Spiritual VS. Personal references
Many of so called downtempo & chill out compilations tend to be quickly filtered and judged by the public to fall under one of two opinions - either that could be played in front of a group of people (mass/audience listening), or entirely for personal / solo listening (inspirational/spiritual).
The first and latter group are the most common to find; as they are often released by countless record labels as nothing more for maximising profit. The other however; could very well appear on the mainstream shelves from time to time, but their sonic qualities would likely to be regarded as elusive, but unfortunately can easily thought as too "spiritual".
The main goal was to find a set of inspirations that doesn't hold itself purely within the comfort zone of yet another chill-out compilation aka., made for group/audience listening; but really to acquire as many inspirations from other places to increase the sonic elusiveness of this project further.
The very first of such inspiration I drew upon was simply no other than Jose Papilla's 8th continuation of the series Cafe Del Mar (Ocho); mixed by Ben Cherrill, and Luke Neville). Released in 2001, it released and projected something that almost everybody; either new to or as a seasoned follower / veteran of the genre - completely shocked by its' transition away from Padilla's tried and true classic approach of selecting AND maintaining the balearic tone. Critics and reviews worldwide gave it a mixed result. Some loved it. Some hated it. Some were even convinced to no longer buy the next future titles; as quickly evident from reading through Amazon®'s reviews.
But there is something within it that no other Cafe Del Mar's I have certainly heard and personally collected (every number prior & and many afterwards) - the producer/s director/s really know how to design and curate work of sonics in a way that it sounds "personal", much further away than it simply being a background holiday music. And certainly almost no other Del mar titles afterwards (after the venerable failure of Volume 10 and all up including the disappointing 30th Anniversary edition; all sounded either too spiritual or sounded cheaply and chosenly fit for elevator background music) - that are as deservedly right and as rightly emotional.
This remains the perfect backdrop of inspiration for Destination Yours - something that is neither kept too sacred or too simplistic and predictable.
Of course, when one perceives a relaxing compilation that sounds "personal" it must be taken with caution that too much of this may detract away from the overall sonic openness and "flexibility". This was simply my one biggest failure of the very first version (besides from the unrefined mixing) ; completed in 2009 which left me completely unaware of its' severity until late 2012, then; whilst in the middle of developing the next title - that I decided to look for more inspiration.
That next single inspiration which left me the biggest mark of influence in late 2011, was Cocoon's Beach Club 01: Transformation. More than just a completely eye opening experience in witnessing an entirely new genre - Nu-Disco; but also - how this long forgotten genre can form itself into something that is unexpectedly fresh, immersive and deep. It is never by any means a common expectation that every Disco track simply "needs" to be "danceable", just like good, gentle deep soulful house music - it carries a vision that is to be respected simply by how you feel by listening to it. I realised that having just one song out of this genre is more than enough to satisfy and complete a broader range of audience.
The road for inspirations does not end right then and there.
Much of what is said about self discovery involves some sort of "humane" contact, reception and understanding; either upon self or onto others. In a general perspective - a sense of longing, and intimacy of another being far from your existing environment; real or imagined. Whilst very few have effectively touched upon this subject non-precariously without sounding too obvious, mundane and predictable - Blue Six, and of almost any of Naked Music's releases have remained long embedded in my list of go to artists for such inspiration whenever a lighter soul of funk can further open up a variety of audience. Intimate yet not conservative; bold yet sensitive; these are what best effectively best describes the essence of Naked Music NYC's label.