Melting Pot

One of the most beautiful albums of all time, Talk Talk's 1991 masterpiece...Laughing Stock

This Sunday, in addition to an hour of regular programming that featured new music from Real Estate, DJ Shadow, Cooly G, Phonte, Evidence, Dum Dum Girls and more, I paid tribute to one of my absolute favorite albums and artists of all-time, 1991’s Laughing Stock by Mark Hollis and Talk Talk.  I cannot express fully how thankful I am to have a show where I can pay tribute to one of the most amazing pieces of music I’ve ever known.  When I was at KCRW in 2008 I was able to pay tribute to this album’s predecessor Spirit of Eden, by playing a track on each day of my weekly online show.  I’d always wished that I’d played the whole album start to finish.  KPFK is probably one of only a handful of stations that I would have been able to do a tribute like this because of the great freedom we have as programmers and so I am overjoyed to share this entire album with listeners of Melting Pot and also an edited version of a rare interview with Mark Hollis in 1991.  Contrary to my expectations, he is very open about the process behind the album, clearly excited about the recording and most unexpectedly he namechecks multiple artists, Arthur Lee & Love’s Forever Changes, Roland Kirk, Can’s Tago Mago, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood” and Bob Dylan’s New Morning, that would all rank as some of my favorite all time music.  Listening to this album at KPFK, on probably the loudest speakers I’ve ever been able to use, brought a number of aural surprises that after 13+ years listening to this album (I’ve literally heard it hundreds upon hundreds of times), I’d highly suggest listening to the album as loud as you can, on the best headphones you can find.

If you want to learn more, here are a couple of links to articles that talk in depth about this fascinating album…

After The Flood: Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock 20 Years On by Wyndham Wallace

Tape Op article with producer Phill Brown, discussing the production of Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock

If you’ve never heard this album before this show, I sincerely hope you enjoyed this.  If you’re already familiar with this album, I hope that you heard something new in hearing it this way and found all new reasons to fall in love with it again.  No matter what I do hope you listened to this magnificent work of beauty.  Thank you Mark Hollis and Talk Talk for all the work you put into recording this album.

Melting Pot on KPFK #60: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #60: Second Hour

Playlist: 10-16-2011
{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

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DJ Shadow – Stay The Course – The Less You Know The Better (Verve)
Kamal Ahmed feat. Noor Jerhan – Jawani Meri Bijili – Life Is Dance (Finders Keepers)
Cooly G. feat. Karizma – It’s Serious – 12” (Hyperdub)
Phenomenal Hand Clap Band – Following – Form & Control (Tummy Touch)
Evidence feat. Aloe Blacc – The Liner Notes – Cats & Dogs (Rhymesayers)
Jean-Claude Vannier – La Girafe Au Ballon – Electro Rapide (Finders Keepers)

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El Rego – Achuta – El Rego (Daptone)
Dum Dum Girls – Heartbeat – Only In Dreams (Sub Pop)
Real Estate – Municipality – Days (Domino)
Mike & the Censations – Split Personality – Don’t Sell Your Soul (Ubiquity)
People Under The Stairs – Selfish Destruction – Highlighter (Piecelock 70)
Charles Packy Axton – Stone Fox – Late Late Party (Light In The Attic)

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Astrobal – Malaise En Malaise – Poetry & Science Fiction (Plug Research)
Shabazz Palaces – Endeavors For Never – Black Up (Sub Pop)
Icebird – Wander – The Abandoned Lullaby (RJ’s Electrical Connections)
Arthur Verocai – Caboclo (Mario C. & Joey A. Remix) – Timeless Remixed EP (Mochilla)
Phonte feat. Pharoah Monche – We Go Off – Charity Starts At Home (Foreign Exchange)

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Mark Hollis – Mark Hollis Talks About Laughing Stock (Verve)

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Talk Talk – Laughing Stock (Verve/Polydor/BaDaBing)

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{closing theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Batar (Kemado)

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