First up is my latest, and final mix which is called 20:20 Vision.
I recorded this mix in early September 2020 and it has an autobiographical feel to it as it is based on personal experiences over the years using tracks that have meant a lot to me along the way.
Time for some background info…
A decade had passed between Expressions and 20:20 Vision. I compiled several mixes in between, but either didn’t record them, or chose not to upload them.
More recent events, such as my cycling accident motivated me to make one final mix. The ultimate mix, but one that also tells a story.
Quite a lot of planning and preparation went into 20:20 Vision. I earmarked hundreds of potential tunes for the mix, but couldn’t use them all due to the obvious time constraints.
I had to consider the key of a song and whether it would mix harmoniously with other songs and more importantly, what that song meant to me on a personal level and what memories it evoked for me.
Some keys when mixed together sound better than others. This is due to the harmonic relationship some keys have with each other. Take for example a song recorded with the dominant key of G Minor. When mixing with another song, it will sound best when transitioning to, or from a song in C Minor, D Minor or B-flat Major of similar tempo.
All good so far?
Next comes pitch. Speeding up, or slowing down a track so that it can beat match with another can effect the key depending on how drastic a change is made.
This in itself presented a challenge with the mix as some transitions required a drastic shift of BPM to accommodate the change. For example, the mix from Fade’s Remix of Delerium’s Silence which is in A Minor when played at it’s standard tempo of 130 BPM into Chicane’s No Ordinary Morning which is dominant to A Major at 102 BPM.
For instances such as this, simply turning off the power to a deck has an amazing effect of slowing things down in order to bring in the next track and it still feeling like the mix is flowing.
I had 3 pages of A4 with shorthand scribbles on at hand when I recorded 20:20 Vision. Every transition, effect, adjustment and chop between tracks is accounted for and I am pretty pleased with the end result which in itself feels good as I’ve struggled with confidence when completing and submitting uni assignments since my crash and here I am, content with something I’ve created from scratch. I just need transfer the same confidence to my studies. I score well, but constantly question my work.
I still can’t get over the Vengaboys producing a tune as beautiful as Paradise. I can remember Paul Oakenfold playing it on his Essential Mix set from The Rojam in Shanghai in 1999. The track was listed as ‘unknown’ at the time and over the coming days and weeks, trance forums were buzzing to try to ID it. Then came the suggestion it was a Vengaboys track. I plucked up the courage to visit HMV in Kingston-upon-Thames and asked the sale assistant if I could listed to The Party Album. Lo and behold, track number 12 was indeed the same track played by Oakey. Once over the initial shock, I asked the sales assistance to listen to it (pre-social distancing times) and tell me if she thought it was a Vengaboys track and she was pleasantly surprised.
So, just like with books, you can’t always judge music by the name of the artist.
If something sounds good to you, embrace it. Who gives a fuck what anyone else thinks?
Nick Thompson (2020)
The tracks on this mix span several decades of memories, but each time I listen to it, the songs and lyrics don’t sound out of place or time. There really is something absolutely timeless about how one perceives music.
The final mix is just
under 7 over 8 (see update below) hours long which may seem extreme and maybe it is for some, but for me, this mix is perfect to listen to on long bike rides, drives and more recently to listen to when studying.
Listening to music whilst studying before my crash was a massive no-no, but it turns out that listening to music, albeit very quietly through closed-back headphones cuts out noises that would otherwise cause a distraction for me.
So, if you have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury with ongoing post-concussion syndrome issues, just cue this mix up, whack some headphones on and welcome to the world of being able to sustain attention*
*Not guaranteed. Results may vary…but this mix is the dog’s bollocks**
You can either listen to the mix via the player below, or you can use the direct link to download to your computer: 20:20 Vision (right-click and select to save as if it loads in an embedded player).
I have created a cue file for anyone wanting to be able to skip forwards or backwards between individual tracks using a media player which has .cue support.
Update (14/08/21): It is almost a year since I finished 20:20 Vision and as much as I still love the mix, the omission of several key tracks has always been an afterthought. More so as this mix was a reflection on memories and experiences, so leaving out songs that have helped to connect such strong emotional meanings for those felt like listening to an incomplete story.
Take the diatonic harmonies from the theme tune to Forrest Gump for example. I used to play this iconic and beautiful piece of orchestral music to my children when they were in utero and the effect it had on them as babies was amazing. It only took a few bars of listening to the soothing piano and violin tones and they’d be fast asleep! They have both gone on to develop their own tastes in music, but they still appreciate hearing that lush melody. However, it no longer has the same sleep-inducing effect on their circadian rhythm!
How could I leave something like that out?
20:20 Vision Tracklisting: