I recently came across this Italian DJ named Kalibandulu. He made that killer XXXMAS mix from the previous post. I was quite taken with that so I decided to look up more by him. Turns out he’s also made four remix mix albums (Jugglin’ From Mars) and twelve (one for each month of 2010!) mix albums (Brand New Collection). The monthly mix albums are common to the Dancehall genre because (I don’t know if I ever covered this in the blog) music is released in “riddims” (which is just a tune, a song, like the instrumental version) and for each riddim you may have anywhere from 3-15 artists singing/rapping over it. So what you find a lot is a CD filled entirely with the same song fifteen times, but each track is a different artist’s voice/version. So you’ve got an entire CD filled with the same 4min song over and over again. It’s not fun to listen to. So what DJs do is take 60s of so from each artist’s version and mix those together into a seamless mix. Much better.
Unfortunately, Jamaican DJs have gotten a bit carried away with all the sound effects (gunshots, lasers, backspinning, horns, etc) (although I do love a good airhorn effect) and listening to these mixes can be torture. In fact, the dancehall I enjoy the most is the stuff put together/edited by someone outside of Jamaica. I find this interesting. I think Jamaican artists and producers put out a LOT of great raw material, however, it seems to take someone outside the culture, but still totally in it to piece it together in great way. I only notice this with Dancehall (not the other types of Reggae). It’s like the artists/producers are just too close to whole thing to be objective about it. Now, I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of amazing Jamaican DJs during my music searches, but this is just what I’ve come to notice during my Jamaican years. This is what I love about artists like Diplo. He just seems to absorb a culture and it’s music and turn it around into something very awesome and unique to that culture but with a more… i don’t know, world sound to it. Obviously that won’t give you the most authentic voice from a culture/country, but I tend to enjoy it more in the long run. I mean, bless Vybz Kartel’s heart, but I need someone to run that guy through a filter before I can enjoy his talent.
All of that to say, I really enjoy Kalibandulu’s work. Minimal to moderate sound effects, I don’t know if he ever “pulls up a song” mid mix (restarts the track) (seriously, I’ve heard mixes where the DJ restarted the song four times on the track and right as it’s about to get to the good part he skips to the next song), the pacing is excellent (60sec from a few artists and then on to the next riddim) and natural. It never feels forced. Like any genre, it’s difficult to weed out the quality stuff from the rest and he’s done that for you on all these mixes. It’s all the best stuff. On top of all that the sound quality is excellent. It can be difficult to get high quality copies of dancehall sometimes. If you’re only to get one thing from him grab this Jugglin’ from Mars, Vol. 3 mix. It’s super. If you’ve got a good sub even it’s even more super. The Brand New mixes are really well done too. I grabbed them all. (They needed some iTunes labeling but they have all the track names and artists. I just turned them into Compilations by Kalibandulu)
Here’s a facebook post with links to all four Jugglin’ From Mars volumes: CLICK HERE
Here’s a link to all the Brand New mixes: CLICK HERE
Here are a few tracks I came across on his Soundcloud page. The Elephant man one is awesome. I like that Elephant man has a lisp. So when you’re down cause you think your lisp is holding you back, well, Elephant Man’s doin’ alright.
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