SAYING SO LONG TO 2005
|Once again, the task looms of
recapping the year in pursuit of a "Best Of" list ... as I've said elsewhere
on this page, I believe the mmRadio Set-Lists page tells all there is to say
about what caught my interest over the past 12 months ... in the interests
of tradition, though, here's my short list rendition of that page-load of
set-lists and a look at the the tracks and the albums that really stuck with
me as year progressed:
Personal Musical Milestone: the return of
Heights of Abraham with a new release, Two Thousand and Six
... read more about my love affair
with this group and their reappearance in my life here.
My rediscovered stack of Silent Poets CDs
The re-born emusic.com and all the great independent labels they are still
Big Bud ... those tracks keep cropping up on my mixes ...
The realization that it doesn't have to be NEW music to be GREAT music
Puddu Varano, Blissom and Ashen, Protossov, Noiseshaper; Sanchez Dub, B.N.
Loco and Julian Brody from the Modus Vivendi network of artists;
my friend K from Vancouver who released Krysalid this year and is working
hard to bring the next one on; another friend, Afternoons in Stereo,
keeping the world supplied with great music via his own compositions and
his radio show, Urban Modernists; Doctor Echo, Adham Shaikh; all the folks at
Tokyo Dawn, Citrona and every other one who is trying their best to make a
go of the new marketplace independently. as well as services like
RadioDirectX which is trying to help out the independents via new
forms of promotion.
And more to be added as I think of it....
Immediately below is the original "what's
hot" rundown that I started several years ago, along with some small label
reviews ... followed by year-end wrap-ups from previous years below that.
Favorites that Just Don't Quit
You can read more about
the year in music at the bottom of this page, but here's the short list
version of my picks and pleasures:
- Digby Jones
- Boozoo Bajou
- A Forest Mighty Black
- Charles Webster
- Thievery Corporation
- Jii Hoo (Jori Hulkkonen)
- Muzique Tropique
- DJ Swingsett & J. Warrin and Lisa
- Chris Lum
- St. Germain
- The Timewriter
- Jon Kennedy
- MJ Cole
- Kevin Yost
- The Silent Poets
- Alex Cortiz
- Nicola Conte
- James Hardway
Saint Germain Cafe II
Lounge Deluxe 2
Select Cuts from Echo Beach (RMX)
Space Shuttle Lounge
ESL Soundtracks: Modular Systems
Blue Light One
Real Ibiza 4: Baleric Bliss
Hed Kandi: Deeper
Coldcut: Stoned Chilled Groove
Mixed compilations from The Downlow
People and the MixMeister DJs rocked my world all year
some independent and small label reviews here.
You can always see what's
fueling my fire by checking out the
MixMeister Radio (mmRadio) set-lists
-- this is a running account of everything that's caught my attention in
that great river of music
that's flowing past us all.
IT WAS LAST YEAR:
Just look for the 2005
wrap-up above and
I heard some
exceptional music in October and November 2003 -- releases from indie label
Citrona Recordings artists
Monta and SinQ and new things from Germany's Urban Phunk
Praful's "Sigh" (how did I miss that track the first time
and gorgeous stuff from Sweden's Plej -- all showed up on the
latest set for November,
which is currently streaming on mmRadio -- please check it out!
And there's still plenty
of listening to do!
There was considerable activity in September
2003, including many remixed sets ... check the list for the latest.
August has been hot enough
to catch me cookin up some Drum&Bass sets --
check those out on the mmRadio set-lists page.
Most recently, I've added
a set to mmRadio that features old favorites and music from
on the Strength in Dub set, you'll hear my favorite tracks
from Afternoons in Stereo,
the latest from First Floor Brothers and a number of tracks from
the New Sound Theory CD I recently discovered (both reviewed
Add to this some favorites from back in the day (UB40 and Sade
early Thievery Corporation) and you have a really sweet set.
you can find the full set-list here
at BeatConscious, and you can hear
the music on mmRadio.
This spring, I've been
listening to (and mixing with) selections from these compilations:
BamBuddha Groove, Real Ibiza V, Music for Modern Living 4,
World of Chillin Lounge, Your Lounge Your Music,
Ayurveda Buddha Lounge Vols. 1 and 2,
Loose and Juicy Funky Groove Collection, Mandarin Vol. 1, Chinese Chillin
The results are streaming on mmRadio as The Money Groove, Parts 1, 2 and
End of Year Head-turners:
Taking the end of the year at a quick trot, here's what stood out:
Norah Jones, for when you want to be feeling warm and fuzzy;
Afterlife, for the same feeling, but calling you from out on the
it's langorous, luscious and liquid, baby -- very liquid;
Physics -- their First Flight cd is great stuff,
soulful and jazzy;
More soulful stuff available courtesy of Peven Everett's Studio
Freshest instrumentation of the year award would have to go to DJ DSL;
In addition to Marius Melleby, the icy north dropped some cool jazz
Calm's Free Soil and the Darand Land Calming
David Darling and Ketil Bjornstad,
Beady Belle, FragmentOrchestra, Marc Moulin and Bugge Wesseltoft.
Canadian Rise Ashen delivered Boreal Dubworks in
2001, but I just heard it this year -- very fine stuff.
A couple of single track remix sets stood out:
Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" and Kinobe's
"Butterfly" were among my favorites.
And, speaking of single tracks of interest, I rate these very high:
"Soul Freak Music" - The Timewriter
"Danger of Love" - DJ Krush & Zap Mama
"Lucky (K&D Suicide Mix)" - Lewis Taylor
"Latazz" - Funky Lowlives
"Just Like Music" - Eric Sermon / Marvin Gaye
"Troya" - Rue du Soleil (This year's "Pina
"Burnout" - Cinematic Orchestra
"Get Into This"; "Tell Me How You Feel (Bonobo Mix)" -
"Relaxin at Club Fusion" - Koop
"Dream of the Dendreons" - Telefuzz
"Hld Mi Hnd"; "Kingsburg" - Projections
"Builder" - Rithma
"Not Every Angel" - Alexkid
Ahhh, is that
enough? Well, there was more ... it was a great year for music --
despite the many grim predictions and threatening behavior by major
players in the music industry
-- people, if this is how you have a BAD year, a good year would probably
Fall into Winter 2002:
Once again, I would
direct your attention to the Set-Lists
to get an idea of what's been moving my body lately.
The really big discovery was Marius Melleby who posted to TDB in the
inviting us all to check out his MP3.com page -- this guy is phenomenal,
I find myself adding one of his tracks to just about every mix I do these
Do yourself a favor and find his music.
I heard The
Timewriter's "Soul Freak Music" in a mix made by my friend
and it was such a hot track, it convinced me to do a house set of my own
The tune is from an older release, Letters from the Jester:
well worth tracking down.
another one that woke me up ... the S.O.W. remix of "Dizzin'"
ought to wake you up, too -- find it.
And another Jori Hulkonnen track made my list: "The
Moment" is ver' fine.
Go to the set-lists, or
hear this stuff broadcast: my Live365 station or
mmRadio will set you up.
Summer into Fall
As you can tell from the set-lists for
August and September, I think these rock:
Classic funk and go-go like Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers
(Happy birthday, Chuck!)
and minimal tech house and IDM like Mum and Swayzak
Even though new music keeps rollin in, I found myself looking back:
Luniz and Crystal Waters (I kid you not!)
and a bit of early Moby, for all my Moby-hater friends.
Look for some newer stuff to surface in the next mix
and listen up over at Live365
to find out more about what moves me.
May, June and July --
breezing into summer with style:
Tracks from the Hefner Reworks set, including
"Phonecall" and "Everyday"
Jon Kennedy label-mate, Quantic impresses with "Through
Cafe del Mar Vol. 9 had some stellar entries, including:
Rue du Soleil's "Troya" and Jo Manji's
"Beyond the Sunset"
Don't know much about Guardner, but I know I like the sound ...
also Taxi and the Xaver Fischer Trio
You'll find all these represented on the MixMeister
April has been
good to me:
Telefuzz, Greg Long, the Tru-Thoughts artists,
the Verve remixes, new stuff from Cinematic Orchestra and Walkner Moestl
and a boatload of Six Degrees' back catalog that just appeared on
Top of the chart for
Projections (from 1999), Charles Webster, Jon Kennedy, Bonobo
mighty fine stuff.
from Independent / Small Labels:
so "smooth as silk" is way over-used, right? Sorry to
offer a cliche, then, but there's no better way to describe the newest
release from the fine people at basicLUX, unless I get right down
and start talking about the sophisticated vibe they bring. Much as I enjoyed
the first disc (reviewed below,) New Sound Theory Vol. 2 has
way more of all that, drawing on talent from around the world (Singapore,
Germany, Spain) and down the street (Atlanta, L.A. and New York) to make
the most of this new style lounge collection. I found myself in deep
with Beat Pharmacy's Living on Love, Paul T's Krush Groove,
and Night Life from The GrooveOholics, and hitting the replay
button for Chris Brann's Slo Motion, Lumiere's Pink Funk and Annapurna
from Sasi Shalom -- quintessential chill to wrap up the set. Among the notable advances in Volume Two are the
exceptional vocals, including madison park's lovely track You Take Me
Without question, I find new things to
like each time I listen to this disc ... but I always find just what
basicLUX promises: jazzy, sexy house and downtempo to suit the mood,
whether it be celebrating or simply relaxing.
good people at Citrona Recordings have served up another treasure: First Floor Brothers "Fashionably Late" (Original and
Thunderball mixes) b/w "Signal 106" (original and Greg Long
mixes). Thunderball brings some higher energy to this otherwise
solidly downtempo four track release. The original mix of
"Fashionably Late" is swanky and sophisticated, an exceedingly smooth lounge
vibe, while Thunderball is out on the beach, rocking under the palms.
The flip, "Signal 106", maintains the mood -- Greg Long's mix
increases the tempo and sophistication of this track which sports a
naturally deep bottom end, while the original mix has a slightly sleepier
Keep your eye on Florida-based Citrona
... they are putting out music with their heart totally in the mix.
heard about New Sound Theory when I investigated the offer
of sound loops from Peace Love Productions. Turns out to have been a
good buy: a track from Chris Brann ("Between Them")
leads off the compilation with his signature bumpin' yet ethereal
sound. Among the other pleasures are: "Bleu Screen" from Transatlantic
which is smoothly surging with a whopping big B-line; "Fly Away"
from Auricle and Bryan Ogden's "I Can Change Your
Mind" which are both hot tracks, very danceable; a track from JC
Scott Project which is in the Timewriter style, and a couple of worthy
house tracks from Madison Park. There are another half-dozen
tracks that may appeal to you even more.... In sum, a very nice offering
from the BasicLux Records label out of Hotlanta...
good folks repping Putamayo hooked me up w/ the Euro Lounge
disc, a new entry in their series of World Beat / Chill Out compilations. Euro
Lounge is graced with some particularly rich packaging which
reminds me why downloaded music will never completely substitute for the
purchase of the physical disc -- included here are extensive liner notes,
photos and attractive art that add measurable value to the music
experience. The disc leads off with two rather well-known names, Thievery
Corporation and S-Tone, Inc. The tracks chosen are from each
band's most recent release, and likely to be familiar to downtempo heads.
The Thievery checks in with "Un Simple Histoire" (from The
Richest Man in Babylon) which features the silky vocals of Lou-Lou.
Next up is "Limbe" one of my favorites by S-Tone, Inc.,
and sounding more like Thievery than the Thievery track does.
From here on out, I'm in less familiar
territory, as the disc presents chill out contenders from around the globe
-- though these groups are quite well-known in their respective countries.
Predictably, a couple of the songs leave me unmoved, like the Bossa
Nostra track "Jackie" or Mambotur's "Salpica",
neither of which breaks new ground, though the storyline of
"Jackie" is heartfelt. The Arling and Cameron track
included here, "Voulez-vous?" doesn't seem to me to be the best
representative of their work, either, but then I'm not that big a fan of
the "quirky" style in downtempo. You, of course, may love it.
Better things are on offer from Ilhan
Ersahin of Turkey -- the instrumentation of "Girl" leaves no
doubt as to its Middle Eastern influences while demonstrating a sure grasp
of lounge stylings (much like the sounds you've come to expect from dZihan
& Kamien but without the jazzy top-end). Also quite accomplished is Gabin
(Italy) whose "Sweet Sadness" is one of the rare bossa tracks
that has appealed to me recently. Fellow Italians Bandabardo offer
an uncharacteristic reggae-tinged track (their usual format is more in the
alt-rock vein) that is quite danceable. And Gare du Nord meanders
across the aural landscape with "How Was It For You?" -- a lazy
For me, the stand-out track was delivered
by Vanja Lazarova of Macedonia, who is something of a national
treasure in the field of traditional folk song ... she is teamed here with
the electronica of fellow-countryman Kiril and together they
deliver one of the most persuasive performances on the CD, easily the
equal of my beloved Thievery Corp -- thanks mostly to the outstanding
ethereal vocals of Vanja Lazarova. This is the track that makes you go
looking for their album.
And that brings me to the subject of "The
Compilation: Is It Played Out?" This debate periodically erupts
on forums devoted to downtempo, with many long-time devotees of the scene
having little time or respect for the vast array of compilation albums
that mine the gems of this genre and present many of the same jewels over
and over in the slightly different settings. I understand that reaction,
but I still believe a well put-together compilation offers the opportunity
to explore and discover, and with so much music available, something of
this sort is an economic necessity, since the average music lover simply
can't buy every release that hits the shelves -- a little winnowing is in
order first. It's companies like Putamayo that provide a steady stream of
fresh choices ... after that, it's up to you.
READY TO SAY SO LONG TO 2004
|Before we take a
look at my "Best Of" for this year, I wanted to record a bit
of conversation that I salvaged from the Downtempo.com list archives on
the subject "What is Downtempo?" ... this is for all the people
who've ever asked me, and for all the times I tried to explain it and
failed. Dr. Um handles it with feeling and intelligence -- read on:
>>,,, If you were to ask my OPINION, uptempo is anything above
about 115 bpm.
Oooouhy, Um are we approaching a discussion of music on this list?
my OPINION is that the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. It is all
about the vibe, the groove, and the emotive response in the music. Por
Example: Koop: Relaxin' @ Club Fusion off of waltz for koop: "all the
colors are changing... autumn is here..." This delicious sliver of
sexual minimalism (opinion) bumps along at roughly 120 bpms, mid to up
tempo depending on your ear or height. The structure of it could easily be
ewhhuem.. house. But it is not even close in my book, to being anything
but downtempo. It has that feeling, that "depressed mode" that
christina long referred to a while back. It is that introspective, silent,
yet musically pleasing sound. A beautiful sound. Monta knows it. Those
damn rat Bastards of Jazz share it more and more with each release (He
needs meeeee!) Kid Loco has made love by it, Tim Love Lee has made love to
himself with it, Baby Mammoth and Fila have mastered it!
Downtempo is a word to describe the essence of the music, not ! the
rate of rotation into an equation that calculates the number of beats per
measured minute at a standard progression of time in the over
statistacized and categorized society we dwell in.
Its a state of mind, not a bloody tempo
Similar artist and sounds come to mind, Thunderball on ESL. They have this
great album, Scorpio Rising which to me is a downtempo cornerstone from
this DT discussion group's all time fuckinglovesitlikeagoodromp. This too
has all the characters of good music, up - down - middies and double timed
thinking...beat conductor...dj...in terms of where we as record players,
musical collage artists, and wax enthusiasts!...share music:
What of really really slow music that is beat matched, blended or (trainwrecked)
into a song with twice it's speed? I shift from DT to dnb or really really
jiggyfastfunk for a kick start sometimes in a set and then settle into a
lower tempo for a deeper ride. I would't call it a
downtempo-uptempo-midtempo set. I think I find myself calling all the
genres blended into one downtempo or "gumbo" or "just good
What about you? Whats a good song or set that has the ups and the downs
yet retains that downtempo vibe?
ouch, my inbox is so full today a dozen posts fell out and squished my
Associated Florida Architects /
802 nw 23rd Avenue Gainesville, FL 32609-3534
Dr.Um / Citrona Recordings / www.citrona.net
My dear DrUM,
as usual your ideas and words are pretty much right on from my
perspective, thank you for the way you wrote them as well! Downtempo is
totally a state of mind to me as well and if I personally tried to tie it
into specific parameters of speed and bpm then so much of the pure feel of
what is downtempo for me (it's a pretty wide range!) would morph into
something with less colour, less of many things. My heart and hips lead me
to connect with the inherent funkiness, harmonically and lyrically more
lush melodies and arrangements and the space that seems to be an intrinsic
part of downtempo. When I play hard, fast and very psychedelic trance,
which I also really love, I am content to ride the more mechanical beast
and having everything in 4's and seeing people dancing and throwing their
arms in the air. The thing I love about downtempo is that people can dance
to it easily, and I think for accomplished
dancers there is more room to be creative in downtempo settings,but it is
also great for being (well, at least some of it) very sexy indeed. I dont
think in terms of the pace of the music as much because I use it to create
and play with moods and take dancers on another kind of a ride. The funky
things will always win me over pretty much anything else. I hear that
Dublex album I wrote about yesterday, Eight Ears, as being a state of the
art downtempo slab. Downtempo to me is not necessarily chilled music
although it's often marketed that way by the folks who do those things.
The Dublex disc has some pretty uptempo stuff and yet it's got that other
downtown thing, more than just a sliver of sexual minimalism as you put
it, and some of the funkiest shit anywhere, downtempo is what it is to me!
Volume 3 - Air of Elemental Chill that Beth's was responsible for is
another complete set of stuff that has my
vote and while it is on the slower side at least some of the tracks have
solid tempos and tempo is a big part of what we are talking about here,
not floaty ambient structures (which I also happen to really love and I
suggest Butterfly Dawn which Tony sent me recently for anyone wanting some
different and very spacey flavours) but melodic statements and solid
tempos, not 104 bpm or anything remotely like that. Your comments on Kid
Loco and the rest were right on as well and they gave me pause to smile a
bit so thanks for that. I have been quiet here the past few months but
still out here and I hope I will be able to read more stuff from y'all
giving all here the lowdown on what's on your players, there has been less
of that of late. I could easily take all the albums I acquired and
obtained after I learned about them here on this list and do probably an
entire party with them. Instead of just a tee-
shirt, we should find a way to do a downtempo festival somewhere somehow,
there are enough producers, DJ's, musicians, arrangers and general
freakazoids with lots of talent right here to make it good and I know
there are a lot of people out there who would be into it!
You may not expect it, but Squarepusher can induce a heart attack and
lull to a peaceful dreamstate within a few chord progressions. Much of
Squarepusher's art I definitely wouldn't classify as downtempo, but the
few gems that don't inspire you to smash your head into the speakers are
really quite beautiful (and I would call downtempo). Example: Iambic 5
Poetry, from "Budakahn Mindphone". And Amon Tobin: pure
delicious up/down/all-around sound. Sometimes Amon Tobin's music is
like long, slow, tantric sex combined with jackhammer fucking. There are
many others, but these are the first that cum to mind.
Harold J. Johnson -
So there you have
it and I hope it did some good ... For those of you who already had your
own OPINION or definition going in, feel
free to contact me and let me in on your point of view ... those
with merit will be added to the page.
And now for that 2004 wrap-up .....
If you check out the Reviews
page, my enthusiasm this year for independent artists and labels will be evident, so at the top of the wrap-up let's put the players that appeared most often in 2004's mixes:
Afternoons in Stereo; K; the Modus Vivendi crew, especially off their first sampler:
Sanchez Dub, Julian Brody and B.N.Loco; the Tokyo Dawn team, including Comfort Fit
and The Tape ft. RQM; Clayton & Fulcrum's soul sounds served up
hot.... BasicLUX and Citrona are two other labels I watch with interest and whose releases I listen to with pleasure. I also revisited artists whose music I first found in
2000 (Sub City to name just one) to see if their music was still available online and, equally important, if there were new releases.
This year's 23 BeatConscious mixes which aired on mmRadio and my Live365
broadcast included: two trip-hop retrospectives (R U Out There? and
La Vie en Noir); reworks of original ambient mixes from 1997/98 (Tranceported: Space and
The Stars My Destination); the Dub & Dubber trio which are also reworks of earlier
(pre-MixMeister) sets: Foundation
Dub, I & I Dub Stylee and Illegal Dub; It's Indian Tobacco, My
Friend and In a Scented Garden are two sets resurrected from the group of Asian Underground mixes created in 1997 --
let's now refer to this stylee as Asian Fusion ... there will be at least one more of these to come, and they are being updated with newer
tracks including contributions from indie label Karma Recordings.
BeatConscious mixes from the latter
part of the year featured content drawn primarily from those independent artists
and labels: Chile & Lime; VooDoo Child's Slight Return;
You Know Me Now; Pulsated; Ever Since the Day. And this year, for the first time, there was a Christmas
mix, which featured jazz renditions of classic seasonal tunes as well as newer compositions from artists on the basicLUX and OM labels.
As noted, many of the year's sets were reworks of earlier mixes... not only because I wanted to see how much better they could be made using MM, but also because they represented a boatload of really great music that I didn't want to let be forgotten. I'm not the first person to comment on the huge amount of new music that
into the marketplace every week ... because I don't have a club gig, I don't have to obsess about keeping up
with the newest new, but even so, I do feel it's important to keep old favorites active in the crate and on the stream ... there was a reason I liked all that music (it was great!) and if you haven't heard it yet, then I've got twice the excuse for making sure it doesn't disappear.
Of course, in addition to all the indie stuff, there were some stellar commercial releases and that's part two of the wrap-up:
Frederico Aubele: Gran Hotel Buenos Aires
Banzai Republic: Where the Fun Starts Early
Barabass and the happy few: Rali Rei (people)
The Dining Rooms: Versioni particolari
Zero7: When It Falls
Thievery Corporation: The Outernational Sound
Da Dam Phreak Noiz Phunk: Take Off the Hot Sweater
Some from 2003 that didn't really catch up with me until 2004 were:
Karl Möstl: Touching This
Cinematic Orchestra: Man With A Movie Camera
TM Juke: Maps From the Wilderness
Belladonna: Inspirational Grooves
Some from 2003 that continued to groove me:
The Switchstance Fantasic Freeriding team, esp. Protassov
Barcelona in Dub
Brazilectro Latin Flavoured
Paris Jazz Mission
Chocolade Manner Wien Pres. De
The commercial single
Angels (Thievery Corporation Remix): Wax Poetic feat. Norah Jones
The indie single
NickNack: Keep Your Soul
And so that's the short list ... the complete run-down of course, is
detailed on the set-lists page.
|Time to roll out
the roster of the past year's favorites ... to assemble this list, I
usually look back over the mixes I've posted to mmRadio throughout the
year, since that's an excellent reflection of the tracks that really
caught my attention. In 2003, I find I worked with a lot of music
from previous years ... things I liked so much, I just didn't want to let
go of them. There were also a number of albums that I didn't hear
until 2003, although they were released earlier. That said, here are
my candidates for enduring classics from the past year:
|Caia : The Magic Dragon
Praful: One Day Deep
Plej: Electronic Music from the Swedish Leftcoast
|Zorg: Zorg's Private Life
Physics: First Flight
Flunk: For Sleepyheads Only
Anthome: Anthome Project
|Projections: Between Here and Now
Rithma: Music Fiction
Tosca: Delhi 9
Funky Lowlives, esp. for "Latazz"
compilation: Fantastic Freeriding featuring Protassov, Ancient
O.P.'s Great Mixes: The Fabriclive series, especially the set
by Amalgamation of Soundz
Indie Label of the Year: Citrona -- these folks walk the walk, they
don't just talk
Other fine indie operations: basicLux (Atlanta) and BastardJazz (NYC)
Track of the Year: Andy Caldwell's I Can't Wait in all its many remix manifestations
gets my nod
Saying So Long to 2001....
On all my favorite websites (all
two?) people are weighing in with their Top Five or Top Ten of 2001 -- I've been thinking about this very thing, but rather than a
Best Of, I'm thinking about how the last couple of mixes I made recently bring together
so many elements I was glad to discover this year -- and all praises due to my home-away-from-homies, thedownbeat.org, that put me on to the majority of the artists.
This year, I've been impressed by:
Projections: Kingsburg (huh? who?) Love this one madly....That's
a groove right there.
Digby Jones: Pina Colada (Jazz Mix) -- Cool emo-downtempo track of my year.
Bonobo: particularly Kota from Animal Magic.
Thanks to g, who put me on to both the Digby Jones and Bonobo (and more thanks for his music commentary posted
to the TDB forum and received from time to time in email communications: any of
us can all say that we like something, but g can say WHY he likes it and WHAT IT OFFERS to the listener ... good critical music writing, whether you agree with his choices or not.)
Aromabar: Telephone, etc.
Along with other crowd-pleasers like the new Thunderball,
Boozoo Bajou, Soulstice and others, the tip on Aromabar came courtesy of the TDB forum ... Thanks to Chad for the brilliant spark that lights our way, and to everyone who
participates and posts about their discoveries there....
Bullinuts: Heavy Air and lots more from A Different Ball Game.
Thievery Corporation: Lifetime Recognition (say what you will about TC, their track
Illumination rocks yr butt.)
Jii Hoo (Jori Hulkkonen): Let Me Luv U (Muzique Tropique's Love the Bass Mix) ...
relentlessly sexy! Thanks to Bethany Downbeat for providing the ID on this track and pointing me toward Jori.
Llorca feat. Cecile: Expectations (This was encountered via Morpheus, so don't
depend on artist or title being correct ... yep, I know, that's why we have to
DJ Swingsett & J. Warrin and Lisa Shaw: Sights Unseen
(Yep, I know -- it's not new. Nonetheless, Mandeville Drop is in the mix .... Swingsett is one I'd like to see in live performance.)
Leftfield (!) is back with More Than I Know (More mix) -- very welcome.
Chris Lum: Stay With Me -- courtesy of Epitonic, another great music site.
And that just represents for the last couple of months ... earlier this year,
the excitement was all about St. Germain, MJ Cole, Tosca, Hefner, Jaffa,
Yonderboi, Bent, Gerd, Kevin Yost, The Silent Poets, Alex Cortiz,
Nicola Conte, James Hardway, the Upstairs label, my emusic.com subscription,
and the indie artists like M45 who put me in touch with their music and
expanded my world another notch ... the fact is, any list just touches the surface: I was swamped with great music this year -- hope you all were, too.
Going into Fall 2001:
As I sift through the
bounty from emusic.com, here are some of the tracks that absolutely rock my world:
Let Me Luv U (Muzique
Tropique's In Love Remix): Jii Hoo
on the Glasgow Underground / Slow Burning compilation. Woo Hoo!
Constant Love by
Drugstore by Sounds from
Fat Ass Joint: Cujo
Autumn Leaves (Irresistable
Force Mix Trip 2) by Coldcut
Tell Me Something (Beanfield
Remix) by DJs Wally & Swingsett
16 Kilos of Chill by
Sleep Tonight (and more)
by James Hardway
We Cookin' Now by Abacus
Plenty of stuff by Kevin
Urban Discoid Activity
by The Amalgamation of Soundz
Check out all the other
deep delicious sounds that have been showing up on MadameFLY's
And from T.J. Rehmi, on
the INVISIBLE RAIN album, check out "This Duniya" -- what a
gorgeous groove. Likewise, on the COMING HOME compilation, Bent's I
Love My Man (Lazyboy's anyone for tennis mix) gets my
appreciation. Also, all praises due to Le Surboomer on the GRAND
Starting off summer with a
few new items:
James Hardway: A Positive Sweat and Deeper
Wider Smoother Shit; Amalgamation of Soundz; Cujo: Adventures in
Foam; King Kooba; Organic Audio and Omni Trio back catalog (courtesy
of my emusic.com subscription) and
Trancenden; The Rurals; Focalized; Urban Phunk Society; Lava Lounge;
Goodman & Clean; Il-Ya ... and many other mp3 downloads, courtesy of
and www.epitonic.com -- reviews on
these artists coming up soon.
You might want to check out the results of the
Steinmetz mix project.
Right now, it's Loungecore:
Some recent arrivals include:
Big Bud: Late Night
Blues; The Silent Poets: Potential Meeting; Cinematic
Orchestra: Motion and Remixes; Waldeck: Balance of the
Force (straight up and remixed); Tosca: Suzuki in Dub and Chocolate
Elvis Dubs; Hefner: Residue; Saru: Subterra/Posterity
St. Germain: Tourist; Shantel: Auto-Jumps and Remixes and Club
Check out the Downtime sets:
my reaction to all this smooth stuff that the UPS man has been bringin....
Plenty of compilations, but particularly:
anything by Bill Laswell
See the Dub Stylee
page for my original dub playlists
2001 saw the release of the
album -- a must-have.
See the Asian Underground
page for compilations of Talvin Singh,
Asian Dub Foundation, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and others.
Check out the cover art
Fresh house tracks
from NYC ... big up to my
collaborator, noiseboy! Check out the new set posted on the House
page: Universoul Response.
If you want to tell
me about your year in music, please send it via email using "talkback" *at*
BeatConsciousDotOrg ... and please excuse the spammer dodge, but while there
used to be this handy form for communicating (see below) they've been hijacked
recently, so they'll be disabled for a while ... what a world, eh?
But you can still
send email! talkback at beatconscious dot org is the address to use.
Let me know:
And thanks, if you
get in touch -- your feedback is appreciated.
Brother Soul-Fly has kindly compiled and
posted a list of the Worldwide All Winners '01, which
I duplicate here for your convenience:
|01. Zero 7: Simple Things
02. 4 Hero: "Les Fleurs"
03. Roots Manuva: Run Come Save Me
04. Herbert: Bodily Functions
05. Gotan Project: "La Revancha del Tango"
06. Jazzanova: "That Night"
07. The Cinematic Orch.: "Evolution"
08. Bugge Wesseltoft: "Yellow is the Colour"
09. Suba: "Samba Do Gringo" (Zero DB RMX)
10. The Streets: "Has It COme To This"
11. N*E*R*D: In Search Of
12. 4 Hero: "Hold It Down"
13. Afronaught: "Transcend Me"
14. DJ Marky: "LK"
15. Bilal: 1st Born Second
16. Missy Elliott: "Get Your Freak On"
17. Sunshine Anderson: "Heard It All Before"
|18. Erick Sermon feat.
Marvin Gaye: "Music"
19. Mos Def: Umi Says (Zero 7 RMX)
20. Koop: Waltz For Koop
21. Nitin Sawhney: Sunset
22. Serge Gainsbourg: "Bonnie & Clyde" (Herbert RMX)
23. Kaidi Tatham: "Betcha"
24. Vikter Duplaix: "Sensuality"
25. Yesterday's New Quintet: Angles Without Edges
26. Nathan Haines: Sound Travels
27. Michelle Shaprow: "If I Lost You" (King Britt's Scuba Dub)
28. Mr. Hermano: "Free As teh Morning Sun"
29. P'Taah vs Opaque: "The Crossing" (Opaque RMX)
30. Q Tip: Kaamal The Abstract
31. India Arie: Acoustic Soul
32. Hi Tek feat. Mos Def & Vinia Mojica: "Get Ta Steppin"
|33. New Sector Movements:
34. Fertile Ground: "Take Me Higher" (WaiWan RMX)
35. Osunlade: Paradigm
36. Pepe Bradock: "Life"
37. Skitz: Countryman
38. Jill Scott: "Gimme"
39. Destiny's Child: "Bootylicious" (Freeform 5 mix)
40. Moonstar: "Greed"
41. Riton: "Hungry Ghost"
42. Kelis: "Lil Suzy"
43. Jay Dee: "Think Twice"
44. Domu feat. Nicky: "Last Time"
45. Dwelle: "Angel"
46. Ultra Nate: "Twisted" (4 Hero RMX)
47. The Avalanches: "Two Hearts in 3/4 Time"
48. Marcos Valle: Escape
49. Beady Belle: "Moderation"
50. Angie Stone: "Wish I Didn't Miss You"
|Brother Soul-Fly's complete list was
originally posted to
the Forum of thedownbeat.org,
also listed the label name for each release ... the link is no longer available,
meantime, I will leave my picks from previous years on display
for your amusement and reflection ... after all, I'm still listening to the
tracks that made me happy back then, along with all the new music that appears
in my life.
LOOKING BACK FROM JANUARY 1, 2001: Another year gone ... new musical delights have come along to claim my
attention. 2000 began with Asian Underground segued through Dub and ended with a serious
commitment to the downtempo life ... what Chad refers to as bedroombeats (check
out www.thedownbeat.org and see what
he's talkin' about.) In short, going into 2001, loungecore
rules, and I
So, OK, not a list, everybody's doing a list ... my buds at www.artofthemix.org
are gathering together a group Top 100 Rock Albums of all time ... I could nominate
my top ten to help build the list ... but my mind's a blank, just not dealing
in lists (not thinking much about rock, for that matter) -- understanding instead that -- best luck -- I've been inundated in music in 2000, including
treasures such as:
Tosca, Kruder&Dorfmeister, especifically the K&D Sessions, and
the contributing players: Count Basic, Sofa Surfers, Bomb the Bass, RockersHiFi, and on over to Fauna Flash,
Jazzanova, Afterlife, Fila Brazillia, Baby
Mammoth, OM Lounge sets, Compost Records, !K7, P'Taah, Groove Armada,
PFM (the resurrection) and Omni Trio, A Guy Called Gerald, the whole dub
thing that blended Swayzak, Finley Quaye, Smith & Mighty, and the Eighteenth
Street Lounge energy led by Thievery Corporation and Thunderball, and then
there's DJ Krush, Ian Pooley, Elwood, DJ Mark Farina, and added to that of
course is the entire slice of Asian Underground I caught on to beginning with
most respect to Joi, and State of Bengal, Natacha Atlas, well naturally Talvin
Singh and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan....oh, and hey! Claude Challe representin
for France in the romantic light of the colonial legacy no shit.
And then, of course, there were the downloads, the seemingly endless offerings of
legit mp3 sites, beginning with the fine artists of www.bristolsound.co.uk
including Sequel (who the hell is Sequel?) and Roland from Poland; the highly-organized,
folks at www.epitonic.com, hookin me up
with the sound of San Francisco in the form of Soma Sonic and tons of good funky
house; or the original mad crazy
men'n'women at www.mp3.com, home to
Subsonic Head Dub and a million more (The Million MP3 March?), and across the pond again, www.besonic.com
a crisp and seemingly richly endowed site with vast Euro representation, just
to get you out of your rut, where you'll hear Elevator and thousands more, plus,
of course, www.emusic.com
trying gamely to get that ecommerce thing to really work, meanwhile turning
me on to Coldcut's Autumn Leaves experience ...
... and boatloads more, and I don't even do half the listening of some folks I
talk to ... can you believe it? Can you believe there is such abundance? You could never hear it all. But
OTOH, there are millions of
people listening and every one of them wants something just a little bit
different from the next guy .... well, then, serve it up: what've you been listening
|2000 LOOKING BACK at 1999:
MadameFLY has favorites ... many, many favorites. Any other year, I might have resisted the urge to add a page devoted to
charts -- but the tick-over from 1999 to 2000 ... naaah ... can't do it ...
got to let you know:
Most significant musical turn on of the year:
- LTJ Bukem -- everything, but particularly
Logical Progression Level 1, a 2- CD set that has everything: beauty
and power. And it meets
the toughest criteria: there is no track I'd want to skip over. Thank
you, Tony, for the heads-up.
They made the 1999 Top Ten:
- Smith and Mighty: DJ Kicks -- Where was I
when these guys came around the first time?
- The PFM tracks on Logical Progression -- is it possible there's more?
- Omni Trio -- Do I have
to pick just one? Fortunately, no...
- History of our World, Vol. 2 mixed by DJ DB
-- Or, Nu York Nu Skool, or just about anything by DB, really.
- Mark Farina -- For overall respecting funk
and for serving up some individual gems.
- Moby: Play -- This one moves me,
particularly the blues sampling. This is one non-exclusionary dude, I
- Lamb: -- Some voices just amaze me --
first, that I like them at all, and then that I like them so much ... and
the music keeps up effortlessly.
- Lauren Hill: The MisEducation of.... -- Well,
kick me if you think she's too mainstream, but I think the baby mama
is talkin loud and sayin somethin...
- Talvin Singh -- Presiding mind of the Asian
Underground, and his co-conspirator, Nitin Sawney....
- The Unknown Track -- Surely you've heard some
great music without having the chance to identify the artist or title....
This is in recognition of how those tracks haunt us with the knowledge that
we might never hear them again, but we'll hear them always....
They remain because they're good!
- Roni Size -- New Forms, indeed.
- DJ Shadow: -- Solo, U.N.K.L.E. -- any incarnation seems to
suit this man: he just makes it his own.
- My TripHop Crew: Portishhead, Massive Attack,
Morcheeba, Tricky, Leftfield. I'll be listening to these guys for a good
- Heights of Abraham: Electric Hush -- Could be
hard to find these days, but if you can find it, GET IT.
- Nightmares on Wax
- Danny Tenaglia
- Deep Dish
- Bjork's Black Debut Remixes
- A Tribe Called Quest: Stressed Out Remixes
WMC/2000 Fond Memory:
- Groove Armada: I See You Baby
WMC/2001 Fond Memory:
- Danny Tenaglia at Club Space: now I really understand
WMC/2002 Fond Memory:
- The Funky Lowlives, every time I turned
- The Party This Time: The crew from
thedownbeat.org together in meatspace
- Aaron from MixMeister checking out the South
Beach dance music scene