Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Spicy Sticky Mix

New mix and interview with our good friend and half of Nippon Leagues, Nick Stropko. Listen to the mix above, get some insight below, and party with us on Friday!

hallooo: Thanks for your contribution to our mix series, how did you prepare for this mix, and how would you describe the eventual result?

Nick: Thanks for having me! The mix started from a record bag I packed for one of my favorite local parties, Air A Danser. I tried to then grab some other favorites from the past six months or so. On the whole, I think the mix encapsulates some of my favorite qualities in dance music — spicy chord progressions paired with sticky melodies.

hallooo: Is there a record in the mix that you associate with a special story?

Nick: One song in the mix came to me from some of my coworkers. I work in a restaurant where the rest of the front of house staff is from Montenegro. While we’re closing up, they usually play terrible Balkan pop songs, but one night, a tune came on for about 15 seconds before they skipped it. I immediately knew that it was right in my lane, and after insisting they replay it, I took a photo and bought a copy the next day.

hallooo: Walking into a record shop can be quite a intimidate experience. Do you have a digging process and/or what kind of things do you look for in a record when you’re out digging?

Nick: The process varies from store to store — what do they specialize in? What am I looking for? But generally it’s a matter of looking for labels I don’t recognize, releases that look distinctive or like they would’ve been overlooked in their day. That, and spending quality time in the listening booth. Ultimately, you have to trust your ears.

hallooo: Is there a record, that has continued to be in your wantlist over the years?

Nick: While there are loads of records I’m always on the hunt for, ultimately, I find the chase of finding new stuff more engaging. The pleasure of dropping the needle on something that immediately grabs and stays with you is a bit more fun than finally tracking down (or, more likely, paying boatloads of money on Discogs for) an old favorite. That being said, if anyone wants to send me a copy of “Need More Time” by Nick Allen, I wouldn’t be opposed. My bootleg is terrible.

hallooo: Is it possible for you to sum up what the collection means to you in a more general sense?

Nick: It’s just an overview of the records I’ve been listening to recently — some favorite finds, some tips from friends (or coworkers) mixed together in my bedroom.

hallooo: Music bonds people together. Any local heroes/parties you would like to shout out?

Nick: Outside of the aforementioned Air A Danser and a little shameless self promotion of my Japanese mix series/party Nippon Leagues (with my mentor and perpetual inspiration Alex Tebbs Mitchell) I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out my dear friends at Universal Cave, Extra Water, and Earth Beat.

Remember to party on Friday:

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