I’ve always been a fan of change. Small change though. None of this life changing stuff. Just small things in everyday life that might be slightly different, that doesn’t knock all sense of knowing out of you.
I’ve had a bit of change lately. It a change in between those two extremes. It’s uneasy . It feels distantly right, but large. Fucking large. Music listening, against this, feels soothing, comfortable, and at times nostalgic. This tape for example has a couple of acts that remind me of my teenage years. Kids At Midnight and their warm expansive pop is something that I usually glaze over – it was the kind of music that only ever made sense to me in my teens, but I find myself now, being drawn to it’s ability to draw me back. Same with Planète. Although obviously quite different in style, that minimal sound was something I was lost in in my early 20s. The constant monotony of that beat had back then stripped all the meaning out of the word monotony. It helped me search for something, in it’s ability to enter you and embody you, in it’s ability to propel you forward in an incredibly calm way. It was meditative. It is meditative.
In the January mixtape I wrote about the consumption of new music being the one consistent thing in a life that is anything but (PhD’s are great, but man do they fuck with you). Music has an incredible ability to both transport you back to a particular time or person, as well as allowing you to make sense of what is going on currently. As people we’re constantly seeking out meaning – meaning gives us a sense of self and a foundation. Music, in it’s sonicness gives us a chance to derive meaning and place sense in things that may concern, confuse or excite us. It seems like an old idea of music acting as a soundtrack, and in many ways it is. But that’s because what music does, and how we experience it has been consistent over the centuries.
As I write, and slowly become more confident that these little ‘reflections’ aren’t something I’m going to cringe at when I revisit them in 20 years time, I hope to be offering that insight into the importance of music in my life, especially new music. I mentioned the idea of writing around music when I reviewed the new Dick Diver record over on MISMATCH.TV. It’s the idea that music itself is so impossible to describe properly, that describing everything else to do with it actually gives you a far greater insight into how the music is experienced. Maureen O’Shaughnessy’s opening essay entitled ‘Drive’ which appears in Christian Ryan’s edited collection The Best Music Writing Under The Australian Sun also does this, documenting the intersection of the personal and the musical against the backdrop of a last minute trip to Bluesfest one year.
So this tape, as I started to get into earlier, is pretty fucking important. Hopefully, we all have tapes, or even just songs that do this. I try and ensure that most of the tapes I make for maamf not only are an attempt at objectively suggesting the ‘best’ new music of the month, but also provide some insight into how I experience the music in the hope that you might relate.
So, at the risk of drawing this out a little more, some more words on the inclusions for this month’s tape. Edward Francis threw me in all sorts of unexpected ways; Darts and The Living Eyes reminded me of just why I love short, fast raucous who-gives-a-fuck rock’n’roll; and Ella Thompson, Tam Vantage and Ainslie Wills together propelled the belief that Melbourne is perhaps home to the best songwriters in the country, if not the world.
And all the others are ace too.
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