MIXTAPE: DJ Still Life Presents…Tropicaaliyah

by Winston "Stone" Ford

<a href="">Try Otra Vez by DJ Still Life</a>

I know most of you tend to want your Aaliyah tracks untouched, and I completely understand. You want to wax nostalgic on a woman who was taken before her time.

But for those who want a little experimentation in their cup, my homie’s new Tropicaaliyah is right up your alley. Mixing Aaliyah vocals over a blend of tropical sounds Still Life was able to create an interesting summer blend:

The Tropicaaliyah project pairs the vocals from four classic Aaliyah songs with original production (and one wholesale jacking of an Architecture in Helsinki loop) from Brooklyn’s DJ Still Life. The project had its genesis in a monthly mix series, where on two separate occasions an Aaliyah vocal found an unlikely mate in a lush Tropical backing track. More than fortuitous mix pairings though, the real roots of the project are in Brooklyn’s expanding global bass scene, which itself builds on the youthful re-invigoration of regional sounds happening around the world, where a melding of the traditional with the abrasive is encouraged, and the loping gait of folk dance music effortlessly meets the jagged textures of American hip-hop and R&B. This spirit of re-contextualization and playful appropriation informed the pairing, and the result is a tribute to a performer whose talent continues to unite listeners years after her untimely passing nine years ago.

Check out DJ Still Life every Thursday for Worldwide Smash on East Village Radio.