Virtual Burning Man 2021 DJ Chris Mountford

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I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to DJ for this year’s Burning Man festival, held online in VR. Special thanks to DJ T-Dog for wrangling the video stream, DJ Lemaze for building the Beats n Treats pirate island virtual venue and to everyone who tuned in live.

Subscribe to the Youtube channel for more recordings from this and other online events.

Lockdown DJ Set

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A little lockdown DJ set streamed live August 2021 with Beats n Treats

Beautiful Chill Robot Heart set from Burning Man

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There are newer sets by Robot Heart, but I think no better than this:

It all goes back to Africa

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New Ambient Electronic Sketch

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I made this today – just a sketch, using my Novation Launchpad Pro (thanks team!) and Ableton Push. It turned out more melancholy than I expected. Please click like on SoundCloud if you like it. It’s available under Creative Commons Share Alike license:

Dope Controllerism with Shawn Wasabi

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Wasabi is hot! I’m sure I’m not the first to say so. Check this stunning performance on his custom MIDI Fighter 64. Watch for the 90º rotation.

/via @durdn

Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita

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For all the harp hating I intimated previously, now my protestations are a flimsy, hollow impossibility. But can I please still retain my harp-misgivings if I explain how this Senegalese man, Seckou Keita, brings a warm, cyclic effusion to this duet and how this Welsh woman, Catrin Finch, plays so delightfully into and around the rhythm which, yes, does contain the very grime I have said this instrument lacks.

Before the flames befall me, strictly, Seckou Keita plays the kora which I am assured is more like a lute and it achieves its bottom end thanks to a resonating body. Nevertheless the kora’s harp-like auditory quality is clear and I feel the need to get this off my chest.

Can I further draw your attention to the way this piece contains sound – not just composition? It contains rhythm – if not funk – and harmony with the husky textures of wood and strings. I’m usually pretty happy to forego melody for all that but to also find that here, calling me closer in refrain, yet living within the texture – that sort of thing makes me listen again. It makes me fret I’ll repeat it too often and wear out my wonder, deny my future self this same abandon.

As they reach the middle of the performance, I see how they are getting into it. Look at them grinning like they just shared a joke. When I watch, I see them taken away from their fingers and technique, forgetting everything but the moment and being surprised and delighted by what they find in that moment, even as they themselves create it for us all.

Towards the conclusion of the piece, things embolden in an anthematic and ever rising cycle that warms me more than the sun. This is not what I had come to expect from the harp.

Catrin Finch plays Claire de Lune by Debussy

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After the last harp video I posted it’s a statement I find increasingly hard to defend, but I don’t necessarily like the harp, per se. It lacks grime. But this … this it transcendent. This performance of one of my all time favourite pieces of sublime music literally brings tears to the eye.


Autechre Gelk cover by Altertape

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Music is what feelings sound like indeed. I love it when music does this. You take one of the worlds most avant garde electronic production duos, English pioneers Autechre, and you do a live cover with a rock lineup. Breathtaking performance and tasteful, even-handed effects processing by smirking Belgian fusion three piece, Altertape (file under drummer-maestro-secret-sauce).


Bach on Harp

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Check this rendition of Johann’s monster tune Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. To my admittedly amateur ear Amy Turk smashes this. I sometimes find the soft yet nasal harp a little too knitted-vest-and-sensible-socks, slightly too white roses and not quite enough motorcycle leather but this one has me quite entranced.

It reminds me I need to go sniff out some more Autechre and Aphex Twin performances on acoustic instruments.

Floating free

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Sweet little floaty space track.

Closer Musik – one two three (no gravity)

Artist: Closer Musik
Album: Spielt 20 Jahre Kompakt
Released: 2013

via Simon Caldwell (sunset FBI, 94.5 Sydney, Australia)

City Sick by Pooka

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I must admit I am city sick

One of the best female folk duos ever, this recording from about 1993.

I only wish I could post a video of them singing and playing it.

Ratatat, File Under Weird But Cool Music Video

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Brooklyn instrumental duo Ratatat have something interesting going on. The music is electronic dance but they dirty the lower tempo house beats with sophisticated choppy rhythm layers, 70s-style guitar riffs and fuzzy synth chords. There’s a little bit of the LA sound, like Flying Lotus, but then the square punch also reminds me of Daft Punk. There’s definitely a strain of psychedelia.

So that’s the music, but why I’m really blogging this is the video clips.

I’m not sure if somebody has slipped something into the video producer’s milkshake but the results are surprisingly stunning. Stunning in the sense that my first reaction was bewilderment. They look like intentionally failed attempts to utterly underwhelm. That stunned feeling quickly gave way to a rising mirth and wonder, like I get when experiencing a zen koan. Perhaps one isn’t expected to arrive with satisfaction at rational comprehension.

Here’s “Cream on Chrome” which may have been test footage from a budget Beijing karaoke joint that had been found in the trash folder of a backpacker’s SD card.

In “Neckbrace” I want to believe they have a highly trained battery of incredibly disciplined birds. Add a drummer with a bare snare, and that’s almost all they need on-screen.

In this one it seems like they’ve repurposed footage from a stock photography shoot, because, what could be cooler than a fake sequence of normal people acting normal?

WOW Live Drum and Bass by Jojo Mayer

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Check out this incredible display of prodigious drum skill by Jojo Mayer. Now that’s what I call drum and bass. Well, technically, I think you might call this genre Jungle but it’s all good. I’m not too sure I’m on board with the genre of camera work employed however!

Bach Well Tempered Boomwhackers

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An incredible demonstration of precision and a jaw-dropping creative rendition of Bach’s seminal Prelude No. 1 in C Major (BWV 846) by French group Les Objets Volants

… using only Boomwhackers