greentea peng – used to
cautious clay – cold war
makaya mccraven – the jaunt
roy ayers – liquid love
nohidea – forget it
erykah badu – time’s a wastin’
blood orange – nappy wonder
beastie boys – electric worm
musiq – just friends
fantasy three – it’s your rock (instr)
little dragon feat faith evans – peace of mind
matas & edo lee – corcovado // i like it
duran y garcia – old fashioned thief (s version)
tony allen & jeff mills – the seed
mugwisa’s international xylophone group – mazongoto woods (alejandro mosso rework)
nutty feat daddy – mdali (charles webster dub)
zara mcfarlane – all africa



Used To – Kicking things off with some fresh blood, Greentea Peng is a South London singer who grew up in Hastings – the city on the southern coast of the UK perhaps best known for the Battle of Hastings in 1066, which kicked off the Norman invasion of England by William The Conqueror, who defeated The English King Harold Godwinson and built the altar of his brand new church on the exact site where Harold perished on the battlefield, just to rub it in their Anglo-Saxon faces (cheeky bastard). But I digress. Greentea Peng is a girl named Aria with a lot of cool tattoos and a chilled out R&B style somewhere between Erykah Badu, Jhené Aiko and Finley Quaye. “Peng”, from what I gather, is sort of the London slang version of “Lit” – a multi-purpose word that invariably indicates a good thing. so, you might say, DJ Julian Bevan is super fucking PENG! Or maybe not. I have no idea. This is from her debut “Sensi” EP, which came out in October of this year, which you can cop on iTunes.

Cold War – Another young buck singer, Joshua Karpeh aka Cautious Clay is a 25 yr old dude from Cleveland who moved to New York and worked in real estate while making beats on the side. He released this song on his Soundcloud as his very first single in September of 2017. This got him a deal with the Bethesda-based label, Fête Records – also home to Innanet James & Naji, among others. My advice: keep on eye (and ear) on this brother.

The Jaunt – Parisian-born, Chicago-based drummer and beat junkie Makaya McCraven is a cool mother fucka that gets Jazz cats together to improvise and jam out, and then he re-assembles it all later into something he calls ‘organic beat music’. The result is the kind of stuff Dilla would surely dig into were he still with us. This is from his 2015 debut called In The Moment. If you dig this, do check out his 2018 album Universal Beings.

Liquid Love – Often called “The Father of Neo-Soul” and/or “…Acid Jazz”, Roy Ayers defined the schmoove-ass 70s downtempo grooves that became the foundation of a lot of 90s Hip Hop and inspired several generations of rappers, singers, and producers. His position in the celestial Funk universe seems to have been pre-ordained, when Lionel Hampton gave him his first set of vibraphone mallets at the age of 5 (!). He grew up in South Central and dropped out of music school to join Herbie Mann’s touring band in 1966. In 2003 Ayers gave BBE carte blanche to dig through his vaults of unheard recordings and put out a series called Virgin Ubiquity: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981. This yielded a lot of new material for fans like me, including this gem from the second volume. It’s a perfect track for a mix like this, wouldn’t you agree?

Forget It – Another one of these masked weirdos, this time from Austrian producer Nohidea. He makes a nice beat tho. Kinda Lo-Fi, kinda techy, peripherally trappy. Good background music for walking around in a book store and pretending you plan to buy things.

Time’s a Wastin’ – I keep waiting for my homegirl Erykah Badu to get her groove back. Like, completely back. Like, drop another absolute banger of an album. Don’t we all? Maybe she just feels like she has kinda been there/done that with the neo-soul genre that she helped define. Maybe she’s focusing on her acting. Who knows? Nevertheless, I will still dig up her older recordings and soak up the perfection she once created. This is an album cut from from her sophomore LP, Mama’s Gun, released in 2000. Can it be that it were all so simple then?

Nappy Wonder – Devonté Hynes came up in London as a member of the stupidly-named group, Test Icicles, before going solo in 2006. He released two records under the named Lightspeed Champion before landing on his current moniker, Blood Orange. This is from his fourth album, Negro Swan – an accomplished R&B opus released this past summer that is impressive, wholly original, and, for my money, elevates him into the category of next-level, genre-bending cats like Janelle Monae and Frank Ocean. The whole album deals with themes of depression and queer identity and a lot of songs sort of defy description, as they refuse to commit to one particular sound or another. Buy this Black man’s music.

Electric Worm – A simple instrumental from the Beastie Boys 2007 LP, “The Mix Up”. Having been raised on and influenced by what I am pretty certain are very similar musical references to myself, when these guys get in a room and jam, I am bound to groove to it. Perhaps you are too. They actually won a Grammy for best instrumental album for this, which is funny, cuz just last week I was thinking it has been decades since an instrumental song actually charted in the U.S. I mean, Booker T and The MGs… Dave Brubeck… Hugh Masakela… these were pop radio records. Another time, I guess.

Just Friends (Sunny) – One of my favorite throwback jams. Kinda freaked out that I’m calling a record that came out in the year 2000 a throwback tbh – but here we are (!). I played this religiously at Frank’s Lounge in Brooklyn, usually towards the end of the night, because it was the perfect kind of joint for an ambitious soul seeker to press up on a stranger and dance with them for a minute or two and see what it do before last call. Musiq is from Philly originally, and still puts out decent tracks here and there, like that reggae collabo he made with thicc-ass Syleenah Johnson in 2013.

It’s Your Rock – A true NY classic from 1983, from the group Fantasy Three – which consisted of MCs Silver Fox, Charlie Rock & Larry D. It was produced by Errol Eduardo Beward, better known as Pumpkin – an incredibly innovative an influential producer in the early days of Hip Hop, working with everybody uptown, including The Treacherous Three (Feel The Heartbeat), The Fearless Four (Problems of the World Today), and Jimmy Spicer (Dollar Bill Y;all), to name just a few.

Piece of Mind – Producer Raphael Saadiq was working with Little Dragon in 2017 and had the brilliant idea to bring in Faith Evans to guest on the track. The little keyboard stabs really remind me of Bobby Caldwell’s “Open Your Eyes” and the whole song is just exceedingly pleasant, wouldn’t you agree?

Corcovado // I Like It – A pretty random blend of 1964 Astrud Gilberto and 1995 Grand Puba, but it kinda works in a weird way. This had been sitting around in a some forgotten playlist of mine since 2014, but I’m glad it resurfaced just as this mix was coming together. It seemed to fit in just right. Matas & Edo Lee are NYC Jazz-Hop aficionados who are part of a music collective called Budo Kiba, with other left-field beat scientists like Tru Type and Iota. Like so many groups these days, they operate deftly on the Soundcloud / Bandcamp plane, and have no need for the major labels of the old guard. More power to em.

Old Fashioned Thief (S Version) – A short but many-layered interlude, heavy on harp and strings. Don’t know anything about these Italian guys Duran Y Garcia, other than they were releasing tracks on Irma, a staple of sounds like this from the 2000s.

The Seed – I was thrilled when this Tony Allen / Jeff Mills project, “Tomorrow Comes the Harvest”, finally got released in September. I saw them perform together live at The Apollo for the 2018 Africa Now! Festival in March, and I reeeeeeeally dug it. They were joined on stage by a keyboardist Jean-Phi Dary. Allen laid down the beat and drove the bus, so to speak. Jean-Phi added in baselines and dubby accents while Jeff layered in techno drum sounds and FX from a 909. It probably owed as much to King Tubby as it did Fela. If you like this, you’ll like the whole EP.

Mazongoto Woods (Alejandro Mosso Rework) – A really nice long instrumental remix of Mugwisa’s International Xylophone Group – a group of Ugandan musicians from Iganga, a village about 4 hours from Kampala. The central instrument is the Embaire Xylophone, a 32-note wooden behemoth that is positioned over a hole dug in the crowd (for bass resonance), and takes up to 9 people to play. Songs usually last for hours on end, but have been condensed here for mixtape purposes by Argentinean DJ Alejandro Mosso.

Mdali (Charles Webster dub) – NY Shelter heads will recognize this as an early morning staple of the 39th st location, as the previous night’s party people rotated out and the 7am arrival die-hards rotated in. I was often there for the duration, arriving around 3 or 4 to see the sunrise transformation and hear some of the more dubbed-out, minimal gems Timmy Regisford would drop in that space between the two peaks. Not sure who Nutty or Buddy is, in the case, but they made this record, so they can’t be all bad.

All Africa – East London Jazz vocalist Zara McFarlane takes a classic 1960 Max Roach tune from the days when Pan-Africanism was an emerging force in Jazz music and, to some, a real life threat.  Just ask Malcolm X. McFarlane’s version is a big departure from the stripped down original, which is primarily led by Baba Olatunji himself. This has a lot more melody and structure, and bumps along very nicely, closing the mix out with some Jazzy goodness. Thanks for listening.


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