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.

There is only one thing on which I really stock up while in Europe: Books.

Everything else, albeit at ludicrous prices, can be found in Tokyo.

All right, maybe not exactly everything else, but I keep a wild ferret and two gerbils on crack sitting by my computer, specially trained to go straight for the groin and bite off my nuts in a split second, were I ever to stoop low enough to make a single joke on the size of Japanese prophylactics on this blog, so we’ll leave it at that.

In fact, even foreign languages books are easy to come by in Tokyo. Some for less that Japanese ones; as German, French, Italian and Spanish books can all be borrowed freely at their respective cultural embassies. Ironically, most of the books I buy here are by Japanese authors.

If you think about it, it’s easy to see why: my current level of written Japanese barely allows me to decrypt my emails (painfully so, when the witch sending them has drawn some evil glee from purposely using utterly rare kanji forms wherever english katakanas would have done just fine). On the other hand, attempting to read Mishima and his astronomical kanji vocabulary would be as entertaining as taking on the dictionary in alphabetical order.

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?

Yet another classic illustration of why even my mildest efforts to blend in, or at least not stick out like a sore thumb waiting to be hammered in (something’s not quite working with that metaphor, but I’m not sure what) are irremediably doomed.

So, I’m in the train with a friend discussing our common love for the music of Fela Kuti and other seminal Afro-beat acts of the 70’s.

At one point, the discussion is hovering over the respective merits of Fela and his son, Femi, who has quite successfully taken where his father left and does a great job nowadays of blending classic afro-jazz with newer house beats and modern electro experimentations.

And that’s when I suddenly become aware that our car has not only fallen dead silent (Japanese hardly ever talk on the train anyway) but also that more than a few people are eyeing us sideways with strange looks on their face. The disruption in the wa is so major that even a dirty gaijin like me can feel something is fucked up.

We have been talking in Japanese, probably loud enough to be heard around the car. And, judging by the look on certain faces, we might as well have been talking about raping baby seals with hello kitty vibrators…

“If he’s playing again already, it can’t have hurt that bad“, my parents would have said (any parents, really)…

Or maybe that’s just what I need. Spend a few hours playing loud music, dye my hair blue and go drink my age in sake cups (only two out of three so far, but we’re working on it).

For those who loved the funky jazzy sounds of the last few mixes… you’re gonna be disappointed.

Yea, today is electro-ish mood. Can you feel the teenage angst? can you hear the dark eyeliner and the eurotrash accents?

It’s pack full of borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties, it noisy, it’s dirty and I fucked up numerous times (that’s when I was refilling my gin tonic), but it’s my birthday so bite me (no. not there, it hurts).

Dr Dave’s MiniMix #7 (right-click here for download)

Keywords: electro, 80s, dirty, noisy, eurotrash chic, German rock, komputers, Miss Kittin, Ladytron, Felix da Housecat, Kraftwerk, LCD Soundsystem, I wanna be your dog, Losing my edge…

One day, YOU shall be mine!

And I must say if I didn’t already hate Apple for all the sucky hardware they’ve managed to sell me over the past year or so, the fact they use Logic’s position as compulsory industry standard to shove their ludicrous price down your throat (without any upgrade discount)… that would do it…

And don’t give me any of that “Logic Express” Lite version crap: I have seen Amiga software that could do more in 94.

Anyway, don’t have much of a choice: Logic Platinum 5.2 isn’t gonna cut it any longer and I can’t afford to go to SF each time I need access to decent compression filters or studio mastering tools.

On a totally unconnected though music-related note (note, haha…), a personal message to all my fellow sound tweakers out there:

Stop using out-of-the-box speech synthesis software in your fucking tracks!

It might have sounded retro-futuristic cute or witty post-modern electroclash a few years ago. Now, it just reeks of unimaginative track filler. At best, it sounds pretentious and gratuitous, at worst it only emphasizes the fact you were basically too broke or too lazy to get decent vocals on your track but still wanted to divert attention from its overal emptiness. Fuck, it’s not like broke and aspiring singers are hard to come by. They only come second behind broke and aspiring DJs in sheer number (though thankfully the latter are slowly disappearing, probably finally dying of starvation or something). And if you are too lazy to get out of your basement to grab the first person with a semi-decent voice, then just record yourself: who cares if you sound like a shrieking asthmatic dachshund. hell, that’s what vocoders are for. Look at Mr. Bangalter and the Daft Punk boys: couldn’t sing a C sharp to save their life, didn’t stop them from hitting it big all over the world with their hour-long tribute to band-filtered candy pop.

In short, unless you are Thom Yorke and it’s 1997, just leave that speech synthesis function the fuck alone. Thanks.

By the way, to all the Apple zealots out there: I was kidding when I said I hate Apple. Of course I don’t. I love Apple. Rhhaa, oh yea, hurt me harder, mistress

Busy is a pale euphemism to describe the current chaotic state of my life right now.

If I tell you I am currently a full-time music producer and arranger, full-time VoIP server architect and full-time applied mathematics student, you might get an idea of what I mean. And there is no mistake in the previous sentence: the word full-time is purposely used three times because I am very much supposed to be doing each of these occupation full-time. Which is kind of a problem given that Earth rotation period seems to be stalling around 24 hours these days. Factor in my current involvement with WordPress development as well as my attempts to keep an appearance of social life by making regular expeditions with friends to nasty local watering holes where we proceed to get absolutely plastered on cheap sake… and you have a mathematical impossibility the likes of which even Gödel would give up on.

Since there are only so many hours of sleep you can remove from your daily schedule before permanent psychosis sets in (I mean, real psychosis, not the milder form of borderline psychopathic behaviour I usually retreat to on a good day), and since I also decided that food could not safely be removed from my daily essential needs, I had to cut down on other activities. As a result, my news readings has long fallen from many hours of intense paper scrutinizing, down to a 30 second scan of my RSS feed list and a few occasional glances at online news articles, every other week… As for TV: I have barely ever watched it in my life and the only TV set of the house is currently stored in my roommate’s room where neither of us ever turn it on, so it isn’t much of an issue.

So we can safely say that I know close to nothing about the big (and small) events of the world these days, except for the rough outline (Bush has not yet declared martial law in the US, Ishihara still hates foreigners and Tokyo maintains a precise average daily temperature of: “very hot”)…

Hell, for all I know, the War of the Worlds has already begun and I am talking (writing, really, but anyway) for a bunch of unmanned computers sitting atop the ashes of what used to be the proud western civilization, while Godzilla is busy fighting evil alien spaceships off the coast of Japan.

当節は仕事や勉強だからすごく忙しい。

Just uploaded the mix I recorded yesterday…

In a hurry, so no annoying banter witty commentary this time.

We shall just say that if you liked Mix #1, you will probably like this one too.

Dr Dave’s MiniMix #6 (right-click here for download)

Keywords: jazz, chicago house, swing, Saint Germain, Daft Punk, Roulé Boulé, Hakan Libdo, Norman Cook, Moodyman, C&C, Glenn Miller, shiny disco balls, everybody fucking dance NOW…