The impulse is to consider the satin funk grooves of Silk Rhodes to be indebted to the originators of soul music, looking back to Gamble & Huff and Curtis Mayfield or within the Stones Throw roster from the likes of Mayor Hawthorne and Myron & E. To a degree these parallels are merely coincidental. The duo of Silk Rhodes, comprised of Mike Collins and Sasha Desree, arrived at the sounds within their self-titled debut not by pure idolatry for the classics alone, but in admiration for the people of today, willing to respond when a microphone is at their disposal.
Before settling in California, Silk Rhodes was a band on the run. Originating in Baltimore and migrating north to New York—as bands tend to do—the duo rigged a 97 Honda CRV to be a mobile studio by wiring a microphone to a loop pedal which was then fashioned to the car stereo via a cassette tape adaptor. With that set up Silk Rhodes traversed the country collecting documentation from friends and strangers alike, vignettes and anecdotal sound collages that would inform the finished record. Ever appreciative of their influences, Silk Rhodes dedicated their Friday Night Mix to the source material.
Silk Rhodes splice vintage soul nuggets with deranged samples of druggy dialogue and detritus (including a shout out to the former silk road 2.0 website operator), early ravings of Mac Demarco from his Makeout Videotape days, and a few leftover demos from the group and member Sasha Desree to concoct their “Source Material Mixxx”.
Mike Collins of Silk Rhodes explains the material collected:
We love all these songs. There are some certified classics from the deep end, lesser known bangers from today, and even a 12 year old rap song from the STONES THROW demo piles that we scavenged. We wanted to share some of the sounds that embody the depth and individuality that inspires us.
01 Idris Muhammad, “Could Heaven Ever Be Like This”
02 Ferrari Jackson, “Miami Breeze”
03 Makeout Videotape, “TERRY PARANYCH”
04 Sasha Desree, “GIVE IT A TRY”
05 Money Green, “Druid Hill Park”
06Gh∞st, “ON THE FLOOR”
07 Flickk, “Prime Suspect”
08 Alex Deranian, “FIRE”
09 Matthew Starke, “Real”
10 Oby Oniyoha, “Enjoy your life”
11 Cakedog, “Cake Pon De Flow”
12 Grace Jones, “Feel Up (Larry Levan edit)”
13 Silk Rhodes, “Having Fun (demo)”
14 Top Shelf, “Let Them Keep On Talking”
15 Pirahnahead, “Emily”
16 REFLECT, “Lounge Day”
17 Knx, “iknluhvubettr[WTT]”
18 The Savage Young Taterbug, “Creepin Charlie (live excerpt)”
Silk Rhodes’ self-titled LP is out now on Stones Throw.