Celebration is in the air..

End of DOMA

Probably the biggest news this week was that DOMA was struck down.  When I first heard about it, my immediate thought was of my good friends Joe Wooley and Jim Schmidt, who you probably read about in the Nashville Scene ‘Rules of Engagement’ article  (Click here to read.) It brings me great happiness that these two (as well as many others) will have the opportunity to marry and make their long-standing relationships legal in our country. (Picture from Melchor-Barz wedding.)


Wednesday night on Church Street was extra-celebratory for the obvious reason (see above) and I have a feeling that mood is going to stretch into the weekend. I will be spinning tonight (Friday) at Tribe, tomorrow (Saturday), and Sunday at Play. I am still going through all the new music for the week, so I am not sure what the gems are going to be, but I know that one highlight will be the perfectly-themed “Love is Love” song by David Vendetta and Sylvia Tosun that I plan to end with Saturday night.  Talk about the perfect song capturing the mood, here’s a song that is celebratory and historical at the same time.  I must also say that I was quite impressed by the strong reaction to the new Disclosure record, “F For You,” received when I played it Wednesday night.  Disclosure are the unofficial leaders of the ’90s-inspired underground house movement that seems to be the next big sound after stadium house peaks.  You’ve probably heard Duke Dumont “Need U 100%,” which is another example.  While I can’t see myself playing a whole night of 123 BPM underground house, it’s nice to mix things up and play a variety of fresh sounds in the mix.  If you asked me what my track of the moment was, it would be the new Wideboys jam, “Wonky.”  Take a listen here,  it’s an energetic burst of electro goodness and the playfulness completely encapsulates all aspects of the vibe I try to bring to every set!  (Picture with Sylvia Tosun.)

What is oud?
(Baby don’t hurt me)
I’ve discovered that like any other specialist hobby (food, wine, electronic dance music) – there often develops a specialist and even underground following of the esoteric and strange which inspires a distaste of the mainstream.  For example, the dance music world is full of people who champion underground tracks which they will no doubt slag off the second they cross over (sounds very hipster, eh?).  In the fragrance world, there is a wide community who like unique, off-kilter scents and turn their nose up (literally) at department store mainstream scents.  I’ve always found myself in the middle ground – yes, I love the sick, quirky, edgy underground tracks and I also love europop and screaming diva vocal house records.  Just how as much as I love the dark, intense compositions by the worshipped noses in the fragrance world, I find myself reaching for my beloved bottle of Chanel Egoiste (NOT PLATINUM) just as often.

Why this back story? When I started getting into fragrance a few years ago, the oud “meme” was just starting to bubble. What is oud? Oud is agarwood (sometimes called Aoud) – the resin from a diseased evergreen tree. Its history traces back to Asian, Indian, and Arabic religious ceremonies where it is often burned as incense. Pure, natural oud has a unique smell that can range from smoky and sweet to foul and barnyard. Regardless of what any sales associate tells you, what is being used for 99% of perfume in the Western World is a synthetic oud as natural oud is prohibitively expensive. A $400 bottle of an Oud-based might be using the same aroma chemical as a $20 cheapie. On the other hand, some of the expensive oud fragrances are using the Givaudan Orpur Oud which is a natural oud from trees that are “artificilly” infected, which cheaper fragrance rely on the Firmenich/Givaudan synthetics.  While most of the price difference is marketing/brand name, the higher-end ouds should give a more interesting development, rather than an oud in your face (as we call it) explosion. The first batch of oud perfumes were all about that explosion, while some of the more recent scents use oud as A note, not THE main note.

I say this all as a background to the latest batch of fragrance reviews – where I covered all three of Francis Kurkdjian Oud Moods and the new By Killian Musk Oud. If you were to ask me what my favorite oud fragrance was, it would be a toss-up between an Amouage Attar Al-Shamookh, Bond Oud Patchouli, and a cheap Body Shop Amber Oud that was sold a few years back.  If you look in your fragrance closet, you might already have oud there-  the classic YSL M7, by Tom Ford, is regarded as the first commercial fragrance to use the synthetic oud note in mainstream Western perfumery.   (Special thanks to Seth Hofslund, Dimitrios Dimitriadis, and Chris Starked from MBID for their help with research.)
Notable Dance

It’s taken me three months, but I am finally caught up with all of the interviews I did at Winter Music Conference!  This week, I posted the interviews with the legendary Paul Oakenfold (who produced the new Cher track, “Woman’s World”) and Colombian newcomer Moska.  There’s also a review of Frankmusik’s brilliant new album ‘Between” and features on two (of the three) new Luciana records.  Check out Notable Dance for a new song of the day everyday!  (Picture with Paul Oakenfold from WMC 2013.)

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