This is the archive for all the main page posts from 2009, most recent at the top:

 

Merry Christmas to you ... the Christmas show is in full swing on the BeatConscious stream over at mmRadio and I hope you'll have the chance to join us there today or any time over this holiday weekend, as your celebration commences and continues.  The complete playlist has over a dozen Xmas sets on it, not only mine but also assemblages from Mr. Chucho, Buster, DJ Mojito, cjaxx, Magic Moon, and new for this year, a fine jazzy soul / R&B set from MixMaster Lodown ... in all, the music ranges from 14th century plainsong and chant to remixed classics of the current century and original Christmas tunes composed by pop and classical music artists ... even a couple of Christmas stories and poems set to music are included:  The Illuminated Grinchmas and A Child's Christmas in Wales read by its author, Dylan Thomas:  It's fair to say, there's something for every taste.

I've opened one present already ... that little gift I decided to give myself yesterday:

Not that you come here for movie tips, but my recommendation is most definitely: Catch this one.  If you've ever seen those first lame attempts at 3D, this film will amaze you simply by demonstrating how that technology has finally matured ... but even if you don't have that experience to compare Avatar with, the film is still a visual feast, and a lot like opening package after beautifully-wrapped package for 2+ hours straight.  Rocked my world for real ...

Next up: Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes ... now this is a great movie Christmas!


After a brief hiatus, BeatConscious is back online ... and let me say, brief is one of those very relative terms ... I know it was something under 3 weeks, not much in the cosmic scheme of things, but to my impatient soul, an age.  But like everything else that must and will come to an end, so did the troubles, and here we are ...

During that time offline, the music was not neglected, nor did I miss the fact that Christmas is bearing down on us like ... well, like Christmas does every year -- seeming so far away for so long, it's like something you see in that rear-view mirror with the inscription reminding you it's really closer than it appears.  And lo! a mix resulted from that downtime, one you can buzz on over to beatmixing.com's mmRadio to hear (unless you know where to look for the presents under the tree ... I'll say no more.  )

Sweets & Treats, the Christmas set for 2009 pulls from a smaller selection of albums than usual, primarily last year's Sarah McLachlan Winter Songs and a YoYo Ma collection featuring well-knowns like Chris Botti and YouTube sensation Jake Shimabukuro; there are also tracks from the Starbucks offering for 2008 The Hotel Caf้ presents Winter Songs.

Sweets -- well, to my ear, there's an overall sweetness to the collection this year, lots of women's voices -- not just Sarah, but new (to me) artists like Brandi Carlile, Meiko and the duo Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson, all from the Starbucks album, and all doing Christmas originals rather than remakes. There's also lots of classical and jazz rhythms instead of the usual EDM beats laid over classic Christmas tunes … The "treats" are a couple of older tracks, notably from Bright Eyes, Morphine and the Jan Garbarek / Hilliard Ensemble track that always drives my desire to hear Christmas music.

And this time there's also a strong winter theme driving a number of the tracks … just a little tip of the hat to the folks up north, where the motto these days seems to be: Snow early, snow often.

As for the fast-approaching New Year, I've got just one word for you:  Sade.  Yep, the Queen returns ... stay tuned!


Picture this: Your local planetarium has what is frequently referred to as Stoner Night … come see the sky show set to music!  Usually, you know, the soundtrack was Pink Floyd but sometimes they stretched out, reflecting the recent musical discoveries of the planetarium staff …  So the night we went, they had just discovered the MoodSwings Orchestra album Moodfood, which definitely put them out there ahead of me and introduced me to the classic track Rainsong featuring the vocals of Linda Muriel, produced by Chrissie Hynde.

Now picture this: mousing along online, you come across Hypenet and follow one of the links to the new Sia Bonus CD track, Bring It To Me, an energy ramp as well as a memorable hook, from an artist who is apparently really really big somewhere, at least within a particular online community of music lovers that you'll never meet except by way of their music blogs … and it turns out that the track just rocks your world … kinda like the MoodSwings Orchestra did in '93.

Mood Modding, as this set is called, is built around my planetarium moment interfacing with my Hypenet moment … you'll hear music from Sia, Moodswings Orch., Karl Moestl, Jon Kennedy, Paul + Price, Frank Borell, Fortunato & Montresor, Bliss and more … the intention is that you'll have your own 'planetarium moment' here at BeatConscious and take away news of a fresh favorite for your Top Ten list … simultaneously getting that mood modification you've been looking for all day. 

Speaking of your top 10 list, I've added to the Mix Manifesto page with some thoughts on your musical preferences and mine ... how we get 'em to begin with and how they change over time -- or not.  And for technicians, I've added a new transition type to that discussion on the same page.


Possibly you remember it from your passage thru the 90's -- the phrase Chill Out or Die?  The chill out rooms of parties past took on the task of lowering your racing heartbeat and temperature and pulling you back from the brink … the best audio for that purpose was generally deep-space chilled ambient, and that may be what most folks think of if they think of ambient at all.  The two ambient mixes I made for BeatConscious back in 2004 were in that deep-space mode, filled with the sensations of cart-wheeling wing tip over tail fin, out into the black reaches of the universe ...

 

But there's also the lush style of ambient, for when chilling is by choice rather than part of an emergency rescue mission,  a form of ambient grooves most likely to be heard in the spa retreat or the candle-decked love nest …  With this warmer chill in mind, I've gathered together a little Brian Eno, some Jonn Serrie, Anna Schaad, Bliss, Moby, Koru, Makyo and Olafur Arnalds … all spacey and drifty one minute, surging rhythm the next.  The first track is a leisurely (12+ mins) laid-back rubdown … sent to wring you out, settle you down and get you ready … leaving you there-but-not-there, so your mind can roam unimpeded … just for now, just for an hour or so.

 

Notes wouldn't be complete without a shout out to Sonny's Angel for the Vangelis hook-up … you'll hear a tidbit of Roy's valedictory speech from Blade Runner as part of the track "Tears in Rain".  And while I'm giving shout-outs, I should note that I came across the stunning neo-classical music of Olafur Arnalds as the soundtrack to a Vimeo clip that was posted on the Daily Dish earlier this summer … gratitude, likewise, to PRI's To the Best of Our Knowledge for revealing Anna Schaad's "Mermaid" to my wondering ears.

 

Your Floatation Device awaits you ... grab ahold and drift with me ...


So what'll it be, my house or your house?  OK, my house this time … even though rooting through my house tracks isn't usually where I find myself these days ... A friend (the same friend, in fact, that introduced me to House music) once scoffed at the idea of listening to House music as radio -- if you weren't dancing your ass off, high, hot and sweaty, with music loud enough to kill plant life, then House shouldn't be playing.  As I started thinking about what I do as radio, I moved away from House toward downtempo.

 

But I just fell in love with my house tracks all over again, thanks to the Giant Step DJ promo service -- they came through with the new Scott Hardkiss joint "Come On, Come On" featuring vocals by Lisa Shaw … there was no way to try and force that into a downtempo box, and so I found myself diggin' down, looking for house-inflected supporting tracks … and oh, they just jumped into my hand:  Paloma, Groove Armada, Bitter:Sweet remixed by Tom Middleton, a Stanton Warriors gutter funk remix of The Beginerz' monumentally raw groove "Reckless Girl", followed by a mash-up of my queen Tracey Thorn singing "Wrong" vs. Sandy Rivera's "Come Into My Room (Soul Vision "The Take It Back" Mix)" courtesy of Ben Watt's first Lazy Dog double-disc … released in 2000, this is the oldest tune on the set and still one of my favorite house tracks ever ...

 

There's more booty movers from lesser-knowns to round out this hour of Reckless Funk, including some fiery funk from the Tiny Trendies (the who?  Yep, that's what I said, too -- but you can look 'em up on Discogs.)  And after the anthemic lift of "Come On Come On", a Younger Brother guitar track that resolves the whole hour of energy into a wash of emotion … (Thanks to Monkey Do for putting me on to this group … )

 

A very danceable set, naturally … Now, those of you who've been attending the BeatConscious College of Musical Knowledge for long enough will be familiar with the concept that dancing is sex deferred … and it's also an advertisement for "how I do" … no matter whether your ad tells of endurance and rhythmic reliability, muscular strength or tactile sensitivity, prowess or innocence, wild abandon or tight control -- dancing is all about how you do, or actually, how you will do what you do, later on.  So it's very telling when people prefer music that signals aggression rather than sexual intention ...  what's that about?   Well, as you should know by now, I don't answer the questions, I just ask 'em … Someday I'll do a survey and maybe I'll find out if these other folks have the goods despite all that beat down music they listen to …

 

In the meantime, feel free to spend an hour high, hot and sweaty, dancing to a rare BeatConscious House music set ... and showing off whatever you've got goin' on.


So it's 1957-58: As Martin Denny's "Quiet Village" plays on the "hi-fi", a little sprite dances around the living room, charming her parents and grandparents with her best-guesstimate Bali Hai moves …  That was my first downtempo moment, a fact that wouldn't actually become evident for about 40 years … "Quiet Village" now seems equal parts campy and thrilling, but it made the suburbs daring for a while ... Back then, American style was very bland and buttoned-down, so no doubt people were ready for a change, and, too, as men came back from military service overseas, their experience of the greater world created an opening in the zeitgeist for the tiki lounge exotica purveyed in food and drink at Trader Vic's, in movies like South Pacific, and on disc by Martin Denny….  Here's a bit of background from Amazon.com, where I found the track: 

 

In 1956, while appearing at steel and shipping magnate Henry Kaiser's Shell Bar -- a club inside the open-air Oahu resort Hawaiian Village, complete with a small pond adjacent to the stage -- the combo realized that the croaking of nearby bullfrogs blended perfectly with their tropical musical approach. On a lark, percussionist Augie Col๓n also began imitating bird calls on-stage, much to the delight of the audience. Denny soon began incorporating South Pacific and Far East instruments into his arrangements as well, and by the time he recorded his Liberty Records debut, 1957's Exotica, his singular sound was firmly in place.

 

The release of Exotica proved perfectly timed -- as the '50s drew to a close, tiki culture was all the rage in mainland America, with Hawaiian shirts a fashion trend and tiki torches a staple of backyard parties. Moreover, the evolution from mono to stereo recording and playback had taken root, and with its bird whistles, jungle calls, and far-flung instruments, the many distinctive components of Denny's sound were ideal for channel separation. Originally composed by Les Baxter, the instrumental "Quiet Village" was a massive success.

 

What we didn't know back then was how persistent this island-life motif would prove to be for modern listeners.  Chief among the practitioners of world music- influenced downtempo, Thievery Corporation adopts for a few of its tunes all the original exotic touches such as the "native drums" (might be tablas, might be bongos, might be something a bit more bass-heavy and driving) along with those bird and monkey calls, and marries them with sophisticated modern electronica -- complex beats, b-lines and great vocals.  Sensing a theme (the origins of downtempo and how it grew up) and finding a huge variety in the musical stylings on offer, I wound up with a rich spread of Exotica Redux, including work by: Funky Lowlives, Farid, Praful, Zap Mama, The Warheads, Brazilian Girls, Carl Craig remixing Cesaria Evora, Anna Schaad and more.  Yep, the Anna Schaad is mostly just because I can, and because I can hear a little tabla in there, too.

 

So pull on your surfer shorts or your grass skirt and lei, and join us at the BeatConscious tiki hut for drinks and dancing ... it's your chance to get away without leaving home.


A second show uploaded for September?  What is this unusual spate of activity, you might wonder ... I might wonder also, except that I already know it's down to my Muse ... Here's something about the concept of The Muse, though:  Remembering that it's really just an address we send things to, just an idea and not something that should be transposed into real life in the form and shape of an actual person … I want to speak to my Muse and 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 and pleased with the results over the past couple of months, there's also recognition of the need to keep the genie in the bottle .... And that's why Mr. Spock's Advice (the intro to the new set Wanting ... but not having) 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.

Actually, I was originally thinking of calling this set PopFLY, since the inclusion of the Chris Brown track "Forever" brings it as close to pop music as my mixes usually get … "Forever" is included because I saw the same YouTube J/K wedding entrance clip that everyone else did, only difference being, I didn't already know the tune they used, so it struck me the way, then, that it struck everyone else when they heard it for the first time …

And then again, I was thinking about calling this set Advertisements for Myself (keeping one eye out for legal representatives of the Mailer estate) just because that Nightmares on Wax tune "Know My Name" seems like such a worthy anthem for yours truly … which is why it will probably continue to pop up on BeatConscious mixes over the years …

 

But then I got hold of the dialog drop from Mr. Spock that opens the set, and there was no way that was gonna miss getting title honors … it covers so much possible territory, it's so suggestive … yep, there's a whole lot of wanting but not having in most lives, when you start thinking about it.  In fact, Cantoma, whose track "Rain" showed up recently in another BC set, claims the closing position here precisely because that melody is one of the most wordlessly evocative expressions of wanting but not having that I've heard recently.

 

For now, however, if you're wanting to hear DJ Krush and Zap Mama, Hardkandy, Alex Cortiz, DJ Cam, Sven Van Hees, TM Juke, Erykah Badu and The Roots, Radio Citizen and Laura Izibor -- well, you can be having all that during the hour you spend with the BeatConscious stream on mmRadio.  We'd love to have you join us....


Looks like I'm going to fall back on my beatmixing.com feedback thread once again for posting my comments about the latest mix here ... there's a bit more material (including links) at the original post, so feel free to visit the thread ... it's also dead easy to tune in using the radio controls on the beatmixing.com page.

I don't make a habit of casting the male/female dance of life in terms of war or sport metaphors … sexual conquest or the more common references to scoring … but, that said, if you score while listening to this BeatConscious babymaker, Where I Am Instead, we definitely want to hear from you Wink

The set comes rolling in loaded with smooth snuggly vibes from A Forest Mighty Black, Afterlife, Tosca, Lemongrass, B-Tribe, Kabanjak, Cantoma and Hefner, to name a few …

As usual, the crates rendered up some surprises that were overlooked when they were new but are sounding just right for today's set … this includes the title track from Naked Music-NYC's 1998 release What's On Your Mind? as well as 2005 releases from Parov Stelar and Sven van Hees. I also found a little gem called "Past Noon" by The Moves on the 2007 OM Music release Chilled.  And speaking of discoveries, I must highly recommend Andromeda Island whose "Green Garden" is featured in this set.

And finally, one last Hefner tune, this time from 2000's Residue album ("finally" maybe … after all, there's still "Fiendish") … the one I'm using here, "An Evening with Hefner", is such a mysterious track, all speaking in tongues paired with classic DT broken beats … it's like, if you just knew what they were saying, you'd have the answer to everything … a common misconception and, sadly, not confined to song lyrics … but that's another story entirely.

In the meantime, settle in and snuggle up … BeatConscious is ready to assist your moves ... as always, your money cheerfully refunded if you're not completely satisfied....


Forgive my cadging the following write-up from the feedback post for the BeatConscious show on beatmixing.com, but time is pressing on today....

Since part of the BeatConscious manifesto is ensuring that excellent tunage doesn't just disappear without a trace, there's many a show that gets inspired or built around one of these classics … think of the Jeff Buckley tunes that drive the BOOK:ENDED mix from July. The current show (which takes its name -- Rain & Stars -- from two of the musical rescues) is studded with more such gems, starting out with a song I think of as being absolute August in the southland, John Hiatt's 1988 release "Feels Like Rain". This sexy slowburner is distinguished equally by the guitar work and the vocals, including killer harmonies on the chorus … Aaron Neville covered this song, with somewhat more ethereal results, in the mid-90's.

Another of the "saves" is a track from folk-singer Eliza Gilkyson … this one came off a LEAK music magazine CD (back in the 90's, when those were physical constructions that arrived in the mail instead of being digitally delivered as podcasts) … "Stars" is one of those seemingly minor tunes that ends up living in your head forever (if your head is anything like mine….) Highly recommended for spirited singing-along in the car …

The musical rescue impulse extends to a couple more Hefner tracks from the 2002 release Reworks … I'm hopelessly addicted to Hefner, basically because it's some wicked good stuff … note how the airy innocence of the vocals plays off against the ominous sub-bass and broken-beat drumming -- this is the sound that drew me to downtempo in the beginning, and Hefner is one of the iconic releases from the heady period of the early aughts when the genre was golden and so much excellent music was being released.

And finally, I've brought back not only the tunes but a favorite transition as well … the Roxy Music into FC Kahuna blend that first appeared in the 2004 show Ever Since the Day … Released in 1980 on the album Flesh & Blood, the Roxy track "Oh Yeah" is the oldest on the set and yet still manages to sound freshly minted … and the same could be said for another selection from the same time period as that Roxy Music track, "Qu'ran" from David Byrne & Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

So that's the armature supporting a set which is further furnished with small gems from current artists like KUSH, All India Radio, Zero 7, Adani & Wolf, Marcel and others. A relatively themeless mix, perhaps, but trust the flow to carry you along … just be glad to be here.


TimeFrame:  Completed this mix yesterday, the fifth anniversary of the day Hurricane Charley blew through my part of Florida and took down 30% of the town. August is usually a dub-down month … stormy skies, palm fronds lashed by the winds, everything seeming very provisional and likely to revert back to island primitive at a moment’s notice. But not this year – this year we’re living on borrowed time, harking back to the days before the storm damage from Andrew and Charley brought us face to face with the true meaning of castles build on sand….

In that same nostalgia vibe comes Hefner’s "Level Green" from 2002 … somehow this track has taken on iconic properties for me – it captures some of the essence of downtempo, as well as a moment in time, and so I like to bring it back every couple of years. I note once again that it has not yet lost its allure.

At the other end of the set, another of the foundation tunes of downtempo … couldn't turn around in 2001 without bumping into the Digby Jones classic "Pina Colada (Jazz Mix)", complete with the sound of waves lapping the sandy shore …

Strong nostalgia governs one more selection on this August set, what I think of as Dobie Gray’s “other” track. If you know this guy at all, it’s because of his 1973 hit “Drift Away” – a hugely popular soft rock tune and a tribute to the power of rock itself to transmute reality into a dream of comfort and pleasure. Like most people, you know this iconic track from the radio or because you bought the single; I bought the album and found a second fine number on it: "The Time I Love You The Most". Great soul singing, lyrics and hooks.

The rest of the selections seek to maintain that same funky soul vibe with tracks from J Boogie, Kabanjak, Fugees, Groove Matter, Bonobo, Erykah Badu and Remy Shand, as well as a Groove Armada tune from their 2003 release, Love Box -- “Hands of Time” is a righteous updater of the soul-slinger style so well represented by Dobie Gray 30 years earlier … hey, it’s like whiskey, folks: it just gets better as it ages.  Add to those a few contrasting tracks, more in the Hefner mode, from Imogen Heap, Beady Belle and Ohm-G, and you’ve got a sweet hour’s worth of messages waiting for you courtesy of the BeatConscious show on mmRadio ... Listen for the set entitled Time Frame.


As I wrote a little earlier this year, the BeatMixing.com community lost one of our number this year, and hearing about it (after the fact, as will often happen when people know each other mostly through an online connection) galvanized nearly 30 of us into creating a tribute to Sonny, this young friend of ours ... a musical tribute, of course, because that's what we understand best ... and because it was his particular love, we crafted our tribute out of trance music, even those of us who regularly spend our time in other musical genres.  After a little more than about 3 months from start to finish, everyone in our group had contributed a 20 minute set to be combined into a larger effort (8 hours total) that is currently airing on the beatmixing.com stations of mmRadio ... this weekend all stations will play the tribute throughout the course of their regular rotation, and then it will continue to air on the Translucent station after the weekend.  You can catch it there anytime you like, and you can read the tribute commentary also.  I'd just like to quote this one thought contributed by Lisa, Sonny's real-life angel:

Sonny & I were once watching an interview with one of the astronauts from the space shuttle, and in this interview he was describing his experiences while he was orbiting the planet. And he was saying how beautiful Earth looks from above, but he said that, much to his surprise, he found that he was having a hard time telling the countries apart from each other. He said, "The reason for that was that the lines that are in the maps are not in the ground." We thought It makes a great point: these lines *really* don't exist. They're made up completely, and they perpetuate this illusion that somehow we're all different from each other. The world would be a much better place if someday we stopped pretending that these lines exist and we concentrated on our similarities rather than our differences. This is one of the main reasons why Sonny loved this community so much: people from around the world sharing their passion for music and the art of mixing. I'm sure that Sonny loves this community even more now.

I also want to give particular props to Kevin, who (along with Lisa) shouldered the work of organizing the tribute and assembling the mini-mixes into a coherent whole, and to DJ Alan, who provided the drops that identify each participant as their segment plays.  These folks made the idea become the reality ... much respect.


The downpour continues ... the July (mostly) Indie Music set has been uploaded to mmRadio and you can find it if you look for a little item called BOOK:ENDED.  This set took off when I found a YouTube clip of kd lang singing the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah ... live performance, amazing like most of her work ... but really, it just made me want to hear the Jeff Buckley version of that tune again so I put that on the player and, yes it's true: Jeff Buckley owns that song, from the first exhalation of breath to that extraordinary note he holds at the end.  I definitely felt like it was time to bring that song back ... and thus this new BeatConscious show that closes with Hallelujah and also includes Buckley's song Last Goodbye (both from the 1994 album Grace) ... those two tracks, opening and closing the set, came to be the idea behind the title  BOOK:ENDED.... though, as always, there are other notions in there as well.

Remember when mix-tapes were ABOUT something? They could be about a new romance or a break-up, about a road trip or a head trip, a birthday or a funeral or a protest ... but mix-tapes were about some aspect of your life, and they were full of songs distinguished by the social/emotional context that all the important music of your life usually includes, the electrical charge a song carries from all the contextual emotions that it evokes ... Yes, I'm a big fan of Nick Hornby's book/film High Fidelity ... In any case, those mix-tapes we used to make were attempts to create a tribute to a time in life when something of significance overtook us and left such an impression that there was no choice but to model it in song …

So, too, with this radio show/mix-tape, BOOK:ENDED … clearly about something even if you don't need to know what that something is in order to enjoy the music and the flow … but if it speaks to you, please feel free to play it with your own circumstances in mind. 

(You can read the rest of the write-up in the feedback thread at beatmixing.com in the BeatConscious section of the forum.  You'll also find a link to the Declaration of Independents thread with information on the other indie artists in the mix.)

 

Oh.  It had to happen, I guess ... you can now follow me on Twitter if you choose ... don't worry, I won't take too much of your time ... look for MadameFLY ... and remember: case-sensitive ...


Now, about that indie music mix mentioned in the last post ... I called this one Caught in a Downpour referencing the flood of music that's rained down recently -- artists have been impressively busy this spring.  The independents theme is earned mostly by contributions from KUSH, All India Radio and The Warheads; joined, as usual, by lots of tunes from emusic.com -- a site which I have grown accustomed to thinking of as a repository of mostly independent artists (change is coming there, though.)  One track from a more major-label presence, Laura Izibor's From My Heart to Yours (DJ Premier mix) really rocks this set -- thanks to the Giant Step folks for that hook-up.  Another indie effort is the K-Salaam & Beatnick remix of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On ... these NYC producers had a busy spring, releasing an album's worth of remixes.  That classic Marvin Gaye track keeps company on the Downpour set with two more (original) classics, just because they're worth hearing over and over:  Roll Um Easy from Little Feat and Fred Neil's Little Bit of Rain.  If you missed these the first time around, now's your chance to catch up....

And speaking of classics ... RIP Michael ... a brief appreciation on FLYpaper, courtesy of YouTube.


As I work on pulling a few things together for the annual Declaration of Independents (independent music) blow-out that I like to schedule for sometime around July 4th (yes yes, full-out hokey ... so sue me  ), I realize now is also the time for a shout-out to the fine and generous people (musicians, label owners and other music promoters) who add me to their promo list each year.  Because of their willingness to create that partnership, the end result of what I do is immeasurably richer ...  Certainly the BeatConscious show has been the better for having music from All India Radio, The Warheads, Worldwide Groove Corporation, Andie Hahn, Fila Brazilia/The Cutler and more from 23Records, Vice Lounge, Monta, Citrona and Greg Long among many downtempo mailing list members making music, Julian Brody, BN Loco and the other Modus Vivendi artists, Afternoons in Stereo, Dr. Echo, the guys of Torso, Gary B, Subatomic Sound System people, the beautiful minds behind KUSH, Alex and the crew at Aardvark, James Foster, Sterling Angel and more from the many pages of myspace and the many participants of the RadioDirectX network ...

Well clearly, to complete that list would take a page ... and today, I'm enlarging it by one -- the Giant Step family of artists, one that includes quite an impressive roster of musicians as you'll see when you click that link and visit the Giant Step site.  I'm busily acquiring tidbits from the current releases on offer and you can expect future BeatConscious shows to come decked out in these gems....

Now, in true yin/yang fashion, we need to touch on the downside after all that happy stuff ... and it's pertinent, because a fair number of artists and labels have picked up on BeatConscious due to finding the show on the Live365 network ... so it's a drag to have to say I'm putting my renewal on hold for a while so I can see how the money / job thing shakes out this summer (and, to be honest, because I also had to commit big bucks to re-roof my lanai and make some other home repairs) ... One school of thought is that if you can make it thru this summer, you have a fighting chance ... of course, there's another school that says this is just the rehearsal, but I'm pretending they're not talking to me yet.  Anyhow, my L365 show is going to be operating on a VIP-only basis for the next few months ... if you have VIP'd me in the past and let me go, or if you have never VIP'd me before and suffered thru the commercials, etc., then this would be a good time to consider BeatConscious as one of your VIP picks ...  For those who can't get to it just now, I understand, and I hope to be back and available to all listeners by the fall.  In the meantime, of course, there is still the BeatConscious show on mmRadio where, for the same low low price (still zero) you get not only MadameFLY grooves but a raft of other DJs as well (some of whom are a great deal more talented than me, I don't mind telling you.)  Highly recommended and always up to date -- drop by and listen for yourself.


Against all expectation, a new set joined the stream in May, inspiration thanks to fresh tunes from The Warheads (their most recent effort is the Vrykolakas Brides set) and also due to the fact that this winter I started watching the HBO series The Wire on DVD, each episode of which closes with a perfect little downtempo joint by Blake Leyh titled The Fall ... hey, you take it where you find it.  Also need to give a shout-out to my old friend, Afternoons in Stereo ... I happened to be listening again to the "Best of 2005" set he compiled for his Urban Modernists radio show which included a great Yonderboi track from that year, Eyes for You ... and that one promptly went onto the set-list as well. 

At any rate, short but sweet, Down to The Wire appeared on mmRadio by mid-month, and then the decks were cleared for another, quite different inspiration ... we learned that one of the community members, a Canadian who went by the nom du musique DJ Spaceman, had lost his battle with cancer ... Sonny was a sweet-natured man, a beautiful spirit whose talent, enthusiasm and helpfulness to others enlightened and inspired those who knew him.  The community is now working to create a memorial to that spirit, in the form of group project that will complete the last PowerSpin tag-team that Sonny was working on before his death this spring ... I'm working on my own contribution to the project, fittingly for this Memorial Day weekend.  I'll be hoping to hold my own with the trance heavyweights ... I do have a few gems from back in the day which I'm delighted to offer to the effort.  You'll be able to hear the finished tribute on the Translucent station of mmRadio ... check here for further information.


As noted on FLYpaper, Uncle Mo is layin' low just now, made skittish by one thing or another ... not to fear, that doesn't dry up the music, not as long as there are great mixes from days past that need to be reworked in Studio 7 to take advantage of the greatly improved sound handling... This month, it's FreeFall from August 2005 that's gotten the treatment ... as well as a new CD cover (the original was pretty generic, the new one much more evocative ... follow that link and see for yourself.)  But no changes to the selecting or the sequencing ... I find this set to be pretty perfect just as it was originally conceived.  It's up and playing now on mmRadio, if you'd like to come by and check it out.  If you've never heard Tanita Tikaram's I Might Be Crying or Laurie Anderson's Freefall, the two tracks that close out the set, then you owe it to yourself to check this one out.


Had my heart's desire ... the chance to get together for a brief catch-up visit with one of the key characters in my musical development ... the full story is on FLYpaper.

Of course, now I'm a bit behind on the next show for BeatConscious ... but bear with me, I've got great new music to comb through and I'll be finding the perfect flow for your next musical moment this spring.


If your Oscar money was on Slumdog Millionaire, then that was easy money ... the little picture that could swept the Awards, thus giving me the opportunity and incentive to upload another Asian Underground set to the BeatConscious show on mmRadio ... this time I chose to rework one that had not previously been given the MixMeister treatment ... a set I called A Visit with My Guru.  This set originally explored what I thought was a tight correspondence between Asian Underground and late 90's drum'n'bass ... in fact, some of the tracks were pretty intense for a BeatConscious show and so they were among the ones that were eliminated in the rework process and replaced by newer tunes ... leading off the set, for example, is the Funk'n'Gandhi track from the album of the same name by The Warheads ... also new to that set-list was a Massive Attack remix of the classic Mustt Mustt from Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn.  But the core of the set remained the same and with its current appearance on BeatConscious, more folks like you will have the opportunity to hear a staggeringly great booty shaker from Nitin Sawhney called Streets ... don't miss it!

Every minute I spent working on updating My Guru for 2009 was a minute I didn't think about the global financial crisis ... I hope listening to it will transport you away from your worries also

In other news, some of you may remember the story about my introduction to electronic music in the mid-90's courtesy of Tranceporter's DJing at the Key West restaurant Dim Sum ... and you may also have read here in the news update about us reconnecting not so long ago (such is the power of the internet ...)  Well, I hope we'll be able to have a visit during this year's WMC in Miami, scheduled for the last week of this month ... I'm intending to buzz over for a very quick visit to catch up with Donald and window-shop a bit with a girlfriend ... more about all that later. 


Oscarฎ night is coming up fast ... haven't seen most of the contenders, only the one that I was interested in: Slumdog Millionaire ... as I noted on the beatmixing.com forum: I've seen four of Danny Boyle's films now -- Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, Sunshine and now this one. I've liked them all but this one just rocked. This will be the first year I pay much attention to the Oscars in quite some time....  Makes me want to dust off some of the old bhangra sets and remix them in in Studio 7 ... and so, of course, I did, starting with a complete rework of the set In a Scented Garden ... this was originally compiled in 2000, from CDs probably (this was pre-MixMeister) and ran about 74 minutes with this line-up.  I remade it in 2004, basically just recompiling it in MixMeister.  This time, however, much new music was available and I put a lot of thought into resequencing for better flow ... you can see the new set-list here for the rework entitled One Night in a Scented Garden.  I've even updated the cover art -- if you check out the Covers page, the original is the very first image at the top of the page, and the new one is here.

There were five of these sets when I first made them in 2000 and I think enough good material exists now (including, of course, the soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire) to rework most of them, which I expect to do throughout the rest of 2009.  If you enjoyed the movie, and your enjoyment translates into an interest in the music, please drop by the BeatConscious stream on mmRadio (you can use the "hear me on beatmixing.com" image-link in the panel at the left side of your screen to get there....)  And by all means, let me know what you think.

And may the best film win!


Must say, couldn't be happier at the prospect of the next couple of days ... the opportunity for hanging out with Tepmix during his brief visit here in sunny Florida -- it's chilly to us, but comparatively balmy for him.  And equally exciting, the inauguration of the new President.  Make no mistake, I expect 2009 is gonna be a tough, tough year ... no doubt the first of several ... but at least we're leaving the nightmare behind and beginning the business of repairing what's been broken.  Like most people, I'd rather push up my sleeves and get to work, not just sit and stare helplessly at the mess. 

To inaugurate that effort in my own way, I'm uploading a new set to the BeatConscious show ... actually I've been spending the morning with the business of giving this mix a title, so you're here, looking over my shoulder while the mental process takes place ... My original thought was, yeah the economy is wrecked, but it's not like it's the first time -- we've been here before ... you only have to think back to some of the songs from tough times past: "Money's Too Tight to Mention" (Simply Red), for example.  Well, of course, that's how a set gets started ...  although I couldn't find a workable version of Blind Alfred Reed's classic "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?", I did find a wickedly appropriate opener from Fila Brazillia called "Whose Money" ... and for those of you who never heard the 1980 masterpiece, "Money Changes Everything" by Atlanta's The Brains, well, now's the time to get caught up .... join us for Too Tight (The Money Funk) on mmRadio's BeatConscious show (look for the "hear me on beatmixing.com" button, one of the choices under ONLINE AUDIO on the left-side panel.)   It's a cautionary tale for these dark days when people are overwhelmed with second thoughts on just about everything they took for granted over the past couple of decades.... (a sentence, BTW, that employs all the other possible set titles I considered and then rejected ).