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DJ Jim Q's Playlist: Beyond

Beyond and back. This month’s playlist is just out of reach, past the point of no return, and out of bounds. These songs look ahead, past the immediate, to what may be, what could be, what will be. Let’s agree to look past the troubles of today, there must be something better coming up around the bend. Right?

The “Bengaluru chapter” selected the theme this month so kicked off the playlist with an artist from the city. I stumbled across Swarathma while browsing through Indian artists on Bandcamp. Swarathma blends traditional Indian folk influences with modern indie rock sounds, the result is awesome and entirely unique. “Duur Kinara” is about a far away land, talked about and dreamt about, but beyond reach. At least I think that is what it is about, I don’t speak Hindi, I have to rely on Google Translate to decipher the lyrics. Great band, I’m going to have to dig deeper into their catalogue.

I front loaded some of the more upbeat tracks like Yaacht’s “Afterlife”, Infinity Ink’s “Infinity” and Nu Shooz’s “Point of No Return”. That should wake you up.

Building on that momentum, I added the optimistic Credence Clearwater Revival classic “Up Around the Bend”, Fogerty and the boys have quite knack for getting your head bobbing right from the start. This one in particularity has hopefulness and bounce that is just so refreshing, especially these days.

You can’t make a “Beyond” playlist and not include the 1959 Bobby Darrin master performance of “Beyond the Sea”. I love this song, it’s got such a great swagger and swing, listen to the cool little drum break down right before the last verse. Such a classic.

A little deeper in the playlist, I included Wham’s anti-love song, “Everything She Wants”. This synth-driven new wave inspired song would have fit perfectly on a Pet Shop Boys record. I know from experience it mixes beautifully with “West-end Girls”, pro tip for all you DJs out there. In the song, George Michael is pushed beyond his limits, as his pregnant wife demands more and more from him. It’s clear he has had enough. He warns her, “one step further and my back will break, if my best isn’t good enough then how can it be good enough for two”. I find the narrative to be a bit unlikely coming from George, but it’s a groovy tune nonetheless. George Michael passed way this year, another 80’s era pop giant gone, he was a massively talent artist with an impressive career and a string of memorable hits from his days in Wham! to his later solo work.

I think I’m late to the game on this one, I’m just discovering trumpet player Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. Wow. I included a track off his 2015 record “Stretch Music”. He takes us on a journey to the beyond with “West of West”. It is a kaleidoscope of sound and rhythm, sporadic bursts of intensity are complimented with sudden rests and space, slowly building back into a frenzy of drum hits and horn. I’m looking forward to listening to more of his compositions.

The playlist ends with the appropriately titled “When the Music’s Over”. Like everyone of a certain age range, I went through a Doors phase growing up. Something about the dark, groove-filled sound mixed with Jim Morrison’s ominous howling and faux-shaman-esque poetic verses, made it seem so deep and mysterious and bit more substantive than the standard blues-rock fare. The somewhat indulgent “When the music’s over”, is an 11-minute celebration of the power and spiritual importance of music, the song suggests beyond music, there is no life, “When the music is over, turn out the lights”.

Thanks for listening, I hope you enjoy this month’s selection. Please share the playlist and follow me on Twitter @jiquin. See you next month.

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