Back in 2005, I became aware of the Soundslike 1981 project via I Hate Music. Someone known only as ‘I.M.’ put together a 10 disc mix chronicling the state of post-punk in 1981.
In I.M.'s own words:
I started the mix as a response to the sense I had that post-punk–a massively sprawling, chaotic, free-form joyful mess of musical abandon–was being hyped and defined as a mostly po-faced, earnestly sombre and self-serious form of music oriented around gloomy echo and ponderous vocals. Not that I don’t enjoy Joy Division in their way, but for me, that just wasn’t what it was all about. The “post-punk revival” of the early 2000s seemed mostly to center on these qualities, sometimes adding a “dance-punk” quality that livened things up a little, but it all still seemed to me to be lacking the daring, the silliness, the artsiness, the unafraid pretentiousness, the politicism of the post-punk period. While the “greats” of the period usually deserve the attention they get, what continued to thrill me was how great music was being made from a post-punk basis all over the world–there seemed to be no bottom of the barrel to scrape. And in the years since I put together the mix, I’ve continued to stumble across more and more great stuff from 1981, even though I no longer actively seek it out–it never ends. So it’s not the big names, the “important stuff” separating from the chaff as the years go by. Rather, its the depth and breadth of quality that has been revealed by time. Maybe we can only see just how broad and deep the music ran from the distance of 20-odd years–though from the sound of it all, I imagine many people already felt it at the time.
The demand for the mix was so great that despite the hundreds upon hundreds of copies of the mixes that I.M. mailed out, many hundreds more were unable to get their own copy of the lovingly hand-made mix.
That is, until today. I.M. has been running a new music blog, Musicophilia, for about two months now, where the first six mixes from the 1981 project are available for download, with the remainder promised in due time.
Start with the 1981 mixes (http://musicophilia.wordpress.com/tag/1981/), but stay for newer post-funk and post-psych mixes that are still in progress. Musicophilia has rapidly become my favorite music blog, where I.M. is doing all the hard work so that I don’t have to.