Ok, I’mjust gonna list the reasons why I made this mixtape:
— DJ Ian Head
October 2010: Bogart to Batman
Ok, this is probably one of the strangest tapes I’ve ever put together. I figured since this marks around three years of tapes, I’d dive into things a little harder. I ran through a bunch of records, from all kinds of genres, and tried to create some kind of crazy super-scientifical bubbly soundscape. Then I went back over the whole mix and cut in a bunch of other records, mostly vocal snippets, plus a couple extras. I kept envisioning some of the classic old tapes I used to listen to, especially some of the stuff Kid Koala and Q-Bert used to do. Just randomass records.
Somewhat similar to last month’s tape, this is kind of a bunch of little “soundtracks” that re-make or ellaborate on various scenes from radio shows, movies and 1970s basketball games. Musically there’s breakbeats, dramatic strings, funky basslines, flutes, piano solos, and James Brown. A few cats have been asking me to play more records and make longer mixes. I tried really hard here guys!! But, this mix still came in at about 34 minutes. I think I used like around 40 records though.
At the base off all this, to me, is hip-hop. The genius, innovative idea of mixing and scratching records, combined with a passion for music that makes you want to keep going through old vinyl in search of something you’ve never heard, that you can in turn make into something else no has ever heard.
Thanks so much for listening, much more to come.
— DJ Ian Head
Here’s a short mix of some of my favorite soundtrack selections. I’m not a big OST (original sound track – took me a couple years to figure that one out, admittedly) nerd, and don’t own extensive crates of British and French television soundtracks. But it is very true that there’s been some classic records (and samples) from films and tv shows. Often, from really bad, obscure movies and television – which makes those records harder to find. This mix does lean on the sample-heavy, breakbeat side of things – down the line I might do a mix of stuff from my favorite movies, like the theme to “The Third Man,” but for now I figured it was time to feature some good music that have been sitting in the crates for awhile without any shine.
Good soundtracks create great atmosphere and feeling, and help tell the story or embellish a character or situation. Hopefully these selections give off some of that, whether or not you recognize them or know the movie they’re attached to.
As a bonus, I did a short second mix of some of my favorite movie-associated hip-hop records. Nothing super rare on there, just classic joints I still love to play today.
No tracklisting this month. Quincy Jones is a genius, go check out his catalogue.
— DJ Ian Head
There are these compilation albums from the 70s I think, called like “Heavies” or “Heavy Stuff from CBS” – something in that vein. I took it to mean that the songs included, while for promotional purposes, were a sampling of some deeper, more intriguing cuts by artists, rather than pop-radio athemns.
So here’s my own little compilation of “heavies.” I tried to choose songs that feel…beautiful, I guess, or at least evoke something larger than just “it’s time to dance!” (not that I don’t love dancing to good music). These selections are more thoughtful pieces to me, along with “heavy” production value – thick drums, instrumentation, vocals that hit you directly.
It’s not a long mix, and I know some folks have told me I need to stretch the mixes out. I had several other records pulled originally, but when the Bobby Hutcherson song ended, I just felt like, that was it right there, a proper conclusion. Maybe the next mix will be an hour, we’ll see..
Full tracklisting below.
— DJ Ian Head
1. Cannonball Adderley “Tensity”
This is part two of my series of “Covers” mixtapes – the first was my December 2008 mixtape, available here. The liner notes for the first mixtape touch more deeply on my love of good cover songs, so I won’t repeat myself here.
On my side of the country, the heat is sweltering right now. And I imagine it might be like that everywhere come August – although with global warming, we can’t really predict anything anymore. But with hot temperatures in mind, I kept the groove slower and mostly chill on this tape. And n the spirit of Lou Donaldson, I tried to continue to play the funk.
The final three joints are my brief tribute to Michael Jackson – I stumbled upon two of the records recently and felt it would be good to put them all together for this mix. I know a lot of people are burnt out or feel a certain way about his passing being blown out of proportion, but to me Jackson was an amazing, multi-dimensional artist and icon, who gave us extremely positive music – and that’s something I think a lot of us are grabbing onto right now in these times of war, economic crisis and other craziness.
Lou Donaldson “Everything I Play Gohn Be Funky”
Michael Urbaniak “Free”
“Mystic Maiden Voyage”
“Walk on By” Undisputed Truth, Pete Rock, Isaac Hayes
Young Holt Limited “Look of Love”
Emotions “Aint No Sunshine”
Jimmy Ponder “While My Guitar Gently Wheeps”
Grant Green “Ease Back”
Charles Wright “Light My Fire”
Zulema “Where Your Are”
Davina “I Can’t Help It”
Cal Tjader “I Want You Back”
It’s the season of rehearsal dinners and dry cleaning – yes, my friends are getting married. This past June I spent three weeks traveling, mostly by train, around the country to take part in the festivities. Being that one wedding was in Philly and another in Los Angeles, and that I hate flying on planes, AND that I’m currently unemployed, I figured roll Amtrak-style and hit a few cities in-between. New York? Chicago? Pittsburgh? I’m there, kickin it, eatin donuts, Ethiopian food, and digging in a grip of crates.
But there are some limits to this kind of digging. First off, I’m on a strict budget (like I said, un-em-ployed) so I’m givin most of my attention to the dollar bins. Second, I’m not tryin to haul dumb records around with me – I already got all those extra wedding clothes, some books, and my laptop (Did I mention I was co-djing one wedding?). So I had to be choosey. At the same time, if I had come up on a crate full of rare gems for cheap, you know I woulda boxed it up and mailed it home.
But that didn’t happen. What did was adventures in stores and flea markets, from Burbank to Brooklyn. Hit some classic spots, can’t reveal everything but anyone who runs through Pittsburgh has to hit Jerry’s, a landmark record spot with boxes of 45s to the ceiling. Jerry will probably be behind the counter cleaning records.
What I came home with was an eclectic set of joints, some for sampling and some for just vibin out to. I tried to make the mix flow between genres as easily as possible, but there’s definitely some obscure selections. However, I feel like all these songs have a unique, soulful quality to them. Some records even tie in thematically to my three weeks of couch surfing. However, despite my reason for traveling, these are records you’ll probably never hear at a wedding. But that’s probably a good thing, right? Hope you enjoy.
Bernard Purdie “Way Back Home”
People “Somebody Tell Me My Name”
Lonnie Smith “Eleanor Rigby”
“…Soon Be Yesterday”
Pigeon John ft. Abstract Rude “Life Goes On”
Nancy Wilson “Ain’t No Sunshine”
“Where is the Joy”
“Here I Am Baby (Come and Take Me)”
Idris Muhammad ft. Ish
Art Blakey and the AfroDrum Ensemble
Bob Dylan “George Jackson”