Thankful For You

Thankful For You

Happy Holidaaaaaays! {Andy Williams voice}

If you celebrate, I hope you're coming out of a restorative and satiating Thanksgiving. If you're Canadian, I hope you're just vibing. If you're European, I hope you're enjoying the World Cup like none other, if you don't watch that I hope you're enjoying your longer life expectancy and higher quality of life then all of us Turkey gorgers. Sorry, I really don't know where to go with this intro so I'm a just hard break.

I think it only makes sense to kick this edition off with some love to you all, I started this project with no expectations what so ever and somehow sitting down to write these things week after week has become the thing I look most forward to. That is entirely because of all the wonderful souls that welcome this humble publication into their inbox. To those of you who reached out to share feedback, thoughts, and moments just know, anytime I see a response to one of these pop up in my inbox my day is immediately made. It doesn't matter if you send me an emoji, a three word response, or a longer invitation to engage, they all resonate deeply within my heart and make me that much more excited to keep this train rolling. To that end, I wanted to share some exchanges we've had and give some shout-outs to y'all.

We've riffed on all types of stuff in the last 2 months such as:

Philosophy and Buddhism. New friend, Ashten Wickham, had these beautiful words to share on change after reading The Center Will Not Hold :

It seems you took a very Buddhist approach to the subject. The west seems to encourage us to view ourselves as a building that we continue to build larger and grander. Once we discover that this is merely the ego, something unreal that we have ourselves fabricated, we can break it down and live our lives more fluidly. Accepting loss, love, pride, shame, joy, and sadness equally as they flow in and out of our lives.

This train of thought, that was beautifully elucidated by Ashten, reminds me that I wanted to recommend everyone here to watch Stutz on Netflix. I found many many moments of philosophical and emotional validation in it and I'm curious to see how this documentary will resonate with others. I think it also did a tremendous job of aligning people with real tools that can be consulted in challenging moments. Please watch it and lets have a conversation about it, I would seriously love to dive in on this. Check out the trailer below!

We also examined how serendipity can work through the internet. It turns out something as small as the right song at the right time can be pretty huge.

After reading my lengthy dribble in The Center Will Not Hold, our dear friend Masha Ermoshina mentioned: really inspired me to see the best things in the changes I'm going through. Feels like I got this email right on time.

Resident Radiohead stan, Hattie Rothwell on the other hand, after reading We're All In This Together sent me the following stirring message:

I’m so excited to be a part of your newsletter. It’s come at a time where I’ve been feeling very confused and frankly uninspired, I’m feeling very grateful to have a creative recommendation... to see where it takes me. I listened to Halftribe last night (I hadn’t heard of them before) and it was exactly what I needed. Yes I know that this is partly chance, it could have been anything and it could have not fit. But I’m lucky, and I engaged immediately. I listened to the album through after the song you recommended, and I had the most creative session of writing I’ve had in weeks... that’s such an important outlet for me, I feel dangerously on the edge when I can’t connect with it...

The smaller moments and victories of life all are aided by the songs we play. Music is something that can facilitate change, many times it can help us through it, it can be the light in the dark that keeps us driving forward. To know that this is an open two way channel for discovery around that topic is very exciting to me. All that to say, if you feel the curiosity to share with me how a certain thought, song, or album impacted your day I would love to hold space for that. This has been such a treat already, endlessly grateful for you guys.

On to the music!

Before you go on, may I suggest brewing a cup of coffee or tea to accompany the following listens?

🎧 A Song to Study

Something super cool happened yesterday that I want to celebrate quickly. During hip-hop's great Blog Era there was a small but mighty crew of New York artists pumping out boundary pushing, convention breaking, and forward thinking hip-hop music at break-neck speed. This crew notably contained emcees like Homeboy Sandman, Skyzoo, Fresh Daily, Noah Caine, and of course, ScienZe. Every day after getting home from school I would hit spots like 2Dopeboyz and more to spend a couple hours listening to every new project to hit the online watering holes. An artist I ended up gravitating and spending a lot of time with was none other than the aforementioned ScienZe. In particular, a tape he dropped by the name of Ella became one of the undeniable classics of the Blog Era in my mind. ScienZe was spitting blistering yet buttery flows over Charlie Brown samples, flipping undeniable New York bravado and delivery over sunny, romantic, and uplifting boom-bap soundscapes. It was a new, more jovial rendition of the New York hip-hop I was raised on. Nearly 10 years later and a long list of songs from Ella remain staples in my go-to hip-hop playlists.

So yesterday, when ScienZe decided to sign-up as a subscriber to Attack & Flux you can probably imagine my joy. Welcome to the party my brother ❤️. Naturally, to celebrate I'm bringing you one of his many highlights.

So what can I say about this Song to Study? It's one of the great hip-hop love songs of our time, ScienZe does a wonderful job of story telling on this track. Between the production, the tender and confident lyricism, and the beautifully complimentary feature from LeXuS, you can really place yourself in the setting with ease. The colors, aromas, dim-lit eateries, and sidewalks of Brooklyn at night jump right out at you. I specifically remember sitting with this track on repeat for 6-7 times in a row as I worked to grasp, memorize, and perform all the lyrics out loud. Naturally I fashioned myself as the protagonist in this song and I used it as a vehicle for feeling my way through what was one of my earliest heart aches with a high-school crush. I found catharsis in these bars, release in these beats, surrender in these sounds. Check my favorite section below:

And move it must
Ain't no rush
Let it do what it do
It's gonna happen with time
Right now I'm happy with you
And we can go to the crib
Or we can chill on the stoop
Or we can take flight, embrace night, and land on the roof

🏡 An Album to Live In

I realized, up until this point, most of my recommendations have been on the lower side of the energetic spectrum. I've put an unconscious emphasis on introspection through my recommendations and wanted to move in another direction this week. We're coming into the last month of this year and I want to kick us off with some drive, with some tenacity. So, this week I invite you to live within Dan Kye's infectious dance album, Small Moments. This came out early in the pandemic and was one of the first moments in mid-2020 where I really fucking missed dancing and movement. Small Moments made me optimistic that when those days were to return that they would be more lively and colorful than ever. I love how Dan blends the most sticky and hard hitting elements of tech-house with live instrumentation and his flair for vocal melody. You will already be fully invested into the swing of a track when Dan introduces new ideas with the help of his voice that complete the track and take it up to another level of enjoyment entirely. I really thought it was beautiful that in a time where we all became so disconnected with our bodies through endless days of couch surfing that Dan Kye, elsewhere known by his more popular moniker, Jordan Rakei, was in his home whipping up a kamehameha of fun with this record.

Not much more to say on this one outside of have fun, go for a drive with the windows down, go for a run, hit the gym, walk it out, turn the volume up and get down in your living room, whatever floats your boat. Just go!

🎁 Bonus

Man, look, I'm a sucker for Christmas music. This Christmas, instead of giving you my heart, I'm a give you Christmas tunes that don't suck. Y'all will just have to trust me. So let us start here. This Sleigh Bells cover by Duke Pearson should actually be in a museum somewhere, it's that fucking good. Play this one at all your holiday gatherings to feel like a Christmas savant, you'll most certainly not get cool points for it but you will be glad you get to avoid Mariah Carey for at least another 6 minutes.

👋 Until next time...

I understand how sacred privacy is in our day and I feel tremendously honored when someone trusts me enough to let me into their inbox week after week. Thanks for being here ❤️.

If something resonated from this edition please do not hesitate to reach out, I hope for this to be a two-way communication channel. Let's chat and discuss music and/or ideas.

Where Do We Begin?
Meet Christian Archer. Learn what to expect as a subscriber. Understand the meaning of Attack and Flux.
If you want to learn more about who I am and wtf "Attack & Flux" means, I suggest giving this a read, consider it a proper intro.