Du fühlst es nicht,
wie einsam ich bin…


Warum ?!?

Have you ever wondered why there wasn’t more German love songs out there?

Well, wonder no more:

This song has rocked my high-school years, been the staple of many a drunken late night with friends and is overall single-handedly responsible for destroying any illusion in my mind that German could ever be used for anything beyond Kantian philosophy and Organic Chemistry textbooks.

when I think some people expressed indignation at my reserve toward that oxymoron called German poetry…

Recently, I ended up pondering for a few microseconds whether one should see Jean-Michel Jarre as
a) a visionary pioneer, bound by the technological shortcomings of his era

b) a talentless wanker guilty of some of the cheesiest music this side of Miami Vice.

For those of you who missed this particular episode of the apocalyptic genre that would come to be known as 80’s Synthesizer Music, here is a quick reminder:

Jean-Michel Jarre is the son of famous movie score composer Maurice Jarre (Lawrence Of Arabia and heaps of others) and apparently was spoiled at a very early age with more machines and expensive Casio keyboards than one can only think of. The results was an uninterrupted string of somewhat catchy, electronic-ish, cheddar-laced tunes, played from the late 70s until now in front of massive audiences, whose attention was safely diverted from the insipid music by record-setting amount of eye-popping pyrotechnics and more laser lights than at a Jedi sex orgy.

Admittedly the sound of yesterday’s electronic synthesizers really sucked beyond words, and creating a track with of one these without raising immediately a vivid imagery of supermarket PA systems and tech support waiting time is a hopeless task.

But here is the problem: with roughly the same equipment, both Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder did better than him, before him. Granted: a good 90% of Kraftwerk’s music would bore even the most neurasthenic East-German to tears while Moroder is himself guilty of things like Flashdance (oh yea, What a feeling)… However, the formers also produced some of the most anthemic (and widely pillaged… err “sampled”) tunes of all time, and “I Feel Love” remains the mother of all electro tracks.

On the other hand, a quick listen to some of JMJ’s hits (yes, I went that far, that’s how dedicated I am), will quickly bring you the proof that, back in the 80s you could definitely sell *anything* provided it had long hair, dark glasses and a pastel suit. Give it a try yourself: if you strip these tracks from their three-note melodies and endless sequences of filtered pads, you come face to face with the depressing sight of a pathetically naked beat-box that has roughly as much depth as an ethiopian lake in mid-Summer.

Other than that, one positive aspect of it all, is that we are probably talking about one of the very few artist whose work doesn’t suffer in any way when converted to midi files (aka: “all the power of a $30 Casio electronic organ into a $3000 computer”).

In conclusion, we can safely postulate that Jean-Michel Jarre is indeed a talentless wanker.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the creative genius of Vangelis Mike Oldfield and his seminal Tubular Bells.

Update: Indeed, prolonged exposure to JMJ’s music seems to yield some sort of brain damage, as I completely blanked on the actual author of that other monument of new-agey Bontempi music. Of course Vangelis was way too busy exploring the endless possibilities of the five “chorus” keys on his Yamaha keyboard… Lovers of crappy music among my readership will have rectified by themselves.
Thanks to Guru for ever-so-kindly pointing that out… I will gently overlook the lameness of his apology for the King of Cheddar (in a nutshell “You wrong. me right. JMJ great.”: I’m blown by such depth of argumentation), probably to be hanged on excessive marijuana consumption (or naturally limited intellectual capacities). While this might also be linked to his loose grasp of English syntax, I am not sure how it ties in with his morbid fascination for underage pornography (edited his post to remove the porn URL).
Since we are at it and since I seem to have stirred anger among the Supermarket-music fan masses: I shall temper my disparaging comments on JMJ by pointing out that, before eventually coming to the sad realization that most of it was utter crap, I used to actually listen to his music. And as most everybody know, you can only truly hate what you have at least once liked (even if you were only an influenceable 6-year old at the time). Kind of an oedipal post, I admit. But let’s face it: his music really sounds like what my cat could do, left alone with my cellphone and a metronome.

Update: a full up-to-date list of mixes is available here.

Lest we forget that the gentleman ranting endlessly on these pages actually spends a sizable share of his time lovingly fondling wax and stroking keyboards until harmonious bleeps of satisfaction come out in arpeggios… I added a little something to my online mix repository.

I should probably tell you this is some old mix I recorded 3 years ago and just found yesterday while cleaning up my room… ’cause none of the tracks are any more recent than that: didn’t do that on purpose, it just happened… and I’m not one to shun old tracks just because they are old.

truth be told, I was originally planning to put together a nice & clean new demo with all the shiny new stuff I brought back from my last US incursion. Some sick SF Deep House, loads of funky tribal white labels from Miami and countless other studio experiments courtesy of yours truly and his little robot friends…

So I started playing, garden bay-window wide open, basking in Tokyo’s shining April sun, and completely lost track somewhere amidst the heavy incense fumes.

OK. Maybe I should stop here in order to explain the incense part: I do NOT usually light up sticks of sacred incense every time I’m on the decks… See, the nice part about living right next to a cemetery, beside the fact your neighbours don’t mind the loud music at night, is that, every once in a while, the whole surrounding area is filled by the spiritual smell of dozens of massive incense sticks burning outside of the Buddhist temple. It’s like Benares, without the hundred of corpses floating on the Ganges in an advanced state of decomposition…

Anyway, the warm sunny day, the smell of incense (staple of every freakin’ tree-huggin’ peace-lovin’ Californian househead party, as everybody knows), my overall mellow disposition toward that shitty planet on that very day, all concurred to make me record this.

It’s not very funky, definitely not cutting-edge, not progressive, not loud, not like these at all… but it’s a rather groovy soundtrack to your spring & summer afternoons. It’s got some of my favorite tracks of the decade, along with a few gems straight from the secret stash of Master Dave. It’s mostly deep house, with some chunks of electro, to make sure everybody stays awake. It’s far from perfect and would most definitely call for a second take, but as I said, it’s merely a sidetracked session that came out nice enough. So I ain’t spending more time on it.

I just figured it would be nice to put some new music here and help putting at rest the aching ears of my fans… so here goes:

Dr Dave’s Summer Nostalgia Mix – 2004


PS: I might update this entry later on with a succinct tracklisting if I feel like it.

PPS: I guess now is also a good time to announce officially that we’ll throwing our first Summer Park Party in Yoyogi Koen next Month! On Sunday the 23rd of May, we’ll be bringing decks, groovy beats and good vibes to a lovely little spot inside the Park and playing for whoever cares to come share the afternoon with us. Stay posted for more info or contact me directly.

For boring technical reasons, I need to create individual blog entries for some old contents. Nothing new here: feel free to skip…

First Retrogressive mix, recorded in 2001 with Rakshasa and Arteghem.
Deep and Funky San Francisco sound, some personal productions and old classics.

Fun Fact: 12 years later, Arteghem is currently topping the Progressive House charts (on Beatport).

I’m losing my edge

   to the kids from France and from London…
but I was there
I was there in 1968
I was there at the first Can show in cologne

I’m losing my edge

I’m losing my edge
   to the kids whose footsteps…
   I hear when I get on the decks

but I was there
I was there
I was there
   paradise garage dj booth with larry levan
I was there in jamaica during the great sound clashes

I woke up naked on a beach in Ibiza in ’88…

but I’m losing my edge
   to better looking people
   with better ideas and more talent…

b’t actually… they’re really nice

I’m losing my edge

I heard you have a compilation of every good songs ever done by anybody

I heard that you have a white label of every seminal detroit techno tracks: 1985, 86, 87

I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought turntables
I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought guitars…

I hear, everybody that you know
   is more relevant
   than everybody that I know…

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