Arts Desk

Listen: John Fahey’s Strange Mixtapes for a Record Store Clerk

john-faheyDoes it come as a surprise that American Primitivism guitar hero John Fahey made extremely weird mixtapes?

A couple of months ago, Chicago musician Nathaniel Braddock posted to Soundcloud a series of mixtapes he says were made by the late guitarist in the 1990s. According to Braddock, they were intended for Braddock's then-future-wife, who was working at a record store in Portland, Ore., where Fahey stopped in from time to time.

The first two tapes go heavy on strings-based dronescapes (any droneheads know who made them? Leave a comment, please), and some of the gaps between songs are so roomy, it sounds like Fahey kept the tape rolling while he switched records. The rest is utterly wacked out, but a journey through the D.C.-born musician's mind nonetheless. Take a listen below.

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  • JS Adams : BLK w/BEAR


    According to David Grubbs: "The two pieces on the Fahey 1.1 and 1.2 recordings are two of Tony Conrad's 'Early Minimalism' pieces."

    There's a Gastr del Sol cover of Fahey on 1.2 as well. (Which tipped me off to ask David).

  • Ally Schweitzer

    @JS Adams, you're awesome. Thanks.

  • Sam Gould

    Sun City Girls starts off the tape.