Wednesday, September 24, 2008

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SUZ

I am a writer of the moment. I compose for a current state. I am also a communicator. I live for the exchange of knowledge, and thrive off of experience. I run on emotion. I dive into all extremes, but close my day at the foothold of balance. I’m deeply affected by pain and suffering in the world, therefore I strive to embrace beauty found all around me, and from what I do absorb; I try to cast out for others to embrace. I appreciate glints in eyes, smiles from strangers, and courteous drivers on the road. I believe that the very notion of feeling is simply the greatest reward we have been given; to not dive into it would be ludicrous. Where I feel the most, lies in the hands of music.

While emotions can sometimes be hard to describe verbally, a sound can easily paint a picture of what transcends from the core. Sound has the powerful ability to communicate inner meaning with very little confusion. You do not have to struggle to find that one precise word to articulate all thought. Words can narrow the potential of accuracy and subjectivity. Sound bypasses all of the nonsense, and goes straight to the root of comprehension. While one word can describe only one feeling, one simple sound can describe a lifetime of experiences.

In day-to-day life, it seems emotion has a specific formula to how and when it’s appropriate to express. When we find ourselves in a heated debate, we’re told to put our emotions behind us, and to use logic to work out our turmoil. How many times have we been told to “cool off,” “calm down,” and “think straight?” Wouldn’t it be nice for once to view emotion as the positive conductor in communication? Well, music might be the only thing that challenges the advice given by Mr. and Mrs. Ph.D. I believe that music first utilizes emotion, and it is that very same emotion that creates a global understanding. Emotion --> logic. Movies and television even exemplify this, by “breaking out in song” each time a topic needs to be thoroughly understood. Soft melodies (albeit cheesy) accompany Mr. So-And-So as he explains to his daughter how driving the car through the kitchen window was a bad thing. Children’s television shows are mainly compromised of song, with aim to make learning both fun and effective. Whatever the case may be (extreme or not), it seems we just “get it” much more when things exist in song. It’s rather sad that we live in a world where we are pressured to always think logically and to always be diplomatic and politically correct -- shirts tucked in and hair properly combed. Perhaps this is why music is such a celebrated factor in life. It’s finally a place where we can let our hair down, undo our belts, and let the f*ck go!

This is why I turn to music. It’s where things make the most sense in this overwhelming world. Where I feel my best, where I feel most understood, and where I feel balanced. It’s freedom. It’s home to me. Music is the root of all connection, and it summons all possibility. Its power touches us with no physicality. It moves us with no tangible push. It’s etched into our blueprints from before birth, and we carry it through our lives well onto the next. Remember: Music is processed by the very same part of the brain that processes emotion; therefore it’s synonymous to love, as love is the most profound emotion -- and it is the reason we’re all still here.

We are music. Humans are attracted to patterns because we are patterns. Our heartbeat indicates our body’s current state. Like sound, we reverberate on sequenced platforms, and become molded by our environment. We gravitate to likeness, while we are also mystically drawn to the unknown. We seek harmony for inner peace, and balance for tranquility. As we may not achieve this consistently in our physical world (in our work, friendships, families and even in our own monkey minds) -- we have the possibility to live for one particular idealistic moment in music. We can replay a harmony as much as we desire -- escaping, dreaming, and believing. While we cannot control the world around us, music actually throws its arms up in the air and says: “Hey, manipulate me!!” We can do anything we want to it, and the outcome is beautiful. (Now apply this manipulation logic to your current partner, and I doubt the outcome would be viewed the same).

It is through music where we have the chance to express ourselves to our fullest potential. Let’s utilize it to achieve understanding and to build communities. Let’s open doors to the unknown by creating and recreating every single day. Let’s share what we believe to be aurally inspiring or simply, what tickles our fancy. Let’s keep on growing and evolving by pushing our limits through expression and reinterpretation. There is never a finale when it comes to music; one note can reverberate forever just as long as we never stop humming it.

Whew! So after all of that, I’ll finally get to the point!

This mix was already featured a few months ago by Fwd.dj, but I only had a small paragraph to describe the meaning behind it. I want to thank Rayna for agreeing to re-feature it, for you might hear it differently the second time around. The title of the mix could be “reinterpretation,” or “falling in love,” and in lieu of the title, I’m hoping you do just that.

To get the technical babble out of the way, I will mention now that it was recorded in Traktor 3, utilizing 4 decks, looping and layering throughout its entirety. I have been performing in this fashion for over a year now, and I find it allows me to move through my creative process focusing more on emotion rather than on technical details. You really lose yourself performing this way, and to me, that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about wowing people… it’s about connecting with them.

I recorded this mix in my very own bedroom/studio. It was me against the sound, with no other external influences. As you probably guessed after reading my emotional babble up above, this mix was formulated entirely on emotion. Although there are many technical aspects to its assembly, I find once I reach a certain climax, I no longer need to think mathematically, and much like sex – although performing a utilitarian function – you allow your emotions to guide your movements without having to think step by step of what you are doing (ohhhhhhh kay, now insert body part 1 into body part 2 and repeat, repeat, repeat – haha).

Why this mix is so emotional to me is because of the feelings I harbored during its recording. It was a hot summer day. My studio has two large windows and in each, the sun glimmered through casting the shadows of the trees on the walls. The air was fresh, and it delivered the scent of fresh cut grass. Immediately I wanted to record. The songs chosen were all gentle on the soul. While the mix remains rhythmic, the airy and whimsical components soften out its edges painting a picture of what love would look like in my mind. The BPM was taken down a few notches to demonstrate the gradual and paced movements during human interaction, ie: falling in love, or making love. You know -- when you don’t want to move too fast because you could skip over some small yet beautiful detail, or if you extend the focus on one simple feeling or body part, the pleasure is increased 10 fold. You also don’t want to move too slowly, because a climax needs to be built, and you have to have some momentum going on to achieve that. Again, it’s about balance.

This mix was also about textures, layers, and progression. Each sound moved into the next like they were made for each other -- as if the sound would have remained idle without the other’s help. There were no abrupt positional changes, rather more fluid transitions. Where some of the songs lacked in certain components, the other(s) added a unique quality taking the compositions to another level. Like they say: “Two heads are better than one,” and in this case (two, three, four) tracks are better than one.

One of the ultimate questions in life aside from “Why are we here?” is, “What is your definition of love?” I hope that after you hear this mix, you will know exactly what makes my toes curl, my eyes bright, and what causes me to smile from ear to ear. My idea of love is not about perfection, but it’s about an ideal – and we should strive to reach those endlessly.

01. Tom Ellis - AKA ft Suz [CDR]

02. Leif - Ohnh [Fear of Flying]

03. Von Haugwitz - The Other Man [Seta]

04. Loco Dice - How Do I Know [Desolat]

05. Christian Burkhardt - Doubledub [Raum]

06. Rick Wade - Prime Expansion [Yore]

07. Milton Jackson - Ghosts In My Machine [Freerange]

08. Dj Stax - Str8 Nasty [Classic]

09. Luke Hess - Omnipresent (Myers Briggs Rmx) [Beretta Grey]

10. Subb an - Moscow Fighting [Immigrant]

11. Adam S, Chris Special - Go Deep [Toolroom]

12. Tbbros - Olah [Klangscheiben]

13. Einmusik, Stimming - Madeleine [Dynamic]

14. Sven UK, Andomat 3000 - Sui Generis [Cecille]

15. Sety - Mogane [Circus Company]

16. Joeski - All By Myself [Dutchie Music]

17. After Tea - A Most Beautiful Day [Hotfingers]

18. John Smorto - S-Factor [Minisketch]

19. After Tea - 4 Minutes [Hotfingers]

20. Melt - Quantum Process [Telepathy Digital]

21. Ivan I, Jason Howell - Funky Moves [Tarantic]

22. Tom Ellis - We Like Funk ft Suz [Musique Risquée]

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suz is one of the most honest and remarkable dj/producers in Canada.
I can't think of many artists in electronic music that speak from the heart without holding back. With Suz your with her, beat by beat, That is what makes talent in a culture soo over saturated.
Personalty in Techno could never have hoped for a better representative than suz.

5:37 PM  
Blogger eric cloutier said...

damn suz...i already loved this mix the first time i heard it, but now the explanation and method behind it make me enjoy it even more.

this sounds familiar to the babbling sessions we share online, venting and coming to terms with why we do what we do.

such an amazing mix from such an amazing person...miss you, sooozle!

7:09 AM  
Blogger stefny said...

suz- so beautifully said.it's how i feel and you were able to put it in to words which amazes me and makes me love you even more :D and your mix is a delight and calms me while i want to dance.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like it was recorded on a special day where the elements seem to be in harmony and a real moment is happening. I lnow that the smell of cut grass has something very invigorating about it.
This is reflected in the music, a very nice piece of mix craft. On rotation.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Mr Winkle said...

Generosity, patience, humility, commitment and an open mind are the five key virtues that one must possess in order to share a vision and make it evolve in harmony with its time.

Suzanne Szmilek over the last years has honored all five of these virtues with a sincere desire to communicate her inexhaustible passion for music with us all.

Marc Leclair

1:46 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

The room this is playing in becomes Suz. Pretty cool. I like it.

8:29 AM  
Blogger RedLipGloss said...

I "love" my baby sister!

11:36 AM  
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11:24 PM  

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