For ten years, San Francisco’s Asphodel label was America’s premiere experimental music imprint. Trafficking in everything from turntablist 12″s by the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Mixmaster Mike’s legendary Anti-Theft Device LP, DJ Spooky’s best full-length, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, musique concrète by Iannis Xenakis (Persepolis,) minimal techno dub from Berlin masters Rhythm and Sound, and symphonies made out of midi-controlled dot matrix printers, Asphodel was it.

To wit, one of its very final releases was an orchestral cover of Lou Reed’s noise opus Metal Machine Music. Ears to the ground could not even get close to describing the nature of its signings. Asphodel was the ultimate fan’s label. What was so refreshing about it was that its curatorial policy so clearly reflected the zeitgeist. Not just any, but the one preferred by the most creative persons in the indie music world at the time.

The person responsible for the directing the label’s A&R policies was the appropriately named Naut Humon. A longtime fixture in the Bay Area experimental music community, the Seattle native combined an academic appreciation of post-war art music with a punkish love of DiY everything. In his imagination, there was little that separated a San Francisco DJ like Qbert from a university-employed European composer like Xenakis.

A musician himself, best known for his work with SF’s seminal Rhythm and Noise, for over thirty years Naut also ran Recombinant Media Labs, which hosted his ongoing project, Sound Traffic Control. Also a longtime jury member of the Austrian award granting Ars Electronica Festival, Naut has devoted much of the last decade to nurturing musicians outside his own immediate label and studio confines, helping provide art world legitimacy to the world’s most ingenious sound artists.

Truth be told, I worked for Naut, as Asphodel’s label manager for two and a half years. Fresh out of grad school, having run microscopic label imprints of my own, it was an honor to work under someone with Naut’s accomplishments. We released an exhaustive number of recordings together. I have yet to meet anyone with quite as broad a musical vocabulary as his, let alone a music collection of Naut’s size.

Having listened to him play new records for me for years, whether they be artist demos, new full-lengths, or deranged field recordings, I figured it was time to invite Naut to contribute a mix of his own to Souciant’s weekly sound residency. A ninety minute iPhone playlist ranging from Buddy Holly to Ligeti? Absolutely. You just have to have a broad appreciation of the canon, as well as a fairly damaged sense of highway music. I can’t think of a better way to describe Naut, or, for that matter, introduce his mix.

– Joel Schalit


Track List:

1. Taxi Driver  soundtrack fragment

2. Can’t Disappear – Pluramon – 30 sec.

3. Lontano – Ligeti – 4:53

4. Strange  Young Girls – Mamas and Papas – 5:31

5. Nazionale – Neu – 8:12 (a life in a day)

6. Sing this All Together – Their Satanic Majesties Request – 11:00

7. These Days – Nico – 12:18

8. Hollyville Train – World Standard – 15.59

9.  Memories of Green – Vangelis – 20:09

10. Calais to Dover – Jack Rose –  20:22

11. Embryonic Journey – Jefferson Airplane – 30 :35

12. My Low Chuned Banjo – World Standard – 32:28

13. There will be Peace In the Valley –  Johnny Cash – 35:21

14. When the Roses Bloom Again – Johnny Cash  38:05

15 . In the Pines – Charlie Feathers – 40:38

16. Have Gun Will Travel – Johnny West  – 43:30

17. Fever -Elvis Presley – 45:38

18. Suspicion – Terry Stafford –  49:09

19. Train to Nowhere – The Champs – 51:36

20. Whats So Kind About Mankind?  – Monte Cazzaza – 53:44

21. Electrify – Beastie Boys – 63:34

22. Street Fighting Confusion – Rolling Temps – 65:30

23. Neverland – Sisters of Mercy – 69:07

24. I Know – David Lynch  – 71:50

25. Imaginary Girl – David Lynch  – 75:48

26. Mr. Excitement – Curd Duca  / Tipsy Remix – 78:08

27. The Optomist – Locust – 82:23

28. River – Enya — 89:35

29. Matthew Ghost Story – the Fog Soundtrack – 92:43

30. Cowboys Don’t Cry – World Standard / Country Gazette


+  Bonus track written  by Buddy Holly