I've got this other blog space with my friend Nick for our radio show The Basement which airs in Auckland every Saturday from 4-6 pm on Base 107.3 FM. However, that site has by default become a place only to publish our playlists. We're beginning to receive so much spam and the blogware is not very Mac friendly, so we haven't got very discursive. Therefore, I thought I'd finally begin my own blog.
When Nick and I began the radio programme in June 2004 I wanted to call it Topical Ointment because that sums up the approach I've had to making mixtapes and CDs for donkey's years. But Topical Ointment sounded a bit vague and Nick and I chose to go with The Basement instead, because it was more direct, was semantically linked to Base FM, and conjured up digging for audio material in a mysterious room or frequenting a really cool underground club.
I listen to loadsa music and compile tunes that capture my moods and thoughts about the intimate reality of my life in Auckland as well as working out my feelings about the wider world of culture and politics. I'm compelled to make these compilations at least once a fortnight. I don't do any fancy beat segues or overlaps just juxtapose carefully in a montage stylee. But I prefer the simple term 'mix' rather than 'compilation' which might more accurately describe the form. 'Compilation' sounds like there isn't any careful thought into how and what you put together to communicate something, just a slapdash assembly. But these playlists are considered and probably sum up my mindstate more than anything else. The different pieces of music speak to each other and cumulatively say a lot without me opening my mouth. Some songs yield new meanings in a different context. The mix is topical in its capture of the moment, and it's like ointment because it soothes me, keeps me ticking along. It's like a locally applied balm for the present, and I'm addicted to it. Sometimes it frames everything else going on. It may be an example of obsessive compulsive behaviour, but it's a small marginally creative thing I do for myself, but also share with others if they're interested. So the blog springs from the same well.