This week's episode of "Free Mix Friday" is quite a departure from the past posts in the series. While past entries were mixes by South African DJs, this time it's a kind of sampler from a Washington DC based label called Sockets Records.
The music that's come out of DC has had a massive impact on me. From Bad Brains to Fugazi to The Dismemberment Plan to Q and not U, from the early 80ies to the mid 2000s the US capital churned out a pretty hefty chunk of my favourite bands of my lifetime.
But somewhere around the middle of the last decade, following Fugazi going on hiatus, El Guapo changing their name and moving to New York, Q and not U, Black Eyes and The Plan breaking up and several other casualties, after 20 years of totally destroying, the DC rock and roll machine really lost momentum.
Luckily it seems that at the turn of the decade there's been a major revitalization in the DC music community with a whole bunch of massively promising new acts bubbling under. Part of it is members of old Dischord acts (like Beauty Pill & Q and not U) forming new bands. But a major part of it is entirely new acts, making music that's so different it looks set to usher in a whole new chapter in DC music history. Looking over at DC from Johannesburg, it seems like no-one has as a bigger a finger on the pulse of this new wave of DC awesome as Socket Records does.
Although my favourite Sockets act (the STELLAR instrumental band "Buildings") aren't included, The Sockets Records Spring Mix is a pretty great representation of the label's fantastic roster of fresh, exciting acts. From the fuck-yeah-feel-good-math-pop of Hume to the alt-hop of the Cornel West Theory the mix is a total winner. It covers a whole lot of awesome ground and cements Sockets' position in my mind as the one of most exciting new labels to follow going into this decade.
1. Grip - Hume
2. Five Minutes at the Rainforest Cafe - Macaw
3. A Diviner - True Womanhood
4. Moon Rocks (Ricky Rabbit remix) - Rap Dragons
5. Rookie of the Year - Nine-11 Thesaurus
6. Head Shrinker (Tyondai Braxton remix) - Extra Life
7. In Pursuit of Sunshine - The Wholeheart
8. Hearted - Sean Peoples
9. Letter of a General - Imperial China
10. Durito's Revenge (Dirty Bombs) - The Cornel West Theory