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Sunday Soul – Europe 5-11
Year 11 – Playlist 13/52 – For the week of July 13th 2014
I left Amsterdam at 5am in the rain and flew to Warsaw on LOT airlines. Warsaw appeared on the horizon like a looming area which seemed to turn the endless clouds and green pastures into grey. Subconsciously I was probably looking for iron gates and Joy Division, but was absolutely surprised to find deep, warm browns, pale greens, and bright, smiling faces. I was also surprised to be exchanging Euros for Zlotychs. Mostly I was surprised to find an importance being placed on brand, and price – style over content. It was best explained to me by a family friend who has been doing a great deal of collaboration in the east of Europe over the last few years. He describes a contrast where in the east, people want a brand (I keep hearing about brands, and branding in Europe right now. A lot of discussion of working for brands, branding events and activities) they want to be able to buy something which will set them apart from one another. This sounds terrible, and lonely, but after years of no options or choices the idea takes a different shape for me. And in the west of Europe people generally want a private label, something local, and something green – good for the earth, and good for their health. Mostly I see people wanting to stabilize, accomplish something, to work, to thrive, to live. These are not always easy things to do.
The flight to Stockholm came eight short hours later. And so without sleep, I flew on to Sweden. I made the decision to play in Stockholm for Andreas Hansson and Dana Bergquist’s OH! Records night because they are a wonderful label, and they are releasing my version of Same Mistakes next month. People continue to be surprised by my willingness to travel far, play hard, and love deeply for humble fees and what must seem like no reason in a world of commercialism, super stars, and pumping techno festivals. While those sound kind of fun, they’re not really my thing. Some people shine on a stage in front of thousands and thousands of people (I’ve done that, it’s fun) but I really shine in a basement, on a boat, in a loft, and as close to you as I can possibly get. I want to see your face, I want to hear your voice, I love you and I don’t want to be so far away from you. Andreas picked us up at the airport – check this out: In general, it is the European experience to park, walk inside the airport, and meet people at the gate. It’s not even discussed where you will meet. Your friends are waiting for you right there when you disembark. This is normal, and the airports are built for this. There is nowhere to drive around, or to pull up and pick you up. You actually are expected to park, go inside and meet your friends when they arrive. I love this. I miss this about North American travel. – we sat down for a coffee and then drove into Stockholm. What a breathtaking city. Beautiful.
The club was a boat, the Thai Boat, and they serve amazing Thai food, and there are pockets of sand around the deck where people chill in the sun as if they are on a beach, a DJ was playing some heady deepness and people were really having fun. I played inside the boat. I was supposed to play with Dana and Andreas, but they demurred and let me play the entire night. When I began I wondered if there was anyone there, and at the end of my set I was deeply in love with a few hundred people. Something really magical happened on that boat. Like Berlin, it shifted something inside of me, and I emerged in the morning changed, and awake in a way I haven’t been before.
We drove up the hill and walked the streets of Stockholm in the endless blue hour of the north at night. The view was unbelievable. Like most beautiful things, I can’t imagine it frozen in the winter, but I could absolutely live in a Stockholm summer for the rest of my life. The breakfast which Dana Bergquist prepared – boiled eggs, coffee, and fruit with yogurt, walnuts and honey seemed to be the most deliciously mind altering, body nourishing treats in the history of after party eating. Dana was surprised, but Martha and I were amazed, delighted, and could have helped ourselves to seconds or thirds. So good.
And then without sleeping we boarded an Air Brussels flight to Luxembourg. Then we went on to Lisbon. Then we caught a train to Faro where we met David, and drove to Albufeira. Along the way – mind you both Martha and I have now been in five different countries in 48 hours, played amazing shows, and napped on aircraft – No beds, no horizontal time, no real sleep – we stopped in a fantastic restaurant called Belle Epoque and tried linguisa and steak and salad and drank coffee and endless glasses of water. Our hosts told us all about Portugal, Algarve, Faro, and Albufeira. Then I did a really silly radio interview where no one spoke English. I loved it. We ended up trouble shooting the DJ’s copy of Traktor Pro and laughing together, taking selfies and playing a little music. And at last Martha and I were standing inside a little apartment with steel shutters, white walls, and a little bed. We collapsed and slept.
Hours later we awoke to bright sun and a sweet breeze. The sea, the sea! The day went fast. A Jardin Alamaeda, a boat turned into a club, people, DJ’s, dancers, and the most surreally magnificent sky. Standing there where the Portuguese estuary opens up into the North Atlantic as the sky turned from deep and bloody orange, to a mystical violet, and then swirled up into a golden hallucination of shiva’s eyelids, and then stars, stars! Then the full moon. The sky alone choked me up and brought tears to my eyes, but the moon seemed to dry them, and
shift me internally. My set was wonderful, my companeros were stunning. The music was fun, loving, beautiful, personal, alive and the people danced, and cheered, and I swear to God I felt my personal family grow by 200 people last Saturday night. Love, joy, laughter, cheers, dancing, respect, affection, and happiness. So much love. I never wanted to get off that boat. I never wanted my set to end.
Then a day of rest, I swam in the North Atlantic for the first time in my life. Portugal’s sands are velvet and fine. Like no other sand I can think of. The water is deep and fresh and honest. The beach was full of French people in snug little bathing suits and hair cuts, playing football, and older Portuguese families resting, playing, and swimming. Then back to the train, and back to Lisbon, and on to Barcelona. Thursday night is La Caseta at the top of Mont Juic with Finn. If you’re around you should come. It’s open air, on the top of a mountain, there will be food, and it’s free. Come up and dance with us from 21h to 01h. See you there!
Thank you for listening. I am starting to miss you a little bit (but I think I can manage if you can.)
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul: EUROPE 5-11
1. Woods – Bon Iver
2. Home – Deephope
3. Echoes – Frankey & Sandrino
4. Solar Flare – Smashed Atoms
5. Humming Bird – Club Mix – Maya Jane Coles
6. Turn Around – Âme Remix – Sailor & I
7. It’s Not Enough – Dusky
8. Roses – Bangana Remix – Clarisse Muvemba
9. All Around – Santiago Santamaria
10. Lost in You Like A Chinese Cookie – Guy Gerber
11. Keys To My Groove – &9
12. Mind Forces – Original Instrumental – We Are Destino
13. Waiting For – Kolombo
14. Workin’ – Street Chroir
15. Sunday Soul – Program ID
16. Lady (You Bring Me Up) – Commodores
17. Sunday Soul – Program ID
Year 11 – Playlist 13|52
13 July 2014
Total Running Time: 01 Hour 36 Minutes
May the stars above you shimmer and shine, guiding your heart always, all of the time. May they guide you sweetly, all the way home. And may all your sundays have soul.