We are officially living in the future! 2020 feels a bit unreal, like I never actually pictured making it this far when I was a kid. 2020 solely existed in the plots of sci-fi dystopias. Yes, we definitely have arrived there. But the upside seems to be a major point of self reflection, at least for me. I’m assessing the state of things (grim), and setting my focus even more intently on the crucial work ahead (lots), while taking stock of the beautiful things that truly matter to me (music, art, food, family, community). 2020 also marks 15 YEARS since I posted my first blog entry (back then it was “Captain’s Crate”). It’s also been 15 YEARS since I released my first Captain Planet EP. So I feel like I’ve duly earned whatever nuggets of wisdom I can squeeze out of this moment of reflection. Music be the food of love, ain’t that right Shakespeare? So let’s play on, turn up, and keep doing the damn thing with gusto. Top notch tunes today from all over, as you should always expect from Mixtape Riot. Here’s to another 15 years of loving music that doesn’t have to make sense! Also, be sure and check out the work of Mous Lamrabat (pic above) for more brain candy galore.
I credit 2 main people for getting me hooked on the digging bug. First, it was my older sister who made me the most eclectic and mind bending cassette tape mixes, properly adorned with glitter & stickers and tons of doodles, all throughout the glorious 90’s. Then it was my high school art teacher, who invited me over for ganja smoking while we recorded rare vinyl to cassettes and laughed at ridiculous album art. Here I am, a couple of decades later, unable to stop thrusting my shovel into the dirt, while the well just keeps getting deeper. With that said, I hope you enjoy today’s selections from the depths of the Mariana Trench. Rootsy, funky, & psychedelic sounds from Ghana, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Belize, Congo, Peru, Puerto Rico, Ethiopia & Turkey. A proper worldwide smorgasbord, which is always one of my favorite things to do on here. Drink up from the global aquifer, let the bountiful soundwaves quench your nagging thirst, there’s plenty to go around. A quick plug to 2 labels highlighted today where you can continue your quest- don’t sleep on Philophon or NYCT, both of these outlets are coming correct with the heat!
When the wonderful world I love appears to be crumbling around me, and truth itself seems to be suffering from a debilitating case of vertigo, I feel myself in greater need (call it close to desperate) of the solace of a new Koffee single, or the unveiling of a badass sculpture by Kehinde Wiley dropped directly in the middle of Times Square. These relatively small acts, displaying the true power of worthiness amidst an oceanic backdrop of disposable commodities and self-serving trash talkers, keep me afloat as my buoy of inspiration. It’s a storm out here, the waves are wild, my sponge seems to be far too small a vessel, but with these burning songs as my playlist beacon, I shall surf on! Don’t try to make sense of my predilections here, just embrace the chaos- it’s Afrobeat and Disco and House and Drum&Bass and Trap… Happy holidays yall.
I know, I know, far too long, not enough tunes, but I’m dropping a motherload on you today to make up for all that. Do yourself a favor a check out more songs by all these artists & the releases they come from! I post these little nuggets as entryways into tributaries that lead to endless oceanic inspirational bounty. The music is there waiting to be listened to and enjoyed, if only we could make the time to explore it all.
SAULT, wow. Raw post-punk, afro-tinged, indie soul?!? Produced by the elusive Inflo, who gives us more wow. Then a retro gospel funk banger just ’cause we all got soul. Fatnotronic & In Flagranti bring us an updated midtempo Brazilian dancefloor edit of a Trio Ternura classic. Great new single from Portugal’s iZem, and the first release on his new label! Breakdown Brass bring a lil something for the b-boy & b-girls, and wannabes too- count me in. Tiggs & Khruangbin bring weird twists to retro vibes. Still Woozy brews up a funky trippy stew to marinate on. Fanga connect afrobeat & psychedelic tones in a bouncy sweet spot. Apollo Brown comes correct with the head nod downtempo like it’s a rainy day in 1998! Then oh lord, a sweet slice of heaven, and possibly my most played song of the past month- thank you Ralph & Combo Lulo! The Walter Hawkins obscurity comes from a great Psychemagik comp, and then I leave you with the lilting beauty of Abusey Junction. And also be sure and check out more brilliant work by Ariel Davis (art above) who has eye candy for days. Cheers for checking in, and rest assured, there is always more where this batch came from.
Back once again, another heavy load of the funky stuff. Top notch tunes from a broad spectrum of artists and genres, hand picked by yours truly. As all you regulars know, this mix series is pretty representative of all the sounds I post here on the site, and a fair amount of these songs have actually made their way into the playlists. In this particular mix, you’ll find mid-tempo Caribbean and Afrobeat blending into R&B and modern soul, before leading into more club focussed house music and global bass. This 60-minute musical walkabout features songs from PNAU, Koffee, The Goods, Toro y Moi, Burna Boy, The Knocks, Aroop Roy, Branko, Thornato and much more. Buckle up and turn it up. Full tracklist and download of the show available on the BrooklynRadio page.
Meant to share this last week… did a quick flip of this Burna Boy classic with mon frére français Futura. Took the smooth Afrobeat R&B vibe of the original into some Afro-housey club territory. Simple and effective, hope ya dig! Free DL from soundcloud of course. And if somehow you’ve been sleeping on the recent African Giant album, go remedy that quick!