City Guide: Bosq presents Boston

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As one half of the Whiskey Barons, and through his own solo ventures, Bosq explores sounds from around the work with a sturdy funk backbone running throughout. We were all over his recent sophomore album on Ubiquity Records, which fuses funk, house and disco with African and Latin influences and is largely arranged through live instrumentation. Also part of the Soul Clap family, he returns to their label this month for their Dancing on the Charles compilation series. And that’s just the stuff that’s been announced. As we found out in the interview below, he’s got plenty more in the pipeline, but before you get to that part get acquainted with Bosq’s hometown of Boston

Bosq – ‘Riding High’ appears on Soul Clap presents: Dancing on the Charles, Vol. 3, out 20th Nov on Soul Clap Records

Check out the map and interview below for their favourite spots, while you listen to a 100% Boston mix, from past and present.

Favourite Place To Buy Records?

In Your Ear Records! I used to hit this place twice a week minimum in the pre-Serato days. The most likely spot to find a pleasant surprise and extremely reasonable prices too. Plus Reid, the owner is a fixture in the Boston record scene – super knowledgable and more importantly super nice and welcoming. It’s an old school spot where they aren’t double checking everything you bring up to the counter on discogs which is rarer and rarer these days.

Favourite live music venue?

If I allow nostalgia to guide me I would definitely say The Middle East downstairs. I’ve seen so many great shows down there and it’s a legendary room with a great feeling. If I’m talking subjectively though it’s a newer spot called The Sinclair which is well laid out, sounds great, and is super enjoyable to play at or see a show at.

Best view of the city?

Really you can’t go wrong anywhere along the river. It’s beautiful because there are a lot of different perspectives and cool spots to stop and take it in. There’s The Esplanade, the walkways near MIT, spots by Harvard Square, and probably most impressive for visitors would be stopping part way across the Mass Ave bridge and taking in the 360 degree view there.

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Best place to experience something unique in Boston?

There is a pretty cool collection of islands right off the coast of Boston that you can take ferries to from nearby the Aquarium. The rides are cheap and depending on which island you go to there are abandoned military forts with crazy old gunpowder storage rooms with the most insane acoustics, an ex dumping ground filled with crazy treasures, or one where you can camp out and make giant fires on the shoreline.

First thing you miss after leaving Boston?

Seafood! That’s whenever I leave the east coast really, mostly because I grew up right next door to the best oysters & scallops in the world on Cape Cod.

Best place to see another medium of art other than music?

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a beautiful building with a great collection of art from all over the world, and if you want something more current the ICA always has great exhibits coming through.

Is there a person (dead or alive) who encapsulates Boston for you?

I gotta go with my homie Kon – a light-hearted curmudgeon who is very good at what he does and pretty much sums up the Boston spirit to me.

Where will you find the friendliest, most interesting locals to have a chat with?

ZuZu in Central Square. From the amazing staff to the crowd that frequents it. There’s always a great, positive, slightly off kilter vibe in there! It’s a restaurant during the day and evening then transforms into a variety of things at night depending on what day it is.

What do you think are some common misconceptions about Boston music culture?

I think just the notion that there is no music culture here, every time I’m playing somewhere else and tell people I’m from Boston the response is “no way! I don’t believe you!” Or maybe they just only expect hardcore or punk? I don’t know really…

What’s the best and worst thing about Boston?

The worst this is most certainly that due to the huge number of college students, almost everything in the city is geared towards 18-22 year olds, so basically the lowest common denominator. The best thing I think, is how easy it is to get out of the city haha. I mean you can hop in the car and be in the countryside in like 20 or 30 minutes, that can’t be said for a lot of places. It’s also really small – you can bike from almost any point in 30 minutes or less.

Who’s doing good things for Boston music right now, who you’d like to shout out?

Oh man this is a trap I’m definitely going to forget people! You’ve got Caserta running an excellent mixing studio on top of producing, Kon of course doing all of the multi track remixes and Serge Gamesbourg producing and also playing bass for a lot of people. My homie Durkin is making a lot of waves with his dreamclub sound. Yuki Kanesaka is basically playing keys on everyone’s shit and he is unbelievably talented. This crew called CLLCTV Boston is throwing the best parties in the city especially a Sunday afternoon jam called The Wave. There’s also a super long running all vinyl soul night called Soulelujah. Record label wise you’ve got Cultures of Soul doing some excellent reissues of Caribbean and Latin American funk & disco. Uchenna Ikonne (Comb & Razor) has also done some really great Nigerian disco & boogie reissues and is I believe working on some books about the same topic. The Peace & Rhythm label is putting out some great left field funky afro / latin flavored music as well.

Full disclosure though I’m coming at this from a specific angle in what I hear and see, I’m sure there’s things going on in the hip-hop and more straightforward techno scenes that I have no idea about.

Anderson / Phillips corner

Anderson / Phillips corner

Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us? Where and how did you record it, what was the idea behind it and are there?

This is just straight up two turntables and Serato recorded live in one take. Certainly not intended to be a definitive history of Boston music but just me with a crate of Boston related music having fun and getting a lit weird! I intended to only put one of my tracks in but part way through realised I had this unreleased jam with Serge Gamesbourg on bass, Yuki Kanesaka on keys and mixed by Caserta, so had to drop it in!

I tried to have a mix of older Boston records and some new stuff that I’m enjoying from homies as well. You’ve even got Serge Gamesbourg with the double whammy, a Boston DJ with a remix of a boston record!

Beyond your track on Soul Clap Records, what else is coming up on the horizon?

So that track is originally off an EP that just dropped in September digitally called ‘Tumbalá‘ which is getting a vinyl release with remixes from Caserta & Auntie Flo. I also just dropped an album called Celestial Strut on Ubiquity Records a couple weeks ago. I recorded an album in Puerto Rico this summer with the Candela All-Stars, which is basically finished, just need to work out the release with Factoria Discos down there. Aside from that, new tracks with Nicole Willis in the works, a few remixes and a few one off tracks for compilations coming up. I’m also doing some music supervising work which I’m loving, and I’ve got a few EP’s in the planning stages as well!

Tracklist

Ed OG – Bug a boo (Instrumental)
The Original Black Sheep of the Family – In the forrest (Kenny Dope Mix)
Caserta – Ricky (Jeep Mix)
Donny Johnson – Burning Fire (Serge Gamesbourg Edit)
Donna Summer – Hurts Just A Little
Bosq feat. Kuyen – Found Your Love
Kon – Timeless
Bosq – Out of My Head (Serge Gamesbourg on bass, Yuki Kanesaka on keys, mixed by Caserta)
David Paglia & Jay Prouty – This is love
Evans Pyramid – Dip Drop
Beacon Street Union – Mystic Morning
Willie Wright – Right On For The Darkness

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