NP: Shadow Time

The newest BeatConscious show is “Shadow Time” and it features music from Cosmetiq artists Wilhaeven, Ando Sanderez and Waveline Extras  — you can catch up with their activity via the Cosmetiq FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/CosmetiqRecordings/

To hear Shadow Time, check out the streams on eDeejay.com: https://www.edeejay.com/video/4818838/shadow-time/

or on Mixcloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/beatconscious/shadow-time/

And don’t forget, if the spirit moves you, to favorite the set or leave a comment to let me know what you think …

 

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Back to Basics

I’m getting back to basics after taking a three-week vacation to host an old friend who’s been visiting after a ten-year absence from the USA.  To say that he was glad to be headed back home after observing the situation here would be putting it mildly … and who could blame him?  Although he was goggle-eyed at the plenty available in American stores compared to what’s on offer where he currently lives in Central America, all that bounty could not outweigh the impact of experiencing the political chaos here … and I found it instructive to get the impressions of an American considering the state of the nation after 10 years of receiving very little news from his homeland (no cable TV where he lives).

But of course, life goes on and so does the show … look for upcoming sets featuring music from Cosmetiq artists and Volume IV of the Eveningtime jazz series, among others.  It’s good to be back!

 

Eveningtime for Earth Day

Just in time for Earthday and 4/20 relaxation activities, I bring you Volume III of Eveningtime … enjoy!

 

History Update: The Manifesto

As I belatedly updated my Mixcloud profile to steer folks here instead of the currently-hostless BeatConscious.org site, I was reminded of part of that original site content — the “Mix Manifesto” from back in the early 2000s.  I’m reproducing it here since I think that, taken together with The Making of a Curator, it lays out most of what drives this music fascination of mine …

The Mix Manifesto

Well, initially, the idea for this page grew out of an online conversation I was having with a friend in Amsterdam … we share a lot of the same musical impulses and were talking about how we craft mixes … especially those intended to be heard on internet radio, not in a club or at a party.

So, I’m thinking back to a time … before TV and before recorded popular music started to be presented as albums of discrete songs … back to a time when concerts or programs of musical entertainment were attended and, by those who were well-disposed to the experience, were as closely attended (that is to say, focused upon) as a film might be for those of us in modern audiences.

It’s not done that way, now, of course — and even if it were, an audience likely to attend closely to such a program is no longer much in evidence … the listening habits of the audience have fundamentally changed … you may want to thank the TV’s remote control for a lot of that change [or, by now, it may be that brains molded by the speed of online life have evolved away from that capacity].

Nonetheless, the mixes I do are intended as programs … certainly, they aren’t meant to mimic a dance floor experience … they are distinctly radio programs which have a narrative flow and an emotional arc … some are a bit more light-hearted than others, but they are essentially programs which hope to merit your attention.

(Actually, there are groups of people who have the opportunity to listen to a program all the way through and give it their attention … long-distance drivers, people who work at a desk for long stretches without telephone interruptions, such as coders and graphic artists; people who work in kitchens or darkroom lab technicians … I relate to this type of worker, because I have actually done all these sorts of jobs, and music was always great company for me.)

I believe you don’t need to know this to enjoy the selecting you will hear on BeatConscious … I believe in the tracks I choose, that they are worth hearing, that they (or many of them) will move you and please you, regardless of what you think about my conceptual approach to mixing … regardless of whether you even know about it.

Associated Topic: Your musical preferences

As I’ve pointed out from time to time, for most everybody in the world, music appreciation more or less hangs at the playlist you had between the ages of 13 and 20 … puberty, y’know: Your first big romance and all the other high-intensity social stuff that makes you the adult you come to be. Your soundtrack is the soundtrack of the most emotionally-important years of your life and once it’s locked in place, and you go on to earning a living and raising a family, there’s really not much new that gets added to that playlist … things in the culture drift in and out of focus, but when you listen to music on the office computer while you work or in the den at home while you’re relaxing, it’s probably a CD from back in the day, or the ‘greatest hits’ playlist you made for your iPod.

But if you’re in the music game — an artist, a producer, a DJ or a club owner — music means something different to you, something you never stop discovering … and your playlist keeps expanding in a way that seems to defy personal metaphysics (how can there be a list of 1,000 Top Ten Tunes?) and yet is deeply satisfying … the way moving water is far more intriguing than a still pond.

I’m one of those for whom the world of music offers the opportunity for constant discovery … and this activity shares time and energy with the BeatConscious mission to keep all the most excellent songs in circulation … please me and I will work to ensure your immortality — it’s one way I can show my gratitude.

SXSW Bonanza

A mega-post (and perhaps one more jazz set) before I take a little time off for ‘home repairs’ … as the individual write-ups indicate, I liked the 2018 SXSW collection enough to go back looking for prior years, and was lucky enough to find them …

After I was reminded of this year’s SXSW get-together and listened to the 100 songs posted online by NPR to celebrate it, I looked for prior years’ collections and found 2014-2017 were still available, which was all the encouragement I needed to add a few more sets focused on this annual event as companions to the original “Years of Cool” set. Selections from this huge amount of material fell into three loosely-themed sets, based around the vibes of longing, love and liberty.

So yesterday, to bid March farewell, I posted those three sets, and here are your links, along with the brief comments that accompany each set:

This is the LONGING set.  “Loneliness” was the original concept, but that’s really just about other human/animal companionship, whereas you could be LONGING for so many things, including company, but also money, culture, respect, political stability, an economy that finds a niche for every willing participant…. You get me.

Great work here from Adam Torres and Christopher Paul Stelling in particular, but this is just 14 out of 400 tracks, which I encourage you to check out for yourselves.

This is the LOVE set.  Just like longing, LOVE has some range also: happy, sad, dubious, looking forward, looking back … So much poetry, so many songs are about love in some way, right?

Great tunes here which cover just about all that range, but this is just 15 out of 400 tracks….

This is the LIBERTY set.  Liberty in this context is about your right to grapple with your own life and wrestle it into whatever shape you are strong enough to produce: thus the prevalence of get-a-grip lyrics in this session (also some NSFW hip-hop taking us to the edge.)

Fine work here, full of tough love and optimism — but this is just 16 out of 400 tracks…

Enjoy the variety, feel free to leave comments, make favs or repost, as the spirit moves you…..

Reposted!

I’ve reposted the Soul Cool Records guest set, Saving My Soul, to my Mixcloud … but (sadly) not because I figured out a way for US listeners to hear it … although, if there’s anyone out there with a VPN set to anywhere in Europe, Africa, Australia, etc., and you have a minute to experiment and let me know the results … I’d be interested to know if that’s a viable work-around.

In the meantime, mama didn’t lie, the listenership for Soul Cool Records is robust, and I’m delighted to be part of the show.

 

The Creation of a Curator

To go along with my guest-set for Soul Cool Records (Saving My Soul, which folks in the USA won’t be able to stream due to copyright rules) I ginned up a little background essay on my evolution as a curator … and since the BeatConscious site is off-line now, this will have to stand-in for all the history that site used to make available:

When I was about 9 or 10, my dad brought home a stack of 45s for me, and I started down the road to music appreciation, separate from my parents’ musical activities (He had produced a record, she had briefly been a singer.)  By the time I was 17 or 18, I’d accumulated quite a collection of 45s and a few albums; then, in the midst of a typical teenage life crisis, I traded that entire collection for someone’s assistance in moving.  One of those indelible mental snapshots from the past is the scene of me handing over those record-carrier boxes to that girl…. I feel gut-shot every time it drifts across my inner vision.

From that point on, I collected with the idea of keeping and (since collecting itself didn’t guarantee possession forever, as I’d learned) I also started making mixtapes as soon as I had access to the technology, via my participation in running a small, independent record label.  Restoring what I could of the original lost archive, and trying in a limited way to keep up with what I valued in the new music, I built a new collection; in the process, I became a curator.  Eventually, I had a cabinet custom-built to hold my mixtapes; my first interest in a computer was merely as a way to archive and index the mixes.

And then the internet caught on and the world caught up, and there was Soundcloud and Mixcloud, This is My Jam and so many others, celebrating the curator in everyone.  Technology caught up too, and precious sounds that existed just on fragile cassette tapes could be digitized and perhaps remain available for another generation….

“Saving My Soul” is one of the sessions that memorializes those transitions — from the original single release heard on radio to possession of the disc to inclusion in a mixtape and back out again, digitally, to the world.

Soul Cool!

The good people at Soul Cool Records invited me to submit material for a guest spot and I was happy to learn my show there went live today.  This session started out life as a cassette mix-tape, culled from my vinyl collection, assembled back in 1980 or thereabouts, drawing on music that originated in the decades before the 80s.

[Sadly, American IP restrictions prevent listeners in the US from hearing this … if you check the Mixcloud page, you’ll find a link to their explanation of why that is.  I hope to eventually be able to share the work with you.]

 

New Show: Years of Cool – SXSW

The SXSW Festival in Austin TX wraps up this year on Mar. 18th; in honor of the event, I’ve posted a new set this morning.

According to Google, the Austin TX SXSW festival was first fielded in 1987, which by now equals 30 years of cool & makes it older than many of the attendees.  At some point, NPR (& SPIN in 2011) started making available 100 songs by artists who performed each year; I heard about that bounty in 2009, and occasionally downloaded the SXSW100, but never crafted a set out of those tunes, so I’m correcting that oversight now.

Out of 3 years’ worth of music (2011, 13 & 18), I selected 22 tracks that give an idea of what attendees (and of course, NPR listeners) could hear.  (Each 100 also included some hard rock/shredding for those who would seek it out, but none of that made the cut here.)  Except for Julianna Barwick, there wasn’t an artist I’d heard before, which is odd b/c it’s an impressive bunch … oh & btw, where else but SXSW could you expect to hear a pop tune based on the legend of Orpheus & Eurydice?

Many of the original 100 collections are still available online, if you search.  For the sake of satisfying your curiosity as to which year the tracks in this set came from, here’s the set-list with that info:

01)  Heaven I Know         Gordi    Reservoir             NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
02)  Bridges         Aisha Badru       Bridges single    NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
03)  No Silver      Chris Bathgate   Don’t Mess With Texas: Sxsw 2011 New Music Sampler
04)  Napo’o Ka La              Makana      Ki Ho`alu: Journey Of Hawaiian Slack Key-The Austin 100 (2018)
05)  Turntable    Dead Horses     My Mother The Moon   NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
06)  Where’s My Love    SYML    In My Body EP   NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
07)  The Storm   Collapsing Stars     NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
08)  The Match  The Eastern Sea  Plague  NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2013
09)  Want             Lightouts            Austin Power: SPIN’s Best SXSW Acts 2013
10)  Open Season             High Highs          High highs           2011SXSW
11)   Soak It Up  Houses           All Night                               2011SXSW
12)  Come Meh Way       Sudan Archives          NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
13  The girl who stole my Tamogatchi      Hot Sugar    Austin Power: SPIN’s Best SXSW Acts 2013
14)  Boreal           Hundred Waters             Boreal   NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2013)
15)  Turns Turns Turns    Majical Cloudz   Austin Power: SPIN’s Best SXSW Acts 2013
16)  This City       Adrian Daniel    This City    NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
17)  Whatever Brings You Peace Of Mind     Nassau Heron   NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
18)  The Magic Place       Julianna Barwick        The Magic Place                2011SXSW
19)  Bring You Back          BeaconAustin Power: SPIN’s Best SXSW Acts 2013
20)  Fight For It  Lucy Spraggan  I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing-NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
21)  Moments Passed    Dermot Kennedy        Moments Passed single                NPR Music’s The Austin 100 (2018)
22)  The Best of Times    Sage Francis     Li(f)e     2010       2011SXSW

The Latest Show

As promised, notice will appear here for new shows uploaded to Mixcloud … the latest being available here: https://www.mixcloud.com/beatconscious/shaking-winter-off/

And let’s get you the widget, too….

Enjoy!

 

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