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Giorgio Oehlers – I Rise


Woah is me. It’s been a tumultuous week of seemingly endless petty obstructions… e.g., hello, transformation. I can truthfully say that I’m learning to embrace these heightened cortisol levels and the wonders they do for my creativity. I roar in the face of calamity and acknowledge the adversity— after all, you either own it or it owns you (at least on a subconscious level). Embrace it or abandon it, there is no middle ground. You’re either fighting the good fight or you’re not. On that note, Thursday evening vibes via one of my favorite labels these days, Darker Than Wax

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Fragile – Maya Payne (MCHNCL Remix)

Break-ups are contagious. Like most things really. When your friend gets a new job, you start to look at your situation and career and size it up. Complaining or sharing your dislike for something has actually been shown to be more of a bonding moment for two people than other social interactions. Sadly.

But the break-up is always one. I remember seeing it in a show or movie or something (In retrospect it was The League) where a couple gets freaked out when their friends get divorced and they say it then “These kind of things are contagious.”  You see your friend, either miserable or liberated, but either way you see them broken up. You see the process, the internal and external monologue, the aftermath. You start to compare this

A friend recently broke up with her long time boyfriend because he didn’t get her and didn’t allow her to be herself truly or what she deemed as herself fully. But relationships are tricky. There is the fine line where this person pushes you to be a better version of yourself, a reason to be with your partner, and then person you feel like you are that you still feel like you need to hide. More than the first time you fart in front of them, its the stuff behind the curtain. The stuff under the hood. Where do you draw the line of what to share or if you do, can they handle all of it?

Being a girl and a friend to her, we talked about all of this in length. And like osmosis, the conversation seeps in to the skin and your head. I am reminded how fragile we are and our relationships can be. The layers and lies and truth and white lies that create a web that you can either stay in or escape, which is never easy. But we are fragile. I think what struck me about the conversation was how many times she said she was broken. She was stuck. I feel broken. I am stuck here. And like that those words sink in to anyone’s skin that is within earshot. Sinks in to the bones. “Am I happy?” “Am I stuck?”

Then comes the realisation that the only thing you are connected to physically is the earth and all of the other bits and shit and ties and break-ups are in your head. But we are fragile, so we need to take care of ourselves and each other. And try to keep what is in your life your life and your perspective in check. I am reminded we get exposed to different ideas and there are more chances to hold a microscope up to your life and pick and choose what you share and what can remain yours and hidden. I imagine the key to life or happiness is learning what those are and who to share them with.

This song just resonates all of this.

“What is to give light must endure burning.” – Viktor Frankl

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Clair De Lune — Motez Remix

The hardest day of the week has just passed for some of you and today is coasting by because tomorrow marks the midweek, and, because Thursday somehow still marks the start of the weekend. Important conferences and meetings are over and today you get a small breather in-between deadlines, tasks due and emails that must be replied to. Most of you come over here to listen to something refreshing and grab some perspective on life, and today, refreshing is what you will get with this awesome remix of Flight Facilities’ “Clair De Lune” by Motez. 

Motez, true to traditional remix form, maintains the lovely vocals and twinkle, twinkle little star bells that make the original such a soothing tune to keep on replay, and gave it some groove so that we could all enjoy it anywhere at anytime.

Turn this baby up right after noontime at the office to give you that boost of sonic java that will keep your Tuesday rolling right through, or request it to the DJ this Thursday night, you know, when your weekend begins and you are out partying with the last few warm remaining breaths of Summer air that Autumn hasn’t completely eliminated yet.

For once, in a long while, presented here is a remix that leaves what completely inspired it within its core, truly paying the utmost homage to it and completely giving it an entirely new life; and sometimes, what we truly need in our very own worlds is: an entirely new life.

Enjoy. Free your spirit if your spirit isn’t already freed—at least for the day, today, and let your soul dance if your feet can’t actually do it at the moment. I know you are at work, or maybe at home working, but when was the last time you got up midday and danced just a little?

Clair De Lune — Motez Remix

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Feki – Nothing Last Forever

I saw Gone Girl last night with a friend and holy shit what a f*$ked up movie. Lately, I’ve been looking on the bright side, thinking about beauty. One of my best friends just had a beautiful baby girl, I’ve been thinking about that. I’ve been remembering to smell the flowers, ingesting nothing but the beautiful side of love, you know that real but romantic version Nora Ephron presents in movies like When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail and so on. Well, Gone Girl is NOT that side of love.

That movie is a mind f^%k. It’s the dark, twisted and dysfunctional side of love, if you can even call it that. I won’t give anything away but all I can say is that if you’re in something unhealthy, get out. No matter how much it sucks to leave, how hard it is to say goodbye to someone you care about or how long it’s been, just get out. There’s a thin line between love and hate, ride that line long enough and you won’t know the difference. The consequences of that can be dire. Life is too good to put yourself through anything dark. I wish I could explain it better right but that movie left me distraught, I can barely think.

This Feki jam is helping though. Beautiful sound man, it’s a powerful thing.

Nothing last forever, ain’t that the truth. Life comes and goes, love is complicated, it can be amazing and it can be hard on you. Time is illmatic, one day you’re smiling and then 5 years have passed and those smiles are gone. Reminiscing can bring back good memories but if the present doesn’t match up it can bring pain. That discrepancy can make you feel like shit, and it can make you feel like you wasted your time, like you wasted someone else’s, like you’ve lost or are being cheated out of something you feel is yours. Peter Thiel recently said something about failure that changed my life –

Every failure is a tragedy…
It’s not beautiful…
It’s not educational…
These are preposterous myths we tell ourselves.”

It sucks when it doesn’t work but what sucks more is getting caught up in it. His point is you have to see things for what they are and not what you want them to be. When you fail, you fail. You might want it to be this romantic something else but that’s just a coping mechanism. Nothing last forever, especially not unhealthy things, they die off the fastest but we’re the ones who want to play doctor and keep them alive. So what do you do? Well, you make new moments, you Iive in the now, take it one step at a time, keep a bright outlook and manifest your happiness. Don’t get stuck, don’t look for sympathy, don’t point the finger and blame. Nothing last for ever because the present is all we’ve got so make it count, enjoy.

Feki – Nothing Last Forever

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Crystal Fighters – Champion Sound


Transitioning from summer into fall is a slow time of the year. The days get shorter, darkness arrives before you know it. Hours tick by, half a blur but half a stairway with no end in sight.

Music’s role in life changes with the season. It plays a supporting role during the summer, but is quickly cast as a co-lead when the slowdown hits. Stow away that song ADD, and release the full album listen-throughs and endless mood playlists. Not to mention the high quality of KCRWs Eclectic 24 music feed. Talk about curation!

I’ve been going HAM on Spotify, turning over new stones, finding salamanders and getting those gems in rotation. Who would have thought that someday Burl Ives would share a playlist with Aphex Twin (quick note: if you haven’t listened to “Syro” yet…absolutely one of the best albums of any genre this year). One of my juiciest finds has been the debut album from Crystal Fighters, “Star of Love,” released by the London outfit in 2010. Not only is the music highly innovative and entrancing, but the band has one of the most fascinating back stories I’ve come across in some time.

Formed in 2008, the band is a musical project based on and named for an unfinished opera written by one of the members’ certifiably insane grandfather. After finding the opera randomly which cleaning out the ancient house, located in the Basque region of Spain, the band dedicated their intellectual and musical energies towards creating an album centered on the opera’s insights and traditional Basque music. I forgive you if you didn’t draw that exact conclusion from listening to their music, but there is no denying that the resulting sound is original and new (also now is a good time to drop a pic of this band…they are beautiful.)

Mixing traditional Basque instruments – including a beautiful pipe whistle – with manic, housey synths isn’t easy to do. Vocals at times mimic traditional chanting, always fluid and rapidly delivered.Their new album, Cave Rave continues the mission, but feels overwrought and sugary to me. Not to say it isn’t worth a listen! The story doesn’t get any more normal, but I’ll leave that to curious readers.

As we approach the harvest season, what do we never do? That’s right, drink “harvest” featured beers from your favorite secretly-corporate-owned “craft” brewer. What do we do? Dive into the stacks, get reacquainted with old friends and reflect on another year end approaching and a troubled world laid bare. Pained by a death across the world and one just next door, it can be hard to see many moments of light in the smoggy sky. Rally, my friends! You have enough, you do enough, you are enough. Be you to the ever present soundtrack.


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Francoise Hardy – Le Temps de l’Amour

I’ve been watching a lot of Nora Ephron movies lately. It started off as research for a Michael Mina restaurant in St. Petersburg that I’m curating and then turned into a official love affair with Nora’s story telling, views on life, friendship, love and of course her delightful taste in music. Hollywood and the entertainment business in general is full of so much phoniness, so many people looking for fame and playing the power games. There are so few valuing love, the many layers of life and all it has to offer that it’s a breath of fresh air to indulge in Nora’s wonderful world.

I know it sounds weird, the Space Age Bachelor Pad guy talking about how much he was touched by how romantic Paris looks in Julie & Julia or the airport scene in Sleepless in Seattle when Tom Hanks see’s Meg Ryan for the first time and “A Wink And A Smile” plays. It’s weird if you think Space Age Bachelor means wanna be Don Draper or Hugh Hefner but that’s not the case. Space Age is meant to represent the evolved man, one who has all the qualities of an alpha male but fully embraces all layers of being a cultured, emotionally developed, traveled and tasteful person far beyond any stereotypical expectations. No one, man or women should be limited in what they can express or appreciate because of what society has deemed appropriate for them, that’s what Space Age means.

Le temps de l’amour isn’t from a Nora Ehpron movie but it’s one of my old time favorites and the message is right in line with the beautiful feelings and sounds of that world.

C’est le temps de l’amour,
le temps des copains et de l’aventure.
Quand le temps va et vient,
on ne pense a rien malgre ses blessures.
Car le temps de l’amour
c’est long et c’est court,
ca dure toujours, on s’en souvient

It is time for love and despite anything happening in the world that’s where my focus is and will be. I think that’s why the warm, loving feelings captured in these films resonate with me. It’s super cliche but the saying is true – life is what you make it. Despite what you say to people, vibe and energy are everything, it’s the one thing you can’t fake. When you ingest dark things and think negatively on your own and then go around people trying show love it’s not going to work, your vibe will expose you. So for..

Those who pose lyrical but really ain’t true I feel – 
There times limited, hard rock too…” – O.C. (Time’s Up)

I’m past fear and insecurity, what I want to manifest in the world now is love. When I walk into a room I want it to feel like a damn cool spring breeze just glided by your face, Grace Jones’ La Vie En Rose is playing in the background, kids are playing outside, it smells like flowers and life is nothing but beautiful, anything else is uncivilized. Enjoy.

Françoise Hardy – Le Temps de l’Amour

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Kidnap Kid – Animaux

Kidnap Kid’s “Animaux” is one of the two tracks on his EP, “So Close,” released last year. With very simple and deliberate bass and electronic beats, the song will have you bumping. The rhythm is so sporadic, and his use of accented up-beats and minimal lyrics rubs me the right way.

Can I be the one?

Although it isn’t fast-paced or your quintessential dance anthem, the bouncy layers work so well together it makes me want to get out of my seat. It is also unpredictable! Which is probably why I’m hooked. I love listening to a song over time, but hearing differing prominent elements based off my mood. I’m really into the minimalistic electronic sounds at the moment, including artists like Flume and Flight Facilities. It’s simplistic in a way that makes me want more; I’m not being blasted by harsh sounds like in house music.

If you want to check out Kidnap Kid’s latest stuff, his newest EP is called “Stronger,” out earlier this year. Happy listening!

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JJ Hodari — Break Our Bones

Some of the lowest levels of energies that we feel, aka the lows, in our lives happen immediately after our most highest levels of energy, aka the highs. If yesterday turned out to be one of the greatest days of your entire life, then it is highly likely that today will feel lower than usual, even if it is a normal everyday day for you. Obviously today doesn’t even know that it is competing with yesterday, but with the way that we have been wired throughout centuries of habit and patterns followed, that is precisely what is happening. Yesterday we reached the top of Mount Everest and today, even if we are at the top, the world seems less exciting and less lovable.

Is this what we do when we are in love?

If later today I conquer something I’ve desired intensely since yesterday, will it become less exciting tomorrow? And what about after tomorrow? Is this what happens once the thrill of the hunt is gone?

I try to live my life with these things in mind and sometimes I may break a few hearts in the process, and other times my own gets broken, but I think that is the beauty of this life: to know that after every extremely low, low, there can only be another unimaginably beautiful high in the horizon.

That’s what this tune makes me feel. It makes me feel that as low as I have or can ever feel, there is always the thrill of the hunt for another high. That just around the bend ahead lies the highest high I have ever experienced to date. That no matter how amazing the last thrill in our life seemed, there still exists more thrilling moments that can be had. And so, the older and wiser I become as a resident of this construct that you and I seem to be in, the more I recognize that the power to find higher highs is in my hands, and that if you are worth it then I will do whatever it takes to make sure that my highest highs become yours.

This is how I see love now—true love that is.


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ODESZA – Say My Name (Max Liese Remix)

When was the last time you cheated? Have you ever?

It is such a taboo to talk about, even in the closest circles it is the whispers in the hall. But it has come up a lot more lately. People are listening to the other side, the voice in the corner. Whether deliberate or intentional, I think most people have become empathetic or all too familiar with the other person. Perhaps it is evolution in relationships, that we no longer have the same idea that we will meet the one and never feel that for another after that.

Even in the best relationships we face temptation. The lust for the beginning rush. The taste of someone new. A friend recently broke up with “the one” as he didn’t realise how you could love more than one person. How you could want to have more than one in your life? Is this a conversation you should have when things start to get serious, like “where do you want to end up” or “do you plan to have kids”? Do you think you can love two people at once? Do you think you can just stay with one person, satisfied, for your life?

It is hard when the fights begin to get heated with your significant other and they always end with, “why don’t you leave then” rather than “let’s figure it out”. And even in that moment you leave the relationship, the love for a moment. “Leave!” You think, what if.

So when does cheating count then? Is it thinking about someone else? You have emotionally let in someone else. Is that right? Or it is it physical. And where is that line? Does it not really matter until you get married or is it when you move in?

These are more questions than a resolution and there is really no wrong or right. Writing from the fence and looking at both sides. Temptation and love and empathy and unsatisfied. Where do you go from here?

“I wanna go
So what’d you say
When you gonna let me know
If you give a dam* about me

‘Cause you got my hands tied
In my defense
I always fall for confidence
And your compliments look good on me

Cause nobody knows it better
than the girl in the corner with the scarlet letter
And while you’re watching you may think that she doesn’t matter
But no one knows you better”

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The L.O.X. – Recognize

And it ain’t a dream, things ain’t always what it seem…” – Notorious B.I.G.

The world didn’t start yesterday yet we’re such an ego driven species that we fail to acknowledge the immense history and progress that has come before us and led to this very moment. It’s a blatant disrespect for the journey that could very well lead to the very things we escaped if we don’t start taking a minute to stop and smell the flowers.

The newer generations are way too forgiving.”

I read that on Cyrus Pavel’s twitter and it struck me as profound. If you think about it, anyone born in the United States was born with a huge inheritance. Not a necessarily a monetary inheritance but an inheritance of rights and freedoms that were fought long and hard for. Yes, there are still many seemingly insurmountable inequalities but that’s just an illusion, in America you make your way, it’s always been like that. All the handout thinking is new programming, it’s the illusion used to make us dependent on others – the trap. Our fathers were rebels like George Washington, activists like Martin Luther King, Jr. and geniuses like Nikola Tesla. When we let people destroy what these guys did we’re essentially letting someone take away our inheritance. Our generation is too forgiving because what’s happening to us can only be explained in Style Wars lingo –

You can never make up for that
That’s never forgive action.”

So as much as our egos would like for us to believe that the world starts and ends with us and only us we need to respect our history, protect our inheritance, and recognize what has come before us. I was lucky to grow up in Harlem, I traveled half way around the world before I was 15, I shook hands with Mandela, sung on the White House lawn then went back home to the projects, I hopped the 1 train and flew with titans on private planes. I’m thankful for that vantage point because for all the luxuries I’ve had in my life, a lack of perspective has never been one. I understand and have an immense respect for everything and everyone that has come before us.

Don’t get it twisted ya’ll.”

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