April 26th, 2002

The fine art of re-mixing

One of the finest pieces of Trance is one of the oldest. Dating back to 1993, Union Jack's Two Full Moons and a Trout is a powerful and melodic piece of music that still holds its head up high amidst the fractured soundscapes of dance music in 2001.

It was the 12 minute long Caspar Pound mix that caught my attention back in 1995, when I bought the Megatropolis CD collection in a Bath record shop. I'd been listening to a lot of ambient music, and to be honest, only bought the compilation for its ambient CD. In fact I only listened to that disc for a couple of weeks... Then one day I accidentally slipped it into my CD-ROM drive.

Wow.

This was something different. Music that grabbed you and tried to throw you into an altered state of consciousness.

Then I got to the last track on the CD.

It started slow and quiet. Electronic music segued into chanting voices again and again, each time adding new layers and building into an ever more coherent and cohesive whole. The music orchestrated its way through my soul, dragging me with me as it scaled its peak. And then the sudden end. And the realisation that 12 minutes had passed with you dragged into a musical other world. No wonder they call it trance.

I played it again. And again. And again.

Since then Two Full Moons and a Trout has become my test piece of music. I use it to try out new equipment, and to show people just what dance music can be when you let it sneak up on you and around your musical boundaries.

I've listened to other mixes, hunted out original white labels in obscure Fulham second-hand record shops, but that Caspar Pound mix is the one I go back to. The way the original piece transcends its boundaries in the capable hands of the mixer never fails to astound.

So I guess that this is what dance music does to me, why I listen to it more than any other genre, despite my eclectic tastes - it gives me other worlds to explore. I don't go to clubs, I don't wear the fashions (though I do have a Platipus Records T-shirt...). Instead I put on a pair of headphones, drop in a CD, and listen. I don't need to go deep into the music - as I type this I've got a CD in the laptop's drive and I'm writing with Chicane gently playing at a low volume...

Is it any surprise that Two Full Moons and a Trout was one of the first tracks I put on to the iPod?
  • Current Music
    Union Jack - Two Full Moons and a Trout (Caspar Pound mix)

Telling the time for 10,000 years.

Another link found on Boing Boing: The Long Now Foundation has an online store. It's not your usual t-shirts and tat - this store sells bristlecone pine cones, and bits of the Clock and prototypes of the Library. Of course there's also a shop where you can buy more affordable things, but the limited edition section is just so wonderful I had to share it...

The Equation of Time Cam is a wonderful piece that shows how science and technology can be art. It's intended to handle solar deviations and make sure that the Clock stays on time.

Now if only LJ let us post times in Long Now format. 02002 is a much better way of showing that we are part of a continuum - that 2002 is not the end of time, just another step on the march through history.
  • Current Music
    CreamCollect Trance - Not Over Yet (Perfecto Mix) / Grace