Blog Archives

Live In Oakland | Better Days 7.6.14

BetterDays5

Still getting settled from my recent run in California. Ended it on a HIGH note with a day time set in Oakland, alongside Rich Medina, Nina*Sol, Wonway, and DJ Platurn.

The vibe was outrageous!!!! Incase you weren’t in the Bay area July 4th weekend, I’ve uploaded my set for you here. Thank you Oakland, you were beautiful!

 

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Trip to Brasil April 2012

This past month I made the trip happen that I’ve been waiting over half my life for-  I went down to Brasil and lived in Rio de Janeiro for two weeks.

The experience was incredible! I’ve loved Brazilian music and culture for a long time, so to go down there, post up and get a real day to day sense amongst the people was beautiful. Music is so much a part of their culture and the history of incredible artists and records coming out of Rio specifically, runs deep. I thought I had a little bit of a sense of it, but being down there, soaking up music and talking to the people was a real education.

The photo above shows a samba session that happens every Monday night, outdoors, free and with a vibe like no other! What seems like the entire Saúde community comes out  and gathers in the evening around a historic rock called Pedra do Sal. To describe the feeling is difficult to put to words, but the overall essence is happiness. You look around and it almost seems like people are trying to out do each other with who can be more happy, while singing samba classics together. That session was a major source of inspiration and one I will look back to again and again.

My record digging search began in a shop that houses all Brazilian grooves, Tropicália Discos. There, I met owners Márcio and Bruno. I spent an entire day there talking to Márcio (he later became known to us as ‘the Professor’) about the music- from Brazilian Jazz, Funk, Samba, Reggae to Soul. His crates run deep and he was an open book, sharing his love of the music with us. I came out of there with more than a few records, tunes you will be hearing from me for sometime to come! Obrigado Marcio!

That was the starting point for many other record digging adventures during my stay  in Rio, often breaking night to hit flea markets at dawn, getting the fresh picks on the finest LPs. The record digging competition is serious out there, it didn’t stop!

There’s much to miss about Rio, be it the sunsets at Apoador, Ipanema beach or the fresh fruit/juice culture on the corner of every block. Acai is the way I started out almost every morning and I’ve been searching of ways to bring that back to my daily here NYC. It’s not the same, but for now the memory will do, as this no doubt will not be the last time I’ll be in Brasil! Até que a próxima vez, todo o amor!

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Rodigan Rides Again – Gilles Peterson x David Rodigan

David Rodigan

I remember being in Brixton, England back in 2005, looking to hear some reggae music. We walked the Brixton streets searching for listings and from what seemed like no where, a man on the street appears and tells us the legendary “RODIGAN” is playing at the Church that used to be the Mosque that night. After some more inquiring, we found this legendary spot that the man who greeted us spoke of.

The name of the venue was MASS (in St. Mathews Church), and it was there that David “Ram Jam” Rodigan and Papa Face held quarters every Wednesday, delivering that sweet reggae music to the people.

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Sketches of Spain- Live in Barcelona 2006

DJ Center - Live at Sala Apolo (Barcelona, ES)

Back in September of 2006, I toured Europe stopping in Barcelona, Spain to play the legendary Powder Room night at Sala Apolo (Big up Mr. Wakanda, D2D2 and crew). I arrived a couple days before my gig with some time to soak up the local flavor. On that visit, I met an incredible DJ from São Paulo, Brazil named DJ Paulão. We would co-headline the next night together at Sala Apolo, but that night he had a solo set at an underground club in the heart of the downtown.

Hanging at his set the night before the gig and hearing him rock what seemed like all the Brazilians living in the city was nothing short of magical. That set was the perfect inspiration leading to the party rocking we would do together the next night at Sala Apolo. Here’s my set from Barcelona, immediately following my man Paulão. Enjoy.

DJ Center – Live in Barcelona (Download)

Live_in_BarcelonaPt1.mp3


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