Letter #79


I hope you’re well. The year has started with a bang at work – a couple of massive projects, pitches, a load of award entries, and yesterday we launched a report on what we think are the most interesting emerging cultures in the UK (give me a shout if you’d like a copy). January, you were a beaut 💙

Back to matters at hand; I think this every-second-week thing is going to take some to getting used to. This last two weeks I’ve gone through nearly 3,000 songs, and this week I accidentally shortlisted more than 450 for today’s letter. There’s a lot of good music.

This week’s mixtape has got classic hip-hop and modern soul, funk, old soul, classic Loft-era disco, thoughtful modern ‘dance’ music, some jazz (naturally) and some deeper stuff at the back. I’m definitely back 😊.

🌪 TL;DR Section 🌪
  1. There’s a good cover feature on Midland in Mixmag this month, where he talks very openly about his career, imposter syndrome, and learning to feel more comfortable in his own skin
  2. It was the 10th anniversary of Late of the Pier’s seminal Fantasy Black Channel album recently (ten years – makes me feel ancient) – this piece in Dazed reminds me why that album was such a belter
  3. Joe Muggs (one of us) posted about this woozy Andy Weatherall mix from 1993 (athough it’s not from the Hac). It’s always worth revisiting his RBMA lecture too.
  4. Talking of Weatherall, Boy’s Own has published a few classic 1970s street style photos that are worth a look. Also, there’s a great feature on the story of Boy’s Own here.
  5. A good friend (thanks Matt T) send me a link to a brilliant New Yorker piece on William Basinski, as well as a link to his epic production Disintegration Loops
  6. RA is back with the latest instalment of its excellent series The Art of DJing, this time with Salon resident, Vladimir Ivkovic
  7. Finally, there’s some new stuff to go follow; @JazzILike on Insta, and Paul Ruffles, who’s putting together mini-mixtapes every week (and has a guest letter coming up here too).
📚 The notes 📚

I’m reading loads at the moment, and those books are having a major impact on the mixtape. I’ve started rereading Love Saves the Day (for the third time), and I’m just about to finish Der Klang Der Familie too (it’s about the birth of techno in Berlin). Both excellent books.

Over December, I read Please Kill Me (a brilliant oral history of punk in its broadest sense), and I also read Playing Changes (it’s a mixed bag to be honest, but there’s a couple of great chapters). The ever-excellent Shivvy bought me Night Fever, which I’m really excited to start, and also the Ian Schrager book/photobook on Studio 54 too, which is beautiful. I go through peaks and troughs with reading, but I’ve started reading both physical and Kindle books (I was solely Kindle), and I think it’s made a big difference to how much I’m retaining from reading – which is something I’ve been thinking about a lot, especially after reading this piece on the impact of skim-reading on the Guardian.

📃 The tracklist 📃
  1. D’Angelo – Unshaken
  2. Little People (ft Rahel) – All The Wonders
  3. Erykah Badu (ft Roy Ayers) – Cleva
  4. August Greene – Black Kennedy
  5. Common (ft Macy Gray) – Geto Heaven Part Two
  6. Triptik – Entrak 1
  7. Waters – Trying Hard To Look Inside
  8. Chocolate Milk – Actions Speaks Louder Than Words
  9. Doris – You Never Come Closer
  10. Billy Byrd – Lost In The Crowd
  11. Gloria Ann Taylor – How Can You Say It
  12. Donny Hathaway – Memory Of Our Love
  13. Harold Melvin – The Love I Lost
  14. Voices of East Harlem – Cashing In
  15. Joe Bataan – Aftershower Funk
  16. Rim Kwaku Obeng – Love Me For Real
  17. Double Exposure – Newsy Neighbors
  18. Fouk – Down Below
  19. Ivan Conti – Bacurau
  20. Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars
  21. The Comet Is Coming – Summon The Fire
  22. Baloji – Kongaulois
  23. Anatole – Medlow Bath
  24. Pantha Du Prince – The Splendour
  25. Weval – Gimme Some
  26. Sepalot – Rainbows (live)
  27. Daniel Avery – Projector
  28. Bjork – The Anchor Song (Black Dog mix)
  29. Angel Bat Dawid – We Are Starzz
  30. James Blake – Lullaby For My Insomniac
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See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

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