THIS IS THE ARCHIVE OF 2013 BEATCONSCIOUS SHOWS
(Shows are listed in "most recent at top" order)
In addition to the new session detailed below, there's been a rework of a 2003 House Music set, Lazy Man's Groove, which you can also check out via the Mixcloud stream. The set-list is here.
A large scale data restoration project may require
spending lots of time contemplating your musical history -- that is
certainly how it worked out for me; so this new session is a tribute to some
classics from the
Golden Age of Downtempo (1998-2004) that turned up during my
project. I was amazed at the way the introductory bars of Digby Jones's
Pina Colada or Jaffa's Sneakin' continue to affect me
TO THIS DAY, a day well over a decade from the moment of our first
encounter. This music endures.
Music, along with atmospheric light, is the most compelling trigger for memory that I know. For some folks, the mere whiff of cinnamon or pine brings Christmas memories flooding back in; in the same way, a piece of music will transport me to the time I first heard it. These tunes from the early 2000s take me back to a point when we were poised at the edge of a change we could not imagine, when everything was fresh and it seemed our hearts could expand forever.
A devotee of early downtempo will recognize the players here: Jaffa, Sven van Hees spinning St. Germain, Afterlife, Digby Jones, Charles Webster; if you're new to the game, rest assured that these are just a few from among the top 100 names of the era, and a good place to start for any who want to pursue the head-noddin vibe.
If you're inclined to listen to this set, please click the PLAY > button in the widget below ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:
The Golden Age by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud
The Demands of Love:
a Radio Programme of Varying Intensities.
Love itself is a programme of varying intensities, when you think about it. An army of emotions, most of which appear to be stronger than you anticipated, stands ready to overwhelm you. Your defenses evaporate; you surrender, and then begins the task of pleasing your captor. The experience will be both blissful & brutal & you will not stop until you have exhausted every resource. It's what love demands.
Just like relationships, this is one of those shows where people get loud (there was guitar work I couldn't resist) usually just before they get soft: a love rollercoaster. Along the way, you'll encounter newcomers Lorde, Foxes & Erik Hassle (listening to Erik is like hearing Prince for the first time, back in Purple Rain days.)
From the crate, please welcome back Jon Kennedy, Joan Armatrading, Hefner, Lemongrass, Eurythmics, and The Pahinui Brothers with their islands rendition of John Lennon's Jealous Guy. And more, of course. In love, there’s always more.
I should also note that the cover image is of an installation at the 2013 Miami ArtBasel event, and was posted by Twitter/Instagram user "Grumpy_banana" ... and I really couldn't resist it -- talk about 'giving it all you've got' -- this image really drives the point home!
If you're inclined to listen to this set, please click the PLAY > button in the widget below ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:
The Demands of Love by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud
The phrase "At
sixes & sevens"
is an old expression of uncertainty: each day we stand poised in
not-knowing, uncertain of our role in creating our reality. It's not
entirely scary; it's just open-ended. The philosophers know this state; in
fact, here's one of my favorites, Hunter S. Thompson, commenting: "And
there’s the crux. Is it worth giving up what I have to look for something
better? I don’t know—is it? Who can make that decision but you? But even
by DECIDING TO LOOK, you go a long way toward making the choice." This –
the process of creating our own fate – is our enduring mystery & suspense.
So I start you out with a Hitchcockian thought on the subject & from there you are left with only a faint path to follow & no guarantees you’ll get home.
Along the way, you'll have the company of Gramatik, Krystian Shek, Bliss, Stray Theories, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Dub Sutra, Jeep Jazz Project, Madrid de los Austrias & more.
The best guides are the ones who give you the courage to find your own way.
And I want to just take this opportunity to shout-out to my mix.dj fam, all the lovers and music lovers, for their amazomg! comments and conversation on the Is This Love page (http://www.mix.dj/mixes/4756413/MadameFLYIs_This_Love ) You guys know how to make mama proud!
If you're inclined to listen to this set, please click the PLAY > button in the widget below ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:
Sixes and Sevens by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud
And, for the season, don't forget the BeatConscious Christmas mixes are available for your enjoyment -- you can check them out on Mixcloud here: All Lit Up and here: SpiritusFLY
How do people know when "It's love"? You feel fine, you
feel warm & warmly excited & then very excited indeed & then you peak,
most likely, and then you fade back into the warmth ...
Is this love? There’s no
rush; consider your answer. In the meantime, it's also the shape of the
show: sweet slow lounge with a bit of excitement at the center.
Lots of new music was waiting for me when I got back from vacation ... (Yay, vacation!) so the tilt is toward the new: with just a handful of exceptions, everything in the show is from 2013, with particular luv for both XLR8R & Soundcloud this time & a small network of hard-working artists like The Warheads, who keep me up to date ...
In addition to The Warheads, there are choice morsels from Giyo (and big up Dusted Wax Kingdom for the find) Chris Coco, Gary B, Lana del Rey, James Blake, The Grooveblaster & the new-to-me Face + Heel, Guy Andrews & Urulu.
Is This Love by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud
My D.C. roots foretold the foundational love I have
for funk, soul, R&B and other expressions of Black music culture. I
remember how as kids we gravitated toward the music that spoke to our
souls long before we really understood the political and commercial
realities driving what was available to us. In the D.C. suburbs of my
youth, we had basically two radio station choices for contemporary music
-- if you chose WEAM broadcasting from VA, you were choosing the
country-tinged white pop music of the day (think Tommy James and the
Shondells or Del Shannon), but if, like me, you listened to WPGC,
broadcasting from the south-eastern suburbs of Prince Georges County MD,
you grew up steeped in national soul music (James Brown, Gene Chandler,
The Supremes) as well as the local DC variants like Chuck Brown and the
If that’s the path you ended up on, the greatest treat for your ears these days is to find the modern practitioners of these arts, carrying on the tradition with nu-soul / R&B flavored releases. This show’s for you, and you'll find I'm serving up generous portions of the authentic soul sauce, starting with one of the most elegant and engaging mash-ups ever, the Erick Sermon / Marvin Gaye piece Just Like Music (dating from 2001, btw, in case mash-ups still seem like a new thing to you.)
You'll hear performances from the newer soul brothers & sisters, including Beyoncé, Akshin Alizadeh, Krystian Shek, Green Street, and Poldoore, who is represented by two tracks -- one of which, Faithful Man, is the driving wheel of this session. Bridging the gap between the younger musicians and the established names like Mary J. Blige is a track from the live sessions for the Pretty Lights release A Color Map of the Sun, a project of both professional acknowledgement and personal growth from Derek Vincent Smith, moving from sampling blues and soul musicians to getting the men themselves in the studio with him to create new music. And there's more: Quantic, Groove Armada, Benny Tones, Clifford Gilberto and a Jon Kennedy remix of Mucca Pazza ... and the list goes on (as you can see here: Speaking to My Soul.)
A shout-out to the Cold Busted label is in order -- they provided a number of the tracks in this set; major respect to the people keeping it real.
It's two-fer time! Yes, people, while you were distracted, going about your business (as one does) I took the opportunity to slip in a little extra treat for those who missed it the first couple of times around .... Let me explain.
compiled in the mid-90s, via vinyl and CD, as one did then,
Adulthood Redux was one I was eager to remake in MixMeister
when that opportunity came along. Sound handling in the early versions of
MM was unkind to organic instruments, so when the software improved,
another redo was in order, and this time I brought in a few newer
selections as well. I had the chance to share this mix with a friend, The Third
Power, recently, and at his urging, I'm finally adding it to the
BeatConscious stream. Those of you who might have followed the stream since its earliest days on mmRadio, the late lamented MixMeister
radio station, may remember this -- it certainly stood out amongst the
trance, the house, and the rap that made up a great deal of the mmRadio
sound. At the time, I was mostly interested in whether MM could handle
this type of music as well as electronic dance music -- but I made it also
because I simply love these sounds. The session is crammed with classics and reworks by some stunning vocalists
including Chet Baker, Betty Carter, Robert Palmer, Norah Jones,
Cassandra Wilson and more.
So whether this is familiar ground for you, or your first time, my suggestions are the same: grab your drink of choice and turn the lights down low -- here we have a few of the more distinctive voices of our time putting their stylistic stamp on jazz standards of infatuation, obsession, and heartbreak.
And when you're done with this one, a second August session awaits you ... just continue scrolling down the page.
AND NOW FOR THAT SECOND AUGUST MIX I MENTIONED!
So, when Dr. Ouija comes to town, his main purpose with me
is prognostication: to point out the bleedin’ obvious, pull the covers off
the trembling truth that's not quite ready for daylight & generally
accustom me to sharing space with my hopes & wishes, instead of ignoring
them in the belief that their patience will soon run out & they will
So my buddy Ouija says, Play me a tune or two & I'll tell you how you're doing & I say, Oh I couldn't think of taking up your time like that. Ouija fixes me with that basilisk stare; he never lets me off the hook. After all, someone's got to keep things honest around here. He's willing to get into the muck & that's why he makes the big money. (Oh & that's why they call it Filthy Lucre: you have to get your hands dirty before you can have any.)
So ... figured I might as well get it over with, he's not leaving ‘til he's satisfied he's heard it all. Here's what I played for him. I'm pretty sure he wasn't bored.
Well, because we're virtually friends, I'm hoping you won't hold that terrible pun against me ... it got loose before I could stop it. In any event, it nicely describes the general mood of The Prognosticator, bookended as it is by two a cappella exercises in the expression of longing, from Whitney Houston and Chromatics. In addition, you'll hear the gorgeous voice of José James, new music from The Warheads and Lowb in a Synkro remix, as well as gems from the crate including Cinematic Orchestra, Moss, Weekend Players, Herbie Hancock in a DJ Krush remix, and (speaking of remixes) the insanely good Madlib take on a track from The Philadelpia Experiment. Oh, and there's Rob Smith and Alice Perera holding it down in memory of Smith & Mighty, one of my earliest attachments in the world of the BristolUK sound. All in all, a pleasing package, and one I hope you'll enjoy.
The core of our existence, our situation here, is expressible as the
It's in you & all around you; if you start making a list, you'll just
Dark / Light
Good / Evil
Love / Hate
Man / Woman
Mine / Yours
On / Off
Alone / Together
You see what I mean, and you can just keep on going with your own....
In this session, the song that most completely captures this Duality is Maybe by Emeli Sandé, and that's also the point where the set goes from lyrical to instrumental, from emotional to dispassionate.
On tap here are favorites like Hefner, Everything But The Girl, Giyo, Sven van Hees, Afterlife and much more. Along the way, you'll hear new music from Jon Kennedy, the man with the rhythm, whose uncategorizable style has been a favorite since the early days; from Maceo Plex comes the brilliant notion of remixing Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians into an evanescent house music concoction, a mini-duality all its own. And finally, from Banks, the crushing urgency of “Before I Ever Met You”. And there you are again: Before / after ... the Duality.
Duality by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud
3rd rail, the one you avoid at all costs ... This year, though, the day we
celebrate our Independence in the USA appears to be a perfect opportunity
to consider those 3rd rail topics that so often threaten to derail us:
privacy & surveillance, wage inequality & universal health care, climate
change, legalization of weed & same sex marriage ... You know what the
issues are & you no doubt know where you stand on each one; if you don't,
you should take a minute to figure that out. There is no way these things
will fail to affect your life & you must grasp them -- that is, in fact,
the price of freedom. Get up, stand up: Stand up for your rights.
The reggae poet best known in the US for expressing the soul at the core of these issues is Bob Marley. As befits an Independence Day session featuring his music, the focus is on songs of freedom & love -- because what's the point of freedom if you can’t share it with those you love?
This two-hour Independence Day special session, 3rd Rail Dub - Electrifying Roots Reggae, includes numerous remixes of Bob Marley's music, including offerings from Ziggy Marley, Fort Knox Five, RAC and a fabulously good Jason Bentley remix of Is This Love; these are all from the Legend Remixed set fielded by GiantStep DJ -- bless, you guys! Also fully represented are selections from Dubmatix -- a central figure in the US dub scene, turning out consistently great roots reggae over the years ... and again: bless for the generosity in making the music available -- collabs with Nate Wize, U-Roy & Cornell Campbell, Eccodek and Manchez included. Of course, no dub set is complete without an appearance by Thievery Corporation, and this mix meets that standard. You'll also hear trusted names like Sofa Surfers (remixed by Richard Dorfmeister), Burning Spear, Boozoo Bajou and Tosca. Newer contenders include Mojo Rising, DubSkin, Resonators, and Lance Herbstrong whose Legalize It remix/mashup closes out the set. There's even space for outliers like Breakage on a deep dub remix of Justified.
But without question, the crown must go to the Cottonbelly remix of Miguel Migs's epic track Fire. Now *this* is some muscular reggae! Fire is not only one of my favorite dub tracks of all time, but something of an anthem Chez FLY ... If I may just quote:
Rasta will never retire
Keep burning the fire
'Til the wicked in time expire
Special two-hour celebration session - nearly 30 tunes. Enjoy!
This one's been cut from Soul Cloth and tailored to FLY perfection to suit your funky style ...
session was assembled with special thanks to Eighth Dimension
promo and the Cold Busted label for selections from
Mister T. and Mojo Rising, and to Dusted Wax Kingdom
for the Giyo tracks -- the vibe they suggested has been
fleshed out with classics from Little Feat, The Funky Lowlives, Tosca,
Smith & Mighty and a Funk Sinatra 're-dub' of a PreMeier
tune. At the center of these funk exertions, time-out tracks from
Cantoma and Rena Jones provide an opportunity to relax and
catch your breath, but overall this is the kind of booty-shakin funky-steppin
madness you won't want to stop.
Wrap yourself in Soul Cloth, the perfect cover-up for all this summer's déshabillé moments.
Celebrating the onset of the rainy season ... which, this year in
Florida, at least, went back on like a light switch soon as we hit June
1st. It used to always be like that, reliable as a little
egg-timer, but we'd seen it get off track over the past half-dozen years.
Now it's back in the groove, or at least, that's how it went this year.
But from here on in, each year probably, we'll hold our collective breath
while we wait to see how it goes, because whether or not the rains come
on time says a lot about how it goes with mankind and with the world in
general. Rain is both a threat and a blessing, no matter where you
are in the world; like love, it sometimes seems a necessary catastrophe
... And perhaps because of that, rain turns out to be a popular theme in
There's actually an impressive number of rain-referencing tunes out there (keywords like rain or storm or thunder or lightning cover most of it.) Even just limiting the count to those in my own modestly-sized crate amounts to quite a lot. As a result, it proved easy to impose the flow for this rain-themed mix, with plenty to choose from including long-time favorites like the Moodswings's Rainsong and Roxy Music's Rain Rain Rain, or reaching all the way back to the anthem rock of The Alarm's Rain in the Summertime. Rain from The Beatles was an obvious choice, and good for me to hear again, since as a callow high schooler (when it first came out) I had little appreciation for Ringo's drumming, and now hear it as crisp, tight, and propulsively military on this track. There's equal goodness from Quantic, Esbe, Gavin Froome, Massive Attack, Yonderboi, the awesome Need a Name, jazzy breaks from Catalpa (Chika Asamoto & Gus Till), and the late, much-loved Scott Hardkiss recording as "God Within" on the epic track Raincry (Spiritual Thirst). I can't think of a better way to close this session out.
Florida. June. Rain. Themed mix --'nuff said: Go get wet.
memory of this time will be a blur, a tangle of limbs & intentions, a
recollection of sensation that crystallizes the events of this remembered
scene into immobility, creating a profound silence, capturing everything
that was with a photographic finality...
Your memory stays with me, etched into my mind & my nature. The experience of you changed me profoundly, altered my reality, but only these lingering memories now provide proof of the hours we spent together in love & anger, sadness & joy & hopefulness...
Your memory is failing, perhaps, but you can still summon up those times; all that's needed is a bit of music to be the magic carpet on which you fly over the memory landscape. Seen from up here, the details are faint but the view is so familiar, its contours comforting because you remember yourself traversing those rolling hills & darkening valleys & you see now that the making of your memories was the essence of that life ...
So you see what I did there, celebrating language along with memory: The idea that the phrase 'your memory' means different things depending on the context ... The memory you have of this time, the memory I have of you like a living picture in my mind, the activity of your brain that we refer to as your memory and which we barely respect until we feel it might be slipping away ... all this and more is rolled into the phrase 'your memory' ... complex and enticing as the content of the memories themselves, this is our connection to the world, the thing that anchors us in our life and time and in our personalities.
Music you love becomes associated with the times you live through and acts as a cue to bring you back together with everything you felt about that time and place; it's both a treasure and the key to the treasure house. An enduring concept here at BeatConscious, certainly, where music is the key to many doors.
Providing the music this time
are Dusted Wax Kingdom regulars Jenova 7 and
deeB, along with self-produced Afternoons in Stereo from the
new album "5", and a couple of tracks from the Lounge
Masters Vibe collection 3, featuring Rubber Lips and
Ann Grace. From deeper in the crate, Massive Attack, The
Sushi Club, Carbon Based Lifeforms and others fill out the hour,
making new memories for you out of old memories.
Memorial Day 2013
2013 is turning out to be a good year for intricate, lyrically ambiguous,
glitched-up tunes; several new favorites are included in
a selection provided in large part (6 of 15) by XLR8R via their monthly
Top 20. Outstanding examples are the Synkro touch on the opening
track, the James Blake feeling baked into the second tune, and a thematic
restatement in the two closing tracks, remixes of Tythe by
Lapalux and of The xx by KidSmpl as well as the Troy Gunner
remix of Tropics. This tendency to glitch is balanced out by older
tunes as well as straight-forward new offerings like that from The
Cutler. You can check out the
set-list here, or while you're listening via the streams from either
Mixcloud (widget embedded below) or
The airlock metaphor is oddly attractive to me: it suggests the transition point between two possibilities: stepping out, alone in your suit, to be surrounded by the dead airlessness of space vs. entering the light & warmth of a ship stocked with everything that supports existence: food, water, companionship ... light/dark, warm/cold, life/death, awaiting your choice.
Because of course, adrift in space inside your suit, you may survive but you must do so without companions ... There's just you, alone with the unnerving silences and incalculable vastness of space, its absolute blackness made hyper-real by the brilliant pricks of light, the billions of stars that symbolize everyone else who exists, just ... without you. And while you certainly don't have to be an interstellar traveller to reckon with loneliness, it’s the abstractness of what we call ‘empty space’ that gives us such a potent symbol of an essential aloneness against which our world's teeming jostling humanity is measured, compared and defined.
Airlock also suggests the idea of a neutral, mechanical accommodation to our organic need … providing a space where we shelter, suspended between extremes, like Gully Foyle in his airless space locker, holding on because … well, because it’s the rare sentient being who would pop that faceplate open and willingly suck in the airless death of space ... We – most of us – hold on because it is coded into us to hold on, until we are smitten into oblivion ... Not to jump, in other words, but to be pushed.
It's an abstraction, this idea of death as the ultimate aloneness ...
It's not imagined as extinction, mind you, not as ceasing to be (that's
apparently not a category of thought humans have an easy time with) but
as a sort of existential loneliness, a thing that you can feel, that
there is still a “you” to feel. It’s especially attractive if you feel
alone in the here and now ... You could find yourself toying with the
idea that it mightn't be so bad; you might think: why not pop that
faceplate open and let all the air and the life out in one whoosh, since
I'm alone anyway -- how different could it be? Get carried away by the
idea and you might get carried away to the other side before you know
what you're about, before you recognize that there won't be any YOU left
to appreciate whether it is, in fact, essentially the same as living
human aloneness or not.
It's not, by the way. It is not, and on an order of difference that is the ultimate magnitude of difference that anything can be ...
(I said we'd go deep.)
May Day brings Feather'sEdge, a smooth sweeping collection of borderline ambient / tender downtempo tracks bookended by two bittersweet songs by Nick Drake and Neil Young/Buffalo Springfield, each from the late 70s, each characterized by the pedal steel sound popularized by CSN&Y and the Grateful Dead nearly a decade before -- and special thx to @jeffnoon for remembering Expecting to Fly, a perfect expression of wistfulness.
You'll also hear a couple from Saru, one of which (Altitude) was unreleased at the time I received it and Discogs doesn't indicate that a tune of the same name was ever part of the released work... In addition to these older tracks, there are new works from DJ SUN, Afternoons in Stereo, Poldoore, Gary B, Banco de Gaia and, from late 2012, Miranda Shvangiradze from the La Maison de Couture collection. And, as always, there's more ...
So what does all this wistfulness reflect? Possibly it expresses through music a spiritual philosophy I attempted recently to verbalize for a friend, one who is not yet quite as close as I am to that time when it's a good move to have thought these things thru, in anticipation of the next stage of the journey. The idea is this:
We drift through life on the edge of a feather, floating, sailing, soaring as much & as high as we can. The creature that we are flies through an eternity of darkness until it has the good fortune to spy the bright window opening into the great hall that is life ... We enter into the glittering crowded hall & spend our long moment fluttering & gliding thru the room, trying to take it all in, trying to understand how there can be this place of light & warmth & the company of others like ourselves for even an hour in the emptiness of eternity. Somehow, with our eyes still on the mad life around us & our questions not yet answered, we find we've flown out an open window at the other end of the hall, back out into the featureless darkness, never to return.
We live our lives expecting to fly, when in fact we are flying all the time. We live craving paradise, unable to see that we are in it.
But of course, your mileage may vary ....
Part 6 of the Dub & Dubber series, One Draw, was first produced in 2005; of the original 18 tracks, only about 1/3 made it into this year's 4:20 rework, but the new additions make for a smoother, more unified dub reggae experience.
The session title comes from the Taj Weeks & Adowa track Jagged, one of the original selections and a true modern dub reggae joint, created in the years after many Jamaican artists had gone deep into Dancehall; many of the other tracks in the original mix just skimmed the reggae style, relying mostly on their dub nature to rate inclusion ... so, goodbye to the Alex Cortiz tracks, the Hilltribe/Staple Singers mash-up, Silent Poets and Aural Float (I'll catch up with you guys later, some other place.) In their stead are solid rock steady contenders from Aleksi Virta, Protassov, Thunderball, International Observer and an epic Bill Laswell remix of Bob Marley's Rebel Music. The Noiseshaper tracks stay, along with the Aggrovators, Autopilot and more. And finally I find a home in this set for the classic Ken Boothe tune Everything I Own, tugging hard on the heartstrings.
On any day that calls for a little psychological relief, step outside the tempest for an hour and indulge your need to relax your mind and your body. Soon enough, you can charge back into the fray ... But for now, just one draw.
Of course, if you want to make a day out of it, you can check out the other half-dozen releases in the Dub & Dubber series featured on the Dub Style page ... and you'll find many of these sets already available for streaming/downloading via the MadameFLY show on mix.dj or on Mixcloud.
One last note: April 20th is also celebrated as Record Shop Day ... support your local record shop.
On behalf of all creatures of flesh and blood for whom the cold is a discouragement, I conjure this tardy Spring: Return the warmth!
It's been such a long winter, some places are still struggling with snow on the ground -- here's an attempt at enticing Spring to return: gathering together some of the reliably warming tracks from Downtempo's Golden Age, along with newer tunes that generate some heat of their own, hoping I can free you to throw off the covers and feel the sun on your skin once again ...
Among the special tracks gathered here like fuel for a fire are classics from Projections, Silent Poets, Troublemakers, Roxy Music, Bliss and Coldcut's epic Autumn Leaves remix. Recent releases are represented by a track from Bonobo's gorgeous 2013 set, The North Borders, as well as lovely covers from Adele and from Piers Faccini, Camille and Dom La Nena with a stunning version of the Nick Drake classic, One of These Things First.
Come here, sit close, and listen: Soon you'll stop your shivering. Spring is here again - let's revel in it.
It's all about winning, isn't it? Unless it's actually about how to surrender ... Gracefully, invitingly, convincingly. Yeah, baby, whatever you say.
Perceptive listeners will note there's a handful of Jon Kennedy tracks this time, which makes this session not exactly slavish but possibly a bit fawning. No matter, it’s all in good spirits in order recognize a really impressive career spanning the past dozen years or more and still going strong. Big up, Jon!
While I'm recognizing others (and even though he's not part of this show), let me aim a hat-tip at the NPR piece on jazz giant Todd Dameron, who they've quoted saying: "I try to make it flow. Try to make everything go — you know, it's just like reading a book. It's a regular story. You just can't have one idea and jump to another one. I try to make it flow coherently." We're all story tellers, at one level or another, even if we're not all offering a happy ending. And, though you may not think of surrender as a happy ending, believe me when I tell you, it has its up-side,
In addition to the three tracks by Jon Kennedy, you'll hear a couple of new selections off the Vessels 02 collection from Future Astronauts, a release suggested to me by Stray Theories, a reliable source for news of new ambient/electronic/experimental sounds. The session starts out on the jazz tip, with a fine piece of work from Lake Street Dive -- who also get set naming honors, the show title having been pulled from their lyrics. Jazz is also honored through a track from collaborators Mark Isham and Art Lande from the late 80's release, We Begin. There's also fine music from DJ Vadim, Hubtone, Bliss, and more.
Of course, in the end it's your decision to make ... but I'd strongly recommend surrender.
Maybe love, or our celebration of it within the context of Valentine's Day, is like body surfing some huge ocean waves.... You struggle out from shore, working against the fierceness of the surf, hoping to keep from going under. You succeed in catching a wave, and maybe, just maybe, it's the perfect wave ... or at least, that's how you'll remember it in the future. You catch this wave, you ride it in -- in fact, it's the ride of your life and, remarkably, you don't drown: you make it to shore, completely, happily spent.
Postlove is you, after your monumental push to make this thing happen ... lying in the stream of experience and letting it wash over you ... there on the sand, the short foaming wavelets curling around you as you catch your breath, taking a quick inventory, and, though you may be tender, you find no bones broken.
Postlove. It's you, soaked in the sensation, alive to tell the tale.
To speed your recovery from all the Valentine's Day excitement, this session brings the calming influences of All India Radio, Joan Armatrading, User's Atmosphere, Wax Poetic & Norah Jones in a Thievery remix, all from the crate; I've added some new tracks in the same vibe, from Aligning Minds and Need a Name in a Stray Theories remix, as well as last year's stunning contender Rhye, which had people thinking Sade might finally have some competition; when the new release hits, we'll know whether that blissful dream's coming true.... And of course there's more. There's always more ....
In the meantime, relax ... you've earned it.
Here I am tugging on your sleeve again, asking you to pay attention to the possibility of love. I'm a bit early (or possibly late) for Valentine's day -- can you forgive me?
Important question, since (and here is an important bit of LoveLore) so much of love is simply forgiving the other person for being who they are when they aren't frontin' ... forgiving them without *actually* forgiving them because, you know, ‘forgiving’ implies judgment. So I guess that's really what we call acceptance. Here is the person, here's what they feel, what they believe, the way they look and speak and act. You cool with that?
Deep Love, fine love
Shy love, suspicious love
Fleeting love, lasting love
Crazy love, long-distance love
Reluctant love, forgiving love
Cautious love that searches out the perfect moment
Fresh love, true love
Whispered love, silent love
Tender love, easy love
Trembling love, brutal love
Wise love, shameless love
Reckless love in a headlong rush to surrender
Every kind of love, some for each of us.
By the same token, this Valentine's session is every kind of music (within my downtempo universe) -- the very new represented in the Rihanna/Mikky Ekko duo as well as new remixes of Norah Jones and the Daley re-rub of Remember Me (both courtesy of the GiantStep DJ promo folks, keeping me fresh) and Solange, who showed up on the 2012 Said the Gramaphone "best of" list with this track "Losing You". At the other end of the time spectrum, I've blown the dust off a couple of tunes from Joan Armatrading, cause nobody does love stuff like Joan, and the classic Cassandra Wilson remake of Neil Young's Harvest Moon. And The Zombies take me back to my musical beginnings with Time of the Season. Filling the in-between spaces are tunes from Red Snapper, Thievery Corporation, Jon Kennedy and The Sea and Cake, among others.
On Jan. 11, 2013 word filtered thru Twitter of the death by suicide of Aaron Swartz (#aaronsw), an outcome, at least in part, of his persecution by the US DOJ on copyright violation charges. I didn't know this man personally, but it was impossible to miss how loved & respected he was; Air became a meditation, a reflection on that outpouring of love & respect & profound loss.
All India Radio, Hammock, Emancipator, Moby, Olafur Arnalds, Blue Bliss -- these artists all offer songs of gravity commensurate with the urge to create a memorial; even the Ryan Adams tune repositions itself emotionally in this context. A note about the choice of the Keith Jarrett track that closes out the set ... Biting intelligence, free-ranging emotion, complexity and courage are the things I encounter when I hear this piece. And these things are also what his friends and acquaintances saw in Aaron. Altho' the Koln piece conveys a measure of sorrow, there is also a refusal to settle for that, there's an insistence on the spirit's ability to soar above. And that's what I wish for all who were close to & touched by Aaron.
In addition to posting this memorial, I'd like this page also to offer an opportunity for you to learn about the circumstances of Aaron's choice, so you'll find there all the links I've gathered in the days since I first got the news. There's much to be learned here, about copyright law and it's abuse, about the abuse of federal prosecutorial power, about what it means when a worldwide community of thinkers and makers and doers holds a man in enormously high regard. Please find a moment to spare for reading some of the linked material; the future of how you will be able to use the internet is probably suggested there, as well as thoughts and personal reflections about Aaron Swartz.