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Listen to a post-rock playlist compiled by Jack Chuter

January 2016

Post-rock historian Jack Chuter, author of Storm Static Sleep, selects tracks across the sprawling genre

Jack Chuter is the author of Storm Static Sleep, the first book dedicated to the story of post-rock music. Below, he discusses the book and assembles a playlist to accompany it.

The book is the product of over 30 first-hand interviews with some of the most prominent names in post-rock (including members of Mogwai, Tortoise, MONO and Slint, along with producer Steve Albini and journalist Simon Reynolds) and 18 restless months of research. I've watched the term mutate as music critics have misunderstood it and carelessly reapplied it, dragging post-rock away from its initial purpose in the early 1990s – when it acted as the point of congregation for some of the strangest and most adventurous manipulators of rock – and rebranding it as an instrumental music of hyperbolic emotion and cinematic scale, which has steadily amassed an international fanbase and several dedicated festivals.

For the sake of listening coherence, I'd originally considered making a playlist that focused on just one aspect of post-rock music: perhaps the wave of rock contortionists that rose up through the UK music underground in the 90s (Main, Disco Inferno), or the sweeping instrumental music that turned post-rock into a codified genre around the turn of the millennium (Mogwai, MONO). Eventually I decided to include all of it. This 90 minute selection showcases post-rock as a sprawl of stylistic influences and semantic contradiction; a blur of musique concrète collages, democratic collaboration, excessive reverb, industrial noise and neoclassical flourishes. It's a beautiful mess.

Storm Static Sleep: A Pathway Through Post-Rock is published by Function Books. Subscribers can read Abi Bliss's review of the book in The Wire 384 online via Exact Editions.

Full track listing:

Slint
"Breadcrumb Trail"
From Spiderland
(Touch And Go/Quarterstick)

Rachel's
"A French Galleasse"
From Selenography
(Touch And Go/Quarterstick)

Disco Inferno
"Starbound: All Burnt Out & Nowhere To Go"
From D I Go Pop
(Rough Trade)

Main
"Spectra Decay"
From Motion Pool
(Beggars Banquet)

Tortoise
"TNT"
From TNT
(Thrill Jockey)

Mogwai
"How To Be A Werewolf"
From Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
(Rock Action)

Do Make Say Think
"Bound To Be That Way"
From You, You're A History In Rust
(Constellation)

MONO
"The Flames Beyond The Cold Mountain"
From You Are There
(Temporary Residence Limited)

Neurosis
"Locust Star"
From Locust Star
(Relapse)

ISIS
"So Did We"
From Panopticon
(Ipecac)

Tides From Nebula
"Only With Presence"
From Eternal Movement
(Mystic Production)

This Will Destroy You
"Memory Loss"
From Another Language
(Suicide Squeeze)

Enablers
"Look"
From The Rightful Pivot
(Lancashire and Somerset)

Jakob
"Everything All Of The Time"
From Solace
(Conspiracy)

Comments

Bark Psychosis should've been a must. The very coining of the term 'post-rock' is attributed to them (Symon Reynolds), and they're hardly ever mentioned. One of the most important and unique bands of all time.

Bark Psychosis should've been a must. The very coining of the term 'post-rock' is attributed to them (Symon Reynolds), and they're hardly ever mentioned. One of the most important and unique bands of all time.

A list like this without one of bbf3, Sleep or Dead Flag Blues by Godspeed You! Black Emperor is missing something very important about "post rock".

A list like this without one of bbf3, Sleep or Dead Flag Blues by Godspeed You! Black Emperor is missing something very important about "post rock".

Sure, there's an allusion to GY!BE on the title, but I do not see any reference to them or Lift Yr. Skinny Fists in the article. Has anyone that read the book seen any reference to them?

Do make say think. Well done.

uhhhhh, no sigur rós?? um, okay lol

No Labradford? Stars of The Lid? Windy & Carl? Didn't Mr. Kranky send you a Christmas card this year?

I guess that it's impossible to mention every post-rock band but, how can't he talk post-rock and don't remember Explosions In The Sky?

good stuff

Post Rock - Initial Purpose - acted as the point of congregation for some of the strangest and most adventurous manipulators of rock

Explosions - rebranded it as an instrumental music of hyperbolic emotion and cinematic scale

Post Rock - Initial Purpose - acted as the point of congregation for some of the strangest and most adventurous manipulators of rock

Explosions - rebranded it as an instrumental music of hyperbolic emotion and cinematic scale

As far as i know there is not a neurosis álbum called locust star. That song is from the album through silver in blood.

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