Mixtape 020: Rebel Base Star Fox

It’s 1130pm now and I’m scrambling to get Mixtape 020 out before the stroke of midnight. Why the rush you ask? No reason apart from me wanting to stick to the deadline I’d set for myself. Writing’s a discipline, and like any discipline, targets must be set, they must be practiced, and then some slight improvements can perhaps happen. Or at least the regularity will give some illusion of predictability.

I’m not really a tastemaker, in any legit sense of the word, but I hope you like some of the tracks I’ve pulled out from Soundcloud. It kind of describes the moods I’ve been feeling such as noise and distortion, as well as the comforts that never go away no matter how hard I try, like an addiction-fueled groove or an understated beat.

Like Sons of Magdalene’s Move To Pain; it carries an exceptionally spellbinding melody that’s both melancholic and uplifting all at once. Or take for example, Arterial that follows after it; awash with an ominous tragedy. The stop-start of Demon Practice‘s fuzzysexy bassline also never seems to grow old, neither does the long-drive-on-straight-road groove featured on Crystalise

Beat-wise, the glitchy patchwork of Fort Romeau’s remix of Go Back and this mixtape’s closer, naked, both evoke a primal instinct when it comes to enjoying electronic music.

And if there’s something in between, it would be muxmool’s Teal Trim, which is one of my favourite tracks off his Just Say It All EP. That reverb laden keyboard line that plays throughout the entire song juxtaposes so well with that gravity sucking bassline. And just for good measure, I decided to throw in Tendo Beat as a ‘lil ditty of a beat, just because it’s so pleasant and platonic.

// Sons of Magdalene – Move To Pain
// Lusine – Arterial (Telefon Tel Aviv Remix)
// TOBACCO – Demon Practice (Instrumental)
// George Fitzgerald – Crystallise (feat. Lawrence Hart)
// Tony Allen feat. Damon Albarn – Go Back (Fort Romeau Absolut Remix)
// muxmool – Teal Trim (Edit)
// Magi – Tendo Beat
// four ● lore – naked


Upfront 030: 100% Silk via BOILER ROOM

Depending on who you ask dance music either never disappeared or else just had to wait for people to wise up to it. Loose, lo-fi house music designed for home listening morphed from oxymoron to chic to fad to status quo in a blur of backlashing critical anxiety. “Outsider” has been decreed a dirty word; insiders are in again, then. Underdogs become overlords. All terrain is contested terrain. It’s hard to know what to think about what you hear – even though strangers are lining up to tell you.

There is no scene, there is no sound, there are only individuals. Music outlasts the world’s perception of it. Feel what’s real; forget the rest.


How should I pick up the pieces?

Sometimes I feel like a sodding mess, sometimes I feel like I could give it my all. Sometimes when emotions get carried into the workplace, I feel like I should create instead of manage, and sometimes when I’m resting, I think I should be working.

Life was neatly compartmentalised, until one day, compartments weren’t enough.

I didn’t title this post “How do I pick up the pieces”, simply because I know I have to, or I will; it’s in my DNA to face forwards, or meekly accept that I’m not so special that the rest of the world will wait for me. Everything moves forward whether you want to or not.

But some times, I wish I could just stay here in my own filth. To not move, and not become whatever new and improved version I’m supposed to become. Maybe I don’t want to rush it, because I’m still learning from whatever inertia I’ve been jolted out off. Ironically, by staying inert.

Maybe it’s a method to misery, maybe it’s putting my emotions under a microscope. Maybe it’s rationalising as a coping mechanism.

But let me tell you, music’s a lot more visceral now. Which is weird because I stopped feeling to stop hurting.

I stopped feeling to stop hurting.

And yet, when the zeitgeist takes over, when just the right notes go together, in the intensity that pulls the cord in your spirit, and the howls of madmen take over, it’s the type of empathetic agony, that while we’re alone in our filth, we’re not alone in dealing with filth. It’s there, all around, and try as we might, nothing we could ever humanly do could take it away. Except perhaps to be absolutely devoid of all that it means to be human.


Now there’s a pleasant, calm-sounding word.

How should I pick up the pieces? Not by filling the void, but by embracing it.

And maybe one day, relinquishing it.


Friday 03 July, 2015, 02:40pm - Sea conditions were bad, so we couldn’t take a boat out. However, we needed to complete our course, so this is the last open water dive before getting my open water diving certification! We entered the water via the KonTiki entry point, and finned up before getting into the water. Did a five point descent to a depth of 18 meters, and it was fun times again. Did a bit of underwater navigation, and I know how to use the compass on a basic level now. After the dive, we did a 200 meter swim with just fins, mask and snorkel.

What struck me the most, was being able to swim next to the edge of the reef, and it felt like you were scaling up a cliff. Absolutely spell-binding.

Lastly, I figured out a great way to clear your fins if you had to exit the water from a standing position at the shoreline, basically, time your fin-removal between the pauses of the breaking waves.

Dive Log 004 – Cebu, Philippines: KonTiki House Reef


Friday 03 July 2015, 10:30am - The weather situation wasn’t ideal today. We took a boat ride out, also about 5 minutes away and did a seat back roll for entry once again. The sea was very choppy, which made getting in and out of the boat rather challenging. Dove to a depth of 19.1 meters for this dive, and pretty much the same ecology as everywhere else so far.

Being near-weightless and being able to breathe underwater still fascinate me, and I still enjoy looking into the darkness of the never-ending body of water.

Dive Log 003 – Cebu, Philippines: Marine Station


Thursday, 02 July 2015, 02:00pm - Our first dive from a boat! It was about a five minute ride from KonTiki Dive Resort, and once we’d finned up, we took turns entering the water. Entry was a seated back roll. After that, we did a few more drills, dove to a depth of about 12 meters and did a fun dive around the reef. The reef didn’t look very different from the others, saw some catfish and clown fish, and there were also a lot of sea urchins on the sea bed.

Dive Log 002 – Cebu, Philippines: Agus Point


Wednesday, 01 July 2015, 01:55pm - This is it, my first official open water dive as an adult. I’d dived before when I was fifteen, but that was about seventeen years ago. Before this open water session, Mohan and I received about a day’s worth of knowledge building with regards to diving, and had one confined water dive at a depth of 5m.

We entered the waters through the dive point, and had to fin-up whilst in the water. This proved extremely difficult as the surface water was somewhat choppy, and the tide kept pulling us into the sea. Eventually we did it, and I was rather fatigued before I even started the dive. We swam out into the open waters a bit more before starting our five-point descent.

Once underwater, we swam to the edge of the reef, and that’s where we saw the reef drop off, and when I would get my biggest rush from diving so far. It wasn’t just the strange, alien, things you see, but the absolute nothingness that arrests you as you confront nothing but the vastness of the ocean’s depth, and you’re confronted by your own smallness.

At a depth of 12 meters, it was beautifully calm, and as the feelings of weightlessness take over, as well as the attention to breathing deep, long breaths, you body remembers a calm before the stresses of adult life. For a brief moment, you’re very much a part of the cosmos, as you are an alien to your own ocean backyard.

And with that, our dive concluded, and we surfaced to swim back to shore. But what a rush those thirty minutes underwater were.

Dive Log 001 – Cebu, Philippines: KonTiki House Reef