After two sparkly disco mixes I’ve decided to go a little deeper for this FNS. For the disco-lovers, don’t worry, there will no doubt be room for glitters and gold in future mixes. However, this time, for the mad ones, the crazies, you know, them freaky motherf$%&@s, I’ve selected a wide array of cuckoo crazy tech house, drums, chants and trippy vibes. Over two hours of hypnotizing, stretched-out tracks, at a blissful 122-124 bpm.
After a slow build-up with some ethereal electronica by Ott, Isolee, Rodriguez Jr. and KiNK the mix hits a fierce body of percussion-heavy tracks by Ray Okpara, Spencer Parker, Santos and Auntie Flo, mixed with some melodic tech house. And finally, some ”after hours” madness with far-out tracks by Raresh, Ellen Allien, DJ Koze, Wolfgang Voigt and Pachanga Boys. I’m running out of witty adjectives here, so just go listen ok?
Because of popular demand another disco-themed mix. This one features a lot of amazing tracks from remix kings like Todd Terje, Gigamesh and Aeroplane. It starts off with a track from Pye Corner Audio’s “Black Mill Tapes Vol. 3″, one of the best electronic music albums of 2012. For the rest of the mix I tried to find a balance between italo- and spacedisco bangers, discopop remixes and electro-disco. At the peak of all this glitter madness there are two epic Dutch remixes of classic disco tracks: Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” by Steve Rachmad and the 90′s hit “Disco To Disco”, remixed by San Proper and Melon. After that a gradual comedown with mellow tracks by Tornado Wallace, Todd Terje and Siriusmo. There we go:
Space disco, italo disco, nu-disco, disco disco, electro and house, that’s what you’ll find in this new spaced-out edition of the FNS. As a matter of fact I think this is the first FNS that has absolutely no techno in it, if you don’t count the Underworld snippet. What you will get is space disco classics, Rebolledo, Todd Terje, Tornado Wallace, Studio 54 classics, Andres, great nu-disco remixes, Pachanga Boys, Psychemagik, Moroder, Space Dimension Controller and Daft Punk, and more. 24 tracks in just over 90 minutes.
Also, as you might have noticed, no more numbering in the new year. Because numbers are boring. Instead, the mixes will now have their very own extra special fantastic unique names. So strap yourself into your starship for some “Cosmic Candy”:
There we are, the last Friday Night Special of the year. We’re a little early this week, in order for you to enjoy the mix with your family under the Christmas tree. An extra special, long and deep edition with 21 tracks and 100+ minutes. Somehow, it wasn’t that hard to fill those minutes with great tracks. As a matter of fact, I even had to exclude a lot of fresh ones. There really was an abundance of good tracks this year. Even though about 95-99% of the thousands of tracks that come out every year are crap (rough estimate), that still leaves hundreds of good-to-amazing ones that are released every year. I’ve tried to gather as many as I could find for the 15 FNS mixes this year.
Two fantastic slower tracks by Kollektiv Turmstrasse and Shoe Box kick off this week’s mix, before a Ray Okpara banger lifts the pace. Robert Johnson’s San Laurentino follows with “Somewhere Under The Stars” (number 1 of 2012 on many lists), followed by some more spacey, tropical, chimey techhouse goodness from Re.You, Matthew Dekay, Tube & Berger, Monkey Safari, Bakermat, Marlose and Miguel Lobo. When Guy J’s Mercury arrives things start to go deeper. Two amazing ethereal techno tracks from Chymera and Nadia Struiwigh are the apex of the mix. To close off some great techno tracks by Guy J, Boris Werner and Sigha.
One year and 15 mixes later, we’re still up and running. Let’s see what the next year has in store!
A new month, a new FNS. This one starts off with some epic techhouse tracks by Dj Phono, Booka Shade, Joris Delacroix, Leland McWilliams and Alexis Raphael. Then some tracks that lean more toward techno than house, by Steffi, Martin Dawson, Kollektiv Turmstrasse and Guy J. The last 35 minutes are straight-up “real” techno, with the bpm rising to 127-128. And somewhere in between there are also some freaky tracks by Benoit & Sergio and U.
Check out the “timestamp” feature to identify separate tracks. Hope you enjoy it folks!
The FNS just keeps on truckin’… A great indie track by Miracle Fortress kicks off the 13th edition. Some poppy house and acid house from John Talabot, Lando Kal and A Guy Called Gerald, followed by amazing John Tejada and Maetrik tracks. From about the 30-minute mark it’s techno all the way with Gary Beck, Robert Hood and Ray Kajioka.
I switched from Soundcloud to Mixcloud, because they offer unlimited space and have cool track id features. Unfortunately, Mixcloud doesn’t let you download sets. One the up-side the mix is now “timestamped”, which means that you can always see the name of the track that is playing.
Light Sound Dimension is in deep hibernation, but once in a while it wakes up for a new Friday Night Special. This one is a day early, right in time for the ADE. So if you are going there this weekend (I’m jealous, can’t make it myself) this is a perfect warm up mix.
I always try to make the mixes progressive, because even if they are for home-listening I believe a build-up from softer tunes to harder beats works best. I think I found some amazing tracks for this one. It starts off with a nice Hrdvsion remix of Nina Simone and the latest Pachanga Boys. Then new releases by Barnt and Steve Rachmad, followed by some deep tracks by Kruse & Nuernberg, Soy Mustafa and Mark Henning. Special mentions for tracks by Contra Communem Opinonem and Mario Basanov & Vidis, both go straight into my top 5 of the year. Two tracks, by Maetrik and Johannes Heil, to end with a bang.
Some deeper techno tunes this time. The mix starts with some great minimal by Coma, Dominik Eulberg, Ryan Davis and Pantha Du Prince, and then slowly builds up to a deep, melodic technojourney with tracks by Edomite, Jerome Sydenham, Phil Kieran and a classic by Steve Rachmad from his recently reissued breakthrough album. And this “dj” ain’t afraid to play a long version of a m$%&(*@cking record, so hang in there. After about 60 minutes the mix slowly comes down again with tracks by Luke Hess, Maetrik, Stephan Barnem, Redshape and Pitto.
Summer is coming to an end, but we’re not there yet. Let’s make it an “Indian Summer”. This Friday Night Special should provide a good soundtrack for it. It’s also the 10th installment. Yippy! We start off with an older track by Ellen Allien, followed by an amazing recent release by Makam. We slowly reach a climax through Dionne, Max Cooper and Maetrik, followed by a plateau of P’Taah, Matador and And.Id tracks. Then some sunny tracks to come down, closing it off with Monkey Safari’s epic “Hi-Life”. “Dirty Thirty” has been featured in a FNS before, but I wanted to mix it again because it is just so awesome. Enough with the dumb cliches, listen up!
A jaw-dropping video of all the 2299 currently discovered exoplanets and candidates, circling around one hypothetical star. This gives a good view of all the variation in size and orbit of currently discovered planets (including smaller, Earth-like ones).
This is pretty astonishing, if you remember that before 1988, no exoplanet had ever been discovered, and during the 1990s, only a few. But recent technological advances have made it possible to identify and confirm thousands of exoplanets – gas giants like Jupiter, but also Earth-like ones – only in the last couple of years. You can look them up in the Exoplanet Orbit Database or the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia.
As of 2012, 777 exoplanets in 623 planetary systems have been confirmed, and about 2300 are awaiting confirmation. It is estimated that more than 50% of Sun-like systems have planets (and planets have been discovered circling other types of stars as well). And of course, all of these have moons as well.
Yet, aside from on the internet, this facet of astronomy – unlike other big scientific projects of this era, such as CERN, the ISS and the Mars rover Curiosity – doesn’t get that much attention. Yet, NASA’s Kepler space telescope mission, searching for habitable planets, has done hugely important work, showing how even a small section of the universe is teeming with all kinds of objects.
The Drake equation is a theory, developed by astronomer Frank Drake in 1961, purportedly estimating how many extraterrestrial civilizations are likely to exist in the universe.
If you think about the gazillions of stars in the universe; and if you think about the gazillions and gazillions of planets likely circling these stars (the last five years, thousands have been discovered in our solar neighbourhood only!), the chance of alien life not existing must be very tiny. And the odds of intelligent life and civilizations developing must therefore also be high, just looking at the statistics of the universe.
The BBC has a very cool interactive infographic exploring the Drake equation. It also includes its detractors: after all, if alien civilizations must exist, why hasn’t any sign of them been found yet? The universe is already 13.5 billion years old, after all. Chances are that no civilization has ever developed to the point of interstellar communication without first destroying itself… More here.
Peaches, the twenty-first century torchbearer of feminist punk, just released a video and track in support of Pussy Riot, the Russian female anarchist art group that has become the symbol of political oppression in Russia under Putin.
Unlike in the case of something like Kony 2012, this video is not a gratuite kind of protest. The whole point of Pussy Riot, and the wider protests in Russia of which it is a part, is the embeddedness in social media, and performing symbolic acts against the regime. That’s reflected in this ‘Free Pussy Riot’ video, which consists of footage sent in by Peaches fans.
Pussy Riot – whatever else it is – is also really an example for those Western hipster, a-political, “ironic” bands and the people who wallow in it (not excluding myself here). Punk, youth culture here once was a form of actual protest against the powers that be. That aspect of youth culture, thanks to the consumerist hipster, is long gone; grunge probably was the last vestige of it.
The three girls of this group, however, are literally risking everything. By staging an act of protest against spy-dictator Putin in an Orthodox cathedral, they have incurred the wrath of the most powerful institutions in the country. Pussy Riot is facing years in a Siberian prison camp – the worst imaginable place you can be in. This must have known this was going to happen, even though it’s an outrageous and thoroughly undemocratic and unjudicial sentence.
Throughout their trial, in their statements Pussy Riot have courageously pointed at the creeping dictatorship, the obliteration of the separation between church and state, and the squashing of free speech and right to demonstrate in Russia. They’ve even done this in an artful way, declaring themselves heirs to 1920s and 1930s absurdist collectives, and standing in a tradition of ‘last statements’ in show trials like dissidents of the Stalin and Soviet era.
As a political essay, the closing statement by Yekaterina Samutsevich, member of the group, is superb:
Why did Putin feel the need to exploit the Orthodox religion and its aesthetic? After all, he could have employed his own, far more secular tools of power—for example, the state-controlled corporations, or his menacing police system, or his obedient judiciary system. It may be that the harsh, failed policies of Putin’s government, the incident with the submarine Kursk, bombings of civilians in broad daylight, and other unpleasant moments in his political career forced him to ponder the fact that it was high time to resign; that otherwise, the citizens of Russia would help him do this. Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more persuasive, transcendental guarantees of his long tenure at the pinnacle of power. It was then that it became necessary to make use of the aesthetic of the Orthodox religion, which is historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections and civil society, but from God Himself.
So, what these women have achieved is exposing the coming-into-being of dictatorship in Russia. They’ve shown that to the world. For that – even though Putin is probably feeling the heat and is already saying that the group shouldn’t be treated “too harsly” – they’ll probably end up in jail.
Sets by Berlin dj Alle Farben always feel like a breath of fresh air. The great thing about Alle Farben is that, unlike so many (deep/tech) house dj’s nowadays, particularly in the Netherlands, he is Not. Boring. But continually adds real groove, originality and excitement to his sets.
Listen to this delightful 3-hour set, which manages to be light-hearted, exotic, groovy, and interesting at the same time.
Is (minimal) techno gearing up for a neo-psychedelic, retro-1960s kind of phase? I certainly hope so!
This track by Italian producer DJ Tennis, with vocals by PillowTalk (of ‘Soft‘ fame), sounds like a combination of minimal and house beats with Beatles-esque psychedelic vocals. Not strange, since PillowTalk are from San Francisco. But this is a combination that I would very much like to see pursued further!
The set by Johannes Heil (such a name) was one of the highlights of the Fusion Festival in Lärz, Germany, this year. And it just so happens that someone has made a good-quality video of it, with excellent sound. Almost, just almost, manages to capture the indescribable atmosphere of this festival.
And if you want to revel in some sweet memories, check out this, this, and this.