Letter #5

Good morning.

I hope you’re feeling fresh. Ready for a glorious summer weekend. I am most definitely ready for two days of adventure in the sunshine.

You know the drill by now, the letter is split into two parts. The first section is what you’re here for – the playlist. The second section is filled with the rambling notes, links, and explanations on why certain tracks were chosen. The third section is the tracklist, in case you haven’t scrolled that far before.

– 👯 –

Our family continues to rapidly grow each week, thanks to you passing the letters on. If you think there’s someone that might also enjoy our letter, please pass it on. Love Will Save the Day.

–  🎼 –

This week’s list takes a lot of inspiration from my two days spent this week on an isolated island, from old friends, and from preparing records for the next few weeks. There’s a bit more Buddhism, some world music, some psychedelic rock, lots of soul and disco (as ever), Prince, the return of the saxophone (and flute!), and lots of piano again (must be a phase I’m going through).

This week was whittled down from 86 tracks. Weirdly, the year I was born. I’ll stop now. I’m rambling.

You’ll find this week’s playlist – here.

Try and play it in order, as particularly this week it’ll make much more sense that way.

– ✏️ –

I was at Off Grid this week. It’s 48 hours on Osea Island (one of Britain’s hidden gems), surrounded by interesting people talking about interesting subjects, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Although my brain feels so full that I’m worried I might have forced out some of the critical stuff around walking and breathing. Anyway, on the final night there was some brilliant music played, including Diana Ross’s Love Hangover, and Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin. I think I probably play these tracks weekly at home, but usually edits of both, so it was nice to have a reminder that the originals are definitely the best.

Also while I was away I was chatting to a new friend who was telling me about Miles Davis’ Blue in Green with so much enthusiasm that I had to include it. Well, a version of it, at least, as it turns out that on the deluxe collection of Kind of Blue, there’s an outtake from the studio that just felt perfect to include.

There is a big world music influence on this week’s list, primarily because I was talking with a friend this week who runs MANANA (an amazing Cuban festival and record label), and our chat lead me to dig out the first MANANA record (here), and then I disappeared down the rabbit hole. So, this week there’s music from Emanative (African-inspired, jazz-infused, London-based artist, produced with Four Tet), 79ers Gang (New Orleans-based world music), and a Turkish tambur (kind of like a guitar mixed with a sitar) infused track from The Gaslamp Killer (the whole album is worth checking out, as is the second one too).

The wedding preparation continues, and I’ve now got a stack of about 200 records, and a few to buy yet too, so I probably need to start cutting some out. There are two tracks that will definitely be coming with me though – The Rolling Stones’ Miss You (most rock bands trying to do disco was embarrassing, but this is a classic), and James Brown’s I’m Satisfied. As I mentioned last week, the bride to be is my partners best friend, and both her and the groom have some impeccable taste in music, so the pressure is on…

We’re also starting to prepare for the next Love Will Save the Day event, and we’re just in the process of agreeing everything with the venue. If you’re not on the list already, sign up here(it’s a different list to the letter). It’ll be held in Southend, but there will be a bus running back to London, so distance is no barrier. As such, I’m starting to think about what we’ll be playing. Some classic soul crept on the list (Gloria Ann Taylor), alongside the mighty Aphrodite’s Child (which is potentially an acquired taste), and Detroit house legend Recloose makes an appearance late on too.

This week also marks the first appearance of a Prince track. This is notable, and weird he didn’t appear sooner.

As always, there’s a heavy presence from London (particularly South London) labels. With Rhythm Section International (a favourite) appearing, alongside 22A, with their exceptional Ruby Rushton release, and Alfa Mist appears for the first time too. As the list winds down, there’s a new track from Goldie (listen to it, I think it’ll surprise you as much as it did me), and a track called Mojave Desert, which is from the new Floating Points album. A very atmospheric penultimate track, I thought.

This week I’ve read an amazing interview with Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy (here) who was Mancuso’s protege, there’s also a good feature in the FT on Jimmy Iovine (here), and a really good long read on the early UK soul scene on RBMA (here). All of these have been amazing reminders about the power of music to bring people together – with the words ringing in my head as I put together this week’s list. Buddhism features this week, both opening and closing the list. Opening with a chant, closing with an Indian raga. Peace.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

– 📄 – 

  1. Deva Premal – Dedication
  2. Emanative – Makondi
  3. 79ers Gang – Eh Paka Way
  4. The Gaslamp Killer – Nissim
  5. Aphrodite’s Child – The Seventh Seal
  6. Lee Moses – Hey Joe
  7. Sanata – Soul Sacrifice
  8. Bootsy Collins – I’d Rather Be With You
  9. Gloria Ann Taylor – Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing (12” version)
  10. Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
  11. Diana Ross – Love Hangover
  12. The Rolling Stones – Miss You
  13. Oby Onyioha – Enjoy Your Life
  14. John Davis & The Monster Orchestra – Bourgie, Bourgie
  15. Goody Goody – It Looks Like Love
  16. James Brown – I’m Satisfied
  17. Willie Bobo – Always There
  18. Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover
  19. Crazy P – Like A Fool
  20. Boorane – V Rhytmah Jazza
  21. Recloose (feat. Joe Duke) – Deeper Waters
  22. Al Dobson Jr. – Live at Makeover
  23. Alfa Mist – Brian
  24. Ruby Rushton – Elephant & Castle
  25. Yusef Lateef – Nubian Lady
  26. Miles Davis – Blue in Green (studio sequence)
  27. Nick Hakim – Papas Fritas
  28. Goldie – Truth
  29. Floating Points – Mojave Desert
  30. Rakesh Chaurasia – Raga Hemavati (Flute)

See you on the dance floor.

Love Will Save the Day.

P.S. Watch out Saturday night for a live stream here. I’m back!

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