Sunday, June 1, 2008

8-Trck Engineer Ep.04, The Human Inspired

OK so here’s my two part answer to the question "What does it mean to be human?" discussed in the previous post.

A. What we are is the brain. The simplest, yet most complex, answer is that to be human is to have what we all have in common, our brain. Everything we think we are, see we are, feel we are or hear we are, is all coming from one place. Don’t mistake that for an idea that our senses make us human; it’s what’s piecing it all together. We could have purple skin, guys could have vaginas, girls could have penises, and our eyes could be attached to tube-like membranes sticking out from our necks… But we would still call ourselves humans so long as that’s the way we always were. Only humans can experience abstract external stimuli as (emotional, creative, physical) inspiration.

B. 8-Trck Engineer ep. 04, The Human Inspired

There are countless ways to answer this question using this format, but I wanted to keep this at a level of “I’d-like-to-play-you-some-music-you-haven’t-heard-yet. So don’t ask in some Spiccoli voice “Hey bud, where’s Beethoven? Where’s Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd?” Yada yada yada. I’ve answered this question this way in the hopes that any person can come along and listen, enjoy, then think about making their own mix. “What is it to be human?” is practically a rhetorical question. It has no answer other than what you feel is the answer.

This is a collection of 8 songs- put together spontaneously and without too much thought other than I know each one of these songs reminds me of what I am in this existence. It’s 8-Trck Engineer episode 04.

Pedal, Sump, Pedal, 2008, Staubgold Records. This piano duo from Sydney just released this album of improvised piano awesomeness. Some of the tracks are brilliantly unnerving, and some are just brilliantly moving like Sump. Staubgold says this: “What are they thinking? These guys are doing a record of acoustic piano music in this day and age! And let me tell you something, my prejudice was totally crushed within the first minute of listening to this CD. Just when I was thinking two grand pianos, four hands have nothing to say in this 21st century...”

The Radio Dept., What Will Give?, Pet Grief, 2006, Labrador. I have a feeling The Radio Dept is going to move me just as much when I’m 85-years-old. This is timeless timeless timeless music for us emotional pop lovers. They’re just friends school friends from Sweden that create wonderful music only Humans can create.

Tycho, Past Is Prologue, Past Is Prologue, 2006, Merck. Tycho, aka graphic designer ISO50, aka Scott Hansen, is from San Francisco! What!what! This guy is amazing. His beats are bliss and his design is dope. This song just KILLS me. I don’t know why, but it does. He needs to play more sets here in SF, that’s all I need to say. Bring back Beats and Boardgames!

M83, Teen Angst, Before The Dawn Heals Us, 2005, EMI France. I could have chosen any M83 song and it would have fit well in this mix. M83 has an extremely unique sound that has this quality about it that really makes you feel human. I feel like M83 is emotion in music form. It’s raw, LOUD, chaotic and intense but beautiful, balanced, and calming. One of my all-time favorite bands.

Tristeza, Balabaristas, A Colores, 2005, Better Looking. Another all time favs. The Album Leaf and Tristeza both hold special places in my heart. You can hear every stroke and touch of their fingers playing. Tristeza’s guitar and bass are almost unmatched by anyone in this genre. They tried playing with a stand in guitar player last tour and he couldn’t hang. It would hard to hear their live set being messed up, but at the same time it reinforced the complexity and strenuous rhythms they use.

Epic45, England Fallen Over, England Fallen Over EP, 2005, Make Mine Music. A highly inspirational band for me. If you like this song, just seriously by everything Epic45 has done. It’s really all that good. Hopefully your listening to this mix with headphones or good speakers cause this track uses GREAT channel techniques. I LOVE this band.

Radiohead, Weird Fishes/Apreggi, In Rainbows, 2007, self released. Another all-time fav for me. Shouldn’t have to say much about this song or band other than Brilliant.

DJ Shadow, Blood On The Motorway, The Private Press, 2002, MCA. I know I know. This song is a little old. But I BET you forgot about it. I BET you forgot how amazing it is. Well Junia (my girlfriend, Tonteria) DIDN’T! Honestly I forgot this song within the depths of my hard drive, but she called it out. If only Shadow could go back to this! He gave us a little taste with the live set release he did with Cut Chemist.

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