[Beauty] – ‘Distill’ (1964-2021)

Stream the mix while you read; download at the bottom of this post.

We’re not there yet, not even that close. But the end of this now year-long isolation is something we can at least imagine. And we can begin to mourn the loss–lives, connection, hope–that have come with it. And we can continue to confront the deep roots of oppression that plague humankind even in the absence of a plague. ‘Distill(1964-2021) is a mix of sounds that are all these things: verging on hope, mournful, powerful. These are sounds that bring me peace, but not complacence. They release my heart, perhaps even allow tears to come, but keep me mindful and sharp. This is not yet the sound of celebration, but it is the sound of a humanity worthy of celebration: a species that can create this aching beauty is something worth fighting for, hoping that we can find our better selves, right our injustices, and build something better.

Distill‘ is in a way a mix I’ve made many times in my life, but especially when I’ve most needed hope. Sometimes quietly sad music is the only music that can make us happier; this is for those times. Like the mix ‘Still,’ from a dozen years ago, which was inspired by the photo on its cover (by my partner, Jess), this mix was inspired by its cover photo, taken by my mother. The photos share a quality of mystery, where the feeling they inspire is simultanously calm and slight unease. The music on ‘Still’ drew from well-worn favorites of many years; this mix draws mostly from music I’ve first encountered within the last few years. But they are both the sound of a very personal emotional and musical “home,” where I go when I need respite and repair. I hope this music will be regenerative for you, too, as we hope for the spring to come.

Download/stream the mix below the tracklist. As always, please, buy this music, support the artists, support the shops and labels that get this music out there for us all to enjoy. Without your direct support, music will become a streaming commodity that can’t support artists, won’t create community, will isolate us rather than bring us together–and, in a streaming-only world, can disappear at any moment. Buy music to make it last–don’t rent it. Now more than ever.

Various – ‘Distill

Part I

01 [00:00] Benjamin Britten – “Canto Primio (Sosteruto e Largamente)” (‘Cello Suite No. 1, Op. 72’ 1964)
02 [02:20] Alabaster DePlume – “Visit Croatia” (‘Copernicus: The Good Book of No‘ 2012)
03 [07:10] Jason Molina – “Old Worry” (‘Eight Gates‘ 2009)
05 [09:25] Sailcloth – “Year Long Storm” (‘Close Keeping‘ 2018)
05 [11:40] Les Filles de Illighadad – “Inigradan” (‘Les Filles de Illighadad‘ 2016)
06 [14:50] Loma – “Temple” (‘Shivani‘ 2018)
07 [17:30] Yasmin Williams – “Sunshowers” (‘Urban Driftwood‘ 2021)
08 [21:40] His Name Is Alive – “Piano Rev” (‘All The Mirrors In the House‘ 1986)
09 [23:35] Tarkovsky Quartet – “Quand Ien Congneu A Ma Pensee” (‘Nuit Blanche’ 2017)
10 [28:35] Abu Talib – “Blood Of An American” (‘Blood of An American‘ EP 1974)

Part II

11 [32:50] Daniel Schmidt – “And the Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn” (‘In My Arms, Many Flowers‘ 1978)
12 [40:05] Duval Timothy – “Clouds” (‘Brown Loop‘ 2016)
13 [42:35] Brandee Younger – “Lift Ev’ry Voice & Sing” (‘Lift Ev’ry Voice & Sing‘ single 2020)
14 [46:50] Ralph Stanley – “The Old Church Yard” (‘Shine On’ 2005)
15 [49:45] Arvo Part – “Summa (String Quartet)” (‘The Last Sleep of the Virgin’ 1977)
16 [54:10] Infinity Knives – “Requiem for Yaya” (‘In the Mouth of Sadness‘ 2019)
17 [56:00] Joan Armatrading – “Woncha Come On Home” (‘Show Some Emotion’ 1977)
18 [58:40] Kali Malone – “Sacrificial Code” (‘The Sacrificial Code‘ 2019)
19 [62:05] Krasimir Kyurkchiyski – “Mesechinko Ljo” (‘Bulgarian Folklore Masterpieces’ 1999)
20 [65:15] Philip Glass – “String Quartet No. 3 VI” (‘Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass’ 1995)

[Total Time: 1:08:10]

Download ‘Distill’ (1964-2021) Here (mixed mp3, 163 MB)

Stream here:

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