Detroit artist John Beltran is rightfully revered as one of the most consistently engaging artists of the past 30 years.
Having emerged from the Motor City’s techno scene back in the ‘90s with releases on Carl Craig’s respected Retroactive label, his production sound has steadily morphed through various stylistic parameters, helping to ensure his work is as refreshingly challenging to categorise as it is compelling. Surfing through ambient, techno, jazz, Latin and beyond, he’s composed timeless and ground-breaking music that continues to find its way into the set lists of some of the world’s most discerning selectors. He’s released on the likes of Delsin, Ubiquity, Peacefrog, Styrax, Oath and All Good Music, maintaining a busy schedule throughout his decades long career. His most recent ‘Ola De Novo’ album recorded under the Sol Set moniker saw him join forces with an ensemble cast of Detroit-based musicians to serve a gorgeously sun-soaked collection of Latin fusion cuts. A remixed version of ‘Ola De Novo’ arrived last month, and next up for John is an album recorded live at Dekmantel entitled ‘Ten Days Of Blue’. Despite his breathless itinerary, John took time out to furnish Mixmag Asia with a hand-picked selection of the soul-flecked sound of last summer. “My gigs were mainly patio parties and summer market vibes,” says John. “These tunes brought joy to the passing faces throughout the summer months.”
The weather may be turning chilly, depending, of course, on where you call home, but this list is guaranteed to transport listeners to the carefree warmth of the milder months. Without further ado, press play and read on to lose yourselves in the seductive sounds of a true underground icon.
1 September Sun 'Morning Song'
"I would routinely start my summer set with this beauty."
2 Sault 'Son Shine'
"I Love Sault!"
3 Cracakazat 'Everybody Talks About It'
"This one got young and old swaying to the beat!"
4 Bobbi Humphrey 'Just A Love Child'
"This classic goes hand in hand with the sun and a drink..."
5 Kaidi Tatham 'A Message From Above'
"I had to include a Kaidi tune in this list!"
6 Helio Matheus 'Eu, Réu, Me Condeno'
"This tune by Helio never disappoints."
7 Khruangbin & Natasha Diggs 'First Class (Soul in the Horn Remix)'
"I had some amazing moments looking across the crowd with this one playing."
8 Marvin Gaye 'When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Instrumental)'
"This Marvin track completely kills it at sunset."
9 Michael Franks 'Summer In New York'
"The summer trumpet and Michael's voice. Mmmmm."