Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2013

I toyed with a few different ways that I could intro this project for its release, but after several different drafts over the course of however many hours, I finally realized the futility of it all – especially after the wonderful words that Skratch Bastid wrote on his Facebook page. Those words encapsulated it so fittingly. Not to try and make this project out to be anything bigger or more grand than what it is, merely a collection of songs that me and my friend really like and found ourselves returning to time and again. Then I had a realization. What I wanted to get across is that it has nothing to do with this mix, or me and Bastid, or even the songs themselves. It’s more to than just these individual songs, or the curation of the Songs2013 project as a whole. At the end of the day it’s about a very personal connection, and visceral reaction, that we all have to music. Some things just hit us in ways that only we can understand. Or we don’t understand. It’s an intangible, because how can you qualify or quantify that feeling? The inherent need that we as people have for communication, that gets refracted through the stories and sounds that we hear, through our speakers and into our ears, and set our imaginations on fire, giving us voices for when we don’t have them. To me that’s what it comes down to, that whatever song it is that’s that’s “your jam,” it’s really a road that allows you to sing a song you weren’t able to but always had within. That’s what makes a favorite song so dear. These songs, they sing for us, they warm us, and they become old friends – friends that we find ourselves returning  to again and again.

Also, sometimes a groove is just a groove. So let the groove get in. Thanks to everyone that got up, got into it, and got involved with this. Extra special shout to all the people that submitted to the #Songs2013 and extra shout to our OkayPlayer friends for premiering the mix on their Mixtape Mondays.  If you want it for your hard drive, download it here. If you like the concept, check out last years mix here.

Now enough with the words. Let’s get to the music…

Cosmo Baker – January, 2014

We’ve all got our own jams.

Good songs have a way of finding our ears and if we love them, we keep them near. We go back to them, sometimes every day, sometimes every few weeks, or months, or even every few years. Some songs are new, some are old — our personal soundtrack is unique and comes from a number of different influences. We play certain songs over and over, and those songs often go on to define that time in our lives.

“Songs We Listened To A Lot in 2013″ is sort of a “Best Of” year-end mix, but the catch is it isn’t only comprised of music that was released that year. Many of the songs ARE from 2013, but we want to make sure the ‘older’ songs that made noise on our speakers & headphones get the shine they deserve, too. 39 tracks, and just under 3 hours of music. It’s safe to say that there is something on here for everyone, and we guarantee you’re going to hear something new.

Outside of listening, we want you to get involved. We want to know what songs got the most spins on your Discman last year and what songs you would have put on a mix like this one. We’ve already got some great selections & stories from some of our good friends and we’ve been posting them over at On Facebook & Twitter, people have been posting titles & links, using the hashtag #Songs2013 – and they’ve been putting us up on great music. Let your favorites be known.

And let that mix bump. Peace!

– Bastid & Cosmo, 2014

Skratch Bastid & Cosmo Baker “Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2013”

(Artwork by Rhek)

Skratch Bastid & Cosmo Baker - Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2013

Wee – Aeroplane (Reprise)
Charles Bradley – Strictly Reserved For You
Omar – The Man
Pusha T – Numbers On The Boards
Jai Paul – 100 000
Mayer Hawthorne – Her Favorite Song (Oliver Remix)
Janet Jackson – If (Kaytranada Remix)
Rihanna (f/ Mikki Ekko) – Stay (Deejay Theory Dub)
Disclosure (f/ London Grammar) – Help Me Lose My Mind
Alice Smith – Another Love
Rich Homie Quan – Type Of Way
Gunplay – Bible On The Dash
King Krule – Easy Easy
Thundercat – Heartbreaks + Setbacks
Rhye – Open
Erasmo Carlos – Sorriso Dela
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – If This World Were Mine
Shy FX (f/ Liam Bailey) – Soon Come
Beres Hammond – Can’t Stop a Man
Derrick Harriott – The Loser
Toots & The Maytals – Pressure Drop
Idris Muhammad – Could Heaven Ever Be Like This
Donald Byrd – Love Has Come Around
Alicia Myers – I Want To Thank You
Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip – Thank You
N.O.R.E. & Large Professor – Built Pyramids
Wale (f/ Sam Dew) – Lovehate Thing
Mariah Carey & Miguel – Beautiful
Diana Ross & The Supremes – Reflections
Todd Terje – Strandbar (Samba Version)
Ninetoes – Finder
Little Boots – Satelite (Lindstrøm Remix)
Goldroom – Embrace (Cyclist Remix)
Classixx – Hanging Gardens
Ned Doheny – Get It Up For Love
Alessi – Do You Feel It?
The Futures – Ain’t No Time Fa Nuthin’
Janelle Monae & Miguel – Prime Time
Bobby Hutcherson – Now

Thanks for the support!

Songs Our Friends Listened To A Lot In 2013

Last year me and Skratch Bastid wanted to make a ‘year end’ mix/list, but ‘year end’ mixes/lists tend to suck. So we decided to approach things differently. Although using the calendar year is a great tool for cataloging and referencing releases, music moves at it’s own pace, and we have found that songs have a way of finding you when they are supposed to find you. Songs you grow to love are discovered in many ways: through hearing them at a club night, on a DJ mix, in a movie, in a friend’s car, at a restaurant – and those songs aren’t always new songs, or songs that came out the year that you hear them first. But they are songs that are relevant to YOU that year. And in each of our individual music experiences, they play a role in shaping your musical taste. Out of this came our very popular first mix, Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2012.

But we also understand that although Bastid and I are considered “pros” in this music realm, that the intrinsic connection to music that people have is subjective and that taste is taste. It’s all worthy and relevant. When we set out to do the Songs We Listened To A Lot project last year it was really coming from a place of passion and love, not to prove how hip and ahead of the curve we are. We just all love music and everyone has different ways of being connected to it. So perhaps that’s why Songs2012 resonated so much with people.

Since people were so into the project last year, this year we decided to ask a bunch of our friends to let us know what songs really did it for them. So world, please meet our friends! Please check out our Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2013 Tumblr and check out what we, and some of our friends from across the globe and all walks of life, listened to in the year 2013. You might just be surprised, and you may even want to get involved! And look out for the actual mix Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2013 coming next week!

Baker And Bastid Sweaty And In The Mix copy


Skratch Bastid & Cosmo Baker – Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2012

Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2012

Music ‘year end’ lists are great. They give listeners and readers a chance to look at the year as a whole and take in what has happened in the past 12 months in this fast moving, content driven art world we live in. We can reflect on our favorites, discuss with others different aspects of different artists in various genres & scenes, and also pick up on titles we may have skipped over or missed completely. In future years, we can look back and remember that era through those titles and artists.

Music ‘year end’ lists suck. It often seems like an arms race to see who can be the first person to publish a year-end list, or who can be the first to place a crown on so-an-so’s head just so they can be the first to say that their opinion is the popular opinion. People jump to put songs in genres and boxes, and important qualities such as staying power and age are often overlooked or simply not applicable. It can be very one-dimensional. It can be restricting.

Although using the calendar year is a great tool for cataloging and referencing releases, music moves at it’s own pace, and we have found that songs have a way of finding you when they are supposed to find you. Songs you grow to love are discovered in many ways: through hearing them at a club night, on a DJ mix, in a movie, in a friend’s car, at a restaurant – and those songs aren’t always new songs, or songs that came out the year that you hear them first. But they are songs that are relevant to YOU that year. And in each of our individual music experiences, they play a role in shaping your musical taste.

And so we bring you our version of a ‘year end’ mix. “Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2012″. A 3-hour compilation of songs that found their way into our sets, onto our ipods and into our ears this year. You may have heard some of them before, but you surely haven’t heard them all. Some are ‘new’, some are ‘old’. All in all, these songs meant something to us this year, so we hope that this mix will both bring you some of your favorites as well as make some new ones. Enjoy!

Artwork by Rhek for Jankytown / Sharks + Hammers


And now, some words from the selectors:

Cosmo Baker sez:

“The first five songs that I’ve listed range from a bold take of a new yet already timeless classic in Sammy Banana’s vision of Miguel’s “Adorn” to the South Central spit of Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle.” The youth of our 80s was reinvented by Marius Våreid’s version of Pelifics & Electric Youth’s “Wish It Could Last” and it wouldn’t fit a John Hughes film any more perfect. Allah-Las stormed with “Sandy” and my first trip to South America was punctuated by the rhythms and melodies of “Candomble” by Mario Castro Neves & Samba S.A.

2012 saw the passing of our beloved Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys, and for some reason it ended up being “Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun” that was my most-played Beasties song on my iTunes play count. Todd Terje brought us the global smash “Inspector Norse’ but it was his funky reworking of Lindstrom’s “Ed-Ged-Osis” that I found myself returning to again and again. New rock visionaries Dirty Ghosts dropped their first LP and nailed it, as I could only display with “Ropes That Way.” And even my mother called “Ursa Major” by EchoDroides mesmerizing.

Frank Ocean was the big name, and his coming in to this garden party made waves across the globe. So much of his work struck deep, but “Forrest Gump” struck home to me. Obama was reelected and Eli Lake took that week to share with me the inspirational soul song “Attitude, Belief & Determination” by Martin L. Dumas, Jr.

People rediscovered the funk and they rediscovered the beat. None so much as Onra with his “L.O.V.E.” Rhye made me want to laugh and cry, and then he was turned inside out by the funk and soul of the master Maurice Fulton. I rediscovered the Solar Sound with “Just The Way You Like It” by S.O.S. Band and my old friend Santigold reached the epitome of her sound / vision with “Disparate Youth.”

My love for Neil Young, never faded, came clear into view with his incredible remake of “Heart Of Gold” – which I saw performed live in Helsinki in August. I found myself revisiting the original of original of classics “All I Do Is Think About You” in its original form as sung by Tammi Terrell because, if I have to admit it, all I do is think about you.

Prince is a constant, and his music is always with me, and “She’s Always In My Hair” is from 1985 but it still made the top twenty of 2012. And the ever-outspoken and prolific Kanye West made quite an impact on and off the record this year, but none so much as his Chicago collaboration with R. Kelly on “To The World.” I think that’s going to be my theme song as I travel into whatever 2013 has in store for me.”

Skratch Bastid sez:

“I always think it’s best to let the ears take in a mix before reading too much about it. So if you’ve gotten this far without hitting play, stop now and go start it, at least.

Done? Okay then. Let’s chat about the tunes.

If I had to pick one song that defined the year for me, I would choose Miguel’s “Adorn”. A stone cold CLASSIC in my books. Cosmo took it first in the ‘draft’, so I’m not going to say any more about it here, but yeah, it kind of set the bar for me. Jai Paul’s “Jasmine (demo)”, in all it’s ‘unfinished’ glory, is a song I liked more and more with every listen. I love how loose it is. I hope he never finishes it. R&B had a few bright spots this year; inspired me to go back to some of Raphael Saadiq’s middle-career that I enjoyed so much. Lucy Pearl’s “Without You” (J Dilla Remix) prevailed play count champion.

TNGHT’s Higher Ground was my favorite song to play in the cluuub and wild out to and probably the song I was most asked “What is this??” while it was playing. Hudson Mohawke had an amazing year (see: “To The World”), big up! Now send me that “R U Ready” joint…

In other “send me that joint” news, Kon has been (not) putting out some incredible edits lately. Peep his soundcloud. His take on Cerrone’s “Thinking Of You” was a staple in my summer sets. Other disco joints I found myself enjoying were classics like Jean Carn’s “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” & The Jacksons’ “Heartbreak Hotel”, and a more obscure Montreal boogie rarity: Hipnotic’s “Are You Lonely?”, a $500 12″ DJ Catalist bagged in my presence at a radio station clearance sale. At least he ripped it for me. What a tune.

RAP RAP RAP. It’s getting harder and harder to keep track of these days, but there’s plenty of good stuff to go around. A few new that I enjoyed along with Cos’ selections: Killer Mike & El-P “R.E.A.G.A.N.”, King Tee & Tha Alkaholks & Xzibit – “Louis XIII”, Nas & Large Professor “Locomotive”, Freeway & Just Blaze “Early”. But the verse of the year was probably Andre 3000 (duh) on Ricky Rozay’s “Sixteen”. And where the hell did Mystikal’s “Hit Me” come from?! More of that, please. Do Or Die & Twista’s “Po’ Pimp” popped back in rotation. Could have been spurred by a visit to Chicago or the lyric reference featured in this mix. (Find it.)

Action Bronson’s character has grown nicely out of the Ghostface comparisons, and I have oficially ended up on the ‘love’ side of the hate-him-or-love-him RiFF RAFF both featured here on the Harry Fraud (thumbs up) produced “Bird On A Wire”. As for picking sides, I still haven’t converted out of my distaste for Future’s rhymes, but I’ll be damned if “Same Damn Time” and “Turn On The Lights” weren’t enjoyable tunes, the latter receiving the Ryan Hemsworth bootleg touch in this mix. Hemsworth is a very talented young producer from up north who also has an ear for making great mixes. Always checking for his output.

Don’t sleep on the north. But you know this already! A Tribe Called Red’s “Electric Pow Wow” has an energy about it, man. It’s coming, it’s coming… Straddling the border, The New Royales whipped up a version of Jefferson Airplane’s “Today” that has the toughest snare drop I can remember. Nice version. And if we’re talking tough, we’re talking about Mono/Poly “Needs Deodorant”. Missed that one last year. But see? Here it is in 2012.

The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach has a good ear and I like that he lent it to a modern Dr. John project. “Kingdom Of Izzness” is text book funky with some JJP-ish moog squirts around heavy drums. A few Howard Tate records got played around my studio, one of my favorites was “How Come My Bulldog Don’t Bark?”. Another record that got spins was Wings’ “Band On The Run” LP. How has the intro to “Jet” never been sampled before?

I think that’s it. If it’s not, I’ve spoken too much already. Get out of here. Go listen. Listen to it loud. Listen to it quietly. Listen to it in the background over dinner. Listen to it on a drive. Whatever you do, you should at some point listen to Terry Callier’s “African Violet” in private (in the dark if possible) and take in the work of a brilliant, under-appreciated voice that we lost this year. A voice who never really found his place in ‘current’ music, but who’s music has been kept alive many years later by music lovers and fans. Let’s enjoy and share great music when it crosses our ears, regardless of the timestamp on it. The overall listening experience becomes richer that way.”

Have a great new year and go find some new music already!

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  • Cosmo Baker’s Top Ten Records Of May

    DJ Stuart "Re-Work V2"
    Wet "All The Ways" (Branchez Remix)
    De La Soul "Beautiful Night"
    Phife "Nutshell"
    With You "Ghost" feat. Vince Staples (Major Lazer Remix)
    Tall Black Guy "The Heart Of The Town"
    KRNE "I'll Be Good"
    Hoodboi "Closer"
    Drake "With You" Feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR
    Christopher Cross "Ride Like The Wind" (Joey Negro Dub Disco Mix)


    Club Cheval "Discipline"
    Mura Masa "What If I Go"
    Kate Bush "Why Should I Love You?"

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