DJ Relentless’ Rites of Spring Mix

"I've sorta always felt a connection to Meghan Trainor as a performer. She's not the typical body type for a Pop star but she's sassy." - DJ Relentless
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Sofi Tukker

So, April is here. Some places are beginning to look and feel like spring. While others are still lingering with winter overtones. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some warmer temperatures! And I got just the soundtrack to get us started…

This month’s selections hopefully will get you moving, reminiscing and thinking. And don’t worry…I’m not gonna bash anyone for watching the “ROSEANNE” reboot. I’ll leave you keyboard activists to debate that one.

While some people are using their voices and energy to divide others, musically it is so great to hear different people coming together to bridge a sound. The Jax Jones Alternate mix of “Bum Bum Tam Tam” by MC Fioti is the perfect way to start spring. It blends the passion of Latin America and Afro Rhythms with a Reggae Dub Step and Hip Hop. With featured vocals by J Balvin, Future, Stefflon Don & Juan Magan…how could you go wrong? I’m loving’ this track right about now!

I kinda wanted to get back to some club music this time. So, none of the tracks are below 125 BPMs. And my next selection is something I can imagine playing in a large BIG ROOM setting with a mix of Clubheadz and Ravers. “Spin And Record” by Murekan gives us a throwback to the pumping sound of The Limelight back in 1992 with an updated Electro Clash.

So if you wondered where we would go after Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow”….well I knew a watered down safe version would soon follow. In the name of Pat Boone, Indian Trap featuring Kreszenzia really gave us a “rip off” radio friendly track with “Looks Like Monayy”. It’s so bad that it’s good.

I remember about a couple of months ago seeing the cover photo for Sofi Tukker’s “Best Friend” (featuring Nervo, The Knocks & Alisa Ueno) and totally being turned off by it. It just reminded me of Madonna’s cover for the “Who’s That Girl” soundtrack and Lord knows that was a bad soundtrack. So, I didn’t even bother to give the track a listen. Well, one morning after being up all night writing and mixing music I had left MUCH Music on (cuz MTV sure as hell doesn’t play music videos anymore) and the video came on. It was kinda cheesy. But as soon as I heard the hook I knew that this would be a hit. So, I searched for a remix. And although there are several, Sofi’s Carnaval Remix spoke to me. Get into it!

And speaking of best friends….why didn’t one of Justin Timberlake’s friends tell him that it would not be a good idea to record “Say Something”? Have you listened to the lyrics? He literally says “Sometimes the best way to say something is to say nothing at all.” WTF? Not saying nothing is what got you in trouble with your black audience in the first place! Folks like you, Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea have made lots of money off Black Culture and Black Music. Not once over the years have any of them stood up or lent their voices to any African-American cries of injustice surrounding police brutality and shootings. So, to me….this is a major slap in the face!

I guess this is a response to the backlash he received for his tweet in support of Jesse Williams’ speech at the 2016 BET Awards. But sorry, bro….we still ain’t forgiven you for leaving Janet to hang out to dry after the wardrobe malfunction at the Superbowl. And I’m sure you’re probably thinking’ “get over it, that was so long ago”. Well, Boo-Boo…we ain’t over it. And the idea that you would mock the Black Lives Matter Movement with a Pop Country song with Chris Stapleton just makes me not like you a little more. I was happy to hear that when Mr. Timberlake was here in Toronto on his tour date that it wasn’t sold out. And perhaps I may have misread your intentions with this track, but I find it funny that you suddenly have decided to do Country Pop instead of your usual Timbaland produced Pop R&B sound that had served you so well in past years. But like your other counterparts you are not finding a lot of success. I guess the old saying was right….”once you go black you can’t go back.” Let this be a lesson. You can’t “borrow” a culture and then think there isn’t a price to pay later.

I ain’t gonna lie. Justin is a talented young man. He has a good voice. It’s just a shame that you don’t use it to help the people whose style and music that made you a star. I just wish he was really sayin’ something.

And speaking of sayin’ something….what’s old is what’s new. Bananarama was just here in Toronto. I didn’t get to go to the concert or the after party at WAYLA Bar, but I heard they were amazing. So, I had to include the Solasso Remix of “Really Saying Something”. The 80s are back, baby!

And to prove it, The Larry Peace Vocal Mix of Toto Coelo’s “I Eat Cannibals” has breathed new life into this campy 80s song. I used to joke about this song but I honestly believe that I would hit the floor if I heard this out. It brings back such fun memories.

You know, if anyone had told me that “99 Red Balloons” would be made into a Club track I would have laughed. I just couldn’t imagine it. Well…it has! Oliver Nelson & Tobtok have done just that. And the CID Remix is hot!

I chose my next selection purely because of the title. I guess “Insanity” by Kraft is my commentary on this administration and the White House. Between the scandals, the divisive comments and the puppet show to distract from the Russia probe, it is pure insanity to even watch the news these days. And don’t even get me started on the insanity behind these idiots who are still arguing the second amendment after the Parkland shooting. Change is coming again…get ready!

It’s always weird to hear the news of someone dying especially when it’s a recording artist. You hear of singers and most of us never meet them. You imagine they have charmed lives. I was never a huge fan of The Cranberries but I did sing along with a few of their hits when they would come on. It was kinda sad to hear that the lead singer, Dolores O’Riordan had died suddenly back in January. I finally found the GPS Tribal Mix of “Linger” that I heard once at a circuit party.

I’ve sorta always felt a connection to Meghan Trainor as a performer. She’s not the typical body type for a Pop star but she’s sassy. She writes her own songs and I think she’s the type of performer that more young girls should see. Her latest single, “No Excuses” got quite the makeover by Barry Harris. The mix is fun and catchy.

I love when two House legends come together to record a track together. Inaya Day and Ultra Nate have given us a hot track called “Over Me”! And the Quentin Harris Remix has just the right kick and bounce to get you going.

I had seen the name Travis Scott in the tabloids….mainly because he’s the father of Kylie Jenner’s baby. But I really had not listened to his music. I’m sorry but all that Trap Hip Hop that’s around 70 BPMs starts sounding all the same to me after about two songs. It’s the music that wanna-be thugs stand in one spot and bounce around to. That ain’t dance music! So, it doesn’t move me. So I had completely passed over (pun intended for Easter) “Goosebumps” until I recently found the Club Breakerz House Edit. When they take those vocals and slow ’em down to the 60 BPM range to make a 120 something BPM remix I’m on board!

The Barry Harris Mix of “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae feels and sounds like something that Prince would have recorded if he were still here. It’s got that Purple Funk smeared all over it and his vocal delivery throughout it. Definitely, one of my go-to tracks to get the party started.

And once the sun graces us with its presence accompanied by some heat it’s gonna be heavenly! And “Feels Like Heaven” by Johanna Lopez reminds me of a Mary Davis (from the S.O.S. Band) vocals set to a 90s Robin S. production with a House piano thrown in for good measure. This track makes me happy!

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Sr. Music Contributing Writer - A disc jockey since 1980, DJ Relentless has a career that has spanned from local dive bars to major club venues all over the United States, Amsterdam, the Dominican Republic and Toronto.
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