Monday, January 31, 2005

Seven Minutes Of Dub Disco Bliss

Image Hosted by

In 1983 the mighty rhythm section of Sly & Robbie went into the studio with disco diva Gwen Guthrie, keyboardist Wally Badarou and guitarist Darryl Thompson. They created a great mini LP titled Padlock, also the name of "the group". It's six tracks of dubby flavored disco, with super tight bass lines and beats, topped off Gwen's faulous vocals. The tapes were then handed over to legendary Paradise Garage DJ Larry Levan, who remixed them for maximum dancefloor impact. Here's the title track, Padlock, where Gwen rips on her man - "you blew it, so I'm padlocking my heart - I don't love you no more!" Amen sister.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Image Hosted by

It's funky Friday so I offer you a great instrumental tune from Barry Adamson's 1996 LP Oedipus Schmoedipus. Something Wicked This Way Comes rides an old-school soul guitar riff, features some killer organ bits and a nice funky bass line - a low-key spy jazz theme. What makes this tune a hit for me is his use of a Massive Attack sample (the title track from Blue Lines, which of course is itself a sample of some '70s jazz-fusion tune), which he scratches in for the breakdown bits of the song. It gets me every time. Definitely one of the lighter moments from what can be a very dark and spooky album.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bloc Party Versus Minotaur Shock

Image Hosted by

Unless you've had your head up your butt for the last few months you've no doubt heard of Bloc Party. The blogosphere loves 'em, and it's a well deserved love. This young four piece from England flat out out-rocks most of their competition in the post-punk scene, with lots of sharp guitars and funky bass and singer Kelly Okereke's distinctive voice. Their debut LP Silent Alarm is getting a US release in February or March and they are doing a US tour in March (including March 30th at Minneapolis' First Avenue - woo-hoo!) to support it. This week saw the release of a great little two track single called Tulips on Dim Mak Records. It's a tune that's not on the album, and you get the original version and a remix, Tulips (Club Version). The remix is done by Minotaur Shock, best known for his very tuneful takes on the indie folk-tronic thing. He reconstructs the tune over a big beat, adds lots of cool swooshy sounds, and keeps the big guitars and vocals and bass intact. It's great of course. Buy the album when it comes and help make these boys stars! Also of note - check Kelly's vocal contribution on the track Believe from the new Chemical Brothers LP Push The Button.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Return Of The Monkey Man

Image Hosted by

Ian Brown's latest album Solarized is finally getting a US release sometime in February. I was (and still am) a big fan of the Stone Roses, and I have enjoyed all of Ian's solo albums. The latest is nothing shockingly new - it's a further refinement of where he's been. The songs are a nice blend of rock and electonic instrumentation, so you get funky beats and bass lines with rocking guitars. He's still singing about the mysteries of peace and love and astronomy, but then that's never going to change. I have to admit that despite all of the hippy-dippyness of it all I dig it. especially Time Is Everything. It's a fairly groovy little tune, but the key for me are the horns on it - a sweet, Spanish flavored riff that gets stuck in my brain every time I hear it. Good stuff.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Funky Friday - The O'Jays

Image Hosted by

When I was a lad in the '70s, my folks had a copy of the classic O'Jays album Back Stabbers. I loved it's combination of catchy songs and funky grooves. I recently decided I had to own a copy of it again so I picked up the remastered reissue that came out back in '96. It's as good as I remember. The songs balance love, politics, social commentary and those seriously big Philly soul orchestrations perfectly, all played to perfection by house band MFSB. When The World's At Peace kicks the LP off in great fashion, a strident, funky call for peace in the world, recorded in 1972 as the war in Vietnam continued. It's message still rings true today - it's just a different war. This track has it all - great lyrics, super harmonies, horns, and a big cowbell. Perfect. The rest of the LP is just as smokin' - well worth the investment!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Ladies and gentlemen... Miss Grace Jones

Image Hosted by

It's Funky Friday so here is one groovin' ass tune. Take one scary, intense disco diva. Add a big helping of fresh (for the time) go-go beats straight off the streets of Washington D.C., and top it all off with dollops of Trevor Horn's trademark epic production and you are left with this enormous 8 minute, 12" remix version of Slave To The Rhythm. From the deep voiced introduction of Ian McShane at the beginning to the blissful fade out at the end, it's every minute is classic. A huge song, filled with great rhythms, funky bass and horns and all manner of production bombast. You must love it...

Slave To The Rhythm (Hot Blooded Version)

Friday, January 07, 2005

A Crusty Synth Action Mix

My mate Tony is a music geek much like myself. One of his musical obsessions is soundtracks - old school, synth-y sci-fi, horror and swanky spy music. Another of his musical obsessions is electronica of the crunk, leftfield variety. He has put together a fun, 38 minute mix that combines the two - from crusty '70s classics to a few more recent tracks from the electronic underground, and even a snippet of Van Halen! It's a nice listen, so I've decided to post it for you all to enjoy. Here's the tracklisting...

1. Van Halen - 1984
2. Jonny Trunk - The Horn
3. Amon Tobin - Deo
4. King of Woolworths - Music For Schools
5. Christian Bruhn - Die Schwarze Nelke
6. Vangelis - Alpha
7. Wendy Carlos - The Light Cycles
8. Goblin - Profundo Rosso (Main Theme)
9. Christian Bruhn - Wetten, Dass...?
10.Hexstatic - Pulse
11.John Carpenter - Escape From New York

Tony's Crusty Synth Action Soundtrack Megamix