Tonight's Playlist

Thanks to those who came out to hear tonight's set. Here's what I played:

This mix was a little more eclectic and had a few tracks in common with my previous set. Again I highly recommend these albums. They range from very good to essential.

You can get Makyo and Jairamji direct from Makyo's label, Dakini Records. All of the Dakini releases are fantastic.

The Gods Of Luxury CD is impossibly rare and expensive. I lucked out some years ago and got it for $36 on ebay. Now it goes for $200. It's so good though it's not a bad investment.

The best deal I know for Palyrria is at CD Baby.

I'll be out of town for the next few weeks so my next gig will be mid-late March.


Change To Gig Schedule

I've had to drop the gig scheduled for the 28th. I'm still playing this Thursday, the 21st at Sugarhouse Coffee.


More Sugarhouse Coffee Gigs (Corrected)

I'm playing at Sugarhouse Coffee again this Thursday (Feb 21) from 7 to 9.

The following week [canceled] (Feb 28) I'm playing from 8 to 9 [canceled]. An acquaintance who is a musician with some very interesting ideas about music will be playing the 7 to 8 set. I'm interested to hear his set.


Tonight's Playlist

Thanks to those who came out to listen tonight. I thoroughly enjoyed playing and the response I got. Also thanks again to Stroud for inviting me. I had only planned to play for one hour but the second DJ was a no-show. I had brought a stack of extra music so I got to spin for two hours.

I'll re-record the set and post it for download sometime. Here's the playlist.

Palyrria: Askia
Dead Can Dance: Bird
Peaking Goddess Collective: Purple
Gods Of Luxury: Empirical Measures
Art Of Noise: Camilla (The Old Old Story)
Shpongle: Saudade (Part 2)
Orient Expressions: Istanbul 1:26 AM
Doof: Star Over Parvati (Orchestral World Groove Mix, Gaudi)
Ensemble Bash: Mopti Street (Banco De Gaia Mix)
Continuo: Weather Girl
DJ Food: The Crow
Gaudi: Chaine A Chaine (Backroom Beats Version)
Pop Will Eat Itself: Intense
Sounds From The Ground: Where The Wild Things Were
Hallucinogen: Solstice (Warwick Bassmonkey Mix By Ott)
Pitch Black: Harmonia
Cell: Explicit Rotative Movement
Orient Expressions: Ehmedo
Woob: On Earth

I've linked each track to the respective source album on Discogs. I highly recommend most of these source CDs , though some are extremely rare. The compilations are less consistent and may include a dud or two, among some worthwhile tracks. The two Orient Expressions tracks are not yet linked to they source album, 'Divan'.


Time for a change.

Before I bitch bitch bitch about it, the positive side is that Salt Lake is ripe for change. Enough people are ready for different music that it is bound to happen. Look forward to something good.

Looking back, I used to love dancing. Out with friends, a pleasant sociable buzz, hopping around to song after song... There has been a gradual change. Now whenever there is momentum among friends for an evening out it must be accompanied by preparation for disappointment. Most Salt Lake dance clubs are predictably mundane and even the best ones are only sporadicly acceptable.

I was out the other night with a friend. As expected the music was awful. Some patrons were drunk enough that the music was of no consequence. Some sincerely liked the music since it was basically the same as what they had liked for the last ten years. Some of us grew bored and left, or wisely didn't bother to come in the first place. On the way to the car my friend asked, "when are you going to get some DJ work?"

My response: "Hah. My technical skills suck. That guy could mix ten times better than I can. I'd get laughed out of this place if I tried to get a gig here."

"You do pretty good, but the main thing is I'm sick of nights like this. I want good music when I go dancing. You should find some place to play."

She was right. I may as well give it a try. I already spend so much time on my music hobby I may as well find some outlets to share it. I don't think my dog and cat are ever going to thank me for the enlightening musical experiences they are subjected to in my basement.

So here is my plan: I will pursue DJ'ing for one year. I will pursue some regular gigs at galleries, parties, and clubs. At the end of that year I want to play a big holiday gig: New Year's 2009. At that gig I want people to hear what they're missing and see what's happening. I want them to demand more from their clubs and DJ's.

I want to make one point: The world is full of incredible music and we can move beyond the same shit that's been plugging our ears for the last 20 years.

If 2008 goes well then maybe I'll continue. Hopefully somebody more capable will step up and we can all have a good time when we feel like a night of dancing.

djderivative.com on the way

I registered djderivative.com and the website should be online soon. This blog will be my primary webpage, but I'll link to djderivative.com for file downloads like DJ sets.


Music Recommendations, Cheap And Easy: Bhakta


Open Transmission
<$5 @ Amazon, Ebay, Half

Snow On Venus
$15 @ CD Baby, artists homepage

Today's recommendations are inexpensive, obscure, and essential.

I stumbled across 2 tracks from Bhakta's 'Open Transmission' while doing some "research" on Usenet. They immediately sparked my interest and I ordered the CD. It is a hybrid of modern electronics and traditional Eastern rhythms, instruments, and vocals. As many of my recommendations this is not interesting in itself, but the execution is so skillful and organic that it never becomes repetitive or monotonous. It has the dynamic passion of performance rather than the cut/paste feel of short samples. A broad spectrum of styles are deployed: Some danceable global-trance, dub, chill, drum and bass... Very fun.

'Snow On Venus' was my next Bhakta purchase. It was a bit expensive at the major online outlets, but my search eventually unearthed one of my now favorite independent online shops, CD Baby. 'Snow On Venus' was a surprising contrast to 'Open Transmission'. It is completely ambient and electronics play a subdued role. Most tracks are solos, primarily using Eastern instruments, accompanied by subtle electronic atmospheres. What this album captures and recreates is the sound of magic quietly occurring. It has the feel of looking down on the city from a rooftop at 3am. Traffic lights cycle patiently over abandon streets. Machines are quiet. The mutual oblivion of those that sleep creates a calm energy only a few of the conscious feel.

I like Bhakta's other releases as well, but they will have to grow on me a bit more before I can recommend them as essential. YMMV.

Set Time Change

Please note that my set this Thursday has been moved to 7pm.

Stroud was told he was too loud last week so I'm going to have some very mellow and ambient selections ready.

There is much I want to have ready for Thursday. I've been preparing possible selections for the set, getting familiar with Stroud's Pioneer rig, and scrambling to record some demos to hand out. Besides that I'm catching a cold, but plan to play no matter my health.

I'm looking forward to the set even though it will be mellow and low profile. I don't want the set to intrude as people go about their business, but if one or two people enjoy the listening experience I'll be glad. I hope to discuss music with a few people and hand out some demos.


Music Recommendations, Cheap And Easy: Banco De Gaia

Toby Marks performs and produces as Banco De Gaia. He has a very distinct sound and style which primarily combines eastern rhythms and dubby bass lines into electronic dance tracks with extended ambient transitions. On most albums you will also find a soulful track or two that would be comfortable on a Pink Floyd album. None of this is unique in concept, but the complex, unhurried progression, organic performance sound, and disrespect of typical pop-music structures create a rare listening experience. Though often meditative, Banco albums are generally optimistic and celebratory.

Most Banco De Gaia CDs can be had used for $5 or less on Amazon, Half, or Ebay. Don't hesitate to grab Big Men Cry, Igizeh, Maya, The Magical Sounds Of Banco De Gaia, You Are Here, and Ten Years (a mixed hits compilation). Also recommended is Last Train To Lhasa, a double priced $12 and less used. Farwell Ferengistan is the only CD I find weak and suggest skipping initially. If you want to really support the artist, buy directly at Banco.co.uk.

Music Recommendations, Essential And Obscure: Orient Expressions

I was listening to the Buddha-Bar 8 compilation, not a bad double CD to have, and one particular track really grabbed my attention. 'Istanbul 1:26 a.m." by Orient Expressions is a dramatic contrast of chilled dub and raging, Middle-East percussion. The rhythms are live, complex, and varied. I was intrigued.

Orient Expressions are not well documented in Discogs.com, so I fell back on Google and Amazon and eventually came up with their Turkish label, Doublemoon. While many artists and labels are satisfied to sample and loop global sounds into manufactured music that has no basis in art or tradition, I was fascinated and impressed with Doublemoon's apparent dedication to tradition and evolution. I found a Turkish seller on Ebay who had most of the Doublemoon catalog for fair prices and shipping rates and tonight there were six Turkish CD's in my mailbox; Three by Orient Expressions.

I'm listening to 'Divan' as I write this, and it's consistent with my initial expectations and impressions from 'Istanbul 1:26 a.m.'. Electronics provide subtle atmosphere and foundation for a very organic performance on a variety traditional string and percussion instruments. The one misfit track is a jazzy English vocal track at the end of the CD. It's not entirely inconsistent or unwelcome, but surprising. Overall I love the CD and am glad to have made the effort to track it down.

The other discs in this purchase are:
Orient Expressions, 'Hirsiz Polis'
Orient Expressions and Sabahat Akkiraz, 'Kulliyat'
Baba Zula, 'Duble Oryantal' (Sexiest cover ever!)
Mercan Dede, 'Seyahatname'
Various, 'East 2 West, Crossing Continents'

Probably no write-up for these, but 'Kulliyat' and 'Duble Oryantal' are shaping up well.

Music Recommendations, Essential And Obscure: Ott

This guy Ott, I'd never heard of until a couple years ago, is incredible. He's involved in three of my all time favorite CDs. They are European imports, and hard to find used because nobody would want to get rid of them. All three are essential and easily worth the cost and effort of digging them up.

The first one I was introduced to was the incredible 'Are You Shpongled?' by Shpongle. Shpongle is a collaboration between Simon Posford, a trance producer and electronic musician, and Raja Ram, a flutist and electronic hippy. Ott was not part of the act but did edit and arrange the album. Doesn't seem like a big role until you hear how much better it is than the other Shpongle releases where Ott was not involved. (I generally love and recommend Shpongle and Posford's other projects, but 'Are You Shpongled' is a stand-out.) 'Are You Shpongled' is dynamic and lively, drawing on Eastern, Latin, dub, ambient, and psychedelic styles. Great care is taken to craft detailed sonic landscapes, and complex, evolving, organic music, that takes you on a mind bending ride.

This lead me to another Simon Posford project: 'Hallucinogen In Dub'. Hallucinogen is the name Posford used to do 4/4 trance music, but Ott applied his signature tripped-out dubby remix signature to a bunch of these tracks, adding subtlety and complexity, resulting in another incredible musical trip.

Finally Ott's own 'Blumenkraft' release was a collection of tracks he had created over years and finally compiled into a release. There is a track or two weaker than the rest but it's still a CD I wouldn't be without.

There is much anticipation for his new album, Skylon, which will be his first solo work that was created to be a cohesive album. I speculate that this will be consistent with his other work and an essential listening experience.

To find these CDs, you may get lucky and find a deal on Ebay, Half, or Amazon. Psyshop and Amazon UK are pretty reasonable sources.