Back in the day, when I DJ’d at dublab, I was the resident garage rock guy. I spun old Back From the Grave and Pebbles tunes, played rare Warlocks stuff I recorded live when they were just starting out, and had interviews with members of the Raymen and Fuzztones.
I was a far cry from the electronica and afro-cuban stuff the station usually played. I think dublab just picked me because they had to have one rawk guy, and because my show served as a good prequel to Nobody‘s psychedelic show. He would play Electric Sugarcube Flashbacks, the Zombies, and some other hippy-dippy stuff that I love now, but hadn’t yet gotten into because I was soooo rock and roll. I was impressed with his collection (he had just as much psyche vinyl as I had garage) but was even more amazed that this was just ONE show out of five he did every week, each with a different theme. He probably had an electronica show, a hip hop show, and god knows what else on the other two days of the week he DJ’d that slot, each as complex and original as my one-day show.
So, I loved his taste in music, but it took me a couple years to find an incredible appreciation for the music he himself composed. I wasn’t too impressed with his first album (probably because it was all hip-hop infused) but his second album continues to blow me away. It’s electronic, sample-heavy, and trip-hoppy, but with a definite nod to the psychedelic music he loves. There are even covers of the Monkees’ “Porpoise Song” and the Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year,” and they’re done tastefully: not extended dance remixes or mashups of the originals, but true reworkings incorporating everything good from his own sound with all the wonder of the originals (and I think the Beachwood Sparks’ singer is the one doing the vocals). For those who want to find some electronic music to love from this decade, I think it’s a great “in” to this style of music, since it’s mellow, full of dynamics, and definitely has a few toes dipped in the psychedelic sounds pioneered by the likes of Silver Apples, Gandalf, the Nice, Love, and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.
Anyway, this week he was interviewed in L.A. Record (yet again). It’s short but sweet, and there’s even a podcast there you can grab. And for New Yorkers, he’s coming your way.