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Los Angeles Special #3 - The Smell (25 Free MP3s)

By Tim Chester

Posted on 26 May 10

 
 

"People that are real in this city have to make real music to separate themselves from the lame-o contingent. Every city has those, but a lot of the ones here have reality shows." Dean Spunt, No Age

So you knew it was coming - no LA feature would be complete without at least a passing nod to the long-running Smell scene, that much blogged about collection of DIY punk/electro/noise bands whose names you already know (No Age, Abe Vigoda, Mika Miko, Health etcetc). The club has been ticking over in the grimier corners of the city for over a decade in various incarnations and is responsible for the vast majority of our favourite West Coast noiseniks.

More recently we’ve seen the rupture of The Mae Shi and the emergence of Signals, Mika Miko splitting up to get back to school in January, and HEALTH bringing back the gorefest promo video.





Today we speak to Signals about the scene and offer up their recent mixtape of friends and co-conspirators including Bipolar Bear, Naked Ankles and Abe Vigoda. Then we talk to No Age’s Dean Spunt, who set up the Post Present Medium label in 2001 with some money he received from a car accident with Kevin from the Backstreet Boys (resulting in the best thing the ‘Boys gave the world (indirectly) since ‘We’ve Got It Going On’). Dean also sent us a load of PPM tracks you can download at the end.

Signals

Signals

What is LA to you?
"Essentially, it's a playground. Or, in the words of Werner Herzog: 'Los Angeles is raw, uncouth and bizarre, but it's a place of substance. It has more new horizons than any other place'." (Jon)

What does LA sound like?
"Like you're at a large family gathering listening to a sped-up Dre beat being played through a cheap car stereo, and then here comes that untimely noise breakdown of helicopters and police sirens." (Jon)

What are the top 5 LA bands right now and their best tracks?
(From Bill)
Bipolar Bear- 'Talkies'
Dunes - 'Blue Fire'
Rare Grooves ft. Mike Watt - 'No Garden'

Residual Echos - 'Duds'

Apple Brains - 'Frutero'



What, if anything, makes you distinctly LA?
"Everyone is chill and smokes weed 24/7 - 420." (Jacob)

Why did you put the mixtape together?
"We did it to promote the musical incest of Los Angeles. We all share band members, practice spaces, projects, and bills so we wanted to share the wealth with the rest of the world while on tour." (Jacob)

Signals / Supple Youth Mixtape



(All tracks LA bands unless specified)


Download the Signals / Supple Youth mixtape

Dean Spunt, PPM

PPM



What is LA to you?
"LA is a beacon of hope and a breath of mellow work-a-holic freshness."
What does LA sound like?
"Sometimes like an ocean current crashing on your eardrum, and other times like the hum of a motor on the freeway in the middle of the night."
How does the city affect the music made there?
"People that are real in this city have to make real music to separate themselves from the lame-o contingent. Every city has those, but a lot of the ones here have reality shows."
What are the top 5 LA bands right now and their best tracks?
SFV Acid - 'Get Laid'
Protect Me - 'Chimes'
Pearl Harbor - 'Luv Goon'

White Shit - 'Bathroom Cop'

Infinite Body - 'Carve Out The Face Of My God'
('A Fool Persists' from same album)
Describe the Smell scene to someone who’s not familiar with it
"Its a place where you can do whatever you want, where you can hear whatever is coming, and it's always fresh. No ego, just raw real-ness. You don't have to be cool, but you already are if you are there. It's a playground for an artistic community."
What’s the ethos of PPM?
"We're about people who are 100% about their art and life, true weirdos, no scenes just quality. It's about artists that wake up in the morning and can't do anything but make their vision."
What does the future hold for PPM?
"More artists, more objects, a physical space to trade ideas and records, some of the best music in the world without the bullshit."
And for LA music?
"LA is a python, or a Sea Turtle. The music will keep coming, and every few years it's ahead of the game and killing it, and as a turtle it's majestic and proud and just fucking OG!"

Read a longer interview with PPM from last year by Luke Slater at Drownedinsound.

Download the PPM EP

Plus:


Download The Mae Shi's 'RU Professional'


Download Signals' cover of Sparks' 'Angst In My Pants'


Daily Download LA Special #1 - The Subversives
Daily Download LA Special #2 - The Worldy Folk Types
Daily Download LA Special #4 - The Psych-rockers
Daily Download LA Special #5 - The Otherworldly Oddballs


 
 
 
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