"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Trancemix Podcast

I've had a couple of requests to make my weekly radio show available in podcast format, so I decided to start recording them and putting them up on Odeo. If you like Electronic Dance Music (aka "techno" or "trance") and/or are curious to hear what I sound like as a DJ, just click here or on the button at the bottom of this post to go to my podcast site. Each program runs about an hour and 40 minutes or so, and kicking off the mix is my annual "Burning Man" show from Labor Day weekend, which features songs about fire and a few sound clips from festival participants. As I do new shows each week, I'll try to add them to the podcast.

If the names Van Buuren, Van Dyk, Tiesto, Oakenfold, Above & Beyond, Blank & Jones, or Solarstone are familiar to you then you'll probably enjoy the mostly progressive mix. However, electronic dance music (which has been derisively referred to as "21st century disco") is an acquired taste that not everyone cares for, and I certainly will understand if it's not your cup of tea. The worst of the genre can be repetitive, boring, artificial tripe. But on the other hand, the best of it can be melodic, uplifting and euphoric -- and if you're truly able to "let go" into the rhythm, you'll see why it's called "trance"; under the right circumstances, the unrelenting beats topped by soaring melody lines can be hypnotic, creating what some call "mental synthscapes". Another describes it as "a magical incantation, a journey which breaks free of all physical and spiritual bounds, diving deep into the midst of imagination where no laws apply. It is a means to a higher state of consciousness."

Trance music is much more popular in Europe (where it originated) than here in this country, and indeed it was during my travels around the continent in 2002 that I was first exposed to it. I distinctly recall one night in Zurich, Switzerland, when I quite accidentally stumbled upon a rave being held in a huge warehouse near my hotel as I was returning for the evening. I decided to check it out, and was awestruck by the sight of thousands of people dancing wildly to flashing strobe lights and throbbing beats which you could quite literally feel in your gut; I've been fascinated with the music ever since.

"Trance music in Morocco is magical in origin and purpose, concerned with the evocation and control of spiritual forces. In Morocco musicians are magicians. Gnauoa music is used to drive out evil spirits. The music of Jajouka evokes the God Pan, God of Panic, representing the real magical forces that sweep away the spurious. It is to be remembered that the origin of all arts -- music, painting, and writing -- is magical and evocative, and that magic is always used to obtain some definite result."
~ W. S. Burroughs

My Odeo Podcast


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