DJ Areté, Ataraxia

This has been a long time coming.

This set was first conceived in a Swiss hotel room in February 2010, as I savoured a blissful hour of reading while my then-7-month-old son napped. The subject matter was Epicureanism, and its techniques for freeing oneself from worry and needless entangling desires. Finding myself on the other side of the Atlantic from everything I knew, in a xenophobic country where I didn't speak the language with an unsettled and discordant infant as my only daily company, Epicurus' promise of happiness by way of freedom from worry spoke to me clear and strong. As I read, a few tracks from the old days popped into my head (none of which are in this final version of the set) that I thought might convey the experience of the Epicurean disciple: the tightening of soul as the anxiety of life's myriad problems takes hold, followed by catharsis and ultimately joy as one remembers what is truly important and lets go of everything else.

I've been tinkering with the idea of this set in odd moments ever since, and the idea of this set being a sequel/companion of sorts to 'Eudaemonia' became part of the psychic background of my life in Switzerland. It wasn't until learning about algoriddim's djay software earlier this year, however, that I thought my tinkering would ever come to anything. I settled on this final version of the set during my family's last weeks in Switzerland. Happily, the added leisure and reduced stress of our new home here in the United States has allowed me to finally bring this idea to fruition. Ataraxia, indeed.

A chillout set about having and recovering from an anxiety attack might not be your idea of good holiday music. I offer this in the spirit that what we're celebrating is the darkest night of the year, and it is in our darkest hours that we most long for the sun.

DJ Areté
December 22nd 2011

Track Listing

Underworld 'Skym'
Lamb 'Wise Enough'
Flying Lotus 'Auntie's Harp'
Sufjan Stevens 'Now That I'm Older'
The Cinematic Orchestra 'All That You Give'
Front 242 'Happiness' (Underworld Dub Mix)
The Weeknd 'Lonely Star'
Massive Attack 'Splitting the Atom'
Radiohead 'The National Anthem'
Modest Mouse 'Gravity Rides Everything'
Joy Division 'Atmosphere'
Death in Vegas 'Help Yourself'
Jónsi 'Sinking Friendships'

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