Well here we are, 2021 has begun and I am already exhausted, to be honest I can barely gather the strength to write this introduction. But I am writing it, I’m still pouring my free time and effort into Loose Lips, because I’ve got love for this shit, and thankfully that love gestates into hope for warm, joyful times. Spinning on that theme for this week’s picks is Francis Redman, DJ and head of Trouble In Utopia, a record label whose website frontpage states in big bold letters;
‘Surrounded by noise we found each other.
We have sound.’
Lovely. As always all Spotifyable tracks are gathered here, take it away...
For me to be awake early I am likely to be under the duress of some kind of commitment, or because there is something pressing my consciousness into being active. However, although when I do see a sunrise I am more likely than not bleary eyed and thick headed – there is also nothing like a beautiful morning to shake you up and invigorate you with new energy. I feel similar about the year ahead, emerging into a new dawn, downtrodden and ill prepared on the back of quite a trying year.
I am ready for new energy; I would like to see some more sunrises this year; these tracks are those ideal for these kind of transitional moments.
From the 2016 EP Healer, written after Valiska bought a synthesiser and found an exciting new place to work. I got to know Krystof relatively well after he made this, and whilst he is much more of a morning person than me – but I think it is also fair to say he is also someone who knows and appreciates these kind of uplifting moments.
This track, like much of the 2015 compendium of work from Lapti that it is taken from, looks forward and backwards at once. It gently evolves, with occasional melodies arriving hints at things to come.
I have more than once heard this described as a lullaby. A simple melody and a simple poem that combine into a woozy and mesmerizing refrain - to me the simple message speaks of forgetting yesterday as it bleeds out into today.
This lesser known cover of a Beatles track appears on Mal Waldron’s album Spanish Bitch, which was recorded in 1970 for ECM but only released in Japan. I love the way this sits in between complexity and simplicity. The sound of a city waking up.
Actually one of the first more left-field records I bought, after spending time in my local record store around 2000. I remember it took ages for this to arrive, and is one of my most loved records – it reminds me of that feeling when new worlds of sound open up.
The softness around the sounds in this track protects a sombre core. This feels old – like the comforting inevitability of time, and the exciting freedom in that; there is always another new day.
Someone once said to me that “the balance of sonics of this track reaches ASMR levels”, it is also perfectly balanced emotionally – starting rueful, becoming optimistic before erupting into life.
Music from last year (2020) – that was a friend to me in trying times. The way this track assembles itself put me in mind of the strength we can find in each other. Ideas and sounds dance around each other sleepily before gathering shape and impetus right up to the final inspiring words: “Do you really want the truth? – I do”
This track was one that, despite its slower tempo, was played a lot in the parties I went to around the time of its 2010 release. One of those rare pieces of music that has the ability to harness and unify all the energy in a room and transition it into a new place; I think it can harness similar momentum when listened to in a more meditative place. I remember listening to this on a night bus on Waterloo bridge as the sun came up.
Similar to the Hefner record, this track reminds me of new areas of music making themselves known. Mike Slott and Hudson Mohawke’s 2007 EP Sittin on the Side is one of my favourite records, it has never lost its freshness. The changes are fueled with an inspiration that is intoxicating, music that shows you how many possibilities there are and the potential in using them.