May 23, 2012

Cascade Records Podcast #20: Stephen Farris

While we've been dealing with a stream of mixed happy and surprised reactions to our (Crash Symbols) reissue of Stephen Farris' album VHS Vision, done in 2010 under his now defunct Cosmic Sound moniker. In the spirit of bringing things up from the murky depths of the past (what will we do without 2010), we wanted to showcase another under-appreciated gem from the early stages of Farris' development, an untitled mixtape he made for the twentieth installment in French electronic label Cascade Records' ongoing podcast series. In a short accompanying interview, Farris says the mix... "is a good sketch of the things that I likes about music. Whether it's style or technical aspect, [the mix] is a short demo of tracks that have gotten me psyched within the last year or so". Its connection to the mind that made VHS Vision is immediately tangible in a whole range of VHS-friendly sounds and effects, though it's unclear exactly how much manipulation Farris submitted these tracks to. Nevertheless, the whole reportoire of hip hop and experimental approaches to beat-making that inform his music are an overwhelming presence, giving the mix an inestimably greater sense of unity and focus, unto itself, but more importantly, easy context in the sweep of Farris' whole output. So, if you're looking for a narrative explanation of VHS Vision and further insight into Farris as a producer, this will be invaluable. Moreover, it's dope. Though hip hop has to share the stage, it's also probably a bigger presence than you'd imagine, co-existing surprisingly well with frequent synth excursions, so this thing really does have something for every sensibility. Another one of the aging and exceedingly rare "one off promotional mixes" worthy of resuscitation, like the Shlohmo mix for XLR8R we were talking about earlier this month.

Download the whole mix right here.

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