A psychedelic trance mix by Myrkabah
In association with the Weeknight Sound Track
Friday night, 3:00 am - 4:00 am
Creating a DJ mix is fundamentally different than creating what I call a compilation. There is a degree of artistry and skill involved in each, but there is a large difference in application.
This mix was created on March 29, 2005, and is entirely live except for one edit that I made to improve the flow of the mix, removing the last three tracks and replacing them with new ones, since the ending I had made for the earlier version simply didn't fit. Once I made that change, however, that was it. It was golden, and I wouldn't touch a thing from here. Therein lies the difference between DJ mixing a set and compiling one - when mixing a live set, you don't have the time to agonize over which track comes next, or how to fit it together, or time constraints, or anything like that. You're flying by the seat of your pants from the second you lay down the first track, and the best you can do is hang on for the ride yourself.
I created this mix with a couple of things in mind - the listeners for this aren't likely going to be very familiar with psy trance, so I needed to ease them in gently, rather than starting with a bang as a generally do. However, a high energy level would be needed as this is a late night set, and at three in the morning, someone's either not going to bed for a while, or is trying really hard not to crash. As such, I tried to keep to either an ethereal, dreamy feel, or a groovy funky kind of flow. My usual fare of metal/industrial influence is conspicuously absent from this mix - we'll see if I can make that up with another submission.
But enough introduction.
1. Drone - Drastic Plastic (0:00)
This track is from a single released by Candyflip Records, which is one of my favorite labels of all time. This piece is slow and dreamy, with a tribal influence - perfect for starting off neophyte listeners of psytrance. The buildup is sloooow, but cunningly done, without being either overly timid or aggressive. This is a much more subdued beginning than I've ever done on a mix before, but it came out really well. The energy picks up coming through the track, driven by the bongos and hi hats, leading into...
2. Synchro - Refrigerated (04:15)
This track is perfect as a segue into the more bass-driven, funky sound of the rest of the mix. As a standalone track, this piece isn't very remarkable, but one of the wonderful things about Synchro is that he realizes that not every track can be a powerhouse, blow-your-head-off dancefloor stormer. This is a subtlety that is very important, and not to be underrated. The CD this is from is called "Born in California", and I couldn't believe I found it for only $3.99. This was one of my first musical aquisitions as a DJ, and it remains to this day as one of my favorites.
3. Distortion Orchestra - Life on Earth (07:20)
This is the first track from the "Chaoscillations" album, Distortion Orchestra's debut release, and it is an absolutely amazing piece of work. The beginning of this track darkens the tone somewhat, presenting a kind of nighttime menace that still manages to not overpower this movement of the mix. This is the point where the mix begins to take off, as the trademark deep basslines become the driving force. Anything else by this group wouldn't have worked here, but the buildup into the aboriginal vocals really came out well.
4. Wizzy Noise - Radical Payne (12:20)
Oh. Hell. Yes. WIZZY FUCKING NOISE. This track is the peak of the first movement (out of three) of this mix, and you'd better watch out, because that bassline is no fucking joke, son. This is where the heavy cymbals really begin to drop, and at this point it becomes apparent that the tribal, housy kind of stuff was only a tease into the real meat of the composition. This album (Elecktro Theatre) is widely considered to be one of the top 10 psy releases of 2004, and for good reason - every single track is a work of art. The sample is cut out from this mix, but the name of the track is due to the beginning featuring a voice sample from Max Payne. The fact that it says, "We've got an assault in progress, officer in danger! OFFICER IN DANGER!" in the opening sequence makes this my opening track of choice for if I'm ever spinning a darkpsy set and I know the cops are there.
5. Alien Project - DJ, Where are You? (16:55)
Time to pull the energy down a bit before we head into the next movement - Alien Project is sure to please here. The breakdown of the previous track blended perfectly with the soft opening of this piece, which to be honest I thought I was going to butcher terribly from the second I started beatmatching it. This is one of the fun things about live mixes - sometimes you don't even know what's going to happen until it's already happening.
6. Four Carry Nuts - Convergence (20:55)
A project of Tim Schuldt, this piece starts out dreamy, but doesn't stay that way for long. The ambient part of this ends with a sudden increase in tempo, which is really useful if you know it's there, and utterly dangerous if you don't. It also made it perfect for the transition from the first movement, which was running at about 141-142 bpm, to the second movement which runs at around 145-146 bpm. This is actually a really light piece for Schuldt - he is more known for dark, scary industrial mindfucks than for work like this. Once the pace picks up, though, the track quickly becomes a stomping, high energy, dancefloor filler. Prepare to wake up, as it's impossible to stay drowsy to this.
7. Species - Connected (25:35)
I'm actually not too familiar with this artist. This track is from the Summer Session compilation from MP records, which I nabbed hot off the presses as soon as it came out. The mix into this track strikes me, personally, as being a bit sloppily cobbled together, but such is life with live recordings, and I'll just have to remember for later. The rolling, stormy bassline and tweaked out acid synths make this a classic new school psychedelic trance track.
8. Sesto Sento - Mean Taco Machine (28:52)
I just love this track. Featured on "The Bright Side", this piece just strikes me as unbelievably cheerful. It's the cymbals that do it to me. This is another mix on the album that I thought I was going to murder horribly, but I managed to pull it off. Kind of clubby, but still weird enough to make my CD case, the name of its origin CD is certainly apropos. And come on, who can't love a song named "Mean Taco Machine"?
9. Kindzadza - Wild Tales (32:33)
The premiere forerunner of South African psytrance, Kindzadza's CD, Waves from Outer Space will always retain a special place in my heart, along with South African trance in general. This piece represents a sudden, dark somber turn in the ambience of this set, one that I wasn't sure if I liked at first, but after a number of listenings I find really nice. As my friend Shara described this section: "Wow, I like this part. Bwwhowowoahwoahahwaieoaoa!" Attempting to use onomatopoeia to describe psytrance in this manner is simply a futile exercise in hilarity, and always will be. Believe me, I've tried, and an explanation of "That track that goes THOCKA THOCKA THOCKA" really doesn't help out much.
10. Psysex - Simply a Machine (37:00)
Psysex has been a resident in my CD case for very nearly five years now, which is a decent amount of time to be following a trance artist. Weird, tweaked out, and masterfully produced, they are always a pleaser. I was introduced to them by a mix cd from one Michael Curran, which featured the track "Experimental Procedure", and I've been an addict ever since. This track brings the tone out from the subdued, but tweaked out ambience of "Wild Tales", and back into an energetic 'out' type of sound that builds up to...
11. Fractal Glider - Megatonne (41:50)
Fractal Glider's real name is Paul McCosh, and he represents Australian psytrance. Yes, this is truly an international collection of music. This guy really knows how to rock the fuck out - tweaked out midranges, hard hitting cymbals and floor rattling basslines make up an overall sound that I'd certainly have no problem dropping at 2am or later. The great thing about it is that he doesn't ride on the same bassline the whole time, but rather switches it up as the piece progresses, somehow bringing it up another notch exactly when you expect that he couldn't. This isn't an easy task to accomplish. The CD this is from is called "Digital Mandala".
12. Psyside - Children of the Night (45:47)
From the CD "Turbulences", this track begins the descent into Cahla's Fairy Potmother Jams. This is easily one of the most underrated CDs among the DJs I know, and not because it isn't played. Oh no! It's because every time it gets played they have to drop "Narcotrip"! Don't get me wrong - that's a great piece of work, but every track on this CD (except one) is jaw droppingly good, and I can't believe it doesn't get more exposure. This piece uses the vocal sample of Bela Lugosi as Dracula in an awesome buildup that will either make you shake your head or giggle uncontrollably when you hear it. (AAAAHHHHHHHH!)
13. Miranda - Rainforest 2004 (49:39)
I'm not going to lie - I almost trainwrecked the shit out of this. It was only some quick manipulation on my part that saved it from completely falling apart, and trust me, beatmatching on your speakers is *not fun*. In any case, Miranda is a TOTALLY HOT NORWEGIAN BLONDE who's made some really good music. I'm in love already! This is from the "Rerecorded" cd, which is remixes of a number of her past tracks. Funny enough, I've listened to the originals, and I'm not nearly as fond of those. The nature sounds throughout this track are perfectly done, and the bongo solo makes a perfect mixing bridge - if you're good. When it kicks back in, it kicks back in hard, so if you're off, it's going to get noticed, and you don't have the ubiquitous four on the floor to go by if you try that. Plus, you have to be pretty quick on the draw to pull it off.
14. Analog Pussy - Future (53:30)
Ah, Analog Pussy. The redheaded bastard stepchild of the psychedelic trance world, and I mean that in the BEST of all possible ways. This track has actually been remixed by other artists more times than I can count, and probably will be remixed many more, but to me, nothing can quite stand up to the original. I recommend this album (Trance 'n' Roll) to anyone. Unlike some CDs (such as, for example, Digital Mandala), this one works just as well for listening as it does for mixing.
Total Runtime: 60:56
Equipment used: Two Pioneer CDJ-500IIs, and a Pioneer DJM-300 Mixer.
Pack a bowl! It's time for Fairy Potmother Jams!