Jamison Harvey, a New York area crate-digger and DJ, spent this week counting down the days and minutes to the start of the MLS regular season. So he started to scratch his soccer itch the way a truly devoted music-lover would: He made a mix to celebrate his love, the New York Red Bulls.
Under the name DJ Prestige, he’s woven together a 23-track trip through both Red Bulls-specific memory history and supporter culture at large. The whole thing – click here to listen!—travels through English street punk, hip-hop, two-tone ska, soul, and beyond. Get excited to yell along to Cock Sparrer’s “Take ‘Em All,” the old pub rock staple from which a popular supporters' chant derives, or swell with city pride during Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind.”
“I tried to put on as many tracks as I could that were original records turned into chants at the matches. Some tracks were huge in the terraces in England in the 1970's and are still played at matches today. Others have become synonymous with the culture overall,” says Harvey. “I couldn't get every song (or chant) in this mix, so I guess there will have to be a volume two next season.”
Harvey, who spins 45-heavy sets of soul and funk around the northeast and at occasional MLS events, first found Red Bull fandom about a decade ago. “I was always an English Premier League supporter—Liverpool—via an old roommate in the mid 1990s. I never gave MLS a chance,” he recalls. Then a friend invited him to see a Red Bulls game, then at Giants Stadium. “From the first match I went to, I was hooked. The atmosphere, the supporters, the players, it was what I always wanted in a sport, and it was in my own back yard. From then on, I was a Red Bulls supporter.”
More than with any other sports team he had followed, Harvey says he got hooked on Red Bulls supporters’ utter dedication. “I think that the biggest thing that distinguishes Red Bull supporters from that of other teams is their dedication. Many braved the bad times at Giants Stadium long before I did. Some would drive two or three hours,” he says, “to watch a team week in and week out sometimes win and sometimes lose. In East Rutherford, New Jersey near a swamp? In a monsoon or snowstorm? That takes dedication. Now that RBA is public transportation friendly, it's even more of a win-win.”
If you’re headed to Red Bull Arena this Sunday for the team’s home opener, against Toronto FC at 1:30 p.m. ET (MLS Live in US, TSN4/RDS2 in Canada)—even if only in spirit rather than body—getting amped with Harvey’s mix is also a win-win. And if the deeper cuts strike your fancy, check out more mixes, art, and interviews about DJ and vinyl culture on his website, Flea Market Funk.