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5 January 2020

Farewell





I had intended on posting some long winded piece around my decision to remove myself from Facebook, but on reflection I decided against it. For the time and effort I'd already put into the post (now deleted), there wouldn't be enough interest to justify spending the further time necessary to do it any justice. I'll post a condensed piece below the tracklist along with some videos which I've used, or found interesting during my own digging for information. Going forward, you'll find me on Twitter, music sites (Soundcloud / Mixcloud / Hearthis) or here. My Instagram will also be gone, although I didn't use it much in any case and I don't use Whatsapp (Signal is a good alternative).

I've put together a mix / selection of tracks which in one way or another, in my own mind, can be linked to the dangers, problems or leaving of social media. I've cut up and used some interviews or speeches from people involved in tech, journalism and even people who have been a part of the Facebook behemoth.

The tracklist below, as usual, links to the places where you can buy / listen to the artists legally. Please support the artists if you like any of the music contained within the selection.


Tracklist



I had planned on having my account closed by the end of 2019 but some broken ribs and a heavy bout of man flu prevented me from working on tidying up the loose ends on there, so it'll probably be end of January that I end up deleting things. If you have any interest in deleting Facebook yourself then you should be mindful of the fact that deactivation is not enough, Facebook still tracks everything you do online (and in some instances your physical movements) and shares that information with whoever wishes to buy it. Deleting Facebook properly means downloading the information they have on you, removing all the permissions you've given to apps over the years - it's quite an eye opener when you really dig down into it, and of course making sure you find alternative ways to follow things that interest you. In my case music obviously played a big part, but with the way Facebook now manipulates algorithms and what you see in your feed, I was seeing less of what I wanted to see and more of what they wanted me to see.

It's also a big bug bear of mine that Facebook has made our internet use much more lazy and has seriously harmed the creative industry. Think about how you used to use the internet before and in the early days of Facebook. I bet, that like me, it's become far different. Many sites that provided good content have vanished because Facebook has hoovered up viewers. Many sites that used to use simple advertising streams to fund their work have lost out because people rarely venture off Facebook or often only click through links on there - and that's where the revenue now goes.

Aside from all the reasons that most people probably already have some understanding of, like the micro-targeting of political adverts and mis-information, the fact that we can all see the ways people actually talk to each other online has changed so much over the past decade and how toxic it has become, I'm removing myself for the sake of my own mental health. I personally don't feel that Facebook is a healthy thing to have in my life. I, like many people, have a lot of challenges to overcome and constant feed of highlight reels, social lives, events, holidays, purchases, family moments, all interjected by adverts, videos, politics targeted in ways most of us don't truly understand isn't a healthy feed for me.

I know Twitter has some serious flaws to it too, but for me, it's less harmful than Facebook and I have more hope that Twitter will move in the right direction than I do for Facebook. They definitely need to sort out the bots, propaganda and hate pushers, just as Facebook does, but it is definitely encouraging that they don't accept paid for political adverts. I find Twitter a more reliable platform to follow music, sports, news and people that I want to hear from. It's less filtered than Facebook.

I've rambled on a bit more than I intended. Really, what I wanted to get across and haven't done very well is to say - You do you. I'm doing me. Just know that if the service is free then you are the commodity of value and that in reality we should all be more aware of technology, the implications of its use and probably be less inclined to use or trust the big tech giants. Below are some of the videos and a website you might find useful.








Further information to check - 



Facebook Criticisms - Wikipedia




3 January 2020

The Light & Dark Sessions






It's been a while. Again. I actually came on to the blog to post something entirely different, but realised I hadn't shared this mix on here. So we'll get this one up and deal with the next one, which is a new mix, with a theme, and I suppose you could say, a message. It might take me a couple of days to get the post written up, but keep an eye in the usual spots and you won't miss it.

Back in late June of 2019, DJ Hood aka "Troy" Clark aka International Man of Mystery messaged me to ask if I'd like to contribute a mix for 'We Dig Deeper'. I do enjoy a guest mix, so of course I was happy to get involved. The remit initially was to replicate two sides of a 90 minute mixtape - 45 minutes per side - with side A being a chilled affair and side B being more uptempo. My first throw of the dice served up a chillout mix on the A side and something more house / tech orientated on the B side. However, as the weeks rolled by the remit became a little clearer to me, in that it was to be called 'The Light & Dark Sessions'. I didn't feel my mixes tied into that so I decided to come up with another set. Whether or not I meet that description is up to you to decide, but it felt like a better match for me.

Tracklist

A Side - Light

01. Good Weather For An Airstrike - Mesopelagic
02. Levi Patel - As She Passes (Nocturne)
03. Hampshire & Foat - The Promise
04. Lani Hall - Sundown Lady
05. Aktuala - Dejanira
06. Alela Diane - Lady Divine
07. Josepa & Musyl - Follow Me
08. Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra
09. Family Four - En Hast Utan Namn
10. Master Phil - Waporday
11. David Axelrod - Fantasy For Ralph
12. Alice Clark - Looking At Life

B Side - Dark

01. Ralph Hildenbeutel - Promenade (An Unpleasant Dream)
02. The Green Kingdom - Momentary
03. Kutiman - Line 1
04. Hampshire & Foat - Rain Clouds
05. Mason Profft - Everybody Was Wrong (Ole Smokey Edit)
06. Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound Of Silence (T2MM Edit)
07. Norman Greenbaum - Spirit In The Sky (Red Axes Remix)
08. Harry Nilsson - One
09. A Forest Mighty Black - Everything
10. Leifur James - Mumma Don't Tell
11. Moby - Go (Solarno's Lounge Attack Remix)


You can find Mark Gardner / We Dig Deeper at these links - Soundcloud / Mixcloud


You can find DJ Hood here - Soundcloud / Mixcloud


11 July 2019

The Drifter - A Guest Selection for Sequenchill



In recent posts I've alluded to a couple of guest selections I've been asked to put together of late. To be honest, it was a pleasant surprise to be asked as it's almost 3 years since the last time I was invited to do something for someone, that being the mix I put together for Woodzee on the now defunct Box Frequency.

The first selection I've got to share with you is one I've put together for Sequenchill, who is very prolific and very popular on the Mixcloud platform. He recently became one of the early adopters of the 'Mixcloud Select' service which is a means to support not only the musical artists but those who invest their own time and money into creative means of sharing the music. My first encounter with Salvatore was from the seasonal series of mixes that myself and Andy Pye of Balearic Social curated and we've kept in contact since, and it's fair to say he is a man with a wide range of tastes and an in depth knowledge when it comes to music.



The mix I provided for this had a couple of boundaries; that it should be around 80 minutes and in the realms of downtempo / chillout music. You can have a listen and decide if I met that remit yourself... hopefully you'll feel I did and that it was an enjoyable journey. As always, the mix is completely unplanned. I hit record and this is what has emerged. I should throw in a small caveat here - I think there is a small and hard to notice glitch late in the mix. Over the last year or so I have found that my iMac and Traktor S4 haven't been as happy a combination as they used to be. The mix I gave to Salvatore was actually the 4th mix I'd recorded - the first 3 were consigned to the bin because there were a lot of glitches. I've tried researching the causes, and not being the most technically minded doesn't help too much, but the conclusion I've arrived at is that the software and hardware, through recent updates, have became slightly less compatible. I can only hope that future updates iron out these issues or else I'll have to look at changing my set up slightly. It's really frustrating to create a mix that you are happy with only to find glitches along the way that are caused by the technology. Hopefully you won't even notice and it doesn't spoil your enjoyment... and fingers crossed it doesn't impede my efforts to do the next contribution I've been asked to provide. More details on that in due course, what I will say is that it takes the form of two 45 minute mixes of differing styles with a feel of the traditional mixtape about it. As I say, more on that down the line. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this mix, you will find a linked up tracklist at the foot of this post below you will also find some links to where you can find Sequenchill on the usual places.

Links to Sequenchill -

Mixcloud // Facebook Group // Soundcloud // Twitter

Tracklist

01. Soundstory - Rainstorm
02. Max Ananyev - Laurel Forest
03. Slow Meadow - Ghosts In The Brazos
04. Seabuckthorn - The Observatory
05. Tess Said So - Black Light
06. Scrimshire - Won't Get Better (Rebecca Vasmant Remix)
07. Kryshe - Queen's Court
08. Ishmael Ensemble - Song For Knotty
09. Greg Foat - Drifting
10. Brambles - Are te
11. Colorlist - When Will You Go?
12. Copenema - Some Di Some Day
13. Mammal Hands - Three Good Things
14. Lowercase Noises & Blurstem - Ochre
15. Foundsounds - Relaxing Rain & Loud Thunder
16. Kettenkarussell - Drift

If you want a download of the mix, you can find it [[HERE]]

30 June 2019

From The Vault - Smoking (No Smoking Mix)


First things first, I'll post the player for the above mix which is one from the vaults and one I've not shared for a while. This mix was originally posted back in 2011, and having given up smoking after 20 years this was my first mix that I had done without smoking my way through recording it. For the record, I'm still smoke free and still think on starting as the most stupid moment of my life to date. I've recently updated the cover from the previous terrible amateur version :) 


Things have slowed down a little bit around these parts over the past couple of months. I've had a lot going on in the real world which has taken my attention away from trying to rebuild the blog. Aside from the fact I've not been doing great over the past couple of months, I've had a lot going on with my Mum, her care and many hospital visits / stays as well as a serious operation. So far, as I think I've mentioned before, she's spent more time in hospital this year than she has been at home. Most of that has been down to infections caused by a very large kidney stone, and she recently had an operation to remove it. I'm happy to say that the operation went much better than I anticipated, despite a short period in the High Dependancy Unit in Aberdeen, she went on to recover from the operation quickly and was discharged after a few days. Considering her ongoing and long term health issues, it's fair to say she is a tough cookie and a real fighter. Of course, the difficulties around her care and M.S continue, but it's one less thing to worry about and hopefully means less hospital stays going forward.

I'm not going to make any firm promises about how active I will be here, and if I'm honest, I'm still not sure if there's much benefit to keeping this blog going and rebuilding it other than the cathartic benefit of writing about some of the up's (very rare) and down's (disappointingly regular) of life. Having said that, I've been asked to do a couple of guest mixes which I really need to on with, and I'll post about them as and when the time comes. For the meantime I may throw up the odd post with older mixes and updates on my Discogs sales.

Tracklist

01. Jospeh Terruel - Hot Pants
02. Matthew Kyle - Vaguely Vogue
03. Duff Disco - Just In
04. Erdbeerschnitzel - To An End
05. Mark E - White Skyway
06. Shit Robot - Take Em Up (Mark E's Black Country Dub)
07. Ooft! - Mazin'
08. The Owl - Streetman
09. James Brown - The Boss (The Owl Edit) << Not 100% sure the edit is from The Owl, could be wrong.
10. 78 Edits - Easy To Love
11. Eric Clapton & Sting - It's Probably Me (Rayko Edit)
12. Unknown
13. The Features - Lions (Bydesign Rework)
14. Tim Zawada - Summetime Strut

1 May 2019

Mixamorphosis Discogs Store - Update #2


This is the second month of adding bits to my Discogs store from my own collection. There's a pile of records and cd's that just don't get used and it's a shame for them to gather dust on my shelves when someone out there could be making use of it.

Below you'll find a Youtube playlist of some of the items I've added over the past few weeks, but is by no means a complete list. If you want to have a look through what I have listed at the moment click [HERE] or the Discogs Store link at the top of the page. I'm drip feeding new items into the store all the time, so keep an eye out for fresh additions.


Finally, and briefly, in other news... I've also been asked to provide a wee chillout guest mix for a friend, so hopefully have some more on that in due course. I'll be posting here of course once that comes about.

26 April 2019

From The Vaults - Chillout Sessions Guest Mix (2016)



This past few days I've been working on recording some of my collection to FLAC and ripping some CD's. During that process, whilst I've got my music on in the background I've been looking at updating tag lists and links on my mixes over on Soundcloud and I noticed that I hadn't posted this to the blog.

This mix is from December 2016 and was the last time I'd been asked to do a guest mix, until last week that is - more details on that down the line. It was put together for Woodzee's Chillout Sessions show on Box Frequency which is sadly no longer with us. I don't think it's my greatest mix, nor do I think it's my worst ever. I don't plan my mixes in any way, I have a rough idea of what I want to do in my mind, I hit the record button and what comes out at the end is what I post online. Perhaps that's the reason nobody has been asking for guest mixes 😂.

Anyway, this was aired on Christmas Day of 2016 and it was a welcome break from all that goes on at that time of year. If you prefer to use Mixcloud you can find it [HERE], or you can find it on Hearhis where there is also a download option over [HERE].



Tracklist

01. Tongues Of Light - Awakening (Ending only)
02. 55 Cancri e - Alltid Du
03. Samo DJ & Maxxxbass - Free Yourself From The Misery Of Existence
04. 36 - Room 5
05. Fuga Ronto - Daydreams
06. Klaus Lunde - Goodbye
07. Samo & Maxxxbass - Transfer To Nangijala
08. Dreems - In The Desert (Album Version)
09. Karamika - Ton 5
10. Darkside - Metatron
11. Vakula - For Jim
12. Aktuala - Dejanira
13. Kettenkarussell - Of Course
14. Tongues Of Light - Healing (Ending Only)



10 April 2019

Be Kind


March was a little quieter on here than I'd intended. It's been another turbulent and hectic month (and April is the same too) dealing with care and health related issues around my Mum, and as is often the case there's been no end of hassle because things in our health service just don't seem to click together as well as you'd hope. Aside from her usual issues related to her M.S, she also has to contend with a kidney stone and many problems that have come along with it, including a serious and risky operation that has now been postponed twice. I'm not going to post too much more on it just now, but suffice to say, it's been challenging for her and for myself and my other half who have to juggle so much in dealing with everything on her behalf.

I'd been intending on posting something a little more uptempo, probably House of some sorts, but I've found myself going through more and more ambient / chillout stuff of late, so that's what I'm sharing this time. I'd been thinking of putting together something that felt emotive and I think a lot of the tracks on this selection are just that, for one reason or another and I felt the cover tied in quite nicely to that theme. You'll find the linked up tracklist below, if you enjoy any of the tracks in the mix, support the artists and purchase their music.

Fingers crossed the rest of April is a bit gentler and kinder than last month was.




Tracklist

01. Slow Meadow - Palemote
02. Fumio Miyashita - See The Light (Abridged)
03. A conversation with Rickie Lee Jones
04. Umber - All The Ships
05. Birds Of Passage - On Our Hands
06. Caught In The Wake Of Forever - Faultless Youth Declined
07. Weyes Blood - Everybody's Talking
08. The Green Kingdom - Bell Garden (ambimix)
09. candysomething - Sellotape
10. Levi Patel - Her Angled Beauty
11. Evan Bartholomew - Medicine / Healing
12. Good Weather For An Airstrike - Breathing (ft Inachus)
13. William S. Fischer - Chains
14. The Cinematic Orchestra - To Believe
15. Hampshire & Foat - The Solitude Of Certitudes (Parts 1 & 2)
16. Man Watching The Stars - Fields
17. Charles Bukowski on life
18. Agnes Obel - Poem About Death
19. Endless Melancholy - In Transition From Anxiety To Acceptance
20. Jonathan Fitoussi - Aquarius
21. Katarzyna Borek - Uranus for Craig Armstrong (Weather Storm)



3 April 2019

Mixamorphosis Discogs Store - Update #1


I've collected music for most of my life, from cassettes to vinyl and cd's, and now also digital. I'm at a point where I think it would be wise to thin out my collection to make way for (and help fund) new additions. When I recently set about redesigning the blog I did so with this in the back of mind, and you will find a dedicated tab under the header graphic which will take you directly to my Discogs store. You can also click [HERE]. I'll post a few pictures amongst this post to give an idea of what is most recently and currently listed as well as a playlist of some things in the store currently at the bottom of the post.


I used to buy and sell vinyl for many years and was an early adopter of Ebay, having a store there for several years. I enjoyed the process of picking up collections from auctions, pulling out what I wanted for myself and selling the rest on, either individually or in bulk. As time progressed selling on Ebay became less enjoyable as it started ramping up its pricing and making things more difficult with swathes of red tape. I closed my Ebay store around the same time as Discogs opened their Marketplace.


I had used Discogs (and contributed to it regularly under a previous i.d.) as a reference and cataloguing tool, which was great. I was never overly convinced it would make a great venue for sales because I always felt it would struggle to find the right balance of being the music database that it was initially set up to be and a venue for sales. I do think the original concept has become a bi-product of the marketplace, but it obviously works very well in that sense, and despite the obvious price gouging that goes on (or sharks as some call it) it does reflect the supply and demand aspect of any marketplace and provide a reliable place to match up the buyer and seller.


So far I have listed a bundle of 7" and 10", but have a few hundred 12"s, LP's and CD's to list. If anyone reading this has listened to my mixes over the years then you will have a fair idea of how wide ranging the selection that will be for sale will be. It will range from downtempo to techno, soul to acid, house to funk, ambient to rock. I'm trying to add a few each day, so keep an eye out. In terms of pricing, I am going to try and be very competitive with the current and previous pricing of items that are graded similarly. I really don't like the way some vinyl pricing has gone, and how it is driven, but at the same time I can't afford to not take into account other prices. Many of my records will have lost value, so the ones that seem to have gone up will compensate that. That said, for the most part, I'll look to be the cheapest (at the time of listing) of similarly graded items.




22 March 2019

Recommended: Hampshire & Foat - Saint Lawrence


I've been hooked on Hampshire & Foat material since I first stumbled across the debut album 'Galaxies Like Grains Of Sands' on Athens Of The North. Hampshire & Foat are otherwise known as Warren Hampshire who is part of the group The Bees and Greg Foat, who you may know from The Greg Foat Group. I have to confess to not knowing their previous works, it was down to following the label that I came across them, and I'm glad I did.

This, as the previous releases takes in influence from ambient, jazz and folk genres which makes for a lovely combination. This LP was recorded live in two churches on the Isle Of Wight with the tracks named after local landmarks. Have a listen, if vinyl is your thing, don't sleep on it. There are only 500 pressed and no represses.



Links

Hampshire & Foat - Twitter / Soundcloud

Athens Of The North - Bandcamp


2 March 2019

Recommended: Jonny Nash - Make A Wilderness


The new release from Jonny Nash on the Music From Memory label takes his sound to a new level for me. I've always enjoyed his work, especially his solo work and his collaborations with Suzanne Kraft, but this is his best yet. For me, this is a much more refined piece of ambient music, it is much more subtle and emotive. I won't drone on about it, as I often say... I don't do reviews. This is thoroughly recommended though. Click play, enjoy and pick it up. It's available on vinyl as well as digital; seek and you shall find.


Links

Jonny Nash - Facebook / Soundcloud / Bandcamp (Melody As Truth)

Music From Memory - Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud / Bandcamp