By Sandeep Chauhan
I miss cassette tapes. I miss popping them in and out of my walkman, I miss the hiss they make as the tape unwinds from beginning to end, I miss their finiteness. Mp3 players are cool, but with so much choice it gets overwhelming. Part two of the summer playlist is dedicated to the mixtape.
While any choice jam is good for a mixtape, sometimes you just want the extra cool, rare, or plain weird for your tape. That’s what the following are. Super cool, rare and sometimes very, very weird.
Common’s latest album Finding Forever was released this week and while it’s a strong album, my favorite Common moment of 2007 is “Southside Superbowl”, released early in 2007 with Common and fellow Chicagoan Kanye West repping the Chi and the Bears. It’s a one minute and 30 second tribute to soldiers who fight a different war.
Carlos Nino is one of my favorite music producers. His latest project, Carlos y Gaby, with singer/keyboardist Gaby Hernandez, is a cosmic mix of spiritual jazz, ethereal electronics, and sun-baked pysch melodies. Their first single Space Hammock has Hernandez’s vocals float over a righteous Pharoah Sanders sample mixed with wind chimes and a bubbly bass line. Perfect for Sunday afternoon tripping.
And finally check this one for the weird column . . . Betty Carter is probably best known for her improvisational jazz chops, but in the ’70s she sang “In Your Head,” a tribute to childhood creativity, for Sesame Street. It’s nearly impossible to find a high quality version of the track — the version that appears on the Songs from the Street comp features singer Diane Schuur — so the best way to catch it is on Youtube or an mp3 rip online. It’s worth the search.
To finish, an article about Disco D from the Voice — tasteless cover but great feature on the producer of Ski Mask Way who committed suicide earlier this year. The piece paints a extremely bleak picture of an artist suffering from depression.
And just one more thing. It sounded both surreal and fishy to me that a bridge in Minnesota could collapse. That is till my boy David shed some perspective on it. It’s a snack for the grey matter.