Lads, I’m gonna need any and all dance music sent into me to have maximum swing from now until late-February, when the sun is still up at 5pm, I’m just too tired. If it’s House and Techno then I want a whole load of extra rhythmic elements besides the kick, (check out Octo Octa & Eris Drew’s last BBC show for reference). One gentlemen who really understands this is the Funk-obsessive they call Phrixus; his XXX Rated EP is jam-packed with joyful energy, check it out, turn it on and rip your jeggings off. If you’re not ready to dance but you still want to feel movement ripple through you, then his Endless Desert-themed Picks should be just right for you, all Spotifyable tracks gathered here. Take it away PhrixyBoi!!!
When it comes to writing tunes, I have always been massively inspired by physical spaces and the simple idea of attempting to evoke these. Music which places you somewhere, geographically - stuff which allows you to picture in your mind’s eye a space of any sort.
I do a lot of field recording for this exact reason - I love the idea of capturing the objective sonics of a space, freezing them in time, and then warping them through my own subjective prism to try to represent my own experience of being there.
Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a couple of months with a desert on my very doorstep, and got a lot of kicks spending hours wandering through that beautiful landscape. I’ve picked 10 tracks which to me, all evoke the feeling of being there in different ways. If you happen to find yourself in a desert (or any vast, barren landscape for that matter), I’d recommend reaching for this playlist.
Falty DL’s side project Drew Lustman has been a firm favourite of mine for years now - this track in particular stands out and always makes me feel like I’m in some mad empty ethereal realm with those haunting voices calling out across miles of space. I’m still waiting for him to drop more cowboy material!!!
How could we talk about evoking vast openness without mentioning man like Hecker?! Always been a firm favourite of mine, for me this whole album is his absolute best. This piece in particular hits me very hard.
Ever since Madlib’s new album Sound Ancestors came out, I’ve had it on repeat. Feels particularly apt to include this track as it feels like Madlib’s ode to the legendary DOOM (rest easy, king). Noodly intimate guitar always does it for me. Stick this one on when you’re driving through the desert, it fits perfectly. Trust me, I’ve tried!
Always find myself coming back to Lalo Schifrin’s (the man behind the original Mission Impossible AND Dirty Harry OST) soundtrack for Joe Kidd. Super special piece of work which I’ve sampled more than I’d like to mention. Westerns always have a romantic place in my heart - I love the cinematography and staring into those vast, sexy, open spaces. Like another planet man. Promised myself that one day I WILL do a soundtrack for an imaginary Western - just give it a few decades yeah? Got some other stuff to do first.…
Anyone who knows me well knows I always come back to this album - Fis is an absolute legend when it comes to noise music and evoking gritty, visceral soundscapes. This track conjures up visions of an incredibly violent sandstorm ripping across the terrain at night, and I’m all for it. Strongly recommend not listening to this before bedtime. Depends on your disposition I guess.
RIP don. Absolutely incredible woodwind player who is well worth checking out if you like your smoky, intimate jazz. This always makes me feel like I’m lost in the most beautiful of landscapes, images of purple flowers blooming from sand and oases spring to mind……
The track name says it all really. Sparkly and magical, just how I like it. All of Jabu and Neek’s stuff, under the extremely confounding name O$VMV$M is worth a check - super fragmented dub vibes.
MORE noodles but this time from Clever Austin aka Perrin Moss, known for his work as a band member of Hiatus Kaiyote. Slap this one on when you’re nearly out of water and then come across an oasis…..
Ok I’ll set the scene. B2b ambient mess around mix at my old place up north with the don Padawan Sound (not only an incredible DJ but runs the amazing night Think Tank Ambient in Leeds). Paddy plays this, textured guttural noises cascade around like a hi-tech machine falling apart. Then, the main melody line drops in from nowhere. I’m blown away. I’ve been in love with this track ever since and reach for it on a regular occasion whenever I’m doing genre-spanning radio stuff. Just really gets across a key theme in a lot of these tracks - vast, sparse and caked in reverb. Oh and noodly guitars.
My favourite track from the big man. Texturally it’s very juxtaposing - drums which sound like bones cracking against the soft, oozing chords, pings in the background, and lullaby like vocals. Makes me feel like I’m in the desert after dark looking up at a night sky undisturbed by neither cloud nor artificial light.