I've lost my footing with this blog, and am not sure how to regain it. Even writing that sentence sounds so horribly LiveJournalish that it makes me want to close my browser and do something, anything else. It's not writer's block, but something else -- purpose block? The sense that I don't know who my audience is, or what the reason for this blog is -- simple self-promotion? An outlet for my more unguarded thoughts? I've come to see much of my work as too confessional as it is, almost too maudlin at times. I'd kill for a breezy, cut-to-the-core analytical style that said its piece and got the hell out, but that's not me. Can one invent a style? Is style "natural," or is it learned -- and if so, can it be unlearned? I suppose that depends on whether you think writing is expression, and if so, to what degree.
I'm also feeling a bit adrift in music lately. Stacks of CDs pile up on my desk, and as the eye scrolls down their spines, nothing jumps out. Things I'd expect to love sound passable. Things that should be passable I throw in the trash. It can't be that there's nothing good right now; am I simply glutted? Sated? Full to the point of bursting? Do I simply need some silence? Would listening to that compilation of covers of 4'33" help?
I'm tired, at the moment, of writing about the note-by-note. I certainly don't want to read it. I want to read stories, and tell stories, if I have any worth telling. But what kind of stories -- that's always the question, isn't it? Is it time to start making shit up?
One thing that has been consuming me of late is the creation of a schaffel mix CD for Sónar's "Musica a la Carta" listening stations, which is turning out to be one of the more difficult mix projects I've ever attempted. To begin with, there aren't that many tracks from which to choose, relatively speaking -- I'd guess that I have perhaps 40 in my collection. Easily half of those are Kompakt, and for reasons of balance, I'm trying to limit the disc to being only 25% or so Kompakt-related. (They did pretty much invent the form -- and corner the market -- so it's impossible not to lean heavily upon them.) And then schaffel ain't exactly easy to mix -- schaffel tracks' individual rhythmic signatures vary pretty widely, from lockstep triplets to drunken lurching to ghost-schaffel with an implied techno pulse underneath. There's also a huge range of densities, from the garish, overdriven girth of Electronicat to the lithe clickiness of Wighnomy Brothers. My set list is about 20 songs long, for an hourlong mix, and I have listened to each of these tracks -- singularly and in various combinations -- more times than I care to think.
I will say this, though: it's gonna be pretty cool. Just trust me.
And I will say this as well: on days when I can't stand words any more -- and most other days, come to think of it -- deejaying is about the most exhilarating freedom in the world.