Young Argentinian producer Nicola Cruz put out one of my favorite albums last year- mixing deep, highly textured electronic beats with Andean folk & indigenous music styles. He’s part of the growing wave of artists experimenting with similar sounds in South America and beyond, but his special touch is one of the most sophisticated I’ve heard. He hit me up months ago, before the release of his now critically acclaimed album “Prender El Alma” on ZZK records, and asked if I’d be interested in doing a remix. I was honored to oblige, and this became one of the only finished pieces of music I was able to make during my 3 months in Asia (mixed in my hotel room on headphones and crappy little speakers), but I’m quite satisfied with the outcome. I kept some of the original samples, but flipped the tiny flute pieces into a whole new melody that I hope gets caught in your head. The full album of remixes dropped last Friday on ZZK, featuring tracks from other top notch producers like Chancha Via Circuito, Umoja & El Buho among others. Please support if you dig it!
I know I know! It’s been way too long. I’m sorry guys, life has been getting the better of me lately. Grinding on this new album with Chico Mann (yes, a full collabo album and it’s very exciting) has taken all of my waking hours which remain outside of my increasingly busy DJ schedule. I just returned from a little east coast run which included a dope Brooklyn party with Aaron DRM and a super fun, Brazil-centric bash in Montreal with the Tupi Collective (thus the slight lean towards Brazilian sounds today). Other selections today include new heat from my man Thornato’s new EP (get it!!!) and some heavy African digs as well as a couple picks from the new Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band album (top notch). Artwork above comes from the vibrant mind of Hassan Hajjaj, check him out.
After a highly refreshing getaway to Palm Springs with my lady over the weekend, I feel fully equipped to dive head first into the very busy work week ahead (making an album is hard work). But first, let’s set things up properly with an inspiring soundtrack of new acquisitions. As per usual, I have shameless stolen many of these selections from other DJ mixes I listened to over the past couple of weeks. But something tells me you aren’t mad about it. Shout out to Mr. Assin for putting me on to the hypnotic slow building grooves of Umoja. This guy seems to have mastered the understated with a patience that I find almost impossible to bring to my own work. The new album from Kaytranada very well might be one of my favorites to come out this year, super solid start to finish. Other tunes this week include some mellow non-dancefloor house business and some really chilled out soulful sounds from Mop Mop and the forever dope harp queen Dorothy Ashby. Shout out to LA WEEKLY for the great feature today on Brit Manor who’s mini-album (which I produced) drops Friday, so stoked for that!
Back with a new episode of MTR Radio for BrooklynRadio.com. As always, fresh eclectic soulful sounds from near and far. The mix starts off with some mellower material from Jamie Woon & Miguel, then picks up the pace midway with funky dancefloor material from Psychemagik, JKriv & Bonobo, before bringing it all the way back down with the latest from Anderson .Paak & Bibio. A lot of familiar material for you regular readers, but there’s a few in here that you probably haven’t heard yet, plus you get to hear me yap a bit.
For the full tracklist as well as a link to download the mix, proceed to the BrooklynRadio page, and while you’re there, be sure to check out any past episodes you may have missed along with some of the other great shows on the site.
WOOHOO! It feels like an entire era of working with my talented friend Brit Manor is finally coming to fruition. Today marks the release of the first single from her upcoming Only Child EP on Bastard Jazz Records. “Wheels Of Eternity” (produced by yours truly) is a funky punky disco track, with transcendental lyrics about death and reincarnation. Expect nothing less from this creative powerhouse! She’s truly one of a kind and I’m thrilled for this full eclectic set of songs to finally spread out into the world. Shout out to the badass AfroPunk.com for featuring the premier along with some poignant words from Brit herself. Please support by grabbing a download of the track and pre-order the EP because you don’t want to snooze on this!
I’m sure you’ve all been going through your own process of dealing with the very sad news of Prince’s departure, and that has probably included binge listening to many of his classics. With that in mind, I decided not to post another “best of” list, but I did feel obliged to acknowledge this legend of modern music, one of the most prolific, creative and unique voices of our era. I’m sharing Dimitri’s re-edit of “I Wanna Be Your Lover” first off, because it’s brilliant, but also because I heard Dimitri himself play this at A Club Called Rhonda on the first date I ever had with my (now) wife. I hope it helps someone else out there find a lover too. Then there’s a fresh voice from up-n-coming LA rapper Pell who randomly showed up at my DJ gig on Saturday night and got super hype when I told him I had been listening to his album and dropped his single “Queso” produced by Dave Sitek. Very funky shit, for lovers of the Pharcyde. Miguel getting remixed by Tame Impala?!? I don’t have to tell you it’s good, the waviness factor is waaaay better than Rihanna singing on top of “New Person, Same Old Mistakes”. My collaborator friend from Argentina La Yegros is back with a new album of future cumbia on Soundway records and I’m loving this “Chicha Roja” tune in particular. My old friend Skyla hit me up with a fresh batch of recent Trini Soca gold, and all I want to do is listen to “Boom Bam” 1,000 times in a row. Someone needs to convince Skyla to become a DJ, but until that day I will happily keep stealing her hits. From the UK, Afriquoi hit’s the future Afro-house sweet spot on “Carnabala”. Stay tuned for more from them soon. Aroop Roy takes us down to Brazil on the tastefully techno-infused “Quem Vai Querer”. French newcomer Fakear brings the recent AlunaGeorge smash into deep Middle-Eastern desert vibes. Perhaps my favorite Dominican singer of the moment, Fuego, wastes no time in covering Drake’s new moombahton crossover “One Dance”. Check Fuego’s cover of Hotline Bling for some more heat. Rounding out the set this week is Bibio’s super-chill retro-pop feel-good masterpiece “Town & Country”. As you can see, I’m trying to give you guys the same little notes as always, while still providing the continuous playback like before. Thanks for all your comments, keep em coming! I always like hearing from you.