You Don’t Have To Settle’s Dope Werewolf just hurled his latest mix into the world and it took my ears on one hell of a joyride. The title, How To Wreck a Nice Beat, points to Dave Tompkin’s recent book How To Wreck a Nice Beach on the history of the vocoder, and, much like that machine, which shatters human speech into tiny electronic shards and reconstitutes it for maximum robotic effect, this mix digests dance music from the ‘60s forward- witness The Trashmen’s bird-surfing “Papa-ooh-mow-mow”s getting spun into the Human Beatbox’s punctuated dry heaves and Penguin Prison’s nu-disco stomp to dizzying effect- and spits out a swirl of far-flung reference points that always manages to somehow stay cohesive. Absorbing globe-stepping sounds from Senegal (Ndiogou Seck) and Brazil (Tom Zé), as well as rolling German electro-fathers Kraftwerk and their Bronx funk son Afrika Baambaataa into a tightly rolled ball of synthetic sheen and analog pulse right in the middle of the mix, this set showcases Dope Werewolf’s skills not just as well-honed DJ, but as a full-on dance floor ethnomusicologist. Break out your pens and notebooks, kids, class is definitely in session.
Dope Werewolf will be DJing along with the rest of the YDH2S crew at Ugly Rhino’s Cinco De Mayo blowout on Saturday May 5th at the Magic Futurebox in Brooklyn. Full details are here.