Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Traveler's Alternate Motown Universe

Traveler's Alternate Motown Universe:
The newest episode of our Six Degrees Traveler radio broadcast is now up on Apple i-tunes (under the "Eclectic" and "Electronica" sections of their Radio page) or at

This week, in honor of the fact that Motown Records is (astoundingly) celebrating their 50th Anniversary (!), we imagine an alternate musical universe where Motown artists incorporated elements of dub reggae, minimal techno, electronica and breaks into their "sound of young america". We do this by featuring a bevy of bootleg remixes and mash ups by modern producers who have used the raw material of the original Motown tracks as jumping off points for their own creations. The songs of Motown are so firmly imbedded into our musical DNA that we have almost come to take them for granted. It would however be foolish to under estimate the seismic impact that this incredible body of work has had, not only on our musical heritage but on the course of youth culture and race relations in this country.

Sometimes hearing overly familiar songs in a completely new context helps us to recall the power and freshness the originals once had- before they became staples for wedding DJs around the world. For instance, hearing Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On" mashed up with Brian Eno's "Deep Blue Day" on the track that the Flying White Dots cleverly title "Let's Get Deep", casts Gaye's famously pleading vocals into new levels of atmospheric yearning. In addition, the Temptations more than stand up to their new backing band, the Rolling Stones on Voicedude's rocking mash "Papa Was in the Rolling Stones".

Check out the full playlist here.

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