March 04, 2002

Various Artists "Dublife: A Continuous Mix By DJ Shawn Francis"

It's a whole lot of fun, this dancing thing. Though Dublife is "dance music," it's not really music for dancing. Not, at least, for this twenty-something, indie-minded, music loving, non-dancing fool that I know. In fact, let's talk to him about his opinions of Dublife.

Hello, twenty-something, indie-minded, music-loving, non-dancing fool, how are you?

Fine, but call me Dave.

Okay. So, Dave, what is it about Dublife that appeals to you?

Well, Mr. Interviewer...


Okay, Mr. Dave...

No, just "Dave."

Just Dave?

Yes. And I'm asking the questions here.

That wasn't in question form.

(Pause) Anyway, what is your reaction to Dublife? Why does it "move" you?

Well it doesn't move me in the dancing sense. When I want to dance, I'll listen to something that makes me dance, that will make me think.

Like what?

Umm, for dancing? Lately I've been grooving to this band called Modest Mouse. You've probably never heard of them....

I have heard of Modest Mouse

Yeah, they're pretty mainstream now, but their earlier stuff was rump-shakingly good. Anyway, I'm really into irony, and Dublife is a pretty ironic record.

How so?

Well, this Shawn Francis fellow is a DJ, and Shadow's a dance label, but Dublife isn't dance music.

Would you care to explain further?

Sure, man. See, Dublife is more like stoner jazz than it is "dance" music. The idea of a DJ mixing it into a continuous party-like soundtrack is highly ironic.

I'm not quite sure I follow you here

It's a real tricky concept to grasp, but I'll explain it to you again, to see if you get it.

I understand the concept of irony, thank you very much. Irony would be having an intelligent conversation about music with an indie-rocker fanboy, right?


Anyway, let's get back to the subject at hand. I think, if I understand you correctly, is that the music on here, though packaged like a dance-mix type of record, is really rather deceptive. Correct?

Yeah. It's a lot more mellow, it's got some beats, but it's not going to make you shake your moneymaker.

And, in fact, from what I've gathered from your earlier attempts to describe the record, is that this record is more like jazzy-electronica, ala Tortoise or Mouse on Mars. Correct?

Yeah, but I think the whole Chicago jazz scene is played out. Do you like Tortoise?

Yeah, I think they're all right

Well, if you like that commercial jazz stuff like Tortoise, then I think you'll like Dublife. It's mellow, but not too light. It's got a nice beat to it, but it's not for dancing. I think it's a record that you'll want to have on while drinking rum and cokes or smoking or relaxing.

So, though it's no Modest Mouse, it's still a nice, rhythmic album?


So, tell me, Jacob, do you think that Dublife was a good listen?

Dave, my man, it was an excellent listen. It's not the sort of thing I buy, but the experience was quite nice, the record made me rather mellow, and I'll probably pop it on again the next time I need something chill to listen to. Hey, if we're done, can I go? I'm supposed to chat with this girl I met at MOC. She's sixteen in age, but a full-grown woman at heart, and I can't pass up this opportunity.

--Joseph Kyle

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