Saturday, November 09, 2013

A new mix! Dutty Artz turns six!

I'm pleased to announce a new mix, a short but sweet collaboration with Robzilla - he took the first half and I steered the second.


This mix coincides with release #2 of of the six-EP series as part of Dutty Artz "Six Years Deep" celebration of our sixth birthday. Each mix focuses on a different region/musical conversation. If you haven't checked Ushka and Brooklynshanti's "What Edward Said" mix yet don't hesitate, get it here. Gorgeous sounds from South and East Asia through East Africa, mapping out connections that usually aren't recognized by the US/Eurocentric view of the world. It also features Ushka and Brooklynshanti's first collaboration within a track as well as a mix: the awesome track Hanuma Vannama . They have a great write-up here telling the story of the mix. That mix coincides with an EP of the same name. 

For the second EP, "Dutty Conquerors," Dutty Artz fam brings up the Caribbean flavor. Featuring one of NY's best vocalists, Jah Dan, a track by Gyptian produced by my old Surya Dub colleague, San Francisco's Kush Arora, Robzilla on the production, and Old Money up there as well, featuring new voice Trawma. And to celebrate it I collaborated on a mix with the illustrious Robzilla: 

Continuing our shout-outs to scholars it only makes sense to call on Paul Gilroy for this one. The cover art is done by TALACHA based on a painting by Aaron Douglas, whose work was used for the cover of Gilroy's book _The Black Atlantic_. Douglas was a lion of the Harlem Renaissance, which was not only an explosion of artistic work from Black people in the US but also a burgeoning scene of queer artists, an exploration of the diaspora of African-descended people that creatively& social socially linked Black people outside and inside the US, all of these things --alongside explicit political/economic analyses including to made the Harlem Renaissance a site of radical politics. Douglas himself was the first president of the Harlem Artists' Guild (recognizing the importance of artists organizing for their community and survival).

Here's the write-up for the mix itself, which puts it in context of The Black Atlantic, and then below that I thought I'd take you through my track selection that starts about 11 minutes in.

"This is a term that Paul Gilroy used to describe the networks of travel, communication & trade between former slave colonies and the UK, Canada, the US and Europe. It’s also the incubator of DJ culture: breaking apart / remaking music means cultural survival and healing for people on the wrong side of global systems of power.

In the second mix in Dutty Artz’ anniversary mix series Robzilla and Ripley are messengers with communications too real for (un)Clear Channel: sonic threads from the cultural fabric centering Black Atlantic pleasures and politics. Brooklyn beats and Jamaican-British bass jostle up on trapped out dancehall bounce, Dominican dembow breaks through Dutch moombahton remixes of dancehall, while St Vincent, Barbadian and Jamaican vocalists demonstrate that the dealings of the system are dirtier than any sexual position."

Robzilla lovingly curates some of the great remixes and banging originals from the dancehall side of things, followed by my selection & mixing of these tunes:

I begin by answering the remix of Aidonia's smash hit "sit down pon di cocky" with an equally frank tune from Macka Diamond. She's a veteran of Jamaican dancehall, one of my favorites for wit and flow, sadly underrated in the US, especially near and dear to my heart these days for releasing this song just in time for my (ahem) birthday. "Better Fuck Tell" is a classic brag track with some really hilarious wordplay in it.

Continuing the theme of women asserting exactly what they need is the already-classic "Dickie Riddim," but pitched up and tweaked by Brooklyn-based banginclude who hypes up the German Schlachthofbronx production while keeping Jamaican Warrior Queen's inimitable vocals.

Another great lyricist from Jamaica, Timberlee shows off her skills with "Duppy" on a great 90-s throwback sound "Dutty Fowl" riddim produced by Wiletunes,

Then we head back out into to the diaspora - with a riddim by Poirier out of Canada working with some bashment royalty:  the Jamaican-born, UK based Stylo G, son of the amazing Poison Chang doing his own rather x-rated take on his father's classic. (dig his celebration of how many times he makes a gal come!)

From the X-rated to the mad,  Frisco Kid steps out with "Mad World" on one of my favorite halloween themed riddims with theremin sounds and dubsteppesque breakdowns showing producer Stephen Di Genius Macgregor's reach.

Next we track the spread of Jamaican influence with a Dutch moombahton track "Hands High" reusing the classic Mr. Vegas vocal. 

Taking the dembow influenced moombahton beat further into the genre named after it - Dominican powerhouse Milka Las Mas Dura brings her spin on it with Dembow superproducer Bubloy

Back into that fertile UK/JA territory with DVA's own take on another classic vocal sample "A London Something"  for the Gang Gang Riddim, a nod to thw Brooklyn band in there as well.

Walter Ego brings the UK dance beats with a slice of Wiley's Eski /grime sound, underneath Trim, whose London/JA slang in "Set off" mixes wit and a bit of menace.

We end with some pure wisdom out of Barbados with "Street Life" by Indrani on the Addicted riddim produced by Adam 'King Bubba' Elias (Platta Studio) & 'Dwaingerous' (Bass Ink Productions). 

I was inspired by a lot of the amazing new dancehall and soca around, and just as I was trying to decide what to do with it all (besides playing Boston next Friday Nov 15),  I've just been invited to do a longer mix for IsaGT's Etoro sessions ! further details will follow, onward and upward!

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