Just shy of 10 years after I founded Disquiet.com, I did something here I hadn’t done before: rather than write about music and sound someone produced somewhere else, I published music that I myself had assembled.
In 2006, Brian Eno and David Byrne posted (for free download) stems from one of my favorite albums of all time, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and asked people to remix them. I listened to what people had posted and I found nothing that was particularly appealing. Most of the tracks just slotted the provided raw material above rote 4/4 percussion. So, I sent the Eno/Byrne project news to some friends and musicians I corresponded with, and I asked if they’d participate. The response I got back was, in essence, uniformly: This is cool, but the tracks showing up on the official website leave a lot to be desired. So, I told everyone I’d post the results of their work on Disquiet.com instead. A dozen musicians participated, resulting in this collection:
- “Help Me Help Me” – AllThatFall
- “If You Make Your Bed in Heaven” – Roddy Schrock
- “Leftover Secrets to Tell” – Pocka
- “Secret Life Remix” – Stephane Leonard
- “The Black Isle (Byrne/Eno Remix)” – (dj) morsanek
- “Hit Me Somebody (Help Me Somebody Remix)” – MrBiggs
- “Being and Nothingness (A Secret Life Remixed)” – john kannenberg
- “Somebody Help Us” – My Fun
- “Hey” – Mark Rushton
- “My Bush in the Secret Life of Ghosts” – Prehab
- “Not Enough Africa” – Ego Response Technician
- “Helping (Help Me Somebody Remix)” – doogie
This was almost a year before SoundCloud launched, so the natural place to post the music was the Internet Archive, the offices of which are about a mile from where I live. (The offices are actually a block from where I lived when I first moved to San Francisco in 1996, but the building wasn’t the Internet Archive then. It was a church.)
It’s hard to describe what a transformation this collection was both for this website, and for my sense of how I relate to and communicate with musicians. In the following years, I’d release a series of other such compilation albums, largely inspired by the work of Hal Willner, and eventually I’d open up the format (moving from narrow commission to open call), resulting in the Disquiet Junto music community.