Michigan Mixture 1 & 2 / Various


aec.ptcl4009.2 1/17/12 New
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    Michigan Mixture 1 & 2 / Various Particles

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Review Text Long circulated as a vinyl-only bootleg, the two volumes of Michigan Mixture have stood as some bizarre introduction to the world of garage rock crate-digging and one-off caveman 45 fetishism. A tiny run of two volumes in the early '90s collected impossibly rare 45s by a slew of forgotten acts from the late-'60s Michigan garage scene. Both volumes are compiled and remastered here for the first time on CD, with new liner notes and rare photos of the groups. Starting with "Just Like an Aborigine" by Detroit White Panther rockers the Up, the comp dives deeper into obscurity from there. Friends, neighbors, and hangers on from the time and zip codes of the MC5 or Stooges, bands like Pitch Blende, Popcorn Blizzard, or Clinging Hysteria offer up a very different perspective on those times. It's hard to think of the MC5 or the Stooges as polished in any way, but the unrefined snarl of these hyper-obscure garage dwellers makes Funhouse sound like Thriller. Lo-fi just above the point of all-encompassing distortion, contributions from Sweet Cherry sound like they were recorded in a basement with a single microphone dangling from the pipes in the ceiling. "Funny Things Floating" sounds especially rugged, with the rattle of the snare drum as loud as the bass introduction. While not unlistenably noisy, the trend on Michigan Mixture toward low-budget production will throw some listeners and fascinate others. The inclusion of Fenton Records band the 9th Street Market, as well as a fuzzed-out rager from Hideout Records' lesser-known Bottle Company, tie this comp in with an already expansive lineage of collections aiming to document the Michigan garage explosion of the '60s. The absolutely brilliant Fenton Records anthology Scream Loud, several Hideout Records collections, and even the occasional anonymous bootleg collections of Detroit garage unknown's acetate recordings all share the same fixation with raw, unheard teenage rock & roll as Michigan Mixture does. While the subject matter is vast to the point of brain-boggling, there's really no better place to start than with this comp. From the hard-edged level-zero sludge of Dick Rabbit's "You Come on Like a Train" or Glass Sun's abrasively beautiful "Silence of the Morning" to the lighter psychedelia of "Lonely Lisa" by Cambridge, this is a picture of what we can only imagine was an incredibly exciting time in music. While the sounds here never made it past the point of poorly recorded regional 45s, in some cases it's hard not to wonder why. As unpolished as the ideas are, a great percentage of these songs are totally killer garage-psych blasts, on par with anything by SRC, the Amboy Dukes, or anyone from the same time who "made it." While those bands went on to cultivate trademark sounds and vibes of their own, Michigan Mixture encapsulates the energy of youth in general, pinpointing a moment and a place in history with results as exciting as they are curious. This collection is essential for anyone even remotely interested in obscure teenage garage rock, Michigan, or the strange chemical reaction that happens when the two meet. ~ Fred Thomas

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Just Like an Aborigine - 4:21
  2. 2. Eight Day Blues - 2:19
  3. 3. My World Has Stopped - 3:54
  4. 4. Silence of the Morning - 5:13
  5. 5. You Come on Like a Train - 3:47
  6. 6. Once Upon a Time - 3:38
  7. 7. Funny Things Floating - 3:55
  8. 8. Red the Signpost - 2:21
  9. 9. In Wyrd - 3:54
  10. 10. From the Womb to the Tomb - 3:51
  11. 11. Hassan I Sabbah - 4:03
  12. 12. Take Me to L.A. - 3:52
  13. 13. Stop - 4:54
  14. 14. Hello - 4:04
  15. 15. Stick Over Me - 3:31

CD: 2

  1. 16. In Sound - 3:25
  2. 17. Trip - 3:00
  3. 18. I'm a Baby - 3:38
  4. 19. Painter - 3:16
  5. 20. I'm Coming Back - 2:17
  6. 21. As Long as I'm Around - 2:20
  7. 22. I Lost You Today - 2:58
  8. 23. Confusion - 3:24
  9. 24. Things Won't Change - 2:06
  10. 25. House of the Rising Sun - 3:21
  11. 26. Lives for No One - 2:23
  12. 27. Love - 3:33
  13. 28. You're Gone - 3:54
  14. 29. Lonely Lisa - 3:49
  15. 30. I Can Only Give You Everything - 3:46
  16. 31. Third Side - 3:30

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