Sunday, October 19, 2008

Greetings from a cold, crisp Montreal. It's been quite an hectic October so far, hence the lack of updates.

In late September, I checked out Austin City Limits, one of the best large festivals I've had the pleasure of experiencing. Spiritualized was my personal highlight, though it was odd to catch them outside in daylight. But as I haven't seen the fully electrified performance since the days of Amazing Grace, it was nice to see the bombast and atmospherics compared to the more stripped-down Electric Mainlines tour.

Then, it was off to Singapore in early October for the PSFK conference Asia. I moderated a panel with Mark Dytham of Klein/Dytham and Pecha Kucha as well as Andrew Hoppin of NASA. I'm pleased to say the session, and the entire conference, was incredibly inspiring. It was a painfully short trip to Singapore but I made up for it with excessive amounts of amazing food, from Malaysian curries to black pepper crab and incredible street food.

Switching gears to music, this mix from Dixon has been on constant repeat. After listening to excessive amounts of super cerebral techno, this is refreshing for both the sheer quality of the track selection and overarching emphasis on melody. Dixon plays New York on November 13 on Cielo's amazing sound system. (Too bad about their location/door policy)

Dixon- Innercity Mix

I'm also quite excited for Greg Wilson's forthcoming NYC appearance (Oct 25) at Primetime. My pal Eamon Harkin did a fantastic interview with him over here. I found this excerpt to be quite interesting:

Who in contemporary dance culture do you see as doing interesting things right now?

What I find most interesting and exciting about contemporary dance culture is the way that the internet has connected us all more closely together. All of a sudden a younger generation can go online and explore a wealth of dance music, dating right back to the 60’s, doing this from their own perspective. This has created a fresh dynamic that’s allowed an old timer like me to come back into things after a 20 year absence, without being viewed in purely nostalgic terms, which isn’t something that’d appeal to me. On top of this many contemporary artists are drawing from this dance heritage, to put their own spin on things, whilst the whole re-edit thing has also put a new twist on older tracks.

It’s part of a necessary process as far as I’m concerned, going back in order to move things forward. As the saying goes, to know the future first you must know the past, and this is what I feel is happening, as people look for more than just a surface understanding, needing to truly explore what came before in some depth. What they eventually do with this knowledge is going to be the really interesting part.

A few other things that are worth your time and attention:

The Hotel Gault in Montreal
Anything from Stafr├Žnn Hákon
Jackson C. Frank- Blues Run the Game
The open bars of Anja Schneider's "Safari" as your ring tone.
Commix- Be True
Young Marble Giants- Colossal Youth
The Economist- The World Next Week Podcast
NYT Front Page Podcast
Fareed Zakaria's CNN show, GPS
The Forever War by Dexter Filkins