A cosmic coming of age tale told through sound, space, and Instagram, MALMIX 8 comes to life through a five part series of original illustrations and animated web teasers. This project was produced as part of the Malmix series and in conjunction with Irish Illustrator Marty Millar.  Our unique take on the notion of a track-list gives each song its own role in the story through an engaging and comical narrative.

original illustrations by Marty millar // STORY BY JESSE FELLUSS
This is the story of a Starman named Duncan. He hails from the Planet GJ 1214b, a Water-world on the south side of the Dandune Galaxy. It's known for fast winds, late nights, and as a haven for fun-seekers from literally every corner of the Universe. Some around the sector even refer to it as "Gin and Jupiter".

All of his life 'ol Dunc' wanted to be a sailor like the rest of his family. His brothers and sisters were some of the best sea to space pilots around, and they loved to show it. But Duncan was not.

Unfortunately life on GJ had been coming at him from all sides as he'd been struck by horrible cases of both sea-sickness & love sickness. If being the brunt of every joke down at the docks wasn't bad enough, his ex-girlfriend Kiki was the daughter of local socialites and having his name dragged through the mud by every chatty Cathy down at the Second Skin Salon had made the situation untenable.

After years of trying to find a path forward on GJ, he looked out at all the other rocks in the galaxy and figured there had to be a better place. So this is where we find ol' Dunc, as he cruises the sector in search of a new home.

Excited to groove to a sizable playlist as he rolled through the cosmos at a steady pace, he was shattered to learn that a last minute update to his iTransmitter had sent all of his music to the cloud on a completely different planet. All except for one song, a live DJ set called Malmix 8. And while he was less than thrilled to have just one track for the journey, he was happy that it was 60 minutes and really rode out.

Things didn't start to get weird until around the 50th listen through. It didn't happen all at once, but slowly the more he listened, the more it began to feel like a soundtrack created specifically for his story. Each song morphed into a chapter that tied directly into his life. With nothing but time on his hands and fearing the solitude was taking it's toll, he began to Document the journey and how it tied into Malmix 8.
The following transmissions were received three weeks ago from a space log registered to Duncan Kepler of GJ 1214b.

::Current whereabouts unknown::

Come Together: Once I stopped listening to Kiki's parents and the rest of the peanut gallery down at the Golf & Rocket club, everything changed. I had a vision for what my life would be on GJ, but I had to face the hard facts that it wasn't the place for me. So I decided to listen to the signs and let things flow rather than try to control them. 

Like the song says,
"Everything is just a happening".  When I fully accepted that notion and began to live in the moment, things really started to swing in my favor. Even Dad's lucky drive-engine.

What is Real: After the initial buzz of charging hard into the future wore off, the swings and roundabouts of space travel made me question things. All of a sudden the reality that I was alone set in and gave me a surreal sensation. It felt like I was watching a movie of someone else's life. 
In this song, we're encouraged to "Go to the top of a place alone and just look around." 
Without a firm target, I took this as a sign and began to troll the skies for a hilly place to set down.

Turncoat: By far the hardest thing about leaving GJ was my parents. The siblings, Kiki’s circle, and seemingly everyone down at the docks fill me with a sense of inferiority, but Mom and Dad have showed me nothing but love. 

I knew that if I told them of my plans, they would do everything in their power to keep me at home. Not to mention the fire-hose of gossip that would inevitably ensue.

Knowing this, I worked hard to keep up a fumbling, bumbling, down-trodden persona. But when nobody was looking I was hard at work, getting my ship prepared for our greatest adventure.

Towels were intentionally left in the space lock. A cold bag from the grocery portal was willfully forgotten in a cockpit. I actually started to enjoy trolling my particularly arrogant sister Hillary with how frequently I would ‘accidentally’ untie her belongings in ZeroG. (The make-up kit puts on quite a performance)

"Maybe baby, I don’t want you to know…”  

Submission: If you’re not careful, the constant stream of obstacles involved with ditching your home planet can fill you with worry. As the Elders learned way back in 2020, road blocks are to be expected. Time spent stressing over why something happened, or what tomorrow will have to say, is time lost problem solving in the present. 

This song's driving bass merges with beautiful melodies as a metaphor for the never-ending, difficult, and fantastic road of life. 

And if we
submit to this understanding, it will all make a lot more sense. 

Me Roar: Recently I discovered a new source of inner-power. It comes from charging to the top of a steep hill under my own ( Half Human / Half Cyborg ) power. 

When I first started climbing, Kiki and I had been in a relentless loop of arguments and I just needed an escape. While happy to be out of town, I was out of shape and apprehensive. But after a few months of hitting the hills and getting myself out of some sticky situations, I learned that having faith in my own ability could get me through anything. 
Blazing past much younger and better looking hikers kneeled over and turning up their oxygen level, I encourage them to hear me roar. 

“Pardon me love...” 

Maelstrom: Tearing up and down lunar outcroppings can leave you on quite the high. Unfortunately it can be short lived if the rest of your life resembles alien dung. 

The constant barrage of ups & downs carries the feeling of being tossed about in galactic tidal wave. 
Maybe on Earth they're called stroms? Out here they're known as storms.And we have some doozies! I doubt the winds over that side can rip bones out of your body GJ style, but I imagine its a similarly dis-orienting event. 

On The Run: In every story there is a breakthrough moment.  A point at which enough becomes enough and the thought of failure is far more enticing than what happens if you don’t try. 

My version of this moment came after a particularly harsh fight with Kiki, where for the first time I knew it was really all over. 4 hours, 10 YPA’s, and one struggling stock stereo later I was blitzing through Mid-deck at mach speed & max volume. 

I had never had a power song before, but the feeling that rushed over me when I belted this one out that night was overwhelming.

Nothing about that moment was safe, but somehow it was necessary. A weight had been lifted and I was now free to charge forward into the heavens, happy to leave Kiki knee-deep Solar mud.

“She made me realize, it was time to cut ties…”

The Three of B:  BFB // Bad & Boujee // Buggin' 

After the depth, intensity, and final release I feel through the first portion of the mix, these three tracks are a well-timed window into some good old fashioned bass bumping fun. 

There are parts where they perform this rhythmic talking that somehow makes music. It's the darndest thing! I believe the earthlings call it Ship-hop, and they're big fans of this thing called swig. 

The original versions were a bit more mellow and I hear that's because the best ones were made by some guy in his early 90's. 

For this bit, I love to just put my seat back, turn that Ship-hop loud, and let open space feel me rumble. 

There comes a time in every space man’s life where you have to point your thrusters downhill and just let it ride. The details and larger meanings are significant, but if you aren’t enjoying your time as a life from, what’s the point?

This section is where I find that sweet balance of pushing things forward, while going at the pace that the cosmos is allowing things to go. Through this approach I’ve noticed stress points becoming minimal. The drama that used to engulf my entire existence seems to orbit around right around me, and I feel much more in sync with my Cyborg side.

Pops always said that sometimes it takes a while to find your groove. Years of living as second fiddle to anything great had made me doubt his words, but just like the time we got mom's mini-ship wedged between two Oumuamuas, he was right all along. 
Don’t Touch Me: There it is again, Ship-hop!! And this guy must have been really wild because he rhymes at light speed and they call him Busta

I swear the song has hypnotic powers because it makes my shoulders pop in a sharp way, and one of my eyebrows wants to rise up higher than the other. It’s this euphoric feeling of immense happiness combined with a touch of anger and I absolutely love it. 
It's a shame that a lot of people around the galaxy have no idea what real Ship-hop is.

Damn I Feel Amazing: After so many ups, downs, and discoveries, this one is the culmination of it all.

I started off wanting something that just wasn’t going to happen. I finally accepted it, healed, & fought like hell. I pushed through countless obstacles to get to a better version of myself. Cyborg and all.
At the end of it, I gotta be honest & say I’m kicking some azimuth. And although it’s been the hardest time of my life, it’s been the best damn time of my life and I feel more ready than ever to take on whatever the cosmos wants to hurl at me.

Now that I’m a certified moon-owner, I’d love to swing back and show those judgmental chumps back on GJ how I'm floating right now. But better yet, I don’t feel the need to. 

I’m more content than at any other time of my life-cycle. For all I care, Kiki & her parents can take a long walk on a gaseous planet.

“Damn I feel amazing…”

OTW: They might be low-tech, but they sure are funky. The songs on Malmix 8 were made by different artists from all over Earth, except the final track. It was created by the same guy who did the mix.

This dude jf is kind of weird. I mean, who would put their original music at the very end?  

He made a groovy jam that seems to draw inspiration from all of the styles in the set. It's one of my favorite songs on the whole thing, but the sad truth is that if my entire catalog hadn't been wiped by that damn update, I doubt I would have heard it.

Just when I thought Malmix 8 had showed me all of her teachings, I was struck once again. Perhaps instead of rushing through, skimming tracks and searching for shiny covers, I should let things play enjoy the ride. 

After all
"We're Just Watching..."

I’m not sure the universe knew Malmix 8 held such wisdom when it deleted my catalog, but what I can say is that this earthling with a gratuitously minimal handle loves himself a metaphor. 

::Dunc out::
No further transmissions have been received. 
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