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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mixtape: Roger Riddle - "Music from the Juke Joint 2.0"

In May I DJed a party that might have saved my DJ soul.

I've been DJing for about 15 years now, and it gets harder and harder to keep doing it.

Now, everyone is a DJ. Thanks to streaming, everyone has a huge music collection. Digital DJing has it's advantages, but the downside is everyone thinks they're a DJ. People can hear their favorite song any time they want, so why should it be any different in the club?

People make requests and they are incredibly rude. No one wants to hear a song - no matter how good it is - if they've never heard it before. Play it, an everyone walks off the dance floor.

For years I DJed in a place where the people who would most enjoy my events either didn't come to them, or if they did, they all went ad sat in the patio outside and smoked smoked cigarettes for 3 hours before they came in to party for the last hour.

Music has changed so much that stuff I am really into seems irrelevant. I never dig deep into my collection. And I began to wonder if all my years of digging for music was best served only playing for myself. 

I'm doing all this complaining to say - In May I DJed an event in Akron, Ohio called the Juke Joint 2.0. It was put together by my friend Eriq Troi. It featured DJ Vinnie G and myself.

It was the absolute opposite of everything that I just said was wrong with my prior DJing experiences. It was such a breath of fresh air - and much needed too. Prior to playing this event I had been telling my girlfriend that I wanted to quit DJing live shows because I wasn't enjoying them anymore. 

I put together this great set of music to pull from at the Juke Joint, and when my time came to go on, people danced and sang from beginning to end. It was amazing. People danced til they were soaked in sweat, and sang until their voice was hoarse. 

This mix is a selection of songs that I played from that night. I hope you enjoy.
Track list after the jump.

Be Thankful For What You Got (FKJ Remix) by William De Vaughn
Slave - Watching You by Slave
Inside Out by Odyssey
Rock Creek Park by Blackbyrds
Jam on it (Main Mix) by Mos Def
Let The Beat Hit 'Em by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Unknown by Unknown
Saturdays by De La Soul
Golden (Kaytranada's Life Extended Living Edition) by Jill Scott
Stronger Than Pride (Karizma K2 Mix) by Sade
Everybody Everybody by Black Box
Big Fun (Original 12'' Mix) by Inner City
100% Pure Love by Crystal Waters
Optimistic (Original) by Zepherin Saint, Ann Nesby, G3
I Can't Kick This Feeling When It Hits [Explicit] by Moodymann
Looking For The Perfect Beat (12" Vocal Version) (Remastered) by Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force
I Didn't Mean To Turn You On by Cherrelle
A.I.E. (Cobblestone Jazz Remix) by Soil & "Pimp" Sessions
Elevator (Going Up) (Louie Veg by Louie Vega, Monique Bingham
My Life Is A Minimal Circle (Original Mix) by Rick Wilhite
Haven't You Heard (Joey Negro Extended Disco Mix) by Patrice Rushen
It's Tricky by Run-D.M.C.
Push It by Salt 'N' Pepa
The Tears Of A Clown by Smokey Robinson
Momma Say Bull Shit (rmx) by Rod Lee
Ensemble by Sinclair
Lions Of Judah (Four Tet Re-Edit) by Emanative & Ahmed Abdullah

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mixtape: Roger Riddle - "Tuning In"

I've been "Tuning In" to a lot of good new music lately. I share what I recently discovered with my newest mix.

This mix came about because I have not been able to spot playing Katranada's "Lite Spots", Jarreau Vandal's "Small Talk", and Prequel's "Nothing Better".

I guess you can call these songs house music, but they really blur the lines between a lot of different styles.

So as I am listening to them over and over again over the past couple of months, I have been collecting songs that I think will sound good around them. Some were old favorites of mine - Trus'me's "W.A.R." and House of Gypsies' "Sume Sigh Say" but most were new. There is a lot of good new music out there right now and it just keeps coming.

Then just as I thought I had all I needed to finally put together a decent mix, I hear something I knew about but had slept on. Emanative's cover of Sun Ra's "Love In Outer Space". It came on in my headphones and I knew right then that I had to include it - even if it wasn't really a house song.

This song was part of an album called The Light Years of Darkness that was recorded and released as a fundraiser for the Steve Reid Foundation - an organization which aims to help people working in music who are in crisis. Killer album for a great cause. Download it.

And because of that Emanative song, I was finally able to play that massive Cut Chemist tune at the very end of the mix that has never fit anywhere else.

Listen, share, and enjoy. Tracklist after the jump.

Trus’me - W.A.R.
Moodymann - I Got Werk
Kraak & Smaak - Way Back Home Feat. Ivar
Reverendos Of Soul, Danny Losito, Micky More, Andy Tee - Moon Rising (Micky More & Andy Tee Mix)
Re-Tide - Revolution Is Here (Original Mix)
Joy Jones, Osunlade - Over (Osunlade Remix)
Marcel Lune - Sketches (Original Mix)
DJ Gregory - Block Party
Eli Escobar, Steven Klavier - Back 2 Luv
Soul Vision, Dario D'Attis - Don't Stop (Dario D'attis Remix)
Mad Villains, Aisha Zoe - Senses feat. Aisha Zoe (Extended Mix)
Jarreau Vandal - Small Talk
Reckonwrong - Getting Warmer (Hot Mix)
Seven Davis Jr - Open Up(Remix)
Kort, FaMEnotMoney, Elementary - That's Why (Original Mix)
Prequel - Nothing Better
House Of Gypsies - Sume Sigh Say (MAW Remix)
Emanative - Love In Outer Space (feat' Ahmed Abdullah)
Cut Chemist - Adidas to Addis

Friday, November 18, 2016

Mixtape: Superfunkycalifragisexy - ChillHop: Autumn Serenade

ChillHop: Autumn Serenade

I've been using Mixcloud to host my mixes for awhile now, but I am just finding a community of my own within it. One of those people in that community is a DJ by the name of Supercalifragisexy.

Supercali's most recent mix is a relaxing instrumental listen that is really jazzy tones over hip-hop drum beats.

It's one of those mixes that I wish I had pulled off myself - each song making me say, "Ooh! What is this?"

Perfect for work. Perfect for just relaxing. Perfect for night time. I suggest you listen.

I'll work on getting the full track list for this mix.

Need more to listen to? Try my mix, "Big Love".

Maynard Ferguson - Primal Scream

Maynard Ferguson's Primal Scream is the work of a bad M.F.

Maynard Ferguson - Primal Scream
Columbia, 1976

I'll buy anything that has Bob James name on it, and that's how I ended up with this record. I have to say that I feel as if I will never run out of Bob James records to buy. He easily could have been the hardest working musician of the 70s. The only person I can think of that holds a candle to Bob James is Ron Carter. These two men were on every album made in the 70s.

Bob James produced this album. It has that great 70s Bob James feel, and it features the cast of musical characters you would expect to see on an album produced by Bob James.

Eric Gale, Ralph MacDonald, Gary King, Steve Gadd. Chick Corea makes an appearance on a track titled "Cheshire Cat".

A notable track is "Pagliacci" which Ferguson performed at the closing ceremonies of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

When I bought this album, my good friend Dale Hamlin was in town for a visit. He pointed out this pretty funny section on the back of the album jacket.

 Now, I believe what is going on here is that Ferguson used his own initials to signify that the instruments were from his own design. However, hilarity ensued when Dale read the section as, "Maynard Ferguson plays a Mutha' Fuckin' Horn Trumpet..." Funny. As. Hell.

I hope there was a bit of intentional double entendre written into the way that was worded.

If you need some music to keep you going, may I suggest my Mixcloud mix, "Big Love" - a mixture of funk, soul, Latin jazz, Brazilian, and a little bit of deep house thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Gabor Szabo - Bacchanal

I grabbed Gabor Szabo's Bacchanal because of a Bobby Womack interview.

Gabor Szabo - Bacchanal
Skye, 1968

I've been on a Gabor Szabo kick lately. If I hear him, I really tune in. If I see one of his records, I buy it. It's all because I found out that he did the original recording of "Breezin'" - the song made famous by George Benson.

I learned this in an interview with Bobby Womack (in that same interview Bobby Womack said he wrote "Breezin'", which I didn't know. He also said that he wrote lyrics to the song).

That was enough to make me pay attention to Szabo. Bacchanal is one of three albums he released on the Skye label - which he started with Cal Tjader and Gary McFarland.

The album featured two new songs written by Szabo, and the rest of the songs were covers of pop tunes of the day. The stand out track for me is his version of Donovan's "Three King Fishers". He also covers Donovan's "Sunshine Superman". There are also songs from Burt Bacharach, Lee Hazelwood and others.

Be sure to check out my mix, "Big Love", on Mixcloud.

Mixtape: Roger Riddle - Big Love

Almost a year later, I take a second look at my set from Big Love.

Almost a year ago I played a sustainability festival in Akron called Big Love. I built a set that focused on drums and percussion because I was going to be playing along side Elec Simon, who would be live drumming over the mix. 

Elec is an incredibly talented guy. He toured with STOMP! for 10 years. Then he came back home to Northeast Ohio and began working on a anti-bullying porgram because his best friend growing up committed suicide due to bullying.

He goes into different schools and teaches percussion classes while sliding in an easy to digest anti-bullying message. He has become a mentor to many kids in the process.

So the guy is seriously busy. In fact, when the day came for us to perform at Big Love, he had just gotten back home from Toronto the day before. He was there playing the NBA All-Star game weekend as part of the three-point shootout entertainment.

So, with all that in mind I had to be on my A-game. We had only played together once before and that was an impromptu set at Mighty Soul Night. Mighty Soul Night is a night of funk, jazz, latin, soul, and afro-beat spun by DJs with live drummers. It takes place every 4th Friday at Uncorked Wine Bar in downtown Akron, Ohio. The night I met Elec, I just happened to be DJing a guest spot, and he just happened to come in after being invited to come hang out with a friend. We hit it off.

So I came up with a set that I thought Elec would be able to work with. I practiced and I recorded those practice sessions so I could figure out my mistakes and tweak the session where it was needed. When I was satisfied with it, I shared the final practice session with a few close friends. Then I got ready to play it live.

The set turned out to be beautiful. However, I didn't record it so all I had was those recordings of my practice sessions. I recently took another look at the tracks from that day and started to play them again. I realized that I really liked this set. I added a track. I took one away. And then I hit record and here it is. It's not perfect, but it is still a fun listen. I hope you enjoy, and more importantly I hope you dance.

The track listing can be found after the jump.

Bill Withers - Let It Be
Herman Kelly & Life - Dance to the Drummer's Beat (Jim Burgess 12" Mix)
Barry White - Your Sweetness Is My Weakness
Third World - Now That We Found Love
Ben Westbeech - So Good Today
Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley - As We Enter
79rs Gang - Drama
The Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau, Part 1
Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Startin' Something (Roger Riddle Big Love Re-edit)
Rick Wilhite - Drum Pattern & Memories (Moodymann Mix)
Eddie Kendricks - Date With The Rain
Héctor Lavoe - Mi Gente (LOUIE VEGA EOL REMIX)
Todd Terje - Strandbar (samba)
Sonzeira - Bam Bam Bam [feat. Giovanca]
Kashmere Stage Band - I Wish (Todd Terry Remix)
Kaori - Good Life (Good Vocal Mix)
House Of Gypsies - Sume Sigh Say (MAW Remix)
Salomé De Bahia - Outro Lugar
Portinho - Batumata
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Ain't Nothin' But A Party

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What was it like to go to a Pink Floyd concert in 1966?

Pink Floyd in 1967. (L-R: Nick Mason, Rick Wright, Roger Waters and Syd Barrett) Michael Ochs Archives/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Joe Boyd remembers those Pink Floyd early years because he was booking the band at his club in London.

To celebrate the release of the new Pink Floyd Early Years 1965 - 1972 box set - a 27 disc set (to put that in perspective, Dark Side of the Moon wasn't released until 1975) - NPR sat down with writer and producer Joe Boyd to talk about those early days of the band.

In 1965 Boyd went to the UK to help get an overseas office of Elektra Records up and running. The following year he opened his own club, the UFO Club, in London. It was London's first psychedelic rock club, and one of the acts that played there regularly was Pink Floyd.

So, few people know what a live performance from Pink Floyd was like better than Boyd does. Take a listen to what he had to say about that era with his All Songs Considered session with NPR.

And be sure to read the full NPR All Songs Considered post to learn more about #PinkFloydWeek.