Letter #74

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

I hope you’re good. I’ve had a glorious week, busy, but really fun. After two weeks of weird timing issues, you should hopefully be reading this at 11am GMT.

I asked for some thoughts and feedback on Love Will Save the Day last weekend on a few Instagram stories (the questions are below in the notes), and a couple of people mentioned I’d never really included much reggae, dub, or drum and bass. So this week I’ve dug deep and tried to push myself into unfamiliar territory, while still retaining the thread of this series. Don’t worry, it’s still soulful. It’s been really fun putting together, but so much harder than usual!

Let me know what you think ❤️

There’s also some brilliant stuff in the TL:DR section below too – including a new compilation from Tim Lawrence, news about David Lynch, and a great Q&A with Neneh Cherry. Also, there’s a MUST READ letter from Nick Cave.

Oh, and after overwhelming feedback, the tracklist is back at the bottom of the letter 😂

💥 If you enjoy this weekly letter (like I know you do), then please take a second to forward this email, or share this link with a short recommendation on Facebook or Twitter 💥
🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Interesting things this week:

IMPORTANT: Nick Cave shared a beautiful letter on the death of his son, grief, love, and ideas. If you read nothing else this week, read this.

  1. Pre-order Tim Lawrence’s upcoming compilation, Life and Death on a New York Dance Floor – the tracklist is filled with must-haves
  2. Haruki Murakami is donating his 10,000-strong record jazz collection to Tokyo’s Waseda University
  3. You can now visit Le Corbusier’s beautiful apartment in Paris
  4. i-D has a brilliant Q&A with Neneh Cherry, who’s posed questions from some of her friends
  5. David Lynch is raising money to make a film about Robert Johnson.
  6. Here’s the story behind Dalí‘s Freud à tête d’escargot
  7. The sad passing of Roy Hargrove has generated a lot of features on him – this collection of key performances is nice
  8. I’m a huge fan of Imogen Heap – both her music, and her way of looking at the world – and this interview with FADER just builds on that
  9. One of the world’s most influential and underrated DJ’s, Laurent Garnier, is the subject of the latest XLR8R feature, Real Talk
  10. Bandcamp has a lovely feature on the ever glorious Mr. Bongo label
📚 The notes 📚

As I mentioned, this week’s mixtape is quite a lot different from usual. It’s actually been really hard to pull together, because while I really like dub, reggae, jungle, and drum n bass, it’s really light in my record collection. Sure, I’ve got a few Roni Size records, some Trojan compilations, and some Lovers Rock stuff from StudioOne, but there’s not exactly a depth of music. I guess this is largely due to my collection has historically been made up of a lot of music I’d consider either playing to people at a party, or DJing with, and I haven’t ever really considered the music on this week’s mixtape like that.

That’s definitely changed now, and as soon as I started to work through how I wanted to structure the mixtape, the music started to make more sense. I’ve also probably found so much new music that retains the jazz / soul / rhythmic feel that I’ve always been driven by, and that’s opened my eyes (ears?) massively. What’s nice is looking at the mixtape and seeing Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry only a few steps from a brilliant dubby techno remix from Andy Stott. Likewise, it sounds naturally to sit modern dancehall from Equiknoxx so close to a pummelling dubstep classic from Punch and Loefah, then only a few tracks later have a Total Science track with a huge jazz influence. As an aside, that Leofah remix of Pinch’s Punisher is intense. I’d forgotten all about it.

Hopefully the mixtape delivers on the same standard as usual, but I’d be lying if I said it had been anywhere near as easy or confident putting it together. Each week I put thirty tracks together knowing the musical stitches, (usually) something about the artists, and a lot of the history and heritage of the genres. This means I can usually be pretty confident that I’m picking music that works together, that’s not too obvious or trite, or (more scarily) I’m not being crass with certain choices (which is surprisingly easy to do, especially with regards to cultural appropriation).

I also found it really interesting asking people questions on Instagram – if you didn’t see, then the questions I asked were:

  • Is there enough variation in the music?
  • Does anyone read the TL:DR section? If so, what would you like to see more of?
  • Does anyone read the rambling notes section? What would improve it?
  • And finally, would people like to see the tracklist adding back in at the bottom of the letter? (A resounding yes, so you’ll find it below…)

If you didn’t see it on Instagram, I would love to get your thoughts (just reply to this email). I’m also going to do more of that sort of stuff on Instagram in the future too, so follow me to see.

📃 The tracklist 📃
  1. Derrick Harriott – Loser
  2. Gregory Isaacs – I Can’t Give You My Love Alone
  3. Lynn Taitt and the Jets – To Sir With Love
  4. The J Sisters – I Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love)
  5. Leslie Butler – Ashanti Ganja Dub
  6. Jackie Edwards – Invasion
  7. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – Doctor On The Go
  8. Rhythm & Sound – King In My Empire
  9. The Blondes – Pleasure (Andy Stott remix)
  10. Terrence Dixon – Inside Radio Room
  11. Phil Kieran – Find Love (Andrew Weatherall remix)
  12. The Black Dog – Sleep Deprivation 1
  13. Equiknoxx – Flagged Up (Mark Ernestus remix)
  14. Gemmy – Shanti Riddim
  15. Four Set – Kool FM (Champion remix)
  16. Pinch – Punisher (Loefah’s SE25 remix)
  17. Skream – Rutten
  18. Source Direct – A Made Up Sound
  19. Origin Unknown – Valley Of The Shadows
  20. Shy FX – Gangsta Kid
  21. Shabba Ranks – Let’s Get It On (Dilinja / Goldie Beef Joint mix)
  22. DJ Hype – The Chopper
  23. The Ganja Kru – Super Sharp Shooter
  24. Ed Rush & Optical – Chubrub
  25. Roni Size – It’s A Jazz Thing (Jucieman remix)
  26. Random Movement – Goblin Jazz Banquet
  27. Peshay – Funkster
  28. Total Science – Piano Funk
  29. RoyGreen & Protone – Jazzypants
  30. The Elder Statesman – Montreal Sunrise
As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ❤️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

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