Dum Spiro Spero

23 December 2018

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As promised, I've managed to get a fresh mix out before the year is out. As has been the case for a while, I'm very much enjoying the ambient and downtempo sounds at the moment, and it's a particularly enjoyable sound to unwind to with all the nonsense going on around politics in the UK, the constant stream of negative news from around the world and the added joys of Xmas and all that entails.

The title of this mix is a latin saying which means 'while I breathe, I hope', something I'm going to carry into the new year. As usual, it's unplanned and recorded live in one take - I hit record and this is what came out the other side.


01. Oorlab - Dawn Chorus (Self Released)
02. Romain Turzi - Vers Un Nouvel Age (Tigersushi)
03. Snow Palms - Zoetropia - From the 'Salaam For Yemen' release - proceeds go to War Child
04. Abstract Aprils - Playing Records On Sunday (Self Released)
05. Channelers - Soft Dance (Inner Islands)
06. Luke Howard & Nadje Noordhuis - Ten Sails (Self Released)
07. Marcus Fischer - Lighting The Shadows (Self Released)
08. Ai - Amberica (Hauch)
09. Good Weather For An Airstrike - Every Day's New (Self Released)
10. Penelope Trappes - Carry Me (Houndstooth)
11. Chris Spheeris & Paul Voudouris - Mosaic (Emotional Rescue)
12. Soundstory - Rainstorm (Self Released)
13. The Green Kingdom - Frost Cracks - From the 'Salaam For Yemen' release - proceeds go to War Child
14. Umber - Harvest (Sound In Silence)
15. Roberto Aglieri - Sogno Di Mezzogiono (Archeo Recordings)
16. Briq A Braque - Pax Vobiscum (Hawkmoon Records) - All proceeds go to Young Dementia UK
17. Antonymes - Lost In Waves Of Light (Antonymes Edit) (Fluid Audio)

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Thematic Series - Parts 5-8

12 December 2018

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Following on from the previous post, here is the remainder of the Thematic series as it currently stands. I'm pretty sure it'll be added to at some point, but for now, this is it....

01. Willie Hutch - Your Love Keeps Liftin' Me Higher 
02. Gloria Ann Taylor - Deep Inside Of You
03. Mike James Kirkland - Love Is All We Need
04. Roy Ayers Ubiquity - Baby You Give Me A Feeling
05. Jermaine Jackson - You Like Me Don't You?
06. Gwen McCrae - Rockin' Chair 
07. Eighties Ladies - Turned Onto You
08. Tony Joe White - I've Got A Thing About You
09. Harry Nilsson - Love Story 
10. Sue Barker - Lover Man
11. Milton Wright - All I Know Is That I Have You
12. Aaron Neville - Baby I'm A Want You
13. Curtis Mayfield - Give Me Your Love (Love Song) 
14. Eddie Hazel - Physical Love
15. Lyn Collins - You Can't Beat Two People In Love
16. The Voices Of East Harlem - Take A Little Time To Love 
17. Jean Adebambo - Paradise
18. Sonya Spence - Talk Love
19. Finley Quaye - Even After All
20. Kellee Patterson - I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby
01. Charles Bradley - Through The Storm
02. Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Better Days Ahead
03. Laura Allan - Opening Up To You
04. Beginning Of The End - Trip To Nowhere
05. Air - I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
06. Idris Muhammad - Piece Of Mind
07. James Mason - Dreams
08. Fatima - Do Better 
09. Matthew Halsall - Music For A Dancing Mind
10. Marvin Gaye - Trouble Man
11. Isaac Hayes - Walk On By
12. Tomorrow's People - It Ain't Fair
13. Minnie Riperton - Alone In Brewster Bay 
14. Kings Of Convenience - Weight Of My Words
15. Bella Figura - Better Man
16. Baby Huey - A Change Is Going To Come
17. Gloria Ann Taylor - Love Is A Hurtin' Thing (12" Version)
18. Bobbi Humphrey - Smiling Faces Sometimes
19. Roy Ayers Ubiquity - Ain't No Sunshine
20. The 24 Carat Black - Synopsis One: In The Ghetto/God Save The World
01. Joe Higgs - Got To Make A Way
02. Devon Russell - Move On Up
03. Marcia Griffiths - The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face
04. Matumbi - Ordinary Man
05. Blundetto & Grand Magneto - Everybody's Talkin'
06. Christine White - Caught By Love
07. Gregory Isaacs - Cool Down The Place
08. The Dynamics - 90% Of Me Is You
09. Milton Henry - Gypsy Woman
10. The Cool Notes - People Make The World Go Round
11. One Blood - Be Thankful For What You've Got
01. A Charlie Brown Christmas - Intro
02. Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)
03. Sally Fletcher - White Christmas
04. Dina Washington - Ole Santa
05. James Brown - Santa Claus, Santa Claus
06. Brook Benton - Soul Santa
07. Charles Brown - Christmas Blues
08. Binky Griptite & The Dee Kays - Stoned Soul Christmas
09. Lowell Fulsom - I Wanna Spend Christmas With You
10. Glenna Bell - Be My Valentine On Christmas
11. Marvin Gaye - Christmas In The City
12. Amos Milburn with Charles Brown - Christmas Comes But Once A Year
13. Herb Alpert - Let It Snow
14. Winston Groovy - Merry Christmas
15. The Granville Williams Orchestra - Santa Claus Is Ska-ing To Town
16. Billy May - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Mambo
17. Pearl Bailey - Jingle Bells Cha, Cha, Cha 
18. Four Imperials - Santa's Got A Coup de Ville 
19. Beginning Of The End - Gee Whiz, It's Christmas
20. Milly & Silly - Getting Down For Christmas
21. Jimmy Reed - Christmas Present Blues
22. Vernon Garrett with Sir Stan & The Counts - Christmas Groove 
23. Funk Machine - Soul Santa 
24. Harvey Avenue Band - Let's Get Together For Christmas
25. Black On White Affair - Auld Lang Syne
26. Jimmy Jules & Nuclear Soul System - Christmas Done Got Funky
27. The Staples Singers - Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas?
28. James Brown - Merry Christmas Baby
29. Freddy King - Christmas Tears 
30. William Clarke - Please Let Me Be Your Santa Claus
31. Lightning Hopkins - Santa
32. Carey Bell - Christmas Train

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Thematic Series - Parts 1-4

11 December 2018

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A couple of years back I was a little bored of using the Mixamorphosis profile and wanted to do something different, where I could play some of the records on my shelves without the need to worry about the mixing side of things.

Initially I thought of going with a series called 'Unmixamorphosis', but decided after a couple of selections that didn't really work for me. I ended up going down the line of calling the selections 'Thematic' as they were loosely based on a theme or genre. They've never been posted here, so I thought I should stick them up, with tracklists. Bear in mind, the tracklists (as all of the tracklists I post are) are derived from the records where I play the track from, they are often available on other releases or in their own right, so dig around to find things that suit your taste or budget should you wish to support the artists / labels.

There are 8 Thematic selections so far, and I'm going to split them into two posts of four selections. Just a heads up, the final one as it stands is a Christmas themed selection, with a selection of tracks that probably won't be overly familiar, so if you want something festive, that isn't tunes you'll be sick of from hearing year after year, be sure to check that one out.

Thematic 01

01. Ron Rinaldi - Mexican Summer 
02. Jam Band '80 - Jammin' (With The Jam Band)
03. Sunset Gun - Be Thankful For What You Got (Thanks But No Thanks Edit)
04. Carrie Cleveland - Love Will Set You Free
05. Nana Love - Love Feeling (Dance Mix)
06. Rob - Make It Fast, Make It Slow
07. Baby Huey - California Dreamin'
08. Experience Unlimited - Functus 
09. Marvin Gaye - Right On
10. Jeff Floyd - Don't Leave Me
11. Jaye P. Morgan - Let's Get Together
12. Reuben Wilson & The Cost Of Living - Together
13. Frederic Castel - Open Up 
14. Billy Paul - It's Critical (12" Version) 
15. Oby Onyioha - Enjoy Your Life
16. John Ozila - Funky Boogie
17. Bokoor Band - Onukpa Shawarpo
18. Roy Ayers - Africa, Center Of The World ---- (pitched up)
19. BB Seaton - Dancing In The Moonlight

Thematic 02

01. Desmond Dekker & The Aces - Reggae Recipe 
02. Matumbi - Bluebeat & Ska
03. Sonya Spence - Where Is The Love? 
04. The Voices Of East Harlem - Loving You The Way I Do
05. Letta Mbulu - Down By The River 
06. Michael Nesmith - Capsule (Hello People Of A Hundred Years From Now)
07. Mandrill - Getting In The Mood
08. Troublemakers - Lemon
09. Curtis Mayfield - We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue
10. Friend of E. Rodney Jones - Soul Heaven
11. James Brown - Doing The Best I Can
12. Maxayn - You Can't Always Get What You Want
13. The Doobie Brothers - Losin' End

Thematic 03

01. Minnie Riperton - Minnie's Lament
02. Willie Hutch - A Love That's Worth Having
03. Gloria Ann Taylor - World That's Not Real
04. Eunice Collins - At The Hotel
05. The Atomic Crocus - Ombilic Contact
06. Ike & Tina Turner - Come Together
07. Bill Withers - I Don't Want You On My Mind
08. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - This Guy's In Love With You
09. Marvin Gaye - Is Anybody Thinking About Their Living?
10. Gloria Jones - Tin Can People
11. Mike James Kirkland - Doin' It Right
12. Idris Muhammad - Loran's Dance
13. Wendell Harrison - Peace Of Mind
14. George Benson - Lady
15. Curtis Mayfield - Underground
16. Air - Martin
17. Eddie Hazel - California Dreamin'
18. Messengers Incorporated - Frequency Response
19. Rikki Ililonga - Shebeen Queen
20. Cherubin - Sunrise

Thematic 04

01. Fela Ransome Kuti & The Africa 70 - Let's Start
02. The Rwenzori's - Handsome Boy (E Wara) 
03. Ekambi Brillant - Nyambe
04. Matata - Wanna Do My Thing
05. Los Issifu & His Moslems - Kana Soro
06. Black Truth Rhythm Band - Ifetayo
07. Tee Mac - Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
08. Sookie with Jeannie Otis - Rhythm On Rhythm
09. Taka A.M. - Black Gold
10. Osibisa - Sunshine Day
11. Manu Dibango - Soul Makossa
12. Buari - Karam Bani
13. Nana Love - Talking About Music 
14. Pat Thomas & Marijata - I Need More
15. Fela Anikulapo Kuti & Roy Ayers - 2000 Blacks Got To Be Free

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2018 - Reboot

10 December 2018

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Before I go on to write up a post (it might go on a bit), this is a mix I put together earlier this year and I'm rather pleased with how this one turned out. It's the only mix I've done this year although I'm going to try and do another before the year is out. You will find the track list at the foot of the post if you want to skip the writing, which is just a personal post on how the year has been. I should just explain for anyone that's never visited the blog before, this is a personal / music blog and I occasionally share a little update on the personal comings and goings of my life in amongst the odd music post. It's a cathartic thing for me, and it's fair to say, we all face challenges in life at some point or another, if my wee rambles should highlight that, or throw some understanding on some of the things I post, then that's a good thing in my book.

So, that post I mentioned. We've been here a few times now, haven't we? Long periods of radio silence and then a blog post or two out of the blue. I've stated a commitment to being more active on here for a few years now, really since the blog was hacked and 5 years of serious effort and hundreds of posts were lost, but it's never really come to pass. With one thing or another, life has often got in the way and plans I make, goals I've set or even simply things I want to do have often not come to fruition. I'm not complaining, it's just sometimes the way of life and you just have to roll with it as well as you can.

2018 has been another year of ups and downs, dominated by two house moves in the space of 8 months, with some little health hiccups and the ongoing involvement in dealing with care for my Mum. On that latter point, her health continues to deteriorate, which in itself is a hard thing to witness and come to terms with. Over the years at various key junctions of her condition, I've often thought to myself "surely things can't get any worse", and yet, they do. She has been plagued by a constant stream of infections over the past couples of years now, she has pretty much lost all function of her hands so relies on support for absolutely everything, her power wheelchair was taken away this year as she could no longer operate it, which for me was a particularly sad moment as it felt like her legs were being taken away from her for a second time. Aside from the physical progression of her illness, there are now signs of it impacting on her mental health and capacity. A couple of years ago she was chatty and could hold great conversation and was very switched on, but gradually over the past couple of years that has diminished to the extent that it's more a case of talking to her with responses generally limited to one word, occasionally a little more than that, but certainly far from being a conversation and quite often confused in what she says. Yet, despite her challenges and the fact her body is failing, she does not complain. I feel very thankful that she is cared for at the Sue Ryder Dee View Court facility in Aberdeen, where she has been since October 2017. I think it's taken us until now to be able to say that she is starting to settle in and hopefully she will start to come out of her shell a wee bit more as time goes on. I'm sure I'll continue to share the odd update here, who knows, maybe even the odd bit of positivity. There are a couple of shows on at the Music Hall in Aberdeen in 2019 that she would LOVE, so hopefully I can get her out to those, or at least one of them, and possibly share a little on the experience here.

As for me, aside from having a little difficulty dealing with the changes in care and my Mums condition, it's probably fair to say things have been difficult for a while, probably mirrored by the fact that this blog / website / call it what you will, has been very neglected for the best part of 4 or 5 years. Anytime I try to find some spark to move things on, something comes along to put an extra hurdle or two in the way of progress. Again, I'm not complaining, it's just where I find myself at this moment in time, and as always (albeit sporadically at times), I have the mental cogs turning on how to move forward, how to improve my own situation, even in the smallest of ways. From the outside looking in it's not much, but over the past couple of months, I've been making small inroads into freshening up my blog and thinking about how I can try and be a bit more active with it than I have been. If you've been here before, you may have noticed I've given the layout and design a little spruce up and I've changed the logo, although it could be better, I don't have the design tools to do it quite as well as I would like.

I'm patently no expert on website design, social media interaction or graphics, all of which come into play with this music / blog stuff that I find myself involved in to some extent. I'd go as far to say, I'm very amateurish and a lot of it I find quite hard to get my head around. That said, I see it all as a bit of a learning process and with the limited tools and even less knowledge at my disposal I think that's a healthy thing for me to spend time on now and then. Even the main thrust of the blog, music, is not something I consider myself particularly qualified to blog about in any serious way. Some people are sponges that soak up every morsel of information and can retain and recite what they know with ease. I just see myself as a person that loves a wide range of music, constantly on a mission to discover new and interesting sounds, and occasionally share that through mixes. It's just something I have enjoyed doing over the years. Honestly, I'd say I'm not particularly good the mixes side of things either, especially when I compare myself against friends / peers, but that's really not what it's about. I guess, what I am saying in a rather long winded way is that I'm plugging away with things as best I can, and if you're here, reading this post or listening to a mix or two, then you have joined the journey with me. My journey. Where it goes, I do not know, so we'll find that out together, should you choose to stick with me. Do feel free to say hello, or engage in one way or another. There are links here and there for you to click should you wish. 

I'm going to try and keep up with the odd post here and there. Don't expect it to be a deluge of music and writing; we'll just see how it goes, eh? The odd mix from me and sharing the occasional musical discovery, with a wee personal post here and there. Hopefully I can do more than one post a year going forward. As I mentioned before, I'm going to try and do at least one more mix before the month is out and I'm going to post a series of mixes that aren't actually "mixes" that I put together under a different guise and haven't been posted to the blog before.

Before I sign off this post with that tracklist I promised, if you happen to download / enjoy any of my mixes etc, firstly please support the artists. I always try to provide an accurate tracklist. I would also invite you, if you are in a position to do so, to make a small donation to the Sue Ryder charity, and in particular the Dee View Court facility which is currently raising funds to double the amount of residents it cares for. It's a much needed facility where demand far exceeds the availability. All donations are gratefully received. I'm afraid I don't have the website coding knowledge to place a snazzy donation button here, but you can donate via the following link on their own website -

Here is that tracklist for the mix above....

03. Suzanne Kraft - Zé (Melody As Truth)
05. Halo - An Isolated Railway (A Strangely Isolated Place)
06. Hampshire & Foat - Lullaby (Athens Of The North)
07. David Darling - Cello Blue (Music For Dreams) 
08. 36 - Heather Spa (A Strangely Isolated Place)
11. Arovane & Hior Chronik - Morning Fog (A Strangely Isolated Place)
13. Field Recording - Thunderstorm
16. Trance - Ikarus (Growing Bin Records)
18. Wilson Tanner - Odd Low (Growing Bin Records)
19. Peter Pearson - Come Closer (Dreamtime)

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