Sadly, this will be one of my first Thanksgivings without the company of family or old friends, and knowing the available food options here in Singapore, this will also probably be a Thanksgiving sans pie (one of my all-time favorite things to eat). But, the good news is, there are plenty of other things here to be thankful for- and my loving wife and I will have no problem slowing down and enjoying them to the fullest. In particular this week, I’m giving thanks for the healthy birth of new lion cub Lilou (congrats to DJ Cato & TV!), for the smooth painless passing of my Aunt Becky, for the family and friends who I know are thinking of me even in my distance, and for my life partner and favorite person to be around, who is making everyday here in Asia an adventure. I’m extremely thankful (and flattered) for the news I received yesterday that my song “Un Poquito Más” ft. Chico Mann passed 1 MILLION plays on Spotify (wow!). And of course, I’m always thankful for good music too! So here goes, some downtempo sounds to put on as you roll out the pie crust (you lucky bastards).
Extended Spirit : Sista Riddim
Imagined Herbal Flows : Floating
Kiiara : Gold
The Flavr Blue : Feathers
Bonobo : Kiara
Guggenz : Need Love
Aten Rays : Come With Me
RÜFUS : Sundream (Hayden James Remix)
Giraffage : Hello
Kacy Hill : Foreign Fields
There will always be disease, always be sickness, always be pain and fear and violence. As long as there are minds and souls to be terrorized, there will be terrorists. This week has no doubt left many of us feeling upset and confused, myself included. What is the purpose of such self-destruction? Why do we do this to ourselves? I am finding condolence in the simple concept that the only reason for pure hatred, is to provide love a chance to overcome it. And we will overcome it, I maintain my faith. We are our own greatest enemies, but I firmly believe that we all share a deep need to come together, overcoming all barriers, in mutual celebration of the funky poly-rhythms of life. Can you tell it’s late and I’ve been sipping mezcal? Lots of good music for you today, accompanied by a kickass photo by Michael Christopher Brown – check him out.
Leisure : Got It Bad & All Over You
Equal : Shakedown ft. Seja
Chaka Khan : I Know You, I Live You
The Rhythm Makers : Soul On Your Side (Personify’s Boogie Edit)
Linda Clifford : Don’t Give It Up (Buzz Compass Edit)
Janet Jackson : Say U Love Me (LNTG Rework)
Anderson Paak : Am I Wrong ft. Schoolboy Q
Hayden James : Something About You
Kutiman : Inner Galactic Lovers (Obas Nenor Remix)
Oh Wonder : Lose It
Coma : Lora
Bob Moses : Before I Fall
Hoping you all had properly debaucherous Halloween weekend festivities. I had a great time breaking in the dancefloor with the first substantial crowd we’ve had yet here at Hotel Vagabond in Singapore, where I’m resident DJ for 2 months. I was also very happy to link up with some local DJ’s here who are similarly focussed on spreading good vibes and throwing fun events- which means I’ve also already raided some tunes from their crates! This week I’m keeping it pretty tropical, with dancehall, afrobeats, and some deep afro-house and techno sounds. Artwork has been jacked once again from Eugenia Loli.
Taiwan MC : Tell Dem
big tune from the latest retro-dancehall riddim by Polish producer Dreadsquad
Konshens : Couple Up & Show Yourself
not-so-new, but still slaying, from one of Jamaica’s current top ranking
Demarco : Lazy Body ft. Hotta Maestro
more from Jamaica- this hook is just so on point.
MC Galaxy ft. Davido : Nek-Unek
taking things over to Nigeria for some recent afrobeats
Jose Marquez ft. Kakatsitsi : Belebo
deep roots house flavor from Señor Marquez who continues to stay in the pocket
Randomer : Juju
randomly stumbled upon this UK techno producer who went really tribal on this new track
Mory Kante : Yeke Yeke (Afro Acid Mix)
original mix by Martyn Young from the 1987 12″ that was waaaay ahead of its time. Thank you Lady Flic for this one and thanks to Dean Sunshine Smith for the info.
Jahdan Blakkamoore x Deejay Theory x Kush Arora : Definitely
BIG collabo from some homies you may know, grab the entire EP and support good music
Sauvage FM & Remi L : Habib!
heavy hitting kuduro business taken from this free LowUp comp
DJ Balani : Balani Sanga
new electronic sounds from Mali, grab the whole collection from Sahel Sounds
Clap! Clap! : Liberty
this Italian guy keeps on killing beats with vintage African field recordings
Jil Jilala : Kouna Kountoum (Sabo & Goldclap Black Rock Edit)
nice mid-tempo desert slow-burn from the vibe quest maestro
WOOHOO! “Aguacero” is probably my favorite song I’ve worked on all year. I really hope you guys enjoy listening to it as much as I do. Been a while in the works, but after the major success of “Un Poquito Mas”, another collaboration with Chico Mann absolutely had to happen. In fact, there may be more on the way (but don’t hold your breath haha). “Aguacero” is a downpour- water everywhere. I built up a chill, but highly danceable groove, with excellent guitar work from my friend Andy Abad, and then Chico’s vocals just sealed the deal. Get your hands on the entire More Slang EP, with heavy-hitting remixes from some homies you may know (Deejay Theory, Thornato, & London Bridge), available today worldwide on Bastard Jazz records. Big shout out to Vice’s THUMP blog for a great premier earlier this week. Final note, the pic above is one of countless amazingly beautiful things I saw with my wife in the area of Siem Reap, Cambodia earlier this week. If you are ever thinking of going to this region, do yourself a favor and make it up Kulen Mountain!
While most of the time these days you’ll find me sharing newer music here on the site, don’t get it twisted, I still freak out about finding obscure 70’s records like the skinny-necked 18-year-old nerd that I once was. Sometimes I have to return to what it was that got me into all this DJ business to begin with, and the sounds that inspired my early beat making experiments. Maybe it’s the Singapore haze that’s getting to my head, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how to put into words what separates the music I really love from all the crud- the cheese, the plastic pop, the wanky lounge- the music that I say lacks “soul”. It’s a pretty difficult thing to pinpoint, and there’s certainly a multi-dimensional spectrum where songs or artists can find themselves. Perhaps the beat is killing, but the lyrics are cliche. Could be that every note is played right, and all the pieces fit together where they should, but the whole concept and feel of a song is just off. How does one articulate that properly? Sometimes I have to even check in with myself and ask- why do I like this? What makes this stand out from the endless stream of other music out there that I want nothing to do with? I don’t really have any answers today, except that being a professional “selector” for me relies first and foremost on an almost instantaneous gut reaction. All of today’s tunes hit me hard from the opening bars the first time I heard them, and continue to put me in a good place with every listen since. Without further ado, scoured from the 4 corners of the globe, here are a few of my favorite things…
Phil Ranelin : Vibes From The Tribe
Arthur Verocai : Dedicada a Ela & Na Boca do Sol
Nino Nardini : Tropical
Open Sky Unit : Sunshine Star
Emilio Santiago : Bananeira
Alhaji K. Frimpong : Kyenkyen Bi Adu Mawu
Gnonnas Pedro : Yiri Yiri Boum & La Musica En Verite
Los Mirlos : La Danza de los Mirlos & Sonido Amazonico
Les Gypsies de Petion-Ville : Patience & Pacole
Minoru Muraoka : The Positive And The Negative
Tabu Ley Rochereau : Pitié
Mulatu Astatke : Yekermo Sew & Ene Alantchie Alnoren
Today marks the official release for “Back To Me”, the album I produced for the very talented singer/songwriter Shana Halligan. We worked on these songs for over a year and a half together- taking many creative twists and turns along the way. Any of you who are familiar with my production history can hear that this project was a swing in a new direction, but I feel lucky to have learned a lot in the process and I’m definitely proud of the outcome. Moody, sexy, sultry, electronic soul. One song is co-produced by T.M. Juke and another is by up-n-comer Yngcult. Shana, who you may know from her previous work with Bitter:Sweet or Thievery Corporation, knows how to find her sweet spot on a beat in a matter of minutes. I think my favorite song on the album is “Something Real” (which I’m sharing here today), but I encourage anyone who likes this track to listen to the rest of the album. there’s also a bonus track “So Crazy” that didn’t make the final cut, but is available as a free download on her soundcloud. If you’re in LA you can check her out at the KCRW sponsored release party at Hotel Cafe on Nov. 12. Please support if you dig it and tell a friend to tell a friend!