Marvin Gaye - Got To Give It Up (COPYCAT'S Slight Re-edit) Sugarhill Gang - Rappers Delight (COPYCAT'S Re-edit) The O'Jays - For The Love Of Money (COPYCAT'S Re-edit) Kurtis Blow - The Breaks (COPYCAT'S Slight Re-edit) De La Soul - Say No Go (COPYCAT'S Slight Re-edit) Herbie Hancock - Rockit 2.002 (COPYCAT'S Slight Re-edit) Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel - White Lines (COPYCAT's Re-edit)
My current music crush is Phantogram, a duo from Saratoga Springs NY consisting of guitarist Josh Carter and keyboardist Sarah Barthel. Their debut album Eyelid Movies originally came out November of 2009, then got reissued in February of 2010 by Barsuk and Ghostly International. Somehow I completely missed them on my usually trusty muso-radar. In December my brother posted his top records of the year, and there was Phantogram. I jumped to the Googles and YouTubes and it became apparent this was a band I needed to hear. Their music is a deft combination of electronics and rock. There are beats aplenty, and boatloads of memorable guitar riffs, all bathed in warm synth. Both sing, sometimes alone, other times in harmony. They mix moments of deep psychedelia with lush pop and even a bit of shoegaze-y goodness. I love 'em. The cool performance clip is from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - featuring ?love on drums! Then listen to a great remix by Alan Wilkis which turns the song into a pop-tastic dancefloor track. Then check out the cover by fellow New Yorker John Brodeur, which he recorded in honor of his friends' TV debut.
Phantogram - Mouthful of Diamonds (Alan Wilkis Remix)
One of my favorite bands to came out of the oughties' post-punk rebirth movement was Moving Units. I was a huge fan of their debut album, 2004's Dangerous Dreams. Taut grooves, snotty guitars and danceable beats made it an oft played record that year. 2007's Hexes For Exes further refined their style. Now they are poised to return, releasing a new EP, Tension War on Valentine's Day. The first taste is Pink Redemption, a reworking of Hexes' first track Pink Thoughts. The result is a dubbier, funkier take. Can't wait to hear more...
Born from jam sessions in the aftermath of punk, Pigbag gathered steam after convincing Simon Underwood to join the fun following his departure from The Pop Group. The band signed to Dick O’Dell’s Y Records. Their first single was 1981's instrumental classic called “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag”, a stonking tight groove with skronky horns and a title that gave a "wink, wink" to James Brown. It stormed the charts, getting to #3 in the UK. I lived in the UK at the time, and became an instant fan - that's my copy of the 45 in the picture above. They continued to record but were never quite able to match the success of their debut single. Now Fire Records has compiled a two-disc set called "Pigbag Volume One and Pigbag Volume Two" that combines their debut album Dr. Heckle & Mr. Jive with a second disc or 12" versions, b-sides and live takes. It has been remastered and the result is fab, mixing punk, funk, jazz, ska, reggae and afrobeat into a heady, edgy brew. It is amazing to hear how well this stuff holds up today!
Pigbag - Papas Got A Brand New Pigbag (7" version)
London’s Fire Records has released a great two-disc compilation - Dance To The Best of ESG - from New York's legendary punk/funk family band ESG (Emerald, Sapphire and Gold.) Covering their earliest Martin Hannett produced tracks such as "Moody" and "UFO" right through their latest releases from the oughties, this compilation leans heavily on the foundation that made them one of the most sampled artists of all-time. A list of artists who sampled them? TLC, the Wu-Tang Clan, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Gang Starr, Tricky, Jay-Dee (J-Dilla) and indie rockers like Unrest and Liars. I'm a huge fan of their tight, minimal grooves. Over the last decade Soul Jazz records has reissued most of their albums, as well as the new music they recorded in the early 2000's. I own them all. This compilation is a great introduction for those of you who have never heard their post-punk funkiness but are curious. Highly recommended!