Side A — Drama Baby
“Drama Baby” is a mixtape that was originally recorded by me and only for me at a time when I had great emotional distress. Not the classic heartache, I was responsible for the drifting apart of a close and special friendship. Love can sometimes be unpredictable and leads to unpredictable behavior. One moment you think everything will be fine, but the next suddenly everything blows up in your face … like in a Drama.
Therefore, this set is a kind of personal soundtrack, that I would like to share with everyone out there, who is struggling with tough thoughts. It’s more suitable for the late hours of the evening to ground yourself and relax.
You can either click the tape right here and dive in (link: below), or you can visit my digital playground “Spiritual Disco”. There you will find all mixtapes, which I publish under my alias “Walachai” and everything my friends create and upload. There is no prescribed direction, no focused genre, no either-or. The basic idea that we cultivate is to bring more spiritual music to the dancefloors again. In Berlin, you will find almost no more variety, whether electronic or non-electronic.
The intro of “Drama Baby” is combined from two ambient tracks, the sea noise — sampled from Adolf Noise — in combination with the synthesizer plays from Dreems make the set entry for me perfect. Switch off and glide off.
After that follows a song by Fink from his wonderful album “Fink’s Sunday Night Blues Club”. I like this LP very much, the lyrics are typically bluesy, the classic lament lines about the loss of a loved one made me often listen to the album in times. Simplicity is often worth so much! And you have to note that most of these songs were recorded in the first take, which means, it’s kind of a live recording. Just a drum set, a guitar with a delay, and an old microphone. It’s amazing how such a great Blues album could be created in this short time and with such simple means.
After a short self-made Interlude, 2 songs with a little country charm follow. “Rocky Racoon” by Paul McCartney with a — for me — perfectly fitting story about jealousy, revenge, and enlightenment, and afterward Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers dock on with a short instrumental. Whether this passes for Country or drifts more in the direction of Thai funk, depends on your interpretation and mood. In any case, the guitar suited me well there.
Then I added instrumentals by Opez and Khruangbin. Opez — founded by the two Italians Massi Amadori and Francesco Tapp — really impressed me with their album “Dead-Dance”. For me, they sound less like a typical Italian band, but much more like the soundtrack, you would hear in Mexico from a distant jukebox while sitting out the dusty midday heat in the shade of your porch.
Khruanghbin has caused a lot of excitement over the last few years. After some EP’s on Discogs achieved high prices, these were bundled and released on a Japan press. Luckily I found their song “Ha Fang Kheng Kan” on it, a track that fits perfectly with its country flavor to Opez.
I wanted to finish this scene with Alvino Rey, who just started his music career 100 years before Khruangbin and Opez. I don’t want to go too far, but I find his guitar playing unbelievable. He started to experiment with different instruments early on and so it happened that he was invited to work with the guitar building company “Gibson Guitar Corp.” on their first electric guitar in 1935.
They may be three very different bands, but they all have one thing in common: These 3 songs make me — on an afternoon when the sun is low — revel in the same way.
Climax and turning point
The climax of this Set takes place with the euphoric live version of Ray Charles’ classic “I Got a Women”.
From here on Alt-J breaks the mood in a complementary way and track by track we sink deeper into a melancholic gloomy atmosphere, which is also guided by songwriters like Steely Dan (reinterpreted by the Indie-Band “The Darcys”) and John Fruiscante.
After this, I tried to fuse some electroacoustic compositions by Dreems, Valentin Stip, Flavien Berger, and M.Rux (remixed). When I listen to this part, I manage to switch off completely and go into myself. Almost meditative, these special songs make me dive into the depths for 10 minutes and think of nothing. This is worth a lot on some cloudy days…
With Benjamin Clementine’s “Gone” the descent begins. His lyrics are affecting, his piano playing touching, and his voice unique.
When I bought a concert ticket to his Live-Show for the first time (I was a young boy, still in school), nobody wanted to come along, so I sat in the Berlin Philharmonie without accompaniment and for the first time had never-ending goosebumps. His appearance is very special, he always enters the stage barefoot and radiates such a fascinating calmness that the audience falls in absolute silence and starts to listen eagerly.
Finally, a piano composition of the soundtrack “Pomegranates” by none other than Nicolas Jaar closes the set. Jaar has influenced me in many ways in my past. Just the way he conceives sets is incredible! Few others manage to pack so many different genres into one set with such harmony. I am amazed every time.
I would like to thank you at this point for listening so attentively. It was the first time I mixed outside of the 4/4 tact. Hopefully, this mixtape can encourage you on some cloudy days as it does with me.
The valley is always followed by a mountain.
Flowers go out to:
Adolf Noise, Dreems, Fink, (Cocorosie & Ot to, not to), Beatles, Jonathan Richman & the Rainbow Lovers, Opez, Khruangbin, Alvino Rey & his Orchestra, Ray Charles, Alt-J, John Fruiscante, Steely Dan & The Darcys, Flavien Berger, Pigmaliao & M.Rux, Valentin Stip, Benjamine Clementine, Nicolas Jaar