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Sunday Soul – Europe 1-4
Year 11 – Playlist 12/52 – For the week of July 6th 2014
I started writing an essay this morning from Eindhoven, Netherlands about how in the 1840’s the early linguistic and cultural Scandinavist movement attempted to unite a Germanic language base and forge empire from the idea that Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finnland, Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands were all geographically a united people. Naturally absolute monarch Christian VIII and Charles XIV with his “one man government”, were suspicious of the movement and promptly stamped it out. I was also going to write about the various interconnections and rivalries I’ve observed so far on my adventures (Swedes think something cliché about the Danes, and the Danes seem to think the same thing about the Swedes, nobody likes the Germans – not even the Germans – and Norway pretends none of this is even happening, the Netherlands keep scooching closer and closer to the contonent of Europe, and no one, not one person has mentioned Iceland.) I wanted to write about this because back home we imagine adorably painted wooden horses, clogs, a “house mafia” and of course a ten foot tall pile of nude Swedish girls offering non-stop sex when we think of Scandanavia and sadly we have little to no first hand information or background on the subject. So I thought I’d inspect this for myself, sneak a few little questions into casual conversations, and then report back here so we could have the straight dope, but then Berlin happened. After Berlin I think we can leave Schleswig and Dannevirke in the hands of the Viking Revivalists and I don’t want to talk about that anymore. I hope that doesn’t bum you out too much.
We arrived in Copenhagen and reunited with one of my surrogate fathers – Kim Ham. I am the oldest boy of his children, and he has been an example to me since I was about 15. He taught me things I don’t feel are appropriate to write down here (but that I really needed to know,) but he also opened my mind to music beyond “punk rock” in the late 1970’s and in collaboration with one Mrs. Emma Clarkson introduced me (separately) to an endless universe of music. Thanks to Kim I met Motorhead, DAF, Ultravox, Motley Crue before they were signed, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Roxy Music, and that time I drew a huge carboard cut out portrait of the Damned for their in-store appearance at the record store and I got so drunk I ended up crying in the stairwell because Captain Sensible wouldn’t take his picture with me – it was Kim who not only helped me up, but also helped me tear the cardboard drawing down and dispose of it with some satifying degree of contempt. Copenhagen is lovely, and time with Kim and his partner Anne Christine was time well spent and a rest much needed after our long journey.
Then we jumped a train and headed for Berlin. The train was nice, althought much different from the old trains I remember crossing Europe in. These new trains are sort of like the new vespas vs the old vespas. The old ones had problems, but they are stately and beautiful and there’s nothing like them. The new ones have all the convenience of modernity and plastics, but it’s just not the same, and you don’t feel the same riding them. But we travelled to the edge of Denmark, took a ferry over the Baltic Sea (the train actually went onto a ferry and it crossed the sea) and then continued on through Hamburg, and into Berlin.
Hali met us at the train station. If you don’t kow DJ Hali – originally from Toronto – you really should know him. He’s a superb DJ and a wonderful friend. We collaborated on Sunday Soul Unlimited – Toronto a few years back together and mixed back and forth for hours from his flat. Hali showed us around and we jumped a light rail train without paying, and landed in a former soviet housing block in East Berlin. It was even better than it sounded, and we thought we might sleep, but Martha and I were so supercharged at suddenly being surrounded by collage, public art, posters, people, filth, food, music, and anarchists that we walked the streets and found a little cafe and had the perfect cheese and vegetable plate, and then drank two bottles of water and three coffees. Sitting there on a corner in Berlin watching people pass, smoke, laugh, and read I felt immeditately at home. I am well aware of how deeply I ache for home these days, but I didn’t really know like I knew sitting there in the middle of it. American life is nothing like it once was, and nothing like it is going to become. Thinking of all those “employees” paying through the nose for apartments, staring open mouthed into their phones, doing nothing at night, doing nothing with their lives but work as their vitality is drained from them as they dream of millions, and remote hikes, and someday being “in shape” all seems so tragic and sad sitting here in the midst of vibrance, and laughter. It’s cheap to live here, and everything is here. Everyone also seems to be here. It’s beautiful. I love it.
The party was called Box of Kittens and it was held in an abandoned factory. I played for four hours in the basement between deeply gifted DJ’s. The audience filled that basement, and surged with the music, and cheered with me as I denegrated the Americanization of Europe and opened my own heart to the sounds of my own art. I think we won each other’s hearts and minds that night. I fell deeper in love with Berlin. I felt I found a piece of myself which has been missing for more than a decade. I felt that never so much as right there in that basement, completely
soaked with sweat, losing my voice, three hours into a four hour set, filthy, exhausted, and unable to understand a word anyone around me was saying, that I was at last home again.
From the party in Berlin we went directly to the airport and flew to Dusseldorf. There in that strangely modern and austere transit hub Martha and I sat down to two kaffes mit milch and one chocolate doughnut. They were delicious. Then we wandered around, jumped another light rail tram to the an undergound train to an actual train that we actually bought tickets for and travelled to Eindhoven via a local train which stopped a lot, and when it arrived in the station unloaded an amazing volume of young people with cigarettes, beer, and snarling faces and sports songs neither of us knew. When we boarded the train it was practically empty. Literally everyone had gotten off. So we rode in quiet to the end of the line, transferred and then rode again to the end of the line and were at last in Eindhoven.
Tonight we head to Amaterdam, on Thursday we will be in Stockholm, but I’m getting ahead of myself now. This is part 1-4 of this adventure’s travelogue, and I’ll be back next week from Portugal to tell you about everything that’s happened since this morning.
I don’t miss you at all, and I’m not sorry about that. But I love you deeply, and will never forget you.
Thank you for listening, I will return next week with another communique from Europe.
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul: EUROPE 1-4
1. Europe Endless – Kraftwerk
2. Berlin – Ambient Audio Recording – Sunshine Jones
3. Berlin Sunrise – Lee Jones Remix – Fink
4. Out Here – Instrumental – Sunshine Jones
5. Two Dots – Nic Fanciulli Remix – Lusine
6. Kajappfort – Prins Thomas Multitrack Edit – Ytre Rymden Dansskola
7. Sinister Ana – Blue Soul
8. I-ight – Force of Nature
9. Nothing Gold – Todd Terje Mix – Joakim
10. Frankfurt – Pryda
11. Give Me Your Hand – Biatlone Remix – TrockenSaft
12. Lust of Berlin – Neu Electrikk
13. Obsidian – DEconstructure Edit – Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia
13. Sunday Soul – Program ID
14. Rehearsal – Ekko
15. Sunday Soul – Program ID
Year 11 – Playlist 12|52
6 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.