Previous shows for 2011 (most recent first) are featured below; continue to scroll down for 2010 shows
I've never really done a Best of Year list, feeling that the shows themselves speak for my year in music but having clicked through a couple of lists by other bloggers and radio DJs, I can see the allure and the convenience for listeners and followers and so in the spirit of convenience for you, here's a rundown of what I consider the 'anchor tunes' in each of this year's shows -- those tunes that were either the initial basis for the show or ones which became the stand-out tracks as the show evolved.
This is just for shows released in 2011 which, in a couple of cases, will be shows from earlier years which got a re-rub this year If you scroll further down the page, you'll see the write-up for each show, along with the Mixcloud or mix.dj widget that will let you stream it here. Or use the title of each mix in the Best Of list below to go right to the streaming site. (Links to prior years' archives at the very bottom of this page.)
Without further to-do, here's the BeatConscious year-end review of the 2011 shows and the tunes that made them special!
The year started off on the stroke of midnight (it was midnight somewhere, anyway ...) with Time Will Tell (DEC 31/JAN 1) pushing off from the death of Captain Beefheart ("Circumstances" and "Too Much Time") to meditate about the tyranny of the timepiece and the functions of memory -- from the organic rush of the Chambers Brothers psychedelic exploration to the auto-tuned explosives of the Black Eyed Peas, every tune has a time theme selected to put you in the properly reflective mood ... it'll work going into 2012 just as well, I imagine.
Short Memory (JAN 16) vamped off the Mothers of Invention
"Trouble Coming Every Day" but quickly went its own way.
Mamihlapinatapei Daydream (FEB 5) was notable to me for the Benny Tones tracks "Nevermind" and "Chrysalis" and for the new voices of Suhov ("Love is") from BudaBeats and James Blake ("CMYK"), who dominated lots of 2011 playlists, and rightly so. I also brought back a couple of James tracks from their 1993 album Laid.
The Alchemy of Attraction (FEB 21) got its energy from the amazing Breakage track "Justified" -- lots of great tunes there from Suhov, Timewarp and Bonobo, among others, but nothing has the power of the Breakage track.
Of Two Minds (MAR 6) was the first of the year to feature an Adele track, tho' not one of her bigger splashes, and more emotion was provided by James Blake ("Wilhelm Scream"), Nick Drake ("Fly)" and All India Radio ("Persist"). But the Best Remake honors go to Shimi Sonic for "Beat of a Preacher Man", which was a breath of fresh air in that show.
All I Got (APR 2) wrapped itself around the Grooveblaster track "It's In Her Kiss" (h/t Anjibee) and took enormous emotional power from the John Legend acapella version of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" before wrapping up with an excellent hip hop joint from BudaBeats: "Herb a Go Go" by DJ Barkacs.
My Last Illusion (APR20) continued to adore Adele, featuring the stunning vocals of "Crazy For You" which in turn picked up the glow from Alison Moyet ("Honey for the Bees"), Sarah McLachlan ("Dirty Little Secret") and Sade ("Love is Found") among several others.
This Little Habit (MAY 21) fielded one more from Adele ("Turning Tables") which inspired the inclusion of similarly impressive vocal work from Belleruche ("56% Proof"), The Cinematic Orchestra ("All That You Give") and two classics, "Cyprus Avenue" from Van Morrison and "Woke Up Laughing" from Robert Palmer. No auto-tuning here, folks, and no baby-voiced girls and boys either.
Memento (MAY 29) turned to Adele ("Someone Like You") and Beyonce ("1+1") to stake its claim to serious emotion, and there was notable rhythmic support from DJ Cam, All India Radio and Banzai Republic, among others, to keep the show grounded.
The Anticipationist (JUN 19) started out unsettled but found its heart in the tracks from Roxy Music ("The Main Thing"), ViceLounge duo Jonn & Tai Allen ("oooh [baby]"), Dionne Faris from back in the day ("Blackbird") and Timothy Bloom's full-throated declaration of togetherness ("'Til The End of Time").
With Adrift (JUN 26) the tempo throttled down for an hour of ambient seduction where the major player was Carbon Based Lifeforms (particularly "Interloper") with notable support from Emancipator ("Safe in the Steep Cliffs"), The Orb's remix of Pink Floyd ("Wish You Were Here") and Deadstock ("Octarine") In fact: Stop! I can't select among these for special mention, because the show was totally cohesive and exceedingly fine. Just go listen to it all.
There's no denying that BeatConscious reggae shows get the most play, and I'm happy to oblige with both new material and also re-rubbing the occasional past show. I went to the vaults for the original Dub & Dubber series and concocted Unfettered Dub (JUL 1) for your Independence Day listening pleasure, bringing back exceptional tracks from years past: particular attention goes to Finley Quaye ("Supreme I Preme"), David Byrne ("Dance on Vaseline"), Dead Can Dance ("The Snake and the Moon") and classics from both Thievery Corp and Thunderball. Armchair Rastas and dancefloor steppers must check it out.
Trying to Quit (JUL 17) wanted mostly to find a context for Drake ("Marvins Room") and picked up a few other winners along the way such as the Altrice track ("House Feels Empty").
There Will Be a Phone Call (JUL 27) marks the bad, sad news about the loss of Amy Winehouse with a couple of her best ("What It Is About Men" and "Stronger Than Me") and a few other tracks that seemed to illustrate her rise and fall.
Too Tight - The Money Funk 2.0 (JUL 30) brought back a January 2009 show with retouching here and there because that economy thing just wouldn't get fixed as easily as we imagined. The brilliant "Whose Money" from Fila Brazillia opened, and The Easy Star Allstars remix of Pink Floyd's "Money" closed out a set that never strayed far from the sounds of the cash box (and I don't mean Top 40 tunes). Respect as well to "Money Changes Everything", a late '70s track from The Brains bringing you a bit of wisdom that never grows stale.
Free Dub Flow (AUG 13) also caught a rework, with Sade's "Flow" still the major tune of the set.
Giant Size (AUG 14) was my hat-tip to the GiantStepDJ service for the past couple of years of steadily keeping my game up, and suggests that even the temple of downtempo that BeatConscious aspires to be can find room for remixes of club tunes I particularly liked the Kraak & Smaak "Call Up to Heaven" from this set, because those guys are simply irresistible. (And tho they didn't get their own mix, I also owe a debt of gratitude to Said the Gramaphone, Eighth Dimension Promo, RCRDLBL and all the other contributors to the BeatConscious musical library: without you, I am nothing ... er, well, at least I wouldn't be making radio.)
Another re-rub this year was DubFounded (AUG 20) which, along with Elemental Dub, is well on its way to being in the BeatConscious Top Five shows based on listener plays and comments. Too many fine tracks to single them out -- this show deserves your full attention.
With Upholding The Vibe (SEP 5) I finally paid my tribute to Chad Pry, the creator of thedownbeat.org, the website that formed me as a downtempo DJ beginning back in 2000. The tunes used were from those times, so there are classics here ( for instance, Hefner's "Level Green") to be savored.
Yet another show to get retweaked and re-broadcast was Wanting But Not Having (SEP 24) with standout tracks from Hardkandy ("Hold On"), DJ Krush ("Danger of Love"), Erykah Badu & The Roots ("You Got Me") and that extraordinary spoken word opening carved out of London Exchange's "7 Memories of You"). And, OK, yes -- yes, I did: I used Chris Brown's "Forever" ... but only because of the J/K wedding march, really!
Fall (Sep 30) blows up big at the Gramatik track "Like You Do" and closes with the heart-stoppingly lovely main title theme from The Last of the Mohicans remixed by David Forest for danceabilitiy.
With Don't Distract Me (Oct 16) I hijacked the energy of a classic from The Cars ("Good Times Roll") to help frame a set that ended with a track of similar vintage from JJ Cale ("Wish I Had Not Said That") and contains numerous gems like Bobby Womack's "Jealous Love" remixed by POETREE and goodness from Monte La Rue, Gramatik and Suhov.
Because It Felt Good (Oct 30) was another instance of casting the net wide, mostly to accommodate the Jaydiohead gem, "Reckoner's Encore"
Ample Rhythm (NOV 11) discovers Davince from the Monte La Rue compilations, and swoons for "Soil" but you might have equal love to spend on Monlope ("Midnight Cowboy") or the classic Simple Minds track "Shake Off the Ghosts" that leads the set. I've heard that people really relate to "Stay Home and Chill" from Headphonism, too.
The Way It Is With Dreams (NOV 25) uses the mystery inherent in a bit of spoken word from Penguin Books (Alex Garland's "Coma" supplies the text) to frame a set that catches fire with the Mary J. Blige/Drake burner "Mr. Wrong" more of the same vibe to be found in Gelka's "Soon" and Suhov's "Ene" among others.
The year closes out with Now You Do (DEC 22) wherein I fall completely for the Clique remix of Lana Del Rey's "Video Games", remember why I liked Adana & Wolf ("Alhaurin" is a good example) and discover the unsettling energy of Sharon Van Etten ("Serpents").
Unsettling energy an odd way, perhaps, to end the year in downtempo, but then it's been an unsettling year. And to the extent that it is one of the functions of art to unsettle us and upend our expectations, I for one will hope for more of the same in 2012. See you there!
In dreams, we always seem to arrive in the middle and leave before the end; and once we've left the dream world behind, we may still feel our hearts racing, or some unanswered yearning burrowing ever deeper into us.
In dreams everything makes sense, even the parts that challenge our ability to make connections and follow the flow from one scene to another; even the characters that seemed blended together from bits of people we know in the waking world make sense to us within the dream. We may carry with us such a strong sensation of a moment lived that we stand mute and embarrassed when next we see those we felt were with us there, in that dream.
To quote from Alex Garland's "Coma" which closes the set, "This is the way it is with dreams it can be hard to figure out what has meaning and what doesn't." For us, of course, the meaning is in the selecting, the connecting, and the flow and whatever you bring to it from your own dreams.
Sheer dreamy jazz strains from Catalpa set the early mood, but there's a wide range on offer in this show, from Mary J. Blige / Drake, Frank Ocean, Mark de Clive Lowe / Nia Andrews, Gelka, Zero 7/Hugo Kant, and Llorca to All India Radio.
Finally, Remembrance from Caia, in remembrance of the fact that all sets like this are acts of remembrance, capturing the essence of a time and its gestalt, distilling it and returning it in the form of a musical programme. A little something to set you dreaming....
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:
For the most part, the 11.11.11 show, Ample Rhythm pays tribute to the exceptional music I keep finding that connects back to Monte La Rue, the puckishly self-aware, self-described king of lounge (see Discogs for his tribute to Robert Palmer's Pressure Drop album cover from the late 70s, for a taste of his tongue in cheek approach to identity.) This set features a couple of essential DAVINCE tracks from the La Maison La Rue - Vol. 2 as well as Monte's own piano deluxe on "Adeus" from the same collection.
The show begins with a gem from Simple Minds off their 1984 Sparkle in the Rain vinyl, defining 'ample rhythm' 80s style likewise the "Equal Dreams" tune from Rewards, tho' of current vintage, brings back that bright jangly 80s sound as well. Rounding out the 80-min set are blog picks courtesy of RCDLBL, a crucial site for keeping us current, teamed up with strong contenders from Time Warp, Atrium and Monolope, Music Brokers, The Sushi Club and Headphonism. Finally, the show's title honors go to J-Boogie's Dubtronic Science, based on a bit of the lyric from "Dirty Dub" and there you have it: Ample Rhythm for your every need.
The phenomenal cover art is by Katalin Kovacs, whose work is available here: http://www.yayart.com/shop/2298/
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:
I've been wrestling with my angel, trying to sort out how fantasy and reality compliment each other, how the flesh and the spirit struggle or cooperate, how we need them all to co-exist so that we, in turn, can co-exist with others of our tribe So the new show, Because It Felt Good, pushes back and forth between tracks with a meditative vibe and those that are bringin the funk representing for the range of our experience as we navigate life, making all our choices on the fly.
While it's true that some mixes tend to REVEAL rather than to CREATE their narrative, sometimes the quest to find a theme for every show is going to go nowhere sometimes the only thing a selection of tracks have in common thematically is that *it just felt good* to hear them on repeat.
Flow-watchers: Be ready for the energy bomb at the end and give it a chance to sway you. This Jay Z/Radiohead mashup from Max Tannone rocks hard and sweet, and -- to my psyche, at least -- provides a proper resolution to all that went before.
Other shouts due to Chris Coco for the edit of Amy Winehouse's No Good, The Warheads for working non-stop to create their marvels, and to Robin Triskele for the abundance of riches this month, including Gaudi from an Orb compilation Tundra and Sunflakes Vol. 2 and Eccodek remixed by Dubmatix for the Remixtasy collection. Moby also contributed new material, and of course, there's plenty from the dusty end of the crate: Billie Ray Martin and the Grid, Soulstance, Farid, Autopilot, Jah Wobble, Sushi Club 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:
First, a bit of news: a show from February of this year, The Alchemy of Attraction, got a gentle re-rub and release on mix.dj this month ... the old version is still up on Mixcloud, while I study on how to replace a media file there ...
As for the new new, well here ya go -- It's called Don't Distract Me:
Almost as pointless as seeking emotional connection from someone
disinclined to give it is asking the world not to distract you when
you're trying to focus on your personal obligations
a momentary glance
of sympathy may result, but allowances aren't being made
. Come along if
you can, stay behind if you must, but the energy you've encountered has
its own needs to meet.
Whatever it is that I should be focused on in this time of social turmoil hardly stands a chance against the distractions of art and I should probably be grateful for the respite that art provides, just as I should doubtless be grateful that I don't get taken up on every offer I make, no matter how enthusiastic or well-intentioned. If you think you're up to occupy the streets, you must be prepared for whatever they throw at you and if you think you're up for occupying someone's heart, be prepared for that to require more than you anticipated also.
If you, too, find the importunings of life are overwhelming you with choices and decisions to be made, don't worry, 'cause I've got your back: a musical distraction that trumps all the others, at least for an hour or so this time, it's very much the remixer's art, with fresh looks at Ike & Tina Turner, Hall & Oates, Sade and Bobby Womack, whose "Jealous Love" gets a gripping work-out from Poetree. Old and new tracks are equally represented here, with DJ Krush, Ancient Astronauts, The Dining Rooms and Monte La Rue joining The Cars and JJ Cale. The new is represented by Gramatik, Aloe Blacc, Suhov, and Chromeo.
Big shout out to Abeano whose "Washed Out Rough Trade" mix on Mixcloud reminded me of that awesome JJ Cale tune that closes out the show
Two at once this time:
In September 2009, I created a show I called Wanting ... but not having ... which for some reason (e.g. a faulty transition or two) I didn't publish on Mixcloud ... driving home from my recent visit to MD/VA, I listened to this set and thought it should be online, so I tidied up my work a bit and uploaded it ... you can read the original write-up from 2009, but this is essentially the point:
In Sept. 2009, I had an unusual spate of mixing activity, & I might have wondered at that, except that I already knew it was down to my Muse ...
Here's something about the concept of The Muse, tho': Remembering that it's really just an address we send things to, just an idea & not something that should be transposed into real life in the form & shape of an actual person I want to speak to my Muse & dedicate these things I do to my Muse, but do I really want my Muse talking back to me? Not so much, actually.... So, while I'm energized & pleased with the results of having a Muse, there's also recognition of the need to keep the genie in the bottle.
And that's why the intro, Mr. Spock's Advice, is so completely spot-on that it merits the mix-set title honors. Here, let me quote it for you: After a time you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting ... it is not logical, but it is often true.
The second show for September 2011 (just squeeking in on the 30th) is Fall.
Whether its the anticipation of crisp weather and the beautiful colors
of that season, or the physical act of falling, or the fall of governments
or falling in love
Fall carries a world of resonance for such a brief
By extension, there's also that sense of starting your life over by returning to school each fall and so we grow up with the notion of being able to endlessly start over; some grew up believing there was no end to that option to start over again and again, as your circumstances demanded. And the darker side of that fact -- the 'running from reality' aspect -- connects with the darker tone of the musical selections in this set: this is apparently all about that bottom end the bass heavy arrangements, the touch of lyrical gloom, the suggestion of menace it's where we find ourselves today.
This set, with offerings from Federico Aubele, Thievery Corporation, Timewarp Inc, Elements of Life, Bliss, DJ Cam, Tosca, and Lemongrass (among others) starts out in lazy lounge mode and only really ignites for the first time at the Gramatik track in sixth position, and again later with the deep emotion of "Mu-Getsu" from DJ Krush and Toshinori Kondo (a sort of Japanese Miles Davis without the bitterness) and then swells up and out with the closer, a danceable version of the main title theme from Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans. Taken altogether, there's something elegiac there, something American in its scope and sense of loss, like a fall from heedless grace.
About ten years ago, I found thedownbeat.org, a community devoted to music that, for me, was one of those #changeyourlife events. In addition to the playlist streaming from the site, there was a lively forum rich with recommendations on new music -- among others, the Hefner track that opens this new set, Upholding the Vibe, one that sounds as excellent today as it did when I first heard it courtesy of thedownbeat.org.
One year a number of us arranged to meet at the Winter Music Conference in South Beach, and a few have continued to stay in touch over the decade. Of course, the website itself has long since been taken down, as the fact of streaming music came to have legal implications for site hosts. But for those of us who found a home and an inspiration there, losing the site simply created a mission to uphold the vibe ourselves, through whatever means we found available.
For me, that was accomplished first via mmRadio, which shut down on 31 DEC 2010, nearly ten years old itself. But the years have been kind to the availability of streaming music, while corporate behemoths fight it out amongst themselves as to who will get paid and how ... nowadays, we have a choice unimagined in 2001, and I'm on just two of the possible dozens: Mixcloud and mix.dj. As for upholding the vibe, well I'm still devoted to downtempo, broken beat, nu-jazz, ambient and all the other family members ... as well as digging in the dusty back-end of the crate to rescue those older tunes, the ones people are thinking of when they talk about "standing on the shoulders of giants".... In this set, newness comes courtesy of The Warheads and Gramatik; classic downtempo is represented by Hefner, E.D. Swankz, Alex Cortiz, Bonobo, J-Boogie, Future by Design, Moodorama and more, while the crate-digging turned up Dobie Gray from 1973.
Big ups to Chad Pry and all the broken beat afficionados from 2001, the Golden Age of the downtempo stylings.
Around the end of 2006, beginning of 2007, MixMeister -- which makes the software I use to create the BeatConscious shows -- released a new version of its product ... a much more technically complex version that I soon realized would take full intention to assimilate. Some didn't, and bolted the product for one of the alternatives. I love MixMeister and made up my mind I wasn't going anywhere ... but I still struggled to get a grip on the new way of working with music that the upgrade represented.
At about this same time, one of the other community members, Sly Devil, and I wanted to do a dub reggae tag team mix, so we decided to learn the new MixMeister together. Long story short, our tangle with the technology sucked all the joy out of the mix and we ended up agreeing to call it off, at least for a while. But I couldn't get some of those tracks out of my mind, and within a couple of months, I went back to Sly D and asked if he'd mind me taking another shot at the mix on my own; he graciously agreed and so I took another look and cobbled together one sweet hour of Dub out of what I found and what I added; I called it DubFounded (Dub and Dubber, Pt. 7) and I've just republished it for your listening pleasure.
The set sports a number of excellent tracks in classic dub stylee: from Damian Marley's "Welcome to Jamrock" to the lesser-known Funk Sinatra track "Wailing Wall Dub" ... Jhelisa and Chris Coco have the deep end covered, and of course there's Thievery Corporation to bring the sophistication and Dubblestandart to keep the focus tight.
Oh, and I should complete this tale and mention that when I went back to this mix in 2007, I punted -- did what I had to do in the older version of MixMeister because I knew it would be quick and simple. In contrast, the rework I've just uploaded this weekend was lovingly rebuilt in the new improved version of MixMeister that I've been using for the past four years ... in particular, to take advantage of the vastly improved sound reproduction that the program now offers: there was no question in my mind that the music deserved the effort ... and while all this may be a bit too much technical info for the casual listener, I did want to let you know why I was bringing back this older set.
It's been a hyper-active weekend Chez FLY ... first off, I've finally uploaded a set I made earlier this year but never posted, FreeDubFlow ... you can see the write-up HERE. The thing was, I was conflicted about the last track on the set, one I personally love, but it felt stapled on to the end ... having found a home for that Dionne Farris joint elsewhere, I made a rework of the FreeDubFlow set, swapping that out for the ever-proper Baaba Maal doing "I Will Follow You" and voila! Ready to stream -- you'll find the Mixcloud widget just below ....
Having handled that bit of business, I turned my attention to my Giant Step peeps and pushed out a quickie I've called Giant Size.
"Giant Size" conjures up
grocery-aisle come-ons and the sad solicitations of approximately 80% of
the spam that arrives in your email
but this show has a little something
different to offer: A salute to the Giant Step DJ Service, which
has been helping BeatConscious keep it cool for the past couple of years.
It probably goes without saying that Giant Step fields their share of hot club tracks, not all of them what you'd expect to hear on BeatConscious, amongst the downtempo, reggae and chill/ambient tracks that are generally on offer. But I take most of what they offer because hey, you never know, right? And sure enough, the remix industry has reliably served up versions of most tracks which are suitable for my listeners. It did seem best, though, to put these hotter selections all together and keep the energy level high throughout. Expect to hear Rye Rye ft. Robyn, Lloyd ft Andre 3000 and Lil Wayne, Nicole Scherzinger, Alice Smith & Aloe Blacc, Danny Massure, Kraak & Smaak, Miguel Migs ft Evelyn "Champagne" King and more.
So here's Giant Size, my salute to the Spring/Summer roster of Giant Step DJ Service -- just a taste of the goodies that have graced the 2011 playlists. Much respect!
If you're inclined to listen to either of these sets, please click the PLAY > button in one of the widgets below (FreeDubFlow is on top, Giant Size below it) ... on demand radio courtesy of the fine people at Mixcloud:
it looks like it's time to reload one, in response to the current
financial crisis (the one being chosen instead of being found on
our doorstep to our terrified surprise.) Inspired (or dispirited) by
the squabbling of the Overgrown, Undereducated, Ill-behaved Childrens'
Club (I think they call themselves the House of Representatives, despite
the fact that the majority of this nation's citizens reject their inept
representation along with their nutty economic ideas), I turned back my
clock and focused on an existing show, Too Tight: The Money Funk
which was first published in January 2009, when we were looking down what
we thought was the biggest financial gun barrel out there
little did we
At the time, my theme was "Hey, no panic, we've been here before " keeping in mind that the Simply Red tune dates from the mid-80s and the scorching "Money Changes Everything" from The Brains is from the late 70s. I mean, when is money NOT a problem? So it's never a bad time to think about how to survive with a smile on your face -- or at least a song in your heart -- even when money's too tight to mention.
This show has been reworked somewhat from its original presentation, tightening it up in a few places and swapping a couple of tracks for stonger players ... in addition to The Brains and Simply Red, expect to hear JP Conley, The Warheads, The Dining Rooms, Taban Hayes, the Alexes -- Cortiz and Cortex, Sanchez Dub, Seal, Boozoo Bajou and a number of others (unusually for a BeatConscious show, some of these tracks have been edited down.) Particularly apt this time around are the tidbits from Marcel's Gamblers Delight, the Easy Star All-Stars rework of Pink Floyd's "Money" and the priceless opener from Fila Brazillia, "Whose Money".
gents, I give you Too Tight: The
Money Funk 2.0 ... whose money, indeed.
A BeatConscious show can be a story in musical form, it can be a meditation on a theme, it can tell you about a musical style or it can tell you what's been on my mind lately I used say a mix was like a shopping mall with a couple of really popular selections drawing you in and giving you the chance to meet some lesser-knowns today I'd say a mix can be like a Ouija board
About a week ago, 8D dropped some very sweet jazz tunes and I picked one
to build a show around
after spending a couple days lazily gathering a
selection of tracks, I tuned into the news on the 23rd to learn that
Amy Winehouse has checked out. Going back to the half-completed set, I
realized that I could add some of my favorite AW tunes, because the
narrative arc already in place spoke of Amy in a number of ways: her jazz
stylings, her rise to fame, the good times and the bad, and the trajectory
like a Ouija board, the music knew what was coming, and
prepared a spot for those tunes of Amy's to rest amongst them.
Additional respect is due to Russell Brand, whose sympathetic meditation in the Guardian.uk on Amy and how it usually goes with addicts provided the title for this show, There Will Be a Phone Call.
The track from Eighth Dimension that got this ball rolling was from Blue in Green; in addition to that fine item, you'll hear music from Bullitnuts, Hardcandy, Soulstance, Organic Grooves, Flunk and a number of others (as always, the complete set list is available thru the link on the show title, and on each of the streaming platforms, Mixcloud and mix.dj.)
predictable, when you're trying to quit, that you find yourself running up
to new sensations, embracing them, looking for distractions to get you
over the hump between when you used to care and now that you don't
Expect some tricky times, some ungovernable impulses, some mixed emotions
And because we mustn't forget that life can be so cruel, that Bliss
tune hovers, incandescent, describing a world juuuust out of reach
then you remember just what it is, exactly, that you're trying to quit.
And your heart breaks all over again.
So these are some darker tunes on average, referencing that shadowy corner where real feelings are kept despite which, we start off with a track built around a joke: One Rubber (for those who missed it, the punch line provides the title of the show: "I'm trying to quit!") Somehow this little Nylon Rhythm Machine tune bootstraps itself into an aria: the magic of music on display. The Drake track shows what a guy can get up to when he's trying to quit.
The Madnomad tune is one I found on bristolsound.uk.com, way back in the day; within the year, looking for that site again, I came up empty. Now, however, you can find this tune and more on the Madnomad Myspace page http://www.myspace.com/madnomadmusic. I find myself wanting to use that track more as time passes go figure (it shouldn't be difficult.)
While most of the tracks here seem to be from the Golden Age of Downtempo (2000-05) the newest stuff is from 2011: Drake (thanks once again to
Said the Gramaphone 'scuse me, that would be
Pitchfork) and Altrice (StG? Well,
Twitter, certainly) and courtesy the fine folks at Eighth Dimension,
a chip off the Rubber Lips release, Port Douglas.
You'll also hear Aim, Jah Wobble, Ibizarre, Son Kite and a track
from the FNDMNTL give-away of their 2004 release Subduction.
It's all good stuff and it'll provide you with some welcome distraction while you're trying to quit.
in D.C. (which had a great dub subculture built around the classic reggae
featured on the Dr. Dread show on WHFS radio) summer has always called for
a new dub reggae mix, and even more so now that I've moved to Florida,
where the vibe is accentuated by the beaches, the palm trees and the smoky
haze surrounding the vacationeers
Following the move to FLA, in the early days of my online life, I stumbled into the bristolsound.uk website which had some outstanding Smith & Mighty-influenced tracks available; I found emusic.com had some excellent compilations as well . Outernational rastas had picked up where dub reggae left off when Jamaica's artists opted for dancehall, toasting and rapping instead. Out of these elements plus the existing collection of CDs and vinyl, the Dub & Dubber series was born in the mid-90s. We still on the beach, mon, spliff in hand and eyes on the sunset
The tracks on this rework set, Unfettered Dub, are drawn primarily from the first four Dub & Dubber compilations augmented by top-flight dub released since then: established artists like Thievery Corporation, Finley Quaye, Thunderball, Dublex, Leftfield and The Orb, plus lesser-known talents like Sequel, Jahwoosh, Ras Command, Sanchez Dub and Doctor Echo layered with entries from unexpected players such as David Byrne and Dead Can Dance. (For a look at the complete Dub & Dubber series set-lists, you may visit the BeatConscious Style Guide page devoted to that series.)
This is ultra style a collection unrestrained by ideology or fashion. The theme of this Independence Day show is, of course, freedom -- played out in music which encourages you always to be unfettered; music which asserts your right to do nothing, ecstatically; music which urges you to combine physicality and spirituality in celebrating this life and which blesses your intention to be one with the world around you.
Adrift: To be untethered or free of restraint so feel free to count this as one for Independence Day: A set to set your mind free, that you may (even if only briefly) go adrift in the world and see what there is to see there -- such is the stock in trade of the proper ambient mix. And certainly if there is a theme here, it is in the evocative power of these songs to send us swirling through inner space or floating on our inner seas. Too busy? Put that stuff down and give yourself the gift of time and the freedom to enjoy it drift with me awhile.
You may note that the group Carbon Based Lifeforms is somewhat overrepresented in this show, with three selections from their Interloper album; certainly the title tune of that release is an absolute gem of ambience: a perfect hook carried aloft by anthemic energy. But there were simply too many good tracks on that album not to include more -- so I did. Other selections range from the abstractions of David Morley and H.U.V.A. Network to the lighter, sweeter contributions of Emancipator, Alex and All India Radio The Orb's remix of Pink Floyd connects us to the past, as do the tunes from Billie Ray Martin & The Grid, Roxy Music and Deadstock, while the Now is deftly represented by a track off Unfamous Cuts, the spring 2011 set from Juan De Dios & Stephen Kells (and full gratitude to Eighth Dimension promo for that one.) My "Declaration of Independents" would have to include Altrice, who made their release "Stem" available via Soundcloud, another treat I twigged to courtesy of Twitter.
Anticipation is one of those words that doesn't have any really close
"expectation" has a more peremptory sense, a demanding aspect
that has no part in anticipation
The Anticipationist is a connoisseur of
this particular pleasure: anticipation of both the affair itself and of
every discrete moment within the affair, every glance, every meeting,
every kiss or embrace. The skin tingles and every nerve vibrates when the
lover is in a state of anticipation.
In time, of course, anticipation becomes remembering that's the journey we take, the distance we travel, when we fall in and out of love but remembering doesn't give us the electric charge that we get from anticipation remembering may give us a warm glow or merely cold comfort, but it's rarely got any of the addictive thrill of anticipating. And that, my friends, must be why we keep coming back for more no sooner has one cup of love been drained to the dregs than we jump back in the queue, hoping to still be in time for another serving.
This Midsummer Night's show has much more overt dance energy than the average BeatConscious show dancing is, itself, another tribute to the lure of anticipation, since dancing can be thought of as sex deferred to another time -- whatever is deferred is also anticipated, of course, so you can see how these notions combine to produce a bit of thematic resonance -- and another bit in the cover shot (H/T: The Daily Dish and DangerousMinds blogs) of Marilyn Monroe which ties in nicely to the adult content of a few of the tracks, notably the Vice Lounge confessional, the primal sensuality of the Timothy Bloom closer, and of course, the Kaizer track that lends us the title for this show.
All the new tracks in this show are courtesy of Giant Step DJ Service: Duffy from 2010, Tai Allen/Jonn Nubian's "Ooooh [baby]" does what the Vicelounge men do best Timothy Bloom brings the deeply sensual to close out the show (and if you haven't seen the video for this one, don't shortchange yourself it's worth finding.) The line-up from the archives is full of songs and artists that you must remember: Roxy Music, Funky Green Dogs, Thunderball and Llorca, Telefuzz and Inverse Cinematics and from 1994, Dionne Farris brings love and guitars.
Projections starts us off with the curiously-named "Kingsburg" with it's classic line: that's a groove right there. It's one of my favorite tracks of the past decade glad to show it off one more time.
So? Have I filled you with anticipation for hearing this show?
Memento. Remember this.
information theory, which posits that there is no meaning without memory,
and from "The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci" which described how one
creates enduring access to memory through an association with strong
images, comes this
cast in the form of music, which is one of the keys to memory -- just like
an image, a fragrance or a flavor, music has the power to recall another
time and circumstance so completely that you can feel it physically as
well as apprehending it mentally.
And of course, for Americans, May 30th is Memorial Day, and while there's nothing military about this mix, it does speak to the idea of memory, acknowledging that the richest memories, and probably the last ones we will ever let go of, are about whatever we have loved. Whether we let those memories be and make our peace with the past, or hold them close and hope to make more for the future, everything we know, we know through memories.
[Speaking of memorials, this is the weekend we lost Gil Scott Heron, who moved on to his next gig, wherever and whatever that may be for any of us ... Last year, Giant Step provided us with his latest music, and his track "Me and The Devil" opened the show for BeatConscious in March 2010. You can hear The Devil I Know on Mixcloud, or use the Mixcloud widget on this page while you read the write-up.]
out to Said the Gramaphone for a shot at that Beyonce single
that closes the set, as well as to Giant Step DJ service for the
DJ Cam track "Swim" ... just about everything else, including Adele
and The Mighty Bop, is an emusic.com grab or else from my CD
archive, (e.g., the Talking Heads opener "Once in a Lifetime".)
me? In honor of the Rapture hoopla, I thought maybe I should borrow the
title of the last track for this show: Woke Up Laughing
what everyone "else" is doing today while the believers take stock of
but instead, I'm calling the show
This Little Habit
because you know, even if it WAS the end of the world, this is exactly
what I'd still be doing
And not just me: lots of digital ink was spilt this week on "end of the world" music selections -- single tunes and entire shows that folks would choose to be listening to as they check out here at BeatConscious, the tunes run the gamut from the brand-newness of Adele to the eternalities of Van Morrison's 1968 masterpiece, Astral Weeks, Little Feat from 1973 and Robert Palmer's 1980 release Clues. I've also made room for tracks from Belleruche, Nicola Conte, The Cinematic Orchestra, Freedom Satellite, Rise Ashen, Esthero and a new recommendation from Said the Gramaphone, I believe: the indie group Arms and Sleepers from a 2009 release, From the Inland Sea.
I was reminded of the
Robert Palmer track which closes this set because a few moments of it played over the closing credits of
Pineapple Express, which I watched recently
such is the nature of
this little habit: I may be watching movies (or doing most anything) but I'm thinking
. In any event, no real narrative arc in this show, just bathing in
the joy that music brings, right up until the end.
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 mix.dj (this set was too long to post at a decent bitrate on Mixcloud):
My last: I will not do another
My last: my most recent
Illusion: system of thought that doesn't stand up to rational analysis
Illusion: magic act
A show like this -- a mix, a set, a radio show -- can be a lot of things and serve multiple purposes: it's a ride around the neighborhood while I point out amazing stuff, it's a message in a bottle, it's an opportunity for you to get out of your own life and out of your mind for an hour, to exist someplace where your problems don't claim you and your potential for new encounters is limitless
Every mix, like every piece of fiction, is a magic act, allowing you to feel things you wouldn't ordinarily feel, making apparent certain connections you wouldn't normally even register affording you a privileged glimpse into an alternate world where cosmic alignments such as these are everyday occurrences.
And of course this is also just pure radio, pulling 'em in from everywhere and every when, one fine tune droppin' right after another irresistible dance music spins ineluctably into 40s downtempo updated for the mid-80s: Linda Ronstadt's alliance with Nelson Riddle, reworking standards from the 30s and 40s, this was downtempo before downtempo had a name -- you'll want to downshift momentarily for this one.
Sade drops a new number to bring us up to date (and thanks go out to Giant Step DJ service for that gem.) I also included four selections from the 2006 Thievery Corporation release Versions, most notably killer tracks from Isabelle Antena and Astrud Gilberto (Bebel's mom.)
Finally, for overall excellence in the 'hood, check out Adele's "Crazy for You" almost a cappella, this stunning vocal sets the bar so high we can only marvel. And the 1967 classic "Embryonic Journey" from Jorma Kaukonen of the Jefferson Airplane is provided for those who appreciate the finest in acoustic air guitar opportunities enjoy!
And no, though I raced to get this show uploaded before the end of the day this April 20th, it doesn't really have anything to do with 4:20 ... unless of course, the prospect of love gets you high.
Killin it Chez FLY tonight: an excellent collection with a deep soul center, especially that Grooveblaster joint, "It's In Her Kiss", which makes a strong showing amongst a dozen other standout tracks from 1994's Freak Power treat to a bit of a cappella ear candy an Adele cover tweeted by John Legend in a burst of mid-March madness; and featuring a range of moods from the sweetness of Groove Theory's Todd Rundgren remake to the bumptious Budabootie release Herb a Go Go that breathlessly closes out the set ... All I Got pulls together tracks from across the spectrum of downtempo, selected for outstanding concept and execution and then, of course, the sequencing works a little magic to produce an emotional whole.
Im dedicating this set to the fearless ones who put it all out there, knowing they might not get anything back....
Special thanks to Martin Kennedy of All India Radio for turning my attention to the Anji Bee Five Years of Chillin' compilation which in turn hipped me to that Grooveblaster track; to John Legend for putting his track out there via Twitter (this show might originally have been intended to be an Adele-inspired set, and I guess a cover of one of her best qualifies as filling that intention); to Ken Coleman for that Blend set, back in the day; to Afternoons in Stereo for many another good musical turn-on
part of me is still shivering in winter chill, part is beginning
to trust in the warmth
but which is real? I'm
of two minds
about it all, just like this mix
Just as the first song in this set can't make up it's lyrical mind whether the object of attention is proper or not, I can't make up my mind either: play or fade double-down or freeze make a move or wait it out. After all, every choice has something to recommend it, otherwise it never would've registered as a choice. But, you know, you can't have it both ways: and if you want the real, you'll have to let go of the possibilities. But then again, as long as you don't demand reality, you can enjoy whatever you can imagine. No need to choose, no need to settle.
So which is better, reality or fantasy? Well, you know, I'm of two minds about that as well
As originally conceived, this show owes a debt to Said the Gramaphone, where I saw the post about and links to the Blake pere et fils approach to the same song my intention was to put them both in the show, but the demands of flow won out over considerations of high concept, and only the James Blake version ("Wilhelms Scream") remains to suggest the original format; the emotional space of the James Litherland version now occupied by Paul Weller's "Wild Wood', a perennial favorite. I think you could call the All India Radio track "Persist" a perennial favorite as well.
Other outstanding tracks include the Raveonette's "Forget That You're Young" (one of two Floor Bangers tracks that came my way courtesy of Gigacrate, the digital DJ's dream site), Govinda's "Hypnotic (Redubbed)", the Shimi Sonic re-work of "Son of a Preacher Man" that flows out of Kevin Yost's "Intentions" like water out of a hose, the very excellent hiphop joint Spiral System and, you know what, I like 'em all. James Blake, as usual, would be taking the close-out spot, except that this time I felt that a coda (Nick Drake's "Fly") would add a little something salutary.
So, a little of that "April is the cruelest month" vibe coming your way in this show ... if you can't avoid indecision, you might as well get comfortable with it.
Science is reducing us and all our fabulously affecting human emotions to a few chemical recipes. A prime ingredient of love and attraction, it seems, is oxytocin, release of which in the body at orgasm creates lasting bonds between the actors in the exchange wonderfully efficient, except that some men are now bonding with the internet porn actresses whose on-screen talents they ejaculate to and some women are bonding with feckless fuck-buddies they have no hope of domesticating.
you feel it deeply, also triggers the release of oxytocin, strengthening
the bond between you and the person you're with when you're listening to
music you love, while forging new reasons to love the music itself, in a
generous bit of feedback looping. That's why we think of our lover
when we hear "our song"
that's why some folks never outgrow the music
they loved back when they first realized that the world around them was a
grab-bag of potential mates. Its the alchemy of attraction,
chemistry you dont need to study in school.
In this mix, attraction gets its proper respect, as do new releases and a couple of classics from the crates. Among the newest, Moby, Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy, POETREE, Suhov, and Long Arm all shine, and it doesn't hurt that each one of those artists provided free access online to the tunes featured here. Other notables in the set include Timewarp Inc, Bonobo and Breakage ft. Erin -- their Justified deserves special mention as one of the most phenomenal tracks in a set full of excellent tunage ... will I be thinking harder about dubstep this year? You bet I will. And I blew off the crate-dust to bring you Aaliyah, Massive Attack and Talking Heads ... you can thank me next time you see me
Much respect this time also goes out to Said the Gramaphone for their very excellent, annual "100 Best" blog feature, which I just discovered for myself in time to catch the 2010 run-down ... they clued me in to Steve Mason, Gyptian and the Fantasia/Cee-Lo Green duo, The Thrill is Gone. (Links for the music given below the widget; cover art here.)
That's The Alchemy of Attraction ... listen and let it change you ... or at least, entertain you.
Important links for music on this show:
Project Mooncircle http://www.projectmooncircle.com/releases/
All India Radio / Martin Kennedy and Steve Kilbey http://stevekilbeymartinkennedypresent.bandcamp.com/track/close-funk-mix
POETREE - http://soundcloud.com/poetreemusic/
Budabeats - http://www.budabeats.com/
Said the Gramophone (Gyptian, Cee-lo, Steve Mason) http://www.saidthegramophone.com/archives/best_songs_of_2010.php
The research behind my comments in the first paragraph comes from this article: http://nymag.com/news/features/70976/
Mamihlapinatapei: My favorite new word of 2010, courtesy of Twitter ... in Yagan, the indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego, it signifies the wordless yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are each reluctant to start. Yep, we're trying to have a connection here w/o actually committing to it trying to admire w/o wanting to possess trying to create some heat w/o breakin a sweat trying to seem like we really just don't care about the outcome and therefore can't be disappointed. Good luck with that.
But a girl can dream, right? So here's my Mamihlapinatapei Daydream, which also serves as a contribution to the @Mixcloud call for a #lovemix to celebrate Valentine's Day 2011 -- created on behalf of all the shy and uncertain lovers or would-be lovers.... You know who you are
As usual, the governing musical impulse of the set is to straddle the worlds of the old and the new, including a couple of impassioned tracks from the 1993 release Laid by James and coming current with new works by Belleruche, Benny Tones, Suhov and Martyna Baker clicking in together like they were made with that connection in mind. In the specialty sweepstakes, I give you Another View by Bauchklang, an Austrian beatboxing group -- you're hearing only the human voice on this track.
Gratitude to Giant Step for their excellent service, @FilteredSunshine for the Benny Tones tip, Tru Thoughts for that Belleruche / Pollyn remix, to phreaq for the Bauchklang track so long ago and to the universe for this life: yep, I said that.
the new BeatConscious show for January, offers soulful reflections
for Tucson, jumping off from Trouble Comin Every Day by the Mothers of
Invention to set the theme: How short our memories can be
gone through agony like this before? (Yeah, we have, with dismaying
frequency -- see the Wikipedia links below for a
quick, though doubtless incomplete, refresher course.)
Or are all these lessons like the water coursing past us in a river -- it's never the same river, and so it's never the same lesson we learn.
As it is with our public distress, so it is with the personal: there's lessons we have to keep learning -- not only because our memories are so short, but because the person with the memory keeps changing even if the memory lingers. So you find yourself thinking: Have I STILL not learned that lesson? Well, it was a younger you that got schooled first time around ... but you're an older version of that person now and perhaps you need to learn that lesson all over again. Aretha, Yvette, Fergie, Cheryl, Mark Rae: they're in the mix to help you with that.
You'll also hear little soul/boogie/funk masterpieces from Quantic, LTJ X-Perience, Alex Cortiz, DJ Vadim, Tombee, and a killer J-Boogie remix of DJ SUN. Special thanks to the DJ service at GIANT STEP for contributing so much to the vibe, and Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Bubblers for the Ghostpoet track.
Oh, and here are those Wikipedia links:
I know, I know, it might seem a little morbid ... but keep in mind, as George Santayana famously said: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
And now, first mix of 2011, dropped just before midnight 31 DEC 10 ... I think of this one as Time Will Tell.
More than anything else, New Years Day stands for our idea of the passage of time it's when we acknowledge the relentless progression of days scrolling by throughout the year. Einstein said that The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once" which seems like a positive thing, but often when we're contemplating time passing, we're at least a bit wistful about it -- and why not, since often it marks the end of good times, the disappearance of friends, the loss of opportunities, the inexorable reduction of the total number of hours and days we have still ahead of us.
But it may also signal coming into your own: finding love, having a child, creating art or buying a ticket for the next flight into space. For good or bad, it's fair to say time is the primary element in our lives, it's the essential component without which we can build nothing, it defines us. And it's everything in music too -- not only does it drive the instrumentation, but very often informs the lyrics or the theme as well a fact that this New Year's set pays tribute to, along with acknowledging the death of Captain Beefheart. In addition to vintage Don Van Vliet, you'll hear an epic late 60s jam from The Chambers Brothers and a classic piece from Talking Heads, both from the dusty back-end of the crate. There are strong tracks from B-Tribe, Gaudi, Easy Star All-Stars, Quantic and Kaskade, and there's Maxwell and Alice Russell to serenade you. The set kicks off with "The Time" from The Black Eyed Peas, for everyone for whom New Year's means simply the new.
A short activity update from early in 2011... because I've been skimping just a bit on new shows while I work to get selected archives uploaded to the mix.dj platform (link available in the left-side panel.) I'll note that mix.dj has a mobile app version that's just the ticket for smartphone users, and you don't have to register with the website in order to listen via the app (unlike listening via the website, where you'll time-out after 15 minutes unless you are registered -- but do register, if you like to listen at home: it's free and easy.)
It bears mention that the availability of the mobile app means that the play-count at mix.dj is huge compared to the numbers at Mixcloud, which has only just introduced their mobile app. I try not to be impressed by sheer numbers but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't gratified to know that BeatConscious was reaching a much larger listenership than before. After all, I do have a mission: The revival of Freeform Radio.
There's a few of us, like KCRW on terrestrial radio, who are representing for what used to be called freeform radio when it was popular back in the late 60's / early 70's. Any of you who had the luck to live where you could hear one of these stations instead of just having to settle for Top 40 play-listed radio will understand the allure. Those of you who came of radio age since the advent of Sirius and the niche radio approach would be well advised to spend an hour or two with freeform radio and experience the thrill of surprise and discovery that comes with surfing the genres ... never was the saying Trust the DJ more apropos than with freeform radio, which is in essence giving yourself over to the tender care of another who just wants to make your brain buzz and your eyes sparkle with the delight of discovery.
Can you trust me? Well, after a month or two on mix.dj, I've accumulated some comments on the mixes which I've posted to share with you as testimonials ... none of these folks know me personally or have any reason to do other than speak their minds about their reaction to the shows ... have a look at what they have to say, then click on over to the MadameFLY page on mix.dj and listen for yourself ... leave your own comment at mix.dj, if you are moved to do so: I'd love to know what you think.
And check back here for the new show soon! Until then, you can scroll down to see all the player widgets for this year's shows, gathered together for your listening convenience....