Wednesday, 2 January 2008


I wonder if anyone will work out where the name of my blog has come from? It is a quote. No matter, I'm saving that for another post, unless someone spoils the party. I'll leave some clues around...

I'm known among family, friends and acquaintances for having unusual musical tastes. I dispute that, I just like lots of different kinds of music, and I don't expect anyone to share all my tastes, but I do expect to find common ground with most folk. I surprise people sometimes.

I like music that breaks boundaries. Music that jumps genres. Music that makes me feel something. And as my mood changes, so I want different styles and variety in music to enhance or rectify my mood.

I appreciate choice in production values. Spending a long time tweaking compressors and parametric EQ's is sometimes good, but sometimes it just removes any soul that the writer was trying to instil into the music. Lo-fi can be cool.

The only real skill needed these days to make music is to know what you like, and to be able to describe that. The art of music production is taking creative input, either from oneself, or other artistic direction, and turning that, using instruments, mixing desks, computers, found sound, scratched records, whatever, and compositing it together to create something musical. In the widest possible sense of the term. May be that the music you like is just for you, and anathema to anyone else. That's fine. It's partly our different opinions that make us individuals, not the similarities we share. One of the artists on the mix that accompanies this post, John S Hall, legal eagle by day, beat poet by night, once said on It's Saturday "I want to be different, like everybody else I want to be like". Read the whole poem, it inspired me greatly in early adulthood, and with phrases like "I want to call into question the very idea that
identity can be attached" deserves more exploration when I offer up some geekier thinking. Which I will, when work is back upon us and in full swing.

Music is one of those things that joins and separates us, as we can see from the various social applications built around the concept. We can like the Top 40 of popular music (is it really?), and blend in with the supposed majority. We can form cliques based around bands, labels, eras and types of music; indeed I have some friends who I only ever see at Ween gigs every two or three years. We can appreciate music that none of our friends are even remotely interested in. I know I do!

Anyhoo, this blog provides a channel to me for sharing thoughts and deeds, and frankly anything I can upload to the web. I intend to take advantage of this, unless it turns out I attract no readers, in which case Resolution I will get broken soon enough!

Something I've shared for many years is home made mix tapes (now a misnomer of course, they never see Chromium Dioxide anymore), both for my own and others listening pleasure. Turned out that home taping didn't kill music, there's more than ever, especially now that the financial cost of production is effectively zero. if you're interested in that sort of thing, new models of music as a business etc, then I heartily recommend this article by David Byrne as a primer.

Now we have this interweb thing, I can make mixes and share them with the world, and only hope the pigopolists don't come after me for this blatant sharing of copyrighted material. If you are in the PRS and reading this, please get in touch so we can work something out, I'm trying to promote largely niche artists here. Hopefully your podcasting review will make life easier for me; starting today, every so often I intend to put out a compilation mix I've made, for the readers of this blog, and I will avoid, as much as I can, major label artists. Often their music sucks anyway. In my opinion.

So the first mix of 2008 is now online, and available for your delectation. Or not. I warn you, it's not full of relaxing and beautiful tunes to make you smile, and in the middle, especially with headphones on, bits are downright scary. It's winter, and this hour long mix reflects that, with only a little hope of better things towards the end

Download it here (83Mb), or play in an appropriate media player. Until I get a takedown notice; be nice if I didn't.

Here's the full list of tracks I used, and rough start times. I hope you enjoy. The next one will no doubt be completely different...





00:00Bill LaswellSlogansHashisheen
00:45Bill LaswellBook of the Highest IntitationHashisheen
01:57Miles DavisIn a Silent Way (DJ Cam Remix)Panthalassa: The Remixes
06:30Captain KowatchiConference of the BirdsLand of Baboon
10:53Spectre9th Secret Rule of the OrderThe Illness
14:43Davie Allan & the ArrowsPot Party Only In America
16:45Barry Adamson Dirty BarryOedipus Schmoedipus
21:23EardrumSwarm Last Light
27:34Mental NomadDeityMentalica and it's Inhabitants
29:43Modern Quartet Vs Ko├žani OrkestarFantasia for ClarinetElectric Gypsyland
33:38Sophie RimhedenDon't FollowElectric Ladyland Clickhop Vol 1.0
37:49Bill LaswellThe Spilled CupHashisheen
39:03Closer MusickCloser DancerAfter Love
45:5413 & GodSoft Atlas13 & God
49:37DenaliRun ThroughThe Instinct
53:38The Postal ServiceSuddenly Everything Has ChangedGive Up
57:44John S Hall & KramerThingsReal Men


Robbie said...

Good to see you blogging San1t1 - I look forward to listening to your mix, not dark enough yet though =p

If you're looking for other places to upload, I've not tried this one, but looks good:

Tim Stevens said...

Might try it - got your tweet. For now it's on my own server, where I have lots of space and supposedly unlimited bandwidth. We'll see...

Dark means different things to different people I guess...

Andrew said...

Hi Tim,

Interesting track listing. Have you heard any of the stuff Laswell did with Material in the early 80s? Ciguri / Ciquiri (seen it named as both) and Secret Life are outstanding. The latter has always packed the dance floor and worked with both fans of disco/funk and techno/electro. Amazon have some samples online but note their numbering is mixed up. #7 = Secret Life, #12 = Ciguri.

Will give the mix a listen, cheers!


Tim Stevens said...

I discovered Material about 10 years after Ciquiri was released. But that wasn't how I discovered Laswell; my first impression of him was through New York Gong

I love his deep dub stuff, and the way he mixes world influences with his consistent bass excellence.

I'm not sure he's left the studio much in the last 30 years... this list of works is certainly incomplete...

DE said...

Hmm. While the title is from the builder of the Garden of Earthly Delights.. I'd guess that the quote is more likely sourced from Illuminatus.

Tim Stevens said...

@DE, Right about the title. Wrong about the quote.

Don said...

+1 subscriber (this should be fun)

Since you didn't slay DE, I'll assume guessing IS permissible. Therefore, my vote goes to this fella as the originator:

Robbie said...

You've been scrobbled:

nickt said...

Great to see you blogging Tim, and I loved the mix. Quite timely too as my current time-sink is "Assassins Creed".

Looking forward to hearing more!


Tim Stevens said...

Don, you and DE both got it right.

Hassan Bin Sabbah built the Garden of Earthly Delights in Alamut. And I think that it just might have been fun to hang out there.

NickT, if I played computer games that would be on my list. If it included the aforementioned garden and you could lend me some heads-up glasses for that total immersion experience that would be cool.

Still need someone to locate the Sorcery quote. There's a post around that work and how it relates to the web just waiting to be written.

Nigel Pepper said...

Great mix dude, good work. Finally Tim enters the bloggosphere and with tunes to boot. Can only be a good thing!

Tim Stevens

Tim Stevens
Be Silent