Independent Brooklyn label and specialist dancehall crew Mixpak is home to some of Jamaica’s biggest stars, having released music from Vybz Kartel, Popcaan, Beenie Man, Machel Montano, Tifa, Spice and more.
However, their specialty runs far and wide, connecting the dots between the contemporary club sounds of the Caribbean with both North American and UK styles, Mixpak put shine on rappers, underground club producers and experimental electronic artists alike.
Founded in 2009 by producer Dre Skull, Mixpak can be equally seen recording in Kingston, bringing Swishahouse to a warehouse party in NYC, performing at Notting Hill Carnival or violating Red Bull’s Culture Clash.
Ahead of the crew’s London takeover with Sneakbo, Lisa Mercedez, Killa P and number of special guests, Label bosses Dre Skull and Jubilee, who are also due to perform on the night, run us through some of their favourite moments from the Mixpak discography, with classic cuts from Lil Scrappy, Sticky, Popcaan, Murlo and Gaika among highlights. See below.
1. Lil Scrappy – Look At Me
An early Mixpak release from Dre and Atlanta rapper Lil Scrappy and an example of what we still strive to be – a label that links scenes, sounds, and continents without boundaries or confines. Still sounds big in the club in 2018 as well.
2. Sticky feat. Natalie Storm – Look Pon Me
This is a UK Funky House classic still played today by DJs across the world, with a tough vocal from Natalie Storm on the flip. Making that Jamaica-UK connection with this track was crucial to us.
3. Vybz Kartel – Yuh Love
This is the first of Dre’s collaborations with Vybz Kartel, which ended up forming the Kingston Story album. One of our earliest releases, this track changed everything for us and is still one of Kartel’s biggest ever hits.
4. Popcaan – Everything Nice
Popcaan, producer Dubbel Dutch, and Mixpak really took a risk on this as a single and it worked out so well- it’s a model we hope to keep using as we head into the next phase of Popcaan’s career.
5. Jubilee ft. Hoodcelebrityy – Wine Up
A long-awaited collaboration between two queens of the the New York scene, “Wine Up” is a percussive summer anthem and just one of many reasons why Jubilee has been part of the Mixpak family since the beginning.
6. Palmistry – Lifted
Palmistry’s sparse, elegant experimental pop music has struck a chord with people in ways that continue to inspire. This song was notably interpolated by Major Lazer and Cashmere Cat for their song “Miss You”.
7. Murlo – Lanced
A producer making colourful music that sits in the space between dancehall and UK club, Murlo is a perfect fit for the Mixpak sound. We’re really proud of the series of EPs we released with Murlo, we think it’s some of the strongest interplay between music and visuals that we’ve done.
8. Gaika ft. Serocee and Miss Red – Buta
Gaika has been doing great things since he released his Security mixtape with us, but this track will always hold a special place in our heart. Like Mixpak, Gaika refuses to be neatly categorized into dancehall, rap, or experimental music, instead skirting the boundaries of all three.
9. WILDLIFE! – Beaches
Wildlife! is Mixpak’s secret weapon of sorts, working as an engineer here as well as putting out some interesting and forward thinking music. His album Anima was accompanied by an art installation.
10. Florentino & Bad Gyal – Por Ti (LETRA)
Our latest release, off Florentino’s new Fragmentos EP and what we expect is the beginning of a bright future for Florentino’s mutant reggaeton sound.
Catch Mixpak at Village Underground for label takeover + special guests on May 26.
Tickets available here.