Wow, many of you regular readers may be somewhat familiar with my approaching doomsday prophesying, but gottdamn this one really feels REAL! Me & my fam have been locked up at home now for almost 2 weeks, and I hope all of you out there are doing the same. Sure, the Coronavirus appears to send only about 2-4% of people in my age range into intensive care (NOT A SMALL PERCENTAGE), but I am taking absolutely no risks for the love of my older, asthmatic, & immune compromised folks (which includes family & close friends). It’s hard to think of any time in my life, when looking into the future felt so totally unknown, when the everyday customs & habits of our way of life have been so thoroughly rocked out of place. I can’t help but imagine that things will never really be the same. I was a person wandering the streets of Manhattan on Sept. 11th 2001- I felt a big jolt then, a major awakening for myself and shifting in my culture, but it didn’t seem as fully global and all-encompassing. I feel like one of the main silver linings I’ve been trying to focus on, is the global connectivity which we are being forced into right now. Sure, borders are closing and panic is running rampant, but no one denies that we are all in it together. In the aftermath of WWII the U.N. was created, right? Could this be the training we needed to organize a proper global effort against climate change? I’m focussing on that hopeful possibility since there’s so little other positivity in the news right now. And of course, I’m counting myself insanely lucky for the love of my family and friends. It’s a time to reflect, and remember what’s most important, even more so for me today because it’s my birthday. We’re going to be going through it as a planet in the next few months, let’s do whatever we can to help take care of eachother. What I do have to offer, as always, is music. I will continue to be sharing my soul on this page, and I’m doing livestream DJ sets on instagram Friday nights 9-10pm West Coast Time (@chuckwild), annnnnd I just finished my next album which will be coming out this Summer because people still need the music no matter what, right? So with that, I leave you with another playlist of gold. Do yourself a favor and play it loudly while dancing in your living room, ok?
Some of these songs on today’s playlist I’ve actually been meaning to share for years. Well, lucky you, because for whatever reason of alignment, all-time favorite tracks like “Palco” (please play this one at my funeral!) seemed like a good fit with new bangers like “Is It True” & “No Requests“. There’s definitely no direct connection, but that space in between the dots is what makes DJ-ing more fun and relevant, as the ever-encroaching algorithms continue to lead us closer to the inevitable moment of artificial intelligence singularity, when the best of human ingenuity no longer can compete with ones and zeroes, the final John Henry battle of human consciousness… But I digress, let’s get back to enjoying ourselves in the moment, shall we? Hopefully this top tier selection of gems helps in that endeavor. For those of you in LA, I will be sharing more of the good stuff this Thursday night at Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice, alongside two amazingly talented fellow disk jockeys- Sumohair & El G. I’d love to see you there! Otherwise, feast your ears on the music, and give your eyes some dessert with more goodies from Jessalyn Brooks (pic above).
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.