#12 THE PASTELS
Even though The Pastels are most often associated with the jangly-guitar pop sound of the C86 generation, the band was actually formed five years earlier – back when rhythm-led postpunk was still very much in vogue. As their mixtape for WEEK-END Fest attests, Stephen McRobbie and Katrina Mitchell also share this generation’s love of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American music;
rocksteady from The Wailers, soul from Bettye Swann and funk from Sly and the Family Stone is interspersed with music by forerunners of their own sound: Moe Tucker’s charmingly raw solo recordings and lo-fi pop from Television Personalities – on whose label The Pastels released their first single. Of course, their kindred spirits from Japan, Maher Shalal Hash Baz – who in turn first released in Europe on The Pastels’ Geographic label – are also represented.
#11 REVERBERATION RADIO
Many musicians—see Thurston Moore, Henry Rollins, and Questlove—are themselves fervent record collectors. But few share their musical discoveries with the rest of the world quite as regularly and generously as the Allah-Las from LA—it should come as no surprise that three of the founding members once worked together at a branch of the legendary Amoeba Music record store chain. Once a week the Allah-Las and friends post a lovingly collated online compilation, under the moniker Reverberation Radio, riffing off the laid-back Californian sixties vibe of their own music. They recently past the milestone of mix number 300. The mixtape they have made for Week-End Fest features former festival artists such as Slapp Happy, Shintaro Sakamoto and Lawrence from Felt alongside kindred spirits such as Sebastien Tellier, Masayuoshi Takanaka and the Krautrock of Ashra (aka Manuel Göttsching).
#10 TIM BERNARDES
No other country in the world — with the exception perhaps of the USA — has such a highly developed popular music culture as Brazil. Here, catchiness and complexity often go blissfully hand in hand. A fantastic current example of this are São Paulo-based O Terno, whose “Melhor Do Que Parece” is one of the most playfully virtuoso psychedelic pop albums of recent years. O Terno will play their first ever show in Europe at this year’s Week-End#7. By way of a warm up, singer and songwriter Tim Bernardes has put together a mixtape of his favourite Brazilian songs. The musical journey takes us from the 1960s right up to the present and includes superstars such as Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, as well as unknown artists like Jorge Mautner, Taiguara and Bernardes’ father Maurício Pereira.
#9 SHINTARO SAKAMOTO
Unknown Japan. While every music lover in the West will have a selection of the masterpieces of Nigerian Afrobeat or the Brazilian Tropicalia movement in their record collections by now, Japan continues to represent a blank spot on the map of even the most adventurous pop-music aficionados. On the ninth WEEK-END Fest Mixtape, Shintaro Sakamoto gives us a little insight into Japanese pop culture of the late ’60s and ’70s. In the process, the former singer and guitarist of successful psychedelic rock band Yura Yura Teikoku and now solo artist shows that his taste is as eclectic as his music: ten favourite songs from almost as many genres. Blues, folk, pop, surf and garage rock – Japan has been in tune with the times with almost every pop music genre you care to think of.
#8 / RANDALL POSTER
Randall Poster begins his WEEK–END mixtape by listing several of the Hollywood films he has provided with a musical backdrop – including all of those by Wes Anderson. He also compiled songs for the film adaptation of the novel Jesus’ Son by the recently deceased Denis Johnson, and by honouring Johnson in his introductory words, Randall Poster confirms an old certainty: a mixtape turns out good if you really put your heart and soul into it. We then follow Randall Poster to several significant musical moments in his life, starting with his first single by The Guess Who, via Van Morrison, to other jewels from the treasure chest of the sixties and seventies – a box of pleasures that always seems to twang so sweetly when you open it, oozing with the authentic aroma of blues, soul, and rock ’n’ roll. Of course this wonderful tape couldn’t do without the likes of the Stones, Bobby Womack, and Rod Stewart, but it ends up rather surprisingly at Michael Hutchence and Future featuring Lil Wayne.
#7 ROBERT FORSTER
Robert Forster, founder of the Go-Betweens, songwriter and friend of the Week-End Fest, traces his early musical apprenticeship in his customary stylish fashion: from the medium-wave frequencies of an Australian radio station that transported the voices of Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson into his parent’s house in Brisbane, via the Californian sound of The Byrds and The Mamas & The Papas songwriter John Phillips, early feelings of enlightenment by the songs of Bob Dylan and Roxy Music, a life-changing post punk track by Magazine, to a recording studio in Edinburgh in 1980, where Forster witnessed his Postcard label mates Orange Juice recording one of the biggest singles in British pop history: “Blue Boy”.
#6 MARIE DAVIDSON
Marie Davidson seems to be a bit like Forrest Gump, the character in Winston Groom’s book, who turns up at all the key moments in the story. She always happens to be at the right place at the right time—yet she is never overly zealous, but rather endowed with an unparalleled lightness. She has released records with her band DKMD on Giallo Disco Records, with Les Momies de Palerme on Constellation Records, with Essaie Pas on DFA Records and most recently solo on Citi Trax, Veronica Vasicka’s second label after Minimal Wave Records. It would be difficult to dream up a better label discography. The tracks on this podcast, which Marie Davidson recorded exclusively for Week-End, are all love songs, and many of them on the sadder side of the genre. This is not purely coincidental—the Franco-Canadian from Montreal has a fond relationship with melancholy.
Lawrence is one of the indie scene's most enigmatic figures. In the 1980s, as singer and songwriter in the band Felt, he released astonishingly good indie-pop records, to which the aesthetic of bands such as Belle & Sebastian owe an undying debt. When expectations grew too much, Lawrence chose escapism: his next band Denim is a bitter rock 'n' roll satire, while current project Go-Kart Mozart mixes weird and wonderful ideas with Roger Whittaker cover versions. Which all goes to show that Lawrence has an incredible grasp of the strangest strains of British pop music. Many of the songs in this podcast, which Lawrence recorded exclusively for Week-End, will only be known to aficionados, yet they lay bare the foundations on which indie and Britpop was built. An unusual history lesson by an indie icon who rarely talks, but who turns out to be a very eloquent speaker.
#4 AARON M. OLSON
Hi, I'm Aaron M. Olson and I'm very pleased to be participating in this series of mixtapes for this amazing festival! About myself: I am the principal songwriter of the band L.A. Takedown, a composer of music for film, video, and experimental performance, a touring and session musician (toured/recorded with Chris Cohen, Cryptacize, Papercuts, Nedelle Torrisi, SK Kakraba Lobi, Tara Jane O'Neil, Bouquet, and others), the bass player in and founding member of Los Angeles' most Grateful Dead cover band, Dick Pics. My mixtape is a little DJ set I threw together of stuff I've been into lately; No theme or common thread... And a little a bit of talking from yours truly. I hope you enjoy the tunes!
Aaron M. Olson, December 2016
#3 ROBERT WYATT
Many artists don’t like talking about their art. After all, art should speak for itself and always means different things to different people. Sometimes they have to take a bit of a roundabout route to open up: for example, by talking about the artists that mean a lot to them. The podcast Robert Wyatt has made especially for Week-End festival is a wonderful example. By talking about—and playing—his ’most personal recorded souvenirs’ he gives more of an intimate insight into his world than can be gained from many interviews about his own work. We find out from whom he has his ’singing not-singing’ style, what can be learnt from Berthold Brecht the singer and which 1964 R’n’B song played an important role in him becoming a professional musician.
#2 NICHOLAS KRGOVICH
Come one, come all and listen to me, Nicholas Krgovich, as I play a scattershot collection of songs and talk at length about whatever springs to mind. There's nothing quite like speaking into a microphone, alone in a room, addressing no one in particular. Did I expect to sound like Ryan Seacrest when I hit playback? Who are these unsolicited thoughts for? Me? You? The bird in the tree?
All I know is I enjoyed making this thing and dropping hits by perennial favourites like The Red Crayola, Tweet and Frank Sinatra. One day I will make a more curated and illuminating playlist but for now it's just a free associative liberal arts college open mic nite and it's raining outside. Get in!
Nicholas Krgovich, October 2016
#1 CHRIS A. CUMMINGS
For all the fans, lovers, rockers, skaters, rollers - I made you this mix spanning the years that included Disco, Post-Disco, Modern Soul, Boogie, and the greatest Slow Jams. A lot of my recent favorites are included, and the many faces of R&B during this period are represented, from the scratchy, muffled production of the ultra-rare Diddys featuring Paige Douglas title track, to the glassy tones of Jam & Lewis. Take an intoxicating tour with me, as the late seventies give way to the gateway year 1980, through to the synthed-out, smoothed-out sounds of the mid-eighties.
Chris A. Cummings, September 2016