29 August 2018
This month I've had the pleasure of putting well over a thousand miles on my motorcycle just by cruising to and around the neighbouring areas. Similar to the enjoyment you can get from playing music in the car, riding on smooth, curvy roads grants a pleasing boost in mindset.
On longer rides, I've found I enter a state of flow where I stop doubting myself and have confidence in the bike and my riding ability. Time seems to imperceptibly slow down and grant sharp awareness on my journey: focusing on when to enter and exit a turn almost as if by instinct. Little things that usually flash by become mini-stories in and of themselves.
You see people talking over a coffee, one of them mid-sip with raised eyebrows. You see the postman making his afternoon delivery, dressed in the bright post office colours. You notice the cat pretending not to notice the bird settled in the tree above it. It's really a great feeling.
So for this month, you won't have to hop onto the saddle, so to speak, to try and experience that state of flow. I've searched specifically for pieces that recreate this feeling of almost floating through space. As you listen, try to let go of analysing the music and simply try to practice active listening. To do so, predict the next note (i.e. in the chord progression) in your mind. You'll find after a while that it seems you have heard the song before.
For our long cruise, we begin with Evigt Morker's Hogre, which means Higher in Swedish. The soft, climbing intro gently guides us into that lauded flow state as we gear up to motorway speeds. We follow a turn-off onto the greater artery and click into gear with the Lake People's Circle Motive remix of Kollektiv Turmstrasse's Ordinary.
Following that, Benjamin Damage coaxes us to become more aware of our surroundings with a thudding drumline and rising synths in his single Montreal. We've reached a fork in the road and we decide to take the longer route. As the sun reaches it's highest point in the day, the warm rays reflecting off our darkened visor, we glide the bike up to a roaring speed.
Now the traffic from people returning from lunch brings us back into reality. David August's Epikur seems so fitting to match the frantic pace of people returning to their daily grind. The bike weaves in and out between the cars -- another biker faintly nods his head as you pass each other on the dual carriageway.
You stop for a break and grab a steaming hot espresso. You down the scalding liquid in one go and hop back on the bike. The traffic has disappeared as if it never were and the streets become unladen. Deadmau5's Jaded is the perfect segway back into the monotonous yet soothing routine of getting the bike up to speed. You feel calm as you decide to visit the sprawling countryside hills on the way back. As you fly along the winding roads, the sheep on the field lift their head one by one, eyeing the commotion.
The return trip is almost over too quickly. While the future-pop metronome beats from Youandewan's 93 play in the background, the sun starts its daily descent back into the horizon.
What a ride.
The full playlist is available here: 🎧 August Playlist