Trackpacking is a recurring series highlighting musicians that inspire me to travel.
Thievery Corporation has introduced me to entire genres of music I would have never found a way to enjoy on my own. From Bhangra to Afrobeat and Cumbia to Arabic hip hop, the guys of Thievery have a masterful way of curating talent and finding musicians to slot into their songs and remixes. They’re not shy about looking in their own backyard, either. Enter Nickodemus, a Brooklyn-area DJ/producer with world-spanning musical tastes that make him right at home on Thievery’s ESL Music label.
Let me put it simply: this is feel-good house music. I think it’s a nice change of pace after a month off from Trackpacking to return with something outside my typical offerings (i.e., downbeat, introspective, quiet or very loud music).
The songs on Nickodemus’ albums are like distant cousins from countries around the world coming together for a family reunion. First it’s Panamanian flare then some boom bap Egyptian followed by a Ghanaian groove. It’s disorienting in the best kind of way, an aural rollercoaster with loops.
His obsessive and masterful hand with the low end fingerprints his songs with the Nickodemus DNA. Various guest rappers, singers, and musicians decorate the tracks so you’re never quite sure if you’re going to get spoken word, east coast rap, sitar, or brass band performances over Nickodemus’ production. Amazingly, it all works together.
While Nickodemus has released only two official albums, both of them have been fully remixed and he has contributed scads of remixes to ESL musicians and others over his long career. He’s one of the founders of the Turntables on the Hudson crew and has been spinning with them for 11 years. If you’re in to remixes, Nickodemus’ SoundCloud page should make you happy.
Nickodemus makes equatorial music. It’s warm, upbeat, and blends styles from around the globe. If you’re stuck waiting for your next trip, this is good music to soothe those itchy feet. If you’re currently traveling, well then this music just ratchets up the experience. Even the doldrums of Wisconsin’s sleet-spattered April don’t stand a chance against Nickodemus’ world-beat firepower.
Pack These Tracks
- Peace Pipe, from Endangered Species.
- Mi Swing Es Tropical, from Endangered Species.
- Sun Children, from Sun People.
- 2 Sips & Magic, from Sun People.
- Thievery Corporation’s Supreme Illusion (Nickodemus Remix), from ESL Remixed: The 100th Release of ESL Music.
Create a Moment with Nickodemus
- Fill up the floor at your house party.
- Medellín, Miami, or Mexico City, drop the top and ride around town.
- Get the backyard barbie started on a sunny summer’s day.
What music moves you to travel? Share it in the comments!
Original photo by Sundust_L via Flickr under Creative Commons.