Trapped In the 80s & 90s

90sOK, I just scrolled down through my most recent posts and realize that I have been slightly obsessed lately with the past…the 80s and 90s primarily.

I suppose you could call those decades my “formative years” as far as music is concerned. Why?

Regarding the 80s, I began my freshman year in high school in 1980 and graduated from college in 1988. So those songs bring back a flood of memories for me. Some good, some great, and some pretty awful. For better or for worse, 80s tunes tend to stir up some very powerful emotions.

And that’s where music’s influence is at its best!

For the 90s, I “discovered” aerobics when I was living above an aerobics studio in Oakland, California and I trained in that small studio to be an instructor in 1992. All the mix tapes I played were filled with some energizing songs like:

I’ve been a workout music junkie ever since!

Relive these songs (remixed with a modern day flair) and much more in this mix:

Grad the free download of this workout mix via Soundcloud here.

Length: 1:00:11
Format: Continuous
Tempo: Mixed


The Ultimate Workout Remix Playlist

napster_logoWhen putting together a new playlist, I generally like to mix it up regarding the length of tracks as well as original singles interspersed with remixes or mash-ups to keep things interesting.

When I first began downloading music from the internet back when Napster was the only game in town, that’s when I first discovered Thunderpuss remixes. I loved them because they took current hits (mostly ballads)  from artists such as Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, and Deborah Cox and injected a major dose of energy with uplifting beats and rhythms.

Plus, remixes often took a 3-minute single and stretched it out as long as 8 or 10 minutes, giving you a chance to really settle into a nice workout zone.

Ten to twelve years later, some of these mixes might feel a bit dated, but I still love ’em.

Check out some Thunderpuss remixes for free along with some other high energy remixes from Offer Nissim, Hex Hector, and Chris Cox on Spotify. (Don’t have a Spotify account? Sign up for a free account here.)

Posted on Feb 3, 2014

High Energy African Music From Angelique Kidjo

If you have never experienced the dynamic music of Angelique Kidjo, a woman dubbed “Africa’s premier diva” by Time magazine, then you are in for an uplifting treat.

She blends tribal rhythms with pop, Latin, jazz, and zouk influences. The result is often pure, unbridled joy.

Check out her album, “Spirit Rising” on Spotify. (Don’t have a Spotify account? Sign up for a free account here.)

Check out her cover version of the Rolling Stones classic, “Gimme Shelter” for an injection of high energy followed by nice cool down tunes, “Malaika” and a haunting cover of Gershwin’s “Summertime.”

Another reason to become a Kidjo fan is she is UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and campaigns for improvements for women’s health and girls’ education in Africa.

The beauty in her spirit and soul definitely shines through in her music.

Posted on Jan 29, 2014

Hot & Kool Disco Mash-Up

Good times with this new mash-up that mixes favorite disco tunes with current hits.

The transitions between songs aren’t always the smoothest, but all-in-all it’s a fun mix.

Grab it here.

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Posted on Jan 28, 2014

90s Flashback

90s-bashBack in the early 90s, I lived in a studio apartment in Oakland, California above an aerobics studio called Studio 6000. I was working my first “real job” out of college in San Francisco during the day and taking step aerobics classes at night.

When I decided that I wanted to learn how to teach aerobics classes the year was 1992 and although some instructors still spun LPs, the rest of us bought cassette tapes mixed by DJs who generally charged $20-25/tape.

I threw out a lot of those old tapes a few years ago as I struggled to make room in my adult life but sometimes I wish I still had them so I could load them into my boom box and take a walk down Memory Lane.

This mix here is the next best thing, “90s Bash, Volume 1” from SteadyMixes:

Length: 51:02
Format: Continuous & square
Tempo: 130 bpm

Favorite songs include:

  • I Like to Move It by Reel 2 Real
  • Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot
  • Push It by Salt-n-Pepa
  • C’Mon Ride It (The Train) by Quad City DJs

Another fun flashback mix comes from DJ Tiesto, “Club Life 388 – 90s Mix, Hour 1”:

Length: 56:59
Format: Continuous
Tempo: various

Top hits include:

  • Rhythm Is A Dancer by Snap!
  • Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic
  • Everybody’s Free by Rozalla

And of course, if you like that, check out “Hour 2”

Length: 55:09
Format: Continuous
Tempo: various

Top hits include:

  • Mr. Vain by Culture Beat
  • What Is Love by Haddaway
  • Finally by CC Peniston

Where does this music take you? Do you remember where you were living, what job you were working, who your friends were at the time?

Some of these songs might be more than 20 years old, but they still have the power to inspire you to work up a sweat!

Posted on Oct 29, 2013

Epic 80s Rock

This mix definitely doesn’t hold to a square 32-count beat, but has some fun classic tunes for a bootcamp, Crossfit, or spinning class.

Some of my favorite tunes include:

  • Sweet Child of Mine by Guns ‘N Roses
  • I Love Rock N’ Roll by Joan Jett
  • We Will Rock You by Queen
  • Nothin’ But A Good Time by Poison
  • Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC

Enjoy!

Check out the playlist and grab it here: https://soundcloud.com/djepic-910/01-dj-epic-80s-rock-mixtape

Length: 43:10
Format: Continuous
Tempo: varies

Posted on Oct 29, 2013

The Power Of Live Music

“The Power of Live Music…”

It’s interesting to follow the progression of how we access and consume music over the centuries.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was a time when the only way to hear music was by being in the audience or playing it yourself. For many centuries, children were schooled in music partly so that they could then provide entertainment during the time between dinner and bedtime.

The first recordings must have seemed miraculous. Imagine listening to music, a symphony perhaps, in the privacy of your own home!

And although recordings allow the masses to access music previously reserved for the rich, they also place a distance between the musician and the listener.

I remember when cassette tapes became mainstream and then CDs were on the rise. There were some rather furious debates about the “soullessness” of those recordings. Many people felt that vinyl was the truest way to experience recordings and that, somehow, LPs captured a certain something that the clarify of audio files could not.

And now vinyl is making a comeback once again. Even the New York Times declared a resurgence earlier this year. And the Washington Post reported that vinyl record sales have hit their highest point since 1997.

Still if you really want to be a purist about music, nothing beats the R-E-A-L thing. And that means live music.

Here’s a demonstration of what I mean…

Listen to the original album version of “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2:

And then to this live version:

Which one stokes your fire? Which one give you goosebumps?

You might decide that, for you, the original version will always be the best. And that’s OK.

But consider mixing things up a bit every now and then.

We’re not living in the Victorian Age anymore. We have access to so much music which includes DJ remixes of songs and live concert bootleg videos shot all over the world and posted to YouTube. Be creative and inventive in your search for “new” music.

Here’s another example of an infectious first live performance of a current chart-topping hit, “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. This is a great live version to pump you up…

And just one more live concert edition for you…

“Gangnam Style” by Psy (I love it when the audience sings along):

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Posted on Oct 23, 2013

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