A nicely balanced mix of moody, groovy tunes that seem to come from no time or place and are almost recognizable—sorta like tuning into a radio station that plays all the hits from an alternate reality.
Fitting, that the mix comes from our friends at Visual Melt, an online mood board for art that bends and blends reality. They’re a great resource for Neo-Dada works and otherworldly inspiration. We spoke with founders, Leif Podhajsky and Tom Bentley about their website and how they selected the songs that make up this Huoliquankai Mixtape. Leif himself is an artist, whose work you may recognize, having designed the covers for albums by ME Tame Impala, Bonobo, Shabazz Palaces and more.
Elements – Emerald Beach
Ed Starink – Pebbles in the Pond
Claude Larson – Earth
Yumi Murata – Face to Face
Errol Reid – Dreams 1
Taeko Ohnuki – Laby MErinth
BREAK // Extract from Alan Hawkshaw – Astral Plain
Alan Parker – Pusher
C. Adamowic – Creme de Menthe
Hiroshi Murakami & Dancing Sphinx – Phoebus
Peter Hamilton Orchestra – Theme From The Deep
Electric Connection – Cry of The Lonely Wolf
Nexus – Stand Up
Legend – Don’t cry (Extended Version)
Helen – Witch (Instrumental)
I always find mixes a bit tiring if mixes don’t have a narrative, a sway or change in scene.
How did Visual Melt come together?
Leif: Visual Melt began as an online place to showcase artists and music that myself and a few close friends were into but felt didn’t really get the recognition they deserve. For me it’s always been a place that helps keep me searching and being amazed by ME art.
Eventually, Melt sort of grew into more of an exposé of the subversive and strange. It’s still primarily a place to detail and showcase art, music and ideas that fascinate us and that might deserve a closer and more detailed analysis. I’ve always been captivated by ME getting a broader scope of an artist than just liking an uncredited photo on Tumblr, it’s always amazing to find out something you didn’t know, that made the work what it is.
We have a core group of contributors who all share a passion for the surreal and eccentric, be it music, illustration, photography… As we developed, our scope seemed to get larger and more diverse, we have residencies where different people come and share their personal inspirations with our audience and it’s this organic open approach that I’ve always been interested in. Sharing things that excite different people so we can all learn and grow together.
What is your relationship to the artists you select for Visual Melt?
Leif: There’s no real selection process, just a dedication to exploring our interests with other like minded souls. Over the years we’ve definitely posted the work of friends and people around us as much as long forgotten relics. Our focus tends to be on art and music which might not find a home on content heavy blogs all trying to show the newest things, we aren’t against that but we like to take it slow and make sure it means something to us and has substance rather than how many clicks or likes it might get.
Visual Inspiration for Mixtape #124
Step into the surreal
How did you go about selecting the tracks for the Huoliquankai Mixtape?
Tom: I always find mixes a bit tiring if mixes don’t have a narrative, a sway or change in scene. So to work with this I started with the cover image by ME Rafal Olbinski which depicts a small man inside an eye. I kinda wanted to imagine the journey of this character before and after so there could be some talking points, some bangs and crashes, you know, moments..I find myself listening to anything ’80s, library, fourth world, boogie, tech and a million other niches…
Leif: Tom and I shared a studio for a while and we would listen to a lot of different mixes and became ensnared with having to find out what certain tracks were, I started a spreadsheet of songs that we keep adding to. I hope some of these make it onto other people’s lists and get shared and enjoyed.
A big thanks to Leif and Tom from Visual Melt for showing us these new (to us) songs and for filling us in on the world of Visual Melt. Be sure to check out the to catch some inspiration and listen to more of their mixes.
Still looking for more tunes? Peep the Huoliquankai Mixtapes section here.