Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Sassquatch - From Sass Africa with Love 4

"From Sass Africa With Love" is a project I'll be working on for the next two months. It's difficult to explain what it will be, but it'll all be going up here as each phase is completed, so I suppose in the long run I won't need to explain what it is, it will just be.

For now, it's 4 CDs. Compilations of music that I'll mix together to try give international audiences an idea of what I'm about. Originally I sat through my entire bag of CDs and picked out the 55 songs that I thought best represented what the Sass was all about. This too long list was made up of Dischord post-hardcore, 70ies disco, Valerie dance music and a whole bunch of songs by South African friends. Here's what it looked like:

So I set myself the very ambitious task of trying to combine all these songs into a single mix of ultimate Sassness. After spending far too long trying to combine these disparate sounds I was sitting with an hour and a half of undefined, noisy, disco-sludge. Which was pretty depressing and lame...

But then on Saturday morning Oh Crapp! threw three fantastic new songs at me that I just had to incorporate into the mix. At this point I realised I needed to break the mix up and here's how I've decided to do it:

From Sass Africa with Love 1 - Origin of the Sass
* Old stuff that got me wanting to start DJing in the first place
From Sass Africa with Love 2 - The Critical Hits
* All the South African bands that have been making kids dance here over the past few years.
From Sass Africa with Love 3 - Selected Sounds of the Sovereign Academy
* A bunch of my favourite songs from when I started DJing to when we ended Sovereign.
From Sass Africa with Love 4 - The Light at the end of the tunnel was a Soul Train.
* Songs that give me hope for the future of danceable rock and roll.

To say that I was disappointed by the direction "indie dance" chose to follow would be a massive understatement.

I started DJing because of bands Q and not U, The Rapture and Moving Units. Those bands seemed to be doing the most "wrong" thing possible, been rock bands but making dance music. It was awesome. Hearing !!! proclaim "There's No Fucking Rules Dude" for the first time had me so excited about the future of people making rock music hidden in dance music, I wanted to scream.

But unfortunately for me, I landed up hating most of the music that was born out of the 21st century's unprecedented acceptance of the once completely separate dance and rock worlds getting it on. While fantastic bands like Friendly Fires, New Young Pony Club and Delorean brought out wonderful, warm dance songs, these bands were few and far between. Instead, the norm became paint by numbers production of banging electro and krunk, leaving me constantly frustrated at not finding enough good new music to play out.

But things are changing. This mix is about that. It's about a warm shining light at the end of a dark tunnel of in-human soul-less-ness.

It's not like this is a compilation of entirely new songs, but there are some in there (La Roux, Two Door Cinema Club). There's a song by a new incarnation of one of the first bands that got me dancing (Men - who are two thirds of Le Tigre). There are songs (Anoraak, Hot Chip) that first gave me hope for a brighter future. And there's a song by friends from my backyard (The Tutus and King of Town) that makes me incredibly gratefully to be born where I was, when I was.

I hope you enjoy this mix, and I'm looking forward to travelling back in time and putting the rest of the collection together for you!


Rick Disco said...

Nice dude! where do we get to hear the mix?

Ben Rausch said...

Damn Rick - I'm only answering your question a year late but anyway...

The link is the first bit of writing at the top of the post!

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