Black Coffee’s 2-Hour Long BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix

South African DJ and producer Black Coffee shares a 2-hour BBC Radio 1 'Essential Mix', featuring remixes and previously unreleased cuts.

Photo by Jake Salyers

Over the weekend, South African superstar DJ, Black Coffee, stopped by UK’s BBC Radio 1 to share a 2-hour long Essential Mix. The “Afropolitan House Music” connoisseur played an eclectic set, blending smooth cuts from Fat Freddy’s Drops, Vince Watson and St. Germain with energetic mixes by Funkadelic, Stones & Bones, Benny T and more. The producer also shared some of his own previously unreleased songs and remixes during the session. “It’s just a reflection of the music that I love playing,” mentions the musician. Peep the mix and tracklist below, and revisit Black Coffee’s Mixmag set from this past summer.

Black Coffee – Essential Mix 2015-11-21 Tracklist 

1. [unknown] – Untitled

2. Fat Freddy’s Drop – Hope (3 Generation Walking Remix)

3. The Ancient Moons – Vermillion

4. Heavyhandz – Light Is New [Deeper Shades Recordings]

5. Vince Watson – Eminesesnce [Yoruba]

6. Manoo – A Day In December

7. Nathan Adams – Sending You My Love

8. St. Germain – Real Blues

9. Funkadelic – Ain’t That Funkin Kinda Hard On You (Vega’s Trumpet Dub)

10. [unknown] – Untitled

11. [unknown] – Untitled

12. Black Coffee – Inkodlo Kamashimane

13. [unknown] – Untitled

14. Black Coffee – Intro

15. Stones & Bones – Wrong U (Manoo Deep Mix)

16. St Nicholas – Travel The World (Sobz Drumatic Mix)

17. Benny T – Prayer

18. The MD X-Spress – God Made Me Funky

19. [unknown] – Untitled


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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