Athlete Whippet: Tracks That Celebrate Solidarity And Compassion

Squareglass label founders Athlete Whippet continue to showcase their genre-bending ability on ‘Your Love Is Lifting Me’. Renowned for cleverly fusing different musical influences into timeless contemporary jams, this five-track EP sees the duo explore signature sounds further afield of the dancefloor. For the upcoming release, the two share a selection of tracks that reflect their thoughts on today’s climate. “Solidarity and compassion are as important as ever,” they explain. “Both in terms of the Black Lives Matter protests all around the world and in terms of the solitude and isolation that many of our friends are forced into through the COVID-19 pandemic. Each crisis demands us to stand together closer, to show more support, to tell each other how we feel, to finally open up. We have put together a playlist of songs that have these aims at their heart. Songs that celebrate these values of solidarity and compassion. These songs also represent the invaluable, incomparable influence that black artists from the past and present have – not just on us, but on our scene and the whole artistic framework we exist within. None of this would be here without you.”

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – ‘Delta Man’ 

“Gil Scott-Heron describes it better than anyone else could: “This is a song about change. You see, we say many things about the changing aspects of our lives. We say that since change is inevitable, we should direct the change rather than simply continue to go through the change.” This was true in the 70s, it’s true now and it always will be.”

D’Angelo – ‘1000 Deaths’ 

“Like for so many others across genres, D’Angelo is an unparalleled inspiration to us in terms of feel and pure artistic flow. His protest album “Black Messiah” was his come back after 14 years and this track is like a battle cry, a cry-out for courage. So powerful and moving.”

Frankie Knuckles – ‘A Purpose’ 

“We can’t really talk about people who have paved our way without mentioning this man. House and Techno are often referred to as European but both are of course African American creations deeply rooted in communities that were discriminated for their ethnicity or sexuality and delivered a message of acceptance and togetherness.”

Tim Maia – ‘Let’s Have A Ball Tonight’

“Tim Maia is one of our favourite artists from South America. He took Afro American influences in the 70s and mixed them up with Brazilian forms like Samba. This song is a call for love to lead social and political decisions. Unfortunately, we’re no step closer to this, more than 40 years after the song was written.”

Max Roach – ‘Freedom Now Suite’

“This one goes much further back and therefore serves as a bit of a pioneer to all others here. It’s an eruptive avant-garde jazz piece, written in response to the Emancipation Proclamation and the growing African independence movements of the 1950s.”

Octo Octa – ‘Power to the People’

“Stand together. Help those who need support and those who are alone. Everybody needs a voice.”

Elkka – ‘Everybody Is Welcome’

“Yes, that’s the attitude! This track is about tolerance in LGBTQ+ club culture. Many of these spaces really set a good example for the rest of the world, particularly to all the massive, pre-dominantly straight mega-clubs everywhere.”

HNNY – ‘Kindness’

“Is the most important thing we got.”

Matthew Halsall – ‘Together’

“Because you know what they say. So much stronger. Matthew captures the tenderness and beauty that is created when we work towards the same aim perfectly here.”

Sweely – ‘More Love’

“Please, it would help so much.”

‘Your Love Is Lifting Me’ EP is out June 19th on Squareglass:

Feature photo: Barbora Mrazkova