Welcome back to a fresh new week and a brand new mixtape to dive head first into this morning.
Today we’re bringing you something extra special, enlisting the help of renowned DJ, music author and founder of DJHistory.com, Bill Brewster. From the origins of disco to the roots of hip-hop, Brewster’s encyclopaedic knowledge of dance music has informed both his DJing and writing direction, working closely with Frank Broughton to document the transitory steps which explain the journey from New York disco to Chicago house, with books such as The Manual for the Ministry of Sound , Last Night a DJ Saved My Life , How to DJ (Properly) , and The Record Players . Rather than intro his morning mixtape ourselves, Bill has kindly provided a foreword for today’s hour long journey which you can read below whilst you sip your morning beverage. Happy Monday!
Catch Bill Brewster playing at Electric Elephant 2016 this July.
Welcome to my Monday morning. Although it’s typically punctuated by the sound squealing kids late for school, in my head it begins with Ella Washington, as should most things. Most of the songs i’ve included here were discovered during the 1980s when I was backtracking through the soul vaults. I first heard Ella when Charly acquired the rights to the Sound Stage 7 catalogue and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. She didn’t record much, but it’s largely all gold. Same for James Carr. Discovered him via the Andy Kershaw Show in the mid-80s and his voice breaks your heart every time you hear it, reinforced by the problems he faced in his career with bipolar disorder. The Aaron Neville and Gil Scott-Heron tracks were both originally included on NME tapes in the early ’80s (respectively Pocket Jukebox and Jive Wire), a huge source of new music for me as a poverty-stricken dole-ite. Arnold Blair was a big record on the rare groove scene in the late 80s, produced by the great Leroy Hutson, I think this was his only release, while Ashe Puthli was introduced to me by Luke Howard from Horse Meat Disco about 16 years ago and around the same time Greg Belson kindly hipped me to Paul Pena, a blind singer-songwriter of Cape Verdean extraction. 6.4 = Make Out comes from the very rare Gary Wilson album You Think You Really Know Me, which I only discovered when Motel reissued it in 2002.
On the post-punk tip, I’ve included a couple of favourites, ACR’s Knife Slits Water (the 12-inch version) and Material’s Reduction, which was originally released on their Temporary Music 2 EP through the British label, Red. Around the same time, when I was getting into clubbing, the J. Walter Negro & The Loose Jointz was – and still is – one of my favourite dance records. A joyful, funky racket that still works a dancefloor into a frenzy. The two new cuts on here I’ve only had a week but I love them already. First one is not out until June: Zmatsutsi’s Spanish City, and the other is by Ptaki, a Warsaw-based producer, who played at my party Low Life a few years ago. It’s remixed by Eltron. We finish up with Michael Franks’ Born With The Moon Virgo, a brilliant bit of jazzy, funky rock. This sounds like a pretty damn good Monday to me. Hope you agree.
ELLA WASHINGTON – Sit Down And Cry
JAMES CARR – The Dark End of the Street
PAUL PENA – The River
AARON NEVILLE – Hercules (Harmless)
JOHN MARTYN – Big Muff (Drum Machine Version)
ARNOLD BLAIR – Trying To Get Next To You
ASHA PUTHLI – Space Talk
GARY WILSON – 6.4 = Make Out
MATERIAL – Reduction
GIL SCOTT-HERON – B-Movie
ACR – Knife Slits Water
J. WALTER NEGRO & THE LOOSE JOINTZ – Shoot The Pump
ZMATSUTSI – Spanish City
PTAKI – Słoneczny Pył (Eltron mix)
MICHAEL FRANKS – Born With The Moon In Virgo