It's the end of the Mix Week and I've got something special for you. I had in mind to post something smooth and loving for Sunday, but in the end I couldn't make my mind between two good mixes. So, we're gonna have them both.
The first one is Sparkle Motion's Slow Jams, vol. 1. I'm sorry, but I have very little info about them. I know dj Yoda is one part of the collective and I know they have this good 80's break mix.
The second one comes from one of the dj's in Finlands topmost dj-crew Top Billin'. Sir Nenis did this mix for the now closed (I guess...) club in Helsinki. It's a synth-filled ride filled with classic 80's jams, very much in contrast to the club bangerism they're associated with. But as I said earlier, their musical knowledge runs much deeper.
Both of the mixes ride on the same smooth 80's jam tip. Most of the songs feel like late night courtship anthems, from the time when the economic boom was affecting the American popular culture, minorities included. These mixes show a side that's pretty far from the roughness of hiphop or the raw physicality of good disco, even though they stem from the same rich tradition of African American musicianship. It feels a bit like the soundtrack for adult, grownup artists who found themselves in some degree of luxury and weren't too shy to express romantic emotions. It's one of those viewpoints that are underrepresented in today's popular music that focuses on selling youth music and constantly younger - and more easily marketable - artists to an audience that is still on it's way of finding themselves. Where are the really adult voices?
SPARKLE MOTION - SLOW JAMS, VOL. 1
SIR NENIS - STEPPIN OUT ON THE GROOVE
I know pretty well that black dudes/girls singing openly about physical affection or romances are one of the laughing stocks of the (hipster) media. I've had my laughs with R.Kelly, no doubt. But lately, I've been really thinking about this thing, why is it humorous when these guys are singing about "wanting to be your man" or "rocking wit'cha", but when a guy moans about tragic love with a guitar then it's eerily beautiful? Why does it always have to be so complicated, so abstract? Sure thing, a lot of the things that scream 80's are pretty hilarious, but musically speaking, you really can't turn your back on this amazing stuff.
Maybe this is all part of some growing up I'm doing, accepting that I love slow, groovy songs with edgeless, silky synths, drum machine handclaps (actually, handclaps in all of their forms) and adult-oriented romantic lyrics that no one else in my age group digs. It's a new and exciting world for me, being grown up on Scandinavian melancholic rock where everything goes wrong and all relationships are doomed from the start. I'm just super happy that there was a time when a guy could and would do something like this:
Guys, take note. Anyway, this is the end of the Mix Week. Hit me at comments if questions, comments or anything. From next week on, it's normal business. I promised to do a post with all the Dam-Funk material I've bumped into. I'll do that in a few days and throw in a Daniel Wang Megapost, too.
Have a good week, y'all.