 Springheeled Jack - Flying Again 5:51
06 Plaid - Angry Dolphin 6:28
07 Subtropic - The M.H.T. 4:46
08 Appaloosa & Orbit - Nautilus 4:53
09 Photek - T'raenon 3:23
10 Soft Ballet - Ride (Global Communications Mix) 6:39
11 Foul Play - Night Moves 4:42
12 Dub Tractor - Scary Hh Loop 3:49
13 Reflections - Flowers For The Moonlight 4:41
14 Spacetime Continuum - String Of Pearls 3:25
15 Duke Of Harringay - Sarcacid Part 1 5:19

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Anonymous said...

Hi Rho

Can you please re-up the Dreamfish albums?

Thank you

Anonymous said...

goodday... would be amazing to see Mixmaster Morris & Jonah Sharp ‎– Quiet Logic re-upped again. Thnx!

apf said...

Thank you, Rho !