#1 - WHAT IS THE ONE ALBUM (OR EP OR SONG) THAT YOU THINK SHOULD BE THE VERY NEXT MUSICAL THING THAT EVERYONE PRESSES PLAY ON THE NEXT TIME THEY FIND THEMSELVES THINKING “WHAT SHOULD I LISTEN TO NOW”?
I've really been enjoying Huerco S' 2016 release "Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)."
It's a beautiful, drifting ambient release, perfect for traveling, walking, driving or just zoning out.
#2 - WHAT IS THE ONE MOVIE OR TV SHOW THAT YOU THINK SHOULD BE NEXT IN EVERYBODY’S NETFLIX QUEUE (OK, DOESN’T HAVE TO BE NETFLIX, WE’RE ALL INTERNET ADULTS HERE AND KNOW HOW TO FIND ANYTHING ONLINE, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER)?
Stray Dog directed by Akira Kurosawa is an amazing Japanese post-war film noir. It has an incredible score by Fumio Hayasaka who worked with Kurosawa on a number of movies before his early death.
Hayasaka was one of the first Japanese composers to integrate found sound and field recordings into his works while also writing pieces for both Japanese and western style instrumentation.
#3. I (AND BY “I” I MEAN “THE PERSON THAT IS READING THIS”) AM GOING TO THE BOOK STORE (OK, PROBABLY AMAZON) TO FIND THE VERY NEXT BOOK THAT I WILL BE PUTTING SOME EXTREMELY VALUABLE ‘ME-TIME' ASIDE FOR. WHICH BOOK WOULD YOU GET, IF YOU WERE ME (AND, I SUPPOSE, YOU HADN’T ALREADY READ WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT TO SUGGEST)?
Ocean of Sound: Aether Talk, Ambient Sound & Imaginary Worlds by musician and author David Toop is an incredible book. It's a wonderful history of ambient music that goes far beyond the electronic realm.
I've reread it a number of times and often bring it on the road with me as it's a treasure trove of information, recommend listening and insightful analysis. Toop also released a well curated album of the same name featuring a diverse array of artists many of which fall out of the traditional definition of ambient.
#4 - WHAT IS THE ONE WEBSITE (OR JUST ANY OLD INTERNET THING: APP, GIF, SERVICE, WHATEVER) THAT YOU WOULD GET REALLY DOWN IN THE DUMPS ABOUT IF IT WERE TO SUDDENLY GO AWAY?
Ring Of Fire: An Indonesian Odyssey is a documentary from 1972 by Lawrence and Lorne Blair, two English brothers who set out on a loosely planned adventure around Indonesia's extended island network. The term for this journey is wanderjahr, a German word generally associated with the travels of a craftsperson upon completion of their apprenticeship.
I spend a great deal of time traveling, I work in NYC, I attempt to save money and then I leave. In the winter of 2018 I backpacked in Indonesia, studying gamelan and making field recordings. My partner's parents had first met in Bali in the 1980's and her father suggested I check out a documentary his friends had made years ago. I really identified with the Blair's sense of adventure and their desire to inhabit the unknown. I found their dealings with the dream world and altered states very much in line with my own experiences.
Anyone interested in this vibe might dig an album I recorded during my travels through Thailand & Cambodia and released on Power Moves Library. PML curates the Excavation Series, a cassette release series featuring field recordings, mixtapes and other travel oriented aural oddities.
#5 - AND FINALLY… PLEASE GIVE ONE COMPLETELY UNAIDED RECOMMENDATION THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD START DOING / USING / WATCHING / EATING / THINKING / QUITING / ETC-ING TO MAKE THEIR LIVES A LITTLE BIT MORE BETTER AND/OR BEARABLE.
We as individuals need to dramatically reduce our consumption, specifically our use of plastics. It takes a small amount of foresight, but actions as simple as not purchasing plastic bottles or not taking a plastic bag upon purchase can have larger impacts if done en masse. I live in NYC and I work at a recording studio, every time people order food during a session it arrives in plastic bags full of plastic containers and is consumed with plastic silverware. Every time you go into a bodega and you buy a bottle of water you're given a plastic bag. I think if people were more educated on how harmful all of this is we could take steps to reduce this level of waste.
We are currently driving full speed off a cliff into a major humanitarian crisis in regards to climate change so suggesting people stop using plastic bags isn't going to save the planet, I realize that. At the same time the accumulation of small actions can have a profound impact on humanity as a whole. The inventor, philosopher and all around futurist Buckminster Fuller often discussed the idea of the trim tab, a small rudder that is at the bottom of a large ship's main rudder. Essentially the big rudder is unable to turn as the force is too great, so the role of the trim tab is to make a smaller directional change which then allows the main rudder to turn. We're all trim tabs, we're all capable of turning society into a more progressive, compassionate direction.
OK folks, there you have it. Things that John Thayer thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you log off and go make yourself a plastic-free trim tab, make sure to follow John on the Instagram and then pop over to Bandcamp and give that new album ‘Regarding Wave’ some lost-in-thought headphone time.