New DJ Mixes

After making some changes to my website (removing most of the ridiculous promo copy that I’d put up a year and a half ago), I upped a couple new mixes.

Unsubbed, 60 Minutes, 192kbps
Assembled in several pieces and mostly recorded when I was in Thailand in the early months of 2007. A collage of trip hop, downtempo, hip hop, and idm.
1. Ini – Microphone Wanderlust
2. Thievery Corporation – Until The Morning (Rewound Remix)
3. Wagon Christ – Boney L
4. Sneaker Pimps – 6 Underground
5. Coldcut – Eine Kleine Hed Musick
6. Bonobo – Noctuary
7. Ini – Center of Attention
8. DJ Krush – Kemuri
9. The Cinematic Orchestra – Channel 1 Suite
10. Erykah Badu – Back In The Day
11. The Foreign Exchange – Nic’s Groove
12. Cujo – Break Charmer
13. Wu Tang Clan – Can It All Be So Simple
14. Blockhead – You’ve Got Maelstrom
15. Amon Tobin – Micro People
16. Danny Breaks – Astral Vibes (Zoostrumental)
17. Riton – Put That On My Momma
18. Extended Spirit – Illicity Pt. 1
19. RJD2 – Rain
20. Thunderball – On The Sly
21. Moby – Porcelain
22. AIM – Good Disease

DOWNLOAD LINK

SLEEPING GIANT, 60 Minutes, 192kbps
All drum & bass, although a fairly spanning selection including some classics along with a collection of 2006 releases.
1. Klute – Song Seller
2. D-Bridge – True Romance
3. Blu Mar Ten – Blurunner
4. Future Engineers – Shattered
5. Cartridge – Another Way
6. USB – The Swallow
7. Future Prophecies – Illusion of Time
8. Break – Extreme Moments
9. Dom & Roland – Can’t Punish Me
10. Amit – Village Folk
11. Polar – 7th Avenue
12. Sonic – What U Do 2 Me
13. Klute – Part of Me
14. TC & Distorted Minds – Compton
/ Dillinja – All Aboard (Double Drop)
15. Cause 4 Concern – Moongerm
16. Origin Unknown – Grudge Match
17. Optical – The Shining
18. Juju – The Summer
19. Use of Weapons – Mojo Woman

DOWNLOAD LINK

Published on March 28, 2007

Chongqing: City of Celebration

I’ve gone months now without writing in here at all, largely because of a lack of travel. After having been mainly located in Chengdu for several years now, it’s become increasingly rare that I find something new and inspiring to write about, but a recent trip back to Chongqing has me somewhat rejuvenated. The show was at Falling Club (Á౉?ä) again, which is a club that has never failed to draw a full house before, but I was skeptical this time because the party was on a Sunday night. I can’t remember the last time I’ve DJ’d anywhere on a Sunday, but lo and behold, Falling Club in ËߣÊîæÂåó (Freedom Square in the center of Chongqing) was active as ever, and the club was a roadblock. The gig itself didn’t live up to the glory of the previous Saturday night that I was there, but it was fairly epic when I was able to play trip hop for 30 minutes before finishing. In most cities and clubs the bosses would insist on me not being too adventurous with the playlist, but Chongqing stands apart.

Before the beginning of my set there was a fashion show inside the club. I’d seen this only once before at Buzz in Washington DC and didn’t expect to see anything like that. The first thing that clued me in were all the photographers with big cameras and flashes constantly flickering – and then the six foot tall Chinese model. I didn’t get to see much of the show as I was in the “green room” (also janitorial closet) with Afeng the promoter, rolling joints and talking about the night. When the fashion show ended and the stage was disassembled in moments and I opened with DJ Krush. There was a camera and spotlight on the booth, but the great part was that the images from the camera were projected all around the club on projectors. Glimpsing at the projected images of me around the club was like looking into a mirror. Twice in the middle of my set I was told to turn the music down so an MC could speak. Turns out the MC was really announcing lottery numbers for consolation prizes offered by the sponsor. So, in the middle of people dancing, the music stops and the MC runs through a quick dialogue/commercial for Chivas before reading off long numbers to have people come to the front of the club to collect prizes, the crown of which was a bottle of Chivas so large it wouldn’t fit on a table and had to be seated on a tripod. The promoter dragged me into a smelly stall in the toilet after the show to give me the cash. No idea why it was such a secretive affair, but I got out of there and hit a few other clubs before passing out in my hotel after chatting with Preemo on googletalk.

The next day I caught up with Fu, my favorite friend in Chongqing. I don’t think I’ve written about Fu, but he’s an old friend of Sascha’s to whom I was introduced 18 months ago or so. He’s a friendly local music aficionado who has a shop in ËߣÊîæÂåó that sells art and music. Learning to understand what he’s saying has taken me a while to become even fairly proficient at; he speaks quickly and in a lot of local dialect which I don’t study. Most Chinese people make an effort to speak more clearly to foreigners knowing that mandarin isn’t our native language, but Fu doesn’t subscribe to this practice and instead raps away about whatever is on his mind. It couldn’t be better practice for listening comprehension, and this trip was the first time I’d ever really had long conversations and understood everything. Hanging out in the evening with him and two of his friends, Dong Dong and Xiao Lu, we smoked joints (they are passionate hash smokers), drank beer, and chatted in the Irish bar. I heard a story about their unified and perilous mission to import a Skid Row record in 1987, them hearing a guitar effects pedal for the first time and freaking out not knowing where that sound was coming from, to plans for a 30,000 person party headlined by Paul Van Dyk in Chongqing later this year.
I wasn’t too anxious to return to Chengdu but I have to make sure that posters and fliers for the party this weekend get handled (Downtempo Pilots (Dave and I) this Saturday at the Hemp House).

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next trip to Chongqing. :sax:

Published on March 21, 2007

Dave's Round-the-World-Blog

My old friend and roommate Dave is preparing to embark on a trip around the world.

Taking the opportunity to quit his job and travel for at least a year around the world is something most people can only dream of – I have enormous respect for the ambition and courage it takes to make sacrifices to realize such distant dreams. The mental preparation required for a year long journey through foreign lands is simultaneously dizzying and fascinating, and you can follow his progress on his blog at GoBackPacking.com.

With any luck I’ll have the opportunity to catch up with Dave as he passes through the mighty ‘Republic. I still have writing an article for his site on my mind. Stay tuned: Dave seems to be on top of maintaining a steady flow of engaging reading material for the travel-minded.

Published on March 20, 2007

Koh Lanta

We spent a night in a real hotel, which was strangely discomforting, in Surat Thani before heading further west to Koh Lanta, which was personally recommended to me by Tenzin. I told him that I was looking for the more remote areas of southern Thailand (at the peak of the tourist season) and he told me that he stood alone on one beach for days on Koh Lanta with the exception of naked Thai children running around playing. The naked children stood as an indicator of the quality and tranquility of the beach, so I intended to search for the same thing (the beach, not the naked children).

The first place we found was straight out of the Lonely Planet guide. Using the guide is too easy and usually results in sub-standard results, in my opinion, but Nemo’s consultation with Lonely Planet referred us to a beach at the southern end of the island called Kan Tiang. We ended up staying at the Kan Tiang resort, even though the bungalows had all been booked to capacity. All they had left were tents, which were 200baht a night and right on the beach. I was excited by the opportunity to try something different, be closer to the nature of the island, and save money all at the same time, but Nemo recoiled at the thought of sleeping in a tent. He flatly refused to submit himself to such outlandish conditions as a tent and looked at me and bitterly remarked “you can sleep in a tent if you want to” as if I suggested we play Russian roulette.¬† So this was our divide, me being happy to have found such a place, and Nemo refusing to consider sleeping in a tent. He searched several other nearby places for vacant accommodations but everything was either full or out of his price range, so he returned to the resort pouty and bitter, silently agreeing that the tent was in fact the only option.

The resort wasn’t actually a resort in the normal definition, which I believe includes various amenities like pool, tennis courts, gymnasium, and so on, but only had bungalows and a bar & restaurant on the beach. The beach there was gorgeous, and the vibe of the place was pleasant, although too much like an actual resort. There were only foreigners there, mostly from Europe (especially a lot of Scandinavians), and the music included hit Thai bands as Pearl Jam, The Foo Fighters, Third Eye Blind, and The Goo Goo Dolls. I can’t tell you how incredibly lame it is to hear 90’s alternative rock music on a beach in Thailand. Thankfully, I made the perfect exit.

Published on January 11, 2007

Koh Phagnan

We arrived in Koh Phagnan after taking a ferry for several hours straight from Koh Tao. The ferry was very large and carried several hundred people between the two islands, mostly young foreigners, but some Thai people as well. This was the first indication of what Koh Phagnan would be like. Although there are countless islands, big and small, dotting both east and west coast of southern Thailand, most of them are known for something. Koh Tao for diving and Koh Phagnan for the monthly full moon party. The port at Koh Phagnan looks like Khao San road. For anyone who hasn’t been to the tourist backpacker wasteland of Thailand’s capitol, let me paint a picture: you’re surrounded by faces hid behind fake Gucci sunglasses, tribal tattoos, white guys with dreadlocks, and cheap guesthouses, banana pancakes, and Thai food for farang (tourists). It sucks immensely. Fortunately we didn’t come for the pier, and this was just a prelude.

The goal was to get as far from where we were as possible. The most secluded area of the island. The place where no one goes. We made a compromise when a Thai songthaew (a taxi where passengers sit on two rows in the bed of a pickup truck) driver who had lived in America recommended that we stay near a small beach in the quiet northeast region of the island, directly on the opposite side of Hat Rin, the bustling tourist development on the southern coast which attracts the majority of Koh Phagnan’s visitors. His recommendation turned out to be excellent, as we paid 200baht and stepped off the pickup truck after stretching out after the jostling 45 minute drive over dirt and mud roads which looked like they were from a war zone.

We quickly meet a Thai man named Romeo (he must be very romantic?) who leads us to his settlement, a collection of humble bungalows about 200 meters from the beach. Upon entering the grounds I noticed the comfortable atmosphere, drawn largely by a large grassy area between¬† the bungalows which had children’s toys littered around it. No sir, this was no resort. And so we became friends with Nicola and Romeo and their child Adam who lived there, and the group of five Swedes who were all staying there for a month – part of their annual winter Koh Phagnan trip together. We spent several days enjoying the tranquil side of the island¬† before even going to see Hat Rin, the tourist area. It was terrible. We quickly left. A day later, we decided to leave the island and return to the mainland, cross that, and take another ferry to an island on the opposite coast of Thailand; the Andaman Coast.

Published on January 8, 2007

Koh Tao

Supposedly this is the diving capitol of Asia (where the majority of divers in the continent get training), so that explains all of the dive shops.

Last night Nemo and I took the midnight boat along with Alaska and his German techno compatriots, sleeping in Thai cargo boat holds until being woken up before the sun rose and walking a plank off the ship. I slept next to boxes holding hundreds of cans of Coca-Cola and the Thai energy drink “M-150”. Too bad I wasn’t thirsty. I did sleep well though, clutching my shoulder bag with my laptop inside it as I drifted to sleep along with the waves rocking the boat back and forth.

The island is about 20 kilometers end to end, and we’re staying in a bungalow at the far south. I was able to coach & coerce Nemo into renting a small motorcycle so we could easily traverse the island (which took longer than it should have because some Brit overhead me telling him not to worry and interjected that Nemo should listen to his inner fear and not rent a 100cc scooter). This is the same model bike that 12 year old Thai girls ride to middle school. So, everything worked out okay. :woop:
As the sun starts to fall from directly above I’ll head out to the north edge of the island, seeking out some of the more secluded beaches which shouldn’t be occupied by anyone but scuba divers drifting around diving boats.

Nemo has taken a liking to the soda milk drink that I always get when I’m here, but he calls it Cambodian breast milk.

I mailed a postcard today which I’ve been carrying with me for over a month, across several thousand miles. I miss her a lot and won’t be able to see her at WMC this year, sadly.

Published on January 5, 2007

Thailand

Here I am again, with a burned neck and arms. Yesterday was spent riding a motor bike from Prachaup Khilin Khan to the national park 60km’s north of here. Once inside we spent a few hours exploring the grounds looking for wildlife (elephants & tigers) before watching one of the most beautiful sunsets I can remember seeing. The landscape looked much like what I imagine the plains of Africa looking like; although I’ve never seen those in anything but photographs.

In a few hours we’re taking a train to Chumphon where one can catch a ferry to Koh Tao-

Published on January 4, 2007

Christmas Season

Christmas Season is here, and the countdown to Christmas won’t remain for much longer. I haven’t been home in a few days, lots of traveling for work due to the hectic time of year that this is. I’ve been in Yibin (southern Sichuan, not far from Chongqing) since yesterday afternoon and tomorrow I’m returning to Chengdu and then going somewhere else in Sichuan province. Then home to change apartments for a day, then off to Guiyang for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.¬†Then sweet, sweet, peace. I’ll happily be able to spend new years eve in Changsha (capitol of Henan province, hometown of Mao) playing alongside my crew-mate Tenzin. What else – I don’t know. I haven’t felt like writing much recently, which I believe is a symptom of my return to western China. Once I get back onto the road after New Years, I think I’ll be more inspired to write and let my mind wander.

Till then,

Merry Christmas

Published on December 21, 2006