2020 is here. That means I am about to turn 30 years old. The decade has been wild and I just took the time to go through a bunch of old media, remembering parts of the decade. One specific part is a series of nonsensical videos that me and Joakim made back in early 2011-2012, featuring me and Joakim brewing coffee in weird locations for no reason other than appreciating the process of brewing coffee. We called this series “Today’s Brewing”.
Most of these videos are set to the soundtrack of Klaus Wunderlich. Having published over a hundred albums during his lifetime, all covers of famous tracks on his Wersi organ this man was an unstoppable organ force. I’ve been fascinated by this man ever since I discovered his music back in 2005, trying to understand what drives a person to develop a style and committing such a long period of time. If you haven’t heard Klaus Wunderlich, imagine a combination between elevator music, organ, simple drum machines and pop covers. I’m saying it again, this man ONLY made covers, a hundred albums of them.
The last episode I edited (up until today) was shot in 2012 up in Umeå, a small city in northern Sweden around 3 in the morning.
We actually shot 3 more episodes after this one but due to a variety of reasons I never got around to editing them. These videos have been interesting, as I’ve struggled over time with if I want to keep these published or not. On one hand, these serve as a historical document of who I was and what me and Joakim enjoyed doing but at the same time they remind me of all the mistakes I’ve done in my life. It’s similar to looking back at old photos of yourself and only remembering the bad parts of that era. The more time passed, the harder it became to re-engage with the material without experiencing that same feeling of regret over the past.
Today I got over that and got to work on editing the 3 remaining episodes and in a way I can see why it took me so long to get to this point. I just uploaded Episode 10 and although the video is terrible in many ways it’s a reminder to myself that one shouldn’t dwell over mistakes, rather remember the highlights that these videos evoke. This is Today’s Brewing - Episode #10
A good continuous music mix needs highs and lows, intense moments as well as calmer parts, all while creating a coherent feeling throughout. There’s an artform in itself to produce a mix good enough to be enjoyed with headphones that isn’t just mashing together styles. A good mix succeeds in conveying a story through music, using the different parts as thematic elements and tools to push and pull on the listeners’ feelings. Good mixes will recontextualize the source material and sometimes completely change both meaning and feeling by surrounding it with other tracks.
Then there’s brilliant mixes that stands above the good ones I just mentioned. These often use unknown material together with known material to create truly unique experiences while listening to them. The thing that sets these apart from good mixes are when you really can’t tell if the music is all from the same album, as the person mixing is doing such a good job at keeping the storyline crisp and texture smooth. Every once in a while an album comes along that is all that.
A night outside in July with friends had me scrolling through my music collection trying to find a longer mixed album that could run for 2 hours while we enjoyed the night. I’ve had this album in the backburner playlist for a long time and since I was pretty drunk it seemed like the obvious album to put on.
As you might have realized from me writing about this album, this is truly a brilliant mix on so many levels. Essentially it’s James Holden showing off a couple of tunes from his label Border Community together with a few other songs but it ends up being less about the showcase and much more about the flows. It doesn’t hurt that these songs are truly good tech house music but the interweaving of these songs is what creates. I didn’t realize how well this is mixed before hearing it that night, when Holden spins a forgotten track from 1997 called “Lifeformation” which blends in perfectly with “Black Acid Pt 1”.
James Holden mixes this seamlessly but the selection is what makes this one stand out. Looking at the tracklist, one might wonder why Holden would play 2 songs from the same single, only different mixes back to back on the first disc. Once they hit it turns out that this is just a better mix of the actual track that should have been the single, rather than the two individual ones. My only criticism about this mix is the terrible cover image which screams 2005 aesthetic, the sole part of this record that feels dated in 2020.