14 deep cuts from Lovefingers' essential '00s music resource.
Nothing much happens for most of Quentin Tarantino's new film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Many of the most memorable scenes feature Brad Pitt's aging stuntman character, Cliff Booth, driving aimlessly through Los Angeles, listening to loud music. "Part of the LA groove is you drive everywhere," Tarantino said in an interview with Discogs. "And you mix it with the radio, which is almost your co-pilot or air traffic controller as you negotiate your boat through the Los Angeles freeway system and the hills and stuff."
Andrew Hogge, AKA Lovefingers, a native of Southern California, has spent a lot of time listening to music while navigating LA traffic. Fingertracks: Vol 1, a compilation of tracks posted between 2006 and 2010 on his highly influential blog, lovefingers.org, starts out with a radio station ID jingle. The 14-track compilation feels like locking into an amazing, switched-on radio DJ while driving west through LA's latticework of freeways, the hazy San Gabriel Mountains in the rearview, Pacific Ocean somewhere out near the horizon.
Much of Fingertracks: Vol 1 channels the ambling, psychedelic rock sound native to LA's canyons. The Chequers' "Theme One" reimagines the cruising rock sound of songs like The Eagles' "One Of These Nights" as a sumptuous soundtrack piece, while Rick Cuevas's 1984 private-press psych track "The Birds" depicts bedroom guitar (and drum machine) heroics. Between July 22nd and 24th, 2008, Hogge posted three songs from Eddie Callahan's obscure 1976 LP False Ego, with good reason. "Santa Cruz Mountains," included here, is a sad, synth-addled rock tune that should have been a classic.
"I would just throw in oddball stuff like I used to do on mixtapes," Hogge said in a 2016 Playing Favourites feature. "I just put all my fuckin' guts on the table with that blog. I wanted to make it go on and on and at some point maybe someone would sense some kind of narrative flow." As with the site, Hogge's far-flung musical passions take on a loose narrative form on Fingertracks: Vol 1.
There's a suite of tracks surveying different strains of European cosmic music, including Italo (Jo Squillo Eletrix's "Avventurieri"), French slo-mo disco (Captain Mustard's "Quiet Move") and chugging, experimental dance music from Greece (D.E.'s "Full Moon"). Hogge once made a mix solely for the purpose of arranging Nuno Canavarro's "Blu Terra," which appears here, as its centerpiece. "Today," from Kevin Godley and Lol Creme's pre-10cc project Hotlegs, gets a welcome inclusion—it appeared on the master lovefingers.org list as well as a mixtape by LA record guru Jimi Hey, which was digitized and posted on the site.
Fingertracks: Vol 1 is a greatest hits compilation by a DJ who has spent decades digging, sharing and trading all genres of music with friends. The lovefingers.org site was prescient, inspiring similar projects like Bullion's Pop-not-slop playlist and anticipating playlist culture. The number of lovefingers.org tracks that have experienced a revival via reissues or selector culture as a whole is staggering.
An education in underground sound is still available via lovefingers.org, but being a record nerd will only get you so far. There are playlists everywhere these days. The Fingertracks are exceptional because they serve a personal narrative of record digging, and because so many of them are extraordinarily beautiful. In 2009, Lovefingers said, "To be honest I've always wanted to program music for films. The site was originally an attempt to get some sort of work in that dept." Tarantino would be wise to hit him up next time around.
Tracklist01. Lovefingers - DJ Intro
02. The Chequers - Theme One
03. Lifetones - Good Side
04. Rick Cuevas - The Birds
05. Data - Data Plata
06. Hotlegs - Today
07. Jo Squillo Eletrix - Avventurieri (Remix Dance Version)
08. Captain Mustard - Quiet Move (Special Dance Mix)
09. D.E. - Full Moon (Lovefingers Remix)
10. Nuno Canavarro - Blue Terra
11. Electronic System - Sky Lab
12. Eddie Callahan - Santa Cruz Mountains
13. Dave Brock - Spirits
14. Florian Poser - Winds