ART:CAST SPECIAL by Mike Simonetti

2MR label head, one half of Pale Blue and Jersey tastemaker Mike Simonetti is up next on Torture the Artist’s art:cast special series. After having released a remix for Alf Champion’s Parte Operantis just recently as well as a remix for Twins’ Mad World, a Tears for Fears cover, the eclectic DJ and producer compiled a rather personal, exceptional and artsy art:cast with lots of references to current situations and Mike’s musical upbringing and influences.

As a young aspiring wannabe DJ/college student at St. Peters College in Jersey City, NJ, I signed up for a slot as a DJ on their radio station, and was given a slot from 01:00-3:00PM on Tuesdays, and basically any other time I wanted. It wasnt a real radio station – it only broadcasts to the dorms, cafeteria and a few blocks around the college – but their record library was fully stacked with old records. In the 1970s, WSPC had a very powerful signal, and you were able to hear it all the way in Manhattan. By the time I was a student there, I was one of the only DJs left. Vinyl was dead, and there were LPs stacked from floor to ceiling in every room of the station, seen as useless and outdated. WSPC had switched to CD format. When I asked the station manager about the records, and why they were just stacked from floor to ceiling he told me the records were going to be thrown out at the end of the semester to make space for CDs. You can probably figure out what happened next. That day, I filled up my dad’s car with almost the entire record library and made at least 15 trips back and forth to my house. Now I was the proud owner of the WSPC record library. At the time I was heavily into Funk, Disco and Soul. Something as simple as a James Brown record was impossible to come by back then, now suddenly I had all of them (and white label promos as well). The majority of my knowledge of Jazz, Funk and Soul came from those records. I would listen for Breakbeats, listening for famous Rap samples, I would make cassette tapes and listen in my car. I would make mix tapes from friends, and would make tapes for touring Punk bands staying at my house. I named my first record label after a Marvin Gaye record and movie, Troubleman, and the label’s logo was taken from the inside gatefold of Miles Davis’ On The Corner. I was an obsessive with this stuff. Now, with all that is happening with the ongoing George Floyd protests and the fight against the police, I decided to revisit some of the artists and poets that meant a lot to me back in the day, and mix it with some current black artists, many of them on my label 2MR, and others who have inspired me throughout the years.“ – Mike Simonetti

Tracklist

  1. Gil Scott Heron ‘Whitey On The Moon (live on TV)’
  2. Curtis Mayfield ‘If Theres A Hell Below’
  3. Nikki Giovanni ‘Adulthood (live on public access TV)’
  4. Stevie Wonder ‘You Havent Done Nothin’
  5. Fred Hampton ‘live interview excerpt’
  6. Bad Brains ‘Pay To Cum’
  7. John Coltrane ‘Om (Excerpt)’
  8. Nina Simone ‘TV interview’
  9. Underground Resistance ‘Final Frontier’
  10. Divine Interface ‘Freak Insight’
  11. S.O.L.A.R. ‘Faith For My Mind’
  12. Fit Of Body ‘Heavens No. 1’
  13. Saine & Smith ‘Fake Evans’
  14. Omar S ‘Sound Of Neptune’
  15. Electrifying Mojo ‘Prince Interview (excerpt)’
  16. M.F.S.B. ‘Ghetto’
  17. James Brown ‘Interview Richmond VA 1970’
  18. James Brown ‘Blind Man Can See It (studio outtake)’
  19. Cavuto vs M1 of Dead Prez ‘live on Fox News’