CF: How and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded on a sunny Saturday afternoon in my apartment in Brooklyn. It’s all vinyl, including both LPs and 45s, and was recorded using two turntables and a mixer. I decided to pull out records that evoke feelings of live or communal music experiences, whether that be intimate acoustic performances, cultural gatherings, or dancefloors. So many people are stuck at home looking at TVs and computers all day right now, so my hope is that these selections provide a bit of an escape. It’s also worth noting that this mix contains guitars and strings more prominently than any set I’ve ever played before (but there’s still a lot of drums and percussion).
CF: How did you start collecting records and DJing?
I originally started collecting music (cassettes and then CDs) when I was around 10 years old, especially once I discovered a passion for hip hop music. Throughout my teenage years, I got really into hip hop radio and magazines, and so I was exposed to DJing and record collecting through those mediums. I was also exposed to the idea of samples, and started getting intrigued by the funk, soul, and jazz music that hip hop was built around.
At some point I realized that I needed to start buying vinyl in order to acquire some of the underground music that I was into, and I also thought that it would be fun to learn how to DJ. I’ve been collecting records for over 20 years at this point, but with each passing year I am expanding into a wider range of genres and styles. For example, over the past 7-8 years I’ve really focused much more heavily on reggae, Latin, and Brazilian records.
CF: If you were trapped indoors and had to survive by only listening to 10 records, what would they be?
I always find these types of questions really difficult, and the answer might change from day to day, but below is what I came up with today (I just hope it isn’t for forever):
Jorge Ben – A Tábua de Esmeralda
A Tribe Called Quest – People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Emahoy Tsegué-Mariam Guèbru – Self-titled
Bob Andy – Song Book
John Coltrane Quartet – Crescent
Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun
Willie Colon – The Big Break / La Gran Fuga
Bunny Wailer – Blackheart Man
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain
Common – Resurrection
CF: What’s your favourite thing about living in Brooklyn? What would you recommend to someone visiting for 24h?
I would definitely recommend visiting some of Brooklyn’s great record stores or attending music related events. Brooklyn (and New York City more widely) have amazing options when it comes to digging for records. Human Head, Record City, and Superior Elevation are all great choices in Brooklyn, while it’s also worth crossing the river to check out places like A1, Deadly Dragon, Jazz Record Center, or Academy.
I would also recommend walking through several different neighborhoods, getting a feel for the wide range of cultures that make up the city, and trying food from the incredibly wide range of cuisines available. Walking through Brooklyn neighborhoods can sometimes feel like traveling the world in short distances, but there is also the unique NYC style and flavor that you can’t get anywhere else.
Finally, I would recommend making destinations out of places like Coney Island, the Brooklyn Promenade, and Prospect Park, especially when the weather is warm.
CF: What’s the first thing you’ll do once the COVID-19 lockdown is over?
I can’t wait to go walking through some of my favorite neighborhoods, go record shopping (in actual stores!), eat at a restaurant, and check out one of my favorite DJ’s play some music or go see a concert. These were some of my favorite things to do before the lockdown, and I definitely will not take them for granted anymore!