I spent most of this year working at Wax Poetics, where I got introduced to a lot of these 2009 releases through promos sent to the magazine for review. The synths were big again this year, and merited a few repeat artists from ’08, notably Stones Throw’s Dam Funk and James Pants. While certainly I seek out electronic music as part of a well-balanced breakfast, this mix came out extra fortified, with programmed drums and sine-wave arpeggios melted into the nooks and crannies of other genres I was listening to. It was all put to good use in afrobeat (Chico Mann), dub (Major Lazer), grown-man-Steely-Dan-mellow (9dw), library kitch (Douglas Wood), breezy tropicalia (Antena), and sex jams (Chin Chin). The older and reissued material lends some context via a smattering of house (Lil Louis) and unreleased bedroom tapes from a maestro of Hi-NRG (Cowley). Hope you like.
# Artist – Song (Year Label)
1. Harald Grosskopf – So Weit So Gut (1980 Sky)
2. Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras – Memory Fails Me (2009 Macro)*
3. Nite Jewel – What Did He Say (2009 Gloriette)
4. James Pants – Sky Warning (2009 Stones Throw)
5. Junior Boys – Work (2009 Domino)
6. Hercules and Love Affair – You Belong (2008 DFA)
7. Lil Louis & The World – I Called U (1989 Epic)
8. Chico Mann – Go to that Place (2009 Furious Panther)
9. Subway – Jupiter (2009 Soul Jazz)
10. Major Lazer – Pon de Floor feat. Vybz Kartel (2009 Downtown)
11. Lykke Li – Complaint Department (2008 EMI)
12. Dam Funk – Searchin’ 4 Funk’s Future (2009 Stones Throw)
14. 9dw – Synthetic Avenues (2008 Catune)
15. Brian Bennett – Spiv (2009 Wax Poetics)*
16. Chin Chin – GG and The Boys (2009 Def Jux)
17. Antena – Bye Bye Papaye (2004 Numero)*
18. Douglas Wood – Moon Nightclub (2009 Trunk)*
(*reissues. original release dates may vary.)
Here in the future, the combination of promotional platforms like Myspace and the ubiquity of mp3s (and their $0 production cost) hardly give geographically local music scenes a chance to marinate into something distinct. Pre-internet, you had bounce in NOLA, go go in DC, and Detroit techno, but with the aid of digital distribution, noise bands in Providence sound like noise bands in Baltimore, and nationally, all music eventually distills into Lady Gaga. The geographic distinctions are melting, and while I’m not necessarily advocating for a locavore movement for music, it has had me searching for a new outlet for amateur, self-released, DIY sounds.
Luckily those same self publishing tools have allowed millions of other people (musicians and otherwise) to record themselves doing any number of things and upload it to YouTube, aka the Dollar Bins of the 21st Century. This year I tried to get omnivorous, and realized that for me, “digging” for YouTube videos is just as legit as LPs. Why prioritize one format over another? I get just as much satisfaction coming across some amazing vid with under 500 views as I do finding some bizzaro local LP (and now CDs and tapes too!) in a thrift store. And I want to play it for people.
This is my first attempt at a YouTube-sourced mix – a proof of concept. Putting together an audio mix from video material was a good exercise in keeping my ears open to good sounds in unexpected places, and I think the result has a sometimes radio-drama effect, mixing music, narration, and field recordings into a cohesive whole. I have more favorites where these came from, so expect something bigger down the line.
bennett4senate youtube finds mix
1. dog malfunction
2. Miami HEAT Fan Conduct Announcement Slow Jammed
3. Computer Teacher Beatdown
4. Spanish Rap Project
5. mathematics (independent) – math rap
6. The Slope Formula Snoop Dogg Style “Math Rap”
7. I show how to make trance in Fl studio (by Sonix 1241) #4
8. beamz Music Performance System
9. american girl music video – The Best Burrito I’ve ever had – parry gripp
10. Avatar Makeup tutorial
11. Epic Slow Clap and double OT victory
12. Pancho the singing parrot
13. Brookline is My Lady pt. 1
14. manualist plays young holt unlimited – soulful strut – on his hands!
Lets Get Serious, my other blog, and home of Mike McGill and Tackleberry of A Downtown Affair.
DJ Ghostdad (& the Fully Fitted family) who had Sober1, my main homey Josh Dunn, and myself on Mofo Radio this fall for a really fun show.
Trent, for having me as a guest on the special 45s and 40z edition of Sound and Safe.
WFMU in general, and what.cd for their dedication to quality!
I KNEW IT HAD TO BE GARAGEBAND – WHY PAY FOR STUDIO TIME WHEN YOU COULD BE RANTING OR SHOPPING? JUST GET A FFFFFAT KID TO SHOW YOU HOW IT’S DONE.
CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE: FFFFFAT KIDS
Kids know everything. Between this and Nerf Mods, I think we might have a series going.
The short answer is that this year I listened to a lot of disco.
In January ’08, shortly after publishing last year’s XMIXes and with the housing bubble still comfortably inflated, I linked up with like-minded WNYU DJs for the inaugural Serious Bu$iness, a night of electric disco and boogie funk. Still going strong at the ripe age of 1, Mike and Alex put me up on a lot of disco 12″ knowledge in 2008, and with the help of Jamie Dubs we established some Serious Bu$iness classic party starters including the D Train and Central Line included here.
Luckily we weren’t the only ones feeling the pulse of synths and boogie rhythms (and motherfucking so much autotune) last year – proud to say that my XMIX has a number of tracks that actually came out in 2008! James Pants and Dam-Funk are two of the most exciting recently signees to Stones Throw, and James’ Welcome LP and Dam’s Rhythm Trax Vol. 4 have been on steady rotation at the house. I also had the chance to share a drink and talk music with the both of them during CMJ, and they are two kind, motivated, enthusiastic dudes. Good people. No surprise – we’re all Gemini’s (me’n James got the same birthday).
Francis and the Lights – blowin’ up the blogs, amazing live show, mysterious frontman, incorporated rather than signed to a label, giving away their albums (mostly), sounds kinda like minimal, yelping Prince, beautiful stuff, about to be huge. (Just so y’all know, when all your friends are telling you about this new band, they played a show in my dining room back in 2007 – recognize game.)
A few discoveries came from the catalogs of a certain record label at which I was briefly employed this year that shall remain nameless. They have some deep gems in the catalog (which, thankfully, is completely digitized) that will remain painfully overlooked as long as they have the same boss problems that made me jump ship. The James Monroe cut being a prime example, as well as the lost bit of tape that’s on some after-school program spittle, reminiscent of my man Eli’s famo-worthy battle.
With my “cheesy music” gag reflex seriously tamed by a steady diet of disco, (and a friendly push from my girlfriend) the floodgates were opened to let some seriously R&B-flavored jams find their way into my crates and my heart, from Computer Love, Loose Ends, and the crafty productions of the System, up to the ‘too soon?’ nostalgia of a Mark Morrison banger. Raymond Scott and Project Pat, scientists in their own worlds, got me through my last semester of college, and Javelin will be forever fresh.
Stay tuned to letsgetserious.net for more musical selections in 2009!
Marty McSorely - I had a chance to do a guest spot on Marty
s show, a night called Broken Tape Decks, where Marty, Forest and I played all thrift-store and found cassettes for 4 hours. Totally awesome, some super bizzare music, listen here
A Downtown Affair – Mike McGill and Alex B. doin’ the disco from WNYU to you. My guest set here.
Discogs, Wax Poetics, drop.io, Last.fm, Opentape, and Oh Babar! for being great resources.
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