Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Soul Boulders 2

At long last, DJ B.Cause and I are back with Soul Boulders 2, another 76 minutes of slow, funky soul burners.

The Soul Boulders sampler

To purchase the mix in digital form, go here.

To purchase the mix in physical form, please send payment via Paypal to matthewafrica at hotmail dot com. The price including shipping is $10 in the U.S, $11 to Canada. and $14 to the rest of the world.

Currently there is a limited number of copies of the mix available at Big City Records and Good Records NYC. We hope to place CDs with some of our other favorite stores soon.

For those who aren't familiar with Soul Boulders, here's the story.

Back in 2005, San Francisco's DJ B.Cause posted a mind-blowing 10-minute mini-mix on the SoulStrut message board. The songs were exquisite but hard to pigeonhole-- soulful and funky, but not purely funk or soul, slow, psychedelic, moody, maybe a little haunted. In other words, exactly my sound.

I sent him a message urging him either to finish the mix or to let me hop on and collaborate with him on turning his ten minutes into something CD length. I grabbed a dozen or so of my favorite records, figured out their sequence and recorded my half at B.Cause's house one rainy afternoon. Once B.Cause fleshed out his half and massaged the whole thing a bit, we released it in the spring of 2006. It was my first commercial mix CD.

The response to Soul Boulders was amazing. The Fader, The Wire, Wax Poetics and Hip Hop Connection said nice things about it. Friends and peers raved, telling us we soundtracked their summer, that it was their favorite mix, etc. In a couple cases, I even had people tell me that the mix changed their lives. Although it sold pretty modestly-- we only pressed 1,000 copies and gave many of them away-- it's easily the most beloved thing I've ever had a hand in. Over the years, people have consistently and insistently pressed me and Josh to give them more. So we did.

For me, Soul Boulders was hard to follow up because I worried a lot about how to make something that people would appreciate in the same way. The landscape has changed a lot since we made the first mix. Compilations, blogs and message boards have made a lot of formerly obscure music easily accessible and consequently everyone seems pretty blasé. Although rarity was never really the point of Soul Boulders-- creating something unique was-- the mix did feature a lot of music that was unknown to even hardcore soul listeners and that did help create some excitement around it. Since I more or less stopped seriously buying records in about 2005, I worried that I might not have a good enough set of records to construct another set; I didn't want to just present some tracks that didn't make the original mix.

Soul Boulders 2 features 40 meticulously mixed songs. Some are from common records, many are from rare ones, but all are (to us) extraordinary soul songs that embody a special feeling. We labored hard on the mix, cleaning up tracks, re-editing them to emphasize parts we liked, obsessing over the sequencing and tiny details in the transitions and generally polishing until we felt like we had made a worthy sequel. I think we succeeded.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Seven years

The Impressions: "Seven Years" (LP mix) (Curtom, 1969)

"I was just so in love with you/and I thought you loved me, too/seven years now I find/it was just a waste of time."

I think only Curtis Mayfield could make such a bitter song sound so joyous.

Years ago I DJed a wedding for a couple who requested this along with a lot of other 60s soul. I found myself wanting to ask, "have you ever even listened to the lyrics?"

The mix that appears on 7" is way punchier, although unfortunately my copy is styrene and has a little burn on the high notes. On the plus side, it used to belong to Grandmaster Flowers, so there's that.

The Impressions: "Seven Years" (single mix) (Curtom, 1969)

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Eleven Day is coming (Soul Boulders 2, too!)

This Friday I'll be in New York paying tribute to one of my favorite DJs and closest friends, DJ Eleven, on Eleven Day a/k/a 11/11/11.

To celebrate the date, has Eleven is bringing together some of his favorite collaborators and friends. I'm honored to be DJing with Max Glazer, Mick Boogie, Cosmo and Ayres from the Rub, Illo and mOma. It should be really fun.

There are limited pre-sales here (OPEN BAR!), but if I know you and you hit me up promptly, I may be able to swing something.


I'll also be DJing with DJ Eleven on Thursday at Fam, his weekly party at Von on Bleecker. It's the night before a holiday, so I'm thinking it might well go off.


Also, at both events, I should have some of these in hand:

I have a limited number of CDs right now. In the next few days DJ B.Cause and I will be posting details on how to get your hands on a physical or digital copy.

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