As a founder and resident DJ of the New York-based Mister Saturday Night parties, Justin Carter is no stranger to propelling a room full of individuals from varying walks of life to dance exuberantly until the early hours. Alongside his DJ partner and party co-founder Eamon Harkin, he’s also transferred the inclusive party to family friendly afternoons as Mister Sunday, continuing to push their painstakingly curated assortment of Disco, House and Techno records under a loose set of simple yet constructive rules – many that would enrich the experience of party goers in the more stagnant and faceless clubs around the world. Since its inception in early 2009, the night has become a significant facet of the vibrant Brooklyn night life as well as the wider community – in 2014 they donated 10 per cent of their annual net profits to the Robin Hood Foundation, a charity aimed at eliminating poverty in the ‘Big Apple’. The pair also formed the Mister Saturday Night Records in 2012, having released prime time favourites from the likes of Dark Sky, Anthony Naples and General Ludd as well as recent releases from Nebraska and Gunnar Haslam.
As a DJ, Carter has been invited to play a slew of highly respected parties alongside his visionary partner Harkin but is also regularly booked as a solo act – having previously served up 50 minutes of hedonistic House and Disco cuts for Boiler Room in 2012. He’ll be representing the label at Oval Space in London this week for a Mister Sunday on June 14 whilst Eamon Harkin will be playing his respective slot in NYC a few hours later, with the pair switching transatlantic roles in August. In the build up to the Mister Sunday events in London this summer, we’ve got a decidedly more relaxed and contemplative offering than what’s expected from Justin Carter on this week’s Hyp mix. This warm-up mix, recorded early doors at Black Atlantic‘s first MSN session at Dance Tunnel in 2013, places Buddhist monk chants alongside Jazz and Choral pieces before accelerating into more dance floor friendly yet patently restrained Funk and Boogie numbers. Here’s what he had to say about some of the more obscure tracks:
“The song that comes in at 03:35 is one I found on a trip to Burma. While I was there, I kept hearing this voice early in the morning, first in a taxi, then at a tea house eating breakfast, then outside of a temple one morning. I kept asking people, “What song is this?” They’d say, “What song!?” It finally became clear to me that they didn’t consider what was being played over the speakers music. “Oh, this isn’t a song! It’s a prayer!” No one seemed to know the name of the monk doing the prayers, so I eventually recorded it on my phone and played it to a DVD vendor at a market, and he gave me a DVD loaded with something like forty hours of prayers by this one monk! I still don’t know his name, and I don’t know what he’s singing/praying about, but this is what he looks like.”
Another song from the mix that folks might not know comes in at 23:59. It’s “Cocodrillo,” a choral round by The Clogs featuring Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond). The original song is under two minutes long, so I made my own little edit of it, which is what you’re hearing here. I like to mix it out of a House record when the time is right, but it’s also nice to play on its own. What really makes it interesting, beyond the beautiful harmonies, is how the time signatures seem to overlap.
I think I’m drawn to contemporary choral stuff like this because of a choral ensemble I was in one summer in high school. It was part of a program run by the state of North Carolina called Governor’s School, where a few hundred students from across the state got to live on a a college campus for six weeks to focus on dance, orchestral music, choral music, art, theater and math. (And making out, obviously). No matter what your focus was, all of the ideas, music, texts and such in the curriculum were from the 20th century. It was amazing, being introduced to Gyorgy Ligeti and Charles Ives by singing their works, to hear John Cage and Philip Glass performed by the kids in the orchestra and to see the theater group perform Beckett. I still have dreams of joining a contemporary vocal ensemble again. For now, I’ll just keep playing this song.’