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Here we go again, wrapping up the most recent shows of 2015 and the newest in 2016 -- latest up top (for older issues, scroll down.)

 

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. 
 

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:

 

 

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 
 

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:

 

 

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.
 

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:

 

 

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.

If you're inclined to listen to this set, please click the PLAY > button in the widget below ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:

 

 

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

 

 

Well! That's the latest -- hope you'll find something that suits your mood!  The rest of the 2015 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: 


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.

 

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:

 

 

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.

 

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:

 

 

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.

 

If you're inclined to listen to this set, please click the PLAY > button in the widget below ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:

 

 

The 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.
 

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:

 

 

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.
 

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:

 

 

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.

 

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:

 

 

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. 

 

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:

 

 

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...

 

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:

 

 

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

 

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:

 

 

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

 

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:

 

 

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.

 

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:

 

 

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 ...

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:

 

 

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.
 

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:

 

 

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.

 

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:

 

 

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...

 

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:

 

 

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. 

 

If you're inclined to listen to this set, please click the PLAY > button in the widget below ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:

 

 

The 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.

 

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:

 

 

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"...

 

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:

 

 

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!
 

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Choices by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


 In the meantime, this catch-up is a double helping ... seems appropriate for the Holiday season.  Let's begin with the most recent first:

 

By my rough and possibly inaccurate accounting, The Soul Wants to Sing is Volume 11 of the Dub and Dubber series. Dedicated followers will know that I usually field dub reggae sets in the summer months, just because sun, sand, surf and spliffs seem like a package to me. But of course, people caught in the grip of winter (snow, slush, skidding tires and shivering) probably need a shot of warming dub reggae more now than when they are sweating and suffering in the high summer sun. So this is my gift to everyone who wishes they were warmer right now ... If you can't get away to come visit us here in Florida or at some island resort, at least you can get a whiff of the warmth we're enjoying this winter.

Warm treats include: Bob Marley & the Wailers, Thievery Corporation, Dubmatix, Noiseshaper, Boozoo Bajou ft. Joe Dukie and U-Brown, UB40 and more.
 

If you're inclined to listen to this set, please click the PLAY > button in the widget below ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:

 

 

The Soul Wants to Sing - Dub & Dubber Vol. 11 by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

And just before that dropped, there was another:

 

The first jazz album I bought was Miles Davis's Sketches of Spain; longform jazz was how I began. As the world opened up and more of everything became available to me, my attention span shortened a bit and my attraction to a good hook came to dominate my music tastes. But the capacity to enjoy longform music, whether it was jazz or ambient such as Brian Eno creates, never disappeared.

And certainly, as we head toward the longest night of the year, a session of longform jazz seems entirely appropriate.

So, of course, there's Miles from Sketches of Spain, along with selections from Keith Jarrett, Joe Henderson, James Carter, Joshua Redman, Joe Pass and Bill Evans, plus a few names that may be less familiar to you but are equally well worth knowing.

Props are due to my friend ThirdPower1 for his recent jazz session, http://www.mixcloud.com/thirdpower1/jazz-piano-unforgettable/ which provided the incentive for me to finally tackle one myself.

 

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Longform Jazz by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

And  before that dropped, there was another:

 

Use this to get thru the day or maybe you can use it to get thru the night; use this to get thru your Black Friday, your Cyber Sunday, your Red Wedding, or maybe you’ll be using it to get thru tax season. Use this to get beyond Blue Monday, past Hump Day, or thru the waning hours of that Friday when everyone but you took off for a long weekend.


The session has uptempo R&B, the occasional slow soul romance, a bit of Nu-Jazz and some country blues just to keep you grounded. With tracks from Dionne Farris, Grace Jones, All Good Funk Alliance, Drake, Joan Armatrading, Moodprint and more, there's something for every mood and every need. Use this next time you need an attitude adjustment but the cupboards are bare, the stores are all closed and your friends don't pick up.


As I usually do, I consulted ThirdPower1, who offered a generous helping of hands-on suggestions; I've used a number of these to supplement my own intuitions, including his work on the Stereotyp track, so you get the best of both worlds.

 

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Use This by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

 

And to help us celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we ended November with this one:

 

Consider this a dream of peace for the Thanksgiving Day we celebrate here in the US ... And though you may not join us in a dinner replete with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and candied sweet potatoes or figgy monkey pudding, I believe you would join us in dreaming of peace, and acting to make the dream a reality.

Taking us there this time are selections from the new Interchill compilation Waypoint, along with appearances from favorites Carbon Based Lifeforms, Need a Name, Evolve and more. The poetic interlude which comes courtesy of the Cinematic Orchestra and vocalist Roots Manuva seems to have special resonance this year.


 

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A Dream of Peace by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud


We are floating hungrily toward the Thanksgiving holiday, that feast of friendship and family ... nights have gotten longer ... more time for illuminating your headspace with Jazz. Ambient and Nu-Jazz selections (c. 2001- present) while you bask in the fireplace glow or in the starlight ...

Though they were not the original seed tracks, the two Alice Coltrane pieces became the core / rationale for this session. Once again, a release I slept on when it was new turns out to have timelessly good music on it for me to discover later ... For me, and now for you, too. Additional delights include the music of Cassandra Wilson, Parov Stelar, Bonobo, Blank & Jones and the latest from All India Radio.

Once again, my special thanks to ThirdPower1 http://www.mixcloud.com/thirdpower1/  for the cover art suggestion; it perfectly expresses the title theme.
 

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Headspace by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

And just before that dropped, there was another:

 

Muted and glitched downtempo from James Blake and his able acolytes, FKA Twigs, Lapalux, Face + Heel, Gus Till, T_J_N & fwdslxsh, Sizzlebird, remixer Kygo, Emily Underhill remixed by KR$CHN, and more: Dense entertainment value in an exploration of modern love and modern music.

Dedicated to all my glitchez.

 

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My Glitchez by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

And to wrap up October:

 

The seed track for this collection of chill house tunes comes from Wind Horse Records artist Soulspace, courtesy of 8th Dimension promo; you’ll also hear tracks from Blondes, Chocolate Tannoy, Gary B, Boris Blenn, Groove Armada, Timewarp inc and Gelka, among others.


Whether this set fuels your exercise session, a bit of romance under the stars, or just a brief dance around the room, I hope you’ll find it enjoyable.  Stretch, flex and relax!
 

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Stretch Flex Relax by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


We stand still in the darkness, our toes inching forward, trying to discover where the edge is.
These are the circumstances for much of our lives: poised and ready to leap, hoping to be leaping into light. In times like these, believe one thing above all: My wings will unfurl and I will soar.

Hung off a framework of Coyote Oldman songs, this deep ambient set features tracks from All India Radio, Chris Zabriski, Blu Mar Ten, Stray Theories, the magical Kygo remix of Ed Sheeran's I See Fire, amazing energy from Chris Zippel aka Genuine, and -- in the running for most beautiful piece of the year so far -- the closing tune from Hammock.

Special thanks to ThirdPower1 http://www.mixcloud.com/thirdpower1/  for the cover art and concept.
 

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I Will Soar by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 

And just before that dropped, there was another, in process for quite some time and interrupted by vacation:

 

Travel, like my recent vacation, can be absorbing or distracting, and the question is always: where to next? For some folks, of course, the greatest pleasure can be in the return home...


Home is where I found new songs from Afternoons in Stereo and Jhené Aiko (courtesy of GiantStep DJ) which became the seed tracks for this musical garden, where the path is winding and you never know what you'll encounter along the way.


At the core of this set are some classic downtempo tracks from Satgyan and Caia/Weekend Players as well as future classics from Bonobo ft. Fink, The Warheads, Anitek and Miles BonnyErykah Badu's Baduzim is also represented.  Respect to AiS also for the turn-on (via his Urban Modernists show) to the tracks from Yusef Lateef and David Holmes: they compliment his own tune and then up the energy as the set heads towards an emotional close.
 

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Along the Way by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


 


It appeared to be time for a higher-energy set and in order to get myself in the mood for that, I needed what they call "Dutch courage". So I had a pull from my magic potion hip flask and then settled in to see what would happen.... I started out flyin' (Amerigo Gazaway, Pstgrd, Chronic Sonata, Walkner Moestl) but eventually, just as you might expect, I found my glide path back down to love and serenity (Deniece Williams, STAC, Kool & the Gang, Miles Bonny & Brenk Sinatra, Groove Theory).

A very special thanks to The Third Power1 for making the brilliant opening track even better by the application of HIS magic potion.   (You can check out his brilliance in full flower on his Mixcloud stream: http://www.mixcloud.com/thirdpower1/ )

OK, now it's time for you to have a taste.... don’t forget to pass the flask along once you’re satisfied.

 

 Read on below for the rest of this update's new shows.....

 

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Hip Flask by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


And as for our double-down this time, here's the show from mid-August:

 

Thirteen: Not really old enough for the nightlife, but out running around in the street nonetheless, her summer nights destination, the teen club, some cinder-block building providing a dance venue for the local youth, the music, mostly R&B, spilling out into the parking lot, all the songs reflective in some way of the dancers' imperative to end up nestled together in one corner or another swaying in time to the music ... oh yeah.

I love the music, old and new, that helps me recreate those starlit nights, warm and close, when we're transported by music and the comfort of nestling with the one you desire ... listen in and maybe do a little nestling of your own.

Much respect to Dusted Wax Kingdom: music from among their many releases helped create the special vibe of this session.

 

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Nestled by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


There may be folks out there who believe they've never been guilty of a thing, but if so, they are folks you don't want to meet: either they are impossibly upright, or they are telling a ridiculous lie.   

But not you, right?  There must be a little something you are not entirely opposed to revealing.  C'mon, you can tell me ... What's that little sin you've committed?  Loved the wrong one, loved them too much, put them ahead of your obligations, neglected your friends, avoided your chores, left your dishes in the sink ... wished for a reconciliation even when you knew you shouldn't?  Well, you wouldn't be the first and I'm pretty damn sure you won't be the last; don't let it keep you up at night.  Instead, relax with this reworked 2007 set of guilty-love tunes, mighty funk, and smooth nu-jazz to soothe the heart.

This set is half funk, half nu-jazz (and a few less-categorizable vibes inbetween) with stellar funk contributions from the Red Astaire / Freddie Cruger family of performers and their art while nu-jazz is represented by Afternoons in Stereo, The Warheads, Slop Shop and Skalpel.  Classics from Amy Winehouse, Worldwide Groove Corporation and Aim ft Kate Rogers round out the hour.

This RWRK's art comes courtesy of The Third Power (who is also responsible for the image gracing the cover of Immersion Therapy, featured below).  The curious can check out the original "Guilty" cover art and set-list here:  http://www.beatconscious.org/images/MMR114_IMayBeGuilty_02.jpg

 Read on below for the rest of this update's new shows.....

 

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I May Be Guilty - 2014 RWRK by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


And as for our double-down this time, here's late July's contribution:

 

Sure, there're days when you want to hear a thematic mix, one that hangs together like a bespoke suit and fits your mood to a T ... but then there are the days when you don't even know what your mood IS, much less how to find music that will charm you down out of your tree. 

 

Sounds like a job for freeform radio ... or what used to be called by that name.   Despite changes in playlist styles over the years, freeform persists ... because the internet lets radio be free once again.  Likewise, since the internet makes radio available to digital devices everywhere, all the time, we can be completely immersed in it if we like. 

 

Immersion therapy:  Because your moods persist, and music is medicine for your moods.  Therapists on duty for this session include Grooveblaster, The Sub Zero, Kaskade, Soil & "Pimp" Sessions, Neneh Cherry, Wax Poetic, Maya Jane Coles and more.  Come in and get comfortable, the treatment is about to begin.

 

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Immersion Therapy by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 


There are two ways to be in the flow: Caught up in it, tossed and tumbling, never quite able to get your footing ... or standing rock-solid amidst the motion, feeling the flow all around you, as though you were standing in the ship's bow, feeling the breeze brush past as you move forward.

 

The first way can be exhilarating and instructive; but the second way is where you find your center ... and that is the essence of chilling out.

From the seed track by Airstream to Moby's rework of the classic New Order song "Temptation" each element of this session is like a fresh breeze, caressing and calming.  Lean into it and chill with me.

Along the way, you'll hear Michael Brook, Carbor Based Lifeforms, Emancipator, Chris Zabriskie, All India Radio and B-Tribe, among others.

 Read on below for the rest of this update's new shows.....

 

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Feel the Flow by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


And as for our double-down this time, here's part II:

 

After talking music together for months, it was no surprise when their talk turned to action and they decided to "do it". This Deep House "relay" set resulted, showcasing the talent of both DJs ... we called it Do It With You.

MmeFLY runs the first leg of the mix, doing some inspired crate digging to get us to track 7, in her usual sophisticated manner. That's where she passes the baton to ThirdPower1, who runs the second and final leg from track 7 to the finish line. Your educated ear will appreciate the inspired complexity that marks his run.

The seed track for this collaboration was provided by the folks at Eighth Dimension, who offered an EP from the Thai Dust group. We chose Val De Mossa & DJ-Gotsoul's Pasadena ft. Surya. ThirdPower1 used both the original and the BDLX Remix, creating a seamless 4 min. overlap of both.

Artists on the set include The Amalgamation of Soundz, Royksopp remixed by Tom Middleton, and G-Pal, Maya Jane Coles, Bodhi, Phaeleh, Playless remixing CeCe Peniston, and more. ENJOY. 

 

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Do It With You - MmeFLY & ThirdPower1 by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud


 


Of all the things your Life Coach loves to instruct you about, keeping your balance leads the list, perhaps because there are so many things you need to keep balanced: your life/work ratio, your emotions, your diet and your exercise schedule ...  But let’s take a lesson from the master of balance, Phillippe Petit: “You must not fall. When you lose your balance ... You must not force yourself to stay steady. You must move forward.”

Proper balance also improves music & while it's not something I often adjust, I'm impressed by the results when someone else does it well; as an example, I offer the Third Power’s "Sizzle" remix of Me'Shell NdegeOcello's "Call Me" near the end of the set – a track I believed was already quite fine becomes absolutely amazing as a result of his attentive rebalancing of the levels.   

But, wait!  There's more:  Benny Tones, Gramatik, J-Walk, Charles Webster, Rollercone and Monte La Rue appear, while Maxwell, Miguel and Timewarp inc all roll doubles.  And then there is the very fabulous Ms. Shirley Bassey with, as her name might lead you to expect, a bass-heavy rendition of the movie soundtrack hit "Love Story".

If I’ve got it right, this session should be walking that balance beam between gritty funk & moody downtempo, between sensuality & urgency.  By the time this hour is over, I hope you’ve found your balance, too.

 

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Balance by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


Smooth sailing ... The phrase evokes calm seas, placid days, light winds and warm sunshine. These are the conditions that we yearn for when all around us, and perhaps within us, storms rage on. You may not be able to do much about the weather you find yourself in, but you can certainly try to adjust the weather within yourself ...

Here to help you moderate your mood and find your safe harbor are a raft of sweetly chilled tunes, smoothly downshifting from the opening energy of Quantic and cascading thru the delights of Grooveblaster, Marlena Shaw remixed by Akshin Alizadeh, a gorgeous rap from POETREE ft. Kimba & Jess Gibbons, as well as tunes from Evolve, Alex Cortiz, Paul & Price, Autopilot and more.

Come drift along with us ... Trust in your captain and feel that peace that comes with total relaxation.

 

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Smooth Sailing by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud


And for a special treat, check out the rework of 2004's TripHop Retrospective, R U Out There, a chance to listen to some of the music that was triphop from the glory days before the term became tired from overuse. This set was first assembled in 2004 & by then it was already considered a retrospective of a musical style that had its peak in the late 90s. The current version eliminates 5 or 6 tunes & the transitions have been reconstructed to blend smoothly without altering the track BPMs (as the original mix did.)

The stars of triphop (Portishead, Morcheeba, Massive Attack, Tricky) are here, along with other EDM artists whose work occasionally had that same vibe (Amon Tobin, The Crystal Method, Bjork, Nenah Cherry.) Lesser knowns like User’s Atmosphere, RHC ft. Plavka and Freakpower in Dub bring the secret sauce that make this dish unique.

A decade plus seems like enough time will have passed so that the music sounds fresh again & these tracks may find new fans among those who didn’t catch triphop fever the first time around.

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:

 

 

R U Out There by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud


OK, for now, though, the most recent (May 10) set is Easy to Love:  What makes someone easy to love? Oh, I know there's 100 answers to that question!  But some of those are answers to "What makes someone desirable?" and that's not our question today.

 

So:  All those things you have in common; the feeling, when you talk, that you've known each other forever -- and now you finish one another's sentences; when you embrace, it feels like coming home; when you catch each other's eye across the room, you lock on; it’s the feeling that you know and are known to another; you are recognized & you know you are loved. 

 

Music can be easy to love, too, for some of the same reasons: Walk into a place where the right music is playing, and you feel welcome, you feel like you've come home, like the music is playing just for you.  If you love House, you might just get that feeling here: Maceo Plex, Miguel Migs, Groove Armada, Saint Etienne, Disclosure, Kaskade & Joy Orbison remixing Lana del Rey.

 

Welcome home.

If you're inclined to listen to this set, please click the PLAY > button in the widget below ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:

 

 

Easy to Love by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

In addition, we had our lil' dub reggae bump on 4/20 (as one does) ... This session, Volume 10 of the Dub & Dubber series, is titled Rising: Quintessential Dub Reggae (and if you observed Easter on April 20th, note there's a tip of the bonnet to you, too.)  Spring is a fertile concept to pin cultural cues on: rebirth, regeneration, resurrection. A key time of year, recognized by man as significant from the earliest epochs, the rites of spring are powerful in every culture and spring itself embodies hope in virtually every society.

Rising reflects mankind's most basic hopes: for love, justice, peace and for harmony with the world around us ... this Dub & Dubber session offers uplift and deep thought from Ziggy Marley, Noiseshaper, Thievery Corporation, UB40, Dubmatix, Boozoo Bajou and more. A couple of these tracks amazed me, particularly the Eyesight Project's Imagination and the closing piece from Dubmatix, Nate Wize and Alton Ellis.

No matter where or how you observe the day, here's hoping you, too, find something to lift your spirits to their proper springtime levels.

 

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:

 

 

Rising - Dub & Dubber Vol. 10 by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 


Whether you like it or not, the weather rules you.  It determines whether and how much you have to eat, whether or not it is safe or easy to travel or even lie down at night to sleep, whether you can keep your home and workplace comfortable without spending a fortune on heat or A/C, and of course, for many people, it even manipulates their mood, making them intensely happy or crushingly sad.  Lingering Chill is a salute to the ever-present power of weather in our lives.

 

The seed for this set was the new Tycho release, Awake, and there's more Tycho goodness along the way; you'll also hear Rhian Sheehan in a Stray Theories remix, All India Radio, Afterlife, Emancipator, Afternoons in Stereo, Blue Crisp, H.U.V.A. Network, Jon Hopkins and more

Enjoy this lingering chill ... Later, when the heat is surging up at you from the pavement, and you'd give the world for some shade and a breeze, you'll look back on this with longing, whether you realize it now or not.

 

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:

 

 

Lingering Chill by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

 


The Inspiration for a new show came at me from all sides recently & you'll hear the results when you click PLAY. My friend, The Third Power (Thirdpower1) fielded a mix that really blew my fuses, introducing me to the phenomenal Him Self Her track from 2012, Gone Too Long; he paired it with the very delicious Back to Love & I've kept the concept intact, to honor his excellent taste in these matters.

Likewise, Twitter introduced me to the blazing Route 94 joint, My Love; I bought it & within minutes, it seemed, the good folks at GiantStepDJ comped out a three-version package … you'll hear both the extended edit & an instrumental reprise in this show: this tune's too good to play just once!

This “Love House” set completed itself with gems from Atjazz, Lisa Shaw, Plej, Rithma, Jii Hoo (Jori Hulkkonen), Mo'Horizons, Stac and others. My best suggestion would be: Listen with a friend, and may the music be an inspiration to you …

 

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:

 

 

Inspiration by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


Another Two-Fer Month ... Running just to keep up around here!

Most recently, there's been a new House mix, and it came about like this:  Usually I post a show & write about a theme the music embodies: Maybe something ripped from the headlines, maybe a new take on the eternal questions ... you guys have seen it all by now.  This time my theme centers on the pleasures of collaboration.  

It started with a tune I heard in The Third Power's Sunday T-Dance house mix.  One track (In the Club (dj mbuso deep rub) by Timmy Regisford ft. Lynn Lockaby) really grabbed me; the minute I heard it, my brain caught fire and I knew I had to build a show around it.  Once I had constructed the basic set, I took it back to my friend & asked him to listen and comment.  In response, I got a very detailed, thoughtful breakdown, including an absolutely brilliant suggestion for restructuring the sequencing at the end; I made those changes & damn if the mix didn't improve 1000%.  The set that resulted is a tribute to the power of two.

 

(And, yes, I did return the favor: if you'll check out his Flashback R&B Remix set, you'll hear that fantastic James Brown/Led Zeppelin mashup, Whole Lotta Sex Machine, one of the the most fun, most danceable tracks ever.)

 

After a long time in the cultural wilderness, such collaboration is like an oasis materializing in front of me, bringing me back to life.  I hope you'll enjoy this set as much as I enjoyed the process of making it.  If you check it out, you'll be hearing an array of house tunes, from the light jazzy work of Kevin Yost and The Rurals to the deeper, darker sound of Rodney Hunter, Maceo Plex remixed by Maya Jane Coles and, of course, that Timmy Regisford joint, as well as uplifting house from Scott Hardkiss and Lisa Shaw.  And more!  Of course!

If you're inclined to listen to this set, please click the PLAY > button in the widget below ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:

 

 

The Power of Two by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

That's March so far ... as for the second part of your two-fer, that was last week's set, wrapping up February, which like most of this year, has brought some brutally cold and snowy/icey weather to the land ... This winter that doesn't end gives us time to explore inside:

 The Cold Busted label keeps cranking out the collections; be grateful if the weather gives you plenty of time to rake thru their catalog in search of gems.  I'll give you a head start with 3 treasures, one each from 2014 and the past two years, from Green Street, 80s Casual and Astro Raph.

 

The opposite of new is ... well, the year 2000 for instance, when St. Germain was killin' it.  And you know, sometimes an act is so popular in its time that it gets played to death & the era ends with your certainty you'll never need to hear them again.  Certainly, time has to pass before you'd consider adding their tracks to a set ... This happened with me & St. Germain, to the extent that I didn't even rip Boulevard until last month.  Damn, it sounds good once again.

 

In addition, expect great music from Alex Cortiz, The Warheads, Charles Webster, Crash, Kovacs and more, including one more pass on the phenomenal Pretty Lights and their Finally Moving (James Brown remix) which sounds as urgent and compelling today as it did first time I heard it.

 

Finally, I recognize that Soul Coughing is not everyone's cuppa tea ... hell, their lead singer, Mike Doughty, was all over Twitter a couple of years ago, disavowing their early music, and while he may have recanted, I haven't seen it.  But lemme just say - if True Dreams of Wichita bewitches you, know that you are  part of a very select group --and that I'm pleased to meetcha.

 

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:

 

 

Explore Inside by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 

And that, my friends, is the early March update ... see you back here in a couple of weeks.


Like most everything in life, how you feel about Valentine's Day will reflect your ever-changing point of view:  Whatever's going on with you and your Numero Uno at the moment. Let's just agree that not every year's celebration will turn out to be the Olympics of Affection ... This BeatConscious show is dedicated to all the couples who aren't quite sure how they should be feeling this time around, reminding them that we are all, at one time or another, feeling our way through the mystery.

As for all those Valentines who are happily coupled, I salute you, and I trust you will enjoy the music presented here on its own terms.

For those who like a little extra context, and who recollect that the previous show was a team effort: this Valentines Day joint was Assignment 2 with my team-mate The Third Power, and the 'seed' track I selected for this one was the incredible Amerigo Gazaway mash of Mos Def+Marvin Gaye, Inner City Travellin' Man ... You can hear The Third Power's set here:
http://www.mixcloud.com/thirdpower1/the-florida-just-like-music-mix/  (I should point out that I used the Instrumental version of the Gazaway track, while my team-mate used the main track.)

In addition to that amazing seed track, there's also music from Remy Shand, whose reignited career reminded me to listen again to cuts from the first album; filling out the show are tracks from Ancient Astronauts, John Martyn, Paul Young, Nor Elle / Norman Feller, Pretty Lights and Sade, plus something new from Flashbaxx, courtesy of Eighth Dimension promo.  I note that a lot of these tunes were released in the early part of the aughts, mostly around 2003 ... that's why we include those years in what we speak of as The Golden Age of Downtempo ...

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:

 

 

Feeling Our Way by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 


I find myself in catch-up mode once again: there are two new shows detailed below, the first of the 2014 season on BeatConsious:

Two of us started with the same track: Cards on the Table is where I ended up. You may want to visit the Mixcloud page of my counterpart, The Third Power  to hear the companion mix, Thinking of You, which is his version of the little challenge we set ourselves....

The "seed" track discovered by my team-mate was a reggae joint from Maureen Walsh, and after I'd laid in a couple more roots reggae tunes around hers, I found myself headed off in a somewhat different direction ... focusing on some exceptional new tracks, most notably the Poldoore joint Unconditional, some fairly thrilling remixes & the usual handful of gems from the crate including Red Astaire, Alex Kid, Yonderboi and Alice Russell, the end result is a genre-spanning flow that invites you to imagine what it would be like to -- in the words of Bob Marley's opening tune -- lay your cards out on the table.

Gratitude & mad respect to GiantStep DJ and the Cold Busted label for providing so many of these fine tunes, and to my team-mate for the challenge & concept

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:

 

 

Cards on the Table by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

You may call it NuSoul or R&B Revival ... Or maybe just call it a groove. This meditation, Quiet Storm Tonight, took flight from the JBoogie edit of Smokey Robinson's Cruisin' (respect to Smokey for having one of the perennial Top 10 Quiet Storm jams to his credit, and a shout-out to Justin for his open-handed generosity in making these great remixes of his available.)

Equally influential is a full-on heart-tugger from Fantasia, which made Said the Gramaphone's Best of 2013 (and another shout-out to StG, for their invaluable recommendations and writing skills all year long.)

Add a little mid-period Maxwell sexuality, Mary J. Blige going deep in your mind & heart, a couple of tunes from STAC, and Paul Young representing for the blue-eyed soul contingent and you've got yourself a bumpin' good time. Remember to bring the heat now, y'all ... it's gonna be quiet-stormin' something fierce tonight.

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:

 

 

Quiet Storm Tonight by Mmefly On Beatconscious on Mixcloud

 




 


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