MONDAY MIXTAPE: JEREMY MAGE
Jeremy Mage is a grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and composer. His themed Mix ”Long Revolution” was done exclusively for Lodown with personal liner notes, unreleased tracks and a sneak peak of his co-produced & co-written record by afro dance diva WUNMI.
Jupiter and Okwess International: The World is My Land (unreleased in US)
Sly Stone: Greed
Wunmi: Greedy Body
Jimi Hendrix: Freedom
Funk Hero (Unreleased!) by James Hurt, Camille, Jeremy Mage
Keziah Jones: 72 Kilos
D’Angelo: Devil’s Pie
Jeremy Mage & The Magi: Waste This Year
Charles Mingus: Fables of Faubus
Wunmi: Push and Shove (EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEAK of upcoming 2015 album, co-produced/Co-written by J Mage)
Jeremy Mage & The Magi: Forever for Revolution
Filastine feat. DJ Collage
Mos Def: New World Water
Sweet Honey in The Rock: Ella’s Song
Tony Allen: Get Together
Pete Seeger: L’Internationale
Jeremy Mage about his mix:
My earliest memories of music are tied to my earliest memories of social movements. This photo of me and Pete Seeger was taken by my mom, at what I guess was my first attendance at the Clearwater Festival, a gathering of music and activism. We were there almost every year thereafter, as well as rallies and marches in DC and New York. I was shaped by songs about Harriett Tubman, toxic workplaces, and radical equality. This mix pays tribute to the living dynamic between music and movements for radical change. Real change might be sudden, or it might take a lot of time, consciousness, and endurance.
I’ve got stories about these songs. I was in Zanzibar this year as musical director for Wunmi at the Sauti Za Busara (sounds of wisdom) festival. It was a fabulous festival, but had a tendency to run late, exacerbated by unseasonably rainy weather. One night after storms and delays, congolese band Jupiter and Okwess International took the stage at 3am to a thinning crowd. It was stunning. Those of us who stayed felt like brothers and sisters in good luck. No gimmicks, just songs about real shit, incredible musicianship, tons of raw energy, ridiculously infectious grooves, and lots of sudden full band vocal harmony. When I got back to the U.S. i discovered I couldn’t get the record...but the band was kind enough to send it.
Sly Stone is at the locus of the psychedelic and political movements in 60’s culture; he brought all sides together. It was a sucker shot to want to mix his “Greed” into Wunmi’s “Greedy Body”, from her debut solo record. I love the texture of her storytelling.
I hadn’t really dug on Jimi Hendrix’s “Freedom” until I had a chance to play it live with Vernon Reid and Toshi Reagon, and with Kat Dyson (from Prince’s New Power Generation) on lead vocals. Getting inside the track with that crew was eye opening.
“Funk Hero” is a track I wrote with vocalist/keyboardist/drummer/guitarist James Hurt, who is one of the best kept secrets of millennial music. The track is part of a project we’ll put out eventually! Camille delivers the toast.
Keziah is an amazing songwriter, a beautiful surrealist. I’ve encountered him a bit through Wunmi and the progressive/international/Nigerian/brooklyn cluster.
I got blown away by D’Angelo’s "Voodoo" when it came out. Now people say “neo-soul” is played out, but that record was a revelation at the time. In retrospect, it could be considered to mark an endpoint, more than a beginning.
Does “Waste This Year” belong in a set for social change? I see it as a sort of cosmic miner’s solidarity song, pretending to be a drinking song to throw off the boss’s spies. Or something like that. Can you hear the voice of Reggie Watts on the chorus? Hears video from the chorus recording session, 4am in an australian hotel.
Mingus’s recordings for the Candid label allowed him to be as raw as he wanted. I’d heard “Fables of Faubus” dozens of times without realizing it had lyrics. “2, 4, 6, 8, Brainwash and teach you hate”
“Push and Shove” I recorded and produced for Wunmi at Kwame Yeboah’s studio in Accra, Ghana. This is a short, internet exclusive sneak peak! The full new Wunmi album, produced by Kwame and myself, is due in 2015. The studio musician’s in Accra were banging; this song was recorded in one take, and it was such a pleasure to play with those fellows. Much respect!
..Which is why I had to seize the opportunity when two of Ghana’s finest, Emmanuel Ofori and Francis Osei, were on tour in the states. Here’s the video of the session for “Forever for Revolution”, with producer Danny Blume for my recent record, Jeremy Mage & the Magi. We went for a totally dead drum sound, tea towels over everything, on this song.
DJ Collage was part of the Bay Area reggae scene when I lived out there briefly, and we recorded a few tracks together. I know he’s spent a lot of time in Berlin. I admire how Filastine’s work just immediately sounds fresh and militant, even just the instrumental feels politically radical!
I’m convinced that the 21st century will see unprecedented water wars, and Mos Def makes it plain.
Sweet Honey in the Rock was one of those groups that gave me chills as a kid, just opened up my body with the power of song. Bernice Johnson Reagon has done so much for social movement music, from the early days of the civil rights movement right up through today. Her daughter Toshi is carrying on and transforming that tradition. I heard them sing this shortly after Trayvon’s death, “Until the killing of black men, black mother’s sons, is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers’ sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest…”
Tony Allen, Fela’s drummer, was a major architect of the Afrobeat sound. But he didn’t stand still, and his more recent records reveal a restless and fertile imagination. The first time I met Wunmi was when she jumped on stage as an invited guest at a Tony Allen show in New York. More recently, we shared a bill with him and his percolating band in Rabat, Morocco. That was amazing, because the festival was free for all. There were kids, grannies, everybody was there all night.
Pete Seeger closes the set with “The Internationale”, which he insists has better poetry in the French than any subsequent translations. There can only be real, global change if international solidarity triumphs over divide-and-conquer repression.