Slow Jams by David Choe
Facebook bazillionaire David Choe is an artist who has often shared his deep love of music through his awe-infesting visual works. Slow Jams, one of his earliest and best-known zines, was named after the slang term for an R&B ballad. And in the pages of Cursiv, his 2003 sketch book, David dedicates two pulse-pounding pages to a dearly departed mixtape that was mangled beyond repair by a teething tape player.
Named the "Ultimate Jam," his crippled cassette showed the tastes of an eclectic 'selektah.' Scribbled on the folded Maxell insert are songs like "Just a Friend" by Biz Markie, "Glory Box" by Portishead, "Get in the Ring" by Guns-N-Roses, "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys, "Porno Creep" by Korn, "Girl/Boy Song" by Aphex Twins, "Blue Flowers" by Doctor Octagon, and a few dozen other seemingly random tracks.
Collectively, the mismatched music on the cassette reflects the patchwork essence of the misfits from various cliques who get crammed together for Saturday detention in a John Hughes movie.
"It's either the dopest or worstest mixtape you've ever heard," scrawled the artist above his playlist, making himself correct either way in the process.
While working on the design for my pimp-a-licious new poetry zine (Distant God Meditation), I often found myself flippin' through Cursiv. Somethin' about its "unorthodox...but effective" visual kung-fu chi power helped to keep me in the zone. And though I dig every illustration in the book, two of those that spoke to me most at present were Dave's drawings of his mutilated tape (top) and a jam drawing done with his homies, Eskae and Rhode Montijo.
With my zine work finally done (and with an eclectic music mix in mind) I made an mp3 compilation mixtape inspired by the vibe of Distant God Meditation. Some of my picks –Talvin Singh's "Distant God" and Marvin Gaye's "Distant Lover," for example – were immediate influences. Others were chosen because I felt that they could offer allusions to the project in either nuanced or blatantly obvious ways. The finished product is my own debatable rendering of an "Ultimate Jam."
For the record, the Sony Boodo Khan™ Mixtape was made to be heard though headphones (hence the name Sony Boodo Khan™ Mixtape). And I am not talkin' about those omnipresent, porcelain-colored earbuds. (Viva, Steve Jobs!) I'm talking about cushiony, cocoons-over-your-ears-drowning-in-sound headphones. To feel the soul sonic force of this master mix, this is what it's gonna require:
a pair of earphones typically joined by a band placed over the head, for listening to audio signals such as music or speech.
And for those of you who somehow missed the British trip hop tsunami from which poured the down-tempo sounds of Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead, Morcheeba, Statik Sound System, Hooverphonic and many others, the Sony Boodo Khan is a now-mythologized Walkman that was name-checked in two songs on Massive Attack's ground-obliterating album, Blue Lines.
Anywhoo, some of these track selections are gonna suck your earlobes. Others will sucker-punch you in the pancreas. And if you don't feel anything at all, then I feel sorry for you–because you simply have no soul. Okay, okay, maybe your soul just wasn't fed the 8 essential vitamins and minerals that every growin' ghost in the shell needs. So, prepare to be nourished now, kiddies, 'cuz this mixtape is on some futuristic-5th Element-Blade Runner-Fruity Pebbles shit.
Riddem Selektah St. Paco
001. Long Island Wildin' – De La Soul
002. Lot More – Portishead
003. Christiansands – Tricky
004. King Ghidorah – Godzilla Sound Cues
005. OK – Talvin Singh
006. Tetsuwan Atom / Astroboy Theme (1966) – Kamitakada Shounen Gasshoudan
007. Blue Lines – Massive Attack
008. Readymade FM – Pizzicato Five
009. Baby Love Child – Pizzicato Five
010. Scientific Civilization (Skit) – Monsta Island Czars
011. Jellyfish ft. Cappadonna, Shawn Wigs & Trife Da God – Ghostface Killah
012. In The Hands Of The Gods ft. Biz Markie – Morcheeba
013. One In A Million – Aaliyah
014. Midnight In A Perfect World – DJ Shadow
015. Audiomaze – Tabla Beat Science
016. Addictive ft. Rakim – Truth Hurts
017. Paid In Full (Mini Madness) – Eric B. & Rakim
018. Five Man Army – Massive Attack
019. Distant God ft. Leone – Talvin Singh
020. Distant Lover – Marvin Gaye
021. Lover ft. Aya – Sweetback
022. Toh Kami Emi Tame - Kenji Kawaii
023. The Ballade of Puppets: In a New World, Gods Will Descend - Kenji Kawaii
Bootleg cover illustration: Rhode Montijo • David Choe • Eskae
Note: Copies of Cursiv are still available at the Giant Robot shop. So while you're there gettin' yours, pick up a copy of Giant Robot #64, which features the mind-blowing "Black Asians" article by yours truly. There's also a Choe-related joint in that issue by my zine-making comrade Jason Jaworski, so cop it, yes?