Feist – Caught A Long Wind (Nicolas Jaar edit)

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Nicolas Jaar‘s essential mix never gets old. It’s been over two years since its release and it still gives me the chills. To me it still completely reeks of Autumn 2012, one of the most intense seasons I’ve yet to endure— Hurricane Sandy and the End of the World all in the span of a couple months, say what? I was living in downtown Manhattan at the time, surrounded by constant stimulation and sleeping hardly at all finishing up my last semester of undergrad. Needless to say, it was already set and setting super conducive to the cray, but Sandy took the intensity to a whole new level…

This Feist track from the mix specifically conjures up memories of my hurricane tribe and the vibe we had going in our makeshift refugee camp (my apartment). There were 7 or 8 of us, mostly my Ave C homies who rolled by last minute to escape their flood zone-age. None of us realized the impending zombie apocalyptic doom we were to face in the aftermath of dear Sandy. We were in the dark. Literally and metaphorically.

Caught me a long wind
Where will we go?
Keep ourselves afloat

Venturing outside after the storm was a trip and a half. Everything was dark, much more dark than I could have ever imagined. The city that never sleeps, knocked out and unconscious for days. Blacked out beyond belief. I couldn’t be more grateful for the group I was with at the time, all creative artsy weird types. We totally thrived on the lack of electricity. I remember my friends drawing by candle light while I played my sax. Writing poetry on my typewriter, Exquisite Corpse style was something I’ll never forget. Highly recommended. In short, it was fucking cold and the most real of times. Waking up to that which endures beyond the scurf of daily existence– whether in the form of values or things, is a fucking invaluable experience. Being stripped to the bare bones of existence, you’ve no choice but to channel that inner strength in all its inexhaustible glory; survival mode does wonders for eliminating the distractions.

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Darkside – Gone Too Soon

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Reclaiming the space. The space in my brain. The space which is integral to my creative endeavors (e.g., everything) and overall experience of the world, the space which is rightfully mine and enables me to gravitate towards the other cool-ass motherf@#kers oscillating on that higher wavelength.

Last night I got to catching up with one of my besties and our conversation oscillated around the theme of endings– or rather, lack thereof. What is it about this day and age that encourages such half-ass tomfoolery? Especially in the realm of *relationships*? How can you ever really break with someone when they’re constantly raping your news feed? It’s getting damn near impossible to cultivate any sort of healthy distance with one’s exes thanks to social media. Thanks for that, social media.

Sometimes you just gotta Shut It Down. Away with the has beens. So long to the ‘what if’s’. Delete, delete, delete. We are talking literal, metaphorical, and metaphysical deletion here. All I know is that you never really can know so what’s the point of pretending you do? Letting the words drown out the actual actions is a waste of time; fabricating bullshit only leads to more bullshit, even when you’ve got the best of intentions. So either you’re going to play an instrumental part in my universe OR you can piss off, dear sir. Cheers, thanks.

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Cat Power – Cherokee (Nicolas Jaar Mix)

A few weeks ago, I touched on the subject of improbable artist collaborations that play up the strengths of both parties. At the time, it was Sky Ferreira and Unknown Mortal Orchestra teaming up.

I’ve been fascinated by these modern super groups. Nominally, the term “super group” denotes a band made up of relatively recognizable members of other bands that records as a unit. Now, it can often mean collaboration through organized remixing, that is, the remixer is paid by the original artist and the track is sold digitally.

Today’s example is from 2012, but has the sound of a modern sensation. Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) is not a huge name, but she’s definitely making a career of it and has a strong core fan base. Nicolas Jaar may seem like a big name to EMPT readers, but he’s a total unknown to most people.

“Cherokee (Nicolas Jaar Mix)” melds Marshall’s smoky desert croon with Jaar’s forward thinking beat music, and the effect is spellbinding. Isn’t this exactly what Lana Del Rey wishes she could be? Jaar employs a bouncing counterpoint that sounds as if played on the ribcage of a giant whale by a giant.

It doesn’t seem like either artist has plans for future collaboration, but we can dream, right? I’ll be turning my attention to a real, old-fashioned super group: Royksopp and Robyn, the Swedish dream team. They’ll be releasing an album and touring the world. Don’t sleep on this one, folks. Both acts have cult followings across the world, and don’t discount Robyn’s viral video factor.

If you have any suggestions to add to the “improbable super group” discussion, please comment below! It’s changing the face of music in subtle yet impactful ways, and is worth tracking.

Cat Power – Cherokee (Nicolas Jaar Mix)

 

Just Friends – Don’t Tell Me (Nicolas Jaar & Sasha Spielberg)

 EMPT YouTube

Nicolas Jaar – Our World (John Lennon Tribute mix)

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This hauntingly beautiful mix is a tribute to the late Beatle, John Lennon. It’s been 33 years since his death.  “Our World”‘s ethereal charm may render you in a state of ecstasy, nothing short of euphoria and potentially catharsis.

Nicolas Jaar’s demonstrates the art of acquiescing elegantly to the solicitations of infinity quite elegantly. So much love for this.

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DARKSIDE – Paper Trails

Live performance.

Space Age Bachelor Pad Music

Kasper Bjørke – Heaven (Nicolas Jaar remix)

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Buoyantly forlorn is how I’d describe it. Cascading nuances & celestial undercurrents flood my mind; wistfully fragrant with hints of the ultimate, this track embodies a distinct melancholia, echoing undertones of the unknown. Its sincere sublimity rouses me from my daily oblivion.

Kissing and running,
Kissing and running away
Kissing and running,
Kissing and running away.”

Nothing like a rush of nostalgia to the brain, and that’s how this track feels. Nicolas Jaar’s remixes are always pretty boss, but this one feels timeless. It’s been a solid number on my playlists for over a year which is Timeless enough for me. I am indeed grateful that Kasper Bjørke decided to cover what was originally a very loungey Rolling Stones song, enabling Nicolas Jaar to work his magic! Jaar’s signature sound — that is a distinct melancholia paired with an infectious beat — with Kasper Bjørke’s ethereal vocals is perfection.

Smell of you baby, my senses,
My senses be praised.”

On the topic of nostalgia, it’s amazing how a particular scent can evoke a feeling of a specific time and place as its so inextricably linked to every other sense. Olfaction (aka ‘smell-o-vision’ see “Sir Nose D’voidoffunk” à la George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic for relevant mythos) is an awesome sensory experience. Praise be to the nose for its uncanny ability to grant us access to memories that have otherwise been lying dormant somewhere in your consciousness.

Nothing, Nothing.
Nothing will stop you, nothing will stand in your way.”

These lyrics are slightly reminiscent of the Talking Heads song “Heaven” in which David Byrne sings “Heaven is a place, is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.” Something to ponder while you’re grooving to its infectious beat.

Kasper Bjørke – Heaven (Nicolas Jaar remix)

Nicolas Jaar – Boiler Room NYC DJ Set 2013

There’s not much to say here, because there’s a lot to hear. 46 minutes, specifically, of pure blissful listening. When my friend sent this to me, I cleared out 46 minutes just to allow this to happen in my ears, and when I sent it to Hec, he said the same. So, you know it’s a very serious and important journey that will require headphones.

A couple of notes: Nicolas Jaar gets more and more adorable every time he dances. Also, maybe this is a really silly thing to ask, but where do these Boiler Room shows take place? Not at the Boiler Room in the East Village, obviously. Can someone cue me in on this? It looks like sexy times.

Without further ado, enjoy!

EMPT Presents – Wet Dreams #1 by Barry Poppins

We all want so much man, over achievement and extreme ambition are glorified and admired almost universally these days but have you ever stopped to ask why?…

Hustle, hustle, hustle. Grind, grind, grind. Why does everyone got hustle on their mind?”

MIA was something else back then, I remember first hearing that hook and questioning everything. I won’t get into all that right now now but always remember to look around your environment and question what you see. Just because everyone is doing something, just because it’s tradition, culturally revered or whatever doesn’t mean it’s truth. Think about it, if the massive amounts of cultural influence, media and tradition we’rent around to sway would you care about the same things? Sometimes you have to press pause on the Human Drama and give your mind a break to formulate it’s own path. Which brings me to the subject of todays post, the Wet Dreams #1 by Barry Poppins, a former EMPT writer that returns with a downtempo/chill mix worthy of boss caliber reflection and relaxation. This mix isn’t made for Friday or Saturday night, this is strictly for downtime, Sunday chillin’ folks. I’ve had it running top to bottom for the last hour and I gotta say the kids downtempo song selection is tight enough to rival the best of them. Anyhow, I’ve told half the story but the rest is from the maestro himself, press play on this one ASAP, enjoy…

In the 6 months, I’ve been exposed to more music crossing more genres than perhaps at any point in my life. It was both a blessing and a curse, that allowed me to hone in on the sounds that truly act as aural therapy for me. One of these sounds is a very cliche, five letter word: chill. The great part about this genre, I’ve discovered, is that chill out music is not confined to one genre. So many artists across so many different “genres” and decades and continents create an array of music on a daily basis. But if you examine every prolific group or artist’s catalogue thoroughly enough, odds are you’ll find a soothing, relaxing track somewhere. 

These are the types of songs that act as ear valium. Since being afflicted by the most gnawing, aggravating medical condition I’ve ever experienced–tinnitus–the need to listen to sparse, mellow, and just calming music has truly arisen. Tinnitus hurts the ear, yes, but it also tortures the soul and the mind. I’ve always been an anxious person, but this disease has made everything in life more difficult–going to clubs, talking on the phone, or just walking down the street. You hear voices, you hear a constant ringing, and you don’t ever know if it will come to an end. 

As someone who’s constantly bombarded by stress–both self-inflicted and through external forces–it’s a sound without which I’d be helpless. Thus began my transformation of my musical diary/Tumblr into a very niche, and very mellow music blog, along with a mixture series I hope to update on a monthly basis. Loosely inspired by the White Light Series, and mainly by the overall need to decompress, take a deep breath, and be thankful for what I do have and can control in life, came The Pleasure Dome. I don’t know what, if anything, this little site will turn into. But I do know–as long as I can hear–I’ll be on the look out for the cream of the chill out crop. Without further ado: Welcome To The Pleasure Dome.

Track List:

  1. Tangerine Dream – Love On A Real Train (Chilled Out Euphoria Version)
  2. Radiohead – Climbing Up The Walls (Zero 7 Remix)
  3. Mechanical Me – Beachy Head (Bonobo Remix)
  4. Air et Gordon Tracks- Playground Love
  5. La Roux – In For The Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey Remix)
  6. Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man
  7. Nicolas Jaar feat. Scott Larue & Will Epstein- With Just One Glance You
  8. Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side (Rocco Raimundo Extended Version)
  9. Flight Facilities – Claire De Lune (Them Jeans Edit)
  10. Montauk – Speed Of Light
  11. Cosmic Kids – Freight To My Soul
  12. Telepopmuzik – Breathe
  13. Zero 7 – Destiny
  14. Daft Punk – Make Love
  15. Mansions On The Moon x Junior Boys – Lights Off
  16. Daft Punk – Nightvision

Nicolas Jaar & Theatre Roosevelt – The Ego

I’ve said it on Twitter and I’ll say it here, the voice that speaks and sonically sways us through this track, that deep down sultry rasta-man of a tone, is the voice that I’d like to say narrates my entire life in my head. I wish this were true, how incredible would that be? But of course we have to realize that if this was the case, my entire life would always seem really sexy in my eyes, and this is hardly the case. Even if it were to be really sexy to me, it wouldn’t necessarily be sexy to everyone else so really, no one wins.

I have not heard a track so filled with sexual energy and passion in a long time, but it comes as no surprise that Nicolas Jaar is responsible for such an affect. I’ve tried to break it down in my head in an effort to truly understand why it is that this song is so sexy, filling the heart and loins with desire. I think it has something to do with the musical instrumentation that is consistently on the tip of its sound. That is to say, in my DJ class I’ve learned a thing or two about remaining at the tip of the sound, which speaks directly to scratching. When scratching, you always want to scratch at the very beginning of the sound, rather than in the middle. It’s more fresh and pleasing to the ears. Similarly, musicians can remain at the tip of their sound by always staying on point, notes-wise. This is difficult to talk about with electronic music, because everything from music to beat production to rhythm is perfected. But just because things can be fixed with a computer and technology, doesn’t mean they’ll always be perfect. Without the brainwork of the musician to feed the technology, without the passion for sound and love for delivering a message, a song will never be perfect no matter how much production goes into it.

The ego, is the most expensive thing.

Enjoy, my lovelies.

Nicolas Jaar & Theatre Roosevelt – The Ego