Something of a tradition ’round these parts. In the spirit of Xmas I keep the tracks separate, so you can treat ’em like Legos and re-arrange and combine to your liking. This year has lots of soca and a lil Bieber (chopped up and not slopped up), but my favorite is DJ Mingo’s reggaeton remix of “El Burrito Sabañero.”
1. Traditional Ethiopian – Genna
2. Baron – Drink Ah Rum
3. Billo’s Caracas Band – Brindis Navideño
4. Unknown – Money in the Bank
5. Scarface – Thiefing Santa
6. Colm III – Christmas Tree
7. Unknown – Funk Do Noel
8. Tosin Martins – Silent Night
9. Jacob Miller – Natty No Santa Claus
10. Susan Macio – Trini Christmas
11. Justin Bieber – Christmas Eve (Screwed and Chopped)
12. DJ Mingo – Burrito Sabañero (Reggaeton Remix)
13. R. Kelly – A Love Letter Christmas
14. Fernand Gignac – Le Feu Danse San La Cheminée
15. Willie Colon – Esta Navidad
16. Professor Ken Philmore – Christmas Stagger Riddim
17. Lord Beginner – Christmas Morning the Rum Had Me Yawning
18. Los Jibaros – Decimas De Nacimiento
19. Marry Harris – Happy New Year Blues
20. Corre Guachin – Papa Noel
21. August Burns Red – God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman
Let’s hope the power stays on, East Coast. Staying away from the most obvious stuff as well as the Katrina stuff because let’s hope it doesn’t go that way, ok?
Sonora Dinamita – El Paraguas
Herbie Hancock – Eye of the Hurricane
Neil Young – Like a Hurricane
Caetano Veloso – Irene
Willie Hutch – Stormy Weather
Grace Jones – Hurricane
Bernard Fevre – Too Much Water
The Warlocks – Hurricane Heart Attack
Hurricane Chris – Halle Berry
DJ Nasty – Hurricane
Mobb Deep – Quiet Storm
DJ Hurricane – Connect
New Edition – Can You Stand the Rain
Aventura – La Tormenta (basically the 21st century bachata version of the New Edition)
Leadbelly – Goodnight Irene
Thanks to the Tweeps who crowdsourced some of this.
Started in July, didn’t get finalized until late summer, but mixes are like any work of art — never completed. Keep those windows open, because some of these get selected by what’s coming out of car stereos when I’m walking my dog.
1. Wale, Jeremih, Rick Ross – That Way
2. A.R. Kane – Urvaasi
3. Xuman – Koty Koty
4. Erick Rincon – Intentalo
5. LV feat Okmalumkoolkat – Boomslang
6. DJ Cleo – B.O.B.
7. French Fries – Laquisha
8. Antony Santos – Vete (Uproot Andy Mix)
9. Joswa in da House – Ella Quiere Cualto
10. Vybez Kartel – Yuh Love
11. Wiley – Numbers In Action
12. Drake – I’m On One
13. DJ Nehpets – 6 Foot 7 Remix
14. Boylan & J-Roc – Letz Rock
15. Sissy Nobby – Lay Me Down
16. Cassius – I <3 U So (NO OLD MAN RAPPING VERSION)
4. DJ CÉSAR – LAMBADA FUNK REMIX (edit)
9. Ivy Queen – No Lo Hace
Special thanks to autotune, Wayneandwax, Dave Quam, Twitter, 4shared, Fruityloops in the Caribbean, Mexico, hipsters, the Spanish Empire, 88.7 FM, oil companies.
DJ Stefan Goldmann tempers (to put it lightly!) the effusion of techno-optimism over digital music and the internet from the past decade. Really, we’re all coming down from that high, aren’t we? One of the most notable parts of this essay is its focus on the restructuring of the labor market for music and sound professionals. Actually, “restructuring” doesn’t quite capture it as much as a verb like “imploding.” These are artisans and craft professionals, not just “suits” who are losing their jobs.
Absurdly, the complete disappearance of economic barriers to distribution (offering a free download doesn’t cost more than the time to upload the file) hit the wallets of the “indies” first, stripping a substantial part of their income. This mostly affected the artists and the personnel around them: designers, engineers, studio musicians, promotion and label professionals, music journalists, et al. The mass of competition they encountered meant anyone with a limited marketing budget had a difficult time surviving in the market. With the same promotional tools available to almost anyone, they lost their efficiency. The professionals listed above basically lost their income. In 2000, an average vinyl single generated a return of a couple of thousand Euros, while in 2011 the same single generates a loss of a couple of hundred Euros, even without what were formerly known as “production costs.” Anything on top, like a bigger production, a decent mastering, or proper sleeve design became factors of deepening material loss. That area of the craft gets subsequently cut off and replaced by an undiscriminating routine of two-step-distribution: “save as” and “upload to.”
At the same time, a vast reserve army of DJs has been created. What does a DJ do besides share music, something that information technology does for us anyway? The advantage, ironically enough, goes to older artists whose reputations were created by the music industry bubble of the decade previous. Technological innovation in the absence of strong social movements benefits those who were already winning (telecoms and venture capitalists in this case).
What have we learned here? The so called “democratization” didn’t work. Everyone did believe they gained access. This access by itself is stripped of value, though, because no one cares that DJ XY from Z has that new record out. Through any available channel I get dozens of requests per day to listen to somebody’s track. That’s after a spam filter and a disclaimer that I don’t want to receive files. The result is that I don’t listen to files at all — I do buy vinyl regularly. DJ XY doesn’t get the gig. If he does by accident, that’s for the cab fare. In Berlin, with its conspicuous population of 50,000 DJs, promoters and club owners don’t have to try hard. There’s always someone who will play for free if asked. Hey, that’s free promotion for the new DJ XY record. Meanwhile in the provincial town of Z, the locals “practice” for free, so they develop the skills they’ll need to “make it” in Berlin one day. That’s where things come full circle. No proper gigs, no record sales, no income. Anyone who is not already “there” doesn’t seem to arrive anymore.
But actually the DJ does do something besides share music, and this is where I disagree with Stefan’s conclusions. He believes the solution to this contradiction is ever more unique and niche works that will “stand out.” In a sense, he folds all of his critiques back into the same old tired solution — create your way out of it through pure hard work and artistic genius! The pure work of art can now stand out! The solution to overproduction of commodities is specialized lovingly produced commodities! This simply won’t work — all sonic innovations are quickly assimilated by sampling technology and metastasize into genres, get sucked into commercial forms, and exhausted of their novelty. Just like all commodities. My very vague groping towards a solution is the creation not of commodities, but of social experiences, of face-to-face interaction and collaboration, solidarities, movements. An mp3 can never do this. A brand can never do this. Music alone can never do this. Only human beings working out their shared future — which is to say, politics — can do this.