Dom Capello – Underground Blues Mix: R$N X Thundercast #10


To celebrate the tenth instalment of the Thundercast series, we teamed up with Ransom Note and asked Domenic Capello, one of our favourite DJs and one of only two people who have played at Thunder twice, to provide us with a mix that was a little bit different. 

Rather than the house and techno that Mr Capello is renowned for we gave him a free reign and what he came back with was very special and very unique. Eschewing the well-trodden dance paths, Domenic went back to his roots as a DJ and did a blues mix. Not just any old blues mix but an underground blues mix. Let's get it on:

Here’s what Domenic had to say about the mix;

This isn’t your standard DJ mix – can you tell us a little about this mix and the music you included?

I was asked to do a mix that was non-house or techno. Blues music was a massive part of my late teens and the first music I ever played out as a DJ. I’ve put this mix together the way I used to play it back in the day. No beat mixing, no tempo changing but trying to put the tracks together in a way where they tell a story from the sum of the parts of the individual songs.

Starting off with the slower, rawer stuff – just a vocal and slide or vocal and harmonica – then adding tracks with drums, piano etc as the tempo increases.

Trying to put tracks back to back that kind of tell a story. For example, BB King's ‘3 O'clock In The Morning’, followed by 3 Hours Past Midnight's ‘So What Comes After The Night?’. ‘The Sun Is Rising’ by Howling Wolf then the first line in the next song is “Well I Woke Up this Morning” and so on.

I also try to change the mood so it’s not every track saying “I'm sad ma woman has left me and I've got the blues boohoo!” I’ll change the mood from “I’m Lonesome” to “I’m a Big town Playboy.

The blues isn’t the usual musical grounding for a house DJ, how did you get into it?

A guy I used to kick around with had a Muddy Waters album on in his car one Friday night as he was driving us about. I was like 'what’s this?' I had never heard anything like it before and it was incredible, raw but soulful and it just caught me in a way that acid house would do a few years later.

The next day I couldn't listen to any of my own music, all I wanted to do was hear what I had heard the night before. So I went out and bought three albums. I took home Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Taj Mahal and played them to death. After that it became an addiction and I bought a few albums every week, finding new and exciting artists and music along the way.

What was DJing at Blues clubs like – do you think it has influenced your DJing style longer-term?

I loved it. I was only 17 so I wasn't allowed to drink and all the punters were middle aged men (probably only in their late 20s but everyone looked middle aged to me at 17 years old). Guys used to come in on their own at first to check if I was playing the real stuff and not Eric Clapton. They would come up with a daft smirk and ask if I had some rare old blues tracks and I nearly always had it. The look of surprise on their faces was funny and also gave me a real buzz. Once they realised it was the proper stuff, they would start to come down with their wives or girlfriends. The place was all lit with candles and it had a very seedy and sleazy atmosphere and I definitely think some loving was had later on that night.

It has maybe influenced my DJing long term in the way that I learnt to control the mood of a room early on.

Are there any similarities between blues and house, on any level?

Listen to the mix and you tell me (Ed i.e. Simpson: the answer to this question is “yes” by the way)

This is an underground (i.e. not obvious) Blues mix. For those whose appetites it whets, which lesser-known blues artists would you recommend they check out?

Joe Hill Louis, Drifting Slim and Curtis Jones.

Do you ever think chucking the CDJs in the bin and taking up bottle-neck guitar?

Just taking up the bottle.

And finally, have you ever hung around the crossroads at midnight and if so, what happened?!

I met Benny and Miss Diane.

And on that note, thank you Domenic for a truly unique and quite special mix. 

The mix is available to stream now on Mixcloud and is available to download on Thunder’s sound-of-thunder Soundcloud page.

The next Thunder is on Friday 21st November with Linkwood (Firecracker Recordings). Limited advance tickets are available here.