I know you (all three of you) are eagerly waiting for more heady insights on French society seen through the prism of a dusty ten-volume political theory handbook, but my aspirin ran out mid-sentence and I have been busy doing other things. Things such as getting woken up at 6am by timezone-agnostic Japanese flight attendants calling to ask if I need green tea brought over and wondering why I sound sleepy. So we’ll be taking a break off socio-politico-froggy-bashing and resuming in a few days.

Instead, today is Musical Quiz.

Not any musical quiz: Catch-the-sample musical quiz!

Continue reading

Contest is Officially Over!

I know I said I would post the solution this week-end, but things didn’t go as planned. Far from the comfort of my home and my little computer on Sunday night, I did try to sneak out of bed to send a quick post, around 4am, but was sharply reminded of House Rules regarding computer use, by the most evil phosphorescent glare, this side of the Pacific. I figured I’d rather be one day late on my promise than end up with a ritual katana neatly inserted between shoulder blades.

Without further ado:

The Answers

By order of appearance in the entry (I’ll leave it up to you to match translations and text).

  • La Traviata: “Noi siamo zingarelle” (“We are the gypsies”) – Verdi, on a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
  • Carmen: Acte 1: “Quand je vous aimerai?… L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” (“Love is an undomesticated bird”) – Bizet, on a libretto by Meilhac and Halévy (based on the novel by Prosper Mérimée).
  • La Vie En Rose – Original lyrics composed and sung by Edith Piaf. Though the only version I have on my hard drive is the cover by Grace Jones.
  • La Traviata (again): “Ah, fors’è lui che l’anima”
  • Chan Chan – Compay SegundoCalle Salud
  • Le Tourbillon – sung by French actress Jeanne Moreau, written by Cyrus Bassiak: this song is featured in François Truffaut’s famous movie Jules et Jim.
  • She’s Lost Control – Joy DivisionUnknown Pleasures (1980)
  • Everybody Knows – Leonard Cohen
  • Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux – Georges BrassensLes Amoureux des Bancs Publiques
  • Die Lorelei – Schubert (many other versions) based on a poem by Heinrich Heine
  • Kyrie – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Requiem: Κυριε ἐλεησον means “Lord, have mercy!” in classical greek. What? No, I’m not joking. I did mention greek in the rules, did I or did I not?

For your ears only, and very temporarily, I have uploaded all the ones I have on digital support, here. But hurry up, as I’ll probably remove these very much not-copyright-safe files within a day or two.

The Winner

All right, now for the man who shall be getting our unrestrained admiration, as well as a bottle of that nasty paper glue solvant the locals refer to as “alcohol” (comes in a cute bottle) [a picture will soon follow]:
Well, there is no surprise and Mr. Tuitui (helped by family) is the lucky winner. With an impressive 77% result (perhaps a bit less, as I suspect he only spotted the Traviata once, but let’s not be picky) or 10 tracks out of 13. Being French helped, seeing how it was heavily represented with four tracks. But then again, English would have been just a bit too easy.
Congratulation, Mr. Tuitui, my people shall be contacting your people and arrange for delivery. Preferably on a drier day than today.

Another One?

I think I may, when I have a sec, do another one. I’ll try to spend more than 10 minutes this time and make an entry slightly less nonsensical. In fact, perhaps you won’t even notice it’s there. Keep your eyes peeled.

Something for your ears at the bottom »

Good evening.
Do not attempt to adjust your radio, there is nothing wrong.
We have taken control as to bring you this special show.
We will return it to you as soon as you are grooving.

Welcome to station W. E. F. U. N. K., better known as We-Funk,
Or deeper still, the Mothership Connection.
Home of the extraterrestrial brothers,
Dealers of funky music.
P-Funk, uncut funk, The Bomb.

Parliament Funkadelic – P-Funk

Welcome to Station K.D.R.D… better known as…

Well, at the moment, it’s not known as anything. for a reason: I just made it up.

The concept is quite simple, really.

I have tons of these small tracks, pseudo-remixes, work-in-progress and all around occasional hour spent screwing around on decks with good ole music on wax. Every once in a while, I go through the length of packaging one hour of these into a nice and somewhat clean format for the enjoyment of the masses. Sometimes I even go one step shorter and only release a half-assed half-hour long mix with aforementioned musical goofing around.

All these mixes are available for your aural pleasure on the Dr Dave’s Insanely Cool Mixes Collection Page.

But this somewhat formal release scheme was still not cutting it. Three main reasons:

  • Quality: Let’s face it, while I’ve gotten to a point I’d deem “fair” as a professional producer, I am still, for all purposes, a hobbyist DJ. Both in terms of skills and commitment.

    Which means that, to an overwhelming majority, times where I get on the decks and toy around with either records or computers, yield sub-par results in terms of overall mixing quality. What with the constant drinking and abusing substance while playing (OK, not this month, but I have still many ways to take my attention off whatever I’m supposed to mix). Even the Mini Mix collection requires a bit of effort, and I am a lazy person.

    Hence the need for an even cheaper/easier way to share some cool tunes without inflicting unfair damages to your eardrums nor spend every waking minutes doing so.

  • Live Audience: this point kinda goes against the one just above, but the idea is that having an audience is good.

    Let me explain… These mixes I upload most definitely have an audience. They are downloaded, and listened to, by cool people, the world over. some of these people even send me nice notes or thank you gifts, which is really a testament to how awesome this Intarweb thingie is. But a live audience, it ain’t.

    If you’ve ever done any sort of art or music live, then you know, otherwise, it shouldn’t be hard to imagine: with the right mindset, there is a sort of pressure that drives you to expand on your usual practices and break the mold. Play/act/do whatever you would be doing in a studio, in a way that you would never have thought of doing before. The live audience is a major catalyst there.

    I hardly ever play clubs these days, and for the most part, I’m quite fine with this. But I do miss the crazy-spur-of-the-moment wild experimentations with vinyl, keyboards, sequencer, chopsticks (yea, I really did it once) and anything an adrenalin-fueled brain can summon.

  • Technical Reasons: as mentioned last time, I am nearing the ceiling of my hosting quota. Each new mix I upload now requires difficult choices, moving around, shuffling of files etc. No fun. Especially for me, whose sleeping pattern is deeply perturbed by the mere thought of link rot at night.

The semi-answer to all these problems being…

KDRD: Dr Dave’s Very Own MP3 Radio Station

Continue reading

A second, somewhat better, take of the Retrogressive Vol. 3 Mix. Same address, same music, better sound:

Only marginally better, but this time, no skipping CD track (and huge props to Ian for e-mailing me a clean version, less than two days after I sent him a begging email). The Timmy Regisford track still sound rather awful: after nearly taking my turntable apart, I was forced to conclude it was a shitty vinyl pressing (happens a lot with white label acetate pressings)… bah, we’ll say it adds to the authenticity….

Oh, and also: since it was recorded in faux-mono anyway (stupid mixing board issue + laziness from yours truly), I used single-channel mp3 encoding: freeing 30 much needed megs on my server drive, hopefully without noticeable difference in quality.

(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!

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)

Continue reading

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.

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…