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…

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“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

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…

Given my recent musical troubles, I was pretty much expecting something to happen when I set to record today’s mix.

Lightning, flood, hailstorm, gozilla sequel… anything, really…

Incredibly enough, nothing went wrong, and I’m quite satisfied with the result, except for the fact I had to do it by headphones with the amp nearly turned off, for reasons obvious enough, and mixing quality is thus not at its best and brightest. But nothing to be truly ashamed of, I reckon.

Those who were only mildly thrilled by the musical digressions of the last two mixes can rejoice: the Funk is back.
Mostly Latin House tunes, to be exact: my personal sweet spot…

So put this mix on, crank the volume way up and enjoy!

Dr Dave’s MiniMix #5 (right-click here for download)

PS: If within five minutes, your feet do not start dancing under you, take your own measurements and call your local mortician to make arrangements: you are probably dead.

Keywords: salsa, lupita, latin, miami house, ATFC, MAW, que rico los tambores, una mas tequila por favor…

In music, major performance bloopers are usually caused by the most mundane details. Like realizing you forgot to plug your keyboard (or guitar, or microphone or any other electric musical appliance), right the second you hit the first key during a live act… Muting/enabling the wrong channel on your board by mistake and failing to realize how bad it sounds to the public because you got your headphones on… All typical stuff. Who never did it, never performed live.

Actually, the best one I have ever seen was not one of mine.

Back in London, some DJ-legend-I-shall-not-name-here was scheduled for a major 5-hour set at the club. Things were not looking pretty when he showed up 30 minutes late in a more than advanced state of chemically-induced mental regression.

When their headliner DJs are too wasted to perform, I’ve seen promoters use all kind of tricks to keep the show going… most often putting on a mix CD and regularly slapping the passed-out artiste out of his daze so he can wave at the crowd like he means it. Depending on where you are and who the DJ is, that usually works. But in this case, the club owner (a DJ himself) was quite adamant about having Mr. Drooling Superstar play his own set. Essentially basing his decision on the quite valid idea that such caliber of a DJ could play a set in his sleep… and that most of the assistance would be at least equally wasted anyway.

This, as it turned out, was not the best decision of the night…

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In 1982, Tadao Kikumoto invented a little box supposed to emulate a bass player and thus help bands rehearse without one if need be. Unfortunately for him, that box didn’t sound anything like a real bass, got dissed by every self-respecting garage rock bands and was removed from production less than two years later.
In 1987, Nathaniel Pierre Jones (just Pierre, to his friends) wondered what would happen if you were to tweak the knobs on this funny little box in ways that had probably not been intended by its creator, while playing it really really loud.
Seven years later, Joshua Winkleman (Josh to his friends, Wink to his fans) wondered what would happen if you were to tweak the knobs even more while playing with it.

Much tweaking and bleeping ensued.

Good part about dragging an eye more bloodshot than a flock of Transylvanian bats is that I can’t do much, except stay in the dark and make noise. Which in turn means I’m holding pretty good with my average two-three-mix-a-week production plan.

This mix is also kind of old school. Wait. Come back: there’s no Prince this time. I’m talking about the other Old School.
If you’ve ever gone dancing in the outdoors sometime during the past fifteen years, chances are you know most of these tracks. If you’ve not, then here is your chance to see why you missed out. Suffice it to say that one of my favorite instrument of all times is heavily represented (and I’m probably going straight to Musician Hell for even calling that an instrument).
So this is yet another nostalgia mix, I know, but for aforementioned strained-eye reasons, I really cannot stare much at a computer screen these days, and that reduce by as much my options in terms of making bleeping sounds of my own to go on a mix. Good part about this old school is that I got it all down there on lovely vinyl.
As a result, no prod on this mix, save maybe for some liberal use of sampling trickery, but that doesn’t really qualify…

And before you go and enjoy, I should probably add a fair warning: some of the music on this mix probably could be considered… huh…
“agressive” is not quite the word, but…
OK, let me put it this way: there are basically two type of reactions to it… Some people will shake their head rhythmically while making weird little snake movements with their hands, while others will repress tears of pain and clench their teeth to make sure their fillings do not come out while addressing a quick eulogy to their late eardrums.
Rule of thumb is that people past their thirties tend to belong to the latter category, but go ahead, make the stats lie!

And now that you’ve all been warned:

Dr Dave’s MiniMix #4 (right-click here for download)

Don’t cry Sunshine, next week will be back to good ole’ Funky House. Promise.

Keywords: techno, electronic, psychedelic house, 303, more 303, noisy, tweety-tweety-tit, Underworld, Rollo, Josh Wink, Arrigo Boito, Grayhound, Mefistofele, rez, no sleep, people, consciousness many levels higher…

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I just made a very important discovery.

See, on my shared server web control panel, there is this little indicator that changes color to reflect the latest Terror Alert level, courtesy of Donald and his friends at the Homeland Sicherheit office. Or so I thought.
I mean, things had been pretty quiet for the past month: the bar remained a serene green and I had naturally assumed that terrorism had been eradicated from the face of earth, evil vanquished, all that… Except, about a week ago, the indicator suddenly went through yellow, orange, red to finally stop with an even brighter red. Not inching back to safer level thereafter.
I was starting to worry a little bit and considered contacting the SDF: tell them to get Godzilla ready. just in case, you know…

Well, it turns out my ISP did not put a terror level indicator on my control panel. According to some guy from their support, it is supposed to represent the amount of “free disk space” I got on my share. Free as in “free beer in your fridge”. Red meant, in essence, that I didn’t have any (space, not beer, please follow).

So the good news is that you can put these rolls of saran wrap back in your drawer and take grandma out of the anti-gaz-attack freezer: everybody is safe… for now…
The bad news is that this latest brilliant idea of mine has to be reconsidered, and the frequency of mp3 uploads slowed down a wee bit for now, lest we make that indicator go past its current red level, which can only be a bad thing, I assume.

Since running a public web server off my laptop at home is probably not a good idea (trust me, the poor thing already has quite a hard time coping with the heat and the crazy things I ask it to do), I am currently doing the round of all my lucky friends with nigh-unlimited disk space on their box to see if somebody can spare a few megs for the sake of this artistic endeavour.

In the meantime, I erased a few porn movies from my server and was able to make enough space for a new mix:

Dr Dave’s MiniMix #3 (right-click here for download)

Keywords: hip house, old school, Miss Kittin, Prince, sniffing in the VIP area, I like the way your booty shake…
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So the mood is not exactly great these days and I’ve been resuming music therapy, as it usually kinda helps.

Tweakin’, mixin’ and producin’ as usual…

See, in my shoes, Ian Curtis would probably have made something awesome, deep and powerful and then proceeded to slit his wrists open…
Me: I mostly wonder what Django Reinhardt would sound like, remixed on a techno beat…
Maybe that’s why I haven’t reached worldwide fame yet.

talking about, I expect the ghost of Ian Curtis to show up any second now and he’s probably quite pissed for what I’ve done to She’s Lost Control during my last bout of inspiration…

Anyway… on a completely different train of thought, I have been brainstorming on how I could make that blog of mine more interesting, given the ludicrous amount of time I have just spent making it prettier.
Posting naked picture of myself daily was considered. and ruled out.
What I wanted was a good reason for my three faithful readers (that includes you, the guy who got here by typing “soccer milfs” in Google) to check that vacuous page more than once a year or when their mouse trips and activate the link by mistake (a very common problem: that happens to me quite often with porn websites, personally). And we all know these pathetic rants of more than dubious literary value sure aren’t much of a reason.
And that’s were the aforementioned music activities come into the picture: I figured it would be cool to post some here on a regular basis. Problem is, I do not have the time nor the motivation to record full-hour mixes very often, especially given my borderline obsessive compulsive nature (did I say “borderline”, sorry, I meant “full-on, clinically recorded”) that compels me to maniacally do a hundred takes until I am either satisfied or passed out from exhaustion (usually the latter).
On the other hand, all kind of complex legal and moral issues bar me from making single tracks available on this site, whether mine or other’s.

Hence, the Mini-Mix of the Day idea…

The skinny:

  • They mostly contain tracks I like or stuff I made, should cover a very wide range and balance styles as much as possible
  • They are not very worked on, mostly a half-dozen tracks hastily cued together and done in one take (or two, if I really fuck up, cf. OCD issue above)
  • There should be some kind of theme running, though I certainly won’t go into details over each one
  • I’ll try to record and upload a new one at least every other day (well, that’s the theory of it, and we all know how theory goes around here)
  • There is definitely a big tongue-firmly-planted-through-cheek factor (cf this first mix). One more reason to stick with a short format, ’cause I can tell it would become old easily over 90 minutes.

And without further ado, the first Mini-Mix-of-the-Day:

Of course, there’s always the old mixes here too.