The hallmark of a great selector is the ability to mix music that fills a dance floor but can also be enjoyed during the day—you know, the daytime, those off-hours that clutter our lives between starry moments when real life happens.
On this mix, AquaBeat's selection wizardry shines, throwing open the portal between tech house and Caribbean dance. A highlight comes at 6:45 with the dark and funky tones of "Tswana Dub," a track so deep—maybe 10,000 miles deep—it literally shook the ceiling of the cafe below, at which point the patrons dropped their coffee and bagels and a spontaneous dance party broke out. Share the love y'all—and set your bass on high so the neighbors can get down too!
A consistent theme of this mix—-freedom and Black expression—is encapsulated at the hour mark, where Mutabaka's line "I write a poem to feel like I can write a poem" resonates in the subterranean depths of a timeless personal journey. What could only follow at that point? More timelessness in the form of "Congoman," which is arguably the finest cut from The Congo's venerable 1977 long player, Heart of the Congos.
Don't miss the powerful ruminations of "Do You Remember the Days of Slavery," which slowly builds until breaking into the tech-heavy dub of "Chapter One (Trentemoller mix)." Later, the massive drums of Mortiz Von Oswald's "Ole" remix induce a velvety hypnosis which greets the stark "Running" by Gil Scott Heron.
You can catch the New Jersey-based AquaBeat on Fridays at Melange in Jersey City and on various weekends in NYC. This summer, be on the lookout for his GetOpen Sessions—last year's transcendent gatherings on the Coney Island Boardwalk stirred the soul's fire like none other.