NE219: Happy Meals Share An Exclusive Mix of Meditative Music

Needle Exchange

Words + Mix HAPPY MEALS

Here’s a short mix of music we love called Green Means Grow!. It features tracks that inspired our latest record (Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony: Volumes IV-VI, available now on Optimo Music’s new So Low imprint) and in the process of working on Full Ashram Sleep Garden. (According to its official page, the Glasgow event is a “12-hour communal immersion involving live music, visual art, food, sleep and yoga passing through several phases curated to encourage the forming of a quantum community consciousness through shared experience.”)

Please enjoy and Go Well!


CUCINA POVERA – “KUNINGASAAMIAINEN”
This track is by Cucina Povera from Glasgow. I ripped it from her SoundCloud page; I hope she doesn’t mind…. There’s a real depth to her voice and the compositions I’ve heard from her are really magical. This track is like the opening of a portal to me—something quite ceremonious, and maybe even regal. I don’t know what the words mean but sometimes that’s ok. Cucina Povera will be performing at Full Ashram Sleep Garden.

GIANT CLAW – “BIG CRUSH”
I remember first discovering this track back in the golden blog years on Altered Zones or something like that and being really inspired. There’s something about the steady discipline of the synthesizers (sounds like Junos?) coupled with the really beautiful progressions, but also with this kind of unsettling pace and unexpectedness to the melody. Just so you know, this is one of the most ‘upbeat’ tracks on the mix, so back away from the edge of that seat waiting for the donk.

BITCHIN BAJAS – “NO TABAC”
One of our favourite bands. We were lucky enough to collaborate with them on the Azores islands, where we jammed out some tracks and then mixed back in their hometown of Chicago last year. We still have to do a little bit of work on the recordings but I think it will be really nice. They are also really great people to work with and a real inspiration. I love the way the rhythms in this track trick you where the pulse is before the claps come in and take it into this other world. Danced around our studio when I put this one on.

KRAFTWERK – “HEIMATKLÄNGE”
Early years hippy Kraftwerk doing what they do best. The exploratory nature of these recordings and much of the Krautrock stuff around this time was and continues to be a big inspiration in the music for Full Ashram Devotional Ceremonies. The only formula is exploration.

STEVEN HALPERN – “SEVENTH CHAKRA KEYNOTE B (VIOLET)”
I keep coming back to this recording. I don’t really think it needs any words or context to do it justice—just simple and beautiful.

400 LONELY THINGS – “MY BIRTHDAY ON ISCANDAR”
Where did this come from? I’m not sure but I know that it’s from a split tape with Transmuteo, who I also like. This kind of proto-vapourwave heady tape stuff is really nice. There’s a sincerity to it as well; it’s like an old meditation tape.

DSR LINES – “ONTWAAKT (STARTRAAG)”
Sonic modernist patterns phasing—pure tones. Music like this conjures breathing shapes for me. Minimal but considered. Loving machines, warm and dusty.

DON CHERRY – “THE CELESTIAL REFLECTION”
This track goes on to explode into a killer hook but for now just enjoy the delay soaked intro with Don Cherry blasting out that trumpet into an endless sea.

DANIEL EMMANUEL – “SUNRISE ON A TIBETAN HILLSIDE”
I bought this record from Daniel himself—on his Bandcamp page—and he sent me a personal message to send blessings and say thank you for buying his music. This really touched me. So much ‘New Age’ hides behind an impersonal mask or persona; there was something quite beautiful about him taking the opportunity to make that small but personal connection. When I listen to this, I’m sitting on a hillside watching the sunset.

COLIN POTTER – “SHALLOW WATER”
This is the fermentation—the depths, the space, pure and empty. The hillside is no longer there; only you in the shallow depths of what remains. Simple vibration.

BETWEEN – “AND THE WATERS OPENED”
This track is a little bit like a rebirth for me. The guitar enters like a trickle—the shallow waters are becoming deeper and deeper until completely submerged.

ALI AKBAR KHAN – “DHUN IN KHAMAJ”
One of the greats performing Raga Khamaj on Sarod—one of my favourite North Indian classical instruments. This recording comes in full to end the mix and gets really playful during the Jhalla section (the fast double time section at the end). Maybe this will wake you up if you fell asleep.

FURTHER LISTENING