Happy ❤alentine’s day, dear Truants readers! To celebrate, we have gathered some of our favourite mixes and tracks to score your evening. To continue, please dial 7-7-3-TRUANTS. Listening to Mikky Ekko blurs the already jagged lines between indie, R&B, and pop, though his last single “Pull Me Down” may fall more into the latter there’s no reason it shouldn’t be on a few V-day playlists. Centered on an ill-advised relationship this is a slow jam for the trendy romantic (because there’s a good chance your partner might not know who this is weakening the moment). Backed by the hazy, nocturnal production of Clams Casino it’s just right for a joyride with the top down and the stars out. And like most good love songs it has plenty of replayability, plus it’s pretty sing-a-able. Maybe you can pretend you’re both “King and queen of the moonlight”, but to be real there’s probably a couple more qualified for job.
In our opinion no Valentine’s Day playlist or mixtape should be without some form of Inc. on it. The Los Angeles based brothers will soon be on their way to critical mass with their debut LP “No World” due out next week, but before then “The Place” sounds fitting. It’s nearly four minutes of slow jam bliss in the form of a modern R&B ballad. Obviously, they’re extremely talented musicians and even more importantly they know how to set a vibe. The song’s about the sacrifices made for a relationship only to consistently end up in the same place or situation (whether that’s a positive or negative is up to you). For those craving a song with a nineties connection, but a definite 2013 sound add this to the list.
Stream: Inc. – The Place (4AD)
Deadboy’s releases are few and far between, which makes it all too easy for him to fall off the radar. But he’s also grossly underrated as a DJ; his sets perfectly encapsulate the sound of urban London, giving him an edge over less intuitive selectors. Last Valentine’s there was a veritable feast of freebie downloads but nothing carried quite the charm or charisma of Deadboy’s mix for Wifey. Packed with babymakers, it cemented his place in our hearts as a DJ we could grind to and take home to meet our mama. The mix touches on 80s disco screamers, slick rnb jams and rougher grime and bassline joints. Opening on a soulful SWV acapella, things soon take a steamy turn via the intensely tender Wifey instrumental, Teedra Moses’ gorgeous R U 4 Real and Cassie’s searing Kiss Me. Hud Mo’s Jodeci refix makes an appearance, as well as almost obligatory tracks from Prince and Mariah. At a convenient fifty minutes, this is definitely one for the bedroom (or the commute, just make sure you don’t get caught drooling in public).
At the end of 2010, Canadian LuckyMe delegate Ango provided an unforgettably lush selection of R&B jams for one of the Scottish label’s earlier Twelve Days Of Christmas mixtape series, that simply cannot be missing from a passionate round-up post such as this one. Frankly, it’s hard to believe that over two years have passed since this tape surfaced, as its shimmer has failed to wear off despite being tested by the sands of time. A majority of the selected tracks here were defining tracks of 2010, and the pure richness of these sounds are glaring proof that excellent R&B has always been bubbling beneath the surface, regardless of the media’s odd resurgence of interest in the genre only post Miguel’s “Kaleidoscope Dream” last year. With a befitting title as “Make Out To This Mixtape“, there’s really not more that needs to be said about the blatantly romantic array of tunes that have been collected here. However, if you’re still hungry for some name-dropping to get the engines running, think of some creatively explicit Pleasure P, Jeremih in the mood for role-play, classically seductive Cici, emotional I-miss-the-old-you Drake and the unabridged six and a half minutes of The-Dream’s inimitable Fancy. Why yes Aubrey, with these forty-seven minutes of pleasure scoring your Valentine’s evening, this could most definitely be something.
Download/Stream: Ango – Make Out To This Mixtape (via LuckyMe)
Voilets are better but roses astound, nothin’ will make you wetter, than Phil Gerus’ sound. Ok so that’s pretty bad, we’re not poets, but it’s Valentines day, right? What’s Valentines day without a rubbish “roses are red…” poem? Similarly, what’s this consumerist day without cheesy love songs? Today though, we’re bringing less cheese, and more Phil Gerus to grind or cry your way through the day with. As you may remember we’ve already written about the wonderful Gerus, but his music is so filled to the brim with sexy vibes, it would be an absolute crime to miss him off this list. He made his debut on a major label this year, releasing his Based on Misunderstandings 05 EP on Sonar Kollekiv. The entire EP will find you feeling sensual but “Lust Escort” in particular, calling to 80’s producers like Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, is a slow jam that’ll encapsulate you in its rhythm and funk and leave you wondering what the hell happened.
Stream/Download: Phil Gerus – Lust Escort
On a day as special as Valentine’s day, you had better be listening to some special music. Here at Truants we all agree that there’s no music more special than that of the woman of Drake’s dreams aka baby girl aka Aaliyah (RIP.) Put together by DJ the Honorable Caps seven years after her death, the two-part mix spans her entire career in an almost chronological manner. Starting with early R. Kelly productions and touching on collaborations with Steve “Static Major” Garrett (RIP too), Timbo and Missy, the two 40 minute mixes are perfect to vibe out to on Valentine’s day whether you’re lonely and single or completely and totally in love. All the jams are there, from “I’m Down” to “Hot Like Fire” and “Try Again” and Caps might just even put you up on a track or two you didn’t know about. To round it all out, there are a few soundbites from Missy and Aaliyah that will make you miss her that much more. Be sure to check the video for “Miss You” as well.
Stream: Caps - Aaliyah U R Missed Pt. 1
Stream: Caps - Aaliyah U R Missed Pt. 2 via The Fader
In only two releases (one for Boxcutter’s Kinnego Records and the other for heavyweight Hotflush) newcomer Beaumont pretty much cornered the market on cyberpunk romance. While his summer ’11 mixtape for Wild City may not scream “Valentine’s” there’s a thread of longing laced through it’s hazy tracklist that makes it ideal for the early hours of February 15th. Beginning with Rhythm & Sound and ending with his own tune “Adrift” might not seem like a stretch but between the two lies everything from The Cocteau Twins to DJ Screw. If you won’t be entertaining you can count off your regrets to Go West’s “Goodbye Girl” situated right in the middle. Seriously, he manages to make even Kraftwerk sound romantic. While not as hype as some of the above mixes (or even intended for V-Day) it might be perfect for that post-festivities spliff.
Stream/Download: Beaumont – Metropolis Mix for Wild City
A lot of us came up in the late 90s/early 00s, so this Noughties Love Mix from Rob Pursey and Superix of stellar collective Southern Hospitality is just the ticket. Anyone looking to indulge in some nostalgia or just enjoy an hour of great songs can get down to this – it’s got everything from break-ups to make-ups, tributes and diatribes. Personal favourites include Ne-Yo’s “Sexy Love” (sampled by Sicko Cell, trainspotters), Usher’s “Burn” and Tweet’s sultry “Smoking Cigarettes” – and of course it wouldn’t be a love mix without some Terius. But just sit back and enjoy as they put this love on you. Good work dudes.
Stream/Download: Southern Hospitality – The Noughties Love Mix (Valentine Special!) (via Southern Hospitality)
So maybe the spine-shaking reverberations of industrial techno aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think about Valentine’s slow jams, but we’re utterly enamoured with Lower Order Ethics, so she’s getting a coveted place on the List of Love. This is the set she gifted to the lucky attendees of Berlin’s CTM festival a couple of weeks ago, and when we say her selection is exquisite, you better believe it. Lower Order Ethics is the alias of one Szilvia Lednitzky, a member of the Hungarian collective Technokunst and a facilitator of some elemental techno power, if the reports are to be believed. Her 7am Berghain set is nightmarish in content for the most part, layering goosebump-inducing Rachmaninov with the equally mystical echoes of Prurient. But the set is structured like a dream, moving between the insistent Middle Eastern drive of Omar Souleyman’s productions to the death drives of serious industrial with deliciously surreal flair. This isn’t eclecticism purely for its own sake; these are blends grounded in the bizarre realities of an age where everything’s on offer. They’re done with such class, however, that each transition sounds fully coherent. If you’ve ever felt spiritual in the chambers of a dirty warehouse this one will tug on your heartstrings. If you came looking for more a more traditional sexing soundtrack then we’ll let you in on a secret: nothing says romance like a bit of Throbbing Gristle.
Stream/Download: Lower Order Ethics – CTM Festival Berlin Set
Written by: Jonathon Alcindor, Sophie Kindreich, Sindhuja Shyam, Jess Melia, Tim Willis, Stephanie Neptune, Aidan Hanratty and Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura.