Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hey Ladies

Just a quick compilation of various tracks containing women whose music has changed my life in some fashion or other.

Many of these were a part of some catharsis, especially the older, more traditional songs with lyrics. You'll notice a progression from the traditional song structures into the world of electronic music, specifically the more 'euphoric' variety.

I fell in love as these vocals rose about the music into that mysterious blissful ether that only trance inducing electronic music can do. Jan Johnston's cry of 'can't you hear me calling...' sent me to a place I'm not sure I could ever reach. And yet every time I hear the song it takes me there.

Such is the vividness of the imagination when impacted by music.

Sorry for the cheesy cover art. Couldn't quite find what I was looking for...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Echospace on Bandcamp

Oh my...

From Steven Hitchell's FB page:

"Echospace official bandcamp site going live in 1 week, the entire catalog along with unreleased content going live, mail order system setup and in place. The final archival edition of deepchord should also be landing!"

UPDATE: Stephen Hitchell has been going through some stuff so the site has been delayed. Be patient and send your prayers and thoughts his way while we wait. Though we love the music that he creates, he is human like the rest of us.

Wait in dub time and all will be ok...

Mazzy Star New Album

Sorry I haven't been around much. Think you all know the story by now but thanks for the kind words and encouragement. Still working on updating some posts and trying to get around to upping some new stuff.

In the meantime here's some good news. Mazzy Star's new album drops in September. It was rumored to drop back in 2011 but only two new songs emerged. Now it seems it's time. Yes, the 90s are back with a vengeance.

Here's a teaser from the album:

Hope Sandoval hasn't exactly been quiet having appeared on Massive Attack's Heligoland, including the stunning remixes by Burial.

More info here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Been a traveling fool lately. No complaints though, believe me. With a daughter living at home with twins on the way and with things on the job bordering on insane let's just say I am grateful for a break in the routine. Not only is it time away but what a great time to actually do a deep dive on the 8,655 songs on my m3 player.

On the way home I was put in first class. Have never flown first class before. I see why people do it. Space! Leg room and room in the seat. I turned down a free meal because I am so used to them offering things only if you have a credit card. And when they brought the hot wash towel afterwards I didn't even know what to do with it. As Laozi says: "What a fool am I!" 

In general I am familiar with most of the tracks in these shuffle mixes but there are always some gems that pop up that provide that thrill that comes with a new discovery. This was the three hour leg from DTW to MTY. Couple of long players but it started with a Detroit track and ended with a Herb Alpert track and seemed the appropriate bookend to this leg of the journey.


P.S. Optional cover art below from the local Monterrey weather channel playing in the airport: 

Monday, July 15, 2013


Long, long story time. This was taken from another blog I manage and, due to resource upgrades, I was able to make an improvement to the original compilation (found way at the bottom). The original post can be found here (I'll try and repair broken links when time permits). This isn't the official soundtrack, mind you. This mix contains track not found on the official soundtrack as well as extended versions of the tracks found on it. I originally called it the "other" soundtrack because it includes what should have been on it.

In 1994 I was living in Seattle, having found myself there after several months on the road after quitting a "real" job and hitting the road (fueled by confusion, madness and drug use...). It was quite an experience.

One of the memorable moments in the drug-fueled period of my life was the opportunity to see the film Baraka in all it glory on the big screen. I don't know if it was in the original 70 mm Todd-AO format though it may have been. All I know is that I was stoned when I went to see it and was mesmerized. In the midst of a spiritual crisis/catharis, the subject matter of the film was right on point. It was where I was at the time; it was also where I wanted to be. I sat in a stupor for about an hour and a half as I absorbed the images and sounds of the film. If you've never see it, you must see it at least once.

One of the pivotal moments, at the height of my buzz no less, was a scene in a trash dump in India where people are rummaging through the trash while Dead Can Dance's "Host of Seraphim" is playing. I was frozen in time. Never had I been so moved during a film; never had I felt a song so powerfully. It was, for that moment, transcendent. Even now as I listen to the song, it takes me there, a perfect memory capsule of a moment frozen in song.

Now, fifteen years later and a bit more worldly wise, I have found that many of the images in the film are based in settings that would be considered the tourist variety and the film itself is structured to "sell" a point. Though profound and moving it is now fairly obvious. Perhaps maturity and experience has shattered the illusion but it doesn't take away from the original experience for which this was a pivotal moment. This is a risk as we age, that we condemn and become cynical about those things that profoundly altered our worldview. But this film educated me and was instrumental in my desire to see the world in context.

One of the scenes which freaked me out at first was early in the film when a group of men, all seated, perform some kind of a dance in the jungle, all led by an older "shamanic" figure, eyes glazed over in a hypnotic trance, arms in unison as the bodies sway back and forth to the rhythm of the chant. A striking visual.

Here is a sample from the film:

Years later I would learn that this is a staged performance called Kecak, or Ramayana Monkey Chant, a musical drama performed in Bali that celebrates an ancient Sanskrit epic. While it has its roots in sanghyang, a trance-inducing exorcism dance, it has become a "Westernized" version of the original.

A German painter and musician, Walter Spies, became interested in it during the 1930s and transformed it into a performance piece. Spies worked with Wayan Limbak, a Balinese dancer, and Limbak popularized the dance by traveling throughout the world with Balinese performance groups. These travels helped to make the Kecak known throughout the world.

This transformation is an example of what James Clifford describes as part of the "modern art-culture system" in which, "the West or the central power adopts, transforms, and consumes non-Western or peripheral cultural elements, while making 'art' which was once embedded in the culture as a while, into a separate entity."

Here is a more telling photo:

Sounds familiar...

To what extent is education exploitation? Too cynical? Is my desire to keep such cultural elements confined to their historical roots a sign of the same "spirit" of Westernization, an elitist version of creating an exotic "other" for voyeuristic purpose?

Speaking of exploitation, tourism and Sufism, this all reminds me of an article from Hakim Bey, one of my favorite anarchist writers, about Overcoming Tourism...

This film was my first exposure to the music of Dead Can Dance and I would, over time, absorb anything related to their music, discovering many artists on the legendary 4AD label. Even today, it is still some of my favorite music.

However, much of this had to do with the mystique I created around their music. I envisioned some mysterious, mystical, exotic group whose music was angelic, ethereal, transcendent. That wasn't the case but the music of Lisa Gerrard, vocalist for Dead Can Dance, is truly amazing. She is perhaps most known for her work in the film score for Gladiator. Like much of my early spirituality, I chose to believe in a myth of my own making, a self-idealized projection that led to living in a world of illusion I created.

Time, age and maturity can often dampen the original joy of an event but this film changed my worldview and instilled a deeper desire for exploring the religious life. With music from around the world buoyed by a score from Michael Stearn (a favorite of Hearts of Space), it's a gem. The music is incredible though I think the weed enhanced the music to an extent I haven't experienced since.

Actually, the last time I watched the film itself I was tripping on LSD and in one of the early scenes of a mountain, I saw the face of Jesus being molded, melting, out of the mountains, a liquid face morphing and changing but still clearly Jesus.

I don't expect you to see Jesus there but I did, plain as could be. It was a charcoal etched vision of him in Fritz Eichenberg or Gustave Dore style (no halo, though) but it was unmistakable. I wanted to stay in that moment forever. Sadly, the crew I was with wanted to trip to something else and ejected the video.

A soundbyte from this film can be found in Jonathan Lisle's incredible Original OS.0_2 mix on John Digweed's Bedrock label and if you watch closely you'll see stills of the film in The Matrix Reloaded when Neo speaks with The Architect.

It's amazing the things that frame our worldview. Because this film so impacted my life (and, obviously, the lives of others) it has become a way of framing my perception of the world and is thus instantly recognizable when placed in various cultural media, a signpost, common ground among a larger tribe, all on the same journey, like product placement (is that irony or cynicism?).

The CD version of the film was too short and left out a lot of the subtle musical gems from the film as was the case with both Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi. What a peculiar twist having paid $75 for a used VHS version of this movie off of ebay after it was pulled from the shelves of Blockbuster when it went out of print. I can't help but think that there is something ugly and sinister about the material product of media proliferation.

My wife and I saw Koyaanisqatsi performed live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Philip Glass leading his orchestra as part of an effort to fund the finishing touches on the third piece of the trilogy, Naqoyqatsi (or, as my wife calls it, quite prophetically, Not Quite Qatsi). Having heard this live with the film playing on a movie screen in the background was comparable to my viewing of Baraka, though I was sober this time.

Life without drugs and addictions. Being grateful. No regrets. Enjoying the now. To live without illusion. It really is possible.

So, for your enjoyment


And, if you're interested, the full audio:


Sunday, July 14, 2013


One day marathon trip to Kansas City. Listened to over 100 tunes. Stopped writing them down after a while but the shuffle at the beginning of the trip was almost flawless for an early morning start. A few Max Richter and Mark Isham tunes captured the essence.

A few minor thrills and discoveries for me in the mix. While listening to "Marias' Shirt" from The Witch Hunter I instantly recognized the similarity to "Music For Satellites" from Circlesquare's Songs About Dancing And Drugs. Happened to pick up the Traktor app free this week and dropped the two tracks in there.  Lo and behold, they sound remarkably close. Don't know the app very well and don't have any other software to do a full working of the two but it's a cool feeling to have that level of recognition from music so diverse.

Also, the track "Ninna Ninna" from Lulu Rouge's Bless You completely album blew me away. I can't recall having ever heard it before even though this album has been a consistent staple in my diet over the years.

Anyhow, more travels South this week, been way busy at work and on the home front I'm being stretched to grow personally. Gotta remember that without resistance there is no struggle. I am not in control. And, when I stop for a moment, I do realize that I really don't want to be in control because it limits my life experiences.

I'll try and get some more interesting photos for the next mix. How many photos of scenes from an airplane do we really need?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Deep In Dub Compilations

This data cap is interesting. This is a period of time to stop and reflect and really look inside to understand exactly what data means and what its consumption symbolizes. Without waxing too philosophical, it is very easy today to lose one's soul in the stream of data.

With this cap I've been "forced" outside, almost literally. We inherited a patio set from my folks right around the same time as the cap and it sits on our rickety, collapsing back porch. I've been sitting out there daily for hours on end: reading, listening to music, writing, hanging with family, watching the birds nesting in the crevice of the aluminum cage holding the vinyl porch roof. Much better therapy than getting lost in the data.

Granted, there are days where the urge to jump online and get lost is great but it's getting a bit easier. As a former addict whose addictive tendencies always seek an outlet, it feels like I am reclaiming some of those things I've let slide. Epiphanies will do that. But, I digress...

As for the music being posted here, you'll notice that I've been promoting more and more netlabels and streaming music rather than providing direct uploads. Still on the prowl for hard to find and out of print titles but these are becoming fewer and fewer with more and more items moving to  the digital realm.

For those who remember the In Dub We Trust from last year, has two other compilations in their back catalogue that are also essential. In fact, the Chanting Soul comp was their very first release going back to 2006. So for your pleasure, dive in. It's a good trip back to see how far this style of music has evolved.

Chanting Soul (2006)

Info and download

Walking Spirits (2008)

Info and download

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Zoe Muth And The Lost High Rollers

This one popped up on my shuffle more than once on my trip and I have to admit it sounded incredibly good and fit my travel weary soul perfectly even amidst a dub techno overdose. A little different, though not really, from the usual fare.

Hailing from Seattle of all places, this is what I think of when I think of country music. None of the pop sounding "country" from today but that old school, soulful sound that instantly transports you into the story being told. Takes me back to that country sound I was schooled in during the mid to late 70s. 

Honestly don't remember how I found this one but I give it my highest recommendation.

Have a listen to some samples of their music and show some support

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Data Caps

So I came home from my trip and could not access the Web without acknowledging the message from my ISP that I have exceeded my monthly data cap and that I will need to pay for usage that exceeds 150 GBs.

With four people currently living in my house, all with portable devices and different tastes in movies and music and games and everything nowadays being streamed, this changes things.

There are buy-ups, of course, but I am unable to expend the extra cash right now. This changes everything.

I suppose we all knew this day would come: a way has been found that we will all pay for free.