I Made This For You #1

News / Special Features / January 7, 2016

I Made This For You is a mixtape exchange series in which you’re dropped into email correspondence between members of the MV staff. Today’s entry, our first, features owner Chris Lantinen and writer Alan Miller exchanging mixes based around the theme of Mondo/Death Waltz.

From: news@modern-vinyl.com
To: alan.miller.ky@gmail.com
Date: Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 9:42 PM

Alright. Let’s do this.

For our readers peeping in on the conversation, this is a new MV feature. Basically, two MV staffers — in this case, myself and writer Alan Miller — make and send each other mixtapes. The exchange can be based around a theme or can be an open discussion about what kind of music the other NEEDS at that point in their life. The article is the email convo.

So, Alan, you’re way ahead of me in this one. You’ve set the theme of Mondo/Death Waltz favorites and actually already finished your mixtape. So on my side, I need to get in gear. Looking at the Discogs for each, it seems like I’ll be relying heavily on Mondo and my favorites from that side. I also notice in the digital playlist you’ve already sent over, you actually have “soundtracks you’d like them to reissue,” as well, which is pretty brilliant.

And you made an actual tape! From here, I’ll start compiling my choices but I think you should give me the breakdown on why you picked your core tracks and I need to hear your rationale on what you’d like them to reissue. As a veteran of the “Please Press” feature, that intrigues me greatly. And I’m digging into this soundtrack….so more updates coming.

From: news@modern-vinyl.com
To: alan.miller.ky@gmail.com
Date: Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 9:50 PM

I immediately thought, upon hearing The Fog‘s intro, that I won’t be able to keep up with the horror cuts, given it was never a genre favorite. But then I notice in the top right corner of the playlist that beautiful tracklisting. Thank god.

From: alan.miller.ky@gmail.com
To: news@modern-vinyl.com
Date: Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 11:39 PM

Haha, yeah the tracklist is a must when it comes to obscure and even not so obscure horror scores.

I guess before I get to the rationale I should discuss the process. For around 3 nights, I sat in front of my Ikea Expedit-like record storage unit pulling records and transferring them straight from turntable to tape. I wanted to be pretty authentic with the transfer and also give myself the constraints of only using records I’ve actually bought from both the labels. I found it to be pretty rewarding, especially going through stuff I hadn’t listened to in quite a while. As far as the Side 1 track order, it was all just grabbing things on instinct, no forethought at all. Side 2 is a different story…

Side 2 has some definite themes going on. Over the past few years, I’ve collected a ton of kids Halloween and spooky sounds records which I absolutely adore. I’d love to see some of that stuff repressed or reissued at some point in time, but all of it was so “grab the cash and go” that I doubt the rights would be easy to obtain. Anyhow, I used some of those spooky stories to set up themes on Side 2. For instance, you’ll hear a vampire story that leads into “Cry Little Sister” from The Lost Boys, a great 80s soundtrack that desperately needs a reissue.

With all that in mind, let me know what you think!

From: news@modern-vinyl.com
To: alan.miller.ky@gmail.com
Date: Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 8:56 PM

What exactly is the equipment you need to pull off the vinyl to tape transfer? You always record your vinyl for review purposes, as well, so what kind of setup do you have to be the audio maestro…

Quick side story. I made my girlfriend a mixtape about five years ago — burned the mp3 constructed file to CD, then recorded onto tape using an old stereo — and I still had the tape player that came with the gift. Tried it out with a few different battery combinations and of course it’s dead. So I suppose part of this journey will be me attempting to grab one at a second hand store somewhere in town.

But I received your tape! And I think people need to know the detail on this thing. Not only do you have a front cover image, but it actually says MVMI (Modern Vinyl Mixtape) 001 on it, which I was very excited about. And the inside has the complete tracklisting for both sides, along with what Mondo or Death Waltz release number each one was for Side A. I’ll place some pictures below.

But I’m off to make my mix. I have a little bit of a direction, but the bulk of the work is still to come.

From: news@modern-vinyl.com
To: alan.miller.ky@gmail.com
Date: Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 8:56 PM

Holy shit I see that you actually put the equipment used on the packaging! So great.

From: news@modern-vinyl.com
To: alan.miller.ky@gmail.com
Date: Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 10:59 AM

It’s been like 20 days, but I’ve finally finished your playlist. I decided, in honor of your layout, that I’d try to replicate the Mondo/Death Waltz favorites on the “Side A” and the possible future releases on “Side B.” I wanted to go through the tracks and kinda give you a breakdown of the highlights and why I included what.

TV Broadcast — You started out with a John Carpenter prologue so I had to do the same. This one’s from They Live, one of my favorites (maybe it’s just my favorite) from Carpenter. There were some more spoken word tracks in the deluxe edition I wanted to drop throughout, but it wasn’t part of Death Waltz’s vinyl release, so I decided not to. But this is just the perfect opening for me, as the TV static matches up with our namesake format and it’s just so, so foreboding and sinister.

Khabnama — This is from an Iranian band named Radio Tehran and the song is catchy even to this English-only speaker. And it’s of course for the Iranian film, A Girl Who Walks Home Alone At Night. Being into soundtracks, this is the kind of magic we find and get to experience. Something I never would have listened to previously had it not been for the Mondo/DW connection. It takes a ton of notes from ’90s indie rock and folk tunes.

Nightcall/Come and Get Your Love — Drive is my favorite Mondo release and the selected tracks added to Martinez’s score are all excellent. And of course “Come and Get Your Love” is the amazing selection from the “Awesome Mix: Volume 1” of Guardians of The Galaxy fame.

The next three score pieces are designed to transition out of the poppier, cheerful early selections, into the darker score work. We both included the work of Jon Brion on Paranorman, which was a nice coincidence and “Her Face” is some of Nathan Johnson’s best work in Looper. And if you haven’t experienced The Last of Us on Playstation, it’s time to become a gamer. Great storytelling.

Kaiseki — So this is from the TV show, Hannibal. I don’t believe this is an exact track included on the eventual Mondo release (Invada did a bunch of vinyl releases first stretching through the seasons) and the track title is actually an episode title. So I believe this translates to “Sticky Situation” and “Will Remembers Ear” on the Mondo release. Anyways, Brian Reitzell is very creative in his composition. That tearing sound is actually from a children’s toy, which is “a plastic tube that stretches out when you pull it.” It kinda gives me a weird pit in my stomach.

Moon Landing — This is another I wanted to touch on, as it’s actually from the documentary, Room 237. This is the one where crazy theories about The Shining are explored. It’s just really creative work in a field of film where you don’t often focus on the score.

The following tracks are for the “Possible Future Releases” section. The first is a theme from Mr. Robot, my favorite show from the summer. A disciple of Cliff Martinez put together the music and it’s the electronica heaven you’d expect. Someone’s going to grab this for a vinyl pressing very, very soon. The second is another great TV show, Black Mirror. This piece is from “White Bear,” actually one of the weaker episodes, but the point is, they should do the score for a bunch of these episodes (they’re close to movie length, thus why you can break them up). Some other highlights:

Birth Of A Penguin — I grew up on Batman and Batman Returns and I just remember the latter’s score being one of the first where I really “noticed” the music, ya know? It has those heavy gothic influences, obviously a big nod to Burton’s overall approach to the Caped Crusader. But this piece, for the beginning of the film, is a special standout, given that organ work. Mondo could do some crazy artwork for this as well.

The Moon Song — My love for the Her soundtrack is long documented. Mondo has already released artwork for it, we just need that first official soundtrack release! The whole thing is great, but there’s still no digital version so I grabbed the buzzed about single.

And I finished up with a couple Wes Anderson releases. The first track, from Rushmore, was already released on vinyl in 2015, but I heard nothing good about the release (gross blown up art). I’d love for a much better label to take a stab. And the Seu Jorge song that finishes the mixtape was released via, what I believe was, a bootleg in 2014, so again we should hope for much more regarding one of the best living directors.

Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!

From: alan.miller.ky@gmail.com
To: news@modern-vinyl.com
Date: Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 11:01 AM

First off, you put together a really great list. My only issue with the opening is I needed “Coming to LA” right after the “TV Broadcast”; my brain couldn’t rationalize why it wasn’t there. But as an opener, it works really well.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve not seen A Girl Who Walks Home Alone At Night yet. I enjoyed the ’90s feel of that track and I’m looking forward to checking the rest of it out. I love “Nightcall” so much. It’s been a while since I listened to it, as I purposefully kept myself from playing it too often when it came out, but I love the fact that I can see the opening of the movie in my head while I listen. It’s like the musical equivalent of bright pink neon lights.

I see we both had Paranorman tracks — I love that movie and Jon Brion as a composer. I honestly think you included the best song on the album, but it’s really solid throughout. “The Quarantine Zone,” wow. That’s some seriously creepy music. I haven’t played The Last of Us yet, but maybe after Fallout 4 I’ll need to jump into it. “On The Beach”, again, I love everything Martinez does with Drive/The Knick being my two favorites scores.

Glad you like Room 237 as well! I also remember noticing how unsettling the score is, with lots of heartbeat rhythms and ominous synth tones. I can’t be sure how much of the doc is true, but the score and cinematography was very effective in making you think Kubrick had something up his sleeve.

Begin and end Side 1 with Carpenter, exactly as it should! I love how minimalistic “Wrong Flavour” is, even by Carpenter standards.

I’m right there with you on both “Mr. Robot Theme” and “Terror in the Woods” — they both hearken back to the wonderful horror synth sounds of the ’80s without feeling like direct copies of any certain composer. I’m right there with you on Batman Returns, I think I like it a bit more than the score to Batman. I really like Christmas music as well though, so it could just be Elfman’s abundance of bell sounds that set it apart. Beetlejuice was my first foray in Elfman’s style, and outside of Ghostbusters it was one of the first soundtracks I had on cassette as a kid.

As soon as I heard that Clan of Xymox song, I immediately thought ’80s goth, and specifically Siouxsie and the Banshees. Really great track, and completely unexpected — any reason you chose that one? “The Moon Song”, so achingly beautiful. I remember being blown away seeing Karen O and Ezra Koenig perform it at the Oscars a few years back. Wonderful movie, wonderful song. Oh god, those feels…

Hey it’s Cat Stevens! I’m happy again! Is The Life Aquatic your favorite Wes Anderson film? For me, it’s a toss up between it and Fantastic Mr. Fox. The Seu Jorge covers are so brilliant — I distinctly remember the moment, watching the movie for the first time, when I finally went “Hey, I know that melody! That’s “Life on Mars!” That was such a brave choice to go with French covers of Bowie tunes. And to use the Sigur Ros track “Starlafur” during the climax; tears, tears every time.

I LOVED your playlist!

From: news@modern-vinyl.com
To: alan.miller.ky@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 11:47 PM

Long time, no talk. The end of the year has engulfed me, but I wanted to make sure to respond to this and close up this first edition of “I Made This For You.”

I’m glad you enjoyed the playlist. I pretty much had to capitalize on your Carpenter love, but I’m hopeful there were a couple discoveries in here. In regard to the Clan of Xymox song, there’s so much gold in that soundtrack that I really had a tough time narrowing it down, but if I remember correctly, two characters are driving home from a party and they connect via this track. Seriously, if you haven’t seen this song/listened to this soundtrack, it’s an incredible collection.
And Wes Anderson….Life Aquatic is actually one of my least favorite of his. It goes Rushmore (always and forever), Grand, Moonrise (underrated in my opinion), Fantastic, Royal and on. Really dig his newer stuff.
And yes….you need to play Last of Us.

Any final thoughts?

From: alan.miller.ky@gmail.com
To: news@modern-vinyl.com
Date: Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 8:00 AM

This has been fun! One thing I really miss about the pre-internet days is connecting and sharing music face to face, and I think we’ve done a respectable job of mimicking that via email and Spotify (and tape).

I Made This For You will continue throughout 2016. Make sure to check out Chris’ Spotify playlist and Alan’s tracklisting is in the images above for anyone wishing to recreate (not all his songs are available through streaming). 


Christopher Lantinen
Chris Lantinen is the owner and editor-in-chief of Modern Vinyl. Along with his modest collection of sad sounding records, he collects his share of soundtracks and previously adored indie up-and-comers. Chris is currently a professor of journalism and public relations at Edinboro University in the Erie, Pennsylvania area.

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