The Desert Road of Night
More behind the scenes with this deep & dark techno DJ set
I’ve been an electronic musician for as long as I’ve been a photographer (two turntables and a microphone, 1986) and certainly longer than I've been a writer (stealing office stationary from my publishing job, 1992), and I’ve always used that first love for music to create soundtracks for the pictures I would take and the stories I would write. For years, I’ve performed under the stage name Karma of Dove1 and have produced several podcasts2 devoted to afro-soulful house music and deep and dark techno, putting a pause on all that when I decided to hit the road for the American Southwest.
It was when I came back to New York and began the process of moving away that I looked at all my notes3 and realized I wanted, more than anything, to put down the feeling that time on the road had left me with. Because it was 2015 and I knew I was years away from anything that would remotely be considered a novel, the only thing I could do with that feeling was to create a DJ set made of tracks that I would have curated and some that I would've edited and remixed to create what I consider my dark masterpiece.
It's been eight years, and today marks the release of the first book in the novel series of the same name. To mark the occasion, I've uploaded to YouTube the DJ set initially made available to an audience by my friend, DJ BenG, on his radio show in the UK back in June 2015.
The mix opens with a mysterious, ambient tone, setting the stage for the journey ahead.
Space Frog - (X-RAY) Follow Me (Sternenwelt Edit) comes in, introducing a rhythmic pulse layered with cosmic synth sweeps.
Linkwood - Love Lost (Karma of Dove Edit) brings a sense of longing with its melancholic melody and deep bass tones.
Sven Weisemann - Elution steps in with intricate percussive elements and an enveloping, atmospheric synth layer.
Yokto - Devadatta (Karma of Dove Edit) is characterized by its complex rhythm patterns and haunting melodic undertones.
INIT - Blackbird (Cliff Lothar Remix) brings a dynamic change with its energetic beats and contrasting synth patterns.
Dream Weapons - Moonland (Jens-Uwe Beyer Remix) unfolds a dreamy soundscape with its ethereal melodies and distant, echoing beats.
Sven Weisemann - Nijo (Karma of Dove Edit) features a slow-building rhythm underlined by hypnotic synth waves.
Vermont - Majestät (DJ Tennis Edit) has a distinct melodic motif, supported by deep, pulsing beats.
Reno Wurzbacher - The Love You Got (Sven Weisemann Closeness Mix) introduces an emotional depth with its heartfelt synth lines and soft, rhythmic undertones.
Sven Weisemann - Icaria creates an immersive space with its slow-paced rhythm and sweeping synth layers.
Manuel Tur - 121 BPM is marked by its steady rhythm, minimalistic synth lines, and an overall sense of progression.
DJ Deep & Roman Poncet Present Adventice: Extraction - Extracapsular Extraction features complex, evolving soundscapes underpinned by a steady techno beat.
The mix ends as it began, with Space Frog - (X-RAY) Follow Me (Sternenwelt Edit) bringing the journey full circle with its mesmerizing beats and cosmic synth sweeps.
The entire DJ set builds up to this moment4 where, similar to a moment in my first book, The Beautiful World of the Alive, one of the main characters is mesmerized by the vast night skies only found in New Mexico.
Take a listen, see, and hear for yourself.
During the process of writing the series, I created several DJ sets corresponding to specific chapters, concepts at work in the book, and themes, publishing them through my podcasts. I plan on writing about the process, behind the scenes, in creating those sets and what was going on that drove me to needing to create something through sound that words could not describe at the time.
Subscribe so that you can stay up to date with those posts and more.
World as Ecstasy is a reader-supported publication. To support my work and receive exclusive content, consider becoming a subscriber.
Taken from the 2nd Chorus of Jack Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues:
I was that wild man who has since chosen love.
The is the Very Large Array (VLA), radio telescope system situated on the plains of San Agustin near Socorro, New Mexico.