The lovely people at BBE Records asked me to dig thru their vast catalog and put together a DJ mix of my favorite tunes. I was taken away with the fact that I had come to the attention of the label with such pedigree in the Afro Latin music world. I gotta thank Will Sumsuch, with whom I made the song Stand Still, since he does PR for BBE. I asked for all the African Highlife re-issues and percussion centric tracks. A zip file showed up in my inbox and I was able to put together an authentic African mix similar to the sounds I play at the Non-Stop Cocktail Parties throughout California.
Roy Ayers – Tarzan
Roy Ayers – Kwajilori
Eji Oyewole – Charity Begins At Home
Eji Oyewole – Gele Odun (Oil Boom)
Those Good Intentions – We Know How To Boogie
Living Color – Plastic People (G&D Brothers Extended Edit)
Rim Kwaku Obeng & The Believers – Gas Line
Rim Kwaku Obeng & The Believers – Sunkwa (Life First)
Eji Oyewole – Kasowopo Kasekan (Unity in Africa)
Larry Achiampong – Meh Mogya – Exodus
Roy Ayers – Baby Doll
TJ – Love Flower
TJ – Time Is Wasting
Gavin Hardkiss’ 8 year old son Lucien Gael joins in on Waiting Right Here 4 U.
Check out some advance feedback from our DJ pals:
Anthony Pappa – “Cool EP. My favorite track here is ‘Second Noble Truth’.”
Nick Warren – “Wicked … full support.”
Alexander Robotnick – “Good release!”
Swedish Egil (Sirius XM) – “‘Divine Secret’ won’t be a secret for long … great groove.”
Severino (Horse Meat Disco) – “This is fun.”
Chris Fortier (Fade) – “Super!”
Craig Stewart (Montana & Stewart / DCSTrax) – “I’m feeling ‘Divine Secret’ … nice work.”
Distant People (Foliage / Seamless) – “A wicked melodic feel … it hypnotizes you.”
Simon Kirk (Stag Beetle Radio Show) – “Amazing … music like this enriches your life. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful EP than this.”
Adam Warped (Whiskey Pickle / Strange Days) – “Wow … these just get better and better with every listen.”
What a blessing ringing in New Year’s Day 2016 with a family visit to Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Now I’m sitting with a Negroni in hand – equal parts Batiste Rhum Ecoist, Campari and Maurin French Red Vermouth – listening to these sounds from West Africa, South Africa, Brazil, France and the Caribbean looking forward to all the adventure that tomorrow brings.
Photo by Rob Drake
What can you do when you realize there are cameras everywhere? Maybe just dance. “Cameras Are Watching” is the fourth single off of Hardkiss’ album 1991. It features stellar vocals by Austin’s Tameca Jones. The downtempo, glitch-hoppy original from the album provides the jump off point for the variety of funky remixes here.
Echoes of Michael Jackson’s ’80s Rockwellian paranoia, night vision goggles, and smooth house beats highlight the Corduroy Mavericks’ Rox Well Remix.
The All Good Funk Alliance remix brings a sunshine stutter funk to the party.
Gavin Hardkiss makes pervasive surveillance sound shiny, happy, and trippy in his remix; while Robbie Hardkiss’ Eyes in the Elevator Remix whispers acid, tech, and dub, but hollers house-funk. Robbie’s remix won’t be available commercially but you can get it here.
I made this tonight …
Thinking of all you’re going thru ….
It can’t be easy …
I know it’s not ….
A breath of humanity won’t help much in times like these so i took the pulse of the universe and this is what she told me ….
Each and every one in this together
Each and every one
In this together
David Keno – Regina (Roberto Rodriguez Remix)
Kollektiv Turmstrasse – Kontakt (Sieg über die Sonne Remix)
Tigerskin – Carlos’ Thoughts
Namito – Room 1605 (Low Tide Remix)
Florian Meindl feat. Ricardo Phillips – Desert Times (Martin Patino Remix)
Maher Daniel & Jon Charnis
Liviu Groza – What Do You Know
Adrian Martin / Jaser M – Figurine
Timid Boy & Marco Resmann – V15
The Natural – Sweet Music Box
Max Cooper – Autumn Haze
Hardkiss – It’s Right (rAin Remix Edit)
Coldplay – Death and All His Friends (Edit)
“It’s Right (Global Family Remixes)” is the 4th single off the Hardkiss album release 1991. There are versions by a host of international artists from Africa, Europe and the USA including Stephane Deschezeaux, rAin, N’Dinga Gaba, Constar and Gavin Hardkiss.
Stephane Deschezeaux runs Springbok Records in France. Sprinbok is an amazing funk/disco label that is too good to be true.
Rain is an up and coming dj/producer from Mauritius. And will sounds like this, he’s definitely making something Hardkiss flavored happen on that small island.
N’Dinga Gaba is originally from the Central African Republic and is a popular house DJ in South Africa. I met him on a flight to Johannesburg a few years ago. He was familiar with Hardkiss and we spent the flight making beats and collaborating on a song.
In middle ’90s, the Winter Music Conference in Miami was a hit and run affair. One chance in the year to party with all the hot labels, djs, journalists and lovers of dance music who made the pilgrimage to the scuzzy sex n sun of South Beach to get some white label vinyl love and shake the hand of heroes. Hardkiss parties were a fixture. Intimate and away from the glitz, at a dive bar or out-of-fashion dumpy venue. We hit Miami WMC seven years in a row without cameras or iPhones. Just records and a few friends who conveniently loved music and wanted to stay up all night with us.
I remember who was in the jacuzzi as the sun rose. Between the fits of laughter, it wasn’t very flattering. Hallucination kids from Tampa, DJs from Back to Basics in Leeds and LA label honchos of the Moonshine varietal. I left a piece of my heart in Miami and Miami stayed in my tonsils for weeks after returning to California.
Couldn’t tell you who came to any of our parties. But I’m prepared to bet that it was a cross breed of early electronic music and house fanatics from around the world some of whom are now household names.
Here’s a vinyl DJ mix that I put together that brings me back to those times. This is something like what you would have heard at a Hardkiss Party at Miami WMC in the ’90s. Featuring Future Sound of London, Hawke, Rabbit in the Moon, Prefab Sprout, Electrotete, Tony Senghore and Chicken Lips.