Originally Hugo Manuel of Chad Valley wanted to call his Friday Night mix “Chad Valley’s mix for driving through a tumultuous rainstorm to play a gig in Baton Rouge”. Though it lacked brevity, there was a story to be told and considered in listening to what is now known as the “Baton Rouge Mix”.
On tour to deliver the recently released Entirely New Blue to U.S. audiences, Manuel might have feared for his safety en route to a gig but his mix suggests nothing but courage in the face of danger. The “Baton Rouge Mix” is an uplifting journey that runs the gamut of 80s synth pop like The Human League and Tears For Fears that’s likely had a lasting effect on his music. By Nu Shooz’ “Secret Message” the mix nears tooth-ache levels of saccharine, but Joni Mitchell’s “Shiny Toys” and Tears For Fears’ “I Believe” grounds things. But as Hugo writes below, there’s still room to climb again.
If you ever find yourself driving through hellish rain for 7 hours between San Antonio and Baton Rouge, this is the mix for you. I have tried to capture the ebb and flow of such journey through the medium of music that I like to listen to. Starts off with joy and love, then gets deep and introspective, then it gets a bit Enya as a rainbow appears, and then it’s back to unbridled joy as we reach Louisiana. Something for everything.
Chad Valley’s Entirely New Blue is out now on Cascine.
“Baton Rouge Mix” tracklisting:
01 Loose Ends, “Gonna Make You Mine”
02 Manu Dibango, “Soul Makosa”
03 Jonquil, “Mexico (Fort Romeau’s Graceland Edit)”
04 The Human League, “Love Is All That Matters”
05 Nu Shooz, “Secret Message”
06 Joni Mitchell, “Shiny Toys”
07 Tears For Fears, “I Believe”
08 Geotic, “Flit Around The Rivulets”
09 Spiritualized, “Step Into The Breeze”
10 Isotope 217, “Looking After Life On Mars”
11 Will Powers, “Smile”