james brown – popcorn with feeling
sweet charles – hang out & hustle
seed ensemble – stargaze
dele sosimi feat prince fatty & nostalgia 77 – dance together
yussef dayes x alfa mist – love is the message
flying lotus – tea leaf dancers
badbadnotgood – electric relaxation (live)
marvin gaye – after the dance (instr & vocal)
neue grafik feat nubya garcia – voodoo rain
mulatu astatke – dewel
madison mcferrin – try
jitwam – enchanté
mist:i:cal – secret love
blay ambolley – walk for ground (aldubb remix)
tush – oh my (yoruba soul mix)
steely dan – time out of mind (138 remix)
mulatu astatke – esketa dance
mist:i:cal – natasha



One final mix for 2019 with a lot of dreamy, dubby stuff I’ve been listening to as of late, and a few funk+soul classics I never get tired of.

Popcorn With Feeling – Hip Hop heads will recognize the first bars of this track instantly, as the loop for Brand Nubian’s “Who Can Get Busy Like This Man” (1990). This is from James Brown’s 1969 “It’s A Mother” LP, with the uptempo version of this same groove, “Mother Popcorn”, being the hit single. James just murdering it on organ, Clyde Stubblefield on drums, and I’m assuming that’s Maceo on flute. This is the type of cool ass shit I want as my soundtrack when I enter a pool hall at 3am.

Hang Out & Hustle – Multi-instrumentalist Charles “Sweet Charles” Sherrell has a pretty interesting bio. He grew up in Nashville, playing drums with Jimi Hendrix and Billy Cox. He then learned to play the guitar by washing Curtis Mayfield’s car in exchange for guitar lessons (!). When he was proficient enough on both guitar and bass, he joined Aretha Franklin’s backing band Johnny Jones & The King Kasuals. In 1968 he joined The James Brown Revue and played on JB classics like “Say it Loud…”, “Give It Up or Turn It Loose”, and the aforementioned “Mother Popcorn”. In the 70s, he released a few beautiful singles like this, on James own “People” label, a Polydor subsidiary. The profound sonic influence of tracks from the People Label in late 80s Hip Hop cannot be overstated. If you go back and listen to the James Brown’s Funky People compilation, every song is a sample you know and love. When I first got my hands on it in 1987, my mind was blown open.

Stargaze – Some easy, 2019 vibes from London’s SEED Ensemble, a 10-piece Jazz collective led by saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, with another UK sure-shot, Eric Lau, on production.

Dance Together (Dub) – Been meaning to put this track on a mix since it dropped in 2016. It doesn’t really go anywhere, per se, but dub records really aren’t meant to. And very rarely do you get such a seamless melding of Dub and Afrobeat. Dele Sosimi may have been born in Hackney, but that didn’t stop him from becoming the musical director for Fela Kuti’s Egypt 80 Band, as well as Femi Kuti’s Positive Force. So his Afrobeat street cred is certified vibranium. Mike “Prince Fatty” Pelanconi came up in the 90s Acid Jazz scene in London, and formed a Reggae band in 2005 called Prince Fatty and later adopted the name for some of his production work. The final piece of this puzzle is Benedic Lamdin, aka Nostalgia 77, who has put out a lot of nice records on the Tru Thoughts label over the last decade or so.

Love Is The Message – No, this is not an MFSB cover. This dreamy excursion is Yussef Dayes with Alfa Mist and a couple other bad ass players. Yussef is a drummer and one half of the incredibly dope instrumental group Yussef Kamaal, who lean towards Dilla-esque Jazz inna 70s Blue Note style. Alfa Mist is a UK producer who got his start in Hip Hop & Grime and graduated to a broad palette that strays into Jazz and elsewhere. This was recorded live at Abbey Road and there’s a wonderful live video of the entire take on Youtube.

Tea Leaf Dancers feat Andreya Triana – This is some head nod type mood that takes me back to the Giant Step days. Or maybe late 90s Neo-soul. This came out on his 2007 Reset EP on Warp. Andreya Triana has been putting in work as a London vocalist for at least the last 10 years, and has recently been appearing on some great house records I heard in NY clubs back when nightclubs actually existed. Remember those days? Like, leaving the place where you live, and going to another place? What a wild time! Anyway, she’s the real deal.

Electric Relaxation (Live) – Canadian trio BADBADNOTGOOD’s take on Tribe’s track – itself a loop of Ronnie Foster’s classic, “Mystic Brew”. This is from their very first record, a live recording released in 2011 called , rather simply, “BBNGLive 1”. They sound like a bunch of kids who listened to a lot of 90s Hip Hop just jamming loosely in their basement, cranking out some noisy covers of Nas and ODB, among others. They’ve since evolved into a pretty sophisticated instrumental band that always draws a great crowd at festivals.

After The Dance (instr & vocal) – Earlier this year I got my hands on a 24-bit re-mastering of Marvin Gaye’s quiet storm cornerstone “I Want You” LP (1976). I’ve always been a bit skeptical of so-called HD-audio, but I gotta say, this does sound incredible to me. Not that it didn’t already, of course, but I dunno… it got me excited about this album again. Which is why I felt compelled to play the whole, A-side instrumental and then the B-side vocal. Hard to know if any of the HD quality remains in the MP3 I’ve posted as this mix, but let’s just all agree it does and move on. Though Marvin is credited as co-writer, the instrumental is all Leon Ware, who produced the whole record and co-wrote all of the songs.

Voodoo Rain – French producer and instrumentalist Fred N’thepe aka Neue Grafik released this in September of last year. Nubya Garcia is a UK-based saxophonist that plays with a who’s who of London’s contemporary Jazz scene.

Dewel – This is a newer rendition of an old Mulatu Astatke track, originally released on his 1972 ”Mulatu of Ethiopia” LP, recorded with several members of Mongo Santamaria’s band. This version is from his utterly amazing 2009 LP with the London group The Heliocentrics, the 3rd in Strut Records’ “Inspiration Information” series. The entire record is fantastic, and a great meld of old school Ethio Jazz with modern, Acid Jazz-influenced beats. BUY THIS RECORD.

Try – Yep, yet another McFerrin has emerged, this time in Brooklyn, and she brings her own sweet voice to our collective sonic landscape. I really dig Madison McFerrin’s whole vibe, and her phrasing is sort of a cross between Sufjan Stevens and Amel Larrieux. This came out in 2019 on her “You + I” EP

Enchanté – Indian-born, Brooklyn based Jitwam is a DJ, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer, with his own record label and touring band. He got Chicago veteran Anthony Nicholson to oversee this latest recording, from 2019, that straddles dreamy Jazz and deep house in a very Moodymann-meets-Miquifaye type way that speaks to me.

Secret Love – Some dubby deep house from the UK by way of Mist:i:cal, a 3-man House/Techno/Drum N Bass outfit consisting of Marcus “Intalex” Kaye, Lee Davenport and Dominick Martin aka Calibre. This track came out on they debut LP in 2007. Marcus sadly passed away in 2017. You may remember vocalist Basil Clarke from his 80s Manchester group, Yargo, and their Bluesy track, “Carrying Mine”.

Walk For Ground (aldubb remix) – Ghanian singer/songwriter Blay Ambolley first blew up in West Africa with his own brand of Simigwa music in the early 70s, blending Western Funk with High Life. His early stuff is awesome. Raw and raucous and definitely sounds like he listened to a lot of James Brown. And really, what musician worth a damn in 1972 didn’t? This is a dubbed-out remix from his 2017 “Ketan” LP, which leans harder towards Fela than JB.

Oh My (Yoruba Soul mix) – Osunlade has carved out a nice lane for himself since I first heard him DJing 20 years ago, upstairs at Frank’s Lounge at Bang The Party. He played “Rader-Du” and I lost my damn mind. Toronto Cosmic Funk band Tush handed him the controls for this remix, and the simplicity here really works. Singer and cool af Queer youth activist Kamilah Apong on vocals.

Time Out of Mind (138 remix) – One of my favorite Steely Dan songs, slightly Afro-Housed up with some extra percussion and some extended edits. I tried to keep the spirit of the original intact. Donald Fagen always had a way of unapologetically celebrating self medication in all its forms, and in this regard, we are surely brothers in arms.

Esketa Dance – One more track from the amazing Mulatu Astatke LP I mentioned above. I’m telling you, get this album. One of the few records I listened to, start to finish, multiple times, all last year.

Natasha – One last Mist:i:cal track to close it out, inna Drum N Bass style. The hard DnB shit never grabbed me much, but the smooth Jazzy/Techy stuff like this always connects. That’s it for now. Thanks for listening and please be safe!

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