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Giving the tracklists their own post is also a chance to say a big thanks to everyone who stopped by to listen! My thinking at first was to make it an almost-test stream, and so that’s why there was no promotion other than here and Mastodon. In the end though, with a small but awesome group of listeners, I had a great time and was more than happy to do a ‘for those who know’ longer stream.

It was quite the rush to get things set up in time yesterday, which inevitably meant I would forget something important. As the stream ended I realised what it was – for some reason I hadn’t set the stream to record. Massive apologies for that, but it does probably mean that I’ll be double checking from now on, and also that I can reuse the occasional transition from yesterday without too many worries.

Look out for more sets in the future then, albeit with the promo/rare stuff set postponed slightly so I can record the next stream. It was nice to see that even yesterday’s set had a few unheard tracks here and there, so I hope the tracklists are useful.

[Goa Trance]
01. E-Mantra – Dansul Ielelor
02. E-Mantra – Ravenmocker
03. Proxeeus – Something Lurks on Yuggoth
04. Alienapia & Khetzal – Endless Glade
05. Mindsphere – Divine Intervention

[NRG]
01. Alchemiist – Dead Silence
02. Risa – Air Str1ke
03. NooNoo & Anna K – Sleep is for the Week (Alchemiist remix)
04. Lab4 – Blackstar
05. Hase – Attacker
06. Pure Underground – Amb (Tyranoid vs Michael Strongstream remix)
07. Alek Szahala – Alanamra
08. Alek Szahala – Starfall
09. Betwixt & Between – 7th world

Keeping that consistent streaming streak going, it’s almost time for the second TYFTH Live. Mastodon watchers will have seen some live indecision from me today, as I really haven’t been in the mood for NRG this week and finally decided to call it earlier this afternoon. Typically, all it took was one more practice with some unusual tracks to get some inspiration going though, so we’re back to original scheme of two relatively shorter sets.

The first will be some goa trance, likely to be heavy on the E-Mantra but a little more melodic than I’ve played in the past. After that will be some NRG, and I’ll likely be keeping things fairly simple while I get back into the swing of mixing publicly and precariously balancing computers here and there. The simpler mixing (in both sets, to a degree) will mean I’ll be more able to check the chat, so this could be a nice chance for a catch up, too.

You can find the TYFTH twitch channel here, and when the time comes I’ll temporarily embed the feed at the top of this post.

Believe it or not, this post is in response to a few requests I had, many years ago, to talk a little about how I put my sets together. Back then I felt I had a lot to work on, and either way wasn’t really confident enough to articulate what I’d learned so far. Although there’s still plenty to improve, the combination of more regularly hitting what I feel is the ‘TYFTH style’ and the collected notes made during a decade of mixing mean that now might be the right time to give an explanation a try.

With as many mixing styles as there are DJs, it should really go without saying (despite the occasional imperative mood) that I’m in no way prescribing this as the way to put a freeform set together. Taking set construction so seriously has always been massively rewarding for me though, so the hope is that this will be an interesting look behind the scenes for those who enjoy TYFTH’s mixes.

These thoughts (they’re far too meandering to be called a guide) are roughly divided into three sections, covering the main steps in my mixing process. Particularly important points are noted along the way, and to help with the explanations a few PD sets (or even transitions within them) are used as examples, as well as occasional mentions of non-freeform sets that have inspired me over the years.

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Let’s call this post a public service announcement for anyone who missed the August digital appearance of one of the finest albums so far this year. I was late to this release myself, but having finally given Khaosnet Civilization a proper listen I’m very impressed indeed by the variety and the quality levels throughout. The combination of relative rookies to the genre and veterans like Hyphen means that overall there’s probably something for every freeform listener to enjoy here.

For that Finnish/UK cross-influence you can’t do much better these days than Hyphen and Kokomochi, while polaritia’s Lifeless but Soulful is one of his strongest tracks to date. Even if a couple of the others prove the old freeform adage that it’s a lot easier to put together a nasty intro and outro than the melodic sections of a track, there’s a lot of originality to make up for it. ikaruga_nex’s Deadcode didn’t grab me at first, but maybe the deep atmosphere is a slow burner – I can imagine this working well in a number of different sets. Morita’s (take your pick where the Yuuhei fits in) gritty sound is still my favourite aspect of the current Japanese scene, and while Unleash lingers over the breakdown for a lot longer than I’d like, it’s probably another that would really take off in combination with the right tracks. Rounding out the release is a promising first (?) freeform track by Risa, along with some strong melodies from Gil and NA7, who I’m perhaps hearing for the first time.

Given the lack of events and general community for the Japanese crew at the moment this is an incredibly strong release, and Kokomochi deserves a lot of credit for supporting the scene when it needs it the most. The promising addition of ‘1’ in the title suggests the start of the series, with the prospect of a follow-up likely reliant on how wide an audience this one can reach.

It’s another exciting episode of TYFTH Housekeeping!

Some of this should be mildly interesting, at least, as it includes a few improvements that have been in the works for quite a while.

The first is the addition of tracklists to the Past Events page – initially as a record for myself I started digging through my papers, before realising that they could find a nice home on the site. Although it’s still a work in progress with NRGetic Romancer tracklists especially thin on the ground, there are a few additions that might be of interest. My Munted! Animal House tracklist is finally online, along with most of the CODEX sets, the full Dreams Into Harder set with encore, and a few other bits and pieces. More will be added if possible, but that’s likely to be it for the time being.

Second is a small Mastodon feed, nestled below the Recent Comments on the right side of the front page. I’ve never been comfortable being too vocal on the TYFTH Twitter or Facebook, as it does seem to make more sense to keep things strictly business on both. The Mastodon account, on the other hand, is what I hope can be a solution to any quiet spells here, and a way to keep readers up to date. I’ll be posting there between TYFTH site action to explain what’s going on, as well as including progress on music-related projects like mixes or (no laughing at the back, please) tracks. A couple of adventurous souls have already found the account, and it goes without saying that it would be lovely to catch up with Horsers there too. I’d much prefer TYFTH to have a presence somewhere (semi)decentralised like Mastodon in the future, so let’s see how it goes.

Finally, images inside posts will now be expandable, a small but pretty significant improvement that I finally did something about while writing that soon-to-appear enormous post. Not much more to say about that last one, is there?

Just one more thing actually – In Praise of Shadows related, as I was at the post office on Wednesday to send out another order. I’ll also add this info to the shop page, but I wanted to (re?)state that I always aim to post orders within 3 days of receiving them. If that’s ever impossible, I’ll be in touch with you via email to let you know, and then to confirm when it is sent out. Probably worth making that clear, as a few people have very understandably (as there’s no tracking on the package) contacted me in the past to check whether their order has been posted or not.

The first freeform Patreon I’ve seen, this is a new project from Substanced that’s already well worth your support. The initial $10 collection of older tracks is fantastic, ranging as it does from Wonderland to more recent bootlegs, along with Hyphen/Le Dos-on’s classic Permission to Die remix.

More to come in this vein would be welcome of course, but if future packs help to fund the production of brand new material then it’s still a very worthy cause. Sign up here, and check Raqhow’s CODEX blog for the full tracklist.

Some housekeeping for the comeback post, as In Praise of Shadows is available again via the bigcartel page. Of course it was offline for a while during my Europe wanderings so that potential orders weren’t on hold for a month and a bit, rather than having sold out. Although the compilation has sold repectably by recent (or 2016) standards, the print run was closer to 2007 golden era numbers, meaning there’s plenty of stock left. That also means, sadly, that there’s a long way to go before costs are recouped, but as a labour of love I’m not so worried about that part. Financially idiotic or not, I’m glad to have kept the quality bar very high for all aspects of the release.

Anyway, I thought I’d also use this post to say a massive thank you to everyone who has ordered so far. Even this year there has been a small but pretty steady flow of orders, which is especially amazing considering my lack of action here or promotion elsewhere. The compilation has now found its way to 18 countries, and I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to imagine it being played around the world. A second release might only be wishful thinking at the moment, but keeping the TYFTH sound alive in some form or another is I hope a decent way to start repaying you for the support so far.

While you’d be forgiven for thinking this latest TYFTH quiet spell is the terminal one, here’s a quick update to keep remaining readers in the loop and let you know about some plans for the rest of the year.

The recent absence has been partly enforced, and in a related move I decided to spend the summer outside Japan. What I hadn’t bargained for was the lack of wifi at any of my destinations – I haven’t been able to keep track of anything in the freeform world, while the TYFTH SoundCloud needs a renewal. At least before leaving I thought to change In Praise of Shadows’ status to ‘Coming Soon’ as a last-minute idea to stop orders coming in while I was away.

This time next week I’ll be back at TYFTH Towers, when those housekeeping bits and pieces will be sorted out. The site will also be waking up again, but depending on the amount of news I’ve missed there probably won’t be a flood of updates. One thing I had been thinking about pre-disappearance was that with so few TYFTH-esque tracks appearing these days there’s a chance the site will lean more towards a place to collect my own projects and TYFTH-centric information, at least for the time being.

The break has done me some good musically, I think, so all being well I’ll be back to tinkering with tracks and mixes very soon. At the very least there’ll be one mixed set to appear this year, and more if one of my related plans comes together. With more of a focus on TYFTH stuff there’s a higher likelihood of some longer posts showing up now and then, as well as some shorter updates on what I’m up to.

More next week!

Many of us seem to agree that polaritia is a name to watch this year, and he’s probably on the wider scene’s radar too after the impressive¬†Sanctuary Infested. That wasn’t his only release last month though, as the end of May also saw the surprise appearance of some older tracks as an EP. Given his unbelievably fast development I was expecting quite the gulf in quality compared to this year’s productions, but not a bit of it.

Although Holy War and Disaster have their moments in a modern-FINRG-meets-Japanese-freeform style, Apocalype and Genesis were what really caught my attention. Both could nearly pass as tracks by Nomic himself, while the second biggest compliment I can pay is that they have gone immediately into my ‘possible tracks to play’ collection, something that certainly doesn’t happen very often these days.

Even with a lot of catching up to do after recent weeks this guest set for Hardcore Junglists United by Shimotsukei has remained top of the to-post pile. Definitely the best I’ve heard from her in a long time, this is one of those sets that was obviously a labour of love and manages to bring together just about all of my favourite freeform elements.

I’d roughly divide the set into three sections, as things start with a very aggressive and genuinely dark opening, followed by some more melodic, uplifting tracks and a finale that makes a decent fist of blending all the previous styles. That opening is quite the thing though, setting a tone that Shimotsukei does a quality job of never straying too far away from. The mixing throughout is excellent, very rarely overdoing things and keeping it simple when longer transitions wouldn’t really work out.

If you can ride the wave successfully, mixing the aggressive filters of two different tracks does wonders for the atmosphere and can give a lot of flexibility in terms of which tracks you use. That proves to be true here at least, with combos like Kadotettu Todellisuus 2009 and Fear Myself working out incredibly well – other highlights might be Adversary – Reign of Terror, and Attacker – Daemons, even coming from a listener who usually struggles to get into Lost Soul’s tracks.

There’s a lot more going on here though, including a fine section of Tyranoid/Strongstream transitions and the mid-set use of Raindrops. It hasn’t shown up in a mix for a very long time, but Nightforce’s melancholy breakdown is a lovely choice as a set centrepiece. Personally I might have slightly shortened the melodic section pre-Attacker, but that’s present-day PD speaking and for many I expect it’ll be a nice break from all the aggression. Even having said that, the limited use of vintage Substanced and only one Transcend track shows that Shimotsukei was clearly going for an atmosphere that wasn’t stretched by too many different styles of melody. Really impressive stuff.

The lack of Alek/Nomic/Betwixt means it isn’t quite the grand tour of the scene you might be expecting in two hours – instead it’s a simply superb set that flows as well as any I’ve heard this year or last.