The whole world seems severely off balance right now. There’s always drama in the news, but the past few months seem to be extra inflammatory and unsettling. Extreme violence and racism being enacted by police, rogue gunman taking out their anger and hatred on crowds of innocent people, terrorist attacks all over the world, massive political movements based primarily on fear-mongering and xenophobia gaining popularity, ice caps melting faster because we’re too caught up in other things to make a significant change, and to top it all off, I go outside to a public park on a beautiful day and find myself surrounded by throngs of people staring at their cell phones playing Pokemon Go!!! It’s certainly dizzying for me, and hard to even know where to begin sometimes. Talking with friends has been the best medicine, but I can’t seem to shake an underlying anxiety about where we’re headed. I put together today’s playlist in an effort to do what I have always believed is possible here- lessen just a little bit of that communal tension and anxiety through the power of music. The slightest rhythmic inspiration or connection through melody is like a good massage for me, a calming reminder that plenty of creative people out there around the world are pouring their heart’s out for the good of us all. I kick things off with an old school classic from Queen Latifah, then head into some new sounds from Jamaica, Nigeria, Angola, the U.K., the U.S., and a touch of love from the Netherlands. The powerful photo above comes from visual artist Ima Mfon.
I know, I make a lot of music, but this right here is something special. I mean, I don’t typically like to toot my own horn, but can I just say SUMMER ANTHEM ALERT! “Como Me Miras” is the first single from my upcoming collaboration album with Chico Mann, and it premiered today on Wax Poetics. We’ve had some success in the past working on tracks over the internet, but for the past 3 months we’ve been together in the studio almost every day making what I believe will be a really solid and unique album. We just tried to combine all the things we both love most in music, pushing each other a bit out of our comfort zones, and having fun while we do it. The goal on this tune was to provide the soundtrack to Summer’s BBQ’s, pool parties, and beach hangs. I hope it works for you! Press play and please spread the vibes…
I’m very happy to finally announce the release of this EP of official remixes I did for the legendary Latin music label Fania Records. I was honored to have the chance to rework these 6 iconic songs, by artists who have been constantly in my DJ sets since waaaay back when I got my start holding down the TOQUE weekly party at Bembe in Brooklyn every Thursday night (from about 2004-2010). Keeping in the spirit of Fania, which produced some of the world’s greatest Latin dance music in a variety of styles (Salsa, Boogaloo, Merengue, Bomba), I incorporated an eclectic mix of contemporary electronic music influences (House, Hip Hop, Moombahton & Trap) in creating this collection of forward-thinking global bangers. I think there’s a little something for everyone in here, and for a limited time on Soundcloud you can download the whole EP for FREE! Press play and spread the vibes.
Yes indeed, the concrete is burning bare feet here in California as the full moon ushers in Summer ’16. Heatwave was in full effect on Saturday night as I made my DJ debut at the local monthly tribal ritual that is Calentura. This party combines the deep rooted love of afro-latin beats, live percussion, and tropical temperament of Subsuelo, with the heavy electronic edge, bouncy twerkiness, and forward thinking musical sensibility of the Late Night Laggers crew. With their powers combines (along with official support from legendary Fania Records), what goes down is something altogether dope. Anyway, that set got me in the mood to share some of the heavier bangers I’ve been dropping lately. Heat on top of heat today from Kafu Banton, Johnny Roxx, Major Lazer, Jus Now, Toddla T, Branko, Djemba Djemba and more. Stay tuned because my full remix EP for Fania drops this Friday!!!
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.