Monday, June 14, 2010

Exclusive: DJ Mini-Mix From Bookworms

Posted By on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 2:13 PM

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Nicholas Dawson has been hard at work for over five years on the musical project Bookworms. In that time, Dawson has churned out a couple of EPs and the full-length LP The Hidden Staircase on Solos Records, in addition to remixing local favorites Mi Ami and Lemonade. His style is hard to pin down. Each song is more a less a tribute to the DJ/producer's favorite records, as each plays so differently depending the sampled source material. It's obvious in his beat-heavy work that Dawson is very much into vinyl and the great samplers of our time (J. Dilla, Madlib, and such), so asking him to contribute a mix to our ongoing series felt right. He hooked us up with some old-school classics and unfamiliar tunes that are sure to become new favorites. And don't miss Bookworms this Friday, June 18 when he plays Li Po Lounge  with a bevy of our city's most interesting producers. Full track list after the jump...

1. Brian Eno - "No One Receiving"

My uncle Michael gave me this record (and all his records) when he passed away a few years ago, and it still has a sticker with his old address on the back cover. He was a DJ in the Bay Area during his life, and when I play records he gave me it makes me feel like he is still here in a way. My dad gave me a copy of the same record, but I'm not sure where it is. This is my favorite Eno jam by far. With Phil Collins on drums and Rhett Davies on a gong and stick, you can't go wrong. I hate to quote Bono, but ,"we didnt got to art school, we went to Eno."

2. David Van Tieghem - "Number One"

This is a guy I had never really heard of until I went to see my friend Jeff, who works at Green St. Music in North Beach and showed me the David Van Tieghem record These Things Happen. It's a mid-'80s percussive electronic score to a Twyla Tharp piece. Random, I know, but when I took it home and Wikipedia-ed David, I saw that he had played drums with Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, Talking Heads, David Byrne, Jerry Harrison, Pink Floyd, Steve Nicks, Nona Hendryx, Peter Gordon and the Love of Life Orchestra, Arthur Russell, Howard Shore, Robert Fripp, Deborah Harry & Chris Stein of Blondie! And he played on some records I already owned and loved, like My Life in The Bush of Ghosts and Speaking in Tongues.

3. Beautiful Swimmers - "Horizon"

This track came out on a compilation by a label from Maryland called Future Times. I think the dudes in Beautiful Swimmers run the label as well. They also put out some stuff by this dude I met in S.F. who goes by Steve Summers (or Rhythm Based Lovers or a bunch of other names). Steve put me up on some cool music stuff when he was living here.

4. Yellow Magic Orchestra - "Mad Pierrot"

This is another record that I got a copy of from both my dad and my uncle. I always looked at Yellow Magic as the Japanese Kraftwerk. The vocals are so vocoded, I'm not sure what this song is about. I can't understand it at all. It just sounds like a robot wailing about, partying and dancing to me, with the chunky arpeggios going behind the vocals and that late-'70s drum machine sputtering away.

5. Steve Wonder - "Race Babbling"

Another one of my uncle Michael's records (thanks Michael), this is the most bugged-out Stevie Wonder joint I have ever heard! For the most part, it features as much vocoder as the Yellow Magic song before it, and the drum machine that gives this track its rhythm sounds even older. The piece is so robotic, but still so full of soul.

6. Sun Ra - "Moonship Journey"

This is from one of the first records my dad gave me when I was still in high school, and it is still my favorite record. I always look at high-priced Sun Ra albums at record stores and pass on them. Then I come home, put this on, and mellow out. Nice.

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