Yume Park [mixtape]

Take a little journey into the digital forests of ancient Japanese video games and half-remembered dreams. This is Yume Park.

This mixtape takes a hard swerve into exotic space, bouncing rhythm, and funky groove. It’s a get-up-and-go sound for getting lost in the woods, resolute meandering after dark, a gateway into the balmy nights of summertime.

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New Order – The Perfect Kiss

New Order is one of the few bands I’ve loved since childhood and continue to do so well into my adult years. The band’s nervy, dystopian take on synth pop was almost a template for my nascent tastes, mixing deep bass grooves, crystalline synthesizer tones, frantic guitar work, and abstract lyrics about love, loss, society, and other fun nonsense.

In my humble opinion, 1985’s Low-Life was the pinnacle of this style, mixing hard dancefloor impulses with sweeping romanticism to unbelievable perfection. The lead single, The Perfect Kiss, came with an appropriately deadpan video directed by Jonathan Demme. Behold:

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What I’m Into This Week (5/1 – 5/7)

Pacific Rim Gypsy Danger

This week was shot out of a cannon. I was out of town, spending the weekend in Chicago, visiting the aquarium and accidentally joining a political protest, but I returned to great news.

Radiohead was suddenly back and doing interesting things. I had new vinyl from Can and Andy Stott. Beyoncé was still riding high on the crest of a mighty art-pop wave, and her album was still lodged in my car stereo. Then, after the worst storm of the year, the sun came out to play.

Let’s get into it.

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Mick Smiley – Magic [music from Ghostbusters]

Ghostbusters Magic

This song has lived in my brain since before I formed concrete memories.

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A Real Hero (aka: I Quite Like Drive and its Soundtrack)

College – A Real Hero (feat. Electric Youth)

So you may be nodding your head with sublime abandon, smiling at the overtly direct lyrics, precious vocals and selfconsciously 1980’s production sensibility while the song plays.  If not, I’d wager that you have yet to see one of the best films of 2011, Drive.  There’s a certain neck-hair-raising context this song is placed into…

The story of a quiet stunt man who moonlights as a getaway driver, caught up with affection for a woman who melts his stoic edge, sacrificing his safe routine for the good of others has been done.  Director Nicolas Wending Refn not only spikes this coulda-been-warhorse recipe with wincing violence and tender detail, but cuts through the surface coolness to reveal the messy desire, motivation and reason behind the action and reaction.  In other words, we’re shown something any hack can make cool and slick, boiled down to – and built up from – the frail humanity from which is grows.  In simplest terms: it’s a thriller done goddamn RIGHT for once.  And the music is superb.