VF Live: Charlie Dark's Carnival special





Soca, calypso, and island sounds – direct from his London record room.

In VF Live, DJs take you inside their HQs, record stores, and studios for intimate sets and mixes.

Run Dem Crew founder, community leader, activist, poet, DJ, and Attica Blues member Charlie Dark is back! For the occasion, he plays a Carnival vinyl special, featuring soca, calypso, and island sounds.

“It’s Carnival weekend, but alas it’s been cancelled again here in London this year. So, for my return to VF Live I wanted to showcase some of the Soca and island sounds that you only ever really hear at Carnival. It’s a form of music that many dealers, shops, and collectors turn their noses up at, but there are so many gems that be found within the genre if you are prepared to dig hard enough.

I’ve always picked the odd Soca tune up on digging trips, but during lockdown I started looking more closely at my collection, and filling in the gaps. In the process, I have gone down some deep rabbit holes, and encountered some real characters whilst digging for records to play in my sets.

This is happy, positive, good vibes only music – often with a message and a heavy dose of humour. It’s been perfect for lifting the spirits and driving the lock down blues away. I love linking up with people from around the world who are into this sound so, if you have tunes to trade, swop or sell then let me know. Hopefully I’ll do a part 2 at some point if people are feeling the grooves…”

Watch and listen to the set above, check out the tracklist below.


1. Shadow – Bacchanal Time
2. Lord Shorty – Plant De Land
3. Carl and Carol Jacobs – Robot Jam
4. Arrow – Groove Master (Acid Soca House Dub)
5. Wordy Soca – Nick The Record
6. Clyde Mitchell – Sound of T and T
7. Rudy Grant – Mash in Guyana
8. Arrow – Long Time
9. Rootsman – Black Wash
10. Dimples – Beautiful Feeling
11. Gloria Fill – All Night Long
12. Darkie – Mr Darkie
13. Winston Blake – Afro Disco Jam
14. Mighty Buck – Soca Para
15. Devon George – Ruthven