A grin without a cat


1. Bobbi Humphrey - Please set me at ease
(‘Fancy Dancer’, Blue Note, 1975)
2. Sly & the Family StoneCan’t strain my brain
(‘Small Talk’, Epic, 1974)
3. Christine PerfectClose to me
(‘Christine Perfect, Blue Horizon, 1970)
4. Bernard WystraeteDaydream
(‘Hits Variety’, Afa records)
5. Dj LenguaMi Camino
(Unicorno records, 2009)
6. Ras G & The African Space programBrasillain dimes
(‘I of the Cosmos’, 2008)
7. Golden Music OrchestraAfrican Honeymoon
8. Damu the Fudgemunk - Colorful Storms (ruff instro)
(‘Spare Time’, Redefinition, 2008)
9. Mayer Hawthorne & The County - Just ain’t gonna work out
(Stonesthrow, 2008)

This is a list of feel good soul, funk, boogie and hip hop. Bouncy organs, lazy looping, and ‘ethnic’ percussion!

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Category: Hip hop, Jazz, Soul

Murmuring about the Future

Can art be a vehicle for political change? Yes, I assume that a large part of Blair’s appeal (like Kennedy’s) is aesthetic, just as a large part of the Nazi appeal lay in its triumph of the will aesthetic. I suspect that many of the great cultural shifts that prepare the way for political change are largely aesthetic. A Buick radiator grille is as much a political statement as a Rolls Royce radiator grille, one enshrining a machine aesthetic driven by a populist optimism, the other enshrining a hierarchical and exclusive social order. The ocean liner art deco of the 1930s, used to sell everything from beach holidays to vacuum cleaners, may have helped the 1945 British electorate to vote out the Tories. -JG Ballard interview

What I don’t like about most pop albums is also what I don’t like about sugar. I feel elated for a while, but then the inevitable crash arrives and I swear it off for good. And though I always end up coming back for more, I can’t say that sugar sustains me. What I like about certain pop albums is when there’s something sickly at their core: Once the saccharine high wears off, I can still explore the muck and the sour, which do sustain me, and keep me intrigued. -Carrie Brownstein


Jazzy Itteration

01. Eve RisserLine
Around Robert Wyatt (Bee Jazz, 2009)
02. Dj KrushInto The Water
Krush (Shadow Records, 1995)
03. New York Ska-Jazz EnsembleNaima
Low Blow (Grover, 1997)
04. Pan•Americanfor ”aiming at the stars”
white bird release (Kranky, 2009)
05. Vidulgi OoyoOMurmur’s Room
Aero (Fargo, 2008)
06. Jurassic 5If You Only Knew
Power In Numbers (2002)
07. Anita O’DayLittle Girl Blue
Anita O’Day and Billy May Swing Rodgers and Hart (1960)

note: One of those list. Choose several songs, put it inside mental blender and see what list comes out. I started with thinking, can I make some sweet pop list that doesn’t offend the “Lexus generation” listener of NPR (long story), but yet couldn’t possibly be aired on NPR. Not in this mix at least. But yet the list should make sense. What is something futuristic that is made out of known popular style. So, this is a straight forward jazz list, but in various recent pop manifestation. Almost holding up together. And I hope it’s pop yet not exactly mundane. I particularly like NY Ska rendition of John Coltrane’s Naima. The rest are standard MdM sound. cheers.

image: gonzalo_ar

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Category: Jazz, Pop

Everything I like has gone

Photo: Guy Sargent.

He remembers what the brown owl sounded like while he was sleeping.
The man wakes in the frigid morning thinking about women.
Not with desire so much as with a sense of what is not.

Many days in the woods he wonders what it is that he has for so long hunted down. We go hand in hand, he thinks, into the dark pleasure,
but we are rewarded alone, just as we are married into aloneness.

- Jack Gilbert, Not the Happiness but the Consequence of Happiness.

  1. TindersticksUntil the Morning Comes
    Waiting for the Moon (Beggars /2oo3)
  2. Scott MatthewAmputee
    Scott Matthew (Defend / 2008)
  3. The Bony King Of NowhereEverything I Like
    Alas My Love (Helicopter / 2009)
  4. Tord Gustavsen TrioCurtains Aside
    The Ground (ECM / 2005)
  5. Charlie ParkerLover Man
    Ornitology (Naxos / 2006)

note:  A slight transition from mellow folk rock to jazz, I guess I’m trying to channel some sort of forlorn and romantic lullaby mode in here. Probably too much of a lysergic start for the weekend, but come Sunday I promise you’ll be grateful to find these ones in your collection.

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Category: Folk, Jazz

Life in Marvelous Times


Photo: Eames at 100: Evolving the legacy.

A single sneeze propels 100,000 droplets into the air at around 90 mph, landing on door knobs, ATM keypads, elevator buttons, escalator railings, and grocery cart handles. In a subway station at rush hour, according to British researchers, as many as 10 percent of all commuters can come in contact with the spray and residue from just one sneeze (or sternutation). That means as many as 150 commuters can be sickened by one uncovered achoo.

- Huffington Post: Swine Flu Survival.

  1. Shuggie OtisStrawberry Letter 23
    Inspiration Information (1974)
  2. Mos DefQuiet Dog
    The Ecstatic (Downtown / 2009)
  3. Skalpel1958
    1958 (Ninjatune / 2003)
  4. PederThe Sour
    And He Just Pointed To The Sky (Ubiquity / 2007)
  5. Parov StelarRoom Service
    Charleston Butterfly (Etage Noir / 2006)
  6. Piers FanciniIf I
    Tearing Sky (Dust Devil / 2006)

These days have been both the most crazy and boring days of my life. Going outdoors has become a surreal and overall depressing activity, what with everybody engaging in some sort of game of social distancing and giving nasty glares at people who are not wearing their masks. I miss human contact. People without fear nor distrust in their eyes. All I ever see these days are the sick and the robots.

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Category: Hip hop, Jazz

yesterday was a lie


A smile in the Evening

01. Bill Laswell Sacred SystemBati
Book Of Exit (Dub Chamber 4) (Roir, 2002)
02. Harold Buddthe Plateaux of Mirror
Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror (1980)
03. Ahmad JamalMy latin
Picture Perfect (2000)
04. Jose JamesLove
The Dreamer (Brownswood, 2007)
05. Aphex Twinnanou2
DrukQs (2001)
06. telepopmusikyesterday was a lie
genetic world (2001)
07. Junior WellsChitlin Con Carne
Hoodoo Man Blues (Delmark, 1965)
08. Ike QuebecFavela
Bossa Nova Soul Samba [Bonus Tracks] (2007)

note: The aesthetic qualities of photography are to be sought in its power to lay bare the realities. It is not for me to separate off, in the complex fabric of the objective world, here a reflection on a damp sidewalk, there the gesture of child. Only the impassive lens, stripping its object of all those ways of seeing it, those piled-up preconceptions, that spiritual dust and grime with which my eyes have covered it, is able to present it in all its virginal purity to my attention and consequently to my love. By the power of photography, the natural image of a world that we neither know nor can see, nature at last does more than imitate art: she imitates the artist. – André Bazin

One of those evening. Letting my mind wanders and imagining if time moves in different loop. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. What if they move in different order or overlap. What is the sound of tomorrow without wishing the yesterday go away or letting go the present. So here are some of my favorite sounds. They are all highly recommended albums. Bill Laswell’s Rior print, highly mutated jazz dub or Brian Eno/Harold Budd doing early ambient. Then the post bop jazz, sometimes before things turn free. Or Aphex Twin during its accoustic sampling phase. They are yesterday’s work, but not exactly yesterday either. Telepop on the other hand is pure nostalgia downtempo pop done today. The list ends with standard classics, but same beat texture as Jose James’s IDM drum. Standard MdM non rock selection. I tried to hold the mood the same, without falling into too much sentimentality. The soundtrack for flirting maybe?

image: ~Oryctes~

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Category: Bedroom playlist, Jazz

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down. [1]

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end! `I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?' she said aloud. `I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think--' (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) `--yes, that's about the right distance--but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?' (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.) [2]

O long-silent Sybil,
you of the winged dreams,
Speak out from your temple of light
as the serious constellations
with Greek names
still stare down on us
as a lighthouse moves its megaphone
over the sea
Speak out and shine upon us
the sea-light of Greece
the diamond light of Greece

Far-seeing Sybil, forever hidden,
Come out of your cave at last
And speak to us in the poet's voice
the voice of the fourth person singular
the voice of the inscrutable future
the voice of the people mixed
with a wild soft laughter--
And give us new dreams to dream,
Give us new myths to live by! [3]

So our princes who have lost their principalities after many years’ of possession shouldn’t blame their loss on fortuna. The real culprit is their own indolence, going through quiet times with no thought of the possibility of change (it’s a common human fault, failing to prepare for tempests unless one is actually in one!). And when eventually bad times did come, they thought of •flight rather than •self-defence, hoping that the people, upset by conquerors’ insolence, would recall them. This course of action may be all right when there’s no alternative, but it is not all right to neglect alternatives and choose this one; it amounts to voluntarily falling because you think that in due course someone will pick you up. If you do get rescued (and you probably won’t), that won’t make you secure; the only rescue that is really helpful to you is the one performed by you, the one that depends on yourself and your virtù. [4]