I'm moving to Brooklyn in a few days with my very lovely girlfriend and I don't know how long it will be until my next post. Before I leave Gainesville, FL (about fucking time) I'd like to leave everyone with some tracks that helped me grow up while I was here. It might look like a weird list but these tracks really helped me on my path of music geekery and and becoming a DJ or at least somewhat of one. This might be my college playlist, maybe? I might look very cliche after all of this? I'll take that.
Oh, and the new James Blake album leaked so get you hands on it some how. It's really, really, really good.
The Beatles: "Revolution 9"
This might have been the first time I heard an abstract and minimal song placed on a pop-rock album. The song sounds silly to most, but I was impressed very much with the balls the Beatles had to put this long track on a commercial rock record. I think I actually read that John's the only one who wanted it on the record. Either way, here it is.
Bob Dylan: "I Want You"
I think at this time I was in love and I liked the way he expressed that idea. I couldn't find cliches in Dylan's writing and thought his words came off more genuine than what I heard in pop (as much as he didn't want to be considered pop) music before. Dylan also got me into the Beat Generation writers like Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. Both writers made me change the way I thought about literature in that they didn't do what they were suppose to do and had this very unique perspective on the world. This I liked.
The Velvet Underground: "I'm Waiting for My Man"
"I'm Waiting For My Man" to me is almost like one of the first rap songs. It's about what's happening on the streets away from the eye of the white collar working folk, but also about buying drugs. The train thump drum beat in this song is what really makes the song interesting besides the already ballsy lyrics. This showed me that you didn't have to be traditional in your song writing.
Can: "Vitamin C"
This was one of the most important times in my life. I started to realize I liked production, interesting approach to song writing and music that overall didn't do what it was supposed to do in pop standards. I still think this beat is one of the more interesting ones I've heard in years.
Ricardo Villalobos: "Dexter"
Villalobos was to me what to jam bands are to some kids. I just didn't want to take a hand full of drugs and dance all day at a festival with 10,000 other smelly kids with the same intention. Villalobos made smart bedroom music that sounded really good in a nice pair of headphones or a really nice sound system. It also made me feel more patient towards music on a whole. The song is nine minutes and some change long but it never really loses momentum. There's not too many sound artists that could pull that off. This was also when I decided that I liked house music for the first time.
Liquid Liquid: "Optimo"
This track convinced me that you could be punk, indie, hip-hop, disco or a house music person, but as long as you liked interesting sound and dancing you were would like this song. This song might have made me a dance DJ as much as Villalobos made me a bedroom DJ. One of the best things I saw this year was watching Liquid Liquid on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon perform "Cavern" with the Roots, even the Roots seemed stoked. To me it was like seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan.
Animal Collective: "Leaf House"
Another really good example of interesting music from kids who weren't doing what they were suppose to do with music. It was like Brazilian Tropicalia, hip-hop (at least samplers being used), weirdo pop, and folk all came together. It's really cliche to like Animal Collective as a white kid, but damn those guys have been doing a really great job not doing the same thing twice and being constantly progressing into whatever they want to be.
As much as this could be white boy hip-hop, Doom still sounds hard and that he won't take shit from nobody. As weird as the lines are "Hey you/ don't touch the mic like there's A.I.D.S. on it", the music still comes off raw and original. I never thought an accordion could be the main melody maker in a hip-hop track either--- I was wrong. I heard that Doom and Madlib are working on round two of this project; I hope this is true.
Motor City Drum Ensemble: "Raw Cuts 3"
I try to listen to house tracks on the reg but it's hard when songs are nine minutes long, you work full-time and you have a girlfriend. I got really lucky to hear MCDE aka Danilo Plessow production of Detroit techno, Chicago house, and classic disco and soul. These are all things that I enjoy very much. If you're an organic, soul or analog type person this might be the guy that gets you into house music.
Burial: "Ghost Hareware"
A friend of mine comes to Gainesville a few years ago (right before Untrue came out). He plays me the Burial's Untrue album and speaks about so romantically that I feel that I missed out on something truly important. My internet is not hooked up my new place so I can't get a hold of it. Luckily for me a local record shop has the Ghost Hardware EP. I buy it and start listening to it a lot and try to figure out how to use it. I feel it goes well with the downbeat early night stuff like Nobody and Flying Lotus. I throw this on one night when my friend who originally played me Burial came to town. He immediately lets me know I've been playing the track too slow. I feel like an ass but we both decided the track sounded cool both ways and that I mixed it in well either way. This is the first dub-step artist that I really got into and then I started paying attention to more UK club music. 'Nuff said.