Music News

DJ Trails

The body of James Brown wasn't even cold before DJs across the country were cooking up tribute mixes to honor the late Godfather of Soul. Some of these mixes hit the mark, a few managed to barely delve beyond his greatest hits, but they were practically all created out of respect by hip-hop DJs far and wide. The main reason for this is that Brown's catalog arguably provided the backbeat for hip-hop since its creation — and honestly, it was the least that most self-respecting DJs could do. Now that James is finally buried and the dust-ups over his death have calmed slightly, here's one more tribute mixtape from local cutmaster DJ Trails that stands out from the rest in a variety of ways. On his latest release, The Good Foot, Trails takes a stab at Brown's expansive 800-song catalog, slicing through breaks and adding scratches where listeners wouldn't expect them, in impressive fashion. Some of Brown's more popular tunes like "Sex Machine" and "Super Bad" are here, but Trails gets off the beaten path and pulls out "King Heroin" and "Cold Sweat" to add some depth to this disc. In this regard, it's the song selection on The Good Foot that stands out the most, as Trails catered the mix toward the b-boy crowd. The majority of Brown's R&B standards are left off the mix (thankfully), and the focus is on the funk — right where it should be. Available at www.myspace.com/djtrails.

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Jonathan Cunningham