Your Mix Fix: Special K

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The word mixtape has plenty of different interpretations. It used to be that mixtapes were actually DJ sets recorded on cassette tapes, but with the coming of the digital music age, the name remained the same, but the definition expanded. Nowadays, people call mixtapes many different things, some of which are not necessarily mixed and most of which were never taped. Here we try to cover them all. In this column, Juan Data gives you a worthy one every week.

MIXTAPE: Tropicadelica

I’m always complaining that there’re not enough mixtapes by female DJs to share here. I’m all about equal opportunity and all and would love to see more ladies in this (unintentional) sausage party, but unfortunately there’re not that many out there, and to make matters worse a significant percent of those active in the scene don’t even have a mixtape to show.

I’ve known DJ Special K for a while, she’s always around in the Bay Area progressive Latin nightlife scene and I really dig her style. She’s of the few DJs from the CD generation who still hasn’t transitioned to the dominant digital format and I respect that because she’s got skills on her decks and she knows how to blend and rock a party. So for years I’ve been expecting a mixtape of hers and nothing, she was probably too busy expressing her creativity through her other talents (she’s also a great graphic artist and muralist).

Finally, last week she came out with Tropicadelica, this short but effective electropical mixtape, her first (as far as I know) to be shared on-line on soundcloud. The playlist is full of familiar names for those frequent readers of Remezcla: Los Rakas, Maluca, DJ Santero, DJ Sabo, Uproot Andy, Gecko Jones, Oro 11, etc. So don’t expect any big surprises there, but don’t expect any cheesy clichés either. Special K recorded the mix live, in one shot (and that in itself gets merit nowadays), and her transitions are on point. So yeah, big props to K and ladies out there, take note and please start recording and sharing your sessions, we desperately need more estrogen in this column.

1-01 Tropicadelica- DJ SPECIAL K by DJ SPECIAL K.