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Mind-altering substances – Meteorismo From Arkaim / CZ + SK Mix Vol. II

Published January, 2015
by Easterndaze

Two idiosyncratic compilations/mixtapes have come to light at the murky period of the end of the year, perhaps – unjustly – lost amid the glitzy xmess lights and bonhomie. Both are authored by one of the most intriguing personas of the Czech experimental music scene Jára Tarnovski. Renowned for excellent mixtapes, he already boasts hauntological reworks of the esteemed Czech composer Zdeněk Liška (read about it here). His penchant for recontextualisations comes handy especially when creating mixtapes, a format that wildly varies from uninspiring amalgams to mind-blowing new musical works which rise well above the sum of its parts, and this is precisely what Tarnovski does with his source material. He twists, turns and transforms it into ghostly, other-wordly compositions, psychotropic soundtracks for non-existing movies.

His CZ+SK Mix Vol II. is a continuation of his selection of best Czech and Slovak (mostly experimental) current musical output. “Within 40 minutes, I used 20 tracks. Sometimes, even 4 tracks are mixed into each other. It all has to make sense as a whole, same as with the LP format,” he says. “I like it when the result works as a whole, as a “story”, as if in a Verne-sque style. I have the impression that all of the artists featured on the mixtape are propelled by curiousity and the need to surprise themselves by something unknown.“

The other mixtape is a sonic collage assembled from the catalogues of two very specific and definitely commendable Czech imprints – Meteorismo and Signals From Arkaim, that navigate in those uncanny experimental/”weird” music waters. To an extent – which is understandable, considering the concept of these mixtapes” – the Meteorismo mixtape sounds more coherent and potent in a slightly disturbing, mentally-deranged way, since it is a kind of label “promo-mix”, featuring artists like Faix, Shibuya Motors, B4, Andrej Danóczi (read an extensive interview with him here), or Tarnovski himself. In 21-minutes, he managed to cram 21 tracks, but you wouldn’t even know it, it all sounds as one amazing hell of a ride.