Mixtape #17.. If I’d Known, I Would Never

Man, it’s been a crazy two months, but here I am today, close to the middle of April 2014 with another mixtape. On some level, I wish I could do these more frequently, but sadly, music has been rather stale for me of late. Not that many exciting new sounds that I cared about enough to write about.

However, that all changed when I got to listen to the new HTRK album.

For one, it’s gloriously minimal, and the simple melancholia awoke something in me. Almost as if, even in the storm of nihilism, someone out there managed to create something that described nothing.

HTRK – Feels Like Love

As everything wraps around you like a blood haze, a red tint of the mirage that lies to your eyes. But your heart knows better and seeks deeper. Down into the trenches of something absolute, something tangible, something that could be found, but all were just electrosynaptic lies of the flawed vessel of human transcendence.

Flagland – Shitsucksrightnow

Then we awaken to something carnal. The primal beast awakes to instinct and indulgence takes over. What have we hear? But the battered body of a cruel life. Scars that bear and the roar of a cornered, wounded animal.

HTRK – Love Is Distraction

And when left to die under storm clouds, a drizzle that pitters but doesn’t patter. We pray for rain, to wash away the pain. Though we are not indulged, carrions look intently, eating only what has passed. But we shall not, we shall live maimed, broken, scarred and butchered. But never to die in the open, but in the warm comfort of death’s bed.

Telefon Tel Aviv – Feel The Fall

Whilst the grip tightens and the body spasms, one last desperate cry to the heavens for salvation as the infinite sky watches over, starring, smiling and crying. Yes I will save you, no you are beyond saving. This be the day we forsake each other, and you are released from the snaking tendrils of life’s trap. Your heart beats faster, for one last celebration, the last breath you’ll take. A breath more glorious than they first one you took.

Never Young – Teenage Dream

So where will you go now? Where will your released soul take you? Will you find rest? Will you find peace? Will you find what it is you think you’ve found? As wave after wave, crashes upon the cliff that holds the castle, keep us in your thoughts and keep us in your prayers. I haven’t found my way, the way towards the light.

Sunn O))) & Boris – The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)

Have I made it? Did it work in the end? Counsel me, all who love to give counsel. I will not listen, but I will hear. I need the noise as I need air, but deprive me this, and my soul rises from the depths of the ocean to take me to a place of desert calm. I’m already here, waiting for you, and no one in particular to arrive.

Small Wonder – Until I Open My Wings

“I am the moss that grows on stone. I am the rock to pave your roads. When you inhale, I fill your lungs. When you exhale, don’t let me out into the world.”

KaoriYoshioka

Gathering Storm

This shall be a slow start to finding my way with words again. It’s a tad debilitating that what used to be so natural to me, now seems like a chore and discipline.

But with it comes a bit more measure, a bit more thought to what I have to say down here. I look back on my old entries, pre-working life, and see the sort of naiveté that plagues most people who have not seen the world. Not that I’ve truly seen the world, but I probably have chalked up a few wins today as opposed to my twenty year-old self.

And still, I wouldn’t trade now for then, or then for now. The old blogs represented a type of energy, or perhaps enthusiasm, to express in the written form. Whether intended or not, that seems to be the trait that is displayed. I feel a bit more cautious now, perhaps because I’m supposed to have traded youth for experience, and yet, the older we get, the more things we actually don’t know. So how do we sound like we know everything, when we clearly don’t?

Obviously, that’s just rhetoric. But I hope that in building the processes for sharing my thoughts and opinions, that I will be able to exercise this part of myself. I don’t know if it’s just self-comfort, but I’m telling myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect on this platform. As I wonder aloud, it thrills me that there is still joy to be found in these reflexive exercises, and while I may not go down in the annals as one of our generation’s greatest thinkers, at least I bothered to share my thoughts.

Surely that counts for something? Unless it’s more noise than signal.

But that surely is the plague of this phase of the information age. That we are content to not think, but just share the knowledge that we stumble upon. Perhaps what I feel is tantamount only to myself, or if I’m more humble, tantamount to kin who feel the same way. That we write not to prove to others that we exist, but to prove to ourselves that we exist.

Maybe it’s as sad as it sounds, but in this moment right now, it gives me comfort. And maybe I carved this little piece of cyberspace just so I can do that, to be able to be myself, and be by myself. Under this category of the new site, this is a tiny portion that I can be who I am, not the musician, not the marketer, not the professional, but the person.

So here’s to being more human.

Mixtape #16.. Prostate Before The Moon

I’ve been evading the mixtape series because everything about this site was in disarray, but if you bore with the silence, then I’m happy to present the very first mixtape of 2014.

Amidst the celebration of the new year, I’ve found myself in a comfortable melancholy where I don’t have to listen to the inane drivel of popular culture. Instead, here are some standout tracks where I remain comfortably numb.

Have A Nice Life – Burial Society

Never heard of them till they were reviewed by Anthony Fantano. If anything, Have A Nice Life have a new album coming out, and I’d be hard-pressed to listen to more of their brand of desolation. There are two more tracks by them in this week’s mixtape, so let’s just comiserate.

Kyuss – Space Cadet (Grabowsky Desert Rework)

One more desert road to cross, and a fantastic re-imagining by Grabowsky of the Kyuss classic.

Brant Bjork – The Low Desert Punk

Love this intro so hard, but the riff grows on you as well despite sounding like almost any other desert riff.

Have A Nice Life – Defenestration Song

Don’t make this about the bass fuzz. Don’t make this about the bass fuzz. It’s all about the bass fuzz. That glorious fuzz that churns a tempest of depravity as you watch the world burn.

Have A Nice Life – Dan And Tim, Reunited By Fate

While the bassline sounds like it was inspired by The Cure’s Fascination Street, all doubts are allayed once the generous helping of ghostly reverb baptises your ears and seemingly brings you to your senses. That’s when you know we don’t know anything.

Till Tomorrow, Yesterday – F ∆ U X E, Bravepaper & Sam Baker

I don’t think this has a title. All I got was a message from F ∆ U X E saying that he had finished working on something with the HYBRDTHRY collective, and this was what resulted. While less electronic than his earlier work, one gets the sense that this producer is very happy blurring the lines between daylight and the nocturne. Four AM, the witching hour. (Update 3 Feb 2014: F ∆ U X E reached out to us and illuminated us to the title of this track. It’s “Till Tomorrow, Yesterday”)

Plate – Landslide (Studio Jam)

Another interesting oddity from Singapore-land. The project of Basement In My Loft bass player, Halcyon (Zhong Ren Koh), brings to the forefront the musician’s ideas and talent. While only a demo, the chord progressions, musical hooks and vocal arrangements all stand testament to the earnestness of this young talent. Rawness and honesty are this new project’s strength, and I hope to hear more from the group.

motoko-kusanagi

Full Circle

After roughly four years trying to maintain between two to four blogs at any given time, I’ve decided to re-consolidate everything under one domain. Again.

It was a good experiment to try and separate my personality or interests across separate publications, however, if there’s anything I learned about myself in the process, is that it was too fragmented for me, and I failed in achieving a gestalt, which was my vision.

Still, while I grieve myself for not meeting my original goals, as part of failing fast, or with some sort of dignity, I wouldn’t arrive at this post today if I had not originally started out in this first place. That’s rather roundabout, but not everything goes linear as planned. I think we can cut ourselves some slack, so long as we learn from the journey, failure or otherwise.

So it’s with a starting point of failure, but with a sense of achievement, wonder and anticipation as I discover again, what it is I write for, who it is I write for, or if anything of that really matters.

Part of my new-found epiphany, is that while I was unable to split myself between professional and personal pursuits across separate blogs, I can to some degree, organize my personal and professional lives through categorization. I hope that in the pursuit of simplicity, this means that for you as a reader, there is only one domain to remember, and one domain for me to update. It’s not just about writing, mind you, but about maintaining the administration for multiple blogs. Something that I did not fully prepare myself for when I started on this journey four years ago.

To me, this is a continued journey into achieving some simplicity in my life. While organization was something I tried to accomplish in the past, I hope this is a refinement toward that ideal. One domain, and a clear distinction to two important components of my life. My plan is not have more than two main categories, personal and professional, and hopefully I will not need to add more sub-categories either. However, we’ll reexamine that with regards to the regular fixtures I hope to include in this new iteration of my blogging habits.

So there you have it, a full circle at thirty-one years of age in the fourteenth year of the twenty-first century.

See you on the other side!