Monday, May 15, 2023

Noblesse Oblique: Brian Eno 75

DJ Food + Nowbodhi - Spunk Worship: The Funky Eno II (excerpt)

I sure do hope you all are ready to start your week off on the right funk.

You may remember years ago -- if you're like me, your attempts to smoke away large chunks of memory have largely failed, and you still remember years ago -- when I got a hold of that killer, funkifized Brian Eno mix by the UK's DJ Food, and expanded it (in an unmixed iteration) to fill a couple of CDs to share here.

Earlier this year -- knowing Eno's milestone 75th was fast approaching, and that I hadn't covered him since his 70th five years ago -- I decided I wanted to expand that unmixed version onto a third volume.

Now, when I used to fundraise for non-profits back an even longer lifetime ago, we had a saying: you don't get what you don't ask for. So, in one of the all-time classic instances of that axiom in action, I tracked down the very same DJ Food in England, using the unholy, technodystopic -- and yet, somehow, still often useful -- magic of Facebook messenging.

Some shots in the dark manage to hit some portion of the target, and in this case I got the rare bullseye, as DJ Food (whose real name is Kevin) turned out to be as patient, as insightful, and as goods-delivering a collaborator as I could have asked for.

These last few months taught me a whole lot, especially about the many different and aesthetically valuable methods of mixology, so for me this has been a very enriching experience.

The way DJ Food blends the tempos together in these mixes he so graciously created for us -- using all the Eno-related funky stuff I could dig up and, in a couple of cases, remix myself into things that never existed prior to now -- was so instructive for me in my little, sealed world of this stuff.
Coming from the provincial place I do -- where every tune has to be in a vastly different BPM like you get in a live concert, and it's pretty much uptempo song-->ballad-->midtempo shuffle and back again -- his approach made me really rethink and expand how I look at all this mixing science, I can tell you that much.

If I had to describe where these take me as a listener, his mixes induce a kind of trance where things almost become one long song. The way he finds ways to link the pieces here resonates, in practice, with the classic Eno Oblique Strategy "Repetition Is a Form Of Change," as well as a good deal of what Eno himself talks about in the spoken bits Kevin employed all throughout these three, hourlong forays into Enossified funk.
Especially that little rap about how the line blurs between the start and the finish, and it becomes a music with no beginning and no end.

So what have we hear? This, my friends, is 3 hours and 21 minutes of totally subjective Earth time that we like to call The Funky Eno.

DJ Food + Nowbodhi: The Funky Eno
CD1 - The Funky Eno: More Volts
including I Fall Up, R.A.F. (w.Snatch), Regiment (w.David Byrne), Heartbeat (The Grid) (Squelchy mix by Eno), More Volts, Ali Click, Untitled, No One Receiving, America Is Waiting (w.David Byrne), Defiant (w/David Byrne), Strong Flashes of Light, What Actually Happened?, I Zimbra (Talking Heads) (Brian Eno remix), The Jezebel Spirit (w.David Byrne), Fractal Zoom, Crosseyed and Painless (Talking Heads), Kurt's Rejoinder, Help Me Somebody (w.David Byrne), The Great Curve (Talking Heads), and Chemin De Fer

CD2 - The Funky Eno II: Spunk Worship
including Qu’ran (w.David Byrne), Fat Nude Dance, Marine Radio (w.Jah Wobble), Radiothesia III, Nikkei (w. Rick Holland), Like Pictures Pt.#2 (w.Peter Schwalm), Unusual Balance (w.Jah Wobble), Evil Thoughts, Beast, Monomedia (w.Rick Holland), Glitterbug 6, Heat Beat, Wire Shock, Glitterbug 14, Adedara Rising (EN remix) (w.Jon Hassell), Spunk Worship, 4 Août: With Howie B, Sky Saw, Never Tunnelling, Seeded (w.Rick Holland), and T.N.K. (w. 801)

CD3 - The Funky Eno III: Dust Shuffle
including Mashujaa (EN edit) (w.Jon Hassell), Theme from Let's Go Native (w.Passengers), Over Fire Island, Spinning Away (w.John Cale), City of Life, Lot - Into The Spirit World (demo) (w.David Byrne), War Fetish, Sounds Alien (w.Rick Holland), Abdulmajid (David Bowie), DBF (w.Karl Hyde), Itch (EN Stitch edit) (w.Rick Holland), Glitch (w.Rick Holland), Reasonable Question, United Colours (EN edit) (w.Passengers), Cheeky Hop, Move, Gbenta (w.Edikanfo), Sanctuaries, Tutti Forgetti, and Dust Shuffle (w.Jon Hopkins & Leo Abrahams)

Total time: 3:21:40

nearly every funk-related track spanning the career of Brian Eno, selected by Nowbodhi and mixed (interpolating various spoken Eno bits) by DJ Food, May 2023

1.27 GB FLAC total/direct link
the unmixed version of this opus, in a slightly different sequence, can be found here

I think the final result will speak for itself, as DJ Food has created, from my selections, two more megamixes worthy of his first Eno one that started all of this 13 years ago. As for the album covers I made for these -- where I sort of sampled the Helveticized aesthetic of Eno's original Obscure label, with an assist from some wild AI portraits of Eno that Kevin made a while back -- well, we thought they came out so tight, we made them into T-shirts!
I'll be back in 24 with a special treat in honor of one of Brian Eno's most beloved collaborators, who happens to have been born two years (minus one day) before today's b'day boy.
But right at this moment in the collective Long Now, it's time to put on your dancing shoes and get ready to meet what a Soul Train line might look like, transposed into the aesthetic environment of one of our era's most essential and formative musical figures, born this day in 1948. Will you agree? There's but one way to find out... just have a listen and you'll be ready to bet your last money on it! Seriously folks, a huge thanks to DJ Food, whose majestic, tripartite voyage here is guaranteed to get you all funk-hungry and draining the juice from the generator... more volts, I say! More volts!!!--J.