So… It had been a quite a while since I recorded a mix, in part by lack of time and inspiration – although I did start working on an Acid House mix last summer, which is still in the plans – and in part because I upgraded my computer and, unbeknownst to me, rendered my old Traktor Kontrol S4 obsolete because it was no longer compatible with the Mac OS version of the new computer. Enter, a few months later (now), the brand new Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3, and a new iteration of the Loungin’ series which I’d been working on in parallel with the other one.
It is, as far as I can tell, the longest one so far at just shy of 2 hours and 30 minutes and, I must say, definitely my favourite. It’s got funk, boogie, hip-hop, jazz, dub, pop, but, mostly, two exclusive tracks from the upcoming Bran Van 3000 album (no release date yet) graciously offered by BV3K collaborator/studio engineer/producer and my friend Jean-Michel Lapointe. Thanks man!
Also of note in this mix is the fact that I’ve featured at least 11 tracks by local artists, which is relatively rare, including one in French, also relatively rare, by Les Louanges, and the aforementioned Bran Van 3000, Megative (who are kinda local, see below) Men I Trust, The Kount, and High Klassified. They are, to me, exquisite examples of the fact that Québec isn’t just about “la chanson” in it’s most boring expression. Apart from our thriving hip-hop scene, we also produce excellent world-class pop that manages to be accessible without being cheesy – or “quétaine” as we say.
There are a couple of cover versions that I’m really fond of: a new version of Georges Kranz‘s Din Daa Daa (Trommeltanz) (track 3 on the mix, called Drum Jawn, by Underdog Edits), and a version of The The‘s Giant by DJ Food with Matt “The The” Johnson himself on vocals (the closing track of this mix).
You’ll also hear two tracks by one of my favouritest new band, Megative, a new project featuring Me Mom & Morgentaler’s Gus Van Go and The Stills’ Tim Fletcher. They do ska that will be right up the alley of anyone who was ever been a fan of The Specials and the whole 2nd Generation of ska circa Two Tone Records. I’ve included Beneath the Sun and More Time, but I warmly encourage you to check out the whole album, because it’s really worth it.
And what about that first track, the return in full form of none other than Chaka Khan after an absence of more than 10 years!
I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention the presence of an old gem that my friend Jimmy Beaulieu reminded me of this week in one of his own mixes for Radio Annexia, and I’m talking about Thomas Dolby‘s Budapest by Blimp. I did ask Jimmy if it was OK to use it on this mix just a few days after his own came out, and he graciously (as is his custom) said that it was fine because such a great song deserves to be widely known. It is indeed one of Dolby’s masterpieces and probably not one of his best known songs. I hadn’t heard it probably since it came out in 1988, and one of the main reasons for that is that I wasn’t equipped to fully appreciate such finely crafted pop music back then, just being out of my teens and too involved in the underground scene to admit some pop might even be (gasp!) good…
I also want to point out the presence of a magnificent new release by Donny McCaslin who, for those who don’t know, was the bandleader responsible for the music behind David Bowie‘s final album, Blackstar. Nothing to add there; just listen.
You can download the mix here.