I’m not really fan of the Under the Influence, Back to Mine and Another Late Night series of compilations, which find popular artists like Morrissey, The Orb and New Order going through their record collections and compiling a CD of their favorite tracks. At first it’s an interesting listen to hear all the bands that influenced them but after a few spins the disc gets relegated to a dark corner on the bottom of your CD shelf, never to be heard from again.
So I had doubts when I saw Massive Attack mastermind Daddy G’s new release on the shelf at my local CD shop. I actually did a double take. I have been a Massive Attack fan since the inception of the Bristol sound back in the early nineties, so if there’s a band that I make an exception of it has to be them. What makes this disc different from the rest is that it’s actually mixed by a DJ. (The DJ-Kicks series is made by spin-masters who have spent their lives perfecting the art of the mix; they’re professional DJ’s— who better to make a mix CD?) Daddy G actually started off as a DJ before joining the Wild Bunch Sound System, so this DJ-Kicks disc actually sounds like the ultimate mix, and not just any mix CD, but one that Rob Gordon of High Fidelity would definitely put in his top five.
Daddy G’s mix begins with a couple of classic Studio One reggae tracks, including his favorite song of all time—the Rasta flavored rhythms of Willie Williams’ “Armagideon Time.” After visiting some Jamaican jams, Daddy G segues into the hard to find, original white label of Tricky’s “Aftermath 1.” Being a Tricky-head was reason alone to buy the CD. The track is an extended trip-hop layered version of the song found on Tricky’s debut Maxinqaye. Then he mixes “Aftermath” with The Meters’ “Just kissed my Baby.” The Meters were the funkafied favorite sons of the Big Easy and hearing the track reminded me of my Mardi Gras days back when I lived in N’awlins. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, G mixes a double shot of Massive Attack rarities—the remixes of “Mustt Mustt” by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and “Façe a la Mer” by Les Negresses Vertes. The combination of their global tribal rhythms with the distinct trademark Bristol sound makes these to mixes a must for all Massive Attack fans.
This DJ-Kicks CD makes you want to roll a blunt and smoke it while letting the bass bumping sounds of Daddy G’s mix flow around you. Massive Attack has always been the soundtrack to my herbal experience and Daddy G’s mix is no different. It’s a laid-back trip-hop ride that ends with two killer tracks, the Aretha Franklin remix of “Rock Steady” and the Perfecto mix of Massive Attack’s first international hit “Unfinished Sympathy.” Talk about ending your mix with an exclamation mark. This CD is so addicting that it’s been in my player since I bought it. So what are you waiting for? Let Daddy G’s sounds light up your next chill out after party.
Okay, even if you don’t smoke you will appreciate the sweet and smooth musical transitions in Daddy G’s eclectic mix. There’s something for everyone—trip-hop of Tricky; classic soul of Aretha Franklin; world beat sounds of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; the hip-hop of Mos Def; New Orleans R & B of the Meters and the Bristol club aura of Massive Attack. Roll yourself over to the store and get a copy of his DJ-Kicks CD. You will thank me for it. Daddy G’s mix disc is a jewel that needs to shine in your collection.
Massive Attack – Blue Lines
Tricky – Rough Guide
Erlend Øye – DJ-Kicks