Happy Earth Day indeed, with new releases to share (which actually came out last week). First up, my new single “Ghost Dance” which gives a little taste of the music I’m working on for my next album, don’t hold your breath though, might be a minute before the full release haha. You can get your copy on the really great EARTH NIGHT compilation, put together by DJ’s For Climate Action (shoutout to Sammy Bananas & El Buho among other organizers). The concept of bringing Earth Day into the nightclub / dance music world has obvious appeal to me- I’m CAPTAIN PLANET for chrissake. So as soon as I heard about the project, I wanted to be a part. We did little fundraiser parties here in LA on Friday & Saturday, and there were bigger events in NYC, and other cities around the world. Hopefully next year we can take it even further, because let’s face it, we collectively need to make major changes in very short period of time if we want to maintain the diverse life on this planet as we know it! So BUY the album, donate extra, and hopefully plant something in the soil today.
And then next up, is this cheeky lil Afro Edits EP I put together for Kampana Records (hi there Aroop Roy). Yes, 2 of these songs have made it into the world in digital form, but it’s nice to have them on vinyl, and then I made 2 new tracks that are ONLY available on this release. So go snag a copy before they are completely sold out.
Ever since I left Brooklyn 7.5 years ago, I’ve had the vast majority of my vinyl collection sitting in a storage unit down by the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In addition to the recurring frustration of wanting to hear a great record of mine that was locked up more than 2,000 miles away, I was also paying monthly rent for these bad boys. I basically had a studio apartment for my vinyl. It was stupid, but the logistics of moving the masses across country always seemed way too daunting. Plus, was I even sure that I wanted to stay in LA? Well, back in January I finally made the nearly impossible happen. It took 3 commercial palettes, weighing over 3,000 pounds, and several of the most stressful days of physical labor in recent memory, plus a lot of help from my brother (anyone remember Murphy’s Law from the Captain’s Crate days???), but now I can thankfully say that my entire collection is here with me in my studio. What a blessing! Of course, as soon as it arrived one of the first things I had to do was sort through it and sell off a ton. There were just waaaaay too many records. As I went, I started pulling out some gems to digitize, several of which you will hear today. This is gonna be a long ongoing process, but as you know, I’ve always had a very generous sharing policy when it comes to my precious records. So rest assured, you will continue to reap the benefits of my labor on this site in more posts to come. Another fun aspect of digitizing vinyl, is that I can actually give you a slightly altered version of the song- slight bass boost here, touch of compression there, played back at a different speed (like the Cameo joint on here today, which I feel is just much more in the pocket dropped down to -6%). And now, please allow me to take you to church, these are some supremely funky, soulful, body-moving, heart-opening selections, some of which are pretty darn rare and I don’t think you will find them elsewhere- I hope you thoroughly enjoy!
Sorry I’m not dead, just trying to keep my head above water over here. Having a new baby and then coming home from the hospital to your 2-year-old is no joke! It’s a beautiful thing, but It’s gonna take a little while to learn the new juggling routine. I do have a fat playlist of tunes to share, which I promise to post shortly, but in the meanwhile please enjoy this new remix I did for my Canadian homies The Funk Hunters. I tried something a little different on this one, taking inspiration from the vocal, I took the song in a kinda pop-chill-but-epic-trap vibe. Those of you who are familiar with my production over the years know that I don’t like to be pinned down, so count this as another example of pushing my own stylistic boundaries a bit. The whole collection of remixes is bananas, and I’m honored to be among some of the heavyweights included on this project (hi Kraak and Smaak!).
I’m steadily approaching a love vortex, the kind that dramatically separates you from your past and the life you currently are familiar with, the personal wormhole that transforms and transitions you by tearing apart your sense of self, only to recombine your elements and spit you back out at a future location in the fabric of spacetime- with an additional baby in your care. If it sounds violent, that’s not quite right, but it’s not far off either. The intensity of what a birthing mother goes through is the closest first-hand experience I have to what I imagine people go through in the trenches of battle: screams, blood, mind boggling pain, life and death on the line. Of course there’s no war here, thankfully. No weapons or politics, just the beautiful all-consuming work of connecting with our primal nature and bringing a new life into the world. So as my wife and I anxiously await the arrival of this new devastating explosion of love, here are some great songs to funk up your lives to. Bear with me if it’s a bit quiet here, I’m not going anywhere, just busy building. Artwork above comes courtesy of the psychedelic Ukranian photography duo Synchrodogs.
After a 12-month hiatus, Mixtape Riot Radio is back with some of the best songs of the year. Carefully selected and mixed by yours truly, these 60 minutes contain the trademark melange of soul, funk, house, Afrobeat and other global styles that we’re known for. Songs from Chaka Khan, DJDS, Jungle, Maleek Berry, and Channel Tres may be familiar to you regular readers, but there’s also a few new joints that are top notch, including work from Aroop Roy, Leon Bridges and Thornato. Weaving through mid-tempo funk, uptempo dance tracks, and chilled out psychedelic soul, this mix is perfect to throw on at your holiday pre-party or in your headphones while you get to where you’re going. The state of the world may be deep in turmoil, but these songs help remind us that at least the state of current music is good.
Happy holidays everyone, and cheers to closing out 2018 with a bang!
1. Chaka Khan – Like Sugar
2. DJDS – I Get By ft. Amber Mark & Vory
3. Jungle – Heavy, California
4. Leon Bridges – Bad Bad News
5. Maleek Berry – Sisi Maria
6. Little Dragon – Lover Chanting
7. Channel Tres – Controller
8. Tune-Yards – Heart Attack
9. Shungudzo – Paper (Captain Planet Remix)
10. Aroop Roy – Talkin Bout Life
11. Rhye – Song For You (Mansionair Remix)
12. Topaz Jones – Toothache
13. Thornato – Back It Up ft. Zongo Abongo
14. Dollar DJ – Wolosso (Uproot Andy Remix)
15. Mr Eazi & Diplo – Open & Close
16. Childish Gambino – This Is America (Rell The Soundbender Remix)
17. Waajeed – I Just Wanna Tell
18. Captain Planet – Manman Mwan
19. Kali Uchis – After The Storm ft. Tyler the Creator & Bootsy Collins
20. Khruangbin – August 10
Perhaps my most played contemporary artist this year (at home at least) was Amber Mark. Really looking forward to hearing what comes next for her, and in the meanwhile I’ll keep returning to this goodie when I need that upward boost. Also stoked to hear freshness from one of my favorite bands of the past decade- Little Dragon. The new 3 song EP has only top notch brainfood. Then we go to some older random pop funk I recently stumbled on, a very tasteful Afro-Baile-Dembow remix by the homie Uproot Andy and a collabo made in heaven from Diplo & Mr. Eazi. As the energy picks up, I felt it appropriate to drop a shot of badass house followed by a chaser of beautiful Detroit electronic soul from the maestro Waajeed. Taking things down, and going really deep, we get otherworldly with a recent cut from my friend Atropolis whose new EP (like all his material) does not disappoint. Finishing off with an absolutely gorgeous song that I keep coming back to by Cape Verdean chanteuse Mayra Andrade with spacious production from global bass don Branko. OK, just music for you all today, no rants on the state of the world, accompanied by a cool painting by Rick Bartow who has a show up at the Autry Museum here in LA definitely worth checking.