You Should Be Listening Toby Jonathan Arnold / 16.10.2013
A few weeks ago, just after we’d dropped the Mother City E.P we made with SFR and the Ruffest, Andy Davis got hold of me via email and asked if we’d put together a mixtape for him. We said no. We said we’d do this instead.
Instead of a DJ mix for Mahala, we came up with another idea. Every month we’d ask someone we’ve worked with and whose musical taste we admire, to select some of the music they are really into. Accompanying the compilation they’d write a couple of sentences for each track explaining the reason they included it, how they discovered it, or why they love it. You get to know a little bit about them through the music they love.
This first selection is mine, Jon from Mix ‘n Blend, figured I’d start this off. I hope you enjoy it. I’m sure a lot of people out there have a much more educated sense of music and better taste than mine, but I guess that’s how one always finds out about new stuff, by sharing.
Beat Assailant – Hard Twelve
There’s a really famous Notting Hill Carnival sound-system called Good Times, that’s been running for 25 years. They have a compilation series by the same name, selected by brothers Norman and Joey Jay. This track was on one of those compilations. It was never a smash hit, but I remember getting the double LP that it came on home, putting it on for the first time, and bouncing around like a loon. It just has such a feel-good factor to it, and so much musicality for a Hip Hop track.
Manhattan Brothers – Be My Guest
I grew up in a very musically starved environment. I was (and still to a large extent am) a musical heathen. That’s ok though, I learn a bit more about music every day. Honey B introduced me to the Manhattan Brothers when I was about 20. I think on iTunes you can only get a greatest hits album of theirs and that’s it, which is pretty sad as their music is fantastic. One band I am so surprised hasn’t been re-sampled or edited more down the years. Back when we used to play on a Tuesday at Julep with Honey B and Farell, this track used to get hammered.
Poldoore vs Nas – Lifes a Reminisence [SkinnyB Mash]
There’s a man who DJ’s under the name Spinforth and basically spends his life on Soundcloud rounding up some amazing mashups, edits and reworks. You can find what he calls his scours at ghettofunk. This I came across due to him, one of the funkiest backing tracks ever, with some of the biggest hip hop lyrics from the 90’s over it. How can anyone resist.
Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues
I don’t think a lot of the music that’s being made today will apply to the world or be relevant in 30 years, but I’m pretty sure this will still be lyrically spot on.
High Tone – Rubadub Anthem feat. Pupa Jim
I heard this band the very first time we travelled to la Reunion. The car I was travelling around in had it playing on repeat. They’re on a French label called Jarring Effects which has done some pretty amazing stuff with African Dope Records down the years. This is probably their (Hi-Tone’s) friendliest track. Think dark, dark psychedelic dub for the most part. Thanks to Clemence Lahuec for introducing them to me.
The Gaff – Tribute to Hank
Another sneaky tune culled from one of Spinforth’s scours. In terms of cutting up old and dusty breaks and samples, you’d have to do quite brilliantly to outmanoeuvre the Gaff. This is a mashup of Hank Ballard & the Dapps – How you Gonna get Respect. So good.
Calyx & TeeBee – Elevate This Sound
It really doesn’t matter to me what genre this track is, it’s an amazing song. Drum n Bass, a lot of which is made as disposable music, but I can see myself still listening to this 15 years from now. I think I first heard Al-John (Hyphen) drop it when or just before it came out, and instantly thought, I have to have to have that track as soon as I can. The album that it’s on All Or Nothing, will I think in time go down as one of the classics of its’ genre
The Brother Moves On – Good Times
We’ve been lucky enough to get to tour with these guys, and make a track with Siya, which will hopefully be coming out next year. They’re I think the most forward thinking band in this country at the moment. I really really hope these guys make it overseas, and make it huge, because from a musical point of view they truly deserve it.
Greyboy – Help is On the Way
Greyboy has pulled off some of the most amazing soul reworks over the last 10 years. This is his version of the Whatnauts hit from the 80’s of the same name. A track our co-founder, Ben Lewis, and friend Farrell Adams used to play on repeat, with pretty devastating results.
Dubmatix – Pull Up Selector feat. Eek-a-mouse
About 6 months ago I was buying music on Juno Download and they had featured this album, by a pretty young Canadian dub producer (as in King Tubby, not dubstep). It had so many huge names featuring on it. Tenor Fly, Horace Andy, Luciano, U-Roy and this track with Eek-a-mouse, which just kills. In June Kevin and I wound up playing back to back with Fletcher for the first time ever, in 10 years of knowing each other, to a Sakifo Festival crowd. All of us were pulling off the same retarded ‘Pull up selector’ dance move in the booth. The entire crowd was copying us.
Aeroplane – We Can’t Fly
Like a lot of good music in my life, this came to my attention through the more refined 3rd of Mix n Blend, Ben. Not much to say about it other than what an amazing slice of nu-disco.
Labi Siffre – The Vulture
One of my friends used to tease me about this song applying to me. I don’t think he’s right, but the words to this are pretty damn funny, and it’s a great great song.
Magic Shookheads – In The Middle of a Kiss
This is a French swing band who were staying at Julian Joseph’s (SFR)’s wife’s house in Switzerland. Lea’s parents bought their cd on the spot, and proceeded to show us all how you should dance to this song on the day Jule’s and Lea got married. I can’t find their music for sale anywhere online, which is terrible because they are awesome.
Brenda Russell vs Souleance – A Little Bit Of Love (Souleance “C’est La Fête” ReEdit)
Another internet bootleg we picked up trawling Soundcloud. So soulful, so so happy.
Led Zeppelin – Ramble On
I really don’t think I need to say anything about why this is a great track or why I love it so much.
Easy Star Allstars – Time (featuring Corey Harris & Ranking Joe)
This band has been out here before. They have an album they made called Dub Side of the Moon, I’m sure a lot of people looking at this will have checked out, basically reggae re-workings of Dark Side of the Moon. I remember hearing the beginning of this and thinking, “oh no, this is one song you should never try and touch”. But then again Corey Harris is on this. I love this version so much.
The Cinematic Orchestra (feat. Roots Manuva) – All things to all men
The first time I heard Roots Manuva was on Leftfield’s track Dusted. I was about 16 and I’d never heard anything like him before. He’s one of the people I think who completely changed my taste in music . I think he is hands down one of the cleverest MC’s out there. If I had to pick a favourite, it would probably be him. Pair him up with this beautiful track of The Cinematic Orchestra’s and you have probably one of my favourite tracks of all time.
Scientist – Your Teeth In My Neck
One of my favourite favourite reggae tunes. I think Aquasky and Tayo sampled it or replayed the main line from this on their track ‘Looking for a session’, which is where I came across this. This, the original, is so much better.
Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler – Back to Life (However Do You Want Me ) (Accapella)
I bought this album from Mabu on Kloof with the R 200.00 I had left for the month, and didn’t eat for a day or two. This is an acapella which finally drops as a track after about three minutes, and every time it has, people have loved it because it’s so good, and because they’ve been waiting for it to break for so long.
Moodphase 5ive – Addict
I wish this band would come back, and show Cape Town how we should be making music.
Psychemagick – Dreams – Fleetwood Mac (Psychemagik Remix)
Such a good remix of dreams, such a great nu-disco production team.
The Beatles – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Rhythm Scholar Remix)
The guy who bootlegged this has to be one of the friendliest people to get hold of us over the net. This is a reggae tweak of the original, and I guess it makes me smile a lot every time I hear it.