Last year, I thought the Fitted x Aloha Got Soul collaboration would breed the only mixtape I’d release for Aloha Got Soul in 2012 (if you’re curious, it’s on its the way… patience!). With No Place Like Home—my fourth mixtape of the year—I’m sending you on a journey through the beautiful places of Hawaii, as seen through the eyes of local musicians.
Whereas the 1x10x100 mixtape series showcases the funk-soul vinyl I found at Harry’s Music Store (not Hawaiian music, but music found in Hawaii), this aural landscape of warming, loving sounds is a tribute to the places Hawaii’s musicians call home.
I created No Place Like Home exclusively for international vinyl trendspotter iCrates after making the acquaintance of the magazine’s editor, Anton Spice. iCrates publishes monthly themed issues, and July’s theme is “Tropical”—perfect for a music blog with a knack for digging up old school Hawaiian records.
When I emailed the iCrates Vinyl Sessions section editor, Tina Dünkelmann, she described No Place Like Home as “sweet”—an adjective which she quickly apologized for, probably because she thought no man would want his mix to be heard in such a way.
On the contrary, I wrote her back:
“Hi Tina, don’t apologize for ‘sweet’, I’m very happy you thought of it that way! I think the mix is sweet—it’s a kind of a 60-minute love song for Hawaii, the musicians singing and playing their affection for the islands.”
I’ve known since the beginning of this collaboration that my idea for a “places” mixtape would produce an enduring blend of soulful music, with each track inspired by the unique, spiritual landscapes of Hawaii. I’m happy someone else agreed.
Everyone knows the saying, “there’s no place like home”. But the luckiest people on Earth find a deep connection to Hawaii, where the spirit of aloha fills the heart and mind and soul. The inevitable result of this feeling is the creation of music that sounds like this.
From the original post on iCrates:
“Through music, Hawaiians create a deep connection with the land, or aina. Each individual makes a spiritual bond with a place—a place they call home. When I listen to these songs, I close my eyes and let myself be transported to the many places other people call home: Kona, Manoa, Kailua, Waimanalo, Waikiki, Kaho‘olawe, Volcano, the Na Pali Coast. My home is in Honolulu, and even if I haven’t visited all these places yet, the music paints images of tropical wonder, creating a sense of serenity you might find in the surrounding beauty of a special place. I feel at home with each song.
You have to understand, Hawaiians hold aina close to the heart, mind, and soul. It’s a lifetime connection. Throughout every island, there are places that take root inside us, tying the people to the land and Hawaii to our hearts. It’s probably why so many Hawaii expats return to the islands after living away for so many years. (I moved to Oregon in 2006 and came back 2011). Inevitably, Hawaii calls.
Why do people love Hawaii? Mostly for its sunshine, beaches, people and ono-licious food. But I invite you to experience Hawaii through its people and the places that connect us with the spirit of the islands. Let the places we love dearly call out to you and, for 60 minutes, be your home, too.”
6. Le‘ahi (Diamond Head)
21. No Place Like Home
*Tracklist has been slightly modified from the original iCrates version, which includes Momi Riley’s “Kona Way” twice.
Share your thoughts:
Which song speaks to you the most? Let me know on Twitter (@alohagotsoul) or leave a comment below.