🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
- Spend a lot of time worrying about what other people are thinking? Yeah, me too. But stop it. No one cares, and that’s ok
- I’m just finishing up reading Stuart Cosgrove’s Detroit ’67 and holy moly what a brilliant book. I’ve tried to read it before but failed miserably, and after going back the second time I cannot understand what I was thinking. It’s brilliant. It covers the 1967 in Detroit, and while the focus is Motown, it covers so much more. I would highly recommend it
- I BEG you, listen to that first album by the MC5 and tell me that you don’t hear the same spirit of the 1967 Motown groups. While you’re listening to Kick Out The Jams, read this brilliant RBMA piece on John Sinclair…
- The excellent human and celebrated social academic Caspar Melville has a book coming out soon on how rare groove, acid house, and jungle broke London down and rebuilt it, pre-order It’s A London Thing here!
- Here’s some rare footage of Don Cherry, cronking his heart out
- While there’s not much new in here, this HUCK piece on The Loft and its enduring legacy was always going to be worth a read
- While you’re on a NY vibe, check out this classic essay from Lenny Fontana on Boys Own
- Gilles P sat down with Egon and Madlib, and as you’d expect it’s great. Check it on worldwide.fm here
- You’ll almost certainly know this already, but celebrate and behold! The RBMA archive of essays and lectures has been saved ❤️
- Resident Advisor’s Real Scenes series has been consistently on point, and the Sydney edition is one of my favourite so far – must watch!
- There’s a new record shop in London, check out Hidden Sounds
- Athena, the new album by Sudan Archives, is, as you’d expect absolutely brilliant
- This interview with Jaki Shelton Green (North Carolina’s Poet Laureate) is filled with gems, this in particular struck a chord, when she was asked about her views on art; “It’s the connectedness of my humanity wherever I go.”
- I’m certain you’ll have seen this, but this DJ Mag feature from Katie Thomas on The End is epic.
- This guide to William Basinski on Bandcamp is really nice. I’m not massively into ambient, but Basinski is slowly luring me in…
- The new album from Giant Swan is pummelling, chest crushing, genius. Read this Crack front page exclusive from Gabriel Szatan here
- I’ve only just come across this interview with Kerri Chandler (back from 2014), but as ever, Joe Muggs (hi Joe!) uncovers stuff previously unknown and circles round the culture in such a natural way it’s easy to forget how insightful this is!
- As a label and a shop, Mr Bongo is an absolute institution, and this mini-doc is a great celebration of the last THIRTY YEARS
- Latin American pop music is on a super-steep upwards trajectory, and this collection of reasons whyon Bandcamp is a good primer
- Cosmo’s Classic Albums By Women is out! Goes without saying, but obviously this is brilliant, and features some brilliant contributors (many of whom will be reading this now – thank you!)
- The excellent Jude Rogers has published a brilliant piece on Patrick Cowley in The New Statesman which is definitely worth a read
- I really enjoyed this collection of skaters talking about why skate shops still remain pivotal to the scene, HUCK smacking it out of the park as usual
- Jamael Dean is my new jazz crush – here’s why
- Rolling Stone has a long profile on Lee ’Scratch’ Perry – the “Salvador Dali of music” – that’s epic. Given I’m just about to start reading Bass Culture, this is probably a good primer…
- Read a rare interview with rock and roll photography legend Pennie Smith on the anniversary of that photo of Paul Simonon (and London’s Calling, naturally)
- I was dreadfully late to the work of Shawn Reynaldo, but now obviously I’m hoovering everything he’s ever written up furiously
- Jack White’s excellent jazzilike series is back for it’s fourth edition
- HUCK has a great photoessay of the not-so-seen LA in the 1980s
- Matt Muir shared this Excel-based drum machine (you heard me) in his excellent Web Curios newsletter recently and I’m mildly addicted to it
- Stevie Wonder bought Marvin Gaye a Moog for Christmas, so Gaye wrote a Christmas song on it
- Grace Jones is in charge of Meltdown Festival next June!
- And finally, and not just because of my distaste of odd numbers, but because it’s really good; here’s a piece on where ideas come from, in the New Yorker. A favourite subject of mine, and hopefully yours too
As I’m off of Love Will Save The Day duties for a month or so, I’ve got quite a reading list stacked up. I’m hoping to get through;
📚 The notes 📚
As we’ve reached one hundred letters, I wanted to share some of my favourites over the last few years. We’ve had some brilliant guests (all below!), music for parties, music for thinking, themed mixtapes, dark mixes too, and lots of essays. So here’s some of the best of the last one hundred ❤️
Letter #20 – James Turner – sweet and raucous
Letter #22 – Chris Wood – disco-tinged
Letter #27 – Tom Armstrong – London-vibes
Letter #31 – Matt Hannigan – classic underground
Letter #35 – Olly Batho – a dub special
Letter #39 – Simon Veaney – a heartfelt special
Letter #49 – Mark Pinsent – pop perfection
Letter #65 – Becca Sawyer – a beautiful tribute
Letter #68 – Ben Isley – broken beats across the spectrum
Letter #72 – Paul McDonald – jazzy vibes
Letter #75 – Steven Doherty – sub-club warm up
Letter #85 – anon – a mental health rebuilder
Letter #87 – Eamon Murtagh – a funk and soul special
Letter #94 – George Knock – no such thing as a guilty pleasure
Letter #95 – Bibiane Blondy – focus on women
My all time favourite, still to this day, was the letter that I wrote to my daughter.
A few others…
Letter #3 – a classic, for afternoon parties in the sun
Letter #21 – My tribute to drums
Letter #48 – It began in Africa
Letter #80 – Super soulful
Letter #84 – a great essay (I think, anyway!)
Letter #86 – one of my favourite essays to write! (and loads of disco not disco)
Letter #91 – reinventions…
Letter #92 – Jazz not jazz
Letter #97 – a tribute to Prince
Letter #98 – On burnout and recovery (mental health)
📃 Guest editors 📃
What I would love to see next year is more people coming forwards to write guest letters. Specifically more women, and more people with more diverse tastes. We’re a diverse bunch, and as this thing grows, I want to celebrate our diversity more and more. So consider this a call out for anyone who’d like to write a guest letter next year to put your hand up!
Let me know if you keen, and I’ve written up some very loose rules below to writing a guest letter, but nothing too burdensome (I hope).
- A set of accompanying notes that explain a bit about why you chose which music you chose – the best of these are often pretty personal, but don’t feel like you have to
- Write it like you’re writing to just one person, and tell us a bit about you too 🙂
- You don’t have to explain every single track choice, but if you want to that’s fine too!
- 30 tracks long, with a start, middle, and end. I usually follow the Mancuso Bardo stuff – which is split it into three, the first third being about people arriving at the party and feeling the groove, then the middle section is circus time (full throttle), and then the final third is about bringing people back to earth gently.
- My approach to track selection is trying to put something together that brings new (not necessarily new new) music to people, if I include something familiar then I want to reframe it a little, but I try to avoid ever going obscure for the sake of it (no show offs!)
- No repeats. Unless it’s Herbie or Stevie. The full list of everything that’s ever been included is here.
- There are no boundaries on genres or anything like that. We’ve had themed mixtapes, artist focused, era focused, mood focused, all sorts – go wild.
Most of all, it just has to come from your heart ❤️
If you’d like to put something together, please get in touch!
📃 The tracklist 📃
- Don Cherry – Utopia and Visions
- Dorothy Ashby – Essence of Sapphire
- Shabaka and the Ancestors – Joyous
- Sun Ra & His Arkestra – That’s How I Feel
- Andrew Ashong – Flowers
- Gil Scott-Heron – Your Daddy Loves You
- Stevie Wonder – As
- The Crusaders – Street Life
- Bill Withers – You Got The Stuff
- Fatback Band – Wicky Wacky
- Eddie Kendricks – Date With The Rain
- Herbie Hancock – Saturday Night
- Roy Ayers – Chicago
- K15 – Bordeaux (Kaidi Tatham remix)
- Prince – All The Critics Love U In New York
- Moodymann – I Think Of Saturday
- Stevie Wonder – Race Babbling
- Tenderlonious – Casey Jr.
- Prequel – Saints
- Moses Boyd – Drum Dance
- Pharoah Sanders – You’ve Got To Have Freedom
- Johnny “Hammond” Smith – Los Conquistadores Chocolates
- Miroslav Vitous – New York City
- Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars
- Theo Parrish – What You Gonna Ask For (Theo’s mix)
- Les Sins – Grind
- SAULT – Why Why Why Why Why
- BADBADNOTGOOD – Tried
- Emma-Jean Thackray – Make Do
- Rare Silk – Storm
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|See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day