Vee Mix Feb 2009

What, it’s not February anymore?

Okay you can call me a slacker but here’s a mix to make up for my tardiness!!  The Twelves are the hottest things to come out of Brazil on the musical front and they do a great number on this Groove Armada track.  Currently only available online via a Bacardi Promotion.  Supposedly there are 5 tracks on the upcoming Groove Armada EP.  I love everything Breakbot’s been doing and he added a great 80’s electro feel to an otherwise marginal song.  Gotta plug my Dutch homeboy JXL  with a track off his latest.  And what’s up with John Bourke?  Supposedly he’s from Oklahoma (The Reddest State in the USofA..) but he sure sounds like he’s been hanging out at Sprokets in Berlin on this track.  It actually sounds good with a psuedo German accent.  N.A.S.A. is blowing up right now.  It’s an acronym for North America/South America.  Music doesn’t sound like anything new to me but they do have some big name vocalists on the album.  These guys must have quite the rolodex.  Presets are coming back to Portland for a show in April and I love “If I know you” off their latest album “Apocalypso”.  They took everything that was great from 80’s new wave music and put it all in one song.  Brilliant!!  Speaking of 80’s, Plump DJ’s and Gary Numan…..Treat!!

1. Drop The Tough (The Twelves Remix) – Groove Armada
2. When We Were Young (Breakbot Mix) – Sneaky Sound System
3. New Toy – Junkie XL
4. Kids In Technicolor(Knights Remix) – Coldplay vs MGMT vs Daft Punk
5. What Is Love – John Bourke
6. Beat myself up (Don Diablo ReRub) – Plump DJs
7. Whachadoin? (Instrumental) – N.A.S.A.
8. Arguru – Deadmau5
9. If I Know You – The Presets
10. Jump N Twist – Freestylers
11. Pray For You (Feat. Gary Numan) – Plump DJs

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Vee Mix Sept ’08

Wanna get the September mix in before the month is actually over.  Slacker!…Why do today what you can do tomorrow.  Guess I can’t wait because tomorrow is October.  Here is one of my Cocktail Mixes for 94/7fm.  It’s for the Tuesday program and they want more mainstream recognizable stuff in these mixes which actually makes them more interesting and at the same time, harder, since it takes a bit of work to find older, more familiar songs that work well with the new material.

Anyway, might as well start off with a classic song from the 1986 Pretty in Pink movie.  I don’t know if it was actually written for the movie, but it was only released as a single and on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack and later on the New Order compilation Substance.  Seems like such a long time ago.  Sweden is again a hot bed of new music and both The Tough Alliance and Lykke Li are a testament to some great music coming out of Scandinavia.   The Twelves are from Brazil and do great work on both the Black Kids and M.I.A. tracks.  Then later on we have the Black Kids remixing Lykke Li.  Do you also get the feeling that music industry is a bit insestuous?  Modeselektor has a great remix of Bjork’s Dull Flame of Desire.  One mix is for the boys and the other for the girls.  The girls one is a bit mellower so I ended up going with that one.

1. Shellshock – New Order
2. Something Special – The Tough Alliance
3. Back Of The Van (Fred Falke Mix) – Ladyhawke
4. New Gold Dream (81, 82, 83, 84) – Simple Minds
5. I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance
With You (The Twelves Remix) – Black Kids
6. Boyz (The Twelves Remix) – M.I.A.
7. Remind Me (Someone Else’s Radio Mix) – Röyksopp
8. Where I Belong (Wookie Remix) – Sia
9. I’m Good, I’m Gone (Black Kids Remix) – Lykke Li
10. Dull Flame of Desire (Modeselektor’s RMX for Girls) – Björk
11. Never Miss A Beat (Cut Copy Remix) – Kaiser Chiefs
12. Into The Galaxy (Chateau Marmont Remix) – Midnight Juggernauts

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Vee Mix April ’08

There have been some great new releases the last couple of weeks. None of which I’m playing in this mix except for Moby. His latest album is called ‘Last Night’ and it’s a flashback to earlier Moby material from the ‘Everything is Wrong’ and ‘Play’ days. Classic signature Moby sounds abound, but also some of the most repetitive loops this side of Eiffel 65. Good for a couple of listens but then it gets a little grating.

Not so much with the latest Raveonettes album ‘Lust, Lust, Lust’. Distortion drenched music straight from Denmark. These guys sound like Bloody Valentine, Ride and Lush with a bit of Romeo Void thrown in for good measure. Great throwback ‘Shoe Gazer’ material but the over the top distortion might scare off a few listeners. Keep listening though, there are some great changes in the song.

The latest Kosheen album is called ‘Damage’ and is sadly not getting enough play on the radio, except for the area54 program on 94/7fm and www.area54.com…nothing wrong with plugging my own radio show! The title track is probably the best song on the album but in this mix I threw in the edgier ‘Freak of Nature’. Also, with Cinco de Mayo around the corner, I couldn’t resist going back to the classic Ween track, ‘Buenas Tardes Amigo’ off their seminal 1994 release ‘Chocolate and Cheese’.

If you’re in Portland on May 3rd plan on coming by the Area54 Cinco de Mayo party at Cha in NW Portland.

Map

As they say at my local taqueria, “enjoy”.

1. Aly, Walk With Me – The Raveonettes
2. Ooh Yeah – Moby
3. Inspection (Check One) – Leftfield
4. Una Linea De Luz – Kinky
5. Precious – Depeche Mode
6. Hello there – Cagedbaby
7. Hiding On The Staircase – New Young Pony Club
8. Freak Of Nature – Kosheen
9. Someone Great – LCD Soundsystem
10. Thieves Like Us – New Order
11. Buenas Tardes Amigo – Ween

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Vee Mix March ’08

Pipiwai Trail, Maui, Hawaii
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Just got back from some great hikes on Maui. Also epic surf and windsurfing but those pictures didn’t turn out as colorful as the ones from the hikes. This one was taken hiking up the Pipiwai Trail at the Seven Sacred Pools. It’s a 4 mile hike gaining about 650 feet in elevation. There are some great waterfalls and pools all the way up towards Waimoku Falls. Not to mention one of the densest bamboo forests I’ve seen on Maui. The Falls are the end of the trail and fall 400 feet down sheer rocks walls. You can stand underneath the water but it’s pretty chilly for Hawaiian standards.

Also found a great dance station on Maui. They are called Maui’s party station and they’re at 105.5fm if you get a chance to listen. During the day it’s pretty much CHR but they have a great mix show at noon as well as 5pm and at night it’s pretty much free format. For the Euros visiting Maui they’ll get their fill of Tiesto and Paul van Dijk every night.

Here’s a little mix inspired by a couple of songs I heard on the station. Doesn’t happen very often that I hear something on commercial radio that interests me.

1. People Are Strange (Chew Fu Remix) – The Doors
2. Hearts on Fire – Cut Copy
3. What Is Love -John Bourke
4. Rise Up (Original Mix) – Yves Larock
5. Sound Of Freedom (Original Club Mix) – Bob Sinclar
6. Alice (General Midi Remix) – Moby
7. Heart On The Line – Michal Canitrot Ft. Ann Saunderson
8. Ready For The Floor – Hot Chip
9. Electric Mistress (2007 Remix) – Jamiroquai
10. Superstylin – Groove Armada

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Sia ‘Buttons’ video

Sia’s working on a new album tentatively called ‘Some People Have Real Problems’ which will be released in early 2008. Here’s a hilarious promo video of her new song ‘Buttons’ to hold you over until then. If her last album ‘Colour the Small One’ was any indication, she’ll be touring heavily when her new album is released. Don’t miss her when she comes to your town. She’ll stay after the show and hug every person in the audience….serious!

AAC can’t compete with Wav or MP3 in sound quality

There’s been a lot of hype lately about Apple’s decision to start offering music in its iTunes store as non protected higher bit rate AAC files starting in May. I argued in an earlier post that as long as Apple keeps selling songs in AAC compressed format, it basically remains a protected song since you can’t do much with AAC except put the songs on your iPod. I know a lot of you Apple people believe that AAC is the defacto standard, but can you seriously see AAC music blogs popping up? There is a reason that most music available on the internet is in MP3 format. First off, it’s much more universal and you can use it on just about any audio device, from a home DVD player to a car stereo. Secondly, the sound quality is better than AAC.Audiophiles have complained forever about the loss of sound quality because of the compression and I’m not going to argue that. People complained about the warmth of a song on a vinyl record being lost when the cd came out, but going from cd to mp3 was a much bigger loss. Luckily bandwidth has improved so much in the last couple of years that downloading and using any music in less than 192Kbps is a complete waste of time. If more music was available in 320 Kbps we would have music that is audibly almost as good as the original wav file from a store bought cd.

Funny thing that with all this modern technology we are creating a whole generation of people who walk around listening to music with their ear buds that, in simple terms, is the difference between AM and FM radio. I remember joking that my dad had AM or Mono ears because he couldn’t tell the difference when stereo first came out.

Ironic how a whole generation grew up listening to High Fidelity records and cd’s and now the latest generation is growing up listening to lousy sound quality songs from the iTunes store. In my mind the record labels made a huge marketing mistake by not using the sound quality angle. Hey, you can drink a PBR or a nice micro brew. Both are beer, but they’re definitely not the same.

There is an audible difference between an AAC, MP3 and Wav file. Try it at home with a song that you have from the original store bought cd, then make a MP3 version of the song and after that download the same song in AAC format from the iTunes store. Unless you have mono ears like my dad, you’ll hear a clear difference.

If you still don’t believe me, I imported the “Nickodemus” song “Cleopatra In New York – Karuan Remix” into Adobe Audition and you can visually see the difference in quality.

If you’re going to compress your music, only use the highest bit rate MP3 your computer and hard drive can handle. MP3 needs to become the defacto standard in compression. Don’t use AAC. Don’t use WMA.

wav song file

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