Playlist: Dustin Dis

Dustin Dis is friends with PJ Harvey and John Parish, so John asked him to compile a playlist of obscure gems for their takeover. A designer, visual artist and occasional DJ/noise-maker living in Portland, Oregon, you can see Dustin's work at

Imaad Wasif with Two Part Beast – Seventh Sign (from Strange Hexes)
Imaad Wasif is an under-appreciated guitarist and songwriter and it was hard to chose a song from this album. In the end I went for Seventh Sign because I feel it showcases his range as a musician.

Holy Sons - Evil Falls (from Decline of the West)
Another track from a Portland-based musician. This one is from the prolific songwriter Emil Amos under his Holy Sons solo project. Holy Sons are a new band for me and I've been listening to this album a lot lately. Emil has a great voice and I love how this song swells, breaks then ends with noise and samples. Food - Last Supper (from Last Supper)
Food, along with labelmate Supersilent, are responsible for getting me interested in jazz. This is the final track from the 2004 album of the same name released on the dependable Norwegian label Rune Grammofon. I chose this track because I like the use of traditional jazz instruments mixed with electronics and vocals. I feel it's a good representation of the band. Giya Kancheli – Enimal (from Exil)
I found out about Georgian-born, Giya Kancheli purely by chance, but I feel he is a great example of a contemporary composer making meaningful works. Enimal is written around a Paul Celan poem and features the perfect soprano Maacha Deubner along with a five-piece ensemble. I love the simplicity and sadness of this track as well as its use of silence. Kancheli is currently living and working in Antwerp, so now there's another reason besides diamonds, chocolate and fashion to visit that great city. Elegi - Søvnens Kvelertak (from Varde)
Tommy Jansen (aka Elegi) is another new artist to me but his latest release, Varde, has been on constant rotation at home since its release in January. It tells the story of arctic explorers and their hardships as they trek across barren lands. I love how this track opens and closes creating resting places for the listener during their travels. I can't help but picture this being used in a Guy Maddin film. Murcof – Cielo (from Cosmos)
Since 2002, Mexican-born artist Fernando Corona has consistently been releasing great electronic music and the 2007 release of Cosmos on the Leaf label is probably my favourite. The entire album is brilliant (especially on a good stereo) but I really enjoy the track progression and tempo of Cielo as well as Corona's use of strings and what seem to be vocal samples. Get the triple vinyl edition while you can.

COH - No Monsters No Rock (Part I - Mezzo Forte Passionato) (from Strings)
I have been listening to Ivan Pavlov (aka COH) since his 2000 release on Rasten Noton. The full-length album, Strings, was released in 2007 and is broken into three parts that relate to the artists' personal history and experience with music. The second part, No Monsters No Rock, is based on Pavlov's time playing in a Russian heavy-metal band. The main instrument is his old Russian guitar but the composition has been filtered through the musician's current interest in electronics. Ester Brinkmann - Mimesis (from Totes Rennen)
Thomas Brinkmann and his side project, Ester Brinkmann, are responsible for opening the door to minimalist techno for me. Totes Rennen was the first album to be released under the Ester Brinkmann moniker and dates from 1998, but I keep going back to it. Brinkmann is a master at creating infectuous rhythms and Mimesis is no exception. Building on a sturdy beat, Brinkmann starts to gradually layer in glitches, noise and even samples from philosophical recordings. Einstuerzende Neubauten - Grundstueck: GS 1 (from Grundstueck)
This is my favourite recent recording by the pioneers of industrial music. Recorded and released only to supporters during Phase II of their online music experiment, Grundstueck is proof that albums can benefit from the absence of record executives. This song is a great example of Blixa Bargeld's writing and vocal style, while also showcasing the bands expertise in creating new sounds using scrap metal, PVC piping, detuned instruments and various other unusual sources. The song also features a 100-plus choir largely made up of the group's online supporters. It is the beginning of a bigger piece, but stands up on its own. Ryoji Ikeda - Data.Reflex (from Dataplex)
Ryoji Ikeda is primarily responsible for getting me interested in minimalist electronic music and multimedia installations. I chose Data.Reflex as the best example of Ikeda's work since it is a good representation of how he approaches his compositions. Created purely from data the piece is like walking through a supercomputer and being able to see the information being sent and received. While some people may find Ikeda's music hard to listen to, I always feel like my mind is clearer after I play his work. Pan Sonic - Arktinen/Artic (from Kesto (234.48:4))
This is my favourite track from Pan Sonic's lengthy discography and was the final track on the disc two of Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen's 2004 four-CD release, "Kesto (234.48:4)". By mixing Ilpo Väisänen's rhythmic minimalism with Vainio's darker aesthetic of glitches, noise and loops, this track is a great example of how two artists with different styles can create something wonderful.

The Gentleman Losers - Silver Mountain (from the Gentleman Losers)
Like Pan Sonic, the Gentleman Losers are also a Finnish duo, but that's where the comparison ends. This 2006 self-titled release is the debut from brothers Ville and Samu Kuukka and is primarily based around acoustic guitar, organ and synthesiser. I chose Silver Mountain because it feels hopeful, as if you're travelling down a road at sunset, headed towards a better place, perhaps a place with a follow-up album by these musicians.

The GuardianTramp

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