In Rotation: Little White Earbuds' Steve Mizek on unreleased music | In Rotation | Chicago Reader

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In Rotation: Little White Earbuds' Steve Mizek on unreleased music

Plus: Reader digital content editor Tal Rosenberg on Fleetwood Mac, and promoter Mica Alaniz on 90s R&B

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Shadows by Floating Points
  • Shadows by Floating Points

Tal Rosenberg, Reader digital content editor, is obsessed with. . .

70s Fleetwood Mac performances on YouTube Chuck Eddy calls a 1976 performance of "World Turning" "Zeppelin disco." It's from an appearance on The Midnight Special, which also includes Stevie Nicks doing her best Linda-Blair-in-The Exorcist impression over a version of "Rhiannon" featuring Lindsey Buckingham in a Dalmatian-patterned kimono. A performance of "I'm So Afraid" from the same year at University of California-Santa Barbara sounds like Black Sabbath!

Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, Clear Spot Most singer-songwriters in the 70s have a weird outlier in their discography, their stab at something arty and experimental. Captain Beefheart made a career out of atonal mind-fucks, so his outlier is the most conventional and straightforward album he ever made, full of catchy, polished blues-rock. It might also be his best work.

Recent electronic EPs Specifically, in order of preference: Floating Points' Shadows, Burial's Kindred, and Todd Terje's It's the ARPs. Musically, the three have very little in common, but they're alike in that each EP is like one giant song, a suite of otherworldly and exciting ideas and sounds. I like the Floating Points best because it's the most abstract and tactile, like Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer's ECM reworking from last year slathered in jelly. The Burial would win if the first track were as epic as the two house-gospel-dubstep tracks that follow it.

He asks. . .

The Pittsburgh Track Authority
  • The Pittsburgh Track Authority

Steve Mizek, editor of the blog Little White Earbuds, proprietor of the Stolen Kisses and Argot labels, what he's obsessed with. . .

Live at Robert Johnson These days my favorite record label is LARJ, the label arm of the Offenbach (German) nightclub Robert Johnson. The newest imprint from the guys who founded Playhouse and Klang Elektronik, it has its own distinct identity as a safe place for technicolor melodies and Italo-influenced arrangements to mingle and play house. Twelve-inches by Roman Flügel, the Citizen's Band, Lauer, and Maxmillion Dunbar, as well as an exceptional mix series, have left me dazzled and inspired.

Pittsburgh Track Authority One of the most arresting new American EDM talents in recent memory, this Pittsburgh trio combine their years of experience in the dusty trenches of record shops to create thrilling house and techno tracks. Unlike many of today's producers who brazenly ape retro styles, PTA are informed by foundational sounds but offer a unique and contemporary aesthetic. Check the first single on their Pittsburgh Tracks label for proof of their exceptional songwriting.

Unreleased material Not to brag, but as the proprietor of two record labels I have artists sending me a fair amount of unreleased tracks for consideration. Now, not all of it is good—I'm still laughing about the vocal Eurotrance someone once sent me—but one sparkling gem in the tides of dreck makes it all worth it. There's just something exciting about listening to music no one else has heard yet.

He asks. . .

Monica's "Don't Take It Personal"
  • Monica's "Don't Take It Personal"

Mica Alaniz, promoter, Signal Chicago club night what she's obsessed with.

R&B singles from 1995-1998 If the ages 10-13 are at all formative, radio hits from then should be so indelibly etched into your subconscious that you have to sing along when you hear them years later. Oddly, this particular itch is one that only YouTube videos consumed in two­-hour binges can scratch. Remembering that between Monica's "Don't Take It Personal" and Next's "Too Close" there's Missy, TLC, Aaliyah, and Boyz II Men makes me wonder what vortex Babyface disappeared into.

The Three H's: Hyperdub, Hotflush, and Hessle Audio Signal aims to bring Chicago a sound that's far ahead of what you'll hear anywhere else. In order to find that sound, I'm a huge fan of DJ/producer-run record labels; of those, the three H's are always on point. Hyperdub, Hotflush Recordings, and Hessle Audio are a troika of contemporary electronic music's most influential labels and run by three of its leading lights as well: Kode9, Scuba, and the trio of Ben UFO, Pearson Sound, and Pangaea, respectively.

DJ Ustreams Nothing makes me drop everything I'm listening to like a DJ Ustream. Besides the obligatory nod to BoilerRoom.TV—a series of parties live-streamed online—following individual DJs on Twitter means you're able to catch the announcement of an impromptu Ustream mere minutes before the broadcast starts. There's no better way to get a head start on new tracks than when tuned in from the intimate setting of the DJ's own (usually messy) living space.

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