Photo By Bradford Bailey

Three summers ago, around this time, I set to the task of boxing up roughly 2000 LPs and another 600 45s – the majority of my belongings in the tiny Clinton Hill apartment where I had spent the previous two years. I had returned to NY somewhat reluctantly, leaving London, where I had been for nearly a decade – the romantic clown, following the beckoning call of his heart.

Those two years in NY had their ups and downs. The city I stole away to endlessly during my youth – sleeping in parks and on floors, finding a deep sense of belonging and loving it like no other, had changed – becoming a playground for privilege, insensitivity, and wealth. Gone were the days where it offered shelter to those of us who belonged nowhere else. At the very least, a great many of oldest and closest friends were still there. It was nice to find myself back in their arms. I got a job in yet another gallery, and set to biding my time until I could move on once again.

Every serious record collector knows that each country and city has its pockets – albums which are best, or most often, hunted down and found within its borders. After all those years on the other side of the Atlantic, knowing I would likely return before too long, I set to task. I did my best to pick over the United States, filling the gaps in the sprawling collection of LPs which gathers dust in a storage unit in the UK – things which I hadn’t been able to find or were too pricey in Europe, re-buying things which I had owned during the CD era, but hadn’t gotten around to replacing on vinyl, things I missed and couldn’t bear to not have at hand, and as ever, making new discoveries as I went – tallying to 2000 LPs and 600 45s, within two short years.

It was during the end of my time in NY, planning to move on to somewhere back in Europe, that I conceived of The Hum. The idea, in its origin, largely drew from the records which surrounded me, and from the collections of my closest friends. I observed, in nearly every case, remarkable diversities displayed within. Musics from countless cultures, periods, and genres sat on the shelves, or found themselves in rotation, next to those of countless others. Unexpected conversations and connections were constantly appearing before my ears – an image of the world as I dreamed it might be – diverse and in discourse. Harmony found within difference, crossing time.

Of course avant-garde and experimental musics are among the great love affairs of my life. It is the community to which I belong, and a creative proximity which has offered me the greatest rewards, but it far from the only music I listen to. As time wore on, it became clear that it was were I was needed, and the subject around which I was happiest to write. Thus, rather sadly, the explicitness of concerns and ideas which lay at the root of The Hum have all too often been lost. I had hoped to construct an aural body, via The Hum, which displayed the range of my own tastes and record collection – an imagine in sound of the world as it should be, rather than how it too often is.

And so, three years ago, as I packed away my boxes of treasure, about to ship them back to the UK, I listened as I went, deciding to make a few summertime mixes from the albums in heavy rotation. Within yet another period of transition – the now – my eye casting on beyond the borders of Mexico where I unexpected landed a few months after these were made, remaining since, I have found myself listening to them for the first time in all those years – a window into the beginnings of a path which is coming to an end, given birth to a new stream. Being summer, I thought it might be nice to send them out again – something different from what is usually heard from me – a small sliver of my sprawling tastes. I’ve included images of all the albums from which these songs draw, in the instance that anyone digs something that they don’t already know, and wants to track it down. I hope you enjoy, be it for the first time, or returning again – three summertime mixes from 2015.

-Bradford Bailey



Summer Mix Number One:

1. Rock Salt and Nails – Steve Young

2. Polly – Dillard & Clark

3. Textures in 3/4 – Clark- Hutchinson

4. Morning Way – Trader Horne

5. Long Road Ahead – Jim Ford

6. Man of Mind, Man of Soul – Guitar Ensemble

7. Go on and Get it – John & Beverly Martyn

8. Chateau Dans Les Nuages – Emmanuelle Parrenin, Phill Fromont, Claude   Lefebvre

9. I Must be Born – Bobby Brown

10. Drum – John Phillips

11. Everlovin’ Ways – Judy Mayhan

12. Au Pays de Lerida – Michel Hindenoch

13. Song of Bliss – Khalsa String Band


Summer Mix Number Two:

1. Katie Cruel – Karen Dalton

2. Sandy Grey – John Martyn

3. North American Raga – Robbie Basho

4. I Really Want You – Steve Tilston

5. The Girl That Turned the Lever – Ernie Graham

6. Crazy Mama – J J Cale

7. Le Piroguier – Henri Texier

8. Cowboy Movie – David Crosby

9. Small Town Talk – Bobby Charles

10. Upon Reflection – Heron

11. Finland Station – George Stavis

12. Early Blue – F J McMahon



Summer Mix Number Three:

1. Cavalry Cross – Richard & Linda Thompson

2. Loneliness – Peace, Bread & Land

3. The Future’s Not what it Used to Be – Mickey Newbury

4. Topinambour – George Cromarty

5. Le Dragon – Areski

6. Sangandongo (ex) – Niagra

7. Introitus – Dom

8. Plain as Eyes Can See – Jim Sullivan

9. Lady Margarete – Trees

10. Sonnarlaten – International Harvester

11. Give me a Chance – Donnie & Joe Emerson

12. Flint – Tim White & Jack Gates

13. Kiss Another Day Goodbye – David Kauffmann & Eric Caboor

14. Chant de la Montagne – Veronique Chalot

15. Energy – Battiato


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