2016

Summer mix

In light of recent events here in the US, it feels good to start with a heartfelt same-sex love song. On this track, Syd tha Kyd and The Internet get some assistance from ultra-hip beatmaker Kaytranada. Next up is C Duncan with the title track from one of my favorite albums of last year. His surprising chord changes and lush vocal harmonies remind me of The Zombies.

“Dangerous game” is from a 1966 episode of the Thunderbirds TV show! A band of marionettes plays the song in a fancy lounge in the Swiss Alps.

Mark Barrott started making music in the 90s as Future Loop Foundation. He spent the early 2000s as a curator of music for hotels around the world. He is largely responsible for bringing electronic chillout music to hotel lobbies, and he admits that his success was a mixed blessing: a lot of opportunists with limited creativity cashed in on the trend. Today he’s standing up for quality with releases under his own name and on his label International Feel. (I hope it’s named for the Todd Rundgren song, but I have not been able to confirm that.)

Did you know that Walter Becker of Steely Dan produced two albums for 80s Liverpool synth-poppers China Crisis? Well, now you do!

Geek that I am, I cannot play a 1957 Blue Note track – Jimmy Smith’s “Blues after all” – without listing the amazing lineup of soloists, in order: Kenny Burrell (who wrote the song), George Coleman, Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Smith, and Kenny Burrell again. Savor this one!

I know about Dave Mackay and Vicky Hamilton, and countless other artists, because of Gilles Peterson. I have been enjoying his BBC radio shows for years. Thanks Gilles!

I end with one of my favorite summer songs of all time by Joni Mitchell. “Once in awhile, in a big blue moon, there comes a night like this / Like some surrealist invented this Fourth of July night ride home.”

Listen to this mix at Mixcloud.

1. The Internet with Kaytranada – Girl
2. C Duncan – Architect
3. Bill Withers – Can we pretend
4. Barry Gray – Dangerous game
5. Etienne Daho – Paris, le Flore
6. Mark Barrott – Cirrus & cumulus
7. The Clientele – Bonfires on the heath
8. MFSB – My mood
9. China Crisis – Strength of character
10. Marcia Griffiths – Stay
11. Jimmy Smith – Blues after all
12. Kassin+2 – Esquecido
13. Ultramarine – Nova Scotia
14. R.E.M. – Beachball
15. Dave Mackay & Vicky Hamilton – Here
16. D.K. – License to dream
17. Joni Mitchell – Night ride home

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