Monday, 2 February 2009

Doo-doo-do, lookin' out my back door...

My block, at around 8 a.m. this morning;

London is covered in snow today. As a Northerner, I've always been amused at the way in which a comparatively small amount of snow can be enough to cause the infrastructure in the nation's capital to snarl up and fall in on itself. As an adopted Londoner, I usually have a less benign reaction to the city's apparent inability to cope with the extremes of weather. Still, if nothing else, it makes for pretty pictures on this occasion.

It was fascinating too to see the kids on my block playing out in the snow with the kind of unfettered enthusiasm kids rarely seem to display nowadays. The last time this much snow fell on the city was eighteen years ago, and many of them - even the older ones - may never have seen anything like this. I expect to be dodging snowballs for the next couple of days.

A couple of things which are somewhat in keeping with the weather and the attendant mood. Winterbreeze is the lead track from Kenny Dixon Jr.'s Soul Sounds EP from 1996. It's yer typical KDJ/Moodymann steez; a shuffling 4/4 loop with a fistful of grimy samples weaving in and out of the mix like drifting snow (the more observant will notice a few fragments of George Benson's Love X Love amongst them). It's the kind of thing you can just as easily lose yourself in on headphones as on a dancefloor, making it perfect iPod material when you're trudging through six inches of snow with your parka zipped all the way up and its hood obscuring two-thirds of your vision.

John Fahey's interpretation of the traditional Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, from his 1980 album Yes! Jesus Loves Me; Guitar Hymns, is the kind of music you might imagine hearing at three in the morning, walking alone through deserted, lamp-lit streets, with the snow barely broken and still falling. A little bit ghostly, and a lot beautiful. Wrap up warm.

Kenny Dixon Jr.: Winterbreeze, 1996

John Fahey: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, 1980

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