I only mention current events in these weekly posts to give context to the words I write and the music I share. The circumstances in which we listen are important. Music might help buffer the hardness of the world, but he world informs it all the same.
That being said, I don’t even know what to say about what’s happening in America lately. Everyone seems to have lost hope. I know it’s not true, but dark attitudes are in the wind. I’m doing my part to remind those around me that things can and do get better. The fact that there’s always beautiful new music is enough proof for me.
This week I’ve only got two things to talk about, but they’re really important to me: Sade and the new Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead.
With his 2015 debut LP Elaenia, Floating Points made a startling leap from purely electronic composition to hybrid jazz mastery, using a full band to bring his creations to life for the first time. The album should have been on my best of 2015 list, but I’m doing my best to spread the word going forward.
It’s been a violent week in America. Violence by police. Violence against police. The country’s long gone mad. All I can offer is a quote from one of my favorite films, Days of Heaven:
The whole earth is goin’ up in flames. Flames’ll come out of here and there and they’ll just rise up. The mountains are gonna go up in big flames, the water’s gonna rise in flames. There’s gonna be creatures running every which way, some of them burnt, half their wings burning. People are gonna be screaming and hollerin’ for help. See, the people that have been good, they’re gonna go to heaven and escape all that fire. But if you’ve been bad God don’t even hear you. He don’t even hear you talking.
It’s the summer of 2016 and I’ve felt more energized than I have in years. In addition to writing more frequently than ever, I’ve rediscovered my passion for mixing and recontextualizing music.
I make mixtapes that I’d want to listen to, sharing music the way I hear it. This one is a night drive for future ghosts.
Recent posts have made clear my newfound obsession with under the radar ambient artist Gigi Masin, especially his Gaussian Curve project. Masin’s incredibly delicate, emotionally heavy music sends me floating, flying, and fantasizing through daydreams with ease.
In the lead-up to the big 4th of July holiday weekend, I’ve spent almost every night working on a new mixtape. I’ve finally got my passion for mixing back and it feels incredible. Instead of months or years between tapes, I hope to make them a regular feature here.
However, this latest mix isn’t quite ready yet. It needs a little more polish before I publish next week. In the meantime, I want to share the best new music I’ve been into all week. At least one of these three things will make your hair stand on end.
Studio !K7’s long-running DJ-Kicks series has always been a great opportunity for artists to show off their tastes, often far broader than their own music implied. It was a chance for your favorite indie rock band to say hey, we listen to hip-hop and early drone music too! But the most interesting sets always did something more powerful.
For his entry, Dam-Funk offers a free fall down the rabbit hole of his own work by exploring artists that sharply reflect the edges of his own productions. It feels like an archeological dig into the distant past and unknown present, unearthing insight into a man whose work seemed to have sprung out fully formed so many years ago.