The Funky Melting Pot

This weblog is about funky music delivered as DJ Mixes. We cover mostly Lounge/Chillout but try to keep things as diverse as possible.

RHH16 - Hip Hop Essentials: 3 Decades of Street Knowledge Pt. 3 (Hip Hop Mix)

December 4th, 2016

A collection of rhythmic, funky and, more often than not, laid-back Hip Hop tracks with strong Rap credentials. As always most were released at least a decade ago when Hip Hop was less Tech savvy and more about Rapping and rhyme writing skills. The beats are basic and are characterised by strong drum samples and minimalism. Back then Hip Hop was tough but attractive in its realness. Commercialism was not as strong a factor as it is now because the appeal of the genre was yet to be as widespread as it is now. Fame and money have a way of ruining things ...

Be sure to check out "Just Cruisin'" by, of all people, Will Smith. I have always maintained that of all the Rappers that quit the scene in favour of Hollywood, notably Ice Cube, Ice-T and Queen Latifah, Will Smith was the most talented. Sure his music was a heck of a lot more commercial and bubble-gum(ish) but man did the dude have flow. Having said that, one has to admit that the Ice Cube of the early days of N.W.A was something somewhat special– he probably was the most "real" when compared to the others who abandoned the scene for Hollywood. His early day talent will be in other RHH releases for sure.

Before I leave, let me throw in the usual disclaimer: While its ok to like a man's dog, it does not mean you must take it home with you. These rappers are often just dealing in creative story-telling and/or are exaggerating for creative effect. Even if true and real, it is acceptable to like the music but not the example being set forth. There are, however, tracks with a commendable message. "Law Library" in RHH15 was one and "All Said And Done (The Same)" by Slim Line Mutha in this release is likewise commendable. Still, like the alcohol ads keep advising ad nauseam: Enjoy Responsibly! Cheers and have a great week!

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 Innermission Prhym8
2 01:53 Gangster Coming Out Hi Power Soldiers
3 06:38 Dog Love DMX
4 10:08 Girlfriend Wu Tang Feat. Method Man
5 13:52 Enchanted (Feat. Omen) J. Cole
6 17:56 Radio Daze The Roots
7 22:10 Bonita Applebum (Hootie Mix) A Tribe Called Quest
8 25:24 She Crazy (Radio Edit) Rick Ross f. Aaliyah & Ne-Yo
9 27:55 Dilathology J Dilla AKA Jay Dee Feat. Phat
10 31:34 Fu-Gee-La The Fugees
11 35:39 Dump Mobb Deep Feat. Nate Dogg
12 38:52 The Gist Prhym8 Feat. Emcee Sick Of Pseudo Slang
13 43:10 Just Cruisin' Will Smith
14 47:04 The Roach (the chonic outro) Dr. Dre
15 51:34 Day Destroys the Night featuring Everlast Cypress Hill
16 55:00 Street Dreams NAS
17 59:01 All Said And Done (The Same) Slim Line Mutha

 

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RH62 - Essence of the Deep (Deep House Cuts)

December 1st, 2016

These days it is getting more and more difficult to distinguish Deep House from Tech House and, especially, Jackin House. There are times in fact when some remixes are pretty much indistinguishable. Add to that the extra complication thrown in by tracks that have a Deep House beat but Soulful House vocals and things do start to become foggy. The Deeper side of Afro-House also seems to be doing its bit when it comes to mudding the waters.

So when is it Deep House and when is it not? I cannot answer that and I reckon if you asked around you would battle to hear anything definitive. All I know is that Deep House has a sound that is unmistakable. When it goes too Deep it sounds like Tech House and when it does not go Deep enough, it sounds like Soulful House. I personally love the tracks that take the middle road and are funky, bouncy and easy on the ear. That is the sound that is loved in my circle and by those I play for. It may not be the last word in the argument sound-wise but it presents a convincing proposition when compared to what has historically been considered the Deep House sound. But Deep is Deep and thank all that is good in the Universe that it is diverse enough to even form a debate. This tells me that the future of Deep House is bright …very bright indeed. Enjoy and have a great weekend. Ciao!

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 Lora (Robaga__s Fandara Qualv NB Mix) Coma, Robag
2 08:35 T M 600 Fresh Taylor
3 13:26 Nawe (Sauces Mix) Cubique DJ CB
4 17:32 Groove Man Soledrifter
5 22:26 Jive EP K-Bana
6 28:34 You Might Lose It (Kaoz 623 Remix) Kerri Chandler
7 35:48 Forever In a Daze (Main mix) Nick Holder
8 41:27 Legasty Funk (Main Mix) WitDJ
9 47:50 Pale Congo (Power Line New Jersey Tribes Mix) Wil Milton
10 56:48 The Sun Rising (Shur-i-kan Vocal) The Normalites

 

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RR&B2: Essential R&B - 3 Decades of Nostalgia Pt. 3 (R&B Mix)

November 27th, 2016

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It does'nt interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if have been opened
by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
"Yes."

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

The Invitation - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 Woman Raheem DeVaughn
2 03:59 Adorn Miguel
3 07:09 Don't Be A Fool Loose Ends
4 11:13 Make It Back Beverley Knight Feat. Redman
5 14:59 I'm Sprung T-Pain
6 17:52 2 On Tinashe
7 21:21 Hey Mr. D.J. Zhane
8 25:18 Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder) (The Tribute) Maxwell
9 29:04 Greatest Day Beverley Knight
10 33:18 Never Gonna Let You Go (Kelly G. Bump-N-Go Vocal Edit) Tina Moore
11 37:02 U Know What's Up Donell Jones
12 40:46 Don't Walk Away Javine
13 43:06 Congratulate AKA
14 46:49 Superstar Jamelia
15 50:18 Spotlight Jennifer Hudson
16 54:20 After Party Koffee Brown
17 57:31 Wish I Didn't Miss You Angie Stone

 

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RL105 - Silent Storm (Ambient Lounge Compilation)

November 25th, 2016

A collection of beautiful tracks crafted for the purpose of instilling peace and quiet in the mind, and for taking some of that edge off from the week’s events. They all speak for themselves really but check out "Function Fields" for a touch of futuristic artistic Ambient brilliance. If all Deep House artists were to dedicate themselves to at least 1 Ambient track for each 5 Deep House tracks they create, the world would owe them many thanks. Speaking of taking the edge off...

“It's not because I want to make out with her. Hold on." He grabbed a pencil and scrawled excitedly at the paper as if he'd just made a mathematical breakthrough and then looked back up at me. "I just did some calculations, and I've been able to determine that you're full of s**t.” ― John Green, Looking for Alaska

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 4:14 Global Communication
2 04:40 Function Fields Addex
3 10:01 Hidden Behind The Eyes Vincent I. Watson
4 14:15 Paese Che Sogna Corrado Saija
5 20:50 Eastern Awakening Eastern Awakening
6 25:40 Alina (Classic Mix) Chillwalker
7 29:17 Le Jardin Secret L' Art Mystique
8 33:55 Rain & Forest Echo-ES
9 39:33 Radiance of the Venus Ted Irens
10 44:01 Peace Ambientsketchbook
11 48:44 Letter from Paris (Wellness Mix) Dreamscape
12 53:38 Formentera Sunset Massivan
12 57:54 Rainy Harmony Ben Hoffmann

 

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RL104 - Buddha Lounge 4 The Serial Lounger (Lounge Compilation)

November 23rd, 2016

I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality. -H.A. Overstreet

Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. -Henry David Thoreau

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 Voices of Malaya (Buddha Mixxx) Mahoroba
2 06:31 Dil Cheez Bally Sagoo
3 12:36 Lodi Garden Thierry David
4 17:56 Secrets Gallo
5 24:33 Lament Light Of Aidan
6 29:26 Khaleegi Stomp Transglobal Underground
7 34:44 DeReye (Toires Frisco Mix) Irina Mikhailova/Todd
8 39:56 Kenio Darshan
9 44:53 Bohemian Sunset Jazzanova
10 49:02 Full Moon (Sitra Mix) Leda G
11 53:11 Hafla Kalilla
12 59:36 Symphonuit Grand Orchestre du Comptoir de Marrakech

 

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RS2 - Collectors Only 2 (Soul Music Compilation)

November 20th, 2016

Soul Music arose out of,amongst others, African-American Gospel Music. Small wonder then why it makes for perfect listening on Sundays especially when one feels like something straight out of the path less travelled. There is some real heat in this collection: Earth, Wind & Fire, Sade, Marvin Gaye, Isle Brothers, Barry White, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Kool & The Gang, Tavares, The O’Jays – FIRE!!

Straight out of the blocks we have “Devotion” – a belter by Earth, Wind & Fire. If there is a quality we could all use more of, it would be devotion. Giving your heart to something adds a quality to the personality that is truly special. We are less without it. It is an outstanding track which is made all the more beautiful by Philip Bailey’s falsetto vocals. The backup singing is just soul touching. It is a moving piece of music on all counts.

Most people probably have never heard the original "Between the Sheets" by The Isle Brothers. A friend of mine who came over today, for one, thought it was Biggie when the track started. That Biggie Smalls cover version has forever hidden the original behind the obfuscating shadow of Rap music. Sampling is a controversial subject. I mean, who even remembers that Queen and David Bowie’s “Pressure” is what made Vanilla Ice so much money?!?!?

Gladys Knight and The Pips are something special but with “Midnight Train Georgia” they hit a new height – what a track! When it comes to back up singers, few will ever beat The Pips. Ever seen a video of the choreographed dancing in the background behind Gladys Knight? If you have not, do yourself a favour and look them up on YouTube. Immense!

“Mercy Mercy Me” is, for me, the nature conservation track of the century done by arguably the Soul Singer of the Century – bands like The Temptations excluded. Marvin Gaye was blessed with an angelic voice and a true talent for writing relevant and touching vocals.

Roberta Flack (“Feel Like Making Love”) has the most sensual voice I have heard in a long, long time. Most people, sadly, do not know that she is the original singer of “Killing Me Softly with His Song” – covered by The Fugees. It comes as no surprise to me that she had a strong background in Gospel Music with the Baptist Church. It is something that is just felt in her music. Her two Grammy award wins were well deserved!

“Whodunit” by Tavares is a true collectors’ item in the world of disco. There are not many people who know it and finding it is a mission. What a track! When I said we would bring you disco in this Soul Music collections, this is what I was talking about. You can look forward to more of this in future Resonant Soul collections.

These days one has to dig pretty deep to find tracks such as these on CD, Vinyl or Tape. They truly are Collectors Only tracks and having them in Vinyl form is a special thing. Enjoy and we will be back on Friday with Food for Meditation, i.e. Ambient Lounge ….or maybe Buddha Lounge …depends on the mood. Have a great week, be Productive and find reasons to be at Peace! Cheers!

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 Devotion Earth, Wind & Fire
2 04:41 No Ordinary Love Sade
3 11:54 Let's Get It On Marvin Gaye
4 16:43 Between the Sheets The Isley Brothers
5 22:07 I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More Baby Barry White
6 26:10 Midnight Train To Georgia Gladys Knight & the Pips
7 30:42 Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) Marvin Gaye
8 33:51 Feel Like Makin' Love Roberta Flack
9 36:31 Keep On Moving Soul II Soul Feat. Caron Wheeler
10 40:01 What Am I Going To Sade
11 43:25 Cherish Kool & The Gang
12 48:01 I'm Going Down Mary J. Blige
13 51:52 Whodunit Tavares
14 55:13 For the Love of Money The O'Jays
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RH61 - Soulstice (Soulful House Mix)

November 17th, 2016

What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue: Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.
-Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (From the Book)

"The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there - and on such short notice. Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn't allow it. Four o'clock, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger - tell no one. 5:30, jazzercize. 6:30, dinner with me - I can't cancel that again. 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing; I'm booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9 I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?"
-The Grinch (Movie)

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 Take Your Time (Sexy Soul Remix Instrumental Feat. Ayako Higuchi) Ladies Of The Deep Feat. Soul Sista Shakti
2 06:11 The Cream Ross Couch
3 11:52 Dreaming Of You (Kenny Summit Remix) Dave Mayer, Husky
4 16:02 Piano In The Dark Nick Curly
5 22:58 Mr. Weather Man Soulful Session, Leanne
6 28:23 Dolces Art Of Tones
7 33:17 All Of Me (RC Main Mix) DJ Roland Clark, Robin S.
8 40:00 Well Of Love (JazzySOUL Ambient Reprise Mix) Davidson Ospina Feat. MJ White
9 45:25 Frabjous Nights DeepInked
10 52:08 No Turning Back (Reconstructed Mix) Dominox Latte, Ray Lavino
11 57:56 I Can't Get Enough (Harlum Remix) Daniel J. & DJ Jaz Feat. Dahrio Wonder

 

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RP2 - Essential Pop 3: Three Decades of Nostalgia (Pop Compilation)

November 14th, 2016

“Pop music thrives on repetition. You know a song's a hit when you've heard it so often that you'll be happy never to hear it again.”. So says the journalist James Surowiecki but I hope, if you know these tracks, that time has helped to temper any such feeling in you. Most of these tracks are classics of Pop Culture and the quality of the repeated chorus lines should be good enough to overcome the irritation that repetition often induces in people.

Some of the tracks deserve a word or two and are classics for many people. “Black Man Ray” by China Crisis has been a favourite of mine since I first head it as a youngster entering my teen years …or just barely anyway. The lyrics, Gary Daly’s unusual voice and delivery style, and the stunning backing track just immediately stood out for me. The verse that, for some reason, just stuck in my mind is the second. It goes:

Are we believing
The heavenly survive
Faith the future
Big life on their side
And we the people
Who can but try
Forever learn
As time goes by

Yes, yes, I could be wrong
Why, why, should I pretend
God only knows in the end

As a youngster in Catholic school, that just spoke to me in the deepest ways that I could not even properly understand at the time. Stunning Track.

“Murder On The Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis Bextor is a bit of a Dance Classic. Released in 2001, it is what can be described as a mainstream pop variant of House Music. As such it found it’s way into the club scene and into many DJ sets. The remixes were absolutely stunning and have made it a dance classic everywhere except, for some reason, the USA. “Strange Love” is a Depeche Mode classic and you will struggle to find anyone who grew up in the 80s who is not a Depeche Mode fan. The number of hits they came up with, and were played ad nauseum on radio were staggering for a band at the time. They had no less than 50 songs in the UK Charts and 13 top 10 albums in the UK! Astounding!

“Calling Elvis” by one of my favourite bands of all time, Dire Straights, is up-tempo Rock bliss! Mark Knopfler is a legend and I enjoy listening to him as much today as I did back in those days. Repetition, when it comes to Dire Straights, is most definitely not an issue. “Gypsy Woman” is a House Music classic of some repute! I included it here (instead of in the planned “Classic/Essential House Music” series) because it was loved by Radio DJs on just about any popular radio station of the time. The funky chorus line, “La da dee, la da da” made it an immediate anthem. And then there was the legendary organ refrain that has been re-sampled so many times since then. Absolute classic right here!

“Manic Monday” is an anthem for anyone who hates Mondays and I have had an aversion to them since my schooling days! “Wish it was Sunday, cause that’s my fun day” is a line that is engraved on my mind. “Le Freak” is a classic Disco track and might leave you wondering “but where are all the other Disco classics?”. Well, firstly, most Disco classics are from the late 70s but some, yes, were released in the early 80s. I am not featuring them in the Pop Collections though, because I intend to include them in the Resonant Soul series. That is because most were done by Soul musicians and are closer in sound to Soul than they are to general Pop. Classifying tracks has become a nightmare in my collection so I hope your will bear with me on this.

“Fairground” by Simply Red is best described as Lovely. Mick Hucknall has an unusual singing voice that appealed to me since I first heard him in “Money’s Too Tight To Mention”. I loved the track so much that I got my parents to buy me the 12” remixed version that included “Holding Back the Years”. This was my introduction to vinyl that DJs could play and got me started on a long road. “Missing” by Everything But the Girl is, without a doubt, my favourite track in this collection and remains one of my all-time favourite tracks. The lyrics and Tracy Thorns’ voice are a combo made in Heaven. The beat is also addictive and the remixes for the track are just immense. I have already played the Lounge version in one of the Resonant Lounge episodes and one of the House remixes is featured in a Soulful House release. Both versions will be replayed in future RL and RH releases because this track just NEVER gets old!

Now I am sure there are people out there who will wonder exactly why MC Hammer has been included in an Essential Pop release (or any other series release for that matter). Those who ask have no idea what impact the man had on those of us who were teenagers at the time. The man had a posse that numbered in the hundreds! The videos were simply epic and no one at the time thought it was all silly. It was only when gansta rap became a thing that people started to look down on mainstream rap but it really should be evaluated in the proper context. Besides, if Vanilla Ice was featured in Essential Pop 2 then MC Hammer derserves to be featured too!

OMD (Orchestral Manouveres in the Dark) remains one of my all-time 80s favourite bands for precisely the same reasons I love Black, China Crisis, Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnymen, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Kraftwerk. All these UK based bands had similar sound and feel that made them an alternative to proper mainstream pop. For youngsters looking for a bit of individuality at the time, these bands appealed greatly! “Lady” by Modjo is a club classic that just refuses to disappear into obscurity. I pretty much hate TV but when I do watch, then 7 times out of 10 it will be the music channel VHS Classic (the three out of 10 is for Sports in case you wonder). They just love Modjo on there and that weird video of "Lady" that looks almost amateurish is a constant feature. So for me “Lady” does not even feel old – feels like it was made last year!

Anyway enjoy and we will be back on Friday with some delicious Soulful House. Have a great week!

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 Black Man Ray China Crisis
2 03:27 Murder On The Dancefloor Sophie Ellis Bextor
3 07:10 Strange Love Depeche Mode
4 11:45 Save Tonight Eagle-Eye Cherry
5 15:30 Calling Elvis Dire Straits
6 19:46 Gypsy Woman Crystal Waters
7 23:18 Wear Your Love Love Like Heaven Definition of Sound
8 27:02 Le Freak Chic
9 30:22 Manic Monday The Bangles
10 33:21 Love Is a Strange Eurythmics
11 36:57 Fairground Simply Red
12 41:15 Missing Everything But The Girl
13 45:10 The Model Kraftwerk
14 48:47 Here Comes The Hammer Mc Hammer
15 53:10 Dreaming OMD
16 56:55 Oh Carolina Shaggy
17 01:01:15 Lady (Hear Me Tonight) Modjo
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RL103 - Jazzy Lounge at The Garden (Jazzy Lounge Compilation)

November 10th, 2016

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 Do Not Go Gently into That Good Night (Funky Melting Pot Jazzy Mix) Poem by Dylan Thomas, Narrated by Alfred Malina, Track by Miles Davis, Mixed by keithmonale
2 01:57 Faraway Kora3000
3 06:23 Amigos Marcus Tavia
4 11:27 It's All About Autumn (Jazzy Fingers Mix) Noise Boyz
5 17:12 This Is My Home Karen Gibson Roc
6 21:32 Lini's Revenge Gil Tamazyan
7 25:18 Your Touch (Leopard Lounge Mix) Alexandre Krown
8 29:44 La Passifleur Tape Five
9 34:59 All I Am Form 2
10 43:14 Nambuco Florito
11 50:24 Half Year Diario
12 55:39 Come Along Derail
13 01:01:15 Revelation Micah Gaugh
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RL102 - Del Mar at The Garden (Chillout Compilation - Cafe del Mar Hits)

November 6th, 2016

So I was asked to do a spot of entertaining yesterday and, frankly, I only agreed based on two reasons: 1. I was asked to play Lounge, specifically Café del Mar hits and Jazzy Lounge and 2. The event was in a garden setting. I could not have wished for better – it was an outstanding day all-around. The music and ambience has been replaying itself in my head all night and this morning too and so I decided I would share with you some of the tracks that received the best reception and that stood out on the day. The Café del Mar tracks are herewith presented – the Jazzy Lounge set will follow on Friday morning. Enjoy and if you can, go out into the garden to enjoy this. Ciao and have a great week!

Track List

No. Time Title Artist/Band
1 00:00 Under My Star Gelka Feat. Beth Hirsch
2 04:50 Beautiful (7" Canny Mix) Mandalay
3 09:19 Make It Happen Luminous
4 13:33 Sax 4 Sex Alejandro de Pinedo
5 17:28 Another Day New Beginning
6 23:14 Blue Bar Afterlife
7 29:55 Traveller (Kid Loco's Once Upon a Time in the East Mix) Talvin Singh
8 35:41 Mums Fluff
9 42:10 On the Shore Santa Cruz
10 48:56 Fly Away Almadrava
11 54:05 Perfect Days Ensoul
12 58:08 A Day in the Sun So Fine
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