Mixes have become another essential reflex of this age of overabundance, a way of navigating in material form the rhythms that come our way.
I turn this weekend to mixes by two close friends. Matt Earp, aka Kid Kameleon (top), has been a CDM contributor in the past; his background spans music and technology and a wide breadth and depth of knowledge in those areas. Noah Pred is simply one of the finest DJs and producers I know, the ever-tasteful mind behind the massively underrated but prescient label Thoughtless Music.
Each mix is singular in purpose, full of the sort of musical energy that can elevate your listening brain. But they’re very different in approach.
Over some Korean dumplings, recently, Matt and I got to talking about tempo. Matt’s mixes are painstakingly and obsessively assembled in Ableton Live. And I mean obsessing – this one is eight months in the making, though he does promise more for 2015. This is a composed score more than the found moment Nina Kraviz described in the interview we saw earlier this week. He also freely mixes tempo and style, weaving things together but keeping a flow that ebbs and rises off the grid.
But Matt is also vigorously eclectic, in a way that he can merge into a clearer larger picture. And I think Matt has something to say about the resonances between bass and beats from styles on far corners of the world. As he puts it, “This one we’ve dubbed a “FutureWave Sound” – not quite beats and not quite bass – but a rolling ride that takes in both – alongside digital cumbia, slowgrind love songs, hip-hop and more.”
“Get lost” in it, he advises, which is easy – big songs and big spaces.
27 tracks of FutureWave beats for a psychedelic summer drive – starting somewhere in the forests of Northern Cali, weaving and bumping through the turbulent beats and traffic snarls of LA, and ending up in the deserts of Texas – probably close to Bat Country. If your city is cold and rainy like Berlin is right now, at least in your minds eye you can be a superstar out on the open road. This mix is for the travelers and tricksters – always keep your #BoomDefence close!
Deft- Thought You’d Fancy It [wotnot]
Shigeto – Huron River Drive (Evenings Remix) [ghostly]
Prof.logik – Man of Logik (Deflon Remix) [Self Release]
Lost Twin – Snake Snake [squaring the circle]
Alphabets Heaven – Adorn [Self Release]
Sunny Graves – Bayou [disboot]
Kool G Rap feat. Nas – Fast Life (The Bear And The Sea remix) [nueva forma]
Om Unit & Sam Binga – Small Victories [exit]
Flight Facilities – Stand Still (Com Truise Remix) [future classic]
Beastie Respond – Lonely Ride [surfase]
Danny Scrilla – The Rift [Self Release]
Crackle Wizard – Camph [hidden hawaii]
Bahamadia – Uknowhowwedu (Adam Kay Remix) [Self Release]
I Kicked A Cloud Once – Deep Inside [Self Release]
Jongpadawan – Closer (Shatter Hands Remix) [greased up]
Afta-1 – Trust [Self Release]
Moment – Beautiful [mad hop]
Shatter Hands – Knifin’ Around [CDR Dimensions]
Summer of Haze – Sea Sea Sea [hyperboloid]
Chancha Via Circuito – Sabiamantis ft. Barrio Lindo & Sidirum [wonderwheel]
Umoja – La Piragua (Alec Assis Remix) [ini movement]
Nicola Cruz – Jocotoco Antpitta [rhythm and roots]
El Nuevo Sonido De La Kumbia – El Llanto Del Acordeon (Bigote Remix) [Self Release]
Copyfokking – Knippelsuppe (Frikstailers Remix) [ZZK]
Cumbia Cosmonauts – Cumbia Sampuesana (Yelram Selectah Remix) [Self Release]
Fulgeance – Step Thru [rx:tx]
Julien Mier – Out of the Cloud [Cascade]
I know why Matt has road trips and America on the mind – after being here in Berlin, he’s headed to South by Southwest. Do say hi if you’re in tech or music and going.
Noah’s Thurmcast episode is essentially the opposite pole. This is a straight groove, an arrow drawn directly through danceable tracks. In the wrong hands, such a thing might be disposable. But Noah is mixologist as much as DJ – the right dosages.
And Noah’s own productions, DJing, mixing, and labels tend to be the ones I point to when people have grown to (perhaps fairly) loathe a genre. It’s especially true with those words that, when appended in front of a beloved genre, have a tendency to signal something you won’t like. Tech House. Dub House. Deep House. This is commercial, it’s club-ready, to be sure – and you know my tastes will sometimes go very experimental – but it’s always on target.
Whether these are the waters you inhabit or not – just as with Matt’s mix – they illustrate how you can approach a mix. There are no fancy tricks or acrobatics here; Noah is selecting tracks, mixing them together, mostly via compatible bpms and genres, and letting the tracks do the work. But that can be a good thing. With so much competition, I think some mixes try to do too much – take too much on and then show off their DJ software configuration skills. Noah reminds us we don’t have to do that. Relax. Sit back and listen. And then your listeners might do the same.
Thrumcast 019 by Noah Pred is probably our most energetic house/tech/dub offering to date, delivered to us in what can only be described as a class of it’s own, much like every release on his label, Thoughtless Music.
Producing and performing live for over ten years, Noah emerged from the Canadian underground as a sought-after techno DJ with a sophisticated sound and unique style.
Making the leap to Europe after five years exploring the extensive musical underground of Canada’s multicultural metropolis, he comes deeply impacted by the unique influence of Toronto. Launching his Thoughtless imprint there over seven years ago, the label is now on its hundredth release.
Along with a rather enviable list of record labels he has released on, Noah’s latest full-length, Third Culture, continues to earn critical praise, further establishing his reputation as an artist with as much vision as skill.
Download : http://goo.gl/7J2QQN
I’m rambling; the other point is that Noah has put a nice context around his own work, and in particular the brilliant Concubine collaboration with Rick Bull. Noah, originating from North America, has returned there for a time early this year, but continues to work with ex-pat Berlin stalwart Rick. I hope to talk to them soon, so have a listen and let us know what you might like us to talk about.
That’s not even’s only significant collab – the prolific artist also joins Tom Clark on Get Physical. I’m mystified why some of these producers aren’t common names – they’re crafting the sounds that make up all the DJing business you’re hearing. Ahem. So, let’s say their names and spread the word.
And for some crazy reason, while you can (possibly should, if it’s your thing) buy the Second Horizon EP, Noah is giving away the Concubine full-length. Have at it:
And I hope you have a great weekend – and whatever you choose, that you get some time to turn everything else off and properly listen.