Tom Middleton - isolatedmix 100

6 July 2020

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I have written and deleted this post several times now but it would take far too long to put down what's really on my mind now and over recent times, so I'll condense it as best I can.

It's been a few months since my last post here and I'm at a loss as to what to say, or do, with the mess that the world finds itself. Nothing that's going on right now should come as a surprise to anyone, it's been clear for long enough that we're not doing right by nature or each other. The most upsetting / disappointing thing for me is how desperate most people seem to be to return to "normal" when it clearly is where the problem lies. The whole narrative of "build back better" seems to have evaporated and we're looking for the quickest way back to the path we've reached the dead end of already.

I'm sure I'll return to have another rant down the line on these issues. A quick word on the previous post / mix I put up - I'm still off Facebook and I can say with complete sincerity - I don't miss it, I can see the harm it does now more than ever before, it is one of the biggest problems of the age. If you still use it, you should research the harms of it, they are far and away the worst platform for misinformation and sowing division in society. Kudos to the big spending advertisers for temporarily withdrawing from the platform, but don't be fooled. They are simply cutting costs during the Covid problem and dressing it up as a positive move. If you're not off the platform, you're part of the problem. Much like every other problem we face - if you don't actually take a stand, NOTHING will change.

That rant went off on a slightly unexpected tangent. I expect it'll be a running theme here but for now, how about I get back to what I originally came to post about.....

The 100th edition of the isolatedmix series, curated by the excellent A Strangely Isolated Place record label is provided by Tom Middleton who was an inspired choice to have for this milestone. He has served up what I can safely say is one of my favourite mixes ever. It's honestly that good. In conversation with a friend of mine I suggested that it left me thinking why I even bother putting mixes together. He, speaking as a DJ himself, agreed. Set some time aside to put your focus into this journey, it's thoroughly worth your while.




Check out the ASIP site for tracklists etc and a load of other great music, mostly but not excusively from the world of ambient. I'll try get around to adding links etc to this post in time. Enjoy.


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Farewell

5 January 2020

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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 - 
 
The Social Dilemma - Netflix (This one is a more recent arrival and only arrived after I ditched Facebook)



Facebook Criticisms - Wikipedia




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The Light & Dark Sessions

3 January 2020

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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


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