I run an event called Helpline (@helpline91) which allows me to meet a lot of very talented musicians and every time I learn so much, from all of them I love yall.
I feel like the event has some kind of theme of vulnerability to it, or at least the artits I tend to book have a really unique way to express they way they feel.
I’ve been listening to my friend Phonewifey’s music a lot as it feels super comforting to me, and when I feel vulnerable I listen to his lyrics and I feel understood.
This is the last track on ‘Pecker Power’, a serene hive mind LP created after Bob Marley visited Japan in 1979 and befriended local percussionist Pecker. They struck up a friendship and travelled to Jamaica, bringing along Japanese musicians – particularly Yellow Magic Orchestra members such as Ryuichi Sakamoto – to collaborate with everyone from the Wailers to Sly & Robbie, a legendary duo credited as the main artist behind Kylyn.
My quiet little bluetooth speaker allows most of the album to melt into my workplace’s background, but Kylyn’s soaring, spiritual vocals rise up and refresh the space and the rhythm. Sweet warmth laced into functional, thick-soled consistency, it’s like hazelnut milk mixed into morning coffee, like miso paste in my homemade soup, like the inexplicably convincing, delicious vegan ‘wow’ cookies served at Benugos. I relisten to it during an afterwork stroll past Hyde Park’s ‘Winter Wonderland’, and it dovetails perfectly with the smell of doughnut sugar, the sound of laughter, the gossamer brush of cool air spread across my cheek dimples.
A few days later, it takes me about 13 minutes of jogging to get to my nearest park, and 2 more to develop a debilitating stitch. Conveniently, the Peach mix in my earphones has just got to a particularly gorgeous section, so I’m happy to sit down as I shazam that shimmering synthline (it’s about 3 minutes into the track). A hefty man with a scruffy beard and dog tells me ‘that looks like hard work!’ as he walks past, I pant back that I haven’t worked out in months, and smile. As the mix rolls on, its initial drama makes way for a lightfooted ravey playfulness, before returning, with Skee Mask’s 50 Euro To Break Boost.