Echo :04

Cripes, what took you so long?

I found the Camelot Wheel, that’s what took me so long. The Camelot Wheel is a round thingy developed by Mixed in Key that maps out the relationships of musical keys to one another. It’s a brilliant little tool that makes it a lot easier to keep a music mix sounding sweet and fluid without the need for endless experimenting, perfect pitch, or even a brain.

The Camelot Wheel, by Mixed in Key

So here’s how it works, in a teeny, tiny nutshell: You’re spinning a track that’s in G-minor. Find it on the wheel. It’s on the inner track in the six position (6A.) If you want to select something that goes well with it, something that won’t clash like Joby, the one-man-band tumbling down the Odessa Steps, you choose a track with a key that’s either to the left, to the right, or to the next position outer or inner, depending on where you are. So from G-minor, you could stay in G-minor or you could go to 6B, or 5A or 7A. Get it?

Are you all done caring about it?

Well, all right. Hit play. Or download it by hitting the button on the player below.

(By the way, since this mix is all about the smooth transition, I decided to upload the mix as a single mp3 file rather than separate them and zip them up. Without getting too technical, encoding to MP3 often leaves a tiny gap of silence at the beginning and end of each track, which is just milliseconds long, but is still very noticeable. I’d rather get rid of them entirely. Thus the single track.)


Salt – Bluster (Auscultate, 1996)

Kicking it off in E-MINOR, which, according to one random website I visited, elicits complaisance and calm. “Lament without grumbling; sighs accompanied by few tears” There’s nothing complaisant about the gut punch of this song from Swedish band, Salt. Tough, yet melodic and graced by singer/lyricist Nino Ramsby’s soaring, kick ass voice. Back when this album first came out, (in 1996, I’m certain, because I remember reading the CD jacket while I listened to the disc over a cup of coffee at the Earthling Bookshop in Santa Barbara,) I read an interview with Ramsby about how she wrote her lyrics in English because she liked the economy of the language. You can say a lot with a little. She knew the language well for a Swede. “Auscultate” isn’t a Swedish word. It’s English, and it describes that act of listening for a heartbeat through a stethoscope. Rad.

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