and here you get part two. enjoy!
Archive for September, 2007
a birthday to celebrate! the music blog rho-x celebrates one year of blogging and sharing music. interesting music. and embedded in text. and the avid reader knows that i do like and appreciate that highly. the posts (and therefore the music) are sorted by topic, for example presenting music by country, or as in his actual post, music that heals. which sound might funny at first, but is actually one of the old and primary uses of music. definitly something to be aware of and something to think about.
but right now i recommend you head over to rho-x and have a read / listen yourself! and i am sure you will find a lot of interesting and inspiring music. and don’t forget to bring a birthday cake!
i posted already two mixes by dj d.k.b. without giving you any information on the man. since i have a lot of his mixes i will give you a short indroduction to the man.
coming from switzerland he never became famous, but he was certainly infamous.
” i guess my problem was that i was never satisfied as a dj to just deliver what people were expecting – i wanted to educate them that there is a lot more great music out there that you can dance to as well. so my dj-sets were either hated or the whole room was rocking. coming from a detroit-techno background i nevertheless thought that the best sets are the ones where one tries to incorporate also a lot of other styles. personally i like to dance to dj’s that keep on surprising me. and i still think that a lot of lines that people draw regarding musical styles are rather artificial. funny enough people did like my chill out sets a lot, though. i more or less quit djing a couple of years ago – i bought too many records and did not get enough bookings. i guess i also got a little bit tired – too many parties in general. and my life changed at a certain stage quite radically. other thing with my mixes: there i tried to make a tape / cd that you can listen to repeatedly and that maybe even stands the test of time. i did some nice compilations as well which have been well received by my friends. and of course i am very flattered that you put up some of my old stuff. (d.k.b. – my translation)”
true true – he was sometimes pretty wild. i personally liked when he had the first or the last slot of evening: he would start with rather slow and gentle sounds and slowly work towards the faster and harder stuff. a great way to start your dancing night. and as an after hour dj he played a lot of really banging, out there shit which was very appropriate for a wasted crowd. and they usually went wild. but i also remember that he sometimes really dared to go far: after playing an hour of straight techno he would suddenly drop some really hilarious discotunes – some people loved it, others were totally upset since you can not play such cheesy and commercial music in an underground techno club… and one of the worst evenings must have been when he played a straight detroit techno set in front of a trance crowd. the club was full but nobody was dancing – and i was standing up there with him (to give him some moral backing, but realizing that he fucked it big time), and some guy came up, just when he was playing the bells by jeff mills, demanding that he finally play some music one can dance to, something with a rhythm. ooops.
and true, he might have been sometimes too wild, but i always thought that you could feel that every record he played he really liked. and his wide musical range made indeed for excellent chill out sets – there he was not provocative, but gentle. i do remember some very nice trips. yeah, back in the days when we were young…
so what you get today is actually a chill out cd, well, part one of a two cd-set called earth flow. a little bit pop, a little bit downbeat, and a lot more. it flows rather elegantly with a slight melancholic tinge. just the right thing for a sunny weekend in fall…
get it here.
and if you like it – i got a lot more of his stuff.
so it wasn’t really the last one…
if you like the atmospheric, liquid drum ‘n’ bass style i can recommend you not one, but two blogs which post some (well, quite a lot of) very nice mixes in that genre. both are highly recommended. not much more i can say. go and get your harddisc / ears full.
H!ghtimes – the deeper side of DnB MixBlogs
Joshua C. Blog – always the dreamer
and here the last (for the time being) post in the drum ‘n’ bass style. i found it appropriate to present to you another very nice mix by dj d.k.b. – this time an atmospheric mix called whatever from 1997 i have very nice memories of…
…sitting at the pool in a sixties-style hotel in san francisco. palms illuminated by pink spots…and the sneaker pimps having their after-show-beer at the other side of the pool. and me listening in the warm night to this mix, drifting off with my thoughts…
so here the mix.
dkb – whatever, ripped@192 as two mp3 files (side a/side b)
and as a bonus you get the first track of the mix, the classic inner city life by goldie to watch / listen to:
… i’d like to present someone who knows to roll with his words.
and we’re back on the drum ‘n’ bass track. well, i confronted you with the hard side of drum ‘n’ bass, the dark side, then took things a little bit down and now take another step to get more…liquid.
i have to admit: i have a problem with mc’s at drum ‘n’ bass nights. not all of the time, but most of the time. the first problem is a technical one. usually the mc is too loud and too distorted – not in a cool way, though. connected to that mc’s seem to have the same problem as quite some musicians accompaning dj-sets: they do too much. usually it should be an added flavour, not the main attraction. not distracting from the music that is played, but enhancing it. but too many mc’s just shout orders at you:
show your appreciation! hey, man, i am dancing since two hours – is there a better way of appreciating a dj?
lift your arms up in the air! hey, man, i need them for my balance (yep, i’m dancing like kate bush: swagger, jump, wiggle, wiggle, stretch).
make some noise! eeeer – actually the sound system makes enough noise, thank you very much. what did you say?
i generally do not like to be shouted at, even less orders. and too often it just gives a kind of abusive club med feeling.
but then there are some interesting mc’s (there is to note that i never heard a female mc). i remember especially one mc (unfortunately i never found out his name) that whispered, and babbled, and occassionaly even screamed. and he added quite some effects to his voice: echo, delay, pitch. and all that to very scary, dark music. and he was very scary, too. like tricky on crack. and it definitly gave the music an additional kick.
and then there is mc conrad. the über-mc in drum ‘n’ bass, risen to fame through his collaborations with ltj bukem (the founder of goodlooking records, another very influental label on the drum ‘n’ bass scene, for the more liquid and atmospheric style). mc conrad has a smooth, liquid style to match the smooth and liquid style of the music. more poetry then animating shouts. words “coming down like heavenly rain (mc conrad)”. opening additional spaces in the music with his words.
so with the album vocalist from the year 2000 i can not only introduce you to the more liquid style of drum ‘n’ bass, but i can also introduce you to a…poet.
get it here. ripped as mp3-files@192 from vinyl. tracklist included. and, as mc conrad says:
now baby move your body and i do the rest.
sometimens mondays are nice. you get up early. the sun is shining, your stereo is somehow playing just the right music, things are just rolling. and you get these emails telling the tales of the weekend of your beloved.
while one mail tells the story of a journey to imaginary countries, of traveling without moving, another one just sums up in the most lyrical way the weekend.
had a long weekend full of dance&whoring
winding up being la puta madre of a slut
and it also solidifies my reputation…
I think I did make friends
mostly the ones that called me a slut
but it’s the people that make me a slut
I wouldn’t bother, all by myself…
(I was dancing, on stage, taking off my cloth…)
after the last post it’s just appropriate to listen to some timmy thomas asking why can’t we live together? the song is also known through sade‘s version (on her album diamond life).
first you get a live version – much juicier then the original, actually really upbeat. it’s from a french limited edition 12″ from 1979. the b side is a song called rainbow power. ripped from vinyl@192 as mp3′s. some scans are included. get it here.
closer to the original version in the mood and in its sparse arrangement are the following versions on a white label from a rather obscure american label (shoesrecordings) from 2006. why can’t we live together? once as a house mix, once as a dub mix. two mp3′s @192. get it here.
not enough? well, then grab the low budget style ep by soulution entertainment (björn petrikat) from 2000. house that learned a lot from minimal – at a first listen it sounds sparse as well, but then it gets actually rather intricate. definitly tracks (as opposed to songs). the reason to post it here is track number 2: no more war. get it here.
and if you want to buy this record: freebase records.
i feel it necessary to come back to the topic of utopia. first it is a word that is of course connected to the possibilities of living differently, second it is widely used but very often not really in an accurate way. so i try to give you my definition and try to give a short description of my understanding of the term.
i am actually rather sure that utopia can not be used, respectively only in a very restricted way in connection to modern society. this because i do not believe that in modern society we can speak of a dominant ideology (although the cynic in me screams yes! greed!). the for me convincing descriptions of society are structural descriptions, splitting society into different fields with different mechanisms to produce sense in and of the world. therefore an utopia related to the society as a whole could only be a structural utopia – something that barthes actually formulates in the concept of the everyday utopia. but i think it is important to point out that the actual utopia is an individual one, which can be described in general terms only as ones own rhythm. of course this also radically un- or even anti-social (in the sense that your own utopia is not shared by anyone) and maybe in a melancholic way singular (or individualistic, if you want).
that is why i think that the term utopia, which refers to a clearly formulated way of living for every member of the society is something like a step back into a world dominated by one ideology. i would call that totalitarian. a dominating ideology would have the advantage that every member of society would know her / his place and know who they are. and obviously quite a lot of people would like to know that and formulate this as an utopia. and i would rather propose to call that a romaticised look to a history that never happened that way. everyday experience teaches me that my position in society is not that clear – it depends upon the context i’m in. also i do not see my identity as “natural” or “god given”. it is certainly constructed within society (don’t confound being constructed with volatile or being freely eligible).
to sum it up: for me the term utopia describes a perfect society where every member of society has her/his perfect place (and is therefore happy). but the ideas and definitions of identity and society and also of the social space have changed radically in the last, hmmm, hundred years. there have been ferocious attempts in the twentieth century to go back to a society with one dominat ideology to reach an utopian state – all of them with terrible consequences.
so the use of the term utopia triggers in me a certain uneasyness: the main uses are either ideological (what i call “backwards”), or very general (the human rights charta), or structural (barthes), or partial (a political utopia, an economic utopia, etc.). that is why i would actually prefer to see other terms used – terms that take into account the for modern society new ways of formulating and constructing identities, social relationships and social space.
you want more utopia? i registered in the last years a growing interest in the topic of the utopian from the side of theory. there are myriad ways to approach that topic, here two starting points:
the new cat empire album so many nights is out – and here the video of their single no longer there:
this is a good moment to introduce another very fine blog with very fine music: square dancing in a round house. a music blog which posts a lot i actually have as well in my vaults…somewhere. since the last post was metalheadz’ metalbox, i especially would like to point out goldie‘s (co-founder of metalheadz) timeless (the double disc edition). but you also find the techstep sampler from the emotif label and the highly recommended torque by ed rush, dj trace, fierce, and nico.
then you’ll find classic techno (get yourself that jeff mills mix-cd (yes, the liquid room one) if you do not already have it!), dubby stuff, leftfield stuff, german post-punk and still a lot more… as a big plus there is an introductory text to each post that is not just copied from discogs or wikipedia. in other words: a top notch music blog!
we get a little bit less hard but stay with the fast drums and the deep bass – seemingly you do not like your music too hard anyway. this time we get rather dark. so let’s take the ghost train with sound of the bullet. one of my favourite mixtapes from the golden period of dark drum ‘n’ bass by dj d.k.b..
the full title, guns don’t kill, the sound of the bullet in the flesh does, refers actually to a sound installation by franz pomassl (and a speech about sonic warfare, if i remember correctly). the tape dates from august 1997 and i ripped it in two mp3 files at 192. enjoy and be ready to dive deep…
get it here.
a couple of weeks ago i went to see / hear dj hype. although i still have an eye – or rather an ear on the drum ‘n’ bass scene it has been a long time since i have been to a drum ‘n’ bass night. it was actually close to a revelation – great music, great crowd. and while i was on the dancefloor, getting hit by ridiculous fast beats and evil low bass i was realizing that this music still sounds futuristic to me, that its obsession with cutting edge technology still makes for very fresh music. drum ‘n’ bass has definitly gone underground again, it lost a big deal of its hipness (somehow dubstep took over to my observation). but the music still works. and still on the dancefloor, still thinking – yep, the dancefloor is a great place to think – the body is moving, you’re enveloped by music and your mind is free to go in any direction. i am just thinking if it might is also due to the fact that immersed in music i feel at home and can let my thoughts wander, being at ease.
so, we are still on the danceflor, i am still thinking and suddenly it hits me why drum ‘n’ bass is actually so interesting (especially the hard, dark one). it uses the mechanism barthes describes to make sense something personal. structurally, drum ‘n’ bass-tracks are built very similar to each other (intro, ratata, break, and then: RATATAWUUUM). so we have actually a rather rigid structure. but through the impact of the fast, slipping beats and the evil, deep bass you have to deal with the music (or well, you leave). and you can not really deal with the music in a social, meaning in a group way, but you have to deal with it on a personal level. this is not hard music with a beat everybody can jump up and down together, and it is not hard music where you can sing the chorus in unison. so you have to find your way to move to it, to make sense of it. your personal sense. so it seems to be actually utopian music – the drum ‘n’ bass evening as an utopian space…
what the fuck is he talking about? you might ask yourself at this point. well, for the theoretical background you might want to have a look at my post the everyday utopia. for a music example i dived in my archive, and had a hard time to decide. so you are getting not one, but two mixes of the hard side of drum ‘n’ bass (you have been warned!):
first we have aggressive combinations 003 – dj unknown. if anybody can tell me more about the source please leave a comment! you get this one here.
if you want more by digital conspiracy, you can go to dirtboxradio (hint: month of may). on the dirtboxradio site you’ll find also a lot of other mixes – not all as hard as this one.
now turn up your system, turn the bass on MAXIMUM and muse over barthes and utopian music.