Playlist // Can You Dance To My Beat

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I love making playlists. It is a definite hobby of mine. It interests me, calms me, excites me.

This one I made for a Desert Island competition. Basically it’s a 20-person competition on a music forum I frequent whereby participants create a playlist, with a number of caveats – the maximum length is 2hr40min, equivalent to the length of two CDs, and you cannot use more than one song per artist. 

I’ve made quite a few of these in the past, with varying success, but I think this one is my best so far, because it covers off pretty much all the genres of music I enjoy, in one flowing piece, rather than being broken into disparate sections like I have done in the past.

It has its roots in the foothills of Lexton, where Rainbow Serpent is held annually. I went for the first time in 2013, encouraged by a friend of mine who was much more of a free spirit and risk-taker than I was at the time.

It was incredibly daunting. She was the only friend I knew going, and I seriously considered selling my ticket beforehand, as I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into – it was, at that point in time, the most out-there thing I had ever signed up for. Surely it would be too intense for a mild-mannered, kinda lame soul like myself, or so I thought.

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The day came, and my friend came round to my house with the intention of picking me up. But when she arrived her tiny Holden Astra was already bursting at the seams, with three couchsurfers and all the gear strategically packed inside. It became apparent that I would have to drive, and so we unpacked the Astra and split the people and gear between our two cars, as my Mum watched on, mortified at these foreign couchsurfers with blue hair and ramshackle outfits, fearing for my safety.

I drove to Rainbow with Rafael, a French-Canadian who spends six months of the year as a chef for a multi-millionaire Canadian artist and the other six months travelling. Within five minutes he had asked me what drugs I would be taking that weekend, and by the time we got to Bacchus Marsh for alcohol supplies I was an aficionado of the “electro swing” genre.

I could go on and on about that weekend. It was a bit of a life-changer. Prior to it I enjoyed electronic music, but the festival opened my mind to a far greater array of electronic music than I had ever known was possible. Electro swing, deep house, psytrance, glitch hop… by the time I left Rainbow I had a bigger appreciation for electro (and it’s why I now have a strong distaste for most nightclubs not named Revolver). I’m now more confident around girls, more confident in life in general. I feel I have the freedom to really be myself, to wear a donkey onesie and dance like a fucking maniac in the laneway when my favourite song comes in at #30 in the Hottest 100, when in the past I might have suppressed that side of me. There were also some negative experiences I won’t delve into, but they too have shaped the way I live life.

Long story short, this playlist (which I’ve pretentiously titled “Can You Dance To My Beat”, in reference to the first track, an iconic Rainbow song for me) is a glimpse into how I go about living life. Music is a gigantic part of who I am. It’s strange, in some ways, mostly because I have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever, but I spend most days thinking, talking or writing about music. I know I sound like a snob here, but I am genuinely proud of my music collection; there’s a song for every moment, every experience, every thought, every feeling. When I’m in a party mood, I might throw on an upbeat dance track. When I’m feeling reflective, a downtempo electro tune, hazy hip-hop, contemplative indie rock. When I’m anxious, I’m looking for music that reflects that anxiety in its sounds. When I’m sad, music that mines the well of sadness. When I’m happy, fun and bubbly or energetic and propulsive, that gets me playing air guitar or an invisible set of drums in the kitchen.

Have a listen, if you’d like, and let me know your thoughts.

Contact me if you ever want to chat about music over a drink or a hundred until the sun comes up.

As we dance to a beat that seems out of time
To the one you feel in the metronome of your mind
Does it offend you that our rhythm is strange
Or causes your thinking to be re-arranged
Could it be that you would understand this beat to which we dance
More clearly had you been given the chance
So as you struggle to catch the rhythm with your feet
Ask yourself…
                          …can you dance to my beat?

1. Homework – “Ask Yourself (Audiojack’s Chemical Rewind)” – Conversation Piece Remixes (8:48)

2. Les Sins – “Grind” – Grind / Prelims 12” (5:18)

3. Todd Terje – “Strandbar” – It’s Album Time (4:28)

4. Thundercat – “Oh Sheit It’s X” – Apocalypse (3:47)

5. The Juan Maclean – “You Are My Destiny (ft. Nancy Whang)” – You Are My Destiny 12” (8:30)

6. Julio Bashmore – “Au Seve” – Au Seve 12” (6:26)

7. Kele Okereke – “Heartbreak” – Heartbreaker EP (6:04)

7. Ben Pearce – “What I Might Do (Club Mix)” – What I Might Do Remixes (6:30)

8. DJ Koze – “Nices Wölkchen (ft. Apparat)” – Amygdala (5:31)

9. DJ Shadow – “What Does Your Soul Look Like (pt. 1 – Blue Sky Revisit)” – Endtroducing….. (6:17)

10. Outkast – “Elevators (Me & You)” – ATLiens (4:25)

11. Chance the Rapper – “Acid Rain” – Acid Rap (3:36)

12. Nightlands – “So Far So Long” – Oak Island (4:18)

13. St Vincent – “Strange Mercy” – Strange Mercy (4:29)

14. Something for Kate – “Star-Crossed Citizens” – Leave Your Soul to Science (3:41)

15. The National – “This is the Last Time” – Trouble Will Find Me (4:45)

16. Los Campesinos! – “Cemetery Gaits” – No Blues (4:53)

17. Broken Social Scene – “KC Accidental” – You Forgot it in People (3:51)

17. Wilco – “Radio Cure” – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (5:09)

18. Courtney Barnett – “Anonymous Club” – How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose EP (5:51)

19. Passion Pit – “Swimming in the Flood” – Manners (4:58)

20. Flying Lotus – “Galaxy in Janaki” – Cosmogramma (2:28)

21. The Avalanches – “Extra Kings” – Since I Left You (3:47)

22. Jon Hopkins – “Immunity” – Immunity (9:57)

23. Brian Eno – “Becalmed” – Another Green World (3:57)

Total runtime – 2:11:31

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