SR005. Been a long time. There's much to say about COVID-19 dismantling all sorts of existing contexts that we all used to enjoy or rely on, but for my own experience, it really clarified 'Why' I listen to music. For the past six years or so, I think I was listening to music that was going to crack in the club. Listening to tracks solely for the crowd response. Not to say that this wasn't an efficient way to listen to music for the purposes of what I was doing(maintaining and djing a monthly R&B party), but as that context disappeared for me and everyone else, it gave me great pause. I kinda forgot how to listen to music! Midway last year I was realizing all sorts of things: spending every month in a dj pool, sorting and digging for gems, intently scrolling through soundcloud, looking for download links, testing music out loud in the whip during commute, all these choices were influenced by my djing contexts, in turn influencing my listening appetite. I didn't know what to listen to. I spent most of last year listening to ambient, instrumentals, music that was specifically outside of my usual contexts. For all of us, it truly was a forced deceleration of music consumption, and I started listening to music with fresh ears around October. It took a few YouTube rabbit holes to put me down a familiar path of exploration, of digging, of reflective listening, to remember that music has contexts that are not just related to partying - honestly! I started down a thread of recent music history, and searching for a 'why did this happen', or 'how was this artist influenced', and it's been reaffirming. It makes me think of when I first started making mixes, twenty or so years ago now (!), it was about excitedly sharing music I'd discovered. Now much farther into my life and musical journey I've come back to the same central drive, with a much larger consideration for historical context, which for the past few months - along with podcasts, conversations with other music nerds, and YOUTUBE - has made me 'fall in love again with music that I already loved'. I'm paraphrasing from a conversation with Yuri, but it's a deep, fulfilling emotion.
I'm excited to start making more mixes with that in mind, but this is an ultralong "mix" of soft music I enjoyed and learned about last year. Some ambient, some soundtrack/score gems, some general chill selections. I hope it gives you some time to reflect. I've been a huge fan (since maybe 2017) of the label Melody as Truth and the ambient artists that put out releases with them, and have followed those threads to find similar artists/music. A few of the ambient tracks here I've used often to fall asleep to on flights, another context that has been lacking for me, a situation I hope to rectify as soon as some borders open up for vaccinated individuals. Enjoy.