Musically, I am more of a sponge than an explorer. My brother Konstantin actively searches for music because of his DJ habit/hobby. I on the other hand like to surround myself with people who know all about music and soak up their expertise by engaging in good conversation during good times (usually lubricated by good spirits – the kind you imbibe and the kind you have when you’re surrounded by good people). In any case, be mindful of the long preamble – I usually ramble on this long only when something profound is about to be said.
My friend Sunshine (she’s basically a walking encyclopedia of music) recommended I take a look at a website called Theta States. The conversation arrived at this particular junction because we were discussing the music of Atmosphere – by far my favorite band. Theta States is the website of a DJ called CPI, who Sunshine introduced to on the premise that she mixes Atmosphere tracks in her hip-hop DJ mixes. Now I’m hooked, CPI is like water for my sponge. I can’t help but soak up everything she mixes or talks about and enjoy it without a second thought.
She puts out a somewhat-weekly musical blog via her Facebook page which includes new releases she comes across. At this point I’ve been eating up these blog compilations right out of her hand, and highly recommend them if you’re not into the mass-market top 10/40/100 Billboard kind of material. In fact, to pass the time between her blog releases, I’ve started going through her blog archives (which may or may not be up at the moment – her website went down recently and is still being restored). I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself once I’m done listening to all the DJ mixes on her page and with the complete blog archives.
The catch-phrase / witty title of her website is “bedroom music for bedroom people”. Don’t dismiss it as sleepy though, her hip-hop mixes which include quite a bit of underground hip-hop goodness are intelligent, absolutely brilliant works of art. She even sprinkles all that intelligent hip-hop goodness with some spoken word. Basically she plays stuff that gives the genre a good name – poetry set to music.
Finally, if you’ve got any sense of humor at all, you’ll love the way she writes about music in her blog. She reminds me of my buddy Josh who is a writer good enough to melt the hearts of Rolling Stone execs, but uses his skills for good – not evil (Rolling Stone being the mass-market leader-of-the-pack it is nowadays). So if you don’t mind the fact that she’s Canadian, you better hop over to Theta States, and then on to her Facebook page. I highly recommend a 4-part hip-hop mix called “City Hearts Aimed Skyward”. Its 4+ hours of the best music for background listening during work, intelligent conversation and the kind of good times with good people I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post. Go, get to it, click click click.