Mixtape Monday: DJ Premier x Ally Al Exclusive, Ta-Ku, Curtis Mayfield & More!
Chase those autumn doldrums away, it's another glorious Mixtape Monday in the Okayplayey universe. That means fresh beats are headed your way, and this week kicks off with sounds of the present, past and future, featuring the exclusive world premiere of DJ Ally Al's latest Premier Beats set. The mix is an all-DJ Premier volume that covers some very best hip-hop tracks ever made by the living legend and is--dare we say it--the best mix of Premier's material that this here publication has ever encountered. Keep digging deeper and you'll find the cuts we've amassed from likes of Ta-Ku, Curtis Mayfield, and many more funk sources. So whether you're feeling the early onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder or still reeling from an Election Day hangover, pour yourself a glass of something strong, take ten mixes and call us in the morning.
Last week we debuted a mixtape of one hip-hop producer's legendary material, and this week we're continuing in kind. Okayplayer is proud to present the world premiere of DJ Ally Al's latest Premier Beats Mixtape--a set entirely comprised of estimable cuts produced by DJ Premier. Ally already proved he had nigh-limitless respect for Premo with his first Premier Beats mixtape offering, but this latest volume shows just how deep the love goes. Of course, there's some Gangstarr, but we've also got Group Home, Screwball, and a choice Das EFX instrumental in the mix, making it a proper hat-tip to the intricate and hard-hitting sound that Premier always serves up. "His status as a living legend can go unquestioned in my book," Ally said of his hero.
With gritty drums and inspired samples, the work of Premo is an ideal way to kick off not only our roundup, but the entire week in general. Ally Al worked hard to bring us DJ Premier's best, so press play and enjoy your coast above the clouds.
Gang Starr - "Above The Clouds (ft Inspektah Deck)"
Jay Z - "Friend or Foe"
MOP - "Breakin' The Rules"
Group Home - "Suspended In Time"
Jeru the Damaja - "Come Clean"
Gang Starr - "You Know My Steez"
Das EFX - "Real Hip Hop ( Instrumental )"
Ol Dirty Bastard - "Pop Shots"
Afu-Ra - - "Big Acts Little Acts ( Rmx ) ft GZA"
MOP - "Follow Instructions"
Royce Da 5'9" - "Boom ( Instrumental )"
Afu Ra - "Lyrical Monster"
Screwball - "F.A.Y.B.A.N."
It's hard to not enjoy your week when there's new Ta-Ku to indulge your ears in. And while this isn't the Songs To Make Up To drop that we've been hoping for (you coming with that soon, Mr. -Ku?) the latest installment in the Aussie's Drive Slow Homie mix series is definitely some true-to-form fire, as detailed and realized as his own back catalog with even more variety for we listeners. The idea behind both the mix's name and song selection is outlined by Ta-Ku as "songs that make you want to circle the block a few more times before getting out."
Once again Ta-Ku's mind doesn't so much bend genres as bash them in, and hearing the g-funk trap of Fortune on the same set as Mr. Carmack's after-party vibe is just further confirmation that Ta-Ku knows how to pick em as well as he knows how to make em.
oriLUN - "Tekojtrapkomo"
Breezy Lovejoy - "Play Your Part"
BMB - "All What You Want"
Fortune - "Grind"
Untitled (Competition Winner)
Jeftuz - "Janet"
Louis Futon - "Six Ten"
Mr Carmack - "Throw Your Chains Off"
Khadisma - "TWYB"
Scientific - "Sure Thing"
B.Lewis - "Days in the West"
Salute - "Rock The Boat"
R.O.M - "Beautiful"
Fwdslxsh + Kource Edit - "2on"
? - "Easier Said Than Done"
Ticklish - "Rescue Me"
Falcxne - "First Time"
A veteran of DJ Krush's KRUSH POSSE, Japanese producer, DJ and sometimes-MC Muro has always had an ear for the very best funk and soul on the planet, as well as a brilliant knack for sewing them together in just the right ways. In collaboration with Stussy Clothing, Muro took on the legendary catalog of Curtis Mayfield, making a mix that delivers some of the most classic, brilliant recordings of the Chicago crooner's career. In the set is Mayfield's tortured cover of Baby Huey's "Hard Times," the dystopian warning call "Future Shock," and the groovy-as-it-is-gruesome "Freddie's Dead." Muro's set is a stark reminder of how below the ornate arrangements and gritty funk, Mayfield pushed his songwriting deep into the somber and unjust places of society. Then again, you could enjoy this one as a sprawling compendium of hip-hop sample sources and you'd learn just as much by listening. All the more reason to salute Mayfield (and Muro)--keep this one spinning on repeat through the week.
When we saw that Okayplayer homegirl Natalia Linares was curating a new radio show, we knew the results would be mandatory listening. Señora Linares compiled a mix of no-nonsense greats; you'll find Kendrick Lamar, Black Star, Erykah Badu and Los Rakas waiting for you in this one. The only catch? We can't post the actual mix here! So check the full tracklist and click on over to Soundcloud to enjoy the español-infused sonic joy.
Kendrick Lamar - Collard Greens
Kap G - Mexico My Momma Came From
Black Star (Talib Kweli & Mos Def) - Brown Skin Lady
Chicano Batman - El Jalapeno
Cultura Profetica - Ideas Nuevas
Erykah Badu - Hip-Hop
Kaliuchis - Never Be Yours
La Lupe - Puro Teatro
Los Rakas - Chica De Mi Corazon
Zuzuka Poderosa - Baile Crunk
Princess Nokia - Yaya
Makiza (con Ana Tijoux) - La Rosa De Los Vientos
Los Rakas - "Mi Barrio"
We know it's Mixtape Monday, but it might as well be #ThrobackThursday thanks to this burning retro set from Here & Now Recordings. The UK group took it upon themselves to feature some of the best, most under-appreciated material released on the soul and funk-flavored ATA Records label, and the results of their experiments have proven to be fantastic. There's the spooky afro-funk of The Sorcerers, The Lamplighters' bombastic spy soundtrack cut "London Station," some JB-tinged bopping courtesy of Reverend Barrington Stanley and...well, you get the idea. Read the full description of the collection, straight from Here & Now themselves, and consider purchasing your own copy for some serious home vinyl listening pleasure.
"There's a certain deep, rich, warm sound which can only be achieved from the equipment and instruments of the 1960's and 1970's." A cornerstone philosophy and belief written as the postscript on a final letter of permission from the estate of the co-owner of ATA Records. The story of this label is set in the heart of the North of England, in the Yorkshire city of Leeds, where ATA's boutique analog studio spent years developing it's sound to create a vast, rich catalog of soulful music which utilised the handsome wealth of local musical talent and boasted a recording output to rival that of it's New York & Detroit contemporaries. The 12 recordings on this compilation encapsulate the high quality playing, performing and production which sealed the burgeoning reputation that ATA was gaining within Leeds and wets the appetite as to what the label could have achieved in the greater musical landscape of that period, both domestically and internationally. Here & Now Recordings are overwhelmingly humbled to be able to share such a rich slice of UK funk and soul history with you where a commitment to carefully restore the material with similar 1960s and 1970s analog instruments and equipment was both a logical duty and personal pleasure. Here & Now Recordings would also like to thank the gracious and generous estates of the owners, performers and producers of this music who helped make this compilation possible and to Neil Innes and Pete Williams for their tireless work and love in reviving and restoring the sounds and name of the ATA Recordings imprint by keeping all things analog."
Cleveland Freckleton - "The Flip"
The Sorcerers - "Cave Of Brahma"
The Harmony Society - "Brother Move On"
The Lamplighters - "London Station"
The Sorcerers - "Elephant"
Reverend Barrington Stanley - "Cookie Jar"
The Sorcerers - "The Terror"
Ivan Von Engelberger's Asteroid - "Thought Forms"
The Lamplighters - "Moscow Central"
The Mandatory Eight - "Sucker Punch"
The Yorkshire Film And Television Orchestra - "Hawkshaw Philly"
The Cadets - "What We Are Made Of"
It's been a little too long since we checked in with the consistently great mixtapes compiled by the mindful folks at The Fader, and it turns out their two most recent features are two of the best they've ever produced.
First off, Les Sins (aka Toro Y Moi) turns out a tape that's equal parts indie rock and spine-breaking bass. Michael, the first official Les Sins full-length, finally dropped last week, and we highly recommend spinning this mix a while as you read up on the new project and prepare to place your order.
Les Sins Fader Mix Tracklist:
Alex G - "Forever"
surrenderdorothy - "whatcouldpossiblygowrong"
baby tears - "Diet Coke"
D Tiberio - "Bus People"
JTS - "Ye"
Cashy - "Heavy Toter"
LS - "Past"
D Tiberio - "Why Do I Stay?"
Chris Travis - "Where You Goin"
Xavier Wulf - "No One Is Safe"
Alex G - "Memory"
But that's not all. The Fader also got a hold of Aussie electro-soul crooner Chet Faker last week and convinced him to turn out a mix that's even heavier, darker and (dare we say it?) more sinful than the Les Sins mix above. Things begin with an unreleased Lucian Blomkamp remix of "Talk is Cheap," Faker's dynamite love-drenched single that still shows no sign of losing its appeal. From there we're treated to the smoky tones of Trimbal and Mala, before things lighten a bit with a live rendition of "The Ghetto" from old-school soul man Donny Hathaway. Things end, for Faker, where this entire page began--with Les Sins. Nicely played, Fader.
Chet Faker- "Talk Is Cheap (Lucian Blomkamp Remix)" (unreleased)
Goldlink - "When I Die (prod. McCallaman)"
Mala - "Alicia"
Trimbal - "Confidence Boost"
Prequel - "Fidelio (unreleased)"
Donny Hathaway - "The Ghetto"
Les Sins - "Grind"
Not taking any breaks after his 600th show (!!), Belgian workingman's DJ LeFtO doled out a top-caliber show set over the weekend from his local record den, rigging up Ghostface Killah, Run the Jewels, Romare, Vegyn, and (once again) Les Sins before handing over the turntables and mixer to The Mixfitz in his second hour. The mix begins with some acclaim for the underground, and while LeFtO's skills are far from a hushed-up secret, his choices consistently point to the next best things in hip-hop and beyond.
Download the full show here.
Pains - "Silk Rhodes"
Trian Kayhatu - "Hymn (Shemquestionmark’s Laid Back Remix)"
Keyon Harrold - "Her Beauty Through My Eyes"
Run the Jewels - "Love Again (akinyele back)"
Beat Spacek - "I Wanna Know"
Machinedrum - "Safed"
Dean Blunt - "Punk"
Ruby Rushton Experiment - "Fantastic Vampire (Sa Ra Tribute)"
Juicy the Emissary - "Master"
Ghostface Killah & Badbadnotgood - "Gunshowers"
Tokimonsta - "The Beginning"
Rone - "Bye Bye Macadam"
Seekae - "Test & Recognize (Flume rework)"
Romare - "Roots"
Julio Bashmore - "Rhythm of Auld"
Vegyn - "Trybl"
Les Sins - "Talk About"
We at Mixtape Monday love a great theme-driven set, and this newest offering from Marsellus Wallace & Skeme Richards has a vibe that carries on for days. Dubbed Cops, Crooks, & Spies, the mix is loaded up with the type of moody, espionage-ish tracks that have underscored some of the greatest crime chase and back alley meet-up scenes of TV and film for decades. Wah-wah guitars, tense strings and funky basslines have all been perfectly selected by Wallace and Richards, who stitched it all together to fit with vintage movie trailer samples and dialogue from the cop shows of yesteryear. Put this on and meet us in the warehouse by the waterfront--no funny stuff.
(Artwork by Gangster Doodles)
Fresh Selects's Tight Songs radio show has done it again, this time bringing in both Suzi Analogue and Swarvy to supply us with almost an hour of warm and soulful material. From the loving tones of MoRuf's "Her" all the way through the sounds of Marlena Shaw, Django Reinhardt, Count Bass D and Astrud Gilberto, these 50 minutes are tailor-made for lovers of upscale syncopation with a subtle latin influence. Put it on and enjoy some togetherness with a special someone--but be sure to listen close near the end for Suzi's astounding flip of Kelela's "Up All Night." More just like this, please.
MoRuf - "Her."
T. Valentine - "Sunraze"
Donnie & Joe Emerson - "SoBb [SWARVY Poach]"
Bobby McFerrin - "T.J."
SWARVY - "In My Life"
Spats - "Livin' is What You Make It"
The Rascals - "My World"
Michael James Kirkland - "Together"
Marlena Shaw - "Feel Like Makin Love [SWARVY Edit]"
SWARVY x Blck Wzrd - "Inthedark"
Skyy - "Won't You Be Mine"
Django Reinhardt - "In A Sentimental Mood"
Faith Evans - "No Other Love"
T-Pain - "Can't Believe It [siik rmx]"
Koop feat. Terry Callier - "In A Heartbeat"
Count Bass D - "Yes I Know He Would Kill This"
Scratcha DVA feat. Vikter Duplaix - "Madness"
Astrud Gilberto - "Meditation"
Janet Jackson - "Would You Mind"
Moodymann - "Sunday Hotel"
Les Sins - "Bother"
Suzi Analogue - "Up All Night • Kelela [UziFlip]"
Osunlande presents Nadira Shakoor - "Touched My Soul"
Hailing from the out-of-sight house underground of Germany, DJ Steffi dropped by Gilles Peterson's UK studios to deliver up a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix loaded with electronic magic. Steffi told the world that the mix is a a journey through two decades of her favorite DJing material, and the world could learn a lot from astutely studying her tastes. Varied chops from Boards of Canada, Seven Davis Jr. and more show just how widely Steffi's ears are tuned, and offer all of us a reminder of just how dynamic house music has become over the last 20ish years. It's a fitting end to this week's roundup and a reminder that the past can point the way to the future. Until next week, dear listeners--keep moving to it.
Marcel Dettmann - "Stranger"
Sonar Base - "Isonar Bass #10"
Kassem Mosse - "Demo Drums Ripping"
Monolake - "Ice"
Answer Code Request - "Thermal Capacity"
B12 - "Telefone 529"
RAC - "Quexos"
Severn Beach - "We Continue"
Stingray 313 - "Armchair Psychiatrist"
Sowing Paranoia - "Active Galactic"
DXR - "Fader Pushing Sunday"
Unknown - "NYC2"
Octave One - "Nicolette"
Random Noise Generation - "Random Funk"
Hakim Murphy - "1st Onicho"
Seven Davis Jr. - "P.A.R.T.Y."
Jedi Knights - "May The Funk Be With You"
Le Car - "Flame Job"
Japanese Telecom - "Beta Capsule"
Dexter & Steffi - "Rosser"
Steffi - "JB25"
Partisan Midi - "Titl"
Mika Vainio - "Spiraalit"
Mathew Jonson - "Behind The Mirror"
Stingray 313 - "NKKK4_2"
Lightman - "Dawn Flyer"
Steven Tang - "Optimal Signals"
Heiko Laux - "Souldancer"
Boards of Canada - "Semena Mertvykh"
Gigi Masin - "Little Faith"