Blue Skies Above Us

Nate Cuellar’s High School Reggae Mixtape

One thing I liked to do a lot when I was in high school was surf all the time. I would try to do it mornings before school. Then at lunchtime I’d check the surf to get an idea of how I should spend my afternoon. And then after my after-lunch classes (wood shop and art) were over I would most likely haul my shapely ass on down to the beach. Okay, let’s just cut to the chase here: when my ears weren’t tuned to the types of sick and brutal mechanized assaults you’ll find elsewhere on this blog, they were tuned to pretty much the opposite – pink floyd and reggae/dub. All the pink floyd albums were totally accessible, so I was on ’em. But aside from Bob M. I didn’t really know where to start when it came to successfully listening to reggae/dub. One of my surfer/math class friends, Nate, lived just south of Cito in Summerland, and he had dreadlocks and sweated reggae. I heard he made good mixtape, so I calmly requested one from him.

Here’s the tape he made me. I’ve had it since 1995. And it had to be digitized. I want it on my earphones, and I want my friends to have it, too. This didn’t really open up a new world to me or anything – I pretty much just stuck to only listening to this tape. Over and over, and on many surf jaunts and whatnot. I brought it to Hawaii, on a trip with my family, and we listened to it as we drove through the coastal road on Kauai, and we all agreed that it was a perfect soundtrack to the trip. I brought it to Costa Rica, with MJM and his dad, and it laid the jams for the entire trip (I remember his dad at one point saying, “Jesus, is this like the ultimate stoner mix or something?”).

About the recordings: the tape was starting to die, so the first few seconds of the first song are cut off (I had to cut the tape and then tape it). The first two songs are also mono for some reason. The last song was cut off. But it’s famous, so I just got it from the original recording. I don’t know the names of many of the songs/artists. Sometimes I made up the song titles (based off lyrics), and sometimes I didn’t bother because there weren’t any lyrics. The mix has a nice range of upbeatish reggae stuff, and muddy, warbling vinyl dub recordings.

Give it a listen! 26 songs.

Download Nate Cuellar’s High School Reggae Mixtape

Note: his last name might have only one “l” – I don’t remember!** **

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Founded 2005. Currently cleaning out old embarrassing content. But I'll retain the music blog posts (category = music).
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