We Spoke to the Cosmic Curator Behind Dream Chimney, Your New Favourite Website
He's also given us a playlist of essential balearic hymns and oddities for you to bliss-out to.
For a while now I've been obsessed with Dream Chimney. For the uninitiated, Dream Chimney is a portal into a world unknown, a weird and wonderfully cosmic space where AOR ballads meet country-funk oddities, where balearic incantations meet new age hymns. The DC crew post endless obscurities for your listening pleasure, and have curated one of the best mix series in the world.
THUMP spoke to Dream Chimney founder Ryan Bishop about the past, present, and future of the site. He's compiled a top 10 Dream Chimney classics playlist too, so slap that on and zone out.
THUMP: Can you tell us a little about how DC came into being?
Ryan Bishop: Dream Chimney was never intended to be just one thing, but its primarily known for the music section. Most of the website began in 2000, starting with dream interpretations, sending virtual donuts, old school rap videos, and then soon after, 'Track of the Day'. TOTD started out being only for close friends spread out across a few states as a way to share the music they were really into at the moment. Focusing for some reason on just the one song that you loved that day. Obviously there are many ways to do this now but not so much back then.
Even starting with just 8-10 members, sharing a new track everyday seemed pretty natural as we were as much into finding new music as sharing or recommending to each other. DC also started around the same time as Kompakt records label which opened a bunch of new doors and lead to discovering new electronic music pretty much everyday. But in general our collective tastes were increasingly diverse, digging deep into country/folk, AOR, disco, Jazz, New Age—so the variety of songs we posted were always interesting and still are 16 years and 35000 tracks later.
Is there an overarching ethos behind DC?
The general ethos possibly summed up recently by member Paradise Chimney "I come here to catch the chillest cruisin' vibe". The community is mellow, intimate and still active. We are interested in all genres and generally stoked to share/help others find out about good music, which typically we refer to as KBA (Kind Bud Assist).
How did you whittle down your selection to the ten tracks above?
Picking a top ten tracks of all time is nearly impossible of course but initially it was narrowed down to the most commented on tracks. The most obvious choice for #1 is Ian MacFarlane, not only for the of music (vintage space synth ambient) but somehow his tracks have by far the most comments posted of any tracks. Most of the comments are from random visitors that must be doing some deep googling and found nowhere else but DC to express their love for his music. The other tracks were incredibly difficult to select but in the essence of time and my sanity I think these capture a good chunk of styles we like.
These particular 10 tracks were based mostly on the number of comments, but also by the number of times the track was posted. Another big part of Dream Chimney was posting music by members that produce themselves—Hatchback, Sorcerer, Rollmottle, Broker/Dealer, the Beat Broker, Tridact, JayWar to name a few. Especially before the SoundCloud days, DC was a perfect place to post demos and new tracks, generally on Fridays, dubbed "Feel Free Fridays."
With the mix series, have there been any absolute standouts for you? What's the one you play over and over...
Standout by most plays alone is the Hatchback (Mother Chimney) mix "Going' Upcountry" which got a ton of plays likely for lack of any good Country-Funk mixes on SoundCloud.
There have been so many big mixes in the past few years, I keep coming back to #1 from Sorcerer - Jungle Hideout Mixx. which started the mix series off so perfectly. We've had amazing mixes from guests but also from Chimney members past and present, which was the original idea.
If I was forced to pick one a big standout it'd be this...
You can get anyone in the world (living or dead) to record a mix: who's up?
My initial reaction to that is LODA but luckily he has already made a mix for us. 2nd would be TAKO, not only does he know DC vibe and my personal tastes in music but he knows it way before I do.