Jeff Mills

zhao

there are no accidents
ok either i stumbled onto the right pieces or his vision is finally getting through.
over the last year or so the not a few cuts made me stop in my tracks.

finally ready to concede to man's level of genius:
this new one, sleeper awakes... so epic. so subtle. so sick.

a masterpiece. dance music as "serious" music.

i feel like his vision is near "completion" or he is pretty much getting to the place where all his previous work has been leading up to. no longer restrained by the functional needs of the floor (which i guess it hasn't been for some time), the music is free to reach that next level.

or I'm just really into it right now sitting in a completely dark room with nice headphones on.

honestly i think it's the former.
 
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Bang Diddley

Well-known member
finally ready to concede to man's level of genius:
this new one, sleeper awakes... so epic. so subtle. so sick.

a masterpiece. dance music as "serious" music.

i feel like his vision is near "completion" or he is pretty much getting to the place where all his previous work has been leading up to. no longer restrained by the functional needs of the floor (which i guess it hasn't been for some time), the music is free to reach that next level.

I think he got there with One Man Spaceship.
 

straight

wings cru
His metropolis soundtrack is great as well. Dug out the Every dog has his day series recently, sound dated but great, in a way a lot of 90s deeper house tracks in light of the current revival. They tend to get overlooked for the nosebleed hes famous for
 

Bang Diddley

Well-known member
His metropolis soundtrack is great as well. Dug out the Every dog has his day series recently, sound dated but great, in a way a lot of 90s deeper house tracks in light of the current revival. They tend to get overlooked for the nosebleed hes famous for

Did you hear The Other Day comp as far away from his hard style as you can get. Its an old set 98 maybe, shit its gonna be 2010 next year. Sometimes music make me feel real old.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
will revisit metropolis too. i gave that a few goes when it first came out and nothing. zilch.
 

Dusty

Tone deaf
I have a lot of respect for his legacy, and more importantly really liked the direction he went in with One Man Spaceship and Contact Special. Probably because like you I tend to find myself in a darkened room with headphones, and it suits this.

Not seen the Bells DVD but I liked Exhibitionist as a study of Jeff doing what he does best, mixing at speed with his birdlike ever-twitching fingers fluttering over the knobs. That is pretty much all there is to it though, It is very much a visual translation of a man mixing and nothing more. Anyone who approaches it hoping for more in-depth content will be disappointed (There is an interview with Jeff, but it makes about as much sense as his liner note ramblings).

*edit* forgot to mention, his other DVD with the orchestra was a pretty uncomfortable watch.
 
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zhao

there are no accidents
thoroughly enjoying going through the complete discography right now.

you all know i prefer the cerebral, other-worldly, polyrhythmic reverberating mbira tones, clear and dream-like, Africa calling from the year 3067. and there is PLENTY of material along these lines, as i'm happily discovering.

sublime is the right word. subliminal might be another. his vision is truly monolithic. mystical. transcendent.

really gorgeous ambient tracks here and there too... a few consisting of sparse tones surrounded by long silences. most of the tools are pretty nice as well, some banging and some chilled... the 160 BPM nose bleeds i don't need but on the whole a lot more hits and fewer misses than i imagined from mid 90s on. don't know why his live sets seem to mostly consist of the boring "space washing machine" tracks when the releases are so full of gems... if anyone wants a complete list of essentials and recommendations i can provide.
 
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Diggedy Derek

Stray Dog
Contact Special is the one to get. Seriously. Metropolis is excellent too, though I guess that's around ten years old now.

I'd recommend the Exhibitionist DVD very much, it's enormous fun and very interesting. I'm not sure you'd want to watch it more than once though. Watch it on YouTube basically!

I always wondered whether the twitching of his fingers was a deliberate affectation. I've come to the opinion that it's not, there's something compulsive about it, I think this kind of precise attention to detail, and the idea that he can always improve a track minutely, is an integral part of his philosophy.
 

mms

sometimes
Contact Special is the one to get.

agreed.
He's done loads of brilliant tracks though too.

this is really special too
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Diggedy Derek

Stray Dog
To be honest Mills is hard to keep up with. He might produce several run of the mill tracks in a row and suddenly and unexpectedly then hit upon a killer formula on the next one. Hard to predict.
 

Leo

Well-known member
"contact special" and "the other day" are on the top of my list, but i also still dig pulling out the "purpose maker" comp cd once in a while. no futuristic electronica there, just bangin' DJ tools. it's so repetitive and relentless that it's sort of mesmerizing.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
I assume from what I’ve seen that a lot of DJs and producers do not produce the music for the full well-being of the listener. In other words, they do not produce at their highest capacity, because they feel the people will not understand it, that the people are not intelligent enough to figure it out. So they keep the sequences very simple, and they keep the structure very simple, because it’s easier to translate. And even I did this for many, many years, from the mid-90s, I assumed that by breaking the music down you speak to more people. But then I learned that we are all intelligent animals, we wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be able to survive if we weren’t, so there’s no reason why we should discount, and not put forth out best efforts in presenting this kind of music, with these kind of ideas. And so, this has become the type of mantra that I use before I sit down, that the idea of making something convenient is not the issue.

I really now do what I feel is probably best for the subject, not best for the listener, but best for the subject and how to describe it, to the best of my ability. And I know that at times it’s not easy for the listener to dance to, or to listen to, it’s too layered, or it’s not clear. …. That is my purest intention. And I think that in the end that will have more impact…. Once you really connect and understand it. So that changed the way I began to make music.

I began to go back to the time when Mike and I were making music and we did not know about music, and we were just imagining that Europe was this very, highly advanced electronic music place, where the people were mixing the genres together, and actually the DJ was at a disadvantage, because the people were so advanced, and the DJ would have to …. Have a big toolbox of how to modify the music, to keep up with the people. And when we came it wasn’t like that, so then we changed the way that we make music, so I said I want to go back to that way of thinking, of producing music and producing ideas, and that’s when I decided to at first…. Making the music for someone is highly intellectual, who has heard every pop song, every experimental, every John Cage, every Phillip Glass, every classical, has heard everything, so I must make the music in a way that will speak to that person and will say something new

it would be the perfect listener, and it started there, and then it moved on to making music for not even the person, but for…. Something that is not even human (!!!!!!!!). And so I thought that the only way to be able to speak, notes and chords are not enough, so the idea of using frequencies as notes and chords, they maybe travel further…. If you listen to the most recent, they’re very bleepy kind of, almost like data, like signals, so the idea of trying to dance to it had become not so important. So this is kind of where I’m headed now. If you listen to a lot of the music last night, it was that kind of computer in running mode type of situation, where it’s either computing or sending out information, and those are the kind of tracks that I’m kind of attracted to.

Well, if you work at something over and over and over, you begin to perfect it, you should be able to isolate exactly the type of sounds you want to have, and all the extra things, maybe in Waveform Transmissions 1 & 2, you put them aside. And Contact Special is a perfect example, at times I wanted the tracks to have the motion of a machine, computing, or the feel as if something is unnatural is happening, but is happening in a certain sequence, or BPM…. A lot of the album was based on the subject of three, of three pieces. And so these rotating three pieces would create a certain sort of sequence if spun. It was a complex album, the tracks were very simple, probably because I was so tired after trying to figure out what the sequences were…. That was a very hard album to compose.

(but it) didn’t do so well, we only released it in Japan, we didn’t have a chance to release it in Europe. But it was definitely an achievement and it showed me how to move on to One Man Spaceship, which was the next album..

it presents itself in a very obvious way, without the feeling that it was a mistake. And in electronic music we had kind of gotten away from this, for a long time we were in this very random type of way of producing because of the sequences that were coming out would allow you to produce at random. It would just pick notes out up of the keyboard and then you would say, ok, this is the bassline and this is the topline…. We had gotten away from specifically placing notes in particular places to create a certain type of equation that would speak. And I was doing that in contact special. If you listen to some of the tracks, the sounds fit…. I mean there are many different layers of sequences, but they fit almost like a puzzle, almost to the point you don’t really notice after a while that those are like six different keyboards interacting together, separately, creating the sequences kind of like themselves. And then I carried that over to one man spaceship, but with orchestration, string arrangements, and was trying to find a balance between this kind of machine computing data and soundscaping type of …. Sounds which felt like wallpaper, or a kind of feel that was multilayered. There were notes and there were chords, and then there was a also on that album ….. an aura, kind of, that went with the tracks that was different from anything else I had.. different from Contact Special. Even when I listen now, there’s a kind of strange way the tracks segue together, some of the tracks are unclear, some are very clear….

a project called Time Sensitive, Contact Special and One Man Spaceship were connected to a residency that I did in Japan. And we were acting out these albums in a live setting. So for instance Contact Special was about alien abductions. And every Friday night at a club called Womb, we would make a script of what would happen from the time the doors opened to the time the club ended. And every hour was divided, and a lighting scheme, a sound scheme, a special effects scheme was put in place, and at a certain point for contact special there was a point where the abduction would happen. So we had these enormous lights that would create almost like a sun, and we filled the club up with fog, then used strobes, and everybody would be totally disorientated, and that would be the abduction part. And after that, we used fans to blow the people, to blow them back away from the stage as if something was coming. And just try to make everything as crazy as we could. And One Man Spaceship was based on this idea that… it could be a positive aspect to be isolated. Because you would have to use your imagination to kind of create the world around you. So we designed the setting to emphasise that. So the DJ set up had six turntables, we created a whole spaceship out of equipment. And as the people came in we took photographs and exported the images to a VJ that immediately broadcast the images of that person on a large screen, so that happened in seconds. And we were trying to give the whole event a very personal kind of feel. And so this one man spaceship goes off on a journey, and The Sleeper Wakes is when he comes back after this long journey. So I have not been back to Japan since 2005 to DJ, and that’s because I needed to put this time in between One Man Spaceship and The Sleeper Wakes. So there a special party that’s going to happen on New Years Eve [2010] in Tokyo where I introduce the music that I’ve been making for The Sleeper Wakes, for all this time, for all these years. I’ve been making music for all this time, for that night. At that time, all of us will awake to a different situation. So that gives me an opportunity to make a really different type of music and introduce it in a context in which it might be accepted more.

.
 
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polystyle

Well-known member
Good to read , thanks Zhao - and Jeff .
So we can guess it's going to go off in a few hours in Tokyo ?
Kind of funny to read about his process over time -
but doing the work and making musik takes that time and def not always some straight line.
And hey - probably no samples of old music as ingredients or main thang.
Cheers on that ...
Blue moon over the planet Tokyo, Brrlin, Koln, Lisbon, New York, London everywhere as some Sleepers Awaken
:)
 
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zhao

there are no accidents
waveform transmission beyond dark matter cycle 30 discovering the rings of saturn the art of connecting time machine contact special one man spaceship...

photo-jeffmills.jpg
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