"If you move, I'll fall."
I've been away for most of the month dealing with a family emergency, but I've just about managed to get an episode together with the few days of the month I've been in Manchester. I spent a few of the days away trying to do my day job in some absolutely punishing heat, and so ended up listening to a lot of laid-back tunes to fit the temperature - as such, I thought I'd shape the month's selection in the same manner! Some old classics (including one for KMG, RIP) and more recent cuts, moving through a few different genres - enjoy!
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India Shawn ft. Anderson .Paak : Movin' On
We start the episode on the modern soul tip with a killer from Los Angeles native India Shawn, who you'll have heard on the podcast before. As much as Anderson .Paak comes through with a great guest appearance, it's absolutely still her song. It's sunny, fresh, and a good song to wake up to as much as anything! With her message of moving out of a bad situation to something better, India Shawn creates an uplifting cut alongside producer D'Mile, which you can find on the short "Before We Go" album.
Tavaras Jordan : The Player's Ball
The more I catch up on his back catalogue, the more this man becomes one of my favourite musicians and producers. This instrumental is from his "SouthernPlayalistic" beat tape, and it's a sunny, refined track which, while you could imagine being topped with an R&B singer quite easily, is perfect just as it is.
Roy Ayers Ubiquity : Everybody Loves The Sunshine
One of the timeless, foundation, unimpeachable summer anthems - already forty-six years old and it still gets plenty of play. That's not even getting into how many times it's been covered, remixed, sampled, it's just a cultural staple. If you don't know, Roy Ayers is a jazz/soul/funk artist, writer, and producer, who has been putting out work since the early Sixties - and who is still performing live today! This is the title track from one of the albums under the name "Roy Ayers Ubiquity", and while the whole LP is good, this will always be the standout.
Lisa Shaw : Better Days
The opening track from Lisa Shaw's second LP, "Free", this is a light and airy, beautifully-engineered track that puts Shaw front and centre, at a slow and leisurely pace to warm you up for the more uptempo material that makes up the majority of the album. Still waiting on a third LP from this incredibly talented artist though...
Le$ : Campaign
Late night Houston rider music! The "Le$ Is More" EP was another quality release from the man with maybe the biggest contrast between his work ethic and how energetic he sounds on the mic (that said, Snoop also exists), and after playing this quite a few times this month I thought it was the track to include in the mix. Those gliding keyboards open things up and acclimatise you and then when the drum track drops, you're fully locked in.
UGK : It's Supposed To Bubble
If you don't know UGK's work, I'd recommend giving them a listen - Pimp C (RIP) and Bun B came out of Port Arthur, Texas, with their own highly-musical brand of Hip-Hop that stands up against anyone you can name. What often sounds like samples in their work is often built up with live, replayed versions of famous licks played by Pimp and guests, and then they bring their southern flavour to the mic. This track comes from their second LP, 1994's "Super Tight", and they're celebrating with a little champagne. It does, indeed, be like that sometimes.
MF DOOM : Red And Gold (Original 12" Instrumental)
No matter what, "Operation Doomsday" will always be my favourite MF DOOM (RIP) release - at that time, it hit like nothing else, sounding like someone with a stack of 80s records, a drum machine, and a mic, holed up in a bedroom and going for it. I'm not going to mention the sample, but it's not hidden at all - and you likely recognise it from some other uses!
Prodigy : Stronger