Over eight hours of (aQ) hits!

Happy New Year, folks! And good riddance to 2016, ugh. As we all know, 2016 was not the best of years and aQuarius closing was the least of it. As we look forward (with hope and/or trepidation) to 2017, maybe it's more fun to look back... before 2016 that is...

I (Allan) was browsing in Amoeba the other day, and was surprised to find a copy of this incredibly rare, limited edition cd-r in the 'various artists' section of their experimental cd bin. At the bargain price of just $2.99, I had to pick it up, especially since I realized I didn't actually already have a copy myself. In fact, it took me a few seconds after I spied the cover to even recall what the heck it was...

Back in 2010, aQuarius had a big 40th Anniversary party, and we made a massive commemorative 'mix tape' for the event, in the form of a data cd-r of mp3's – 118 tracks, approximately 8 hours and 20 minutes of music! Pretty sure Andee compiled it, with input from the rest of us. We made just sixty numbered copies available to party-goers. (This one is #18/60.)

It featured a whole bunch of crucial faves we'd hailed on the aQ list between 1995 and 2010, everything from Os Mutantes to Philip Jeck to Uz Jsme Doma to Neutral Milk Hotel to Kathy McGinty to Beyond Dawn to Hatebeak to Boards Of Canada to The Bee Gees, and (of course!!) quite a few selections from The Conet Project, as well as choice cuts from The Ghost OrchidSounds Of North American Frogs, and Sounds Of American Doomsday Cults.

We mixed in some one-hit wonders at the shop like The Jones Machine and Jud Jud, as well as highlighting tracks by longtime staples of the aQ catalog like the mighty Circle, the Thai Elephant OrchestraVillage Of Savoonga, and the Ethiopiques series. And you'll find not just one but two f'ed up cover versions of Iron Maiden songs. So many obscure faves and favorite obscurities. While not totally comprehensive (it'd have to be another 8, or 10, or 20, or 100 hours long) it's still a pretty spot-on 'greatest hits' of a lot what we were listening to and raving about at aQ back in the day. Needless to say, our eventually forthcoming 'big book of aQ reviews' will include our write-ups about ALL of these, without a doubt.

Fyi, the text on the back of this disc's Conet-homage packaging reads as follows:

"aQ40: To commemorate the 40th anniversary of aQuarius recOrds, we've gathered up some of our all time favorite tracks from throughout the store's long and storied history, songs and sounds that defined the store, and helped make aQuarius one of the most idiosyncratic sources for far our sounds in the world. Many of these gems were aQ Records Of The Week, most of them are long out of print, and all of them are amazing! A sprawling sonic mix tape for our beloved friends and customers around the world. aQ would be nothing without all of you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your years of love, loyalty and support. And of course for loving music as much as we do!"

So, anyway, after stumbling across this quite awesome (imho) aQ40 mega-mix cd-r at Amoeba, I got the idea to edit it into a continuous, seamless mix (since it was just a playlist of individual mp3s before) and put it up on the internet to share with everyone. I split it into four parts of roughly two hours each to make uploading (and listening to) it a little easier. Here it is, enjoy – you can click through to Mixcloud to see the full track listings for each of the four parts, if you like:

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