ROOTS VOLUME X
Adelphoi Music's Jonathan Watts returns for the tenth in the Roots playlist series, taking us on another eclectic journey of old, new, overlooked and lesser known tracks that have musical roots in Africa
Roots X aims to shine a spotlight on music from around the globe that may not have had the exposure it deserves.
For our tenth in the series, this is a special extended playlist... There are so many highlights in this one - where do I start?
We kick off with Muyei Power - unknown outside of Sierra Leone, but one of the country's biggest bands.
I’ve tried not to go too obscure, so I've thrown in some LL Cool J; the piece from 1990 is one of his lesser-known tracks, but still highly influential and you can clearly hear its influence on N.E.R.D’s music. I've also included Pomo’s recent tasteful remix of Daryl Hall & John Oates ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do), which seems to have gone under the radar. It stays true to the original but brings that fresh Kaytranda-esque swing to the groove. Link Wray may not be a household name in the Rock ’n’ Roll scene, but his influence must not be under-estimated! In a nutshell, he was one of the first to use the power chord in rock n roll. Pete Townshend said "He is the king; if it hadn’t been for Link Wray and 'Rumble’, I would have never picked up a guitar.".
Another highlight for me is The Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose's 'Too Late To Turn Back Now', a very under-exposed soul track until now, as it features in such a beautifuly crafted moment in the BlackkKlansman film.
The playlist aims to build a bridge across Rhumba, Hip Hop, Trap, Jazz, Footwork, Post Punk, Soul, African Disco, Highlife, Rock n Roll, Reggae, Gospel and make the world feel like a smaller place. Enjoy.
ROOTS VOLUME IX
Adelphoi Music's Jonathan Watts returns, taking us on another eclectic journey of old, new, overlooked and lesser known tracks that have musical roots in Africa
Taking inspiration from this summer's heatwave, I have curated the Roots playlist with an upbeat tone to be enjoyed in the sunshine with friends and family. This playlist goes to the outer limits of Spotify's ever-growing database of 10 million tracks; part of the goal with the Roots playlist series is to showcase music that got away or was never released until recently. Black Beauty, the never-before-released masterpiece by Arthur Lee's legendary band LOVE, was the follow up album to the timeless Changes. The track Midnight Sun, originally recorded in 1973, sounds like something Hendrix could have written.
Another track worth checking is Marco Bosco - Madeira II (Mãe Terra). Up until recently, it was only available on vinyl with copies going for over £100! Now thanks to labels like Music From Memory it's available on Spotify for all to enjoy!
The playlist covers music from the last 50-60 years, and - without it sounding too disjointed and chaotic - is a seamless fusion of funk, boogie, house, hip hop, jazz, rock, reggae, samba, footwork, drum and bass and much more…
ROOTS VOLUME VIII
Adelphoi Music's Jonathan Watts takes us on an eclectic journey of old, new, overlooked and perhaps lesser known tracks that have musical roots in Africa
Some of the music on this playlist is indicative of the labels whose output consists of re-issuing forgotten, often undiscovered or should-have-been classics. Labels such as Light In The Attic, Numero Uno and Luv N’ Haight, Analog Africa, Music From Memory to name a few are just some of the labels dedicated to re-issuing quality overlooked material.
There are many reasons why a lot of music has been overlooked. The award-winning film 'Searching for Sugar Man' certainly illustrates how an artist can be overlooked, even when the talent is up there with such greats as Bob Dylan.
The playlist captures a snapshot of the vibes and music on the fringes, from clubs and bars in London, such as Total Refreshment Centre, Canavan Club, Spiritland and Brilliant Corners.
As this playlist is not only retrospective there is a sprinkling of new tracks, such as Abstract Orchestra's cover of the late J Dilla’s 'Two Can Win', and Shabazz Palaces, 'Shine A Light'.
As leftfield as the playlist is, with the coverage of diversity from countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, Nigeria, Madagascar, Thailand and beyond…hopefully there is something for everyone.
There does seem to be a limit with Spotify’s algorithms using the "Recommended Songs" feature, but with the diversity of the selection it should give the listener a chance to explore a journey of an almost seemingly endless ream of songs beyond this playlist.
ROOTS VOLUME VII
Adelphoi Music's Jonathan Watts takes us on an eclectic journey of old and new, overlooked and perhaps lesser known tracks that have musical roots in Africa
When making a playlist, it’s always tempting to go more obscure as there is so much great music that never gets a proper airing. The size of Spotify’s library certainly forces the issue to a degree.
This playlist does feature artists that are well known, such as The Clash, but here we showcase an unexpected Hip Hop track they collaborated on with Futura 2000 in 1982.
Another surprise is Karen Dalton’s Same Old Man, AKA "folk music's answer to Billie Holiday," which has a bluesy undertone to the track, produced by Harvey Brooks who played bass on Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited and Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.
Part of the aim of these playlists is to also highlight black music’s contribution to the medium, and a great example is Cola Bottle Baby sampled by Daft Punk on Harder, Faster, Stronger.
A new tune not to miss a Trap-n-B style track from Kintaro, former keyboardist of The Internet and brother of Thundercat.
Enjoy the journey!
ROOTS VOLUME VI
Adelphoi Music's Jonathan Watts takes us on an eclectic journey of old and new, overlooked and perhaps lesser known tracks that have musical roots in Africa. From the cosmic sounds of Sun Ra to a lesser known Prince track The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, there's sure to be something here to tickle your fancy.
ROOTS VOLUME V
Adelphoi Music's very own Jonathan Watts is back with his famous Roots series and how time has flown - we've reached #5! This edition is a journey from the unfamiliar, forgotten, or recently discovered, to the most upfront sounds of now, all with the common theme of being rooted in Africa.
The playlist is curated so that it can be listened to from beginning to end, with genres spanning across Funk & Soul, Boogie, Afro-Beat, Jazz, Electro, and Footwork.
Jonathan Watts comments: "While Roots Vol 5 is not as obscure as its predecessors - as it features artists many will be familiar with such as James Brown and DJ Shadow. But in this instance, we delve deeper into James Brown’s catalogue picking out an overlooked gem and showcasing an upfront Footwork remix of a well known DJ Shadow track.
"Some other interesting highlights come from Saada Bonaire, a female duo, straight off the catwalk in 1982 who were pulled in to record in Kraftwerk's studio in Cologne. Their recordings have being laying dormant for over 30 years until now! The track “You Could Be More As You Are", lifted from their self-titled LP is an interesting blend of Electronica, Funk and Turkish folk! Stay tuned! And towards the end of the journey is a masterpiece from Jean-Luc Ponty, originally recorded in 1983.
"So sit back relax and let the music do the talking."
ROOTS VOLUME IV
Our Roots series continues, showcasing an eclectic range of music from across the globe, the ongoing theme being rooted in Africa. The playlist spans many different eras and generations. Old, new, unfamiliar or forgotten gems from Brazil, Thailand, India, USA and even Japan.
ROOTS VOLUME III
Whilst this selection of tunes boasts an all star line up of Kendrick Lamar, Kaytranada, Parliament, Tribe Called Quest, Chet Baker, Ryuichi Sakamoto , Nils Frahm & Elmer Bernstein, it explores an eclectic journey of old & new, overlooked and perhaps lesser known tracks.
Some of them may challenge the perception of music rooted in African musical culture such as Nils Frahm ‘Hammers’ which has no percussive elements but the song suggests rhythm throughout. With Jazz improv being a key influence in the artist's music.
Enjoy the journey!
ROOTS VOLUME II
Prep your Christmas party playlist with the help of Adelphoi music supervisor Jonathan Watts - he is back with the sequel to his Roots Volume I.
"Continuing where we left off last time... here is a left-field selection of music rooted in Africa, old and new and stretching Spotify's library with many lesser known tunes. The selection of music aims to join the dots across Samba, Soul, Funk, Hip Hop, Drum n Bass, Footwork, Indie Rock, Techno and Ambient, capturing music from 1950 by Muddy Waters, all the way to DJ Paypal in 2015."
ROOTS VOLUME I
For your ears this Friday, Jonathan Watts, music supervisor at Adelphoi Music, has dished up a multi-genre spanning selection of tunes, all with one thing in common. They're all firmly nailed in the roots of blues and rhythm. Enjoy!
"Roots Volume 1 is an eclectic left-field mix of music rooted in blues and rhythms, both old and new. The playlist spans Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop, Reggae, Beats, Footwork & Folk exposing a few hidden gems and hopefully alighting your ears with aural pleasure." Jonathan Watts