Tuesday 3 April 2012

Beats for a VW bus

DJ ing in a Samba and a VW record player!

If you own a classic VW you really have to play decent music in it, and i hope this article might help you find a decent playlist/soundtrack to your journeys.

In an attempt to combine my two passions; DJing and VW's, i want to put together a definitive mixtape to play in my bus. There is no shortage of tracks that mention VW's or specifically buses and please post your suggestions below ; however i wanted to select tracks that were more in the spirit of owning a vintage VW that avoid the obvious 'hippy' or west coast sound of the Beach Boys (Sorry never much liked them, although i appreciate the brilliance of Brian Wilson)
The Merry Pranksters bus goes 'Furthr'

Other obvious tracks would be The Who's 'Magic Bus' , but that is probably about Ken Kasey's famous 'kool aid acid test' bus than VW's.
Split van at Woodstock music festival

 Since i started to drive my forty year old bus about i have avoided the more contemporary sounds of hip hop/dubstep/drum n bass that i love for nothing recorded more recently than about 1978. Not a big problem for me as a DJ of 20 years i  have many thousands of vinyl records that lean towards this period, and find that classic latin/cumbia, early reggae, blues, sixties garage, 50's rock n roll, Afro funk and funk and soul sound perfect chugging around in the bus. In fact the music creates a magic that transports you back to the era in a way it could not in a modern car.

Certain tracks really seem to capture the feeling of driving a classic VW such as Professor Long hairs 'Big Chief' ( below)

 Another track that comes to mind is the Skull Snaps 'Its a new day', although its refrain 'dont make a fuss, just step to the back of the bus' is of course about the civil rights movement and Rosa Parks.

As a DJ i like to play my own mixtapes in the bus,narcissistic perhaps, but i know what i like and i hope you might like them too. They are all free to download and then copy to your ipod, CD, or if your proper oldschool like me, the classic tape cassette. As Barbara has the original 40 year old tape player, even if i do upgrade the sound system i would keep the original in the dash and hide the new one.

Ipod in the ashtray! Old technology and new together in perfect harmony

Levi Roots (a patron of the youth club i work for) gave away this bus to promote his reggae reggae sauce
If not listening to my mixes i often cruise listening to my DJ partner of many a year, DJ Crash and Burn, who is a specialist in 'vintage' vinyl dance records such as calypso, cumbia, sixties garage, blue grass, rock n roll, latin and things of a general rarefied groovieness. Make sure you check out his mixes here : http://www.djcrashandburn.com/ 

Check out Crah n Burns podcast here

Fat Boy slim DJ's in a VW

I hope he is not playing crappy euro techno!

I would love to DJ in the bus, and obviously people have got there first as the selected photo's demonstrate. But I would like to try a differant angle and create a mobile recording studio in mine. As a tutor of music technology to young people it would be possible to construct a mini studio in the bus easily. I work mostly with rappers or singer songwriters so all i would really need is a laptop and a decent microphone to be able to record in the bus. Has anyone done this?

Lovely split in the background here
Fat Freddy gets in on the action! See my post on comic art/VW's I am looking for more examples of underground comics and VW's