Words from Dj CZ:
“Exactly what makes Christmas music — and why? At a glance that’s a rhetorical question: We all know it when we hear it, like pornography.
Uniquely, it is temporally limited: We in America hear ‘Christmas music’ in a six-week period from late November to early January, and we rarely experience it outside the home — or, perhaps, at a department store on a shopping trip.
And when we do hear it, it elicits an unconscious physical response. It soothes. It softens. It seems hard to imagine wintertime, or Christmastime, or holiday-time, or whatever, without it.
But as “music,” it sucks. Mostly.
This mixtape is an attempt to rectify that situation and to answer the question posed above.
The music selected in this mix evokes within me (and hopefully you) “Christmas-time” moods in a variety of different ways. Perhaps more importantly, it’s all beautiful music that I love to listen to any time of year.
Some is traditional (“Silent Night,” “Little Drummer Boy”) Christmas music reinterpreted. Some is spiritual, devotional music (“Patripassian,” “Light, Timed – A River,” “Halling”), delivering me unto redemption, or so I like to think. Some glorifies divinity, like “Seven Swans,” whose exaltations toward “the Lord, God” unsettle me but inspire awe within nonetheless, and “Holy Ground,” whose lyric invocations of the divine feminine are so beautiful I want them inscribed on my tombstone.
Then there is the blissful kitsch of Vince Guaraldi‘s “Charlie Brown Christmas”, which opens and closes the mix. It is probably the finest Christmas album ever written, and one of the best jazz albums ever recorded. That its subject matter is early American pop culture, the soundtrack to a cartoon (itself based on a comic strip), but since transmogrified into a beloved record worldwide that evokes the “spirit of Christmas” perhaps more than any other, might be the most quintessentially American thing of all time.
None of that really matters, though. We just know it when we hear it.
This mix was crafted with two turntables, two XDJs, and an Allen & Heath mixer under cover of soft red light. My hope is that it makes your Christmas, or holiday, or winter season a little more comforting in its own way. Thanks for listening.”
TRACKLIST: 01 / Vince Guaraldi Trio — Greensleeves (1965) 02 / Low — Just Like Christmas (1999) 03 / Mark van Hoen — I Need Silence (2010) 04 / Sun City Girls — Holy Ground (2010) 05 / Ulver — Halling (1996) 06 / Current 93 — Patripassian (1996) 07 / Coil — Christmas is Now Drawing Near (1999) 08 / Matt Elliott — Let Us Break (2003) 09 / Sufjan Stevens — Seven Swans (2004) 10 / James Ginzburg — Light, Timed - A River (2018) 11 / Jonathan Kane — Little Drummer Boy (2007) 12 / Geins't Naït / Laurent Petitgand — Desert (2018) 13 / Locust — Morning Light (1997) 14 / Low — Silent Night (1999) 15 / Vince Guaraldi Trio — Christmas Song (1965)