Oct 3, 2014

DJ Andy Smith

I love mixtapes.

When I say mixtapes, I mean the compilations of songs preferably mixed with some semblance of a theme or cohesiveness left for you to decipher and enjoy.

I blogged about The Rapture's mix CD and will now write about quite possibly the most important mixtape I've ever heard, Andy Smith's The Document.

Years ago, I was hunting for music on vinyl, CD & even audio cassette and stopped at a favorite nearby music store. For whatever reason, I remember seeing The Document CD on many occasions but paid no mind to it. It was possibly while browsing CDs at that store that I'd glance at it.

One day I decided to take a closer look at the CD and its contents. The tracklisting appeared to be eclectic to say the least and that got my attention. The issue for me was how could a CD have Jeru The Damaja, Jungle Brothers, Tom Jones and The James Gang among its songs?

I will admit to being quite linear in my thinking even though I studied, listened to, knew and had a lot of music. I did not know how or why the songs would go from hip hop to rock and vice versa on the CD but I was curious to learn.

I sampled the CD and understood its modus operandi. The songs were mixed together and so seamlessly that the connections between the contrasting genres made me understand music is not always to be categorized, classified and compartmentalized. I learned that listening to music of varying genres can be an enriching and rewarding experience.

If De La Soul made me see there was nothing to fear in sampling varying music genres to make hip hop and the late 90s/early 2000s Brass Knuckles/Blizzarts era made me realize there was more funk and soul than James Brown then DJ Andy Smith’s Document made me see there was nothing wrong in blending varying genres of music as long as it was done as right as possible.

I not too long ago came across, listened to and marvelled at my copy of The Document. Not only do I seek mixtapes in the mold of The Document, I seek mixtapes that will hopefully open my mind to new revelations and somehow inspire me to be a better DJ.

I listened to The Document II and unfortunately found it did not take me to the next phase like I could have hoped. Maybe my expectations were too high and blinded me to the wonder of the second installment. Perhaps a more objective listening will cause me to blog about the beauty of The Document II one day. For now, it appears I will never forget my first.

News of DJ Andy Smith appearing at Montreal's The Goods on October 25 couldn't make me happier.  The Goods takes place from 10:30-3:30 AM with a $15 admission on the last Saturday of the month at La Sala Rossa, 4848 St. Laurent (coin St. Joseph).   

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