Picture keitai_w21t.jpg
Sunday, I took my roommate Eriko on a record-shopping spree in Shibuya.

The principal goal of our expedition was not for me to pack up on yet more records that I will probably have to leave behind when I move, but rather to help her get started with her career as a world-renowned DJ.

People coming over and asking you to “teach them how to DJ”, is pretty much par for the course whenever you start playing outside of your bedroom. This is how everybody get started, this is how I got started… You pick a DJ you know or that you particularly like and humbly go asking for advice and guidance.

DJ’ing, in that respect, still holds much of that old “master-apprentice” tradition that you get, both in western and Japanese craftsmanship.

But enough with the Mr. Miyagi bullcrap: Eriko didn’t turn to me because she was blinded by my turntablism wizzardry and had a striking revelation in the middle of a dancefloor. Rather because we live under the same roof and she couldn’t help but become increasingly curious about the pleasure I seemed to draw from playing with all these colorful knobs in my bedroom.

Note: If you didn’t grin stupidly upon reading that last sentence, you are way too pure to be reading this blog and have probably lived a very sheltered life so far.

Anyway, after explaining that she probably didn’t need to get the full Midi keyboard and TB-303 kit just right now, I gave her the usual drill. In a nutshell: “Sure, go for it, but not with my records, please”.

Hence the trip to the store, hence the last two days spent enduring the same continuous soundtrack of mismatched beats from the same two records for hours on end…

A few very random observations prompted by the music in my life these days:

  • Keith Jarrett is a bloody genius (dug the Köln Concert’s vinyl boxset last week-end in Koenji.)
  • Sometime during the late 90’s, there was a point where it seemed House was about to break into the mainstream: radios started playing House tracks, cross-over successes appeared, major venues featured House acts.
    Eventually, the trend fizzled out and, instead, Hip Hop became the music of choice for the average dance-impaired suburban white kid…

    I take a deep hard look at any random Hip Hop producer on TV nowadays and thank the gods that House never made it to that level of buffoonery…

  • My personal theory regarding Drum’n’Bass is that it is a project gone out-of-hand, developed in the Secret Research Labs of the British Dentistry Association aimed at removing patients’ fillings without anesthesia.

    An alternative theory would be that somebody once decided to make a music so caricatural that it begs to be used for one of these 60 Minutes special on The Youth of Today and the barbaric music they are into nowadays.

    Note: My current appreciation of that thankfully near-extinct musical genre is possibly biased by the fact I was just handed such a massively retarded piece of washing-machine rhythm with mission to make the sound “Phat” and to compress the bass more (you stupid tweakhead: if I throw one more inch of compression into that track, it’ll pretty much become one single pulsating bass sound with a few signature d’n’b, motorcycle-on-the-highway, sound effects here and there).

  • Also among the insanely cool picks of that last vinyl hunt to Koenji: Cymande, probably one of the best funk band of all times.

(right-click here for download)

This is a draft for a club promotional release, hence the rather mainstream selection and the lack of finish (not had time to even normalize it at the time of this writing, so turn the volume up)… I’ll try to post the final take later.


At the risk of stating the obvious: End of year celebrations are approaching. Pretty soon, we will be getting together with our loved ones to indulge in a feast of holiday gourmet food (or alternatively, staying in with the dog and two bottles of Jack D, if that’s the kind of celebration you are into).

Christmas spirit is upon us… what does that mean music-wise? Well, we had to make an effort.

Now, let me reassure you straight up: there are no techno remix of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in that mix.

But I figured that, after the noisy bad boy from last time, it was time to give you a mix you could safely bring back home to your family and introduce to your parents. I mean, this mix is not exactly husband material, but at least it won’t start snorting lines of candy canes off the christmas dinner table.

Actually, this is family House. mostly. even your dad could groove to that.

Safer to unplug grandma’s hearing aid beforehand, though.

Enjoy and merry chrismahanukwanzakah everybody!

In BoingBoing tonight: “Cubase plugin makes music sound like it’s played by cellphone

60 years after everybody else, Nokia (and Xeni Jardin) discover the breakthrough concept of… Vocoder

Congratulations!

What’s next? some crazy device to make your music sound like it’s being played in a concert hall?

And do not come telling me this is news because it is being brought to the public at large: for chrissake, it is a Cubase plugin.

Don’t we all need some? (music to do drugs to, not drugs…)

Well, not me. I don’t do drugs.

But for all of you Acid Freaks and Speed Monkeys out there, tired of listening to the same old Grateful Dead record, or that drum’n’bass mix you traded for some weed in a smelly london basement circa 97-98.
I mean, that beat bores me to tears after the fourth measure, let alone a full track… So an hour of this stuff looped over for 5 years? Come on now, the drugs do not excuse everything. It’s time for a change.

For those whose lifestyle doesn’t involve sporting hoodies to go bang heads against concrete warehouse walls to repetitive music during 10 hours straight: there are many other reasons you might want to download this mix: annoying neighbour, small rodent infestation, wallpaper removal etc.

OK. If you are not into loud repetitive music, this might not really be your thing…

Do not hastily discard the merits of repetitive music… As Mr. Leary used to put it: yes, it is repetitive, but then again, so is sex.

Dr Dave’s MiniMix #9 (right-click here for download)

I wish I could find something positive to say about all that. Something to heal what feels like one of the worst hangover I’ve had in many years, even though I haven’t even had the heart to abuse my daily dose of cough syrup, let alone wash it down with a quart of rum, for the past two days. Like everyone, I’m looking hard out there for comforting words and reasons not to depress.

But really there ain’t.

Instead, and because we need to try and get our mind on something else for a bit (though I most certainly will come back to it in the near future), here is something to listen to. [Update: removed mp3 file for Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s incredible cover of Over the Rainbow in an attempt to ward off the leeches]

Make of it what you will.

Picture typhc.png The signs are unmistakable: the End of Days is approaching.

Not only has my garden turned into a lovely little pond outpouring into a nearby river that, upon closer examination, would seem to be the road…
But simultaneously — and despite the distance I haven’t ruled out any correlation — Duran Duran has just noisily resurfaced: crushing ten years of dwindling hope that they might never be heard ever again outside of late night VH1 and supermarket PA.

A not-so-mini Mix to cap the series before it goes on a month-long hiatus (not like I have been very active on the music front recently anyway).

Since I’ll be away from my little home studio starting Friday, and busy as hell until then, there won’t be any opportunity for recording until I come back in October. Unless I end up being able to record one of my sets live somewhere, but I wouldn’t count on it too much.

This week’s mix is much longer than usual. Actually it doesn’t really fit the original “Mini Mix” guidelines… but do we care?

Also, I decided to make life easier on me, you and google, by adopting a “keyword” format for each mix… Not exactly a tracklisting, but as close as I care to go at the moment. I’ll be progressively adding this to older mixes too.

Keywords: deep, funk, jazz, afro, japanese house, sax orgy, Miles Davis, James Brown, Cricco Castelli, Charles Schillings, Femi Kuti, Dajae, Misia, François K…

[updated: added links to mp3 previews for each track]

Yea, I was not kidding when I said blogging rate was gonna be substantially lower for the weeks to come…

Just thought I’d come by and dust off the the place a little…

And since I do not have time to commit one of these mind-blowing pieces of apical intellectual content you have grown to expect from this blog, I have instead decided to shoot for the other extreme and stoop to an all time low in my personal blogging ethics: let me introduce our new “Playlist of the Week” feature.

Because the mere idea of joining the plebeian blogging masses by use of this all-too-common content filling artifice makes me physically ill, I have added a twist to my approach. Instead of vainly trying to slim down my rich musical tastes to a clean and ordered Top 10, I decided to make use of that crazy feature every iPod comes equipped with: Shuffle Mode!

Hence, the 10 songs listed below are randomly fetched by my iPod out of the rough 2500 it contains… which, if I may say, is quite a brilliant idea (I’m surprised I haven’t seen it anywhere else so far, but I can see it becoming a trend).

Why brilliant, you ask?