Guest Mix from Alex Wilson (Public Information)

On the Feb 10th show, Alex Wilson joined me for a special guest mix.  Alex runs the Public Information label out of London with Lionel Skerratt.  On the show he played music from the label as well as records from his personal collection. 
The Public Information label is “A survey of electronics… noise… psych… industrial… house… dub… wyrd-pop… library… techno… art… design from the last seven decades… 1950- Tomorrow.” 
If you missed the show it’s definitely worth a listen. From soul music to sounds of the Estonian countryside to library and weird electronic music… this show pretty much has it covered!  The podcast can been found in the Alien Jams archives of the NTS site ( Alex kindly sent over the tracklist from the show, which I have posted here.

Sweet Honey In The Rock – Breaths
Philip Jeck – Press
Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together
Robin The Fog – The Ghosts Of Bush
Shuggie Otis – Inspiration Information
Singing Air Of Estonia – Coastal Flats In The Morning
The Ink Spots – If I Didn’t Care
Egisto Macchi – Pensee
Ennio Morricone – Ritorno A Casa
Chorale – Discovery
Andree Huet – Pulain En Liberte / Les Fourmis
Allesandro Allesandroni – Transport
Olly W Wilson – Cetus
Orchestra Of The Eight Day – Opening Act / Forgotten Prayer
Aya – Wariant  C
Siekiera – Idziemy Przez las
Coum Transmissions – Sugarmorphoses
Acteurs – Golden Rabbit
Frak – Choosing Format
Bochum Welt – Fortune Green
John Cooper Clarke – Evidently Chickentown 

17 Replies to “Guest Mix from Alex Wilson (Public Information)”

  1. When I download this, it definitely doesn’t start with Sweet Honey. And it has Kraftwerk toward the beginning, as you announce.

    I studied with Olly Wilson just before he retired, but I’ve never had the chance to hear his very famous piece CETUS, that launched his career for him.

    Heard lots of his other stuff, but never that one. If there is any info that woul dhelp me, please share. I was very excited to see this track on the playlist.

    It is nowhere to be found, apparently, in any of the inner-outer web-tubes. I’ve spent a while now, clicking away. Lots of teasers, but the 9:20-ness of it just isn’t there, what a pity.

    Thank you! …for you help….


  2. hell yah, i scrolled down: left the page open and kept hitting “page end” whenever i walked by… finally down to 2-10-2013 and it begins with sweet honey. oh yeah, cetus should be here soon, yeah!!!


  3. …scrolled way down on the soundcloud page, that is. it wasn’t searchable & neither was the link for the NTS site, but **all’s well that ends well**

    THANK YOU!!!


  4. hhhhmmmmm, looks like its not the complete track. well, i’m very happy just to hear some of it…. if your pal is willing, maybe he’ll somehow/somewhere upload the whole thing? its really not available anywhere, for free or to buy… anyway thanks for everything! i enjoyed the entire Alien Jam, in fact!!!


  5. Hello! I’m glad you enjoyed the show and found what you were looking for. I’ve e-mailed Alex to ask him about the track, though you might try getting in contact with him personally through the Public Information website. I’m sure he’ll be happy to help

    1. …???… i guess that was the whole point??? looks like it, anyway. thank, though…. right!!!

    2. …anywayz, thanks for your diligence btw, i really did study with him (rilly!)…

      your dj friend mentioned “it won an award,” well actually what happened is that Olly Wilson was teaching at some junior college or state college or something in florida, and he submitted CETUS to this prestigious contest where the entries were all being judged totally blind, without anyone knowing who composed what, and he won!

      within a year he was at UC Berkeley, where he taught until he retired. When he got there, he had been teaching less than 5 years, i actually think it was more like only 1 or 2 or 3, but i’m not double-checking my facts, just going on what i remember.

      i looked him up back when i was in his class on african-american music, 2000-2001, the last time he taught it… he was actually the subject of quite a few pages in our course textbook, Eileen Southern’s classic The MUSIC OF BLACK AMERICANS…

      anyway he told us lots of stories, and one was about the use of “head arrangements” in jazz — *you get it out of your head* in other words. he went on to say that musicians would just pick a tune everyone knew, and then aarrange to play its recignizable theme & then take turns exploring via solos, and then finally return to the “head” or the theme…

      so he said that one of the classic head arrangements people would use was the one called “I Smoked a Reefer.”

      he sang it for the class: “i smoked a reefer, you smoked a reefer, we gonna get real high.”

      very simple little tune. “and *everyone* knows ‘i smoked a reefer’,” he said!!!

      anyway your friend might enjoy the info, hope you’ll pass it on, or not. like i said, i have no way of contacting him. it was cool to finally hear a part of cetus although of course i’d love to get a feel for the whole thing and hear it in context. i’m sure some day i will…. anyway, alien jam lady, olly wilson has some pretty psychedelic (later) pieces for piano and tape loop that would really go well with what you seem to like to play, so hopefully you’ll get to enjoy those some day. Dr. Wilson also has some stuff that is very very very “classical european symphony,” so its not all 100% freaky, just to let you know…

      peace & love,
      mambo lupita de aztlan

  6. weird?

    you seemed helpful, so thank you.

    you prolly dint read or process the fact that there is no email available for Alex, at least on the Public Info site or anywhere else i’ve found

    i agree with you that he prolly would be very happy to help, but *i* need a little help getting in touch with him, or this will go nowhere

    please look into it, once you get back from vacation?

    thanks, again…

    1. great, thank you. also i hope you liked the story about Olly Wilson, b/c its 100% true…


  7. however, i was inspired to dig a little deeper, and i found this

    On April 5, 1968 composers Milton Babbitt, Vladimir Ussachevsky and George Balch Wilson came to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire to judge the first competition devoted to electronic music. The Dartmouth Arts Council had made available a five hundred dollar prize which was awarded to Olly W. Wilson for his composition “Cetus.” Babbitt, Ussachevsky (Directors of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center) and Wilson (Director of the University of Michigan Electronic Music Studio) singled out five other works which they felt were significant compositions. Over one huindred entries were received front studios around the world and the judges listened to more than sixty of these before selecting the finalists whose works are presented here for the first time. The judging was anonymous and it was a mere coincidence that two of the finalists should have come from the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center and two from the Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio.

    This recording is, in one sense, an historic document for it testifies to the breadth of interest in electronic music by composers and the new audiences. It is also significant that these works will reach that audience through this recording and not the concert hall. The following notes were written by the composers themselves.
    Jon H. Appleton
    Director, Electronic Music Studio
    Dartmouth College
    Hanover, New Hampshire

    OLLY W. WILSON (b. 1937)
    CETUS (1967) * Winner *
    (Realized in the Studio for Experimental Music of the University of Illinois)

    Cetus was completed during the summer of 1967 at the studio for Experimental Music of the University of Illinois. The title refers to an equatorial constellation whose arch-like configuration was suggested to the composer’s mind by the form of the work. This musical structure is the result of an evolutionary process in which basically simple timbres, textural combinations, and rhythmic events become more complex before ultimately returning to simpler relationships. For example, the basic timbre of the first selection was produced by amplitude modulation of a single sine wave which evolves into a combination of modulated sound sources, the sum of which is then modulated.

    The compositional process characteristic of the “classical tape studio” (the mutation of a few basic electronic signals by means of filters, signal modifiers, and recording processes) was employed in the realization of this work and was enhanced by means of certain instruments which permit improvisation by synthesized sound. Cetus contains passages which were improvised by the composer as well as sections realized by classical tape studio procedures. The master of this work was prepared on a two channel tape. Under the ideal circumstances it should be performed with multiple speakers surrounding the auditor. By Olly Wilson

  8. Bombaymama
    03/16/2011 18:13
    Hey all!!! I need a little help with a music related extra credit question for my Black Arts Movement class.

    What Roots song samples Olly Wilson’s “Cetus” (1969) ?

    I will buy a drink for anyone who can help me find the answer.

    I’m currently looking on discogs and searching around, but I may just have to listen to the roots entire catalog to figure it out.

    —looking all over the place, and found this, too. Whoodathunkit?

  9. Wow that’s such a coincidence that it was re-released after all this time! Bet you are happy to get the full recordings. Going back through everything you wrote and its a very interesting story indeed. You have definitely done your research! I’d like to check Olly Wilson’s later stuff, like you said it might fit into the show.

    1. it is far out, huh? re-released in between the time of my first and subsequent comments, sheesh… well, its been fun to chat and to get acquainted with your very cool show, so thanks again for everything!!


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