New Mixtapes! DJ Pelau x Poet and/the Bench | Vol 1: Home / Day
DJ Pelau x Poet and/the Bench
Mixtape 1: Home / Day
Welcome to the first Mixtape in our on-going new music series: DJ Pelau x Poet and/the Bench! The Home / Day Mixtape carries you through from sunrise to sunset.
We’ve joined forces with Marlon Regis, aka DJ Pelau, a New York-based DJ, writer, and curator originally from Trinidad. Marlon’s aim with music is to first connect to people, with an unwillingness to limit himself to one particular genre or social scene. For that matter, expect a wide variety, but always with soul.
We are excited to showcase Marlon's music curation talents as a free streaming, non-commercial gift of good vibes.
Playing music during COVID has helped nurture us through the challenges and we figured we weren't alone. We wanted to celebrate how music brings us the feels and also brings us together. We collaborated with Marlon on this new series to transport you... Listen to the music below and continue reading for more on our inspiration.
Mixtape 1: Home / Day
We chose Home as our first mixtape theme. Home. The “sense of place” that comes from identity–personal, cultural and place identity we prescribe to of a real or imagined state of harmony and centeredness. Both the security of physical shelter and the security that exists outside the physical. A safe place to retreat / to nurture / to create / to love / to belong. Home can be both memory and future imagining. A state of mind.
As he was curating songs for Home, Marlon noticed vibe shifts. “I’m thinking of daytime and nighttime theme version(s). HOME is so dif, in the day vs night,” he said.
With DJ Pelau at Home / Day, we love how the Caribbean rhythms of Marlon's heritage combine with his curated mix of soulful, upbeat vibes to create a soundtrack to your everyday. A daytime mix for your working-from-home backdrops, chilling with your pod, windows down day trips and road trip good vibes.
In his approach to song curation and in our Conversations with an Artist interview with Marlon, he talks about soul. There’s soul in the worlds we create in our homes to help us grow, connect, and experience transformation and to better understand ourselves.
We style and bring the texture of our lives into our homes through the environments we create. It's at the heart of the curation we bring to Poet and/the Bench. You’ve likely heard of the Danish concept Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga); it can be traced back to the 1800s and is derived from a Norwegian word that translates to well-being. Hygge is a wonderful way of appreciating the simple things in life, especially what brings a feeling of cozy contentment. It may be lighting a candle and getting cozy under a weighted blanket, sipping a warm cup of coffee while you watch nature or the world go by. Or playing music that takes you to that place.
We riffed with Marlon on how music could transport us Home in different ways. It’s a beautiful state where much coexists. “Home it is. It'll be instruments that ooze comfort, soul n all of the above, lyrics / words. All these gel,” he said.
We also discussed the very real, vulnerable issues of people without homes. COVID has lit up [again] the inequities and the home-lessness. And home not being a safe place for all (domestic violence, isolation, depression). We want to acknowledge the existence of these breakdowns in the concept of home.
So, why music?
Author, director and human rights activist Susan Sontag wrote in her journal at age 14, “Music is at once the most wonderful, the most alive of all the arts — it is the most abstract, the most perfect, the most pure — and the most sensual. I listen with my body and it is my body that aches in response to the passion and pathos embodied in this music.”
Susan Sontag, Peter Hujar 1975
At any age, we can all agree that music has emotive power: the power to transport us, amplify a good mood, shift a bad one. Music is an alternate language. Its universality is undeniable. Lots of cutting edge research and neuroscience offers proof that music is good for our health, boosts brain power, and bonds us with others in social closeness.
Jeffrey and I share a common bond around music. We like a lot of the same genres. Have similarities in what we don’t like. And respect where we each diverge (he might a like a harder house beat and I could very well have a secret affinity for dance pop–Bey was born in Houston y’all). We’ve seen concerts together, DJ nights at clubs, and we reminisce about our younger days dancing to music in clubs across NYC, Paris, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, San Sebastian, Barcelona, Cape Town…
Lykke Li, Gundlach Bundschu, Sonoma
DJ Snoopadelic, Sweetwater Mill Valley, Mill Valley Film Festival
Rufus Du Sol, Greek Theater, Berkeley
We’ve made mixtapes, CD compilations and digital playlists throughout our lives. We continue to share songs and playlists with family and friends–in a text message, on social.
During Shelter-in-Place, new habits formed. We've found music has been an important elixir in these challenging times. We put music on when we wake up, making and eating our breakfast and sipping our coffee and tea. It's on all day at the shop as we worked behind closed shop doors and now as we’re open, as we always have. The first thing we do when we get home at the end of the day is pick some vibes to make dinner to. The routine continues.
In these times of COVID isolation, music has been a companion.
We asked the artists we carry to tell us about how music moves them in their art and during COVID, if that applies. We received some great responses and will share them over time as we publish new playlists in our music series. Here’s a few moments:
I was born in Detroit and although my family came to California when I was seven, I have always been an old-school Motown girl. My teen friends liked the Beatles and I liked The Temptations and Marvin Gaye I have a 70’s tuner/radio in my studio and I only listen to the Oakland radio station KBLX — even on Sunday mornings for their gospel music program. I love the old school R and B but also enjoy a lot of the newer stuff, including rap. When I am in my studio with my music, I am in “the zone” and having a small break from the crazy world we are all struggling with currently. When certain songs come on I love to dance and paint at the same time. I often wonder if other artists do the same. And sometimes, lyrics will inspire a painting or title such as my “I’d Catch a Grenade For Ya.’ (Bruno Mars)
From Christine Trac, Founder of Jewelry Brand Abacus Row
I'm a big fan of culture writer, author, poet Hanif Abdurraqib who created 68to05.com, a place to discover/dive deep into music fandom. I follow him on IG and one of his recent posts led me to Carly Rae Jepson's Emotions album, which I forgot how much I loved. While listening to the radio at some point this year, I heard Chris Thile sing Silver Dagger which led me to listen through many different covers of Silver Dagger. But then ultimately led to countless hours of Dolly Parton (including a podcast about Dolly Parton called Dolly Parton's America). That Chris Thile cover also brought me to Goat Rodeo Sessions (collaboration between Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile) which I play over and over. I love radio. I miss the curated and unexpected nature of what you might hear when you're in the car. I think Hanif with his playlists gives that sense of discovery without radio. And Chris Thile's voice just makes me think I'm listening to radio programming. Been enjoying Fiona Apple's latest album, too.
Fun to discover new music through our artists. And thanks to technology during COVID, a live concert or home-based dance floor can be shared around the world connecting us, all of us. Making us happy. Tuning us in, turning us on. Making us feel larger than life. Hey, Madonna even sang in her song, Vogue, “It makes no difference if you’re black or white. If you’re a boy or girl. If the music’s pumping, it will give you life. You’re a superstar. Yes, that’s what you are. You know it.”
So, thank you music. For being the light in the dark.
Enjoy the sets that DJ Pelau has curated. We’ll have more themes to explore as our series continues. Next up will be Home / Night, a mix that takes us into some slower, sexy vibes. So stay tuned (literally).
Let us know how music has moved you!
Sharing the love, one beat at a time,
Bonnie & Jeffrey
PS Please follow DJ Pelau here on Soundcloud. We’d love our collaboration to support him gaining a new audience. Give our playlist a like by clicking the heart, repost it on your Soundcloud feed, and comment on the waveform where you are most moved! There's a contribution button, too, if you can. And lastly, please share with friends. Let's get the good vibes circulating! TY!
About Marlon Regis / DJ Pelau:
Now based in NY but always focused on the world, Caribbean-born Marlon 'DJ Pelau' Regis (pronounced “Peh-Laow”), is a multi-talented music stylist that has always lived being surrounded by rich music via life’s travels. Whether in his youthful days on the festive, multicultural streets of his birthplace in Trinidad, right home in Petit Valley listening to his dad's enormous jazz collection (his older brother's name is 'Miles') or in his adopted homes of Atlanta, NYC, Los Angeles and now Brooklyn, the direction of his music through DJing or producing compilations first aims to connect to the people. With an unwillingness to limit himself to one particular genre or social scene for that matter, expect a wide variety, hence his blog: …is the spice of life!
His selections, as music curator + programmer in the past, whether on the rooftop of The Standard Rooftop Bar (as a resident DJ in DTLA) or through corporate mediums such as DMX Music Inc, have always found SOUL in a constant rotation at well-established stores, boutiques, restaurants, hotels and beyond... Marlon has written for HuffPost, The Beat Magazine, HipHopSite, BPM, Unleashed Magazine, HipHopDX, Rolling Stone, The Source, Vibe, URB, Upscale, Rappages, ATM (UK), ColorfulTimes and Jahworks. Read more here.