2 October 2022

As we slide into October and the final quarter it's probably a good time to take stock of where things are, what's going on and share one or two thoughts. Not that I expect many people will read this, but it's quite a cathartic thing for me to do so that's why I bother for the most part - with the odd occasion where I look back and regret what I've posted. Don't we all?


So, where to start? Well, probably a good idea to speak about the music because that's the main point of this, isn't it? August was all about house music in one form or another, September saw me dip into the world of edits for the first time in a while and for October I intend on focussing on various shades of ambient.


 Ambient takes many forms, it influences other genres and evokes different feelings to each individual. What might seem quite melancholic to one could feel light and uplifting to another. I think the key point is to try and be open minded about it, as with most music really - there is a place for all tastes but most people have closed themselves off to a fairly limited palate which is a real shame. I suppose where you listen to music matters too, for example, if I'm riding my motorbike and have music playing via bluetooth into my helmet, more often than not it will be rock / blues / indie - basically guitar based music, whereas if I'm relaxing with a book or in the bath I can only listen to very mellow music, say ambient or jazz. Anyway, if this isn't your usual kind of thing, perhaps give it a try in a different setting - you might be surprised and find you enjoy it more than you'd think....  let me know if you do!


Since August I've been preparing mixes, blog posts and tweets in advance and scheduling them to go live automatically every Sunday at 10am - a process I'm sticking with for now. There were a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, because I haven't felt great for large parts of the year, I wanted to make sure that I had a bit of a buffer. If there was a period where I didn't feel up to putting mixes together, making covers, uploading to Soundcloud and Mixcloud, blog posts, twitter posts and updates to Just Giving, then I would be covered for a period of time where I would hopefully be able to catch up with myself. It's proved worthwhile on occasion. The other reason being that I was away on my bike for a couple of weeks and I'll likely use some of the photos taken during the trip for my mix covers and todays cover is a photo I took whilst on the Ferry from Newcastle to Netherlands. Of course, quite a lot has happened in the time since I last put a batch of mixes / posts together so I suppose, for the sake of needing to vent a little, I'll say a bit about the goings on.


I could speak about lots of current affairs, issue by issue, and be here typing for hours upon hours. Whether it's the death of the Queen, the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the issues in the UK around the mess created by Brexit, the financial and energy problems here and overseas the ongoing rollercoaster that is Covid 19 or the shambles that is presiding in No.10 Downing Street, I can't help feel that division is the common theme that runs throughout, and of course it runs through every aspect of society, not just the few mentioned there. Religion, class, race, gender, sexuality to more trivial things like (dare I say it) sport. We are constantly focussed on what makes us different from one another. If we constantly focus on what divides us, how can we address and solve the issues that we all face? For example, following the death of the Queen, there was a constant clashing on social media - some felt grief like they had lost a family member whilst others were elated and celebrated as if something momentous had been achieved. Back and forth people would argue, but what did any of that achieve? The thing is, everything mentioned above, and much more besides, is argued with much venom and hatred all day, every day, on multiple platforms and right around the world. Where does it get us? Does it move anything forward? Is the energy invested in that (I mean in terms of personal effort) worthwhile? I don't think so. 


Humanity has lost its humanity, if it ever possessed it in the first place. How does your average person contributing to pay for a royal family serve the well-being of the rest of society? Who is benefiting from the war in Ukraine, or any other war for that matter and who pays the heaviest price? Who or what stand to gain the most from Brexit and the gambling on currencies, stocks and bonds from the hedge funds? Why should big businesses have the ear of your politicians but the communities in which they serve are ignored? Who is being served when genuinely well evidenced and presented science on how to "live with Covid" is being ignored in favour of putting your fingers in your ears and burying your head in the sand? Everyone of course will have their own views and answers to all those questions, but the over-arching theme that it all comes back to is division and by being so divided we are prevented from meaningful progression. The reality is that the human race has become too large to be managed, governed, directed or guided in any meaningful way - there are too many pockets or groups pulling in their own direction and that has a knock on impact to any cohesion that might form. I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think it's having a King, moving a border a few miles one way or another while killing indiscriminately, cutting yourself off from generally well functioning political unions, believing a god will save you, believing your nation, race, gender is superior to any other or whether you vote for the red or the blue. The systems in place are not fit for purpose and until we can find a system that deals with our issues at scale, we're going to be getting nowhere fast. Having said that, what does me bumping my gums on here achieve?_ _ _ _ Exactly! The thing is, it's quite hard to not get sucked into it all, I get that and I'm guilty of falling into it at times too, though I do try to pull myself back from it on Twitter and use this place as my wee ranting ground. The beauty of that is that there is nobody else here to shout back at me.

So, having vented and let off a little steam here, back to the music. If you've been here this year, you'll know that I'm posting a new mix every week in the hope that if people enjoy the mix, they might consider a small donation to the wonderful charity Sue Ryder who helped with my Mum's care in the latter stages of her life. I don't expect there will be any more donations, given how the financial climate is, but of course, any donation is very much welcomed, and given the impact being felt by charities at the moment too, any donations are much appreciated. You can find my Just Giving page [HERE]. I'll be doing my best to get to the end of the year, still posting mixes, whether there are donations or not, just so that I can feel I held up my end.

Of course, as always, you'll find a tracklist, linked up as best as I can, below the player. If you enjoy any of the music on the mix, please support the artists / labels by buying their music, giving their socials a follow etc etc etc.


Christopher Franke - Electric Becomes Eclectic (Virgin)
Danny Scott Lane - One (Shimmering Mood)
Andy J Dobbs - Birds & Waves
Yui Onodera & Vadim Bondarenko - Cloudscape 1 (Serein)
Willits & Sakamoto - Completion (Ghostly International)
Rime Trails - Soothe By Silence What Words Cannot Heal (Not On Label)
Turtle - Heathland Haze (Warm)
Malibu - Held (PAN)
Soundstory - Rainstorm
Ashan - Blue Pulse (Inner Islands)
Toshi Tsuchitori - Ishiura (Abridged) (Light In The Attic)
Nest - Tides (Serein)
part-timer - A Guest (Self Released)
Mikael Lind - Piano Says Goodbye (Whitelabrecs.)
Robert Cole Rizzi - Garden Dawnchorus (via Luftrum)



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