Had a badass weekend unplugged on a secluded lil beach on Catalina Island with a crew of homies. Only labor on labor day was building a bon fire, snorkeling, and paddle boarding, so I’m feeling extremely refreshed. I highly recommend this cheap quick getaway for anyone else in the SoCal area. No particular theme to this week’s playlist, just some solid recent additions I’ve had in repeated rotation. I start things off with top notch reggae roots from the recently released Frightnrs album (prod. by Ticklah), which comes to us just months after the very tragic passing of their lead singer Dan Klein. I highly recommend the entire album to all fans of vintage Jamaican sounds. Up next we travel into some cumbia courtesy of El Búho, the first single from new LA act Wear Patterns, Michael Kiwanuka getting remixed by Osage, and another smoothed out joint from Mac Miller ft. CeeLo. Artwork today comes from the talented Jason Stopa.
I’m feeling the effects of that late summer slow down, when going anywhere other than the beach feels like a little bit of a struggle. It’s hot and hazy here in Los Angeles, and I’ve been trying to turn all my recent DJ gigs into sonic portals to the Caribbean. With a steady stream of good new dancehall, reggaeton, afrobeats & soca, this teleportation technique actually works wonders. Seems like Jamaican dancehall riddims have once again officially overtaken pop music (see: Beiber, Drake, Sia, Rihanna) and I’m not complaining, because even the unschooled in the crowd seem a little more open to hearing dembow. I’m having flashbacks to 2003 when Beyonce and Alicia Keys were doing reggae joints and Beenie Man was rapping on Neptunes beats on commercial hip hop radio. Again- not mad about this. Today’s playlist includes a bunch of the recent bangers I’ve been slipping into rotation lately. Some smoothed out bass heavy tropical pop music from Jamaica, Trinidad, Colombia and beyond… Enjoy! Artwork today comes courtesy of the extremely talented Brock Lefferts, check his site out for more trippiness.
I’ve emerged from my music making cocoon and come up for air with a finished album on my hands! It’s a great feeling, I must say. Sadly, it won’t make it out into the world for months, but that’s all part of the process. In the meanwhile, I am happy to get back to more regular sharing of new sounds on here. I’ve been busy absorbing inspiration and stealing tunes during my many dj gigs this Summer, so there’s plenty to go around. This week I’ve got some uptempo funky disco-fied bizniz with new sounds from Mac Miller, Anderson Paak, Ekkah, Miguel (interpolating an old Hot Chocolate classic), Classixx, Jean Tonique, Kraak & Smaak (who pair very well with Mayer Hawthorne) and more. Not sure who to attribute the above artwork to, but as a poodle “owner”, I definitely appreciate Pierre’s message.
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.