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DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS

Ambient Groove

I rarely just listen to music anymore. (And I was never any good at knowing singers, albums, genres.)

I wonder if "listening to music" goes with certain times in your life when emotions are dominant, when you want to loose yourself in pounding beats, or soaring brass, or lyrics that tell your story. Adolescence. Certain personality types, certain learning styles... more easily able to surrender themselves to sound.

I battle. I hate surrendering. Turning off my chattering, puzzling, organizing brain is always a challenge. It does not like "idling." I resist.

The HuDost concert on Saturday night reminded me how sweet it is to surrender to sound. One of their experimental numbers reminded me how much I like electronica -- many layered multi-colored audio journeys. If playing on internet radio, I look for descriptors like "lounge," "ambient," "chill." Middle-age public radio listeners are supposed to like jazz... I like some (soulful horns and lonely tombones), but the chick-a-boom beat annoys me. I've been listening to Kenye West now and then... but he demands total attention, not good background music. You tune into his consciousness, not your own.

Anyway, I went on a mission yesterday to find some electronica ... some ambient groove... some sonic tonics.

Wound up searching out Bill Laswell. (I have 4 CDs of his royalty-free loops for my own production backgrounds, but never heard one of his own compositions.) Downloaded "Invisible Designs." Then I went back to my old favorite, Thievery Corporation "The Cosmic Game." Then a wild card: Crooklyn Dub Outernational "Certified Dope: Vol. 4.

1.12.2009

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