As the last vestige of the weekend, Sunday night can foment a cacophony of emotions. The ticking away of one’s free time, dovetailed with the coming week’s expectations, can manifest anxiety or dread. But counterbalancing these threats on our psyche are the seventh day’s recentering qualities: an emphasis on reflection, the prioritization of friends and family, and most importantly, the sharing of a meal. This is the core ethos of Dallas-based independent hip hop label Sunday Dinner Records, who since 2017 have been quietly assembling a Michelin-class roster of producers and MCs looking to elevate our palates. Lately, the label, along with a growing cadre of its roster, have been serving up curated portions of audio nourishment on the Blast Radio airwaves aimed at restoring the body and its metaphysical reflections.
Baltimore-based producer and curator Shine was among the first Sunday Dinner Records affiliates to grace the Blast radio airwaves. Still reverberating off 2021’s As The Beauty Became, Shine helped listeners enter the new year with a studied and forward-thinking set of meditative jazz and adjacent stylings to muffle the holiday’s temptation to overindulge. Taking cues from the space-age aspirations of artists like Sun Ra and Arthur Verocai’s samba/soul hybrid reflective of Brazil’s musical crosswinds, Shine gave listeners a glimpse into the multitude of influences that inform his effervescent and evolving sound. In the weeks that followed, gourmets across the Blast Radio community were given the opportunity to sample a whole flight of new sonic delights.
Mercurial Orlando-based producer NOTHINGISREAL had staged on and off with the label, but in 2021 officially joined the Sunday Dinner Records crew with the release of The Enemy of Good, an effort that prioritized natural ingredients over processed sounds. Though this record saw a departure from the producer’s more kinetic platings, NOTHINGISREAL’s presence on the Blast Radio airwaves revealed an ongoing experimental curiosity. Postmodern in every sense of the word, NOTHINGISREAL took listeners on a kaleidoscopic journey that juxtaposed over two hours of disparate genres, speckled with chopped vocal samples, dialog from various sources, and sound effects that unfolded with controlled chaos. But like knowing how to cook with liquid nitrogen, a raw confidence and artistry underpinned these moments. Expanding on the philosophy that informed NOTHINGISREAL’s 2021 LP, a similar understanding could help explain the magic baked into the frenzy:
“I’ve been trying to have this mindset for a while – like when you keep working and working on something to make it ‘perfect’ you lose sight of what made it good in the first place,” he says. “It won’t ever be as perfect as you want it, even if you work on something for more than a decade.”
Tuning in to the Sunday Dinner Records main account affords hungry listeners a seat at the chef’s table, with curated selections from label head Dominique Gadsden, aka thebaldone, aka Domo Supreme, heaping up helpings of unreleased tracks, back catalog cuts, and other rare goodies from the cellar. Between making the long-running mix series DRIVETHRURADIO a mainstay on the Blast Radio airwaves, Gadsden has had a few other banners in the works. With the final installment of his mood-setting series 100% Cashmere set to air on 3/24, Gadsden teased another mix that may have its eyes on the dance floor, a detail to keep in mind before going back for seconds. Additionally, Gadsden announced a new monthly series that pairs a natural wine with a mix of R&B music from ‘93 to ‘05, perfect for budding sommeliers and smooth sound aficionados alike.
But among the Sunday Dinner Records roster, no one has been more enthusiastic than Sikeston, MO-based producer, MC, and selector Wigflippa. Cutting it up on two weekly shows – the democratically-determined listener request slot, Collecting Dust, that airs every Monday at 8pm CST, and the similarly inclusive mix series, Wig Weekly, hitting the airwaves every Wednesday at 8pm CST – Wigflippa has been an integral presence among the SDR crew for making sure no one goes to bed hungry.
For Collecting Dust, Wigflippa has listeners vote on which record from his stash will get played in its entirety on the next show: from rare gospel records, to Mos Def’s 2008 album The Ecstatic, to the Cowboy Bebop OST, there’s no telling what next week will bring. Ever the gracious host, Wigflippa bucked tradition for the most recent installment to feature a new vinyl cop of Houston-based producer Tony Dark’s 2021 LP The Legend Of “D.B. Looper”. Despite only recently crossing paths with Dark at SXSW, this is the perfect encapsulation of the gracious hospitality that Wigflippa brings to the airwaves: when we eat, we all eat.
In a similar fashion, Wig Weekly is composed of crowd-sourced selections and in-house curations, establishing an open potluck for listeners to hype their favorites, as Wigflippa pulls up extra chairs at the table for folks who’ve been putting in the work. It’s here that Wigflippa’s breadth of knowledge is given space to flourish: nurturing interests that extend to every corner of the genrescape, listeners can expect an eclectic buffet on offer with always plenty to go around. Every episode comes complete with annotated track listings, links, shoutouts, and artwork on Wigflippa’s social media feeds, which function as ad hoc liner notes for each broadcast, directing listeners to learn more about and support the artists they just heard.
This communal sense of support and belonging was on full display at the Sunday Dinner Records SXSW showcase alongside fellow TX-based labels Rather Unique and Forty Acres, where the rosters collided and broke bread for the event aptly titled “A Family Affair.” With a growing network of producers, beatmakers, MCs, and vocalists, SDR and Co. are seeing their hard work pay off as more listeners keep coming back for second and third helpings. From promoting new singles by Ifé Neuro and the label’s newest addition, Small Town, to building steam for the release of Shine’s new EP MOTION, set to drop on March 27, tuning in to the label’s channel offers updates straight from the source. Like a restaurant pop-up, each broadcast serves to unpack new ideas, riff on established traditions, or blaze a whole new path entirely, all without having to do the dishes.
Follow Sunday Dinner Records, and tune in for 100% Cashmere III, airing on 3/24, and thebaldone VI [house music], airing on 3/31.
Follow Wigflippa, and tune in for Collecting Dust every Monday night @ 8pm CST, and Wig Weekly every Wednesday night @ 8pm CST.
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