New year, new mix. Gliding into 2022 with some deep house, acid, breakbeats and more. Wanted it to sound like how I feel when I hear Major Briggs’ speech to Bobby on Twin Peaks – the deep harmony, the warm embrace, the tremendous sense of optimism for the future.. all that goodness. These are some of the most pure, blissed-out tracks I’ve been looping over the past year, the kind of music that blasts away the rough edges, leaving me refreshed and feeling better about the day, if only just for the time it’s playing.
Track list appears as the songs play, and at the bottom of this post.
I’ve honestly needed music like this on a regular basis through the past year, especially during these cold winter months. Seasonal depression has a way of sneaking in when it’s below freezing every day for a month and the sun makes rare, fleeting appearances. Cueing up tracks like the ones gathered on this mix has been a go-to self soothing routine, a way to elevate icy drives to the grocery store or writing at home with only grey skies beaming in through the windows. What I think I love most about this music is that it can feel uplifting but never in a false, shallow way. There’s a palpable brightening of my outlook as I hear the breakbeats skitter over lush ambient pads, blooming synth arpeggios ascending skyward while gentle bass throbs underneath. The warmth erupts and the beats push me onward, and in childish moments it maybe feels like that bit when Falcor the dragon lifts Atreyu out of the swamp of sadness. But mostly, it reminds me of how I feel when I watch the crucial Twin Peaks scene where Major Briggs tells his son Bobby about a vision he had:
This was a vision, fresh and clear as a mountain stream, the mind revealing itself to itself. In my vision, I was on the veranda of a vast estate, a palazzo of some fantastic proportion. There seemed to emanate from it a light from within, this gleaming, radiant marble. I’d known this place. I had in fact been born and raised there. This was my first return. A reunion with the deepest well-springs of my being. Wandering about, I noticed happily that the house had been immaculately maintained. There’d been added a number of additional rooms, but in a way that blended so seamlessly with the original construction, one would never detect any difference. Returning to the house’s grand foyer, there came a knock at the door. My son was standing there. He was happy and carefree, clearly living a life of deep harmony and joy. We embraced, a warm and loving embrace, nothing withheld. We were, in this moment, one. My vision ended and I awoke with a tremendous feeling of optimism and confidence in you and your future. That was my vision of you. I’m so glad to have had this opportunity to share it with you. I wish you nothing but the very best in all things.
When I finished this mix, I had no idea what to call it, no framing for how it’d be presented beyond “hey these are some incredible tunes that I thought sounded great together and maybe you’d enjoy hearing them this way.” Really, that’s enough, because that’s all there ever is to a mixtape when you get down to brass tacks: I make mixes because I just love this music and these artists so much and I want to share them with as many people as possible. I’m sure it’s the same for everyone else who takes the time to craft a mixtape, whether they’re a nobody like me or they make a living as a DJ or producer. But it’s nice to have an eye catching cover and a fun title that at least somewhat represents the music inside, and I always spend too much time fussing over this aspect once the music has been put together. I’ve been revisiting the entire Twin Peaks saga because I finally bought it all on disc – both TV series and the Fire Walk With Me movie – and I got to the season two opener where we finally get to know Major Briggs a little more. In that crucial diner scene, he reveals a questing, spiritual nature, a magnanimous approach to his wayward son, and a general aura of spacey otherness that overwhelmed me the first time all those years ago and continues to inspire with every revisit. Especially now that I’m a father myself, the lines about seeing his son as an adult, living a life of deep harmony and joy – that made me cry. It’s all you can really hope for as a parent, to see this person you love most in the world thriving and enjoying life. The feeling beamed right through me and I had a little eureka moment: this is what the mix is meant to feel like!
Still, I didn’t want to title the mix “Major Briggs’ Speech To Bobby About His Vision” – but at least I had an idea and was off in search of something to match it. That’s when I came upon an image I’d saved from last summer, a solargraph tracking the sun across the sky over half a year taken by Martin Cann, a professor of Biochemistry at Durham University in England. Incredibly, the image was taken using a beer can with a pinhole – that’s my kind of lofi science! Instantly struck me, it had the energy to match this music, and easy enough, it gave me the idea for a simple title: Radiance. This music makes me feel like I’m laying back in the sun on the grass outside and it’s a warm summer day and the whole world is in harmony at least for that moment, there are no worries weighing me down, and the rest of the day is an adventure to look forward to. So yeah, that’s really all there is to it.
This might be the part where I ramble on about the music and the artists, but really I think that stuff all speaks for itself, loudly and clearly. Every single one of these artists has improved my life in some authentic way over the past year and these particular tracks are some of the very best to do it. Every one of these folks deserve more attention, recognition, and most of all listeners. From Berlin to Lisbon to Tokyo to Oakland and many points in between, these artists poured their love and energy and time into this music and as always with my mixes, it’s my hope that someone checks out their albums and buys something that becomes a new favorite. Helping make those connections is the whole reason I’m still out here doing my thing.
I like to jump in blind, but if you prefer to know what’s coming, that’s cool. Each track is shown with the original year of production, linked to the release where the song was sourced, to make it easier to explore. As always, I fully recommend everything linked below. Here’s the full track list:
- Ludwig A.F. – Velocity 
- Facta – Verge 
- Downstairs J – Solid Air City 
- DJ Python – Angel 
- Lake Haze – Always By Your Side 
- Akasha System – Echo Lost 
- Space Ghost – New World Energy (Sunset mix) 
- Dust-e-1 – Hutchin 
- Soichi Terada – Runners 
- Soshi Takeda – Lantern Reflection 
- No Moon – Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way 
- Greeen Linez – Somatic 
- MPU101 – Some 100100MM 
Thank you so much for listening.