The last year was full of the “OMFG” moments that I live for. Started the new year in Kingston and somehow managed to hit North, South and West Africa before winding up back at DA headquarters slurping Pho in Chinatown. What I love about our crew is that everyone is on their own global grind- I think we hit everywhere but Antartica this last year and already it’s looking like 2012 is going to be absolutely beautiful. I’m really excited that we are in the final stages of bringing some amazing new artist into our family and beyond proud of everything we managed to get done this last year. It is an incredible blessing to be able to work with a group of people whose dedication, motivation and talent seeps into everything they do. So massive love out to Matt, Jace, Geko, Boima, Lamin, Atropolis, Leeor, Pierce, Emeka, Diego, Hardt, Chris, and Sam. Y’all are the reason I do what I do and it has been an amazing run so far. Here’s a toppa top list of sorts looking back at the year in no particular order.
I heard this everywhere in Ghana and then Benji from Awkwaaba gave me the mp3 and now I listen to it all the time.
I’m pissed this dropped when I was still in Africa caus I would have been dying hearing funk flex pull it back endlessly.
Favorite Throw Back
I watched Barrington Levy war on stage with Big Yute as they did greatest hits medleys at a show at Edna Manley and then during a later Magnum Tonic Wine fueled bout of youtubery I remembered how hard this kills.
Shabazz Palaces – When I first heard Shabazz Palaces on the radio in Seattle I pulled over and called KEXP to get a track ID. Since I got the first two self-released EPs on my ipod they have not left. Seattle’s answer to Baldwin. Perfect soundtrack for 6 A.M. dazed-treks along Ipanema beach coming home from bailes in Rocinha.
Best Project Beyond Digital –
For years Jace and I have dreamed about a time intensive on location multi-disciplinary residency project. With the magical powers of concurrent dreamers Bo, Juan, Maggie, Carolyn and Colin we made it happen. We spent a month in Casablanca researching auto-tune, pirate cd-r covers and tagines. Various crew members are dreaming future iterations in Ethiopia, West Africa, Colombia and back in Morocco. Dreams come true.
Best kick it spot-
Busua, Ghana. I took a week off from the city hustle of studio visits and A&R research in Accra this summer to bus to Busua. After falling in love with surfing in the last year this was the perfect spot to relax – spending like four dollars a day to kick it, eat banku from the elementary school lunch ladies, and surf. After a few epic evenings djing on the beach, I hope I can make it back for the Asabaako festival next year. (Video is of one of the closest cities)
Bada Bada Gang – I spent a bunch of time last spring at Kunley from Ward 21’s apartment in Kingston and the various studios they work in. After spending the last few years hustling and grinding with Shadetek, Geko and /Rupture it was great finding a crew of like minded producers and musicians on their own DIY-OR-DIE journey. Timberlee and Natalie Storm especially inspired me to stay on my path.