My fellow funkateers, from where I stand (in the DJ booth) there are more than a few things to be optimistic about this year, but they are all musically related. So while politricks, disasters and the forces of evil tend to take center stage in the outside world, here on the dancefloor we have a bounty of vibration makers who continue to push the boundaries of hip shaking and bass quaking. Take for example, Jubilee’s marimba-laden floor breaker ‘Wine Up’, a masterful coming together of hip hop subwoofer workout, patois lryicism and electronically expressed creativity. I’m also super stoked to share songs from homies of mine this week- starting with a new tune from the incomparable Dominican bombshell Jenn Morel. Then we have the new project Reyna Tropical produced by my dude Sumohair which hits the sweet spot by combining lilting beachy guitar licks, soft Spanish crooning, dembow drums, and a healthy sprinkle of seemingly unrelated samples from hip hop vocals, tropical birds, and the pleasant sound of coffee pouring into your mug (or is it cold coca-cola on a hot day?). We have some new dancehall vibes with classic inspiration, and then some new wave Baile Funk joints with tasteful minimal production that leave me always waiting for the drop. Then we’ve got a taste of the new remix album by my boy in NYC- Uproot Andy. With his ‘Bumper To Bumper’ mixtape (& remix album) the legendary global bass maestro has succeeded once again in connecting the dots between recent music movements in Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean and American hip hop, which all seem to blend so seamlessly when their shared DNA is brought to the forefront. I conclude in my positive assessment of worldwide bass music with songs from France, Colombia, and a touch of tribal trap heaviness from Chicago. For your eyes, I’m sharing a taste of the recent Parker Day ‘ICONS’ portrait collection. Hope you dig!
Damn, I had finally put together a whole different bunch of songs to share here, when I heard the sad news that we lost this legend today. I immediately had to switch gears and pay tribute. This man has soooo many good albums (spanning decades) and aside from the groundbreaking music, he was a powerful political activist as well. He was a big inspiration for me over the years- several of his LP’s lived in my crate long-term when I first started DJ-ing (back when I was actually lugging vinyl to all my gigs). I feel I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Masekela and I hope in putting together this playlist of just a few favorites from his gigantic catalogue, the music will speak to some new listeners out there and keep on spreading. Also, you can snag a nice re-work of ‘Night In Tunisia’ from our homies Sol Power DC. BIG UP & THANKS Hugh!
Don’t let the armageddon get you down! 2017 was one helluva mind bender- between the unbelievable non-stop shenanigans coming from the Trump white house, the re-emboldening of white supremacist nationalists, a slew of natural disasters, and the slightly unsettling development of North Korean intercontinental nuclear warheads, there were plenty of reasons to want to run for the hills. Thankfully, the greatest blessing of my life came in the form of a healthy, happy and ridiculously cute daughter, and then I got to witness the tipping point of the #MeToo movement swell into a tsunami of cultural resistance, which seems to be shaping our future into a place much more respectful and safe for women & girls. My time for digging up new music (& for doing just about every other extra-curricular activity) was drastically shortened, but that’s just part of being grown and I will get a handle on it eventually. Even still, I managed to glean enough to keep this place alive (limping along, but still moving!), and this new mix I put together for BrooklynRadio.com highlights some of my absolute favorite finds of the year. Artists you may recognize include: Nadastrom, Jubilee, Populous, LCD Soundsystem, Todd Terje and of course a couple Capt. Planet joints as well. So press play and let’s all set some positive intentions to manifest in 2018, cause this world needs all the help it can get right now. Photo above was taken in Ojai, California by Robin Catherine Lawson after the recent Thomas Fire which devastated almost 450 square miles (biggest in CA history). Full tracklist and download available on the Brooklyn Radio page.
Happy holidays everyone. It’s been pretty quiet over here since I have been in the middle of a move (woohoo!) and am building my new studio (triple woohoo!!!). I’ve got a new mix coming shortly, and tons of good tracks to share, but for now, I’m happy to announce the release of Night Visions Remixed on Bastard Jazz Records. It was a long while in the works, but I managed to wrangle a talented cadre of producer homies into remixing songs from my last album with Chico Mann. A nice variety of styles and sounds in the set, but this rootsy Colombian flavored joint from my boy Yukicito is just gorgeous. We also included one new original song “Ariwoko” as a bonus track, available as a FREE DOWNLOAD. Grab it while it’s hot or press play at your next ugly sweater party and pour another cup of egg nog for me!
Happy to share this heavy future-bass dancefloor destroyer with you all today. I cooked this up for my homies Young Futura (hip hop / electronic duo) who you all should get familiar with! I posted the original version of Slide a while back, but this flip takes it into peak party time territory. A little something unexpected from the Captain Planet signature style, but you know how I like to keep everyone on their toes. It’s a free download, so snag it while it’s hot.
WOWOWOW so much heavy music to drop on you all today! This is exciting. There are still things to be optimistic and hopeful about in this crazy world, let this musical brain candy be the proof! We start things off with a nasty slab of Nigerian 80’s disco funk, then a mind melting Turkish edit from the don dada Señor Terje. Up next a deep Moroccan Gnawa edit, followed by the latest existential dancefloor rant from one of my favorite contemporary bands. We take you to Angola, then back to Istanbul, then to the front pew in the gospel chapel of your dreams. Afroqbano comes through with a nasty late night twist on a 90’s classic, and my man Moon Boots smooths it out with a joint from his new album. The house music vibe is in full swing with a heater from J Worra followed with another classic re-interpreted by my brother from another Nickodemus. Then we drop the tempo down with something soulful from Blasko and finish it all with an absolutely beautiful new tune from the Nadastrom boys. May these soundwaves inspire you to be creative like Eric Junker, who is responsible for the funky truck pictured above. Also extra special shoutout to my dear homie and unofficial mentor DJ Busquelo who hooked me up with a few of these joints from his coveted collection.