WEYA Warm Up Mix - featured on Gillespetersonworldwide.com
In the summer of 2012, I was asked to help curate and develop the music programme alongside Ste Allen (Dealmaker Records) for an International Arts Festival in Nottingham called WEYA (World Event Young Artists). The festival brought together nearly 1000 young artists from 100 different countries to Nottingham for 10 momentous and inspirational days. A pretty ambitious project by any standards with a myriad of different musical interests. We invited Gilles Peterson to help curate and DJ at the opening event and to support the festival through his Worldwide website. Due to his long standing commitment to International music and in particular, his endless support for emerging talent, he was the perfect choice. As part of the project, I had the opportunity to compile a mix to help promote the event, which was featured on the Gilles Peterson Worldwide website.
After a lengthy period of procrastination and a ridiculously heavy workload (18 hours a day became the norm!), I managed to get down to the task...
This wasn't an exercise in desperately trying to be bleeding-edge hip or purposefully obscure, just a selection of what was moving me, new and old alike. Being true to my love of all things jazz influenced, there was a strong jazz thing going on without being a jazz mix. Very much music for the dance floor, the mix moves through house, latin, afrobeat, electronica, disco, soul, egyptian 5 step and iranian throat ragga - or something like that.
Here's my mix notes on a few highlights...
Jorge Graf Remix - Dis-Ka-Ndombe - Gerarado Frisina Rework
If you are creating a mix for an International Festival in the UK, Soundways, discerning diggers and compilers of the finest African music have to be represented. The quality and the detail of their releases are always an inspiration. This particular track I felt opened the mix with a sense of anticipation and drama. It's a beauty because its a true mix of african rhythm, house and jazz, a perfect balance, rather than a cursory glance at one or another.
Michael Cleis ‘Litoral’
I came to this artist and track via Gilles Peterson's former BBC Radio 1 show. A Brazilian inspired house-ish track made by a bloke in Switzerland. The nationality mix in this one couldn't have been more appropriate for the festival that was about to hit us...
Havana Cultura ‘Roforoto Fight’ (Louis Vega Mix)
Having seen the the live performance of Gilles’ Havana Cultura at the Barbican earlier in the year and being blown away by the quality and presentation of the music, particularly Dannay Suarez and Roberto Fonseca's performances, it had to go on. A Cuban cover of a track by Nigeria’s baddest son Fela Kuti, is a story of black history and immense musical heritage in a single track.
Busta Rhymes ‘Woo ha’ (Freestylers edit)
A white label I didn't know I owned until the week of compiling the mix (correct me if this is not what I say it is!). It added a dirty, speeded up breakbeat, higher pitched Busta Rhymes to the mix. Something to represent sound system culture that I feel is such a British thing.
I found this track digging in an obscure record shop. I don't know what it is, where it has come from, who made it or find any references to it. Sounds and looks like Egyptian disco? Sounds like it was made on a cheap keyboard? Had to be included as much for its humour as anything but swiftly contrasted with a bit of Herbie Hancock to restore credibility!
The Jacksons ‘Music’s Taking Over’
Disco has always been an International movement. This Jacksons track was one that I came across around that time. I've never been a big follower of the Jacksons, but its a pure party tune and it’s important as a DJ, to not forget to play the obvious from time to time.