Now that we got the gratuitous rollergirl picture out of the way, meet Martijn Soetens. He hails from Amsterdam where he works as a music edit. He also partners up with Professor Eddy as The Smooth Operators for a series of mixes under the Mellow Moods banner. Another mixing collaborator is Jeffrey Boozer; the pair have just released Sunshine Love featuring "yacht disco and marina soul." In addition to his mixes for AOR Disco, Soetens has made an exclusive mix for the second issue of Nick Mawson's West Coast magazine and single artist mixes of Minnie Riperton, Hall & Oates, Jeff Porcaro, and Jerry Hey. One of my favorites series of mixes by Mr. Soetens is his three (1-2-3) volume Sophisti-Pop series which he defines as
Sophisti-pop (sophisticated pop) is a style of pop that originated in the 1980s and is mainly defined by the influence of soul & jazz and its smooth production.
But we've gathered here today to bask in the glow of the man's Sunshine 70s mixes, big big favorites here this Summer at The Hideaway, incorporating a little more pop and soul into the super smooth yacht rock canon.
The first mix features forty songs from the Seventies including eleven Top 40 hits including a Number One song by a guy who looks like he sails his own yacht while his wife sunbathed on the deck. Deep cuts by Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Rod Stewart season the summer-themed mix well.
On More Sunshine 70s, our DJ kicks it up a notch by featuring even more of my favorite songs from the decade including a killer triple-song set near the beginning that I just had to hear again. And again.
For Volume 3, the same recipe of hit tracks laced with deep cuts and some "new" discoveries makes for a rewarding listen. And there's a four-song block at the beginning of this one featuring yacht rock MVP Christopher Cross, the peaceful vibes of War, the smooth groove of The Brothers Johnson, and young gun Andy Gibb.
The fourth entry in the series only features eleven of my favorite songs and probably has the highest number of songs new to me even though they were originally released more than thirty-seven years ago. There are a couple of back-to-back favorites on here including the unlikely segue of Eric Clapton into Pablo Cruise though I'd consider the former nyacht rock.
The fifth volume is damn near all new-to-me tracks by both familiar and unfamiliar artists. But that only makes it more of an adventure to listen to and any mix that features the former Fleetwood Mac guitarist whose name is my two son's names put together gets bonus points from a proud papa. Saying this is the weakest mix of the series thus far is like saying green is the weakest color in the rainbow - they're all good. Taken together, that's two hundred songs (though I did notice one or two repeats among the mixes) and twelve-and-a-half hours of super Seventies smoothness.
On your next three-hour tour off the coast of Honolulu with Captain Jonas Grumby and his First Mate/little buddy, consider making one of Martijn's mixes your smooth sailing soundtrack. Packed with two-and-a-half hours of music each, exactly as advertised on the tin, his mixes are soundtracks to sunny afternoons laughin' and a-hidin', chasin' love out on Thunder Island (you just went back and sang that part, didn't ya?) or surviving the stormy seas whether you're a former billionaire, his wife, a high-school science teacher masquerading as a professor, a secretary turned movie star or a simple Kansas farm girl.