Joe and I decided to do the Elements after he showed me some great tunes with lots of water sounds. We decided to do the show as 15 min segments, each with us doing our half on each of the elements. Here’s mine:
The air segment is (of course) quite light and floaty, whilst also containing songs that are generally slow and then quite fast. This was to represent the nature of wind – all over the place and lots of speeds!
At 2 mins in you’ll hear a recording of a news bulletin announcing London’s pollution crisis – with one road in London surpassing the capital’s air pollution limit for the year in one week. This was particularly pertinent to me, as I pretty much cycle everywhere in London and the pollution is v.noticable.
After that, I play O$VMV$M – Flora, which to me sounds like a breathing rhythm.
At (13:20mins) I play a bit of a haunting tune I made from a sample of a humming bird, and lots of bass which is made to sound like it’s passing through air at speed.
I was the most excited about this element. I guess I’d consider myself someone who’s environmentally conscious, I’ve been vegetarian and then vegan for a number of years due to agriculture’s damage on the earth. So it was fun to include a bit of my lifestyle/politics into music. There’s recordings from Conspiracy in there, discussing facts on the agriculture industry.
I include Bjork – Solstice (34:21mins) from her Biophillia album, a musical masterpiece inspired by the Earth/Bjork’s interest in the environment. Solstice was created using a group of pendulums, transmitting the movements of the Earth to the sound of a harp. Just listen to the lyrics and you’ll know why I included it!
I’ve also included a great tune by Erikah Badu, not only an incredible musician but an environmentalist and fellow vegan, woohoo!
Where it all started! This obviously includes lots of tunes with water samples. I’ve included a tune I’ve made with some humpback whale samples in it too, the best animal ever. I think this is the most chilled of the four, calm waters…
I started with a recording from my friends’ Alex and Jess’ fire. Fire is considered both the creator and taker of life. To represent this I included one of the oldest ‘electronic’ pieces composed ,Halim El-Dabh – “Wire Recorder Piece” (1944). I’ve also included a tune that I listened to during a destructive time in my life, and one straight after that I listened to during a time of extreme happiness/loving feelings!
Fire is, of course, really intense. So I’ve included some tunes that reflect this, Mumdance’s Path of the Seer tunes being one of them.
Overall, I wanted to use this show to highlight how we interfere with the elements by generally not giving a shit about the planet. But on a lighter note also show how some artists can replicate those sorts of elemental energies in music.
I wanted to illustrate the beauty but also the destructive nature of our planet, such as natural disasters and man’s negative influence on our environment. Air
For this section I mainly focused on calming music, representing how I feel when focusing on breathing during meditation and also the music that I sometimes listen to while meditating.
I included Rodger Winfield’s East Wind off of his Windsongs album, it only features recordings of aeolian harps, a musical instrument played entirely by the movement of the wind. It’s rad.
The rest of the mix is a collection of old favourites like Lucky Dragons, Grouper and the Healing Music of Rana and also new artists likeRhucle and Lanark Artefax.
I wanted to create some sort of disparity with the songs in the Earth section.
I mixed J.G. Biberkopf’s brooding Black Soil over Hiroshi Yoshimura’s beautiful Forest Side, then going into Panabrite’s lovely Soft Soil, aiming to highlight the natural beauty and destruction of Earth.
At the end I played the beginning of J.D. Emmanuel’s Through Inner Planes, a song off his Solid Dawn album. Emmanuel says on hiswebsite that his music “allows a person to transcend time and space”.
I was thinking of playing 15 minutes of Earth 2, one of my favourite bands when I was younger, but it would have been too much. I saw them live once. It was very loud and I was very stoned.
I was aiming for the water section to be contemplative and relaxing, like watching the ocean or a stream.
Whenever I get caught up in watching the ocean or any huge natural feature I’m reminded of my own insignificance.
I included the strange and beautiful sound of the Zadar Sea Organ, another “natural instrument” like the aeolian harp, which goes into Kip Mazuy’s Water Falling, a soothing song that I listen to every night to help me go to sleep.
One of my favourite records is Jürgen Müller’s Science of the Sea, an album I come back to again and again, I’ve played songs off it on Radar twice now.
I wanted to play a very short song of mine called Underwater which was a hidden track on my Quiet Music release but it wouldn’t work for some reason, anyway I’ve put it on WeTransfer if you want to hear it.
In contrast to India’s tense and dramatic fire set, my choices for this final section represent the idea of sitting around a fire at a campsite or watching a sunset, being slightly cold and melancholic with feelings of warmth.
I wanted it to be mainly calm but to have a feeling of unpredictability.