In My House :: New Mix

I just can't leave that disco house alone! Always my go to for good times. On that note, here is th latest installment of jazzy, funky disco-y dance music for your late nights, day parties, and living room dance offs.


Featuring James Curd, Nickodemus, Harvey Sutherland and Session Victim

https://www.mixcloud.com/laurenli01/in-my-house/

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lord echo: harmonies

I love an album that feels at home in many different environments... Lord Echo's latest works for me in the sunshine, with a glass of wine in hand late night, or unwinding on the train after work. Dub reggae rhythms, motown horns, and 70s- style flute solos all create a distinctly nostalgic vibe, but somehow it never feels dated. The first release 'Just Do You' features a silky smooth vocal from Mara TK (of Electric Wire Hustle) and a bassline that brings to mind Curtis Mayfield. My favorite track, though,  may be 'Low to the Street', thanks to the island vibe and sunny horns. Something very soothing about the sounds here - a collision of musical souls in a giddy mix of groove and creativity. My favorite line from the official release notes:

"The Lord has returned from the wilderness with a bounty for his followers”

Check it out posthaste!

Bandcamp

Youtube

Make You Wanna Do Right :: Mix

I don't know about you, but I need music right now. Things just went to another level of bizarre in this country and I have to take breaks from figuring out what the heck to do about it.

It all comes back to love, right?

The power of love

Make you do right, love'll make you do wrong

Make you want to dance

Love and happiness

So... let's put on the headphones, dance around the living room and cheer each other up.

xx lp

my top five studio one tracks

My Top Five:
Marcia Griffiths - Feel Like Jumping

Bam Bam - Sister Nancy

John Holt - A love I can feel

Cornell Campbell - Undying Love

Ernest Ranglin - Surfin

And, for folks on Spotify, here’s a longer list of sunshine jams.
 

I have to admit - my reggae knowledge was pretty superficial until I met my husband. I knew Bob Marley’s oeuvre (more than just Legend, I swear) and the classics that my boys would blend into their hip hop mixes in college. Gregory Isaacs, Sister Nancy, Steel Pulse, and Burning Spear were on occasional rotation...but it’s really only in the last couple of years that I’ve started digging deeper in the catalogue. Chris has an impressive collection of classic dub and reggae and our mutual love of the Caribbean kickstarted a newfound passion.


Reggae spans a helluva lot of genres - dancehall, ska, roots, lover rock… It’s the early studio one jams and the later instrumental dub that gets me moving, though. Soul Jazz records out of the UK has some amazing vinyl compilations out, which inspired me to pull some of my favorite tracks together.


Most of these classics were released originally on the legendary Studio One label. Sir Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s seminal label launched careers for Bob, Peter Tosh, The Skatalites, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Burning Spear, The Heptones and dozens more. He produced many of the classic tracks and ran one of the best and most influential Jamaican recording studios in the 1960s and 1970s. Many, many pages have been written on the history of Studio One if you want to learn more. 

thundercat :: on repeat

This man has some talent! Bassist/songwriter/vocalist Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat is my latest musical obsession. Definitely check out his latest solo album The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam. 

The mad bass magician actually toured with Suicidal Tendencies when he was still in high school. He comes from a family with deep musical heritage but he takes his jazz roots to some crazy new places. These days he’s collaborating with Flying Lotus and basically shaped the sonic texture of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly album.

Here's a great live version of Them Changes off his latest album. 

Plus, his videos are freaky-deaky weird fests and I love it.









analogue sounds v1 - slow and low

I have a lot of vinyl that needs to get dusted off more regularly, so I thought I'd share some tracks with ya'll.
I upgraded my recording scenario  (Apogee FTW) and plan to start uploading playlists and full DJ mixes more often. Session one is full of oldies but goodies for a mellow afternoon.

Hope you enjoy!

Analogue Sounds v1 - slow and low


Blindsided :: Pete Rock
Mela D :: Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra
Piano Riddim :: Warrior Queen
Build it Up :: Negghead
It Ain’t Nothing Like :: Tribe X Pharcyde
Moodswang :: Gabriel Rene
Acid Raindrops :: People Under the Stairs
Turtle :: The Deadbeats
So Long :: Quantic



 

summer soundtrack

Every summer Dj Jazzy Jeff and Mick Boogie drop a mixtape of summertime favorites. The original from 2010 is currently on repeat at my house, so I thought I’d share some memories from the classics in the mix.

Oh, so many gems here! I guarantee your mind will drift to summers past if you give it a listen. 
Check out the full mix on mixcloud here.




Summer Madness :: Kool & The Gang
To be totally honest, I didn’t really know about this song until Dj Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince sampled it in 91. By that point, I was already obsessed with the idea of sampling and went digging for the original after my Dad clued me in to the source. Luckily, he had it in his collection, so I didn’t have to dig far. The original is off “Light of Worlds”, which was Kool & the Gang’s 5th studio album. It’s a funky jazzy album that was considered their most sophisticated work, and Summer Madness is the standout.

Summer in the City :: Quincy Jones
Is it possible to hear this song and not think of Passin Me By from the Pharcyde?
Not for me.
Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde dropped in 92, and one of my hoodlum boyfriends passed the cassette on to me. I wore that out, then bought the vinyl and the CD. The CD disappeared years ago, but that scratched up 12” is still in the collection. Growing up in New Mexico, we were definitely surrounded by west coast gangster rap, so when I discovered Tribe, De La, Pharcyde it was a revelation. 


Everybody Loves the Sunshine :: Roy Ayers
I mean, come on. I must have 10 different house/dance versions of this record. And don’t even get me started on all the hip hop samples. But, of all of them out there, Mary J is still my favorite. My Life has the core of the original, but adds Mary’s soul and depth. “Life can be only what you make it. When you're feelin down. You should never fake it.” Yes, girl.
Was it really released in 1994? Damn, I’m old. 


High on Sunshine :: The Commodores
This one has been sampled a ton as well, most notably by De La Soul on Stakes is High. But this track just reminds me of Sundays. Most oldies stations do some kind of Cruising to the Oldies Sunday Jams show, and I always loved all the cruising jams. In Las Cruces NM, people actually cruise low riders down the main drag… but I was mostly listening on my walkman as I rode a bike or walked the dog. Please check out the New Mexico Low Riders Facebook page if you need proof of how serio this shit is.
Sunshine, oldies and sundays will always go together in my mind.


Turn on Some Music :: Marvin Gaye
"I'll go crazy/ If something ever happened to my musical thrill/ And darling your love is just like my music"
Marvin Gaye’s voice has this weird ability to make me simultaneously happy and sad. I think the sadness really comes from his early demise and thinking about all the music he could have made. But the happiness certainly wins every time.
This mix busts out my favorite MG samples - Erick Sermon from 2001.
The track was part of the soundtrack of “What’s the Worst that Could Happen?” starring Martin Lawrence and Danny Devito. I admit I never saw it, but… somehow I’m dubious. Watching that movie might be the worst that could happen. On the plus side, this was Erick Sermon’s biggest hit and made it to #22 on the charts. 

Nautilus :: Bob James
Legend has it that this is the most sampled track in hip hop history. Not sure how to verify it, but, off the top of my head I’ve got: Children’s Story by Slick Rick, Daytona 500 from Ghostface Killah, Follow the Leader by Eric B. & Rakim, and the list goes on. The selection in this mix is actually a straight cover by Nuyorican Soul from 96 and it’s a beauty. Minor updates and a few housey inflections keep it true to the original, but  updated.


OK, I could go on and on, but just listen to the mix and see where it takes you!
xo lp 
 

thinking of you

I'll admit it... I slept (hard) on Lord Echo. His album Melodies dropped in 2010, but I just discovered it this year. As a dub reggae fan, I've got a whole lot to love on this album. It jumps around to loungey grooves and some afro-jazz funkiness, but feels like a cohesive ride. Next time I'm relaxing with an ocean view, this will be my soundtrack.

So... while, I love all the instrumental goodness on Melodies, my absolute favorite is Thinking of You. It may be a remix of Sister Sledge, but Lord Echo left all the disco behind, thankfully :)

Give it a spin if you need a smile! #onrepeat