If you've been following AGS since day one — or if you've managed to dig through our blog post archives all the way back to the very first post ever made here — you'd know that DJ Muro’s Hawaiian Breaks mix from 2009 inspired me to start AGS in the first place!
Ten years later, I can't hardly believe I'm writing this, but DJ Muro is releasing a new mix in the Hawaiian Breaks series this week, and it's all about Aloha Got Soul and the music our little label has been releasing since 2015.
It’s been a trip to see this passion project/blog-turned label come full circle. Needless to say, I'm feeling very grateful right now, a feeling much needed in a year that's been wilder than any I've ever lived before!
Hawaiian Breaks 2020 tells the story of Aloha Got Soul and the music in our ever-growing catalog. From the first notes of Mike Lundy's Tropic Lightning to the closing back-to-back tracks from FRNT BZNZZ's latest single, Muro san has crafted a mix that's decidedly different from his first installment.
Different in that, despite the first mix blowing everyone's mind with the deep cuts he'd dug up for the world to enjoy in the 21st century, this new mix has an inherent storytelling element to it, from the exciting early beginnings of the label (Lundy, Al Nobriga) to the young up-and-comers who are making their mark on the Islands' music scene. Here's the tracklist:
1. Tropic Lightning / Mike Lundy
2. Break Away (I’d Rather Be Sailing) / Al Nobriga with Island Company
3. We’re Not To Blame ft. VIDEOTAPEMUSIC / Your Song Is Good
4. We’re Not To Blame ft. Nick Kurosawa / Your Song Is Good
5. Original / Jah Gumby
6. I Met Your Rep / Maryanne Ito
7. Good To Me / Maryanne lto
8. Serendipitous / Maryanne Ito
9. DC2NYC2 / Dae Han
10. Honolulu Jazz / Dae Han
11. Woota (Feelin’ Good) / Maggie Herron
12. The Rhythm Of Life / Mike Lundy
13. Magic Lover / Aura
14. Sparkle (2014) / Greenwood
15. Yesterday’s Love / Aura
16. Love One Another / Mike Lundy
17. So Good To Be In Love / Phase 7
18. Countryside Beauty / Tender Leaf
19. Nothin Like Dat Funky Funky Music / Mike Lundy
20. Let Me Say Dis About Dat / Aura
21. The Flu / Dae Han
22. Was It Love / FRNT BZNZZ ft. Nick Kurosawa and Joelene
23. GPS Signal Lost / FRNT BZNZZ
Side note: Robin Kimura of Greenwood credits Muro with reviving interest in the band's mid-1980s cover of Tatsuro Yamashita's "Sparkle", a version that would be lost to time if not for Muro's mix. Robin received news one day that Greenwood's "Sparkle" was heard playing in a McDonald's in Japan. A few years later, I myself heard their tune played in the Uniqlo at Ala Moana. Hawaiian Breaks really did change lives (at least mine and Robin's, ha!).
The official release date is Friday, July 24, 2020. Available exclusively from Tower Records Japan.
Big thanks to Hashim Bharoocha for coordinating this one, along with Ultra-Vybe and Rush Productions. Also, thanks to Yoshio Kawamoto for the support and enthusiasm since the day we met; you've been a positive force in my entry into the Japanese music scene. And of course, a massive thanks to DJ Muro, whose willingness to pursue this project is nothing less than an honor.