Dance Nation 2002, in retrospect

I was recently feeling some nostalgia for old EDM classics, and I spotted on my shelf these things I once used all the time, CDs.
Among the lot was Ministry of Sound (Australia's) Dance Nation 2002. I ripped it, and have been listening to it over the past week.
It's brought out some feelings.

image 1708 from bradism.com

2002 was a simpler time. Dance music had shed the cheese of the nineties, bringing house influences into the mainstream. People still had the attention span to enjoy a solid 4/4 song for five minutes without a dubstep drop halfway, or needing to check their phone. Social media didn't even exist, and all the perceived injustices of the world were just that. Perceived.
The world definitely wasn't a better place, but it was more palatable.

Over two discs, continually mixed, Ministry of Sound's Dance Nation 2002 perfectly captured that time. Every track, okay, about half these tracks, take me on their high-fidelity nostalgia roller coaster right back to 2002.
I wish I had the words to more eloquently describe just how bold those bass hits sounded for the time, the free-feeling in those reaching synths, the swagger in those funk and old soul samples mixed with progressive house rhythms. All at non-stop 140bpm.

Then I opened up the CD booklet and found the picture that summarised everything about 2002 EDM I wanted to try and say.

image 1709 from bradism.com


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Waiting On The Summer

It's been at least five days since I've seen the sun. This is making it increasingly difficult to wear my sunglasses in public. Not only because I have to be more careful about walking into things. Today, an old woman at the bus stop asked me if I was an undercover cop. I told her, no, I simply have sensitive pupils.

...As in, sensitive to staring into the soul of another human being for a quarter second as we cross paths in this busy metropolis of a few thousand people. Oh God, I need more hand sanitiser. Winter is good for influenza and bad for introversion. I see a lot of people wearing scarves this week. I wonder if I could wear a scarf over my eyes, if that would be more socially acceptable, or if I should just suck it up until Spring.

Anyway, this gloomy weather reminded me I never finished/posted my Summer New Music Mixtape, which is called Waiting On The Summer. So here it is below. It's full of upbeat EDM and cruisy summer tunes to further compound the misery of the season.

Spring 2017 Playlist

Oh no, it's Spring. it was 23 degrees and sunny for a day there between the freezing nights and this week's heatwave. Better share my new music Spring 2017 playlist before the long days of summer heat cripple and curl the greenery.

Featuring, all new songs from 2017 that I've listened to a lot. To remind me of days of hamstring exercises, Cake PHP development, starting to worry about UV again whilst writing, driving to town during lame rail upgrades, cooking huge and agricultural vegetarian curries, hamstring stretches.
(I did a lot of other things during Spring 2017, but most of them whilst not listening to music.)

Autumn 2017 Playlist

My usual Autumn Playlist of new musics is a little late this year. Maybe that’s because winter, too, was late, and only now is it raining daily and my playlist finished. Maybe it’s because I created a separate playlist for rap music this year, so I had to find an extra six tracks to fill up this one.

I’ll share it below, ready for me to revisit over the rest of my life to remind me of the start of 2017. There’s a lot of pop music, which I guess is because the world is so depressing and indiscriminately unjust that happy tunes are needed to get through it. Or maybe it’s because I’m getting older, and my myelinated axons are slowly losing their resilience to commercialism and/or craving the synthetic feelings of youth.


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Brain Tickling

Sometimes, when I want to feel nostalgic, I'll play music that I listened to heavily during a past period of my life. Music is second only to smell in that it can transport you to another time with a single twinge of the sense. And it's much more convenient to recreate on demand than odours.

Other times I might read through an old year worth of journal entries to reminisce. It's amazing what kind of extra memories are conjured simply by reading through thoughts I wrote at the time. I feel plugged in to that era.

On days I'm feeling really narcissistic I'll do both. The year's top singles while reading the year's posted experiences. It's like my mind is right there back in 2011 or 2007.

Sometimes I'll listen to the top songs from one year while reading the journal entries from a completely different year. That's an uncanny mental sensation. I can feel parts of my brain distorting in jelly-like ripples as it tries to chronologically orient itself while being thrashed by waves of nostalgia.

Sometimes I like to turn the hairdryer at my armpit and hold it there. There's a point right before the skin burns where the nerves tingle in a way I've never felt anywhere else on my body. I don't know if it's pleasure or pain, but something makes me keep doing it.

2016 Music

As usual I will commemorate the end of 2016 by sharing my "Best songs of 2016" playlist (excluding all the songs that made it onto my 2016 Spring Mix and my 2016 Actual Spring Mix).

(You can listen to these songs on Spotify for free)

I don't really write about music anymore. I will say that the Jai Wolf track is like peak M83, and that the Mogwai song is a really satisfying slow build when you're paying attention.
The mix is 81 minutes long, because it's 2017 now. Take that CDs! I outlived your relevance!

As I'm the only one who cares about these mixtapes and hence will read this far, I'll say this: Brad, don't give up on your dreams no matter how hard it seems sometimes. You'll be right, and if not, we all die anyway. I hope you're having a good time in whatever future year it is and the technology that replaces Spotify has all of these songs in its catalogue.

2016 End of Year List

  1. Black Honey - Hello Today
  2. Weezer feat. Fitz of Fitz and The Tantrums and Nadya of Pussy Riot - Jacked Up
  3. The Naked and Famous - The Runners
  4. RÜFÜS - You Were Right
  5. Safia - Over You
  6. Pnau - Chameleon
  7. Miike Snow - Genghis Khan
  8. Dreamers - Sweet Disaster
  9. Grouplove - Traumatized
  10. CRX - Unnatural
  11. Dune Rats - Scott Green
  12. Mogwai - Pripyat
  13. Frenship feat. Emily Warren - Capsize
  14. Vallis Alps - Fading
  15. Jai Wolf feat. The Chain Gang of 1974 - Drive
  16. Excision feat. Madi - With You
  17. Odd Mob - Gassed Up
  18. THEY. - Say When
  19. Danny Brown feat. Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt - Really Doe
  20. ScHoolboy Q - Groovy Tony
  21. Run the Jewels - Talk to Me
  22. A Tribe Called Red feat. Yasiin Bey, Narcy, Black Bear - R.E.D.
  23. Zeds Dead feat. Jadakiss, Styles P - DNA

Travelling Through Space and Time

It's been a weekend of two weathers. Saturday was warm, sunny, windy. Sunday was cold, grey and showery. It's also smack bang dead in the middle of spring. The middle day of the middle month. What better time for me to announce the tracklisting for 2016 Spring Mixtape?

There's a couple of classics and a whole lot of fresh material that will hopefully help cement this period of my life into music. I'll be bumping the below tunes on my walks home from work, my walks to the gym, and my drives to the beach for the next month or so. Years from now I'll be able to put it on and remember the sunny days and rainy days of Spring, 2016. I'll think, ah, back in the days when someone could post a tracklist mixtape on the internet and everyone who read it would keenly listen to all the tracks to try and experience it (on Spotify).

Do you have a 2016 Spring Mixtape? If you do, post it in the comments.

My Second Spring, 2016
1. Grouplove - Do You love Someone?
2. Fitz and the Tantrums - A Place For Us
3. The Naked and Famous - Higher
4. Banks - Trainwreck
5. Montaigne - Till it Kills Me
6. Phantogram - Cruel World
7. Krrum - Evil Twin
8. Ghostface Killah - Be Easy
9. The Avalanches - Frankie Sinatra
10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat Xperience - Bradd Pitt's Cousin
11. Danny Brown - Ain't it Funny
12. Ji-min feat Iron - Puss
13. Griz feat Brasstracks, Eric Krasno - Gotta Push On
14. Francis and the Lights - May I Have This Dance
15. Young the Giant - Amerika
16. Pop Cult - Sunday Morning
17. Dope Lemon - Marinade
18. Ball Park Music - Nihilist Party Anthem
19. Dreller - A Signal That Comes Back
20. M∅ - Final Song
21. Northeast Party House - Dare

Realities

I recall sitting on a hill at Flinders University about two hours from sunset one workday afternoon in Spring, 2006. I was groaning internally about how much I was hating 2006, and I was wishing it had been like 2005, which I was quite fond of.

This was strange, because in hindsight 2006 was close to the most formative of my life. I have a million crazy, vivid memories. The thing is, you can't remember back paint the same way you remember adventure.

Sometimes, in 2016, I get a nagging sense of regret that I'm wasting my life. Things feel like they've slowed down, become too routine and are ruled by metrics like calories and dollars and minutes. I feel like being spontaneous takes weeks of planning, and all my adventures have big countdown clocks looming over them the whole time.

I've reasoned with myself that when I think back to all the fun things I got up to with friends during University days it's not fair to compare them to the past winter of relative dullness (although I did spend four weeks in Europe. Christ.) After all, when I think back to the events of 2006 I'm ignoring the days, weeks, months where nothing happened except for work and back exercises and TV. My nostalgic memories only seem crammed together because they were so long ago they blended into one collage.

How foolish I felt, then, after stumbling across some old chatlogs from 2006 and discovered exactly how packed those days actually had been. Weekends and weeknights were bars, parties, beach trips and social sports all squeezed between a houseboat trip, camping and music festivals. I barely had time for one sudoku a day.

Fascinated and slightly disturbed by how apparently extroverted I'd managed to be back then, I read on. The more I reviewed of my old, late night (sometimes tipsy) rambling, the more of a personality I really don't remember having come to prominence. Events I thought I remembered clearly turned out to have happened slightly differently. I was living in a totally different reality.

A journal entry usually gets at least one or two read overs before posting. Unwritten memories get eroded and shaped by the mind every time they're accessed. Chatlogs are pretty raw. They showed me out as a young person, with all the failings I consider today's young people to have. I didn't take important things seriously. I was intentionally vapid, naive, I flat out just lacked empathy. It wasn't malicious, it just wasn't mentally developed. I think that at that age it's actually impossible for most humans to be proper adults. There's something different in the brain. Is that the cause of different realities? Is this how old people become grumpy, and disconnected from their youth?

We all live in our own realities. We're really freaking blind to it. Even your own realities from the past aren't how you remember them. I thought that was a bit scary, but I don't know how real that feeling really is.

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