the hot 8 brass band – love will tear us apart
roy ayers – love will bring us back together (dj vas rework)
marvin gaye – funky space reincarnation (v’s as it goes edit)
rihanna – needed me (moombahton remix)
saweetie feat kehlani – icy grl
leikeli47 – girl blunt
earthgang feat arin ray – stuck
oliver – light years away
the internet – roll (burbank funk) [kaytranada remix]
charlie puth feat kehlani – done for me
tropkillaz feat. leo justi – deixa eu dizer (desabafo)
mark starr – rood boy
deize tigrona – injecao
martyn – nya
pledge – same old story (clueless remix)
funky nassau – bahama soul stew
prince – black sweat
james brown – give it up or turn it loose (reflex edit)
djeuhdjoah & lieutenant nicholson – el niño
disclosure feat fatoumata diawara- ultimatum
anik khan – too late now
portugal. the man – feel it still (zhu remix)
the revenge – distant signal
mo’ horizons – ai mi morena (club des belugas remix)
folamour – jazz session for no future people
reggae clinic 65 – caravan (dub)



Two weeks ago I was asked by an old friend to play some tunes for the NY Cares 2018 Gala at Cipriani’s on 42nd. They raise millions of dollars every year to deliver coats to the homeless during the very long and harsh New York winter. The woman who ran the show asked me if I could start my set with some sort of fanfare, to cue people in to the fact that there was a real DJ in the house. I considered the horns from T.S. Monk’s “Bon Bon Vie”, as well as the intro to Kurtis Blow’s “Christmas Rappin’”, but in the end I went with the outro to the Moody Blues “Nights In White Satin”, in all its swelling, orchestral splendor. Fun fact: when I was a small boy, I thought the song was called “Knights in White Satin” – with a K. The image of a medieval knight in a white satin ladies’ nightgown confused me greatly. I was a weird kid. And yes, that voice at the beginning saying “Make It Work” is TV host Tim Gunn, pitched down to sound like he got shot in the neck with a tranquilizer gun like Will Farrell in Old School.

Love Will tear Us Apart – Yet another great cover from New Orleans’ kings of good times, The Hot 8 Brass Band. I don’t know which of the heated eight chooses these covers, but they’re almost always a sure shot.

Love Will Bring Us Back Together (DJ Vas rework) – Though I did just put this on another mix quite recently, I couldn’t resist the fact that the title is an immediate rebuttal to the previous track. This is by far my most-played Roy Ayers song ever. I’ve always considered it a great tune to get a room moving. Just the right tempo, mood, and groove to motivate any crowd. And as I’ve probably said before, it just sounds like Brooklyn to me.

Funky Space Reincarnation (V’s As It Goes edit) – Somebody did a straight-forward edit of this Marvin Gaye classic, looping a few parts and giving it some heavier drums. I’ve always loved this song from MG’s 15th studio album, 1978’s “Here, My Dear”. As you may know, the entire record was recorded under a cloud of depression, as he was right in the middle of divorcing his first wife, Motown founder Berry Gordy’s older sister, Anna. Reportedly, Marvin originally intended to purposefully make a bad record, since he was so bitter about the court order that guaranteed his ex half the proceeds. But once he got in the studio, he just couldn’t help himself, and he ended up creating a beautiful and moving tribute to her. Knowing this, I’ve always thought this song’s notion of a future reincarnation mending their broken marriage to be rather romantic and somewhat redeeming of his horrific treatment of her.

Needed Me (Moombahton remix) – Remember when moombahton first appeared out of DC in like, 2008, and we all thought “so… you’re just putting Reggaeton beats under R&B songs and I’m supposed to be impressed? And I’m supposed to believe this trend will last?” Well, boy do I feel dumb. Just like its Reggaeton cousin, Moombathon shamelessly recycled Jamaican dancehall drums and, for some reason, nobody ever got sick of it. Far from it. I mean, yeah. It did suffer a bit of a slump around 2015, but then Diplo came back with “Lean” and Skrillex made “Sorry” for The Biebz, and with Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”, before we knew it, we had a whole worldwide pop music genre loosely called “Tropical” that is really just moombathon by another name. Anyway, I needed a few pop tunes for my aforementioned Cipriani’s gig, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Rihanna, so that’s how this ended up on this mix.

ICY GRL – Most Hip Hop these days bores me to tears or downright depresses me, but every now and then I can be swayed by a simple beat and a few choice words. Diamonté Harper aka Saweetie got a deal with Warner Brothers based on this song alone, which she released via Soundcloud in 2017. Fellow Oakland rapper Kehlani, who guests on erry damn track these days, spits some fire of her own, and if you don’t overthink it the whole thing just works.

Girl Blunt – My girl Leikeli47 continues to rock Tims and rep Bed Stuy to the fullest. Yes, she wears a mask 24/7, which I find a bit silly, but I dig her round-the-way style and her Paula-Perry-in-2018 swagger, so she gets a pass. This has the thicc-ass bass of a trap beat, but with that 86 bpm that speaks to old heads like me. This is the lead single from her new album, Acrylic.

Stuck – One of the ways I keep my head in new music is simply by chasing down every song I ever hear that sounds remotely interesting. If I hear a track while I’m out in the world, and I can’t Shazam it or ask the waiter what it is, I’ll write down a few lines of the lyrics on my phone and dig it up later. This was precisely how I first came across Earthgang, by asking the guy at some sneaker store what he was listening to. Earthgang was formed by Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot in Atlanta in 2007, while they were both still in high school. They have a real Outkast meets Pharcyde thing going on, which is probably why J. Cole signed them to his Dreamville label, which is part of Interscope. This came out in September, and is the second single from their forthcoming Mirrorland LP, due before the end of the year.

Light Years Away – a rare dip into electro club land for me, but I gotta change shit up from time to time. This sound from 2014, courtesy of a guy (or group?) named Oliver, is even somewhat dated now, by EDM standards, but I dig the Justice-esque vocals, and the chugging mid-tempo beat. It gets into a whole Daft Punk vocoder thing later in the song, but I needed to move on.

Roll (Burbank Funk) [Kaytranada remix] – LA band The Internet consistently create a great blend of R&B, Hip Hop and Funk in their noble effort to keep pop radio interesting. The original mix of this had a bit of a Rapper Dapper Snapper thing going on, but Kaytranada’s remix gave this more of a roller skating, P-Funk feel. I’m glad to hear his sound evolving, while still remaining firmly rooted in the incredibly fat low-end that is his signature. And this one even got a real release, so I didn’t have to rip it from Soundcloud(!)

Done For Me – Remember how I said I needed a few mainstream tunes for my benefit gig? Yeah, I played this too. It’s about as straight up pop as I can take, but I can’t deny the hook. Charlie Puth is a singer/somgwriter from Jersey who dead ass looks like the bastard child of Mark Ronson and Zach Braff. He blew up on Youtube before being signed by Ellen Degeneres (LMAO). Then he sang the chorus on Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” for the Fast & Furious soundtrack in 2015 and BOOM he was a bonafide star. I’ll say this much, pop or not, it’s always nice to hear a voice with perfect pitch – a lost art somehow.

Deixa Eu Dizer (Desabafo) – I think I first heard this weird, manic track in a Jazzy Jeff Boiler Room set. It’s a generously-pitched-up, beefed-up and chopped-up version of this Claudia song from 1973. I tend to hate sped-up samples, and I blame Kanye for proliferating them to begin with, but as a party record, this shit can blow up a room. Tropkillaz are two Brazilian cats, DJ Zegon & Andre Laudz, who met on Twitter and have been making 808 Bass Music together for labels like Mad Decent and Dim Mak ever since.

Rood Boy – Florida native Mark Starr makes these throwback electro type beats that labels like Claude Von Stroke’s Dirtybird just eat up. I can’t sit on them for too long, but they get me where I’m going.

Injecao – While I’m throwing the kitchen sink in this mix, why not include this hyped up Brazilian track from 2004 from Deize Tigrona, who was the first female MC to blow up in Rio’s Funk Carioca scene – which is essentially the southern hemisphere’s version of Miami Bass. MIA sampled her, which brought her out ion the favela to worldwide fame. The way she chopped up the theme to Rocky cracks me up.

Nya – I rarely can find a place for hard-ass bass beats like this, but this mix is now a free-for-all, so here it is. Dutch producer Martijn Deijkers aka Martyn makes great tracks in this vein, and he is always a few steps ahead of everyone else in his lane. Respect.

Same Old Story (Clueless remix) – I never really fucked with 2-step Garage very much, but I’ll pull one out every now and then just to see if NY dancers are up for the broken beat challenge, which they most assuredly are. This takes the acapella from Angie Stone’s ”Wish I Didn’t Miss You Anymore” and rearranges it inna dub style. Some DJ named Pledge put this out on Kudos Records in 2013.

Bahama Soul Stew – I came across this song by chance on Youtube one day, and my jaw dropped. There was a band called Funky Nassau? How have I never heard this? I soon found it reissued on this great German Tramp Records compilation, which is full of unsung dancefloor funk. I haven’t been able to dig up much about this Miami Group. Some speculate that they might be the same dudes as The Beginning of The End, who had a smash hit with “Funky Nassau”, but I’m skeptical. This tune is also equally reminiscent of King Curtis’ “Memphis Soul Stew”

Black Sweat – This was the standout on Prince’s 2006 album 3121, a reference to both Psalm 31:21 and the fact that was his 31st album that he released on March 21st. Just imagine how many years he sat on that idea LOL. At the time, in the tradition of Willy Wonka, Prince hid 4 purple tickets in 4 special copies of the album. Those lucky enough to find the ticket were flown to LA for a private show at his house. It has a real “Housequake” / “Hot Thang” throwback sound, so new or old, what’s not to like?

Give It Up Or Turn It loose (Reflex edit) – a slight re-edit, that actually pitches the whole track down a bit, but I love how fat the drums sound on this edit. Though I didn’t realize this till many years later, this recording, widely considered to be the definitive version (at least for DJs and breakdancers), was never really heard before 1986 – when it appeared on the “In The Jungle Groove” compilation – put out specifically to capitalize on the popularity of sampling JB in Hip Hop. The original version was pretty different, with no organ whatsoever, and a less complex bassline.

El Niño – An Afro-Pop party by way of France, courtesy of DjeuhDjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson. This came out in July and it’s been integral in my gym workouts evert since. These dudes make fun records. And sometimes that’s all you need.

Ultimatum – UK producers Disclosure made a huge splash in club land in 2013, but they’ve been laying low for the last several years. This came out in May of this year and, while not yielding too many surprises, it does deliver their clean club sound with precision, and the addition of a sample from Malian vocalist Fatoumata Diawara gives it something special.

Too Late Now – Queens rapper and singer Anik Khan is sort of hit or miss for me, but when he hits, I’m all about it. This came out in 2016 and does a nice job of flipping the phrase “too late now” to mean, in essence, “It’s too late, I’m already in love with you” rather than something more dire about the relationship being past saving. Clever indeed, and the ambitious musical arrangement is a clear cut above so much crap in rotation on Soundcloud these days. Check more of his work HERE.

Feel It Still (ZHU remix) – What was that I said about disliking pitched-up tracks? Well, here’s another exception. This Portugal. The Man song is over-played, for sure, and I really fucking hate that they put a period in the name of their group, but this version is hot to def.

Distant Signal – More perfection from The Revenge, who built off what good there was to be gleaned from the Nu Disco scene, but kept his eye on the prize, which has always just been making good house music, which he is really, really great at.

Ai Mi Morena (Club Des Belugas remix) – Ralf Droesemeyer and Mark Wetzler make up the German duo Mo’ Horizons, who rework modern Latin Jazz for those bland compilations that DJs are inundated with at every turn. That said, if you dig, these same bland compilations sometimes offer up some nice tracks, like dis shit right ‘chea.

Jazz Session for No Future People – Deep House with a Jazz slant. Not that hard to do IMO, but easy on the ears, so I ain’t mad. This came out of Lyon from DJ & producer Folamour, who is co-founder of the French labels Moonrise Hill Material and FHUO.

Caravan (Dub) – I don’t know anything about Reggae Clinic 65, but my hunch is they were a studio band briefly put together to record covers for library records in Belgium in the late 70s. And then they went back to their jobs as accountants or whatever. That said, this version of my favorite Sir Duke song is wicked.

That’s all for now. Peace!


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