Welcome to ISC HiFi. Explore new records daily from our growing collection of classics and rarities from around the world. Discover the stories behind the records.

“To hear more, say less.”

Our website uses cookies
Read our privacy policy.

I Agree

5 Selects with Parquet Courts’ Austin Brown

Written By: 
E. Little
Tags: 
Share:
  •  

Austin Brown shares his journey into sound system culture and deep listening with 5 recent favorites.

Several years ago Parquet Courts cofounder Austin Brown started going to the Loft in New York. There, absorbing the sound coming out of the club’s Klipschorn speaker set-up and remarkable sound system, Brown had a series of epiphanies that helped guide production of the band’s new album, “Sympathy for Life.” 

Brown had always been into nice sound systems, but the Loft, he says, “changed my perspective as far as quality listening goes. I didn’t really fully understand the power of it, where you can have an  amazing dance party or an amazing listening experience and hear music in a new way. Songs I’d heard a million times, I was hearing in a whole new way. And not just because of volume, but because of fidelity. That really set me down that path and the never ending search for fidelity.”

As he explains the process of imagining “Sympathy for Life” and the connection to hi-fi culture, Brown pauses. “Actually, In Sheep’s Clothing was an interesting origin point for the creation of the album.” Before the pandemic, Brown flew to L.A. to brainstorm the direction with producer Rodaidh McDonald. Brown had a DJ gig out here, and the two spent a few days at McDonald’s listening to records and talking about sonics — “like, Mr. Fingers bass lines that we really like, and this Bobby Konders track that we ended up sampling,” Brown says. 

He continues, “There were nights we went to In Sheep’s Clothing to hear the Klipschorns. We were talking a lot about the Loft and club music and dance music and culture. I wanted to bring that influence into the records, and part of that is high fidelity listening and systems. I remember at In Sheep’s Clothing we listened to a Can record, which also became a big touchstone influence.”

During the pandemic, Brown spent nights disappearing into music and deeply listening. At home, he uses a stereo set-up driven by a McIntosh amp, a pair of turntables connected to a rotary mixer and what Brown describes as “these underappreciated Bose 701 speakers from the 70s and do this faux surround-sound.”

We asked Brown to select five recent deep cuts he’s been playing, both at home and during his recent DJ sets, and he offered a mix of new and vintage tracks. Below, he talks about them. 

Feater – Socialo Blanco

I don’t know how I found them and I don’t know much about them. I bought that record based on hearing that song, and the first time I put it on was after I came home from the Loft — I think after Halloween two years ago. It must have been pretty late, or quite early in the morning, and I had that record and I thought, ‘Oh, this would be great record to put on right before bed, kind of a wind-down thing.’ I love the intro track, Orlandos, and Time Million. 

But then the rest of the album is really wild, experimental electronic that kind of restarted my trip. Like, ‘Whoa, this robot free jazz band is playing,’ I remember thinking [laughs]. Unfortunately, I don’t know very much about them. I guess they’re German. I have a tendency to buy records on the internet when I’m just listening to music. Then they show up a few days later and you forget why or what the context was, and you don’t know until you put it on. It’s one of those presents to myself that I don’t fully understand yet. 

Heerlens Percussion Ensemble – Biologic Music

I think I got this one scouring bandcamp. It’s a fascinating record, reissued from a really limited pressing that I guess was in the ‘70s. It was recorded at Herleens University in the Netherlands — this percussion ensemble that was in the school for music at the time made this record. There might have been a thousand copies, and the guy who reissued it said he found it at a record fair in the cheap bin. 

In the liner notes, the story goes that he bought it how you should buy every record that you don’t know about: the cover art and the instruments that are played on it. I think the cover art had some X-ray photo of some insect. All the instruments were percussion instruments. Like, ‘Oh, this has gotta be good.’ It’s just a really amazing record. I love the way it sounds, especially those bass drums or djembe or whatever they’re using for those bass drum sounds. The rhythms are almost tribal. It feels timeless. 

The Zenmenn – Enter the Zenmenn

This is on a label that I’ve got a lot of fondness for lately, Music from Memory. They’re putting out such great stuff, and a lot of amazing ambient music. I got really into that over the pandemic, when there was a lot of time listening to music at home without any particular hopes of going out. I got really into listening to a lot of ambient stuff — not records I would normally put on with people when we’re hanging out or I was playing at a club. 

I paid a lot of attention to what Music from Memory was releasing, and this record has a kind of easy listening vibe. The musicianship is really tops. The song “Homage to a Friendship” is beautiful. It’s something I like to put on in the mornings in the shower and probably my favorite record of the year so far. Definitely one of my most listened-to. The musicianship and the melodies are really interesting, as are their keyboard sounds.

Psy Melyn – Bywyd Llonydd

I got this from my friend Tim Presley, who releases under his own name and as White Fence. He had been spending some time in Wales, either working on one of his records or a Cate Le Bon record. I thought it was super cool what Psy Melyn were doing. It takes influence from a lot of different genres, but it’s like psychedelic at its core, which I really appreciate. 

Boof – Rebirth of Gerberdaisy

Boof is Maurice Fulton, the legendary house producer — but basically I think he’s this genre unto himself. I was made aware of this through the track ‘D to the A Train.’ I don’t remember which DJ put it on there, but it was this great mix series that some friends of mine do called Down to Earth. The sounds that Maurice Fulton works with — like that flute and the way that it is paired with the electronic drum sound — is so cool. The atmosphere on the track is stellar. There are a lot of cosmic sounds on that whole record, almost like funk house. But I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just that Maurice Fulton touch that takes it to this other universe that’s really fun to play around it. 


Listen to Parquet Courts’ latest album Sympathy for Life:


Related Articles

Sort By
12th Isle
2020
33rpm
45rpm
4AD
5 Selects
7"
99 Records
A&M
Abbey Lincoln
Aboriginal
Abstract
Ace Tone
Acid Archives
Acid Folk
Acid House
Acid Punk
Acoustic
Adrian Sherwood
Africa
African
Afro
Afro-Cuban
Afrobeat
Alan Ginsberg
Alan Greenberg
Alan Thicke
Albert Ayler
Alice Coltrane
Altec
Amazon Music
Ambient
Amoeba Music
Amplifier
Analog
Anatolian Rock
Andy Warhol
Animation
AOR
Aquarium Drunkard
Archie Shepp
Archival
Art
Art & Design
Art Dudley
Art Film
Art Pop
Art Rock
Artform Radio
Arthur Russell
Article
Ash Ra Temple
Audiogon
Audiophile
avant
Avant-Garde
Avant-pop
Avant-Rock
Balearic
Bali
Ballad
Bargain Bin
Baroque Pop
Basquiat
Bauhaus
Bayou Funk
BBC
BBC Radiophonic
Beats in Space
Bebop
Belgium
Bennie Maupin
Berlin-school
Best of 2020
Beverly Glenn​-​Copeland
Bhutan Stamps
Big Band
Bill Laswell
Black Ark Studios
Black Jazz
Blaxsploitation
Blue Note
Blues
Blues Rock
Bob Marley
Bola Sete
Bollywood
Boogie
books
Boredoms
Bossa
Bossa Nova
Brazil
Brazilian Folk
Breakbeat
Breezy
Brian Eno
Bruce Weber
Bruton Music
Buddhism
Cabaret
Calypso
CAN
Cape Verde
Caribbean
Cartridges
Casio
Cassette
Cats
CD
Channel One Studios
Chanson
Charles Lloyd
Charles Mingus
Chee Shimizu
Chet Baker
Chicago
Choral
City Pop
Classical
Classics
Coctueau Twins
Commercial
Community
Compass Point
Compilation
Condesa Electronics
Conny Plank
Contemporary Jazz
Cornelius
Cosmic
Cosmic Disco
Cosmic Folk
Country
Country-Rock
Covers
Cult Classic
Cumbia
Daft Punk
Dance
Dancehall
Dark
Dark Entries
David Bowie
David Byrne
Davida
Deep Dive
Deep Listening
Delia Derbyshire
Demo
Dennis Bovell
Denon
Detroit
Devotional
Diasporic Disco
Dick Verdult
Diggin in the Mags
Disco
Discogs
DIY
DIY / Amateur
DJ
Documentary
Don Buchla
Don Cherry
Donald Byrd
Doom Metal
Downtempo
Dr. John
Dream House
Dream Pop
Dreamy
Drone
Drum Break
Drum Machine
Drum n Bass
Drums
Dub
Dub Poetry
dublab
Dubwise
Durutti Column
Düsseldorf School
Eames
Earl King
Early Electronic
East African
EBM
ECM
Electric Lady
Electro
Electronic
Electronica
Elegant Pop
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam
Enossified
Environmental Music
Eric Dolphy
ESG
Esoteric
ESP Institute
Essential Listen
Essential Listening
Essential Listenning
Ethereal
Ethiopian Jazz
Ethnic
Event
Events
Exotica
Experimental
Factory Records
Fela Kuti
Field recording
Films
Fingertracks
Fingetracks
Fishing with John
Fleetwood Sound Company
Floating
Floating Points
Folk
Folk-Rock
Fonts
Fourth World
France
Free Improvisation
Free Jazz
Friends of ISC
Frippertronics
Funk
Fusion
G.S. Schray
Gal Costa
Gamelan
Garage Rock
Garrard
Gems from the Dollar Bin
George Martin
Gilberto Gil
Gogo
Gospel
Grado
Graphic Novel
Grateful Dead
Group Sounds
Guide
Guitar
Hard Bop
Harold Budd
Harp
Harry Nilsson
Haruomi Hosono
Heavy Metal
Henry Lewy
Herbie Hancock
hi-fi
hi-NRG
Hidden Gem
Highlife
Hip Hop
Hiroshi Yoshimura
history
Holger Czukay
Holiday
Hollywood
Holy Grail
Home Listening
House
Hypnotic
Iasos
IDM
Illustration
Improvisation
In Conversation
India
Indian
Indian Classical
Indie
Indie Rock
Industrial
Ingmar Bergman
instock
Instrumental
International
Interview
ISC Classic
ISC Collection
isc guide
ISC Record Store
ISC Selects
Island Records
Isolation
Italo Disco
Italy
Jackie McLean
Jamaica
James Baldwin
Japananese
Japanese
Jazz
jazz kissa
Jazz-funk
Jazz-rock
JBL
John Fahey
John Martyn
Jon Hassell
Joni Mitchell
Judee Sill
K. Leimer
Kankyo Ongaku
Keith Haring
Keith Jarrett
Kid-Friendly
Kitty Records
Klaus Schulze
Klipsch
Kompakt
Kosmiche
Kosmische
KPM
Kraftwerk
Krautrock
L.Shankar
La Monte Young
Labels We Love
Lafawndah
Lagniappe Sessions
Laraaji
Larry Levan
Last Resort
Laswell
Latin
Latin Jazz
Laurel Canyon
Laurie Spiegel
Leaving Records
Lebanese
Lee Scratch Perry
Left-field
Leftfield
Lena Horne
Les Baxter
Lester Bowie
Library
Library Music
Liquid Liquid
Listening bar
Live Performance
Live Recording
Los Angeles
Lost & Sound
lost and sound
Louisiana Blues
Lounge
Lounge Lizards
Love Songs
Lovefingers
Lovely Music Ltd.
Lovers Rock
Luaka Bop
Mad Professor
Marantz
Marcel Duchamp
Marcos Valle
mbaqanga
McIntosh
Meditation
Meditative
Melancholic
Mellow
Melody As Truth
Meredith Monk
Metal
Michael Franks
Mid-Century
Miles Davis
Milford Graves
Mills College
Minako Yoshida
Minimal
Minneapolis Sound
Mixes
Mizell Brothers
Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs
Modal
Modern Classical
Moki Cherry
Mono
Mort Garson
Motown
MPB
MTV
Munich
Music Blog
Music from Memory
Music Interior
Music Therapy
Music Video
Mwandishi
Narrative
Neptunes
New Age
New Music
New Wave
News
Nico
Nina Simone
No Wave
Noise
Non-Profit
Northern Soul
Now Sound
NTS
Nubian Pop
Nubian Soul
Numero Group
NYC
OBI
Obscure
Obscure Sound
On Screen
On-U Sound
online radio
Organic
Organic Music
Ornette Coleman
Ortofon
Oswalds Mill Audio
Outsider Pop
Overtone Singing
Painting
Painting with John
Pandit Pran Nath
Paradise Garage
Pastoral
Patrick Cowley
Paul Horn
Paul McCartney
Pauline Oliveros
PBS
Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Pensive
Percussion
Pharoah Sanders
Phillip Glass
Piano
Pioneer
Plantasia
Plants
playlist
Playlists
Plinth
Political
Pop
Pop Rock
Popul Vuh
Post Bop
Post Rock
Post-Punk
Power Pop
Premiere
Prince
Private Press
Productions
Professor Longhair
Prog Rock
Progressive
Progressive Rock
Prophet-5
Psychedelic
Psychedelic Rock
Psyhedelic
Punk
Qobuz
Quadraphonic
QUARK
Quiet Storm
R&B
Radio
Raga
Rare Groove
rca victor
Receivers
Record Label
Record Stores
Record Stories
Reggae
Reggaeton
Reissue
Reissues
Releases
Remix
Rock
Rocksteady
Roland
Roland Kirk
Roller Skate
Room Recordings
Room Treatment
Roots Reggae
Rotary Mixers
Rough Trade
Rudy Van Gelder
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Ryuichi Sakmoto
Sacred
Sade
Sam Gendel
Samba
Samples
Sci-fi
Séance Centre
Seefeel
Sensual
Shamisen
Shibuya-kei
Shoegaze
Singer-Songwriter
Sisters with Transistors
Sly & Robbie
Smooth Jazz
Soft Rock
Solid State
Songwriting
Sonny Sharrock
Soul
Soul-jazz
Sound Collage
Soundsystems
Soundtrack
South Africa
South African
South America
speakers
Spiritual
Spiritual Jazz
Spoken Word
Staff Picks
Steely Dan
Stereolab
Stereophile
Steven Halpern
Stevie Wonder
Stoner Rock
stores we love
Streaming
Street Soul
Studio One
Sun Ra
Sunn O)))
Surround Sound
Susumu Yokota
Suzanne Cianni
Suzanne Kraft
SYNG
Synth
Synth Pop
Synth-pop
Synthesizer
Synthwave
Taarab
Takoma Records
Tangerine Dream
Tape
Tapes
TD-160
Techno
Techno Pop
Television
Terry Callier
Terry Riley
The Beatles
The Broad
The Loft
The Meters
The Mizell Brothers
The Music Center
The World Stage
Thelonious Monk
Third Side Music
Third Stream
This Mortal Coil
Thorens
Tim Sweeney
Too Pure Records
Total Luxury Spa
Traditional
Tribal
Trip-hop
Tropical
Tropicalia
Tuareg
Tube
Turntable
TV
UK
Underrated
Val Wilmer
Vanity Fair
Velvet Underground
Vice
Video
Vince Guaraldi
Vintage
Vintage Gear
vinyl
Virginia Astley
Visible Cloaks
Visual Art
Vocal
Vocoder
Walearic
Wally Badarou
Water
Website
Werner Herzog
West Africa
West African
Windham Hill
World
Yacht Rock
Yasuaki Shimizu
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Yma Sumac
YouTube
Zamrock
Zither