Sunday, July 08, 2007


Every mix is different; every one has its own density, its own specific gravity. There are days when the music flows of its own accord from the very first downbeat; there are others when you restart the mix four, five, six times, with no real direction in mind, and only your fingertips and the aleatory to guide you. This mix was a bit like that. Normally I sweat each transition; today I was simply sweating, with the temperature in Barcelona running around 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and my studio doors latched tight to keep the sound from irking the neighbors. (A few mornings ago my housemate and I returned home from the Moog Club and launched into an extended tag-team DJ session lasting from six until eight in the morning; since then, I've been trying to keep a low profile on my block. Sorry, neighbors!) This mix came together like most of mine do, with no plan whatsoever, drawing from two slender crates sitting on the floor next to my decks. I try to organize my vinyl in batches: recent promos, recent purchases and old standbys. This mix draws entirely from the first two classifications; most of them are records I barely know. Strangely, it's often the unknown quantities that lead to the most serendipitous arrangements; my favorite mixes are generally those made immediately upon returning home from the record store. Unfortunately, those are also the mixes I so rarely record. (A month or so ago, I was playing records at a private party with only a dozen people in attendance at a house nestled between pines and dunes on the Oregon coast; somewhere around 5am, as mix after mix fell effortlessly into place, not just in terms of beat-matching but complementary key changes and virtually seamless breakdowns and dropouts fusing the music into a breathtakingly fluid whole, I looked at my friend and exclaimed, "The records are playing me!" Unfortunately, that period didn't make it into the five hours of recordings I made that night—live and learn.) As for the music itself, I have no grand stories to tell, but what the hell:
  • Touane is a new discovery of mine and, coincidentally, a label-mate of mine on Berlin's Lan Muzic, which will release my debut single this September.
  • The Gui Boratto is a promo I was given during Sonar after a beach party or three, the record sleeve is a little worse for the wear, but the vinyl's fine.
  • Rekleiner is a recent promo from Hamburg's WordandSound distribution, who generously supply me with promo vinyl month after month. (In a digitizing world, they're one of the last sources of free wax, in fact.)
  • I received the Laven & MSO track from Playhouse as an MP3 months ago; it was only after hearing it in Ewan Pearson's forthcoming Fabric mix that I realized how heavy it is, so I bought the vinyl last week.
  • Alfonso Mango who? I have no idea, but I always love Radio Slave, so I snapped it up sound-unheard at Barcelona's CD Drome earlier this week.
  • Switzerland's Agnés is quickly becoming one of my staples—I think I played three of his records at a recent Mobilee/Spectral rooftop pool party during Sonar week—and while his track here is a little weird even for him, I think it makes for a good bridge.
  • Phage, aka Marco Resmann, is another recent favorite, especially his record on his own label Upon.You; this cut on Berlin's bananas Bar25 label is everything I want out of dance music: freaky, swirly and psychedelic, with metallic pings that dig deep into the cerebellum. One of the nicer emails I've received recently was a MySpace mail from Marco thanking me for playing one of his new Upon.You cuts at the Mobilee/Spectral party, and saying how nice it was to hear it out on a Funktion One soundsystem. Now that's class. (That's also one hell of a soundsystem.)
  • The Chemical Brothers? Who knew? But I count Matthew Dear as both a friend and something of an idol, so buying this single was a no-brainer. I still haven't listened to the original version of the track, and I may never get around to it. This was one of three different Audion mixes I bought last week (along with his Black Strobe mix and a mix for DJ Koze that somehow I overlooked for the better part of a year.)
  • Hamburg's Liebe Detail is probably my very favorite label at the moment; I don't think anyone has a higher hit ratio, which is rather astounding when you think about the fact that Liebe Detail releases almost exclusively split EPs. More restrained than some of his releases for his own label Diynamic, Solomun's "Jungle River Cruise" is as easygoing as its title suggests.
  • Berlin's Mobilee label is another of my favorites; in contrast to some of their more attention-grabbing tracks, this one from Sleeper Thief kicks back, stretches out and goes quietly bonkers.
  • Laps is one half of Cadenza's Digitaline, and this release for Hamburg's Smallville label offers more swirly, tweaky head-trip pleasures, underpinned by a stuttering beat that's just perfect for the early-morning hour when you're waiting for the second wind to kick in.
  • Finally, there's Cobblestone Jazz: this record's a weird one, no mistake about it—oddly, it's also the third record I grabbed in this session to feature synthetic bird calls. I must have really, really wanted to open the door to my terrace.
Technical notes: the mix was made using two Technics SL1200MK2s and one Allen & Heath Xone32, recorded live into Amadeus Pro audio software running on a MacBook Pro. There are no edits, aside from the 32 bars of intro that I had to cut off of the Touane track, owing to the line noise that resulted when I was adjusting my monitors while recording. Oops.

Touane, "Action Painting" (Trenton)
02. Gui Boratto, "Mr. Decay (Robert Babicz Universum Disco Mix)" (Kompakt)
03. Rekleiner, "Shall We" (Catwash)
04. Laven & MSO, "Looking for God" (Klang)
05. Alfonso Mango, "Can U Feel (Radio Slave Remix)" (Made to Play)
06. Agnès, "Personal Dub" (Plak)
07. Phage & Daniel Dreier, "Elevator" (Bar 25/DNP Music)
08. The Chemical Brothers, "Do It Again (Audion's House Arrest Mix)" (Virgin)
09. Solomun, "Jungle River Cruise" (Liebe Detail)
10. Sleeper Thief, "Vaja Te Suba Te" (Mobilee)
11. Laps, "Jolie" (Smallville)
12. Cobblestone Jazz, "DMT" (Wagon Repair)

Special thanks to Rayna for the nagging-slash-encouragement.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

another great mix. philip rocks-! like medicine.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:08 PM  
Blogger modernlyradical said...

i listen now..but i want to say CONGRATS on the release!!! "now this is fun"

2:46 PM  
Blogger Philip Sherburne said...

thanks y'all.... you totally made my night.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice tune selection. I didn't like this mix at first however, it has grown on me.

This blog is top notch!

2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, Liebe*Detail put out really good records right now

7:23 AM  
Blogger modyfier said...

thank you everyone for the support and helping me to build this thing!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe this mix is cool for san francisco or barcelona but for berlin standards, it's boring. so keep playing your bar 25 vinyl because it might be as close as you come to playing there

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude f*** berlin standards, this mix is so cool. not boring at all... i mean everyone has their likes but
for sanfrancisco, berlin, australia, mexico, wherever, it rocks. it has IT.
i saw philip months ago and wooooa it was awesome.


12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great mix, Philip.
Take care.
Andrew Duke

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Fantastic post. Thanks very much.

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It is a great record, I like the mixes you had posted recently, very good music.

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