As this brutal and insane year is approaching it’s end, I’m managing to find peace of mind in the confident belief that January 1 will present a much needed new beginning. Sure, I’m slightly terrified that Trump will start nuclear war with the Russians, but I have a baby on the way and an album that’s going to finally come out so I have to trust that love will prevail and the much needed colorful art that keeps me & my friends nourished will continue to do so. I’ll try to put together another proper episode of MTR Radio to highlight some of my favorite records from the past 12 months, but for today, just an overdue dosage of good things I’ve been listening to- mostly not on the dancefloor tip (although I snuck in a couple of full-on bangers). Artwork above comes from my mellow my man Jules Olitski.
Today I’m very happy to share this new single from my upcoming full-length collabo album with Chico Mann. “Oye Bien” is one of my favorite songs on the record, with a mixture of Talking Heads synths, Tony Allen drum patterns, and classic pleading vocals that call to mind Ismael Rivera. We’ve been anxiously sitting on this album since Summer, but now we are finally ready to start unleashing the goodies. You can expect a whole lot more of our trademark blend of Afro-Latin rhythms, contemporary funk, Caribbean dancehall, and forward thinking electronic beats, on the album “Night Visions” which will be dropping on Bastard Jazz Recordings in Feb. 2017. For now, press play and take a trip down a moonlit jungle path, surrounded by birds that have a message for you- listen closely! BIG UP to Redbull Panamerika for giving us a great premier and write-up today. If you dig it, please support.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a national holiday which we Americans proudly claim celebrates the Pilgrims’ first successful harvest in the New World, a feat only made possible with help from the indigenous Wampanoag people & their European educated Patuxet ambassador Squanto. Considering that I can actually trace one branch of my family lineage to William Brewster, a spiritual leader who arrived on the Mayflower, I feel confident in saying that I would not be here today, if it hadn’t been for the guidance, teachings, and peaceful generosity extended by those original Americans. That is something to be thankful for indeed.
Today, and for months now, a growing coalition of indigenous people and supporters from around the world are gathered in North Dakota, protesting the construction of an oil pipeline which is being built without proper permits or environmental survey. A local militarized police force is violently shooting crowds with teargas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and water cannons in subzero temperatures to subdue the unarmed non-violent protesters, all in the name of protecting the investments of Energy Transfer Partners, a massive oil company from Texas. The whole thing wreaks of irony and infuriates me. There are things you can do, and I urge any of you interested to do more reading on the topic, to sign petitions, make phone calls, and to vote with your dollars by donating to the Sacred Stone legal defense fund, or the Oceti Sakowin Camp.
In the meantime, here’s a playlist of songs, partially inspired by this Thanksgiving madness, and partially in memory of two musical giants who left us over the past week: David Mancuso & Leonard Cohen. Strangely enough, I had just recently been revisiting a collection of “Loft Classics” and had discovered a great interview with Leonard which aired in conjunction of the release of his new album. Check it out.
The past week has been an emotionally taxing stew of anxiety, anger and despair here in the USA. I think most of the people close to me, who also reside primarily in the liberal coastal bubbles, have been smacked in the face by the successful fruition of one of the most despicable presidential campaigns imaginable. I am encouraged to see so many people taking to the streets to speak up. I’m personally using the wild energy in the air to re-focus and re-purpose my own place in this country, fired up to continue the work that I know I need to be doing. With all that said, I have what I often believe is some of the best medicine available: beautiful music.
Today I’m happy to present a 90min guest mix from my homegirl in Manila, Miss Badkiss. It’s a top notch selection of funky, mid-tempo, left-field joints that can keep you dancing or help you relax (even during this hectic moment in history). Impeccably mixed and recorded live at her monthly party “You’re Welcome” in Manila, which she shares with DJ Emel and other local guests, the set is a deep dive into a “rolling balearic vibe”, as she calls it. In her words: “we like keeping a slower than average pace at You’re Welcome. even at peak time around 6am we’d still prefer playing below 120bpm. Keep an ear out for more of her mixes on mixcloud and catch her live, spreading the sonic medicine regularly in Manila. Stream below, or download the full mix here.
Twilight (Maze) – Bing Ji Ling
Serotonin (Umoja Remix) – Oby Nine
In the dark of the night – Michiocan
Familiar Strangers (Night) – Bison
Atlanta – Fabror Resande Mac
Cori – Andi Hanley
Ohana – Studio Paradiso
Herats and Soul – Robert Owens
Ostatni Kurs (Das Komplex Remix) – Ptaki
Underlined – Atjazz
Time – Sam Irl
Ceylons Aland – Acid Hamam
Poem of darkness – la funk mob
Undertow – Pop District
Street Justice – The Rake
Beat Street- Grandmaster Flasj & Melle Mel
Burt – Andi Hanley
Sensaatio – Jaakko Eino Kalevi
Peace Makers – MARR, Markus
la fusion – Cro Magnon
Nairobi Funk – AGRARIO, Frank
People’s Palace (Devotion) – A Band called Flash
Big batch of heaters today from fellow globetrotter, sonic explorer, and perpetual party stimulator: DJ NADI. I first met this man about 4 years back when he invited me to come out to Maui for a couple parties he was putting together. He’s been steady at it ever since. You can catch him these days regularly in Nevada City where he keeps the restless natives bouncing to tropical bass cuts like the ones below. I sprinkled in 2 of my own selections, only because they seemed to fit perfectly. For all my fellow Americans out there, may these songs help you keep the stress levels low and stay focussed on making some meaningful changes on election day in less than a week! Tell a friend to tell a friend to tell a friend, votes count…
It’s that awesome time of year again when we get to celebrate ancient pagan rituals under the guise of remembering Christian saints, and for most people this translates as just an excuse to expose their inner freak publicly under the protection of masquerade. It’s always been one of my favorite holidays, partly for the shared creativity of coming up with costumes, and partly because I get to play “Thriller” again. Really excited about going up to Nevada City this Friday for a massive bash with my brother-in-beats DJ Nadi, anyone in Nor-Cal looking to rage should meet us there. Then I’ll be back in LA on Sat for my regular grimey get down at The Virgil. I don’t know if I’ll be looking as badass as the homie pictured above, but I hope someone on the dancefloor is! The pic is taken from this great collection “Wilder Mann” by Charles Freger, check it out.
P.S. – not sure why I lost the playlist function, I’m going to try to get that fixed for the next post.
A.R. Rahman ft. Sid Sriram, Sanahmoidutty, Jonita Gandhi : Mei Nigara
Roosevelt : Moving On
Pomrad : Out Like A Light ft. Billie
B.B. & Q. Band : Dreamer (Kartell Rework)
Jungle : Julia (Soulwax Remix)
Peligrosa : Santa Marta (DJ Shades Remix)
Boiler : Ipanema
Sofi Tukker : Drinkee (Addal Remix)
Africaine 808 : Language Of The Bass
Kllo : Bolide
Jamie Lidell : Building A Beginning