Welcome back to Moods, your monthly install of non-Techno mixed by techno fans. A second warm welcome to the new year too, and a third warm welcome to the 17 Founding Members here on Moods (humbled forever by you). I'm determined to start on the right foot this year, so January's artist is the brilliant Lavici - someone I have respected, looked up to, and been moved by for the past three years, and someone you'll love too soon enough.
Here, she takes us on a road trip from Atlanta’s southern soul to the sounds of Detroit Motown, with pitstops in dubstep, funk, and rap. To listen and learn more, head below.
Having already played in Detroit, Berlin, Ann Arbor, and Atlanta, Lavici's (née Laura Vicinanza) rock, R&B, southern soul and dance roots shine through on this mix. The first half hour explore Vicinanza’s roots from Atlanta to Ann Arbor. “Atlanta is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains,” she notes. “It’s a very forested and green city. The weather is beautiful almost year-round,” which often meant music was shared with friends, over her father’s guitar, and with the warm outdoors. Some gems that nod to these moments include Ana Tijoux’s “Volver” and Cavern’s “Liquid Liquid.”
To contrast, Vicinanza notes that Michigan is “much flatter and colder than Atlanta.” The biggest change: “four months of darkness,” which means more time to “stay inside and reflect.” This opened her up to cooler, more ambient textures like George Maple’s “OPST.” Vicinanza joined (and now runs) Ann Arbor’s DJ collective MEDMA (now MEMCO), spends hours in the student-run radio station WCBN, and plenty of space to host and DJ allowed her to flex her music muscles while learning classics like REM’s “Computer Communication.” Detroit called too: “I fell in love with the music history of the city rooted in Motown, funk, and soul music.” Now Vicinanza’s helping to show the next generation of Southwest Michigan DJs this rich history and context that’s next door.
By halfway the mix, we start blitzing through releases as Vicinanza warps us to dancier, dubbier territory. It’s a nod to her earliest dubstep days and to the industrial gravitas of techno, euro disco, and house. “Thanks to an internet friend,” she mentions, “I discovered UK artists like Kode 9 and Benga. It was the most exciting thing in the world for a 15-year-old from Georgia.” She then brings us full circle, ending the mix on a strong Atlanta note with the Outkast classic “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.”
Volver - Ana Tijoux
The Nylon Dollar - Gigi Masin
Trigger Hippie - Morcheeba
Black Milk - Massive Attack
OPST - George Maple
Takes You Back (Unexpected Dub) - Jazzanova
Freakmeister - King Kooba
A Bunch of Guys About to Turn Blue - Drain
Cavern - Liquid Liquid
Rose Quartz - Toro y Moi
Your Love - Frankie Knuckles
Computer Communication - REM
Italo Journey Part II - Luke Million
If It Wasn’t True - Shamir
Love Letters to Japan - The Bird and the Bee
Brush the Heat - Little Dragon
4 bit 9d api+e+6 - Aphex Twin
Idioteque - Radiohead
Evolution - Benga
The Goose that Got Away - Objekt
Stop Watching - Benga
Mr President - Pearls Negras
Silk Road - SevnthWonder
Spottieottiedopaliscious - Outkast
ARTWORK + MORE
The mix's album artwork is paired with Mel Bochner's 1969 piece Measurement: Plant (Palm), which aims to juxtapose natural growth and measured growth. It's a theme that resonate on Moods and Lavici's own work: how do we, as curators of our own past, balance what grows naturally with what grows systematically? Our own moods develop each year but swing throughout our own phases in life. It's a nod towards what's come, grown, gone, and left an impression.