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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


28 February 2019

Sue Ryder - Dee View Appeal


As I've mentioned before, this blog is a personal place and not something that I do for financial gain. In years gone by the waters may have been muddied at times, but at the heart of it, this is just my little corner of the internet where I have shared (mostly) music that I've enjoyed. This post is primarily of a personal nature and I'm well aware that that declaration may be where a lot may stop reading, and that's entirely fair enough. I've nothing fresh in a musical sense to share, so that may see off a few more of you. I will post up a previous mix I've done, something for you to play if you should choose to stay and continue reading.


I've mentioned my Mum, and her real battle living with Multiple Sclerosis, a few times. That's my Mum in the pictures above. The top picture in the collage is of my other half (Lisa), my Mum and I, and this was taken as we had a bite to eat before taking her to His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen last March to see Seonaid Aitken performing a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Unfortunately we had to leave halfway through because my Mum was struggling to keep herself sitting upright. I'd posted about what we were doing on Social Media and even shared a couple of the nice pics we'd taken early in our wee trip out and about. I didn't post about the abrupt end to the evening because on Social Media being real and honest about things isn't the 'done thing'. I really don't like when I fall into the trap of only sharing the positives, but I'm as guilty as the next person.

The picture in the bottom right of the collage is of me, with my Mum, during a Summer event at Sue Ryder, Dee View Court in Aberdeen where she now lives, and I'll be coming back to that shortly. I've posted that picture on Social Media too, but I've never mentioned the fact that this would have been on a good day, and even on the VERY best of days, she is only up for a few hours.

The picture on the bottom left is one taken whilst we were chatting about years gone by, mostly me talking to her because she doesn't really converse any more, it tends to be short answers at the very best. Mild cognitive impairment the "professionals" call it, in reality it's dementia which comes with the territory of M.S for some people that are at an advanced stage. Really, I'm trying to get her to try and think about her own memories and speak about them to me as best she can. The picture was taken in hospital, and is during one of her four stays in hospital so far this year. So far in 2019 she's had around a week at home, perhaps a little more, but not much. She's been hit with several infections, including two bouts of sepsis and currently has a large kidney stone that doctors aren't sure how to deal with (as things stand).

We were due to be taking her to the Music Hall in Aberdeen (having bought rather expensive tickets) tomorrow night (Friday 1st March) to see a Tina Turner tribute, but unfortunately that plan has been scuppered due to the way her health has been this year. It's meant we've had to give the tickets away to someone else in the Sue Ryder facility, which we're happy to do as it means they aren't wasted, but at the same time it's disappointing and quite upsetting that the nice things we try and do to improve her quality of life, are turned upside down because of the nature of her illness. The person that will be going in her place will be taken by a Carer, who will be volunteering out of their usual working hours.



I've probably gone on a bit of a long winded tangent really, when I was really trying to find a way to plug an event my wife is taking part in to raise funds for the Dee View Appeal, which is a campaign to raise money to develop the Dee View facility. It currently has space to care for 24 people, all with complex Neurological conditions like M.S, M.N.D, Huntingtons and those who have suffered brain injuries. It is the only purpose built facility in Scotland and many people who have these conditions are having to live and be cared for in hospices and elderly care homes that are not designed, equipped or staffed to meet their needs. The Dee View Appeal aims to double the size of the facility, and make improvements to the existing building. It's something that is very much needed, especially when you consider those in unsuitable living spaces elsewhere, and the fact that Dee View Court has a waiting list that is only getting larger.

In a couple of weeks time, Lisa (my better half) is going to be joining a group of other mentalists and taking on a Fire Walk where they will walk bare foot, over 20 feet of wooden embers that are burning at 1,236 degrees. All the money raised goes directly to the appeal and will benefit people who need a high level care, for very complex conditions, ultimately leading to them hopefully being able to lead a better quality of life. It's a wonderful centre, with some genuinely amazing staff, so please consider a small donation if you are in a position to be able to do so, no matter the size - EVERY donation helps and is appreciated.

You can donate to Lisa's Just Giving page or direct to Sue Ryder by click the links below.



or



24 February 2019

Just A Sample



When it comes to music, I often live in my own little bubble. I keep an eye and ear out for what friends are doing, but away from that I don't tend to keep my finger on the pulse too much. Probably fair to say I keep one eye on the here and now rather than giving it my full focus. I tend to dig about music that I'm enjoying at any given moment.

One of the things I've really enjoyed doing over the years though, is to check liner notes etc for information on where samples are picked up from, and the Hip Hop scene has always been great for this, especially releases from the late 80's to mid/late 90's - the golden era of Hip Hop music for me. Of course, now we have websites that help us and apps that can identify tracks through hearing small snippets on our phones.

Just in case anyone should stumble across this post and not be familiar with the websites and tools I'm speaking of, I'll give a brief run down on a few that I find useful. If anyone has any additional suggestions, feel free to post the in the comment section below.

The obvious thing to say first is, cross reference is important. It's not unusual to look for an I.D for a track or sample, only to be given some duff info. The two most obvious places for I.D's are Discogs and Youtube. The comments on Youtube videos are a good source of info, if you can abide the rest of the rubbish often spouted in the comment section. Likewise, at the foot of each page on Discogs you often will find people providing I.D's for samples and edits and there are sub-forums dedicated to I.D's on the site too.

If you are looking for sample information there is one site that stands above them all - Who Sampled. It is a treasure trove and I've lost many an hour getting lost down a rabbit hole, and it's across all genres. There is even a great feature where you can jump exactly to the sample point within a song. The only thing I don't like about the site is the use of embedded Spotify players. I've nothing against Spotify, it has it's place, but the players only ever give me a short clip and it sometimes misses the sample point completely. When your search results are linked up to Youtube though, it works great.

The other tool I use quite often, although it doesn't always get it right, is the Soundhound app (on your phone). If I'm struggling to get an I.D of a track, I load up Soundhound, play the track, Soundhound listens and analyses it and gives you what it finds to be the closest match. I'm guessing here, but I imagine it'll be waveform analysis, similar to that used by Youtube and Soundcloud for rooting out copyright material.

Back to the original point of my post. I decided to put together a selection of tracks that have been used in Hip Hop tracks through the years. I had some fun digging for this one, so it might be something I revisit down the line. The selection I have put together are the original source tracks, in full. Click the player below, have a listen and see if you can I.D the Hip Hop tracks they feature in (some have been sampled in several tracks), try and do it without cheating. Most of the Hip Hop tracks are fairly well known. Below the tracklist you will find a Youtube player where I have compiled the Hip Hop tracks I had in mind, and you can check to see if you were right (assuming you've played along). A wee heads up though - some of the tracks in the Youtube playlist are NSFW, in particular track 6 which is very much for adult ears only.




Tracklist

01. Dizzy Gillespie & The Oscar Peterson Big Four - Chicken Wings
02. Smokey Robinson - Quiet Storm
03. Bob James - Nautilus
04. Stan Getz & Luiz Bonfá - Saudade Vem Correndo
05. Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man
06. Brick - Fun
07. Otis Redding - Let Me Come On Home
08. Average White Band - School Boy Crush
09. Silver Convention - Fly, Robin, Fly
10. Jame Brown - The Boss
11. Koko Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle
12. Galt MacDermot - Space
13. Bill Withers - Make A Smile For Me
14. The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
15. Ronnie Foster - Mystic Brew
16. Gary Burton - Las Vegas Tango


The Answers