Book cover detail of No One Told Me Not To Do This by Jay Ryan

The Delian Mode

The work of Delia Derbyshire has been deeply influential to electronic musicians and fans for decades, but the last 10 years in particular have seen a surge of interest bring a lot more about her to light; 2016 alone produced a rerelease of BBC Radiophonic Workshop 21 (this time with credits) and a record of never-heard work. Recently I was reminded to check out 2009’s The Delian Mode, a short (25-minute) but insightful look into Derbyshire’s unconventional life and mind. The film itself mimics her experimental spirit with a collage of sound and images illuminating the labored, mathematical process behind some of her visionary sound treatments, most famously the original Doctor Who theme. It’s easy enough to appreciate Derbyshire’s artistry just by listening, but seeing her pre-synthesizer process broken down—in a modern world of wild sounds just a click or touch away—really brings home the sheer accomplishment and radicalism of what she was doing. [Kelsey J. Waite]

No One Told Me Not To Do This by Jay Ryan

Jay Ryan is responsible for the walls in our A.V. Undercover studio, so even if you think you aren’t familiar with his work, you might already be. Ryan has been making strange little creatures since the mid-’90s, most often for bands in the Chicago area looking to promote concerts with something splashier than a Xeroxed flyer. His work is unmistakable: Whether it’s a bunch of animals cozied up under the covers or a smashed-up satellite advertising a Hum reunion, there’s nothing else exactly like it (and nothing nearly as charming). His shop produces a ton of posters every year, and it’d be madness to try and collect them all: No One Told Me Not To Do This (Akashic Books) is the third book collection of Ryan’s artwork, capturing some of the best from 2009 to 2015. Look, there’s the poster from A.V. Fest 2013, featuring flying garbage trucks! [Josh Modell]

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Midlake, The Trials Of Van Occupanther LP reissue

When Midlake’s The Trials Of Van Occupanther came out in 2006, it was a smooth-rock revelation. Although the Denton, Texas, band had gotten some buzz with its first record, 2004’s Bamnan And Slivercork, The Trials Of Van Occupanther really put them on the indie-rock map. I know, because not only did I work in the music industry at the time, but I also listened the motherfucking shit out of this record. Ten years later and with a deluxe LP reissue on the horizon from Bella Union, I’ve been revisiting the record, and I have to say: It still rips. Somehow Van Occupanther manages to combine Bon Iver, Steely Dan, and yacht rock and not come off as totally cheesy. Tracks like “Young Bride” and “Roscoe” are as fresh as ever, and “We Gathered In Spring” is still just devastating. That I’m listening to it on the aforementioned LP, with its 180-gram gold vinyl and new art, is just a sonic bonus. [Marah Eakin]

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