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Here we go again, wrapping up the most recent shows of 2016 -- only four this time, because although I'm (still, apparently) tardy AF, I wanted to post this sooner rather than later.  You'll find the latest up top (for older issues, scroll down.)

 

Our current circumstances appear to require deep thought. As it often happens, we begin with the question of survival; we end with the meaning of life. It’s never easy, but know this: You have company, including, here, Antony and the Johnsons, Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm, Liz Story, Erik Truffaz, Autopilot, Emma-Lee and more.

[Production note: The opening track includes bits of dialog from 12 Monkeys (which is a modern remake of Chris Marker's La Jetee) in which the character L.J. Washington says: “... It's a condition of mental divergence. I find myself on the planet Ogo, part of an intellectual elite, preparing to subjugate the barbarian hordes on Pluto. But even though this is a totally convincing reality for me in every way, nevertheless Ogo is actually a construct of my psyche. I am mentally divergent, in that I am escaping certain unnamed realities that plague my life here. When I stop going there, I will be well.”]

Be well.
 

(This is as close as I'll get to posting anything about the 2016 election, btw.)

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Occasionally the chance for some serious downtime comes along, the kind where you have the time to spend bemused by the variety of thoughts and memories stored in your head. Here's a freeform set that drifts stylistically from point to point, very much like your brain does: A bit of chillout, a pinch of drum'n'bass, some jazz-tinged downtempo, and a helping of sweet lounge ... and before you know it, you've spent a delicious hour letting your mind refresh itself.

The seed track here is "Love Hz (Rogan Remix)" by Shifty ft Jess Crabtree (H/T @JonKennedy), a gem of a tune, and suitably surrounded by Sizzle Bird, Olafur Arnalds, Kelela, Eddie Silverton, Cinematic Orchestra, Johan Monell, and more ... Selecting is the prism that suggests a relationship between these songs.

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For about 6 years now, I've been going back to my hometown for my annual vacation, reconnecting with the folks I spent 'my formative years' with. It was a trip that acquired some urgency when one of the group fell ill, but this year everyone's in generally good shape. One friend arranged opportunities for me to consume some culture, as well as just hang out. That, together with an hour or two we spent in a Memory Lane session, reminded me of all the good reasons I miss my roots ... while not missing the traffic or the freezing winters, of course.

Tracks from Omni Trio, Gary B, TJ Rehmi, Soulstance, All India Radio, Rollercone, Emancipator, plus a new tune from Irresistible Force ft. Nik Turner & Youth, come together for another Alternative Downtempo and Memory Lounge session.

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As we strive for balance in a world in crisis, rocked by dissension and mistrust, roots reggae helps us keep our focus on the struggle while counseling us to seek a solution that puts peace and harmony first.

Big up to the Dubmatix family for all the new sounds that extend and update the roots tradition -- including new releases from Jim the Boss, Sugar Minott, and Ackboo. They are paired with classic cuts from Thievery Corporation, Joe Higgs, G-Corp, Augustus Pablo , Ken Boothe and more.

There are over 15 sessions in the Dub & Dubber series, and most of them are available for streaming here; you can learn more about the series at: http://www.beatconscious.org/dub.htm

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Well! That's the latest -- hope you'll find something that suits your mood!  The rest of the year's archive is available below, Hardy Scroller, and at the very bottom, links to the previous years' shows.

There's a little something extra for BeatConscious listeners with smart phones: for Android users, there's a MmeFLY / BeatConscious app in the app store and it's FREE

Once installed on your smart phone, this app will take you right to the BeatConscious station on mix.dj, where close to 75 shows offer a range of downtempo styles and sounds -- a show for every mood, and new ones always in the pipeline.  I hope you'll enjoy it!

But that's not all!  What would the end of the year be without a year-end wrap-up and retrospective?  If you are still in the mood for one, run down the page to the Best of Year list and see how the BeatConscious list does this year-end wrap-up.

 


The buzz is on


Previous Features: 


It’s about time for us to slow things down and make our goodbyes to summer vacation days ... I’ve made you a little something soothing, like that icy gel on your sunburn ... Soft like the breeze you catch, when you’re sitting out on the balcony, a little cooler each morning ... Almost wistful, the way you feel as you pack your bags and get ready to head back to all that ... We’ll wrap it up with a bit of summer lounge and salty downtempo, and one last day out on the sand.

Here to keep you company are dZihan & Kamien, Govinda, Rodg, Deep Dive Corporation, Evolve, Maharoba, Haldo and more.

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You know it, that little café with just a few tables out on the sidewalk where you can sit and sip and people-watch. The place is not so busy that they'll run you off -- in fact, they've starting piping music outside to keep you there longer and make your stay more pleasant ... today it’s jazz, a relaxed, upbeat vibe perfect for whiling away a few hours in the sunshine or the shade.

Keeping you company this time are Liz Story, Jan Garbarek, José James, Weather Report, Grace Kelly, Art Pepper, the Ben Webster Quintet and more.

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We should go outside ... the night is so cool, the sky so clear, the stars so bright ... and the stillness is so inviting, I want to be beside you, hand in hand, drinking it in. But you are in a city, far away; outside your place, there is only pavement, passers-by who seem never to completely disappear, and street noises that never fade, no matter what the hour.

Perhaps this mix can transport you to the quiet scene I’m imagining tonight. Find a window that lets in a bit of moonlight or starlight, make yourself comfortable there, and let's see if the music will work its magic.

The players gathered here to assist include Fredrik Ohr, Stray Theories, Chris Zabriskie, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Hammock and Olafur Arnalds, among others; special thanks to Moby for the "Long Ambients 1" free release earlier this year – it was the seed of this set.

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As it often happens with music, a recent article reminded me of P.M. Dawn, so I went to the crate to dig out those old CDs and reacquaint myself with the group after all these years ... and that became the seed for this summer romance....

Dreamy or steamy: Whatever your preferred romance style, this session should provide just what you need to support your mood and your moves ... we'll definitely be keeping it smooth, with just enough moments of energy and uncertainty to perfectly mirror our typical hot weather passions.

In addition to P.M. Dawn, supporting players include Govinda, Kaya Project, Blank & Jones, Afterlife, Felix Laband, Serenades, Hefner and more.

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Here's another addition to this year's sequence of 'smoky club jazz' shows; as the title suggests, this is the kind of late night session well-known to the devoted jazz aficionados who stay until last call, when the mood is low and slow, and the playing is passionate.

Inspired by the recent Jack De Johnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matt Garrison release "In Movement", this set gathers tunes from John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Charles Mingus, Art Pepper, Chet Baker, Joe Pass, and Andy Bey (among others) to weave a spell that will keep you in your seat until the last note.

Don't forget to tip your waitstaff; after all, you've kept them here way past the usual closing time....

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The Independence Day Dub Set has become a tradition for the BeatConscious show; this year it’s offered up slightly early in recognition of the fact that many Americans are beginning their long holiday weekend today….

Starting out with a cautionary tale of how Babylon found its back against the wall, this show summons the enduring social consciousness of reggae lyrics, with classics from Third World, Wailing Souls, Gregory Issacs, Bob Marley, Zion I and Dubmatix to move your mind while sweet rhythms and deep bass are on offer from Thievery Corporation, Noiseshaper, Blaze and Doctor Echo to move your body.

Remember while you’re celebrating your freedom to keep one eye on your future … a word to the wise should be sufficient.

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So. Dr. Ouija -- having heard Lost World -- takes the planchette and spells out something on the Board for me to consider; he seems to feel that I've selected for an elegy for a lost friend. He laid his spirit hand on my arm, and looked at me with an unnerving compassion. I never argue with Dr. Ouija, even though it sometimes takes a while to appreciate his insights. Once the good Doctor calls my attention to these things, they seem so obvious -- a lot of life is like that, I suppose.

From back in 1984 comes Simple Minds with "Shake Off the Ghosts" and yes, I can see how that's elegiac. And from this year, by Sleeping at Last, there's "Saturn" which is itself openly break-your-heart elegiac. But stick around -- there's plenty of different styles to be heard: Bonobo, Pan Electric, Sizzle Bird, Blu Mar Ten, All India Radio, Blank & Jones, and more.

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Leading off this time with Neneh Cherry, daughter of Don Cherry, jazz trumpeter. This is yet another genius track, like that Terranova joint I just brought ya ... Likewise, Neneh has beats and poetry strong enough to make a lasting impression.

This discovery dates from the early 90s when I went looking for the soundtrack to a Wim Wenders film, "Until the End of the World". I was following the trail of a k.d. lang track and was surprised, in a life-changing way, by the dub version of Neneh Cherry's "Move With Me" ... I've given you both versions of the track here because it's a holiday and I'm feeling generous.

You'll also hear more music from Johan Monell, as well as tracks from Giyo, Krystian Shek, Christophe Goze, All India Radio, Lapalux, and many more.

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New music from Dub Trees, All India Radio and Johan Monell put a psybient spell on me, and here's the result: Spacy, mind-expanding music to accompany your own personal Spring Awakening or Summer Raving. Is this the way to get where you’re going? Only you can say….

The show includes contributions from Dead Can Dance, Blue Bliss (their track provided the show’s title), Emancipator, Stray Theories, Hector Plimmer, Michael Brook and more.

I should note that I got familiar with Johan Monell’s music because of this video:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/milky-way-apex-telescope_us_56ceb930e4b0871f60ea2706
Eight minutes of gorgeous, both sight and sound … and quite different from the music he provided for this show – a man of many talents!

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It’s *always* about the music, but lots of times it’s about the poetry, too. The opening track has long been one of my favorites and mostly on account of the lyrics (which, btw, are given incorrectly on many lyrics websites) -- here’s a bit of what I’m talking about:

Nothing to do today, nothing I want to do anyway
I think I'll lie here for a while and try to escape
I'll think of you for an hour or two
And chase away my blues
You chase my blues away
everyday

In my dream we say what we mean, we do what we feel
Love fills the day, you take my breath away

In my dream, there's no bill to pay
No decision to make, no consequence to take
And nothing breaks,
Nothing is fake, no mistakes,
And then I wake up.
* * * *

And the music is pure head-nodding goodness, with more to love from Maxwell, Afterlife, Skalpel, Yonderboi, Me’Shell NdegeOcello, Praful, DePhazz, brand-new from Poldoore, and more

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Like a solitary swimmer circling endlessly on an ocean current, Earth moves through our solar system which itself spins, along with our galaxy, which in turn expands outward thru the universe. It might amuse you to consider how tiny the individual person or planet is in relation to the larger system ... or it might give you a deep and unshakable chill. I enjoy the sensation, but "different strokes for different folks" as they say.

But if you think that you, too, might enjoy it, then listen up -- this session aims to help you access that feeling of being just a tiny dot in the vastness, with able assistance from Diatonis, Chris Zabriskie, Hammock, Sonogram, Brian Eno, Harold Budd and Robert Fripp, Stray Theories, and All India Radio, including a track from their latest release, The Slow Light.

Oh, and Happy Earth Day. It almost feels odd to say that, since the reason for having an "earth day" to begin with was to remind us how fragile it could be...

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A corner table near the stage, candlelight dinner on the veranda, dancing under the stars, a quiet night in front of the fire ... There's plenty of places you might choose to hear this collection of Lover's Jazz ... The important thing is not so much where you hear it as who you hear it with or who you would like to hear it with.

Keith Jarrett, Cassandra Wilson and Jacky Terrasson, Jill Scott, Jose James, Linda Ronstadt from her 3 LP release with Nelson Riddle, Betty Carter, Frank Morgan and Grace Kelly are among the artists gathered here for your enjoyment .... Let them soothe your mood as the sun sets.

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Are you struggling? Carrying a heavy weight, fighting to keep your head above water? Yeah, I hear you ... And when we look around we see most everyone we know is carrying some kinda weight too.

Some say the weight you carry, and how you carry it, is what defines you to the people who come after you, who remember you and how you met your struggle. Not whether you won or lost ... or at least not ONLY that ... but how you handled it. That's what lasts, that's what teaches the ones who look to you for a lesson.

You'll need energy, you'll need strength, you'll need determination ... I can't give you all that, but I can give you some heavy weight dub to take with you to the fight.

With assistance from: Cottonnbelly, Joe Higgs, Subatomic Sound System, Dubblestandart, Boozoo Bajou, Dubmatix, Toots Hibbert, Capital Letters, Rhythmites, Ghettomuffin, Thievery Corporation, and more.

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The ice is breaking up, the snow is melting, the sun's shining and green buds are appearing everywhere ... Life-energy is returning and everybody's ready for a fresh groove ... Well, here you are: Move it however you feel it.

Featuring music from St Germain, Emily Underhill, Dry the River, Little Boots, Bells & Whistles, Henrik Schwarz and much more.

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Spend a quiet evening with this collection of jazz standards and remixes ... perhaps you’ll be sitting by the window where you can hear the gentle patter of the spring rain outside ... you might be alone or enjoying the company of a friend … having a candlelight dinner or a drink by the fire. Tonight’s your night to unwind, slow down and let go.

Crafted with your plans for relaxation in mind, the set features seldom-heard jazz gems from the 80s / 90s, highlighted by selections from the more recent José James releases, including two from the Billie Holiday 100th anniversary album released last year. You'll also be keeping company with Frank Morgan, James Carter, Joshua Redman, Miles Davis, Cassandra Wilson, Keith Jarrett, Joe Henderson and more.

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Suppose I told you we could get away from it all? You said you'd had enough of the yelling, the arguing, the insults & the noise ... So let's go far, far away from it ... Out there where you're lit by the beauty of starshine & there's nothing to hear but the rush of the solar wind. You said you wanted to trip, so let's trip. 
 

You may find your spirit floating away from your body during these 2 hours of interstellar ambient & deep chill; you might want to take a break at the one hour mark (the Chris Zabriskie track is a good transit point; fade out & then return to the void when ready.)   

But those who are ecstatic to be set free ... and maybe those who are listening while studying the calculus or cooking a feast for friends ... they'll hang in for the whole ride at one go. Not to worry, you’ll be with friends: Jonn Serrie, Brian Eno, Diatonis, All India Radio, Stray Theories, 36, Realm, Aphex Twin & more.

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February was Black History Month. You knew that, right? Yeah, I hear ya -- how could you not?

But I was down with the flu or whateverthehellitwas, and so most of Black History Month passed me by as I lay on the couch, coughing and sniffling. But I'm back in action now, more or less, and as the month shuts down, I offer up my own appreciation for the celebration.

The seed track from HNNY, Cheer Up My Brother, was a surprise I found in the Lucky Sun guest mix I posted while I was down for the count; the rest of the set followed on from there, including favorites from Projections, Boozoo Bajou, Nightmares on Wax, Seal, Stac, St. Germain, Black Jazz Chronicles, Jon Kennedy, and many more including the Jaydiohead mash-up that closes the set. Tunes to get you moving, tracks to get you thinking....

Cover Art by Kadir Nelson.
 

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The excitement is pretty much over for now; let’s sink into something comfortable with music for that other side of Valentine’s ... not the side with the chocolates, the fireworks, and the sweeping folks off their feet ... No, I mean the other side:  the dreamy times, the quiet times lying still and staring back into your eyes side of Valentine’s ... Yeah, right there, like that...  And you thought "tasteful boudoir" was only a category for photographic portraits.... 

Or hey, maybe you just want to sit on the balcony and watch the sunset ... The mix works for those dreamy times, too, thanks to contributions from Sizzle Bird, Emancipator, Hammock, All India Radio, Lost Systems, Stray Theories, Bliss and more.

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February's about the right time of year to be remembering you ... the good times, the blue times, the times I didn't know which end was up.  As usual, I'm counting on music to distract me, and here to help me out are Blank & Jones, Gelka, Alex Cortiz, Kuba, Little Dragon, Alucidnation and Michael e, among others. 

This set is probably as fine for just swaying in place as it is for actually dancing, but whichever style you choose, there's definitely enough groove here to get you up on your feet and moving ... and really, you don't even have to get on your feet, if you have a better idea in mind.

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What are you listening to right now? I've got one ear in the past & one in the immediate present: this time it's Talking Heads, Rihanna’s latest, Björk, Andreya Triana & Sandy Denny -- 1969 to 2016.

Maybe I've been influenced by reading The Peripheral -- the muddy swirls of various time strands flowing side-by-side in the greater stream. You know the feeling: it's all water, the same but different. In my stub, the seed track was the Q-Burns remix of Youssou N'Dour's Wake Up, a swirl that found itself in the same flow as Sandy Denny, who slipped into the mix when I read a piece in which the author referred to himself as standing on a NYC street corner, under headphones, listening to Nina Simone sing “Who Knows Where the Time Goes”. That fired a synapse, sending me to YouTube to hear Nina, Judy Collins, DC's own Eva Cassidy & finally the song's composer, Sandy Denny -- her voice bringing an aching ultimacy to this song that no one else has equaled.

Listening, right now. [This is the complete track list]

Note to listeners: This set was originally uploaded to both Mixcloud and mix.dj, as I usually do ... Mixcloud apparently got a "take down" notice and removed the mix, while mix.dj continues blissfully on, streaming the set; while I have asked Mixcloud to identify the "offending material" so the mix could go back online, they don't actually seem able -- or willing -- to do that.  I'm attempting a re-upload, guessing at what the problem was, but as yet, there's not a widget to link you to, as with all the other shows on this page. 

Please take your mix-streaming business to mix.dj while this gets sorted out: http://www.mix.dj/video/4795074/listening-right-now/

 

 

It's fair to say the BeatConscious style tends more toward the eclectic than the thematically consistent.  This set, for instance, started out with my rediscovering the music of KUSH (among the joys of a recent hard drive recovery) which got me leaning toward jazz-inflected tracks ... But following the muse took me on a wandering path involving some abstract lounge liberally salted with dance rhythms.  As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting ... If the flow pleases you, then such eclectismo is all good.

 

Stops along the way include All India Radio, Blank & Jones, The Sushi Club, The Savages, Bliss, Lamb, and many more.

 

For a thematically consistent and musically gorgeous collection, I suggest you check out Jazz on the Rocks from Thirdpower1 (https://www.mixcloud.com/thirdpower1/jazz-jazz-on-the-rocks/  ) ... you won't regret it. 
 

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Eclectismo! - Jazzy Alternative Lounge by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

Last year, I accepted a challenge, not just to appreciate Said the Gramaphone's year-end Best Of list, but to find my own set-list within it.  The result was the January 1, 2015 show, Choices.  Well, here I am again, not challenged this time, but still curious what could be made out of the current StG list that would reflect me and my tendencies... Hey! It's my party!

 

I used nearly 20% of the tracks, surprising myself by including a Bieber -- on quality, unbeliebers, on quality!  Styles run the gamut from nearly-country (or maybe this IS modern country) thru rock to rap, trap and beyond.  Lyrics were important, as always; StG has an ear for the poetical, of course.  But vibe is king; witness the utterly astonishing Olivare track, among others.

 

Before encountering them on the list, I had only heard of five of these 19 tracks, so much respect, as always, to StG for being the intrepid explorers.  Check out the source here:  http://www.saidthegramophone.com/archives/best_songs_of_2015.php 
 

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It's My Party - BeatConscious Selects from Said the Gramaphone's Best of 2015 by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

Peace out, 2015.  How will you be remembered?   As the year of a mass shooting in America nearly every day?  As the year our political system was Trumped?  The year Africans squelched ebola, but Americans let the measles return?  Perhaps you’ll go down in history as the year all Weather-Hell broke loose, as though to mock the Paris accords with more evidence that we're a day late & a dollar short.

 

I think I’ll remember instead the year I tried to make for myself:  Slower, more mindful, seeking harmony & just a little bit of higher ground, fit for making a stand.  Helping me out in that regard for this last show are The Warheads, Govinda, Kush, All India Radio, Afterlife, Another Fine Day, Spooncurve, James Blake, and Soundhog’s delicious Float Mix of Depeche Mode.  Them, and my fistful of rainbows.

 

For each of my listeners & especially for those who maintain a fierce concentration on achieving their finest dreams, my best wishes for you in the coming year.   Make it happen.
 

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Peace Out 2015 - Deep Chill and Alternative Lounge by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 

There’s something about being poised to begin another year which reminds me that every story has a narrative arc; you know it as 'the beginning, the middle & the end.'  Our lives play out through this same sort of arc: The awakening & wonder of childhood, the long slow ride of the middle years, with stops here and there to acquire this and that, and then watching it all slip away in old age.   Hey, I hear you say, there's more to it than that!  Yes, of course and that's part of the reason why every story is unique in the way every rainbow is unique.   

 

Life, love, work  –  from New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve, so much of everything that we are & that we do follows such an arc, lending shape & purpose to our lives & to our stories (and, yes, even to our mixes.)  No wonder the rainbow is our totem.

 

Musical contributions to this particular arc include tracks from All India Radio, Sizzle Bird, Zero 7, 36, Carbon  Based Lifeforms, Alucidnation, Afterlife & more.

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The Arc - Deep Chill & Alternative Lounge by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 


Honestly, I wasn't planning to do a Christmas show this year, until I realized how much new music there is for the season ... hopefully, enough to lure us all away from that automatic reaction: Oh good grief, again!?!

 

I’m easing you in with some classics (Sinatra, Herb Alpert) and then turning the spotlight on new creations & new singers putting their spin on the classics ... In fact, Christmas music is the singer's equivalent of Hamlet for an actor; they need to see what they can bring to these tunes that's new.

 

Notable among the secular and spiritual offerings, kudos to Sarah McLachlan for a song that reminds us of those friends whose Christmas will not include their loved ones, and to Angel Snow for her reading of O Holy Night, reminding this bitter world that “His law is love, and his gospel is peace.”  And, of course, I could not resist including my all-time favorite version of Silent Night from Mahalia Jackson....

 

Peace to you and yours.

 

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12 Days of Christmas - Joyous Holiday Lounge by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

Well, from this point on through the beginning of 2016, we are going to be inundated with the BEST OF 2015 lists from every website and media outlet in creation.  Love it or hate it, but you can't stop it.

 

So here's what let's do ... Let's have this little oasis of rare, classic and undiscovered tunes from 2003 - 2011 ... Nothing to be rated or reviewed, just some alternative lounge and chilled beats to take you through the next hour or so.  Music as simple relaxation and pure enjoyment; no judgment, no list.

 

This set comes headphone correct, with gems from Rob Smith (who you may remember from Bristol’s Smith & Mighty, back in the day) Monte La Rue, Lisa Shaw, Cantoma, Gary B, Dublex, Inc. featuring Alice Russell, Guardner, Alex Cortiz, Handsome Boy Modeling School, and much more.

 

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No List - Alternative Lounge & Chilled Beats by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 

Maybe it’s just that Royksopp track, but more likely it's all the post-apocalyptic chatter, the endless video feed, real and fantasy, featuring terrorism and war, climate change and disease, a staggering economy (and, of course, zombies) that pried the lid up off a corner of my mind and let in ... the dark. 

 

Because lately I've been being haunted by that mind game: What if, right now, you're living your last happy moments, but you have NO IDEA....  Someday, when things have gone totally south, you'll look back and think: God, that was a great time!  Hopefully, you won’t be asking yourself: How could I have missed it, how good that was?

In that wistful spirit, I present to you: The Last Good Time, with tracks from Royksopp, Alex Cortiz, Afterlife, Zac Love, The Supreme Beings of Leisure, Afternoons in Stereo, All India Radio, Diatonis and more.

 

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The Last Good Time - Alternative Lounge by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


Improve your spatial awareness with an hour of sweet psybient grooves offering both energy and illumination for your journey.

You'll be floating free, but this is no sensory deprivation experience -- we'll be kicking off with the thrilling Diva Song from The Fifth Element OST and kicking back with Bliss at their most wistful to close out the set.

Joining you for the ride are Govinda, Thievery Corporation, Jon Kennedy, Jens Buchert, The Sushi Club, Sunsaria, Puff Dragon, and more.
 

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Floating Free - Psybient Lounge by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

Stepping back now to October ....

 

Think you know it all?  Do you imagine that there's nothing left for you to learn about love?  Well, you may be right ... I may be the only one who still has things to learn, and if that's so, well thank god for music to help me with the mission -- the poetry and wisdom and lessons of love are the essential stuff of music, as this show will demonstrate...

 

Adele, of course.  Plus contributions from Listenbee, Etta Bond & Chris Loco, Lapalux, The Weeknd, Felix Jaehn, Zero 7, B-Tribe, Robyn, and more. 

You might dance, you might reminisce, there might be tears or a smile ... or both.  The more you learn, the more you discover there is to learn.
 

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Learning About Love - Alternative Lounge by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

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.

 

*****************************

 

Originally posted in 2013, this bit of free verse seems fit to be rolled out once again in support of All This Love, which resulted from combing thru the crates to see what's up on the love front these days.

 

Discoveries include R&B Revival and Nu-Soul gems from Bobby Womack, D'Angelo, Cassandra Wilson, Andreya Triana, Jose James, Mikky Ekko and, of course, the song of (nearly) the same name by Gwen McRae, among others. 

Slip into something comfortable and join me for 80+ minutes of soul-deep reminders on why it's great to be alive and in love.

 

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All This Love - Nu-Soul and R&B Revival by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

You know the feeling you get, when the seasons change:  Relief, anticipation, and tho' you don't really say this to yourself, a kind of joy that Yes, you've stuck around long enough to actually see the green buds of another spring or enjoy the turning of the leaves to red one more time.  

 

It’s the most basic thing in the world but one day you find it simply has more significance than it used to ... Instead of passing almost unacknowledged, it's become something you look forward to, something you relish, something that seems as much an achievement of yours as it is an achievement of Mother Nature's.  Oh yes, you know the feeling.

 

So let's celebrate this feeling with a raft of music that will buoy us gently onward into this new season, and gladden us to be here, once again for the first time.  You'll be wafted along by Hammock, Stray Theories, Emily Underhill, Sizzle Bird, Kuba, Telepopmusik, Mark Isham & Art Lande, and Chris Zippel aka Genuine, among others. 

 

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You Know the Feeling - Alternative Lounge & Chillbient by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 

The good people of www.bristolarchiverecords.com got me going on this one with releases from Rhythmites, Capital Letters, Mystic Foundation and Jean McLean and then, of course, I rummaged thru the crates until the show took form, including solid selections from Noiseshaper, Dubmatix, St Germain, Gaudi, Joe Dukie and Delroy Wilson, among others.

 

The Harvest Moon is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox; it can occur in either September or October. This is when crops such as corn, pumpkins, squash, and wild rice are ready for gathering.  My very first record crates were vegetable crates, so it seemed reasonable to name this full moon set in honor of nature's bounty. 

 

I invite you to share this new crop of roots reggae and dub – come on in, warm yourself by the fire and partake...

 

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Harvest Moon Dub - Dub & Dubber, Vol. 14 by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 


If you expect to be achieving tranquility any time soon, you'll have to find a way to duck all the other distractions ... here's a soundtrack for doing that: Varieties of nu-ambient and other alternative intricacies, energies, and oddities, from Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm, Blue Bliss, Daniel Lanois, FKA twigs, The Warheads, Stray Theories, Ulrich Schnauss, David Morley, and Terra Nine whose Lucid Dreaming release provided the seed track.

And you might consider this: The work of achieving tranquility often includes experiencing some dissonance along the way.

Listen for it, Listen TO it
Acknowledge it
Let it go

Apply liberally
Rinse and repeat

 

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Achieving Tranquility - Alternative Ambient & Chillout Therapy by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

Stepping back now to August ....

 

One thing we know, everybody's got their own style of dancing. Some folks approach it from a classical, disciplined point of view, others think it should be a chance to show off their individualism or their athleticism, endurance or grace ... or maybe it’s just a chance to drive their friends crazy.

The same could be said for mixing dance music, I suppose. Now I'm not a pro House Music DJ by any means, but I can still pull together a mix that gets me spinning around, dipping down, and moving my body, and I figure some days that's all you really need....

Inspiration for this set comes courtesy of the new St Germain release from GiantStep DJ Service, and also relies for energy on tracks from Maceo Plex and the contributions of Maya Jane Coles, Disclosure, Fresh Moods, Dubblestandart and others. With any luck, it should get you moving too, even if you don’t dance my way

 

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Dance My Way by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 

Ready for a sweetly energetic Alternative Lounge set? Well then: hit the button and we'll get this PLAY date rolling.

I'm also naming a new slice of the downtempo pie, introducing you to Chill Hangout: It’s a bit more casual and low-key than Chill House, more like the front porch than the front parlor. Imagine (or remember) a time when friends would walk down your street, see you chillin’ out on the front porch, and come up to join you -- that kind of vibe.

BeatConscious fans may remember my long-standing crush on Worldwide Groove Corp (their update of the classic "The Man I Love" is in my Top 100 Downtempo tunes of all time.) Well, they're back, providing the seed track for this show. And, just throwing out an interesting fact about the Swedish group Plej whose tracks assist at the beginning and the end of this session: their band name is pronounced "PLAY".... And there's more, from: Chris Brann, Dzihan & Kamien, Boogie Belgique, Lego Boy ft. Gad, Rodney Hunter, Martinez, Blu Mar Ten and others.

Thanks are also due for the compelling cover art … you know who you are.

 

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PLAY Date - Alternative Lounge & Chill Hangout by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

Last but not least in this catch-up post, from July we have this mix and the activity it inspired on Mixcloud:

 

With its long, slow take-off based in daydreaming chill-house, this session actually began as the new home for some outtakes from another mix. No matter how I came at it, though, I just couldn't stretch this into a full hour-long set -- and that's where the concept of a "shorty" first appeared.

And then, oh: snap! I realized that the way all this fell together had turned it into Shorty's Song.

If you can stand that lazy start from Nor Elle, stick with me for music by The Disclosure Project, Marcel, Toots Hibbert, Pepe Deluxe, Submotion Orchestra, Andreya Triana, Blisaed, and Alpines, among others. We’re ranging from chillout-style downtempo to higher-energy alternative lounge. Special thanks to Eighth Dimension promo for turning my attention to The Disclosure Project, and to @XLR8R online magazine for their thoughtful curating over the years.

As for that activity on Mixcloud, it revolved around my choice of cover art, which got the side-eye from Third Power; he posted the EXACT SAME SET on his Mixcloud page but with a different cover and title.  If you check them both out (I reposted his version on my page; his and mine appear together in the list) you'll see that his got five times the listens.  Proving, at the very least, that it's good to have popular friends =;^)  The widget link below goes, of course, to MY version ...

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Shorty's Song - Chilled Downtempo by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 


What does it mean, to clear the mind?  You think your thoughts are YOURS -- until you try to turn them off and find that you can't.  They run on: within you, around you, ahead of you, always just beyond your control.  Very much like a crying child that cannot be consoled. 

"The most difficult thing I've ever tried to do is to clear the mind."

Obviously, help is required; luckily, help is available: our team of Deep Ambient experts includes Carbon Based Lifeforms, H.U.V.A. Network, Biome, Sizzle Bird, All India Radio, The Orchid, Future Sound of London, David Byrne & Brian Eno, Krystian Shek, The Warheads and more. 

Submerge yourself for an hour or so in this meditative space; return refreshed and ready to resume ... whatever it was ... clear-headed.


 

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To Clear the Mind - Deep Alternative Ambient by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 

Foundational dub featuring Bob and Ziggy Marley, Toots Hibbert, Peter Tosh, Lucky Dube, Desmond Dekker; dub in the tradition from Benjamin Zephaniah and Jean McLean, Dubmatix, DJ Vadim and Tiggy.

 

So here we are, once again celebrating July 4th/Independence Day USA ... which raises the question: So then what are all the other days? 

 

Yes, well, I do co-sign the proposition that you won't long enjoy any freedom you are not prepared to defend.  That doesn't make me a 2nd Amendment freak, just someone who keeps an eye on how the prevailing social currents, local and worldwide, affect my personal independence.

And of course one of the foundational attributes of dub reggae, along with all the urgings to Legalize It, is calling out oppression, injustice, and hypocrisy.   And so we come full circle, to this little homemade broadside full of the same kind of dangerous ideas that bought our independence:  Samizdat dub.  Give a copy to your friends.

Ah, and one more note ... though I may be the only person keeping track, I should note that a numbering error has occurred with respect to the Dub & Dubber series ... all the volumes published so far, in correct numbered order, can now be found on the Dub Stylee page of the Style Guide ... in the interests of accuracy and completeness.
 

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Samizdat Dub - Dub & Dubber, Vol. 13 by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 


In this world of contradictions, let the concept of Ecstatic Lounge be one you can get comfortable with; the idea here is to relax you completely while at the same time causing your heart to expand until it fills the universe.  Would you really turn down an offer like that?   I didn't think so....

 

Your relaxation comes from classic Bonobo and Eno-Fripp tunes, through the dark ambient of All India Radio and on into new music from Supercozi and Matt Coldrick; soul and heart expansion come courtesy of Alucidnation, Carbon Based Lifeforms, H.U.V.A. Network, and the gorgeous vocals of Sophie Barker that close out the set, while Banzai Republic upholds the bottom end in fine dub style. 

Put aside the rules, open yourself to the contradictions, embrace this life ecstatically.

 

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Ecstatic Lounge - Alternative Deep Ambient & Headphone Lounge by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 

There's so many opportunities to become downhearted & only a handful of reliable ways for any of us to feel better again:  Money, cars, food, travel, sex, winning at sports. ...  Everybody needs to figure out what works for them, what brings the good feelings back.  If you've been hanging around BeatConscious for any length of time, you know that for me, it's music.

 

So here it is, a drug for the downhearted.  Therapists on call this hour include A Man Called Adam, Freddie Cruger, Blackfish, Afterlife, The Pretenders, Stac, Nightmares on Wax, All India Radio, Cold Busted artist Sixfingerz, and much more.

 

The seed track from Primitive Radio Gods (1996) is both a sample-lover’s treat & a metaphoric delight, offering images like this:

That life is time, they teach you growing up
The seconds ticking killed us all, a million years before the Fall
You ride the waves and don't ask where they go
You swim like lions thru the crest and bathe yourself in zebra flesh...

 

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A Drug for the Downhearted by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 


As another of the greats leaves us (RIP BB King) & the tribute sets appear, I find myself finally ready to do that County Blues mix I had in me.

In his definitive version of the blues staple, Leavin' Trunk, Taj Mahal sings about “having the blues 3 different ways." So, too, here we have original Country Blues both acoustic & electrified, by both the original artists & Black Blues Revivalists; a 3rd category includes both white hommage and R&B. The party starts off with 1940s Memphis Minnie & then her niece & nephew, Ethel & George McCoy from East St. Louis, bring us up to the late 60s; from there we ride with Taj Mahal, the first of the Black Blues Revivalists I ever heard & likely the best of a movement that later featured Keb’ Mo & Robert Cray, who also make appearances on this session. The Allstars of Charlottesville, VA turn in a worthy version of the Etta James classic, Tell Mama.
 

In the end, this is not only a tribute to the passing of BB King, but also a tribute to the years I spent in the music business, helping to run the D.C. indie label, Adelphi Records, specializing in blues recordings of our own (survivors and revivalists) and also distributing the many indie labels of the late 60s and early 70s, like Yazoo, Arhoolie, Rounder and others.  After a long time away, it's really great to hear these amazing tracks again. 

 

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The Blues 3 Different Ways by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 

Sooner or later, we all feel the need, the temporary need at least, to get away from it all. We've put in our time, we've put out the effort, we've done our best or, at any rate, we've done all we can do ...

When YOUR moment arrives, pop in your earbuds, fire up the player, and let this complex, delicious assortment of atmospheric drum'n'bass and alternative ambient tracks keep you company on your journey to ... Well, to wherever you choose. Right now, you are the only person you need to please.

You may be alone, but you'll be in good company with No Noise, Adham Shaikh, Grassskirt, Blu Mar Ten, Lowb (in a Synkro remix), The Warheads, Bonobo and more; special thanks to Robin Triskele and the Interchill folks for the tunes by Supercozi and Another Fine Day that open and close the session.

Yes, yes, a bit of Atmospheric Dnb ... it's like having that armored Hummer, idling at the curb, ready to take you away from it all.

 

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Away From It All - Alternative Ambient & Atmospheric Drum'n'Bass by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

With a few deep jazz classics to lift us off nice and smooth, the session then moves into an hour's worth of mostly energetic, jazzy downtempo featuring a wealth of styles, from recognized classics of the Golden Age like Quantic's “Life in the Rain” to the modernist energy of the remix session – notably the Kilter rerub of Ben Pearce which is arguably a classic-in-the-making; more quality is on offer from Fat Freddy's Drop, dZihan & Kamien, Green Street, Physics, Clayton/Fulcrum, and more.

The organizing principal of this show seems to be uncertainty or not-knowingness ... Consider the lyrics: Sometimes I wonder ... or the titles: Don't Know What I Might Do... Or Quantic’s concern: I don't know where it is taking me. Sometimes I wonder if I’m picking the tracks, or they are picking me. But who can say? After all, the theme IS "not knowing"...

 

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Sometimes I Wonder - Jazzy Downtempo by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


Dark, emotional & complex, at the height of its popularity, beginning in about 1995, TripHop combined a whiff of the rave with the suggestion of smoky club atmospherics. The first BeatConscious retrospectives of this style were compiled in 2004, about a decade after the peak; now, yet another decade down the line, I'm spiffing up those retrospectives & re-releasing them for your listening pleasure - this is the second in the series, La Vie en Noir.

In the course of the reworking, I found that many iconic releases I have from this period had never been ripped to the hard drive ... perhaps classics like the K&D Sessions and Portishead seemed overplayed to me at the time. What it means today, 20 years after the peak, is that these tunes can be freshly enjoyed by a new generation of listeners & a TripHop Retrospective Vol. 3 will follow.

On this set, you'll hear from Kruder & Dorfmeister, William Orbit, Lamb, Hefner, Beanfield, Noorda (The Dining Rooms) & more talent from the many compilation albums of that fine head-noddin' time 

 

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La Vie en Noir - 2004 TripHop Retrospective, Pt. 2 (2015 RWRK) by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 

The sunlight may be harsh; the spotlight demands that you be someone you're really not ... but in the alternate light, you only need to relax, be yourself, and enjoy the glow.

Ambient treasures from All India Radio, Moodswings, Emancipator, Banco de Gaia and more. Thanks to low light mixes (another Alfred Bester fan perhaps) whose latest set introduced me to the Earthtones series; even more thanks and mad love to Third Power for the perfect cover art he created.

 

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The Alternate Light - An Ambient Experience by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

This may be a story line you know... It's starts out with people dancing and then evolves ... sometimes into a bar fight, sometimes into a romance, sometimes it's a short story, sometimes an epic ... Whether it turns out happy or sad, it starts with the energy and passion of dance music, just like this session ...

So: Maceo Plex and a J Boogie remix of Ben Pearce's What I Might Do kick things off. Mood changes and possibilities come courtesy of Nightmares on Wax, Finley Quaye, dZihan & Kamien, Minus 8, Poldoore, Sade and more.

 

 

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Started Out Dancing by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

Dub has become a popular category that attracts all sorts of players, and you’ll often encounter the phrase “dub remix” or the more telegraphic “(Dub)” tacked on the end of a song title ... If you're out there looking for a "dub reggae mix" you could end up hearing any number of very distinct musical styles ... Including some you may think are only "dubish" or are just flirting with dub....

This session is the real deal, though, with impeccable dub credentials defining gems from Noiseshaper, Thievery Corporation, Luciano/G-Corp, Deep Fried Dub, and Krystian Shek to the remixed roots reggae of Bob Marley.

Special thanks go out to Robin Triskele for that early heads-up on the releases from Deep Fried Dub and the International Observer remixes. Likewise to GiantStep DJ for their amazing Legend Remixed set from 2013...

 

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Flirting with Dub - Dub & Dubber, Vol. 12 by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


The Queen’s favorite brought her a gift of two magnificent gems. A diamond that sparkled with all the light of the sun at noon, a sapphire that glowed the deepest blue, like midnight on the ocean.

The Queen praised this gift but teased her favorite: Why bring me two such stones? Could you not choose a favorite? Were you not able to decide which was the greater prize?


Her favorite leaned in close to answer: A single stone, no matter how fine, could never equal your Majesty’s radiance, he said: You are both the sun that lights my day and makes all beauty visible to me, and as well you are the velvet night that encourages and cloaks my deepest dreams. The Queen, well pleased, smiled back upon her favorite.

The Queen's Gem Master was summoned and told: The Queen has two highly-prized gems which she wishes to wear. You will notice that the two gems are extremely unalike; the Queen requires you to exercise the highest artistry, creating a single setting in which both gems will be displayed to greatest advantage.

This session is The Gem Master's Response.

 

All of which is simply to say, I had two wonderful old tracks, and I built this mix to show them both to best advantage; like most downtempo joints, this has a range of styles to entertain you, both dancing and dreaming.  The two gems, by the way, are the tracks from Clannad and from Robert Palmer; in addition, you'll hear music from Bliss, Baden Powell, Nightmares on Wax, J Boogie's Dubtronic Science, Alex Cortiz, Nostalgia 77 and more. 

 

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The Gem Master's Response by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


From the pleasures of a picnic or a party, a rhumba or a romance, to the thought of life itself, who hasn’t felt this: It's been so sweet, don't let it end ... Let's take the long way home.

I offer you a third installment of Longform Jazz; this one claims the distinction based on two mini-epic (10 minute) tracks, one from Charles Mingus, and the other from Bugge Wesseltoft, closing out the show. You'll also hear nu-jazz, lounge and some energetic bass-heavy downtempo from Puddu Varano, Parov Stelar, the Bobby Hughes Combination, Gavin Froome, Smarton Trio +1, and Monte La Rue. A favorite for me was the Benjamin Devigne piece; he also plays with the group Metropolitan Jazz Affair whose track Taxi Gun Café appeared in last November's show Headspace – another delicious serving of longform jazz.

Thanks to Third Power for providing the cover image; it says everything about our hurried and often passive transit through this life.

 

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The Long Way Home by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 



A couple of my besties just got married after nearly 25 years together. What took 'em so long, you ask? Tradition, law and the culture is an answer, I suppose. In any event, these folks, like many others, are honoring the concept of marriage through their long-term devotion to one another, so I dedicate this session to them and their future happiness.

While this set may offer songs gesturing in the direction of married/connectedness (sometimes very faintly indeed), you won't hear a program filled only with gushy love lyrics ... the wise heads know marriage isn’t like that all the time. It’s hard work building a family, and even though it’s mostly done with unskilled labor, it’s still the most important work we do.

Listen for Muse, Benny Tones, Ananda Project, Deebs, DJ Cam remixing Miles Davis, James Blake, Felix Laband, and the MeLo-X take on Rhianna’s “Stay”.

 

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The Concept of Marriage by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

When I set off down a musical road, I can't look back to see if you're following along; I can’t wonder if you co-sign the direction we're taking or the speed at which we progress. Instead, I focus on my implicit promise to you that I'm going to lead you someplace rewarding.

But so, like any artist who makes that same promise (as do each of the individual artists whose songs appear in this mix) I simply have to walk on and trust that there's at least a few of you following along behind me. If I were to turn around and look, I might find that the entire town has turned out to follow me ... but I might just as likely find the road is empty behind me; it's a chance I take.

Are you willing to take a chance on this show? Your reward will be selections from the Loungemasters label as well as music from Sizzle Bird, Kaskade, Auditive Escape, Blank & Jones, Lustral & the mysterious t spigot.

 

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A Chance I Take by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

It's remote, it’s still, it's icy ... Or say, rather, that It's private, it’s placid and it's enticing even though you know without going in that it's very VERY chill ... The Winter Pool: somehow it's relaxing just to be around it, maybe because you have the place to yourself, making this the perfect time to kick back and relax.... Just as soon as you stop shivering.

In the course of this session, you'll hear selections from DJ Krush, The Warheads, Black Rain, SinQ, Afternoons in Stereo and Cinematic Orchestra. All these tracks seem to me to have good jazz bones, regardless of how they are fleshed out -- and this tendency is beautifully modeled by the seed track from Scrimshire / Matthew Halsall that opens the mix. Downtempo represents via work from Chris Coco, Monte La Rue, Boozoo Bajou, Blank & Jones, and others.

Let the warmth of this session help you shake off that delicious chill....

 

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The Winter Pool by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


Well, we've gotten to the end of another year, you and I.  Still making musical entertainments, still listening to them ... yay, team!  I'm closing out 2014 with a nod to one of the most entertaining and reliable of the music blogs ...

 

Each year Said the Gramaphone (which I consider Canada's top literary music blog) gives followers a year-end wrap-up of the 100 tunes that made the biggest impression on their three bloggers. This year, the suggestion was made by ThirdPower that I not just listen to their top 100, but that I also pull out the tunes that caught my attention and make a set from them. Done and done.

First, let me just note this: NSFW!  At least, a couple of the tunes might have your cubicle neighbors shooting you the stink-eye, depending on your particular workplace make-up ... well, a heads-up seemed to be in order.

Now, with that out of the way, I'll just advise you that the choices run from hiphop through sweet love tracks and out through glitchcore at the other end; you'll hear FKA twigs, Aphex Twin, Alt-J, Prince, E-40, Homeboy Sandman, Guru, Jessie Ware, Wild Beasts and Wye Oak, among others.

Thx to ThirdPower1 for both the inspiration to create the set, and for the accompanying cover art. You can get the entire 100-track roundup for 2014 from StG here: http://www.saidthegramophone.com/archives/best_songs_of_2014.php ... if you make your own set out of these tumes, be sure and let me know.

 

Don't forget you can review the entire year's output from BeatConscious by visiting the stream on Mixcloud or on mix.dj, whichever suits you best; you can also scroll down and review the entire year's output via the Mixcloud widgets embedded on this page.

 

Best wishes to you for 2015!
 

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:

 

 

Choices by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 




 


Previous shows (most recent first) are featured in the archives:

2014 archives
2013 archives
2012 archive
2011 archive
2010 archive;
 2009 archive;
prior years' main page posts are in their own archive, linked below.


I've made an archive of the oldest contents of this section ... feel free to visit and dip in, should you have the time and inclination....

 

Hit counters on web sites ... so very 1995.  Of course, nobody does that anymore (do they?) and BeatConscious never did ... I've left intact the original manifesto about all that, which you can visit through this link:  

It's a Counter-Free website ... now what does that mean?