“Swimming in this,” says one of his fans on his SoundCloud page. Hard to disagree. Max McFerren AKA Complete Walkthru and formerly MCFERRDOG is a house/techno producer from New York. His most recent release S/T is a nine song cassette on the Canadian 1080pcollection imprint, known for dropping some delicious beat craftmanship from producers all over the world. Side note: I’m looking forward to the Luis-Dreamt Takes release next month.
While ‘Intuition Brought Me Here’ is my favorite song on McFerren’s album, ‘Blatant Doug’ (stream it below) is also a atmospheric gem with an uplifting vocal sample.
Mark Ernestus is a German rhythm and dub sound producer, known for his work as Basic channel and more recently, The Rhythm and Sound’s ‘See Mi Yah.’ He also opened the reknown Hard Wax record store in Berlin in 1989 to celebrate dub and reggae imports.
On the Yermande EP, Ernestus takes his goal of merging African and European sound further. You might have heard Thom Yorke play the bouncy ‘Yermande (Kick and Bass Mix)’ dub track on Benji B’s Radio 1 a couple weeks ago.
Alix Perez is considered one of drum & bass’s best producers. He gained recognition for the classic “Solitary Native” collaboration with Sabre in 2006, before getting signed to Shogun Audio to release his first record 1984 in 2009. Listen to the gorgeous cut ‘Forsaken’ with Peven Everett and Spectrasoul.
Now he’s back with his newest release, the Elephant Dreams EP, this time on his own 1985 imprint. In an interview with i-D, he said that the record represents the synthesis of his experiments with “the softer side of music and also the heavier, dark side of things.” My favorite track ‘Had I Known’ above is one of the warmer cuts on the EP but his tracks “Room 667’ and ‘Elephant Dreams’ are crude, dark bass delights.
Below is a snippet from technology and culture writer Nicholas Carr’s new book Utopia is Creepy, based on the collective musings of his popular blog Rough Type, where he writes about the craving for everything technology, including the way it’s become a religion and the way we think of it as the be-all and end-all for solving all the world’s problems.
“So began my argument with – what should I call it? There are so many choices: the digital age, the information age, the internet age, the computer age, the connected age, the Google age, the emoji age, the cloud age, the smartphone age, the data age, the Facebook age, the robot age, the posthuman age. The more names we pin on it, the more vaporous it seems. If nothing else, it is an age geared to the talents of the brand manager. I’ll just call it Now.”
Out now is Lenzman’s All For You EP, the first official release from his own label The North Quarter, named after the area of Amsterdam where he grew up. He previously released music on Goldie’s Metalheadz imprint, where he gained a reputation for creating a soulful version of drum n bass.
More recently, Lenzman has been exploring some of his other influences, most notably hip-hop, with tracks like ‘Still Standing’ featuring MC DRS. Never one to follow the herd, Lenzman continues to experiment in search of deeper music or as he says “real music for real people.”
Below are some of my other favorite Lenzman tracks to date:
CO/R is a collaboration between techno heads Herron and Joy Orbison. The duo just released Gudrun, a vinyl 12″ from the Trilogy Tapes Store.
The lead single ‘Bells, Walking’ is a continuation of Joy Orbison’s 2009 post-dubstep hit ‘Hyph Mngo‘ laced in with Herron’s mastery of house and UK garage. Learn more about Joy Orbison in the Sole Selectors video below.
“I still have a lot of time for putting out 12 inches.” – Joy Orbison
Mieux is an electronic duo from Vienna, Austria. Their new single ‘Rust’ will appear on their forthcoming Music is Pain due out later this month.
I featured the fun, uptempo track on my weekly playlist last month and included the band’s track ‘Rush’ from their album Are You Happy last year on my Best of 2015 playlist. Gilles Peterson is also a big fan of the two man band.
A lot of people think thinkers can’t be leaders. But that’s exactly what leadership is: thinking. The leader of a group takes what they read and hear internally and externally and originates his/her own thought. They speak for themselves. As former Yale professor and best-selling author William Deresiewicz said in his 2009 speech to West Point cadets:
“If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts.”
It’s lonely at the top because being the boss requires a lot of independent reflection and focus. Leadership also takes courage, as saying what is unpopular or unknown makes other people uncomfortable. People wish for the status quo as much as they seek certainty.
Being a leader precludes following. The problem is that some of the world’s leaders continue to jump through hoops like “excellent sheep” to get to where they are. They go to Ivy League schools and get straight A’s and go on to become CEOs and lawyers where they keep the usual routine going.
“Because excellence isn’t usually what gets you up the greasy pole. What gets you up is a talent for maneuvering. Kissing up to the people above you, kicking down to the people below you. Pleasing your teachers, pleasing your superiors, picking a powerful mentor and riding his coattails until it’s time to stab him in the back. Jumping through hoops. Getting along by going along.”
Success, therefore, is that which appeases others more than it leads. Some of the most educated people choose to chase the herd. On the other hand, real leaders embrace complexity. Deresiewicz uses US General David Petraeus as the apotheosis of a great leader.
“What makes him a thinker—and a leader—is precisely that he is able to think things through for himself. And because he can, he has the confidence, the courage, to argue for his ideas even when they aren’t popular. Even when they don’t please his superiors. Courage: there is physical courage, which you all possess in abundance, and then there is another kind of courage, moral courage, the courage to stand up for what you believe.”
So, how does one think well?
Thinkers concentrate. Thinkers avoid multitasking, distractions, and the tendency to ape the thoughts and opinions of other people. Like philosophers, they search for their originality and tools that will help guide their action.
“Multitasking, in short, is not only not thinking, it impairs your ability to think. Thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it. Not learning other people’s ideas, or memorizing a body of information, however much those may sometimes be useful. Developing your own ideas. In short, thinking for yourself. You simply cannot do that in bursts of 20 seconds at a time, constantly interrupted by Facebook messages or Twitter tweets, or fiddling with your iPod, or watching something on YouTube.”
Leaders require solitude. Isolation requires concentration. Silence means spending time in the canvass of your thoughts and not running away from denial on Facebook and Twitter. “Thinking for yourself means finding yourself, finding your own reality.” Mulling over thoughts, ideas and observations is a single task driven to achieve honesty with yourself.
“Climbing on that steamboat and spending a few uninterrupted hours hammering it into shape. Or building a house, or cooking a meal, or even writing a college paper, if you really put yourself into it.”
Thinking too, is a social act, not just with anyone but with people you trust. Says Deresiewicz, “One of the best ways of talking to yourself is by talking to another person.” Speaking your mind to a friend removes the friction of judgement and helps clarify your thoughts and opinions when they still need pruning.
Thinking is preparation. The more deeply you know about yourself, the easier it will be to react naturally to any situation, from the battlefield to major decisions at work or personal life. Solitude and leadership go hand in hand, because when it comes to big decisions “all you really have is yourself.”
A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.” – Oscar Wilde