Welcome To The Jungle

Before this class, I had no idea that you could jump from genre to genre and have it blend together so well. I decided to choose songs that have resonated with me from elementary school to the present day. I also chose to change a large number of the tracks I picked for the weekly Songs I’m Listening To Now playlist to have a better, more meaningful mix with an improvement on flow.
For my Fun ID, I decided to create something that would immediately catch your ear while starting out with a bang. Finally, I came to the conclusion, what’s a better way to start off something than a gunshot? My intention all throughout this mix was to create the image of being stuck in the middle of a chaotic jungle; this is also why I utilized the Mountain Lions PSA to further immerse the listener inside the frenzied forest and start a journey using only sound.
The first song the mix starts out with is a reggae track called “Angie La La (Ay Ay Ay Ay)” by Nora Dean and is a genre I decided to add on top of the five that we were already assigned. The inclusion of this reggae track transitions greatly from the Mountain Lion PSA. However, what drew me to this track was the funky guitar riffs, the random screeches and moans, and bird noises dispersed all throughout the song. This distinguished it from any regular reggae song and turned it into a unique gem that I couldn’t compare to any other songs in my collection.
I then decided to fade out and go into my folk song, “Rockin’ The Cradle” by Judy Mayhan. I found out about this song in high school through one of my friends who was obsessed with 60’s music and spared no time in educating me about the era. Judy Mayhan released her first LP, Rockin’ The Cradle, in 1962 on Horizon Records. It was later reissued by Everest/Tradition Records, but the fact that the LP was recorded in one take is what truly makes it distinct from other folk records. The clear soprano voice is one that’s haunting and stays with the listener after one play through. This sparked an idea for me to add a delay and a fade out to the end of the song and turn her voice into a siren’s call before going into a frenzy.
I faded in my instrumental track, “Duel” by Gesaffelstein, and began at a lower tempo to create excitement and anticipation before the drums and synth fully came in. I discovered Gesaffelstein a couple of weeks before I went to Coachella in 2015 as he had announced that it was his last live set. After seeing him live, I was taken for a whirlwind of emotions and became particularly entranced by the Parisian electronic scene and the DJs and producers involved. Duel is a turmoil of synth and booming drums that pound in a rhythm reminiscent of a tribal ceremony thrown into the Blade Runner era. Gesaffelstein is also a prevalent producer who has produced for many artists such as…
Kanye West. When first released, Yeezus was an album that I played nonstop every single day for a straight month. “Black Skinhead” was the rap song I chose due to its anti-racism and anti-establishment themes. This is shown through the controversial lyrics; especially two lines in particular-
They see a black man with a white woman
At the top floor they gone come to kill King Kong
The drums in this track are also tribal, further subliminally engraving my jungle scenery, due to the song’s production being assisted by none other than Gesaffelstein himself.
For my punk song I decided to go with “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by The Stooges. While it didn’t fit into my narrative, I found out about this track after going to see my first live rock show. I’m grateful that I was able to see The Orwells perform a cover of this song in a church back in 2012-2013, because they spurred my journey into psych rock and punk music.
I wanted to have a little bit of fun with my weather forecast and mess around with my vocals a little bit, partly due to the fact that I used to produce music with my friends. I slowed and pitched down my vocals when talking about lows to create a double entendre. It was also my own fun nod to the chopped and screwed mixes of prominent Houston DJs such as DJ Screw.
My final song was a remix of the global south track “Marie” by Vybz Kartel. I found out about the Jamaican dancehall scene in 2015 and intently explored it for a couple of months due to the little hidden nuances in songs and the stories associated with them. Charged with two separate murder cases, Vybz Kartel was thought to have his career ended, but what actually happened was the complete opposite. He still continues to consistently release music from jail, and his reign on the dancehall charts has only improved. It was truly the best song to end with as the listener comes full circle into another song from Jamaica.
– Shayan V.