Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 48: Detroit Techno

I'm nearing the end of this whole year of mixtapes project, so here's another genre that I couldn't really leave unrepresented. A lot of people still don't realize this, but Detroit's African American community invented techno. Anybody who says different is either uninformed or selling something.

Detroit's local brand of techno has some key differences from the countless other types of techno that have evolved from it in the last 25 years—generally speaking it's more "soulful" (whatever that means); it's more in touch with its roots in house and electro; and it's got a heavy tendency toward Black Nationalist and sci-fi themes (although in a primarily instrumental genre, these themes are often conveyed more through song titles and cover art than actual lyrical content).

I've started this tape off with some classic first-wave Detroit Techno, and gradually progress into the (somewhat) newer stuff.

  1. Rhythim is Rhythim; Strings of Life (Piano Mix) (Transmat, 1987)
  2. K.S. Experience; Electronic Dance (KMS / Ten Records, 1988)
  3. Model 500; Sound of Stereo (Metroplex, 1987)
  4. Suburban Knight; The Art of Stalking (Transmat, 1990)
  5. Paris Grey; Don't Lead Me (Nexus 21 Remix) (Network Records, 1990)
  6. Mia Hesterley; Spark (Chrissy Instrumental Edit) (Metroplex / Ten Records, 1988)
  7. Inner City; Big Fun (Magic Juan Mix) (KMS / Virgin, 1988)
  8. Juan Atkins; Techno Music (Ten Records / Metroplex, 1988)
  9. Model 500; No UFOs (D-Mix) (Metroplex, 1985)
  10. Rhythim is Rhythim; Feel Surreal (Subconscious Mix) (Transmat, 1988)
  11. Nexus 21 feat. Donna Black; Still (Life Keeps Moving) (Carl Craig Remix) (Network Records / KMS, 1990)
  12. Inner City; Good Life (Magic Juan's Mix) (Virgin, 1988)
  13. Blake Baxter; Brothers Gonna Work It Out (Black Planet) (Logic Records, 1992)
  14. Cybersonik; Technarchy (Plus 8, 1990)
  15. E-Dancer; Pump The Move (KMS, 1991)
  16. Alan Oldham; Orietta's Theme (Generator, 1995)
  17. Suburban Knight; The Warning (Underground Resistance, 1996)
  18. Drexciya; The Journey Home (Warp Records, 1995)
  19. Model 500; I Wanna Be There (M500 Remix) (R&S Records, 1996)
  20. Aquajazz; Bodyrhythms Bodyfusion (Carl Craig Mix) (Aquarhythms, 1995)
  21. DJ Mark Flash; Cachaca (Underground Resistance, 2008)
  22. Blake Baxter / Dreamsequence III; Compromised Evolution (Tresor, 2001)
  23. Suburban Knight; Shapeshifter (Peacefrog Records, 2003)
  24. Underground Resistance; Electronic Warfare (Aux 88's Take Control Mix) (Underground Resistance, 1996)
  25. Drexciya; Black Sea (Warp Records, 1995)
  26. Underground Resistance; Codebreaker (Underground Resistance, 1997)
  27. Robert Hood; Parade (M-Plant / Tresor, 1994)
NEXT WEEK: The Golden Era of Happy Hardcore.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week 47: Giorgio Moroder

A lot of people have been asking me for this one. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Giorgio Moroder was a key figure in the mid-to-late-1970s Eurodisco scene, and one of real pioneers of using synthesizers in dance music (or pop music in general, really).
The early part of his career took place in Munich, where he discovered Donna Summer (and wrote/produced the bulk of her catalog). In the late 1970s he moved to L.A., and ended up doing a ridiculous amount of film work. Seriously, if we're talking 80s pop trash and cheesy film soundtracks, Giorgio's name is bound to come up: he scored American Gigolo, Scarface, Midnight Express, Top Gun, Flashdance, The Neverending Story, and the colorized recut of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, among many others. He wrote/produced "Call Me" by Blondie, "Take My Breath Away" for Berlin, "(Highway to the) Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins, almost anything you can think of by Donna Summer, and that's really just scratching the surface of the tunes he's made that literally EVERY LIVING CREATURE IN THE WESTERN WORLD knows (and let's not forget, he has a HUGE catalog of crazy underground synth disco gems on top of that).

So yeah, I suppose a mixtape makes sense. Here you go.

  1. Donna Summer; Spring Affair (Casablanca, 1976)
  2. Giorgio Moroder; Chase (Casablanca, 1978)
  3. Suzi Lane; Ooh La La (Elektra, 1979)
  4. The Three Degrees; The Runner (Ariola, 1978)
  5. Roberta Kelly; Trouble Maker (Chrissy Re-Edit) (Oasis, 1976)
  6. Donna Summer; Our Love (Casablanca, 1980)
  7. Munich Machine; Whiter Shade of Pale (Casablanca, 1978
  8. Giorgio; I Wanna Rock You (Casablanca, 1979)
  9. Giorgio; Utopia Me Giorgio (Casablanca, 1977)
  10. Donna Summer; I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Mega-Edit) (Casablanca, 1982)
  11. Giorgio Moroder; Valley of the Dolls (Casablanca, 1980)
  12. Donna Summer; Sunset People (Casablanca, 1980)
  13. Amy Holland; She's On Fire (MCA Records, 1983)
  14. Melissa Manchester; Thief of Hearts (Casablanca, 1984)
  15. Madleen Kane; You Can (Chalet, 1981)
  16. Limahl; The Neverending Story (EMI, 1984)
  17. Giorgio; E=MC² (Casablanca, 1979)
  18. Sparks; When I'm With You (Ariola, 1980)
NEXT WEEK: Detroit Techno.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 46: The Year in Jungle—1994

Over the life of this blog, I've spent a lot of time blathering about how amazing 1991-1992 was for dance music. Before this year of mixtapes project is over, I really ought to devote a tape to 1994, the year jungle music really came into its own. 1994 was the year I really started buying dance records in quantity with the intention of becoming a DJ or whatever, and it was really the peak of the jungle scene. The whole genre just seemed so crazy and revolutionary and new, and SO MANY CLASSIC tracks came out every week that it was just impossible for a high-schooler in Kansas City to keep up.

So yeah, here's a tape of some of my favorites. I've tried to really run the gamut from ambient wishy-washy dolphin music to mashed-up dread bass to ruff-and-rugged amen ragga smashers. Enjoy!

  1. Deep Blue; The Helicopter Tune (Rufige Kru Remix) (Movin' Shadow)
  2. DJ Hype feat. MC GQ; Roll the Beats (Remix) (Suburban Base)
  3. Sponge; The Crash (Suburban Base)
  4. Area 39; Attitude (Bear Necessities)
  5. Goldie; Saint Angel (Metalheadz / FFRR)
  6. DJ Hype; Mash Up Da Place (Origin Unknown Remix) (Ganja Records)
  7. Droppin' Science Vol. 3; Firin' Line (Droppin' Science)
  8. A Guy Called Gerald; Finley's Rainbow (Juice Box)
  9. Aladdin; We Enter (Deep Forest Dub) (Aphrodite)
  10. Amazon II; Beat Booyaaa! (Remix) (Aphrodite)
  11. Jungle Warrior; No Surrender (Pure Warrior Style) (Strictly Underground)
  12. DJ Dextrous & Rude Boy Keith; King of the Jungle (VIP) (Kings of the Jungle)
  13. DJ Krome & Mr. Time; Studio One Lik (Tearin' Vinyl)
  14. Johnny Jungle; Johnny '94 (DJ Dextrous Remix) (Suburban Base)
  15. Tom & Jerry; Dancer (Tom & Jerry)
  16. Sophisticated Bad Boyz; Feel the Magic VIP (Suburban Base)
  17. DJ Dextrous; With A K (Subliminal)
  18. Urban Jungle; Back in the Days (Jungle Mania)
  19. Mental Power; Real (Formation Records)
  20. Dred Bass; Dead Dred (Origin Unknown Remix) (Movin' Shadow)
  21. The Dream Team; Yeah Man (Joker Records)
  22. Fallen Angels; Hello Lover (Desired State Remix) (IQ Recordings)
  23. Dillinja; Baby Your (Logic Productions / Breakdown Records)
  24. Undercover Agent; Oh Gosh (Juice)
  25. Noise Factory; The Future (Strictly Underground)
  26. Remarc; Thunderclap (White House Records)
  27. Dextrous & Teebone; Top Gun (Subversive Records)
  28. Pooch & Hursee; Baby Baby (Cut & Run)
  29. D'Cruze; Lonely (Suburban Base)
NEXT WEEK: Giorgio Moroder.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week 45: Turn-of-the-Century Ragga

Before about 1993, dancehall and ragga had always been firmly rooted in traditional reggae aesthetics: dancehall (even digi) was essentially just reggae or dub, but stripped down and with DJs/singjays/toasting instead of traditional sung vocals. In the mid-'90s, dancehall took a pretty sharp left turn into some really odd areas—new producers like $ham$, Ward 21, Tony CD Kelly, and some veterans like Steelie & Clevie started turning out riddims that bore scant resemblance to reggae. These things were weird, synthy, minimalistic, and borrowed heavily from big room techno and American R&B. Somebody could write a whole thesis about how much these dancehall dudes influenced folks like Timbaland and the Neptunes, and then how much said R&B producers influenced the Jamaicans back, and how that whole weird feedback loop has led to a world of Top 40 tunes that sound like a Bollywood version of Kraftwerk.

Anyway, here is a mix of some of my fave stuff from that mid-'90s to early-'00s era.

  1. Merciless; Ashes to Ashes BADDIS RIDDIM
  2. General Degree; Bag A Tings
  3. Spragga Benz; Peace
  4. Mr. Vegas; Jacket
  5. Beenie Man; Number One
  6. Red Rat; Me Can't Sleep
  7. Buccaneer; Gweh KASHMIR RIDDIM
  8. Anthony B; Wave
  9. Spragga Benz; African Move PUKE RIDDIM
  10. Elephant Man; Can't Roll
  11. Ward 21; Haters BADA BADA RIDDIM
  12. Wayne Wonder / Bounty Killer; Criss Pack of Boots BACKYARD RIDDIM
  13. Alias; Punanny Holiday
  14. Baby Cham; Boom Tune
  15. Bounty Killer; Mr. Tear 'n' Boar SIREN RIDDIM
  16. Bad Gregory Hines; Fool Her PLAYGROUND RIDDIM
  17. Lexxus; Fade Away
  18. Mad Cobra; Hot Gal
  19. Glamma Kid; Big Ting
  20. Red Rat; Girl with a Car MERCURY RIDDIM
  21. Dutty Cup feat. Looga & Mossy Kid; Happy Days
  22. Sean Paul; Work With It
  23. Red Dragon; More Gyal IN & OUT RIDDIM
  24. Spragga Benz; Mad House Tek Him
  25. General Degree; That Thing PRESS A FOOT RIDDIM
  26. Lady G; Perform
  27. Tanto Metro & Devonte; She Gone BAGPIPE RIDDIM
  28. Mr. Vegas; Latest News
  29. Goofy; Fatty Boom Boom
  30. Spragga Benz; Unu Say Yeh
  31. General Degree; Signal
  32. Beenie Man; Kickin for Show
  33. Admiral Bailey; Work Wid It VOLUME RIDDIM
  34. Amin Brasco; Bang Bang
  35. Lexxus; Who the Fuck
  36. Mad Cobra; Fraid A Wi
  37. Cutty Ranks; Badman Sittin'
  38. Ward 21; Firehouse Anthem
  39. Goofy; Look Out Fi Dem
  40. Red Rat; Thief
  41. Wayne Marshall / Baby G: Flossing (Bling Bling Bling)
  42. Vybz Kartel; Injustice TYPHOID RIDDIM
  43. Anthony Cruz; All I Have
  44. Tanto Metro & Devonte; Say Woyee BOOKSHELF RIDDIM
  45. Beenie Man; Bookshelf
  46. Sean Paul; Deport Them
  47. Evette; Over and Over
  48. Wayne Wonder; Watching You
NEXT WEEK: The Year in Jungle—1994.