Southern Comfort

Acid Train

“All aboard the peace train, headed north through acid storm”

 

Counter-clockwise, it’s 6 and we’re heading east on long dark roads into bayou blues… Feel 6:

Download: Feel 6 – The South: Southern Comfort, 160 kbps

 

“The muddy Mississippi flows down past Memphis, winding into the Delta where poor tenant farmers tilled America’s artistic soil. A troubled yet down-home history embodied by a white man ‘who danced like a black man’ at the dawn of the television age. ‘Rock around the clock!’ with white tank tops and cold beers in hand, the poor but divided descendants of slaves and Confederate rebels echo 21st Century fervor amidst cruel unease. These melodies, these strains, rose up from New Orleans on the tongues of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bichet. They hung and scratched the humid air in bayous and night forests at the fingertips of the Blues. The digital flood has soaked the earth. Larry Heard calls it home. DJ Pierre channeled it in his acid twangs. From little fluffy clouds in Arizona to Austin’s South By Southwest to Chris Brann’s Atlanta electro-soul, it’s all tomorrow’s parties as Huck and Jim float down the river.”

The South is a complex place. It has its charms and warmth. The Blues, Jazz and Country have their American roots here. Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong and Little Richard all hailed from the South. In more recent years, it is warming up to EDM, whether in New Orleans or Atlanta or Austin. Texas in particular played an important role in the rise of club culture in the 1980s, especially in Dallas, where British bands like New Order stumbled upon its vibrant music scene, fueled at the time by a then legal MDMA “ecstasy” craze.

The KLF

The KLF’s Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond

The music of the South continues to inspire artists of all stripes. The K.L.F.’s acclaimed ambient album Chill Out was a mythic road trip through the region. German techno wunderkinds Wolfgang Voigt and Jorg Burger plumbed Elvis in their Burger/Ink collaboration. Underworld have always drawn inspiration with their blues country experiments: “Blueski” and “Push Downstairs,” their love of harmonicas and hoe-down freak outs “Cowgirl” and “Spikee.” Others like Moby have drawn from African-American gospel and spirituals as well.

As the primary crime scene of the Civil War, the South can be worrisome. The slave states insisted the U.S. Constitution make the Senate the “upper chamber” with each state getting the same number of senators to insure protection against the wishes of a popular majority. That history still impacts the country today in terms of how its governed. Another ghost from the Southern past is how the Blues continues to inform American music. Simple in configuration but endlessly complex in it’s execution, the Blues is still with us in the moody rhythms of Detroit Techno or the wild note bending of Chicago “Acid” House. In every case, there are many winding paths to freedom.

 

Download: Feel 6 – The South: Southern Comfort, 160 kbps

 

Neon Indian

Denton, Texas’ Alan Palomo of Neon Indian