h.e.r. – 2
l’orange feat blu & elzhi – the difference
BJ the kid – turnin’ me up
sza – go gina
erykah badu – other side of the game
shigeto – detroit pt 1
wasiu – tabula rasa
gil scott heron – angel dust (reflex revision)
lowrell – mellow mellow (right on)
abra – diamonds and gold
amir bresler feat seri zisling & uzi ramirez – afro golden line
jackie mittoo – get up and get it
tami lynn – light my fire
blu & exile – party of two
stone alliance – sweetie pie
beastie boys vs flying lotus – root down (blend)
afrique – house of rising funk
loyle carner feat tom misch – damselfly
alaskalaska – a girl like you
bacao rhythm & steel band – love like this (45 edit)
buddy miles – baby don’t stop (sit on the rock)
jackson five – i wanna be where you are (leon ware tribute version)
freedom – get up and dance
galaxxy – we’re here to rock you
hall & oates – she’s gone (dara screwed edit)
michael kiwanuka – cold little heart
the beginning of the end – when she made me promise
henri pierre noel – back home… sweet home
smino – innamission
nick monaco – freak flag
young holt unlimited – bumpin’ on young street
etch – chemotaxis
antwon – what I do
little dragon – ritual union
suicide – dream baby dream (long version)



2 – Gabi Wilson, aka H.E.R., is a 20 year-old singer-songwriter from Vallejo, California. She joins the growing list of artists (Leikeli47, Sia, etc) that choose to hide their faces and let their music speak for them. This is a trend I can get behind, and this Timbaland-esque beat is a sound I can groove to. This came out last month, on her self-titled debut album that combined the 2 EPs she’s released thusfar.

The Difference – Nashville rapper L’Orange is back with his third self-produced album, and the lead-off single features two cats who are always nice with theirs, Blue & Elzhi. Rhymes aside, this dude is also a really accomplished beatmaker, and the whole album is worth a listen

Turnin’ Me Up – Somehow, this is not a D’angelo B-side, it’s Chicago soul singer BJ The Kid. He started out as a writer for Blackstreet vocalist Dave Hollister, then began putting out his own mixtapes around 2006. This is from his second album, “In My Mind”, that dropped on Motown in 2016. He’s also down with dudes like ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul, and Kendrick put a dope verse on this album cut.

Go Gina – My man David Rodriguez and I sometimes build about different tunes or artists that we’re feeling as of late. Lucky for me, he took the time to send my a link to this track he was feeling. I’ve just been waiting for the right type of mixtape to drop it on, and the mood seems perfect right about here. Jersey-by-way-of-Missouri neo-soul singer Solána Imani Rowe goes by the stage name SZA (pronounced “Sizza”), short for “Sovereign Zig-Zag Allah”. I miss dope-ass five percenter nicknames, so I’ll take zig zag allah as kinda the next best thing.

Other Side of the Game – This has always been one of my favorite Badu tracks, and it’s probably the one and only beautiful R&B song written about the realities of making babies with dudes in the drug game. We all know we can count on Erykah to keep it real at all times. I dropped in the acapella here and there, and also laid the beat from the Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere” on top, just to give it a little more energy.

Detroit Pt 1 – Ann Arbor native Zach Saginaw makes beats under the name Shigeto. This track was on his second LP, No Better Time Than Now, which came out in 2013 on the Matthew Dear’s underground electronic label, Ghostly International, who are always just slightly under the radar (in the best way).

Tabula Rasa – Montreal rapper Wasiu took an old beat he had from Kaytranada (back when his name was Kaytradamus LOL) and paired it with an old verse of his, and BOOM brand new song! This came out last month. I like the simple, straight forward head nod it provides. If you still doubt his lyrical ability, I recommend this other Kaytranada joint from 2015 for further evidence that Montreal can deliver.

Angel Dust (Reflex Revision) – One of Gil Scott Heron’s later era classics, from his 1978 “Secrets” LP. The Reflex’s remix strips things down just a bit, and let’s you really hear the dope-ass synth bass that Brian Jackson is laying down. I count Gil on a short list of personal musical heroes, so tracks like really speak to the depth and profound sadness of his message. Whatever personal demons he may have wrestled with, he left the earth a much richer place through his poetry, and we should all raise a glass in his honor.

Mellow Mellow (Right On) – Chicago soul singer Lowrell Simon came up in groups like the Vondells and The Lost Generation. He also wrote music for Mystique, Loleatta Holloway, and the Three The Hard Way soundtrack. Liberace signed him to his own label, AVI Records, where he released his one LP in 1979, simply entitle Lowrell. This was a hit in the clubs and on the R&B charts, and you probably recognize the beat from samples like Common’s “Reminding Me (of Sef).

Diamonds & Gold – I feel like the R&B landscape has been devoid of minimalist beats like this for some time, which is why it really caught my ear when I first heard it. Singer-songwriter Abra was born in Queens and spent her early youth in London before resettling in Gwinnett County outside of ATL. She’s down with the Awful Records Collective, but has released music on different labels like True Panther Sounds and Acid Palace. I threw an old Biz Markie beat over the last half just cuz I’m a DJ and we simply can’t resist such temptations.

Afro Golden Line – This Israeli drummer Amir Bresler seems to be making up his own afrobeat rhythm here. Is it a 5/8ths time signature? I’m terrible at this kind of math. And all math, for that matter. All I know is… shit is funky. More importantly, it felt like a good way to switch up the mood of this mix, and get things moving.

Get Up and Get It – My last visit to Cincinnati was a quick stopover on our way to see the eclipse in Kentucky. Alison and I had a late night burrito at The Comet with my day one’s, Chris Donnelly and Joni Cline Sherman. Chris put this Jackie Mittoo song on the jukebox, and I immediately stored it in my mind for safekeeping. While not a direct lift, it’s clearly Jackie’s version of the Meters’ classic “Look-Ka Py Py

Light My Fire – A solid, soulful cover of the Doors from Tami Lynn, a New Orleans singer that had a modicum of success in the 60s. She was discovered by music journalist-turned music producer Jerry Wexler, who signed Zeppelin (among many, many others) and is most famously credited with coining the term “Rhythm & Blues”, during his time as an editor for Billboard.

Party of Two – Yes, Los Angeles wordsmith Blu is back with a new anthology LP, and it’s a nice testament to how he and his DJ/Producer Exile have been getting down for the last decade or so. It’s just straight up boom bap with tight, thoughtful wordplay that any 90s head like yourself will appreciate.

Sweetie Pie – Back to some serious Jazz Funk, with this heavily-sampled joint from Stone Alliance. The group was formed in NYC in the mid-60s, and various members used to also gig with cats like Nina Simone and Elvin Jones. I always loved how the Beastie Boys would shout out rare breakbeats in their lyrics (Ad Rock “I’m like Sweetie Pie by the Stone Alliance, everybody knows I’m known for dropping’ science”, so I worked the “Root Down” acapella into this a bit, as a natural bridge into the next blend.

Root Down – I made this short blend of Flying Lotus’ “Melt!” and the Beastie Boys’ “Root Down” just for this mix. Speaking of shouting out breaks, in addition to the Sweetie Pie shout out mentioned above, the first verse also includes mentions of The Meters, Jimmy Smith and moog master Dick Hyman. The Beasties were crate diggers from way back, and they always let you know that they know their shit.

House of Rising Funk – All this breakbeat talk had me reaching for this 1973 Afrique joint. The intro drums laid the foundation for NWA’s “Appetite for Destruction”, and the first guitar lick was pitched up for that annoying “OH!” sound that loops all the way through Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up”. Afrique was a studio band in LA best known for their cover of “Soul Makossa” which was on the US charts at the same time as the original.

Damselfly – To my detriment, I don’t normally show UK rappers a lot of love in my mixes, but something about the laid back flow of this cut really caught my attention. Loyle Carner is a South London MC whose been putting out tracks since 2014. His first album, “Yesterday’s Gone”, came out this year. Peep more of his smoothed out steez on his SOUNDCLOUD

A Girl Like You – Still on that side of the pond, west London producer Nathan Jenkins aka Bullion put this on his recently released compilation of very eclectic pop covers on Deek Recordings. I always had a soft spot for the Edwyn Collins’ original, and this ALASKALASKA version reminded me of The Tom Tom Club, so I figured why not throw it in this mix. Check out the rest of the weird compilation HERE.

Love Like This – The B-side of the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band’s “Was Dog a Doughnut” 45. If you can’t help but smile hearing steel drums, you might dig their other song that I put on THIS MIX.

Baby Don’t Stop (Sit On the Rock) – I don’t think I own any Buddy Miles solo albums that I would sit and listen to front-to-back, but this song is a solid slice of mid-70s Jazz Funk, by any measure. Funk fact: Buddy also sang lead vocals for the California Raisins. His kids are probably still cashing that check, baleedat.

I Wanna be Where You Are (Leon Ware Tribute Version) – The thing I always love about Reflex remixes is the what instruments from the original arrangement he chooses to pull back, and what he chooses to bring forward. First, you get just Michael and the guitar, then the strings really kick in, and it just build in layers. He left the drums out completely. But you know I like songs that build up in some way, so I mixed in the original towards the end. It was written by Leon Ware and Arthur “T-Boy” Ross, the brother of Diana Ross (they also wrote “I Want You” for Marvin Gaye), and Leon recorded his own version a few years later.

Get Up and Dance – The kazoo break that launched a thousand parties. Freedom was a funk outfit from Jackson, Miss who got together in 1975 and lived long enough to see the royalty checks that resulted from the lawsuit against Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, who took the entire break and even named the song after the band, but gave them no credit.

We’re Here To Rock You – While we’re in a proto-Hip Hop mode, this seemed like the perfect place to drop this 1982 plate by Galaxxy. They put out several of their own singles on the Pop Art label, and also played on Eddie D’s “Cold Cash Money.“

She’s Gona (Dara Edit) – I found this weird Hall & Oates edit on some blog, and I still can’t quite figure out how this song is both faster and yet also sounds so pitched down, and yet, here we are.

Cold Little Heart – I just recently got hip to British singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka. People say he reminds them of Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield, but to me, this song seemed like it should have been in the opening title sequence for Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight.” There’s a whole intro to this song that I’ve edited out, so if you dig it, go buy the longer version.

When She Made Me Promise – Hip Hop heads will recognize the first few bars of this The Beginning of the End song from the interlude that precedes Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You”. This Bahamian band is, of course, best known for their international hit, “Funky Nassau”, and it closes out their debut LP from 1971.

Back Home… Sweet Home – Tropical Jazz pianist Henri-Pierre Noel came to Canada from Haiti. After recording and releasing 2 albums of his kompa funk in the late 70s, he played piano bars in Montreal for 20 years before being noticed by indie label Wah Wah 45s - an imprint I’ve been following since they first came on the scene in the late 90s. They reissued his early stuff, remixed some of this tunes, and got him to record some new joints as well. As a result, his original pressings are very highly sought after, and a few of his cuts have been fueling my own playlists for years.

Innamission – An album cut from the 2017 debut album “Blkswn” by St Louis lyricist, Smino. I really dig this dude’s flow, and his album is full of eclectic beats and odd phrasings that make him an easy standout among today’s cookie-cutter trap rappers. Peep the whole album HERE

Freak Flag – I think I like this Nick Monaco song because it sounds like something you’d hear on “Flight of the Conchords”. Never underestimate the power of a simple hook that people can sing along to in under 10 seconds.

Bumpin’ On Young Street – Some more early 70s instrumental goodness from the Young Holt Unlimited – a band formed in 1966 from the other two members of the Ramsey Lewis Trio. Their biggest hit was 1968’s “Soulful Strut”, back in the day when, if it was good enough, the instrumental of a song could get more airplay than the original vocal (Barbara Acklin’s “Am I The Same Girl”).

Chemotaxis – Brits might call this Edge track “Breakstep” or some odd strain of Jungle. I just call it HOT.

What I Do – One more Kaytranada beat for this mix cuz, yes, I am in love with this dude’s beats like that. In a world of mumble rappers phoning in endless, moronic verses about the same shit, Antwon’s delivery is at least something different. It figures he used to be the singer for a Philadelphia punk band (Leather).

Ritual Union – This old Little Dragon song still pops into my head for some reason, so I decided to throw it in this mix, right here, towards the end. If there was ever a case for the super-short bangs thing, Yukimi Nagano should convince anybody. Add to that Little Dragon’s whole steez and its no wonder these cats sell out every time they hit NYC.

Dream Baby Dream – Just when I thought this mix was finally over, I remembered I did have one song that could probably keep up with Little Dragon’s 144 bpm tune above, and that’s this classic, 1979 new-wave-meets-bizarro-punk song by Suicide. I absolutely love this song, especially this freaky VHS-stressed live performance.  It’s like a really weird odd mix of The Young Marble Giants and Roy Orbison, with a dash of Elvis and Dave Vanian. I truly think we heard the influence of this song throughout the 80s, from The Misfits to New Order, and many others in-between. Bruce Springsteen’s live cover brought a whole new emotional level to it that I daresay made it ever better. You can check that version on THIS MIX.

That’s a wrap. Stay sexy, bitches.

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