MOMENT™ is a concept, fictional self-initiated concept fictional product to restore long lost gone essence of good musicality without any profitable margins or expectations whatsoever.
MOMENT™ is a personal, not for profit, fictional concept for establishing both visual and sonic compilation branding; made with a broad goal through simplicity in set composing & design by raising a sense of social awareness by highlighting, embracing and extracting various subjects of needs, wants and desires of life itself. This project; was born as an idea to illustrate and sonically curate celebratory definitions of "moments". Events, thoughts or an issue that I feel the right to expose to the masses to sonically illustrate; by means of curating exceptional music and as an overall; a self-directed concept project.
One of few major goals in this "hobby" project - is to somehow deliver a possibility of it to become published as a fully realised actual product, or a brand, in real life, as a way not to compete in terms of commercial gain or personal fame, in which these two have remained to be the overly saturated norm/s of compilation design in the existing commercial market. What this project projects however, is less about the tangible material impact on the audience, but more on promoting the overall emotional, contextual impact of each and every title/s from its' design & musical selection/gathering.
These are not what you would consider simply a mixed go-to party compilation; or for simplicity sake - a "background" music. This project is not a reflective example of just like what dozens upon dozens of mainstream record labels/publishers try to do - compounded profitability & commercial sustainability; putting its' people, managers, producers, and ultimately - the affiliated artist/s and DJ's / set composers all to achieve, establish and to sustain a sense of "celebrity" status.
Instead, to put it simple terms - MOMENT™ is simply a social-branding awareness project that can be interpreted as anything but the above. A social branding experiment; which is still largely in its' early stage - not just an attempt to immerse and entertain the audience; but to communicate "back" to them in however ways they relate to it.
What this project bears in its' "different" development / workflow philosophy is never by any means a linear approach. For example, do one compilation title / volume, finish it and move onto the next (eg. Moment 01, then to Moment 02, 03, etc). The easiest way to describe this is that I try my best to "see" through possible multiple titles / volumes at once and from there on personally dictate where, what and how to move from there. In other words - a collective storyline/s from one context to another.
With nearly ten (10) years in the subtle making ever since my very first "hobbyist" VA compilation to have been completed in 2004 - this project; and its' history is a journey of understanding, and discovery in itself. A concept project designed with humility in mind; but built towards a broad goal, to remind, to sustain and to achieve a sense of musical respect. MOMENT™ - a special happening of all things around us.
A lot certainly has gone through in the realisation of this idea itself; from the very humble beginnings of creating amateur compilations one after another, to the numerous brandings and visual experimentations; all of which served as little things that eventually led upon a discovery of an idea; or a framework that could later on served as a "stepping stone" that is to be refined year/s later on for the future.
Below is simply a "historical workflow" of the ideation, and development of the project's core idea through chronological order. From the earliest beginnings, to their most recent stage.
Early understanding / beginnings
The early beginnings of my early knowledge in compilation design & set composing; were quite simply to say - simplistic in that they were humble and unevolved in quality & quantity. In late 2004, I've decided to make my first ever venture to designing and compiling the very first V.A lounge compilation. But more importantly, it was the very first period I was exposed into the larger world of Lounge, electronica, future-/nu-jazz and mainstream Japanese soulful house genres (before I fully identified this as a specific root of House genre years later on) ; as well as the more difficult to describe Japanese Visual Kei.
Complete with my own "fictional" aesthetic record label/s and compilation series running beneath it. That was only a smallest and earliest beginnings of this idea - I simply lived and got through this compilation by listening and simply collecting what "sounds" best.
All the design, naming and ideation of that title were simply too vague; because at first I believe ambiguity was the prime essence of describing and understanding what a "contemporary" or what a "lounge" compilation is; at the very least from a basic end consumer perspective. Throughout this short but eventual beginnings; this remained as a milestone that was quite easy to forget.
2005 - 2007
Between 2005 - 2007, I decided to make a refresh upon those fictional self-made brands into something hopeful and eventually; leads to something more credible and memorable in the year/s to come. The earlier attempts was unfortunately, was altogether an embarrassing failure; from producing one title to another, one branding to the next and the next. Technically also; my level of learning of "how-to's" in most basics of set composing, were still largely non-existent.
Some measure of success however was felt within one project - Ellipsis - a fictional atmospheric soundtrack surrounding the context of a fine dining, fictional restaurant brand by the same name. It was the first time as I was slowly immersed to Downtempo, as a genre and I thought it would made perfect sense to compliment such context of a fine dining atmosphere; only that I wanted to do something different; instead of it being complementary to the "response" for the food itself in a high end restaurant, it'd be best; as I believed - to focus on the emotive, "spiritual" side of the venue instead.
Originally created as a free-form / self-written brief as a University project but then later re-adopted as a featured personal compilation design. It was very first attempt in tying together context + sonic composition. A hint of success was there, simply because of the finding of such idea of tying a sonic composition and applied together onto a context, even though the resulting sound wasn't truly convincing enough; and wasn't by all means acceptable by recent or today's listening standards - this idea, this framework - that I "tested" on an actual project I believe do have a potential as I discovered in the end long after it was done.
2008 - 2009
MOMENT™ 01 / Destination : Yours
In 2008, the very first attempt refining that idea of creating a context + sound composition framework was founded. What I had in mind was a "set of plans" to put this philosophy into an "experiment". That very first idea of this understanding came upon the very first MOMENT™ title - "Moment™ 1 / Destination : Yours".
I simply went through; in naming this framework "Moment" because it was simply nothing more than referring to a subtlety, an event or a circumstance's in one's life; with a sound composition somehow needed to be attached to it to help craft together a more effective social brand awareness project. A set composition; with a purpose; was the ultimate defining goal of that framework.
The first MOMENT™ was envisioned as a collective sonic environment where "self discovery. "; as a context for the main storyline is introduced upon the listener towards a variety of atmospheres and inspirations as collected from the very best elements of downtempo and chill-out genres.
Midway through the year I committed to myself to make that next step: thoroughly start my understanding of this hobby from scratch and plan as though this is a proper design task; a career. All this began from this very first number of MOMENT™; as it was planned, commenced in development from 2008 to the 2009; a full one whole year in the making; both aesthetic and sonic gathering + set composing.
That vision was undoubtedly difficult, holds numerous promises in return; but unfortunately resulting in a somewhat embarrassingly messy & mediocre sounding product at the end. Again, indeed another measure of success, but yet again I have failed three times. Because it simply still was "not convincing".
2009 - 2011
MOMENT™ 02 : LADY
Whilst still developing the first title, the groundwork of finding the next inspiration began to give this framework even more of a challenge; in that I was hoping to turn this framework into something that people can relate to it; as a case study. Something that it isn't afraid to showcase some degree of sensitivity.
The idea for the next title number was to promote a theme, a context or an issue that was something not commonly well expressed, understood or not even tolerated in the most progressive or "open" from all walks of life. Yet it is something that we all strive to aim for - either in subtle or in significant ways.
This period; as I witnessed it - was an exceptionally important period. To me not only as an individual; but my understanding and gaining respect for developing a sense of awareness in almost everything I do in life. Between 2009 - 2011, this idea later became the most important learning curve in almost practically everything I came to know about compilation design, set-composing, and ultimately; my own primary curiosity and skills to pursue as an individual.
This project; MOMENT™ 02 - Lady - was originally envisioned to be somewhat controversial; something that appeal to the minority; and yet carries with a major, meaningful purpose that anyone with the right, open frame of mind can relate to it. It's not something that would interest the most common of all listening demographics, or even something that you would expect see along the shelves of "Dance" category in record shops. But one thing for certain - very few has attempted to sonically illustrate this sensitive subject matter into real, tangible sense of respect ; and of all - the primary aim of it all was to sonically promote an unbiased understanding and ultimately - a close reminder of our most common inner need: intimacy, in or out of any derivative forms of itself. A compilation that honours the different expectations of this inner need; regardless of what values & belief systems the listener have on this sensitive subject matter.
What turned out to be the most interesting title to work on have also started to show its' ulterior side; it was simply the most time consuming of all sonic & creative project ever undertaken. It was not easy trying to put an ease on the audience's mindset; considering its' context within a fairly mature content/perspective - that this is far beyond anything other than some sort of hint or a suggestion in supporting any of social minority industries.
Hence year/s later as I looked back to the finished one-off original version of middle of 2010; I realised a lot needs to be somehow more "neutral" but still keeping the idea faithful and intact. With nearly over a dozen attempts in personally re-designing, re-printing and re-issue/s with different version one after another; all lead to a perfect recipe of the most difficult task ever to be finished.
Another long, slow but eventual learning curve about to be undertaken. But as I was unaware of this potential back then - lies an experience that ultimately brings the branding, and its' personality to completion not just this particular second volume/title; but the entirety of the Moment project itself.
2012 - 2014
An entire re-design and re-creation of the project's & branding, framework & personality of the MOMENT™ project commenced. This includes undertaking a few research in gathering various existing compilation series of the market thus far and analysing their visual and aural branding. It is truly during this period that where I had to make this yet another transition of making this a truly more convincing result of turning a project not only as a tangible product but how to turn that project's branding as a way to promote a tangible awareness of how carefully selected and curated musical work/s have the power to "influence" and to "remind" over the things that are "special" to our own circumstances.
Since 2011, this period was also the genesis of my interest in partaking DJ'ing as a physical / practising hobby. Over a period of three years - vinyls were hand selected, and purchased from all over the world. Pages, upon pages of set compilation lists were written. Hundreds of hours were shed in pain and frustration. But, throughout these years then came a process of "realisation".
Out of this process all this leads to the development of my own principle - Humanist Principle Of Mixing; which was born as a hobby self-promotional concept in 2013. This later became a personal "principle" whereby everything how I perceive and create set story lines are drawn from. Built from all the very little successes, and all the monumental failures and patience of the past.
MOMENT™; as it stands today - remains anything but a commercially driven project. There is no single universal word that defines it "simply" as a laid-back or a "go-to" ultimate compilation. Everything made thus far was created with a certain frame of mind for promoting two things - awareness of ourselves against those around us, with good, under appreciated and long forgotten music to act as the sole backdrop of the very life itself.
There is a sea of what is common as well as uncommon in the world of branding personalities we see everyday. MOMENT™ is one such "background" project that is not commonly associated as an entirely finished product per se; but more to serve an awareness of all things around our lives.
There is something I need to emphasize rather than good simple, iconography - I need to illustrate branding personalities as two things - respect and discipline. These personify my ways of curating and composing set storylines, with as little technical superficial extras on top; whether it be effects, or excessive re-mastering processes. At the same time, the context and purpose of what I consider essential in putting myself in the minds of a listener - gradual anticipation.
When we sit back and listen to a compilation we always anticipate for something to happen. Either we are conscious of this thought process or not - it's evident through our own emotion of how we respond to the music we listen to, as a sequence from one to another. This, I believe also - coincides with the general aim and goal of any DJ or set composer - you create that feeling of anticipation. Your audience reacts to that anticipation. You are the centre of attention of the very orchestra that you gradually craft, piece by piece until a complete picture or a story or a visual branding awareness then; are ultimately formed.
Hence, these are what formed the essence of formulating the iconography and design of that vision. Simplicity, sincerity honesty, and transparency.
Throughout the ten years of its' subtle development, the influences upon project goes more than just an overview gathering of visual trends and what is possible from a tangible / technical delivery and style perspective, but the big, other half that help to complete these all comes from the musical references & inspirations themselves.
In terms of tangible visual deliveries I took great notice and appreciation towards Cocoon - as a record label and a publisher of its' own compilations and event productions. Founded, managed and run by Sven Väth - Cocoon' is truly the only one such example that impresses me with two outstanding features - strict sense of discipline, and certain formulaic consistency.
Strictly developed on the basis to promote the genres of Tech House, Techno and Minimal, the aesthetic simplicity (though many would be mistaken by its' vagueness) simply speaks for itself all for the sake of clear, vibrant branding. Found rare among the biggest and largest of local retailers; simplicity is; in itself - is all that it required to make a lasting statement.
This on its' own excels at simply one thing - in that the branding personality is aesthetically vibrant and strong, but with very little connotative-qualities; other than the concrete marks itself. Simplicity in its' purpose from this alone may not be convincing enough as a sole source of inspiration for this project. The context and reasoning to justify the need for simplicity has to be more than just a perfectly crafted, abstract visual design. Otherwise the "substance" behind this as absorbed from the audience would simply be just that - an abstract visualisation of something else undefined.
This project needs to have a lasting purpose and emotive reasoning of why it existed in the first place. And this is something that cannot be found simply by external visual stimuli, a certain aesthetic treatment or "style" but has to be somehow initiated and gathered from the heart as a response.
The only way to discover this; was to go back listening to the music itself. Such is a moment back in late 2012, a newly discovered genre once again have left me in awe; as witnessed through Clara Hill's album "All that I can provide". Nu-Soul, as a genre - opened this boundaries of elusive listening whereby nothing is bounded or determined by a certain technical signature. But as an emotive context; that album provided me an important way to "remind" ourselves of anything is deemed significant in our lives. This later, became a story I later became convinced to illustrate further in the MOMENT™'s re-brand development.
The Paper Fold / Homage tribute to recording history & journalism
So, following from the above; I have gathered the aural inspiration as the backdrop of this project and the message behind it - to remind in memory. A sonic reminder of all things significant. A special happening of all things around us.
How do you permanently record and restore a moment of history? You either try your best to instill it deep down into your implicit memory; or you try to store it by means of writing and recording. The same goes for recording a note; as a way of reminding yourself that this is such an event or a moment that is important for you to keep note of; either for now, tomorrow or even forever.
It is based from this sole psychological act of reminding ourselves; that I have decided to use a slight-quarter fold of a piece of paper; as a symbology / iconic tribute to journalism; and in turn - simply history itself. Why as simple as a folded piece of paper? Because it is an instrument that portrays respect, and of all - a way to record any aspect of life's history.
The icon itself; may not seem to be so revolutionary as a visual idea; but to portray something that combines all those concrete as well as intangible personalities together was a challenging and time-intensive process. But out of it came a result that I was looking for in terms of the overall intangible image in that it has to be strong, and visually concise enough that it technically needs to be flexible. Adhering to the universal law/s of consistency - every compilation releases must bear the logo centrally assigned on every covers, with an assigned number to indicate the numerical progression of this entire project.
To differentiate, not compete
As it currently stands, this remains strictly as a personal conceptual project.
MOMENT™ is not, and never is; at least within the context of what this is currently in - a commercially viable and profitably sustainable conceptual product, or tangible trademark (although of course, conceptually speaking; it is a branding personality plausible enough to seek protection). Philosophically however, it stands plausible enough in that it has a "purpose". And that purpose is not to compete, but to differentiate in any given environment to the consumer.
As written earlier; if this were an actual, tangible commercially available consumer product on the shelves; then it simply won't survive. The main goal behind this branding is not to compete, but to differentiate simply in the name of awareness, but not in the name of profitable conquest.
Of course if this were to be a fully managed commercial product some monetary financial sustainability must be put into place. But as it currently stands, MOMENT™ is purely a fictional, branded product.
Competition simply by advice
Ask yourself this question: When was the last time you walk to a record store to buy yourself (or a for someone) a mixed VA compilation and find yourself flogged by so many supposedly different ones thrown on the shelves? That in itself, is a competitive environment model by means of "pressure". And how many times do you then decide to ask around the store what sounds good? Chances are, you will be told or directed to the largest, most profitable and well known competitors of the shelves. Multi million (or billion) dollar revenue generating Record Labels, artists and producers. That's it, only that.
People follow people. Once you received and get what you're looking for - chances are that you will no longer go for something more elusive. Especially if you are exposed to a specific need for the very first time. This is classic consumerism based on profitable advice/s.
From an arts' perspective
If this were a tangible commercial product; it will not survive by any means in the long term. It has context and idea worthy enough for the minor few to at least recognise its' potential. But if it were to challenge and sustain itself against the norms of corporate and financial "race", it will not survive through that either.
Much like a fine art's project; you rely on the unusual and the uncommon of all human behaviours and reactions in return to seeing and responding to your artwork/s. Much of an artwork may have an idea; or many ideas that is worthy enough for the minor few to at least recognise its' personal potential to gain an arbitrary relationship back to the artist. But again, in the name of profitable goals - these barely survive to sustain the much needed ongoing requirements to contribute back to society.
As a concept I wanted to create a product that; whilst seemingly impressionable through contemporary visual branding - to not fight; or compete against others in the shelves in the name of fame. But truly of all things - to portray something that relates back to the minds of the listener, in memorable and personal ways.
Questions meet Answers
1. What is MOMENT™?
A not for profit - creative aesthetic and completely fictional branding & sonic project initiated and founded as my own hobby activity. The intrinsic aim is simply to promote the understanding of good music; how that can serve a myriad of initiating a complementary, alternative understanding and awareness of various theme/s as it is illustrated on each MOMENT™ numerical titles (1, 2, etc) .
2. What is its' project sustainability goal, if any? if this were an actual product?
The project's intrinsic aim is not to commercially compete within the likes of commercial benchmark, but instead as it currently stands purely as a personal conceptual project - to promote the restoration of the long gone values of respect and discipline in composing and curating musicality of the past, and present, of which these are then curated to preserve itself further into the future each time the general listening demographic evolve.
This is simply not just to remind us over the context and messages of each title tries to deliver; but really in essence - to remind us over the fact that the mass superficial expectations in the musical evolution of today proves very little of aesthetic longevity & its' own relevance to our needs & wants; compared to the concise, passionate, intuitive musicality of the past.
3. What sort of genre/s are you expecting to cover throughout the scope of this project?
During the time of its' subtle developments (of ten years) it has only been envisioned from that earliest point of time that this project will only touch base upon the genres within the electronic dance genre (EDMs) but this again; should not be taken or mistaken as strictly a "wake" and "energise" listening expectations.
However of course, it is an impossibility at this point of time to truly able to determine the ultimate scope of this project by its' selection of genres / eg. genre mappings from start to end of its' project's life. Strictly at this time, depending upon the breadth of a future title's contextual event, a story or an issue entails; much of the next prospective genres will remain to be confidentially kept until further notice.
4. I would like to have a listen! Where can I listen to any of the completed titles (thus far)?
At the moment, the project cannot be listened and distributed via ordinary means of social media. However, a more traditional approach of uploading via Mixcloud® platform will soon be made available.
All official product names, titles, artists and record labels aforementioned in this page all respectfully remains to the official trademark holders and/or their respective owners. MOMENT™ is a self-initiated concept fictional product to restore long lost gone essence of good musicality without any profitable margins or expectations whatsoever. I am not affiliated with any of the aforementioned official products, titles, artists or record labels as aforementioned in this page. This project has been self initiated as a personal hobby / recreational use; to be shared with others as they are open for feedbacks.
All official product names and titles aforementioned in this page are official trademarks of their respective owners, companies & organisations. Ableton®, Mixed In Key®, Serato® and Mixmeister® are respective trademarks of Ableton Inc. Mixed In Key LLC, Serato Audio Research, and Mixmeister Technology LLC.