Mix CD: Dream Rock & Noise Pop 1985-93 (Vol. 2)
Some time around Christmas, the original Dream Rock & Noise Pop compilation went fully (or at least partly) viral. This strange occurrence seems to have had its origins in a re-blog posted by a Tumblr site dedicated primarily to post-punk. From there, things went a little bonkers.
Embarrassingly, the onset of bonkersness happened to coincide with the Bubblegum Cage III Sub-Committee on Mix CDs issuing its official report on Dream Rock & Noise Pop Vol. 1. The report stated: “It’s alright, I guess but a few of the songs on the second half are a bit shit, aren’t they?” It continued: “Compared to the blog’s signature UK Post-Rock compilations, this seems a bit thrown together. And besides, isn’t this what they call ‘shoegaze’ – a term which most reputable sources define as ‘post-rock with all the good bits taken out’. ” Who writes this stuff?
Never mind. A subsequent Sub-Sub-Committee’s report on the report stated that this judgement was “a bit harsh, really” but also decreed that a second volume would have to be carefully compiled, to address some of the problems that had arisen with the first one. A Sub-Sub-Sub Committee was formed, to oversee the compilation of the compilation and mere weeks later, the track-listing for Dream Pop & Noise Rock 1985-1993 Vol. 2 was finalized. Who says that pointless bureaucracy is slow-moving and inefficient? Not ’round these parts it ain’t!
Anyway, the members of this Sub-Sub-Sub Committee unanimously agreed that the first half of Vol. 1 was actually pretty killer. Consequently, most of the artists represented there reappear on the new volume. This is no mere re-run, though. Some big names that were conspicuous by their absence from the first volume finally show up on Vol. 2. About time too! You have to wonder why Swervedriver got left off the first time around. And Sonic Youth, for God’s sake! What band could be more central to this loose continuum of raucous, dreamy and immersive indie/avant rock bands from both sides of the Atlantic (circa 1985-93) ?
Actually, there’s a sorta good-ish reason for SY’s initial exclusion. The original compilers were trying to prevent overlap with a mix CD of late-80s/early-90s US indie rock, which was being compiled at the same time. This was also the reason that sublime tunes like Drop Nineteens’ “Winona” and Ultra Vivid Scene’s “Special One” got left off Vol. 1. Luckily (or not, depending on how you look at it) the indie rock playlist was accidentally deleted and that whole project was abandoned, which has facilitated the creation of an extremely tight second half of this compilation (something, you’ll remember, that was sadly lacking from the previous volume).
You may notice that this super-tight second half (again, conspicuously) avoids a few of the central acts from the British shoegaze scene. In fact, the compilation, as a whole, largely avoids shoegaze per-se. The Sub-Sub-Sub Committee made considerable attempts to engage with some of the more generic shoegaze bands (these compilations being essentially an ongoing investigation into the origins and nature of that very genre) but the results were largely negative. Chapterhouse? Hopelessly derivative! Adorable? Anything but! Moose? Actually, not that bad! (Srsly: “Suzanne” stands up pretty well, even when you play it right after My Bloody Valentine’s singularly mind-bending “Don’t Ask Why”.)
For the most part, though, Vol. 2 is very much the mirror image of Vol. 1 – same artists, different songs. If there’s a Vol 3., it’ll explore much further afield, honest – but there are mixed feelings among this here blog’s vast bureaucracy about whether there should be a Vol. 3. On the one hand, nobody wants the Bubblegum Cage III to become a mere repository for mix-tapes. On the other, somebody has to make a compilation featuring “Tomorrow’s Tears” by Cranes. Great song but so, so easy to forget about until it’s too late.
Whatever happens, the third volume still isn’t going to feature Seefeel, Papa Sprain, Flying Saucer attack or any of the other dreamy avant rock acts that have featured on Bubblegum Cage III’s UK Post-Rock compilations. Again, this is all about avoiding overlap and redundancy.
In conclusion then, what the Sub-Sub-Sub Committee has come up with (in its infinite collective wisdom) is a collection of stuff that isn’t quite post-rock but isn’t quite shoegaze. In terms of quality, it should be every bit as good as any of the UK Post-Rock compilations. Still, it’s hard to get away from the suspicion that it’s fundamentally not as interesting as any of the volumes in that series. The chances are you were already familiar with some, if not most, of the artists featured on the Dream Rock & Noise Pop compilations. The UK Post-Rock comps, on the other hand, are likely to represent an undiscovered world of strange and marvellous wonders, for most listeners. And for that very reason, this here blog is giving all of y’all the opportunity to download every single bloody one of those magnificent post-rock mixes, directly from this very post. Scroll down for the links.
In the meantime, you can click here to download Dream Rock & Noise Pop 1985-1993 Vol. 2 in its glorious entirety or right-click (ctrl-click on the Mac, yo) to snag the individual tracks you want from the track-listing below.
1. The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Some Candy Talking”
2. Spacemen 3 – “Losing Touch with My Mind”
3. My Bloody Valentine – “Emptiness Inside”
4. A.R. Kane – “Suicide Kiss”
5. Sonic Youth – “Teen Age Riot”
6. Loop – “Black Sun”
7. The House of Love – “I Don’t Know Why I Love You”
8. Ride – “Drive Blind”
9. Cocteau Twins – “Iceblink Luck”
10. Lush – “De-Luxe”
11. Ultra Vivid Scene – “Special One”
12. Pale Saints – “Sight of You”
13. My Bloody Valentine – “Don’t Ask Why”
14. Moose – “Suzanne”
15. Swervedriver – “Rave Down”
16. Drop Nineteens – “Winona”
17. The Boo Radleys – “Rodney King (Song for Lenny Bruce)”
18. Slowdive – “When the Sun Hits”
And here are those UK Post-Rock compilations…
UK Post-Rock Vol. 1
Featuring Disco Inferno, Butterfly Child, Insides, Laika, Moonshake, Flying Saucer Attack, Bark Psychosis, Scorn, God and Main.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 1
UK Post-Rock Vol. 2
Featuring Papa Sprain, Flying Saucer Attack, Bark Psychosis, Disco Inferno, Moonshake, The Third Eye Foundation, Experimental Pop Band, Pram, Fridge, Techno Animal and Piano Magic.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 2
UK Post-Rock Vol. 3
Featuring Disco Inferno, Transformer, Adventures in Stereo, Stereolab, Snowpony, Moonshake, Scala, The Third Eye Foundation, Movietone, Papa Sprain, Bark Psychosis, Scorn, Terminal Cheesecake, Main and The Hair & Skin Trading Company.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 3
UK Post-Rock Vol. 4
Featuring Bark Psychosis, Disco Inferno, Hood, Amp, Moonshake, Flying Saucer Attack, The Hair & Skin Trading Company, Long Fin Killie, Papa Sprain, Butterfly Child, Piano Magic, Spoonfed Hybrid and Earwig.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 4
UK Post-Rock Vol. 5
Featuring Insides, Long Fin Killie, Telstar Ponies, Disco Inferno, Papa Sprain, Epic45, Scorn, Seefeel, The Third Eye Foundation, Ice, Terminal Cheesecake and Bark Psychosis. This is the least downloaded of all the UK Post-Rock comps but it’s actually one of the best. Don’t sleep on this one! In fact, you should probably START WITH THIS ONE!
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 5
UK Post-Rock Vol. 6
Featuring Deadstock, Locust, Ian Crause, Broadcast, Bows, Screeper, Echoboy, Electrelane, Bovine Over Sussex NE, Rothko, Juicy Eureka, Experimental Audio Research, L i ght, Crescent and The Third Eye Foundation.
Click here to download UK Post-Rock Vol. 6
Phew, what a big pile of awesomeness for you dig through! If, in the process of doing so, you find any links that take you to the wrong place, or simply don’t work, please mention it via the usual channels. Oh and if your music is included on any of these compilations and you don’t want it to be, just get in touch and it will be removed before you can say “What an unusually efficient example of old-school bureaucracy!”
Bubblegum Cage III: Bringing wonder back to the Internet, one hastily written, poorly proofread post at a time.