Ape School's Fresh Fudge Mix

Michael Johnson

[Michael Johnson, pka Ape School, likes his music colorful and un-boring. We asked him to contribute a Selector feature to elaborate on the colors of his palette, but he took it a step further with his Fresh Fudge Mix. At 16-tracks, Fresh Fudge Mix is fit for a Friday night apartment soiree of intimate, far from bashful, friends to critique or enjoy with a snap of the fingers, and a tap on the hip. Ape School's Junior Violence is out now on Hometapes.]

I find older music to be a bit more colorful than the menu currently being served up. That's not to say that newer music is colorless, but I find that newer artists tend to pick one color and paint it all over the course of a song. More often than not, they paint that same color all over an entire album. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just a boring thing. Monotone monochrome, you know? I like chord changes and mood changes and key changes and CHANGES in general. Boring is boring, regardless of how sweet the midtones are.

The songs I present to you here are old and un-boring and colorful in most cases. I borrow liberally from songs like these; sometimes on purpose and other times on accident. I remember this stuff but I mix it up in my mind. I analyze this stuff and then forget what I remembered. I milk this stuff and analyze what comes out. I love this stuff. Perhaps you will too.

Ape School, “Fresh Fudge Mix” (Also streaming in our player below)

01 Gong – A P.H.P.'s Advice
Gong rules. Nonsensical, virtuosic, inventive, under-appreciated. This is from the third album of their “Radio Gnome Trilogy” and it leads into about six minutes of chanting and synthesizers. Gong ruined/created me.

02 Sandii – Zoot Kook
Kurt Heasley got me into YMO. More accurately, his youngest son's obsession with YMO got me into YMO. As I dug deeper, i found a couple records that YMO member Harumi Hasuono produced. This is a song from one of those by a superbabe called Sandii. It sounds so alien to me. WE ARE NOT ALONE. More from Mr. Hasuono later.

03 Sparks – Amateur Hour
If I ever actually make any money on music, I probably owe the Mael brothers a royalty payment or ten. THAT MEANS I LIKE TO RIP EM OFF. This is my favorite song on the landmark Kimono My House album. Riff magic, and the key change is perfection.

04 Mary Jane Girls – All Night Long
This conjures memories of Miami summer in the 1980s for me. I love this song too much. Rick James penned, lovely lady performed. Cheesed out robo-stank goodness.

05 Captain Beefheart – Observatory Crest
This song is from his universally panned Bluejeans and Moonbeams record. I love this record. Nasty guitar tones. This one has the best solo of all time, in my estimation. Suck it, EVH.

06 Amon Duul II – Archy The Robot
Another jam off of a much maligned LP, Hijack. A long lost Florida acquaintance of mine dubbed this onto cassette for me in the late 90s. It was one of three tapes in my car for an entire summer of food delivery. The other two: Abacab and Let's Dance. That was a weird summer. Guinness for dinner, anyone?

07 Haruomi Hasono – Sportsmen
Here he is again. Pop confection perfection. His delivery makes me wish I had an accent other than my occasional redneck bleedthrough. If you don't like this one, you are not in possession of a funny soul-bone.

08 Robert Wyatt – Heaps Of Sheeps
Old and grey! A new low! It sucks itself! I stole this form! Eno and Wyatt made this happen. This marks my first realization at age 21 that old people could still make great music.

09 Big Boy Pete – Cold Turkey
A lost classic discovered in my “all Brit psych all the time” phase. Greasy guitar, cave-verb from hell, and one NASTAY turnaround in the beat. Love it.

10 Smog – Your Wedding
“Julius Caesar” was the first cd I bought when I moved to Gainesville, Florida. A bit harsher than Mr. Callahan's later works, but snarky as he'll ever be. This reminds me of dorm rooms and hating Uncle Tupelo as an 18-year old.

11 Hall and Oates – Is It a Star
Did you know Hall and Oates made an acid record with Todd Rundgren? THEY DID. It's called War Babies and it's worth seeking out. I sought it out and was pleased with my discovery.

12 Jackpots – Jack In The Box
This gem is from the Rubble Compilations of the 80s, which essentially changed my life. While my friends were rolling around listening to Radiohead and Modest Mouse, I was blaring sugarcube flashbacks from the bowels of a beige Volvo. Blame Mark Griffey. RIP Goatmobile.

13 Family Fodder – Debbie Harry
This slobberknocker comes courtesy of my favorite post punk obscuros. Like Stereolab on speed and ska.

14 Gina X Performance – Kaddish
Reminds me of villains in 80s kid propaganda movies. You know, like Rocky IV? Ice cold and warmer than today. Germanelectrodisco slop.

15 Tarwater – Seven Ways To Fake A Perfect Skin
More Germans, though much more recent. I remember being up till 7 in the morning with Juan in Miami showing him this song after a long night of losing Uhaul keys, fighting off Miami girls, and staring contests. Perfect for the comedown.

16 Scott Walker – Prologue/Little Things
The last salvo of an early 70s genius boy child. After this record, he disappeared into contract fulfilling crapola for almost a decade. Let's just call this record Scott 5 and lop off the bad songs, ok?

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