Follow Brighton-based artist Susan Balmar down the rabbit hole, and you might not ever come back. Being a fan of Susan Balmar — expert beat maker, drone channeler, noise maker, sound manipulator, SLF Tapes proprietor, and Roland SP extraordinaire — requires a proactive mentality, the sort of mindset spawned from endless scrolls through audio streams and Tumblrs, but nurtured only through a modernist obsession. New tracks exist on SoundCloud for mere hours; limited-edition tapes sell out before we even hear about their existence. It’s even harder to keep tabs since Susan Balmar is just one moniker of many from one Perry Trollope — others include Warm Thighs, 0000-A70U-0075, LEWIS CARROL & THE ACADEMY, and _lip — and, seriously, just while writing this post, I found out that he released a cassette as Prada & Oregon in April on Auditory Field Theory.
For his guest mix for TMT, Trollope recorded select tracks to cassette, bounced them back through SP effects, and ends up with a breathtaking 46-minute survey of the deeply obscure. And I’m not talking about those from the beat/cassette culture. On this mix, Trollope unearths tracks by the comparatively unknown likes of 80s classical composer Alo Põldmäe, 60s jazz saxophonist Steve Marcus, and Italo Disco artist Francesco Messina, even delving into 90s RPG soundtracks for games like Elder Scrolls Arena and Stonekeep. You’ll still hear some of Trollope’s “contemporaries” (Wanda Group, John Wiese, P00K), but no matter when the tracks on this mix were released, what we’re just as importantly listening to is Trollope’s audio manipulations, the sound of an artist not only compiling the mix, but also embedding himself into it, implicating both himself and us, the listeners, in the process.
Trollope’s identity on the web may be ever-changing and his methodologies may be transient, but his in-command, in-control presence in both his music and this mix is always felt, showing that perhaps Trollope’s many pseudonyms have less to do with a crisis in identity and more to do with an aestheticization of it.
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
[00:06] Hong Kong 73 - “Electronic ID”
[00:17] Jeanne Lee - “When Flamingos Fly”
[02:48] Eric Miller - “The Loneliness of Objects”
[03:47] (80) Berlin - “Children of the Sun (Buhl - Kniel)”
[05:20] Sogar - “Isolohr”
[06:15] Son Sauvage - “Son Sauvage”
[09:49] Alo Põldmäe - “Sentimentaalne Valss”
[10:50] Eric Miller - “Sinter”
[10:50] Susan Balmar - “After Exterior Seeing Your Baby Inside Her E-Meter”
[14:11] WANDA GROUP - “U GRA”
[16:39] Interior - “N.F.G.”
[19:15] Lena Platonos - “Markos”
[19:37] Unreal Tournament 1999
[20:15] Ape Explorer - “He Stabs Himself in the Eye with the Crystal to Gain Her Power”
[22:08] Elder Scrolls Arena
[23:00] Steve Marcus - “Amy”
[23:00] Hexen - “Guardian Of Steel”
[24:17] Colored Music - “Ei Sei Raku”
[28:43] Francesco Messina - “Uffici Dei 126 Piano”
[32:40] Clarence Peters - “The Magnetic Atmospher”
[32:40] Sogar - “Ui Spalt”
[33:11] Bayete - “Pruda’s Shoes”
[34:14] THE HERS - “OX DANCE”
[37:20] John Wiese - “Track 1”
[39:08] Editor - “Digital People - Useless”
[39:19] Joe Lee Wilson - “One”
[43:29] Alo Põldmäe - “Onneseen (7 LAULU HANDO RUNNELI SONADELE)”