Monday, May 21, 2007

Mark Ronson - Essential Mix 01.01.07

Mark Ronson, Essential Mix for BBC Radio One 01.01.07

It seemed like people are into the long mixes that I've been posting on Sundays, so we're gonna keep going with this. But, this time we're gonna flip onto the hip-hop side of things with an Essential Mix from New York City DJ and producer Mark Ronson.

I actually first came to Ronson through his phenomenal remix of Air's "Alpha Beta Gaga." As my readers know, I cannot stand indie hip-hop, backpacker stuff, whatever. I've always wondered if it was more a philosophical dislike as opposed to an aesthetic one and Ronson is the one person who has made that a possibility. Unlike the average Okayplayer fan, Ronson seems open to any type of music, despite his connections with the hip-hop scene. He's producing songs for Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, remixing Air, breaking out of the obnoxious, self-contained indie hip-hip world that seems only able to attack the mainstream and popular musics.

The mix is good, covering every genre every invented. Lots of surprises like Billy Bragg, The Strokes and Regina Spektor (!!!) will jump out at you. What really comes across to me is how uplifting and energetic Ronson's sound and mix are. In particular, he seems to stay away from the preachy hip-hop and stick more to the stuff that hearkens back to the old-school, catchy verses, fun refrain, non-political topics. The lack of an edge probably means that there won't be many repeat listens or a deep connection, but there's something to be said for a reminder that music doesn't have to be all sad ballads, booty trax and whatnot. Give it a listen, will probably turner to a darker mix next week.