Brand new tune for you all! I’ve been collaborating with my dear friend Brit Manor (aka Brit Laurén) for many years now- she’s been on several Captain Planet tunes you may remember, and even before that we shared the stage together as youngbloods in NYC. “Diamond In The Rough” is the first single from her upcoming mini-album (produced by yours truly) which will come out on Bastard Jazz Records later this year. The beautiful cosmic video comes courtesy of Araeia Robinson (who did “In The Gray” as well). Reggae vibes meet moody electronic soul in this song about transformation and self-realization. As Brit says, “Young women are more than just pretty things; we are electric, mystical, fallen stars, and buried treasures – we are diamonds in the rough.” If you are feeling it please help spread the word and support. Also, shout out to Afropunk.com for the great premier!
Big big weekend coming up! There is little that I love in this world more than NYC in Spring. The communal thawing out of 8 and a half million people, surrounded by cherry blossoms, baby green leaves, and outfits that allow plenty of sun exposure, is really something to cherish. Not only will I get to catch up with a bunch of my old homies, but I’m very excited to be spinning 2 special parties that I invite any and all of you in the NY area to come check out. This Saturday I’ll be headed all the way uptown to join the funky maestro Nickodemus as we kick off another season of his legendary Turntables On The Hudson party! Check out DETAILS HERE. Then Sunday I hit the rooftop of the James Hotel with my brother DJ Cato to kick off our own seasonal residency poolside in Soho! Both are daytime-into-the-night events, and both are absolutely FREE. This week’s playlist is meant to give you a little taste of some sunset soundtrack songs, plus some other things to pluck at your heartstrings.
Clinton Fearon : Blame Game
Skarra Mucci & Phantom : True Gyalist
Abayomy Afrobeat Orchestra : Malunguinho
Souleance : Segrados Do Samba
Mennska & Mas Tropical : Won’t Come Home
Alex Clare : Up All Night (Nadastrom 98 Re-Fix)
Misun : After Me
Malinchak ft. Max : Dragonfly
Leyya : Superego
Hundred Waters : Cavity (Shigeto Remix)
I’m feeling quite transformed and rejuvenated after returning home from a week in Roatan, Honduras. It was a nice solid stretch of time removed from my cell phone and email. Essential head space game changer. In addition to being surrounded by tropical beachside glory, I spent almost every day dropping beneath the surface of the water with a tank of air on my back, exploring the insanely vibrant and psychedelic coral reef society surrounding the island. This is something I will definitely need to do again, and again… I find immense value in a “sport” that is essentially all about slowing your breathing, relaxing as much as possible, and simply focusing on appreciating the wonderous majesty of the natural world. Two weeks ago I would have been petrified to encounter a hammerhead shark, but after swimming alongside sea turtles and barracuda, coming face to face with moray eels, and passing by flying eagle rays, the sight of one of these prehistoric beasts in person was far from scary. Just another way that life gets deeper. Hopefully today’s selections can help take you there too.
Latimore : Out To Get’cha (Soulist & DJ Vas Rework)
seriously funky soul tune that takes me UP. Shouts to Nickodemus for this joint.
Kendrick Lamar : King Kunta (Island Riot Casual Connection Rework)
tasteful stepper rework of Compton’s new rap king. Shout to DJ Tara Jane for this one.
Claptone : Another Night
simple and highly effective house bizniz
Phreek Plus One : La Spirale (J’s Loveboat Mix)
trippy disco goodness, let it build
Andrea Esu : E.S.U. Track
nasty techy groove with plenty of cowbell
Ajukaja : Benga Benga
nice vintage East African record given a light touch for today’s dancefloors
Osunlade : Dionne
doesn’t get too much deeper than this one. Seems especially relevant as protesters once again flood the streets of Baltimore this week.
Welcome to the Nile by night. Throngs of little falouka boats, covered in neon lights, all compete to overpower your eardrums with their distorted car-battery-powered sound systems. What are they playing? Electro Shaabi. It’s the highly auto-tuned Middle Eastern cousin of reggaeton, and I’m very happy to share some with you today. Finally back home in LA, I had just enough time to settle in, do laundry, and catch up on work, before leaving the country again tonight for the Caribbean! Next stop Honduras: can you tell I’m smiling as I type this? But before I bounce, I put together some recent gleanings from my last trip. A touch of roots, some slightly more experimental mid-east flavors, and a handful of top-notch electro shaabi for you. Outside of North Africa and the Levant, I think it would be pretty difficult to track some of these tunes down. Apologies for the lack of artist info and song titles, some of these come from bootleg CD’s and I wasn’t able to get my local friends to help translate everything before I left. If you have any info, please share!
Abadi Al Jawhar : Atshan (Thirsty)
a nice mellow bit of roots music from this Saudi oud master to kick things off
Elias Rahbani : Dance Of Maria
a classic break from the younger sibling of the legendary Lebanese Rahbani Bros. This family is semi-royalty in the mid-east musical lexicon. I’ve been looking for this LP since O-Dub posted it years ago, and was lucky enough to get a copy in Beirut for $10 from the son of the guy who produced Ziad Rahbani!!! (please excuse the record nerd freakout). Best believe I already made a beat out of this in my hotel room too!
Ahmed Fakroun : Soleil Soleil
another artist who I had known about for some time via disco edits that I had by Prince Language & Golem. Didn’t find the original on vinyl, but this mp3 is still sounding nice.
Judah Warsky : Think Of Me (Acid Arab Instrumental Remix)
this French duo is doing some of the more forward thinking blends of electro-arabic styles with more classic house and acid sounds. This one in particular goes deeeep.
Hoba : Hagaraan Ala Al Shesha
one of the big chaabi hits, praising the glory of hookahs.
Helm : Hosanni (Acid Arab Edit)
great DJ tool or soundtrack for bedroom bellydancing
Palestinian Mystery Artist : Track 05
very serious flute solos going on here
Mayssa Karaa : White Rabbit
first heard this dope Arabic version in the soundtrack for American Hustle, but got it on my trip from my homie DJ James Jocksmith
Sorry for lack of new tunes, I’ve been non-stop bouncing from one place to the next, often with very little access to reliable wifi connection. Also, there has been a whole lot of partying going on- dropping sets alongside Nickodemus at some very major events in Dubai, Beirut & Cairo. Later today we are hopping on a boat to play records while cruising the Nile, so yeah, that’s my excuse. Then tomorrow off to Amman, Jordan for another gig on Thursday. Having never explored this part of the world, my mind has been substantially blown each and every day. Making a grip of new friends, eating some absolutely unforgettable food, and holy celestial diety– THE PYRAMIDS!!! I will do a proper post once I get home next week that includes a bunch of the local music I’ve been picking up (whatchoo you know about Shaabi?!?), as well as some floor destroyers that I copped from Daddy G and Nicko. For now though, some proper chill tunes to keep you sliding safely in the slow lane (the fast lane in Cairo traffic is the one which kills you- namely all of them).
Kadhja Bonet, RJ & Mark Maxwell : Latenight Munchies
super smoothed out collabo thanks to Redbull studios
Oneness Of Juju : Poo Too
classic afro-funk break, because why not?
Los Mirlos : Chinito en Onda (Dengue Dengue Dengue! Remix)
Peruvian psychedelic chicha getting a nice rework
Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft. Mø : Lean On
sometimes I want to be mad at Major Lazer, but tracks like this make it impossible. Reggaeton-electro-pop
Phil & Friends : This Man
old & rare italo-cosmic-disco tune I recently discovered and am seriously digging.
Uknown Mortal Orchestra : So Good At Being In Trouble
an older indy tune that I love and don’t know why I never posted before
Alina Baraz & Galimatias : Fantasy
new super slow-mo chilled out electro-pop-funk. The drop on this one gets me up!
I didn’t want to talk about this too much for fear of jinx-ing it, but now that it’s actually happening I’m still in a state of overjoyed disbelief. Currently writing this to you from 35,000 feet in the air on a non-stop Emirates flight to Dubai. For the next two weeks I have the immense pleasure of playing records alongside one of my favorite deejays (and friends), the legendary Nickodemus, founder of Turntables On The Hudson and Wonderwheel records. Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Amman… all cities I’ve never been, with really cool parties that I’m very excited to play at. The first one will be this Friday, March 27th at Zero Gravity in Dubai. Then on Saturday we’ll be in Beirut doing this RBMA event. If you have friends in the vicinity, let them know we’ll be bringing the heat! I will try to keep you guys updated with more details and mp3’s, but in the meanwhile, enjoy this ridiculous mix of rare funky vintage records from the mid-east that you probably won’t be able to find anywhere else.