Spotlight DJ: Erik’s Society During the Pandemic

Hey folks, DJ Erik here! I have not been able to broadcast my show, “Erik’s Society”, for weeks due to this damn disease. To make up for this, though, I offer you this playlist as a peek into some of the music that has helped me survive quarantine. No, it won’t have my sultry and mysterious voice between every three to four tracks (whether that’s a pro or a con is up to you), but it will give you the opportunity to delve into some music you might not have heard before and hopefully find something you like. 

Quarantine has given many of us a great deal of free time, but with that has come major stress and anxiety.  It is very good to stay productive and creative, but sometimes the heaviness of everything going on can stifle that creativity. Rather than let despair build, though, I have taken great comfort in just sitting back and listening to records. It doesn’t matter what format you use (vinyl is best), but I would definitely recommend hiding your phone and closing your eyes. I’m sure your iPhone usage reports have shot up in the past weeks and letting yourself get lost in an album is a perfect way to break that electronic addiction. In listening to an album from start to finish, you are hearing the entire story the artist is trying to tell and will surely notice so many interesting details you never noticed before.  

I have also found myself discovering a great deal of music I had never heard before.  The joy of finding a new record that I love is very special and I have been experiencing that sensation more and more often these days. I hope this playlist might help you reach that feeling as well. 

I tried to make this collection of songs as musically diverse as possible to represent the wide variety of emotions and genres I have been passing through during these last two months, and I’d like to highlight a few tracks here:

“Love Samba” – McCoy Tyner: This is my tribute to McCoy Tyner, a pianist unmatched in creativity and power, who sadly passed away in March this year. Love Samba is a beautifully massive 16-minute jam that will draw you in and take you on a trip that you won’t forget. 

“Us and the Rainbow” -Babe Rainbow: One of my favorite songs from last year, and one that I always find myself coming back to. It is darkly magical and brings great nostalgia for nature’s joy and being around those who you love. 

Klaus Schulze – “I Was Dreaming I Was Awake”: Let’s be honest, there are many times in quarantine when we want to totally zone out and feel as far away as possible from wherever we are and whoever we are around. This is the perfect record for that. Schulze’s ethereal synthesizers take you in and out of dream and reality in a way that is both soothing and fascinating. 

“Springtime Again” – Sun Ra, and Springtime Promises-Pentangle: Don’t forget, it’s spring! It’s the time of rebirth and natural beauty! If you do forget, though, Sun Ra and Pentangle are here to remind you.  

“Life Should Be Easy” -Death’s Dynamic Shroud: An album that truly sounds like no other. Pure creative genius. DDS takes music to crazy and dynamic places. This is an all-time favorite record, and this song goes unbelievably HARD. Guaranteed to lift your mood. 

Don Cherry- “Hope”: Hope is the only thing getting me through this situation and I think this song, as well as this album in its entirety, is a true embodiment of hope in musical form. 

Enraile – “Ecco Pool”: Probably my favorite album of the year so far, Enraile is enthralling, experimental, and a master of all things electronic. He also just hosted one of the coolest quarantine music streams featuring many of the new faces in underground experimental electronic music.  

Kraftwerk – “Kometenmelodie 2”: This morning we all received the crushing news that Florian Schneider, one of the founders of Kraftwerk, had passed away. Kraftwerk went down paths never before explored in music and were unbelievably groundbreaking. They influenced generations to come for their use of synthesizers, effects, drum machines, and the overall texture of their songs. So much of modern music owes an undeniable debt to Florian Schneider and his wildly unique sounds. It’s amazing, I’ve never met anyone who dislikes Kraftwerk. They were cutting-edge and experimental while still being almost universally revered. Florian lives on through the hours and hours of beautiful music he has released through the years and the generations he has inspired. I am listening to “Trans-Europe Express” while writing this, and I must say: for making robot music, they always had so much heart.  

I hope you find some joy in these songs. I also hope you are staying safe and sane, and I cannot wait to go to more late-night free jazz shows, underground punk gigs, and inzane electronic showcases with all of you! 

Peace, DJ Erik

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Check back for weekly playlists from our spotlight DJs and stream the playlist here from DJ Erik.

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