Tuesday, July 20, 2004

A couple things regarding the set below, or a long explanation of what was actually a pretty simple process. I've already been asked by a couple people about the makeup of the "box"; it's specifically in the basic order of the book, or rather the book's discography, and doesn't go beyond it. (Simon's discography ends right around the time the book went to bed--the "Outro" chapter is signed April 1998.) Three years ago the great Mike Daddino made a mammoth set of 10 CD-Rs' worth of MP3s from Generation Ecstasy's discography, divided into folders based on chapters. That's what I worked from here, apart from We's "Magnesium Flares," a longtime favorite of mine.
Here's an example. The discography of "A Tale of Three Cities" is divided into "Chicago House," "New York Garage," and "Detroit Techno." Each of those have "Ancestors" subheads; "Chicago House" also has an "Acid" subhead. I chose one song for each of those categories (three "Ancestors" tracks, one each for Chi/NYC/Detroit, and an acid track), and voila--seven songs that helped define the parameters of the music discussed in the chapter. Mostly I stuck with the order of the subheads, though for "A Tale of Three Cities" I reordered it so the ancestors (Kraftwerk, Donna Summer, Loose Joints) came first, in chronological order, and then programmed the other four to flow. "Outro" was also handled this way.
In a couple cases, I used more than one cut per subheading--the "Roots 'n' Future" discog didn't have any subheads at all, so I picked three tracks. That's partly due to the emphasis of each chapter--"Roots 'n' Future" the chapter is much more about records than the "Fight for Your Right to Party" chapter, which is more about the scene surrounding Goa trance than the music itself, and partly due to my tastes (and Simon's) lying far more in the direction of jungle than Goa. And the way the discography is shaped makes it a terrific model for something like this, a project I've always wanted to put together but could never quite figure out how to, even after having Daddino's set for a year and a half. And the idea wasn't to be definitive, it was to be representative. Looking at it again, I think it succeeds. And I think I could put together another one with a completely different tracklisting that would be just as good. But not for awhile.