Friday, December 23, 2011

Selected Ambient Works vol. 2

People like to hate on christmas, venting about capitalism, christianity, family traumas, and other right-wing cacodemons. There is a lot to despise, and it is easy to get washed away in a grinch-green tidal wave of elitism and misanthropy.

Oddly enough, i have managed to dodge the bitterness bus this year; being far, far away from any kind of roots or history, being so far outside of mainstream society that i am just like a kid, agape in wonder at the window of some FAO Schwartz. I have been awash in sensuality, in aesthetics, marvelling at the christmas lights staining the misty evenings, watching hordes of drunken santa clauses take over the streets of SW Portland. Its been an oddly beautiful time, in my life.

This time of year always reminds me of another important, but weird, landmark in my evolution, that is far removed from families and egg-nogs; i started taking psychedelic drugs on christmas. I dropped acid for the first time on christmas, with a flickering candle-lit angel burning itself into my own private mythology. As we get into the opening stages of Capricorn, i feel the elegiac hum, a silent and timeless grace descend like a blanket of heavy Chicago snow, a feeling of REAL religiosity, that is weakly imitated by the hallmark holiday.

Around this time of year, my former wife and i would commemorate this anniversary, liked to hallucinate and trip out on the christmas lights. We had an abysmal daily grind, but loved each other tremendously while on these higher vibrations, and still do. One time, after going through a particularly rough spell, we dropped some acid and listened to Aphex Twin's 'Selected Ambient Works vol II', which has remained in steady rotation ever since, and decided that it was the best christmas music of all time. It was like we were able to see each other with fresh eyes, forget all the hurtful words and bullshit plastic holiday hustle and bustle, we were quiet, serene and timeless, whispering words that echo through lifetimes, through decades, and i hear them, even now. They remind me of the changing of the seasons, of timeless values like love and warmth and family, and i am child-like and in wonder, in my heart.

This music always reminds me to feel that way, far-away ghostly bells that are innocent but alien and eerie, at the same time. I had a friend get mad at me for lending him these disks, at one point, he had some sort of astral projection dream where he was whisked away to some alien airport, where he was being menaced. So if you like that kind of thing, i would recommend checking this out! These discs are some of the most gorgeous, emotional ambient minimalism i have ever heard. I have listened to them 150,000, and i never get tired of them. They plunged me into the deep end of ambient deep listening, an insatiable hunger for atmospheric sounds to stain the night air, to stain the shadows of my mind, until my dreams flicker and flame like a tree top angel.

Many of you have probably heard these before, but i would advise giving them a spin, beneath colored lights, perhaps with someone you love and trust. Have a quiet conversation, watch the spaces between the words. I will be playing both discs, on dec. 25th, to commemorate the occasion, and perhaps some of you can join me in the ritual, wherever you may be.


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  2. This post was written before Christmas and now it is just over, Happy new year 2012, lets start a new day

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