It’s been hard to pull my mind away from the political madness that has placed an aggressive, violent, sexual predator in a position to hold one of the highest moral & ethical positions in the country, possibly serving and making decisions that will drastically affect us Americans for potentially decades… but somehow I maintain hope. I believe in the transformational power of heroes and real bravery like I witnessed in Dr. Blasey Ford last week, and that is the light that I’m focussing on while picturing the future world that my baby daughter will inhabit. I know none of you come to this site for politics, but that’s the truth of where my head and heart have been at. Of course, as always, it’s also music that I turn to to keep me on track. Basslines and hi hats and chord stabs remind me that, forever, in times of darkness, we find ways to dance and celebrate and defy the countless reasons that tell us to throw in the towel and dig our heads in the dirt instead. So without further ado, please enjoy this selection of funky-ass disco-fied gems, some of which a young Basquiat may have placed on the platter during his set at Area in ’84 as captured above by Ben Buchanan.
Also, for those of you in the Southern California area, I’ll be doin the damn thing myself just South of the border on the beach in Baja, Mexico this upcoming weekend at Wakoia festival– tickets & hotel are cheap and it should be loads of fun!
All Summer long my Subsuelo homies have been throwing down weekly Sunday soirees at Caña Rum Bar in downtown LA. The spot is tiny, but the place gets packed every week without fail from 3 til 9 (til 2am on bank holidays), and the vibes are always super high! This past weekend was my turn to curate the DJs, and I called upon a super talented list of friends to come through. It was a big success, and I want to extend HUGE thanks to Xandão, Brooklyn Shanti, Ericalandia, Sumohair, and DJ NADI who all killed it! Also biggups to the dancers and party people who make it what it is. In the immediate aftermath I asked Nadi to put together some gems from his set to bless this site once again- including one of his own new mashups which often set off the crowd during my own sets. You can check more pics from the talented Farahstop right here. Without further ado, words from the man himself:
“Nuff Shazam Selectas inna di dancehall…here are a few that could prove a little more difficult to come upon…Martinique dancehall, Soca/Calypso, Qgom, UK Funky, Congolese bass and soul and other assorted goodies”.
We lost a real legend this past week. I’m sure many of you out there have already been revisiting her decades long catalogue, so I don’t really feel the need to give a full tribute playlist. Listening to interviews she gave over the years really helped me get perspective on how her musical genius was just part of the reason that she became such a major cultural icon. Aretha was a truly inspirational soul on so many levels. I start off today’s set with a quick edit/remix I made for a show I did on Friday night (opening for one of my favorites- Chancha Via Circuito). It’s not really a finished track, but just something that I figure some of you might enjoy putting into your mixes for the next couple weeks while we collectively mourn the loss. Otherwise, today’s picks are pretty upbeat and on the funky side of town. Really fun new sounds from Chaka Khan (YES!!! and produced by Switch?!?), Mura Masa, The Internet, Amber Mark, Polo & Pan, Disclosure and more.
Last week I acquired more vinyl records with bikini clad women on the cover than I ever knew existed! It was a legit DJ dream come true. So here’s the story: I got a message on Facebook from an extremely generous fellow DJ & longtime reader of this blog. All respect due to the man himself – Don Bustamante. He told me he was relocating, not DJ-ing so much these days, and as a form of repayment for all the music he’s gotten from me over the years on this website (and Captain’s Crate), he wanted to donate 5 boxes of vinyl from his collection, mainly from Colombia!!! As you can imagine, I didn’t hesitate and I proceeded to be a little over-eager in trying to make the whole thing happen. One week later, I’m just beginning to sift through the stacks. There is cumbia galore over here, and it seems very appropriately timed with the current heat wave here in Southern California. Today I share with you the first selections, recorded from vinyl. Some of these were artists or tracks that I was already familiar with (some were already in my iTunes even) but there’s also a seemingly endless amount of good material that is brand new to me. Even this Carlos Vives track, which I now realize was a mega-hit in the 90’s, is something I never really listened to before. So hopefully some of out there will you find yourself in a Latin mood as well, if so, all thanks go to Señor Bustamante! For the rest of you, enjoy the hilarious album covers, and of course, if any of you out there reading feel similarly inclined to donate some vinyl- feel free to reach out! hahahaha.
Here is it folks! Mystery Trip Vol. II, a 45-minute funky psychedelic global journey, including 9 new remixes blended with audio samples and field recordings from my travels. As I mentioned a couple posts back, this project is all about going back to my roots, remixing the old records that I first went nuts over in my early days of DJ-ing. For those of you in LA, come through to Melody on Virgil this evening 6-10pm for a little release celebration. Sunset on a patio, with fine wine, bomb cuisine, accompanied by top notch records spun by yours truly.
And of course, please support if you dig the sounds! The project is available on digital, cassette tape and limited edition 12″ on Bandcamp courtesy of Bastard Jazz Records
After a weekend spent protesting in the streets with my friends and family against the mindbogglingly inhumane family separations that the Trump administration’s policies have created, on the eve of this country’s birthday, and just a week before the release of my next “Mystery Trip” mixtape– I thought it appropriate to go back to the roots of what I love about digging for music and sharing it here online. Some of you readers out there have been with me since the Captain’s Crate days (beginning 13 years back)- biggup you know who you are! Back then, broke as a young struggling DJ, I foolishly spent probably 50% of my meager income digging for cool old vinyl, which at the time was often not available on iTunes or YouTube (Spotify & Pandora didn’t exist). I’d rip it and share it with the hope of spreading and celebrating all this great, often overlooked musical artwork and culture from around the world. Well, I know the typical playlist here on Mixtape Riot is quite different from those oldies, and the updates are certainly less frequent, but the spirit is still very much the same.
I think one reason I also began to steer away from those oldies, is because so many new labels started popping up who were doing killer work digging, researching, and properly re-issuing these same hidden gems. Today I am astounded at the amount of rare cuts that I can even find on Spotify, BUT they certainly don’t have everything. And there’s still something about the quality of the MP3 when you can hear the vinyl crackle. So today’s playlist includes some joints ripped from my prized stash, as well as some things that I would never have heard of or gotten my hands on if it weren’t for amazing labels like Soundway, Finders Keepers, BBE, Ostinato, Vampi Soul and so many others…
So today, press play and take a vintage dusty trip through Nigeria, Brazil, India, Iran, Mali, Cape Verde, Colombia, Peru, Turkey, Somalia and Jamaica. Hopefully the sounds help remind us all how great this world is because of our diversity. And especially if you’re American like me, be thankful for this place we call home that has always (and should always) pride itself on welcoming immigrants with open arms, not handcuffs.