Whether it's for playing out at a club or listening at home, DJs and producers typically have an encyclopedic hoard of music, new and old. In The Last Record, they tell us about the last three songs or albums they've purchased, and why these were important additions to their music collection.
This week, we spoke to Slot-A, a "genre bouncing" producer and DJ from Chicago. He co-hosts "The Hip Hop Project" on WLUW. For today's edition, Slot-A dives deep into production-forward tracks sure to please you through the summer.
Cazal Organism - "My Earth"
I purchased this record within the last couple of months. Cazal Organism is a young producer from out in L.A. You know how you can take one song on Apple Music and make a radio station out of it? That's how I found it. The instrumental are crazy. Like the instrumental is just one of those songs you can play by itself, with the baseline and the way the kick and snare function with each other. It just really creates this nice sound. He's one of my favorite producers.
Stro Elliot - "Soul II Stro"
There's an old song by Soul II Soul called "Back 2 Life." I've known this song for a long time, like the original. "Back to Life" was absolutely crazy. I went to DJ Timbuck2's memorial party that they have every year since he passed. There was a DJ up there, Rich Medina, who played "Soul II Stro." I was trying to figure out who it was.
A month or two later, I forgot who it was, but someone told me, "Hey man, check out Stro Elliot. He has a self-titled project." The song was right there. It's one of those songs where you play the original and then you play this one right after. There's a little phrasing that occurs in the [original]. I would play this right afterward, just to make the crowd wait in anticipation. It causes a tension because not everyone is familiar with it, but when the beat drops, it's ridiculous. He samples a part of the song and adds chords, baselines, different drums to it. The way it's mixed, even if people don't know it, there's a great chance they're gonna lose their mind.
14KT - "W.C.E.F. (ft. Med & Kokane)
He's from my hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan. It features Med and another LA legend, Kokane. I've always followed 14KT because he was one of the few people from where I was from who made me believe you don't have to come from some big city to become a big producer and DJ. You can be here and do this and get a chance to travel the world.
I hear the song and there's just a certain bounce to it that's really, really L.A. It's a lot of soft synthesizer bass lines but it's super big. The drums aren't necessarily quantified perfectly, but it's right on beat and it's infectious, from the chords to the opening verse from Med. The whole song is infectious.
When I first got it, I played it on my radio show called "The Hip Hop Project." Mind you, we don't normally get callers for the live show but every so often, people call in to make requests. This was the first time that people called in to ask, "What was that?" It's one of those songs that you can hear and see at the same time. I see a really nice beach. There's a hammock, but there's also a really loud subwoofer wherever you're at. It's kind of like if L.A. had one of those massive reggae parties on the beach with big speakers.
Lido and Santell - "Ashley"
I first got introduced to Lido because he sampled this really great song from Kirk Franklin called "Melodies from Heaven," and then blended it with "Crush on You" by Lil Kim. When I found out about it, I thought, this is crazy. I instantly fell in love with it. I knew I had to play it everywhere.
The whole concept of the song I thought was funny. It's like, instead of going to the strip club and liking the dancers, you like the waitress. I was playing a bar and I tested out a few songs including this one to see if the bartender liked it. I get a gauge of if I'll play it and when. Anyway, the bartender that night liked the record, so I played it during peak hour. It's sort of similar to the song itself.