Friday, December 19, 2008

Travlin' Music

I was in college when I first started traveling frequently by plane, between Florida and the Northeast on Delta or the defunct MetroJet by USAirways. This was the late 90s and my musical horizons, already broad for having grown up with a band directing father and a soprano-singing mother, were being expanded even further beyond R&B and Miami bass by the international students I interacted with on my internship program in DC, and by a good buddy who studied in Boston and put me onto his own discoveries. Now, electronic (particularly drum-and-bass and lounge/chillout) and world music have become the staples of my aural diet.

One of the first groups to catch my ear and have a permanent space on the playlist was Sade's band, Sweetback. Their self-titled first album dropped in 1996, chock full of songs originally written for their Afro-British muse but sung on this CD by neo-soulsters like Maxwell and Amel Larrieux. Two instrumental tracks, however, have a special transportative power and, when listened to on an airplane, seem to progress at the same speed as the plane traveling over the Earth. "Chord" gives you daytime Atlanta-to-DC while "Walk of Ju" takes you over New York and Philly at night. Ignore the videos and just listen.


Fly Girl said...

I love Sade and Sweetback! I never thought about it before but those are good traveling tracks.

Joia said...

Thanks so much for this! It's funny but I ALWAYS listen to Sade on my flights, on the beach, all the time. She takes me "there"...wherever there is at the moment! :)

Darius T. Williams said...

yes - traveling music is an absolute MUST!

kwerekwere said...

clearly i must be weird.

or i need to take more short flights.

or at the very least, i need to get an ipod.

i alternate between reading and sleeping on flights. my flights are either all reading (joburg and windhoek are two hours from here) or all sleeping (dakar is 8 hours, london is 12 hours; new york is 18)

but rarely do i mix the two. hm.

i don't even think i have a discman anymore; it's a problem with having teenagers, they borrow it one day and you never see it again. oh well. no biggie.

but it's something i probably will think about before my 16 hour bus ride back to cape town. [i'm in lesotho right now. border-jumping, and all that.]

Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays Fly Brotha'!
I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas!
I am going to Paris on Monday, so I will definitely download some Sweetback for the flight! I am so blessed to be able to bring in the New Year in the City of Lights!

Ciao Bello!

Felicia, This Time Now

Idara said...

I did not even know anyone knew about Sweetback- awesome group...I still have my ticket from the one time I saw Sade live on September 11, 1988, mind you... cool blog!