Friday, February 27, 2009

Funky Friday

- AR Rahman's score for the movie Slumdog Millionaire is a great multi-culti mashup of Bollywood music, techno and hip hop beats. Ringa Ringa gets my kids dancing in a trance.
- Luther Vandross had one of the great voices in soul music, and one of the great funk bass players in Marcus Miller. Both are prominently displayed on the tasty funk of You're The Sweetest One.
- NinjaTune is gearing up for the release of the new self titled album by Two Fingers (Amon Tobin and Doubleclick), and sent a few bootleg remixes the duo did. Missy Elliott and Spankrock get the fuzzy electronics treatment.
- Empire Of The Sun is the new project formed by Luke Steele of The Sleepy Jackson and Nick Littlemore of Pnau. It is a fantastic album of electro pop that reminds me a lot of MGMT or even the latest Animal Collective record. The album is not very funky but Swordfish Hotkiss Night sure is.
- London jazz crew The Heliocentrics have recorded an album of music with Mulatu Astatke, renowned Ethiopian jazz musician. Titled Inspiration Information Vol.3, it is a cool set of tunes, ranging from JB style funk jams to Afro funk with all kinds of grooves in between.
- Crown Heights Affair deliver hooks and grooves aplenty on their 1980 disco classic.
- Mr.Scruff is one of my favorite NinjaTune artists. When I need quirky left field funk with a nautical bent I turn to him. His latest album Ninja Tuna just got a US release this week, and comes with a bonus disc. Rocking Chair reminds me of Steely Dan circa 1977 - crisp beats and loads of lovely warm keyboards and horns.
- There is a great compilation out called Protected - Massive Samples. It is 12 tracks that Massive Attack has sampled over it's career, and features Al Green, James Brown, Rufus & Chaka Khan and a few others. Billy Cobham's groove on Stratus is the glue that holds Safe From Harm together.
- J Saul Kane, AKA Depth Charge, has a new single out called Mecha Squirrel, available from DC Recordings. Shy is the b-side, and is a glammy, squelchy stomper filled with the requisite crazed samples.

A.R. Rahman & Alka Yagnik & Ila Arun - Ringa Ringa
Luther Vandross - You're The Sweetest One
Missy Elliott - Best Best (Two Fingers Remix)
Spankrock - Backyard Betty (Two Fingers Remix)
Empire Of The Sun - Swordfish Hotkiss Night
The Heliocentrics & Mulatu Astatke - Cha Cha
Crown Heights Affair - You Gave Me Love
Mr. Scruff - Rocking Chair
Billy Cobham - Stratus
Depth Charge - Shy

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Song(s) Of The Day

I have been listening to The Teardrop Explodes' Wilder a bunch lately. It is of course the remastered expanded version that includes the US mini LP Buff Vanilla. This 1981 album, the band's second, is a classic in my books. It is filled with Julian Cope's mad genius in full on psych pop mode. There are songs that deserved to be smash hits, with huge hooks and choruses. There are low key ambient moments. And there are loads of quirky, mad moments. Pundits had them poised for great UK chart success. Of course the public (idiots!) didn't buy it (the singles placed at #25,#57,#41), and it signaled the end of the band. I had a hard time picking a single song so you get to listen to three. A highly recommended purchase.
Colours Fly Away
Tiny Children
You Disappear From View

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Electronics

Moodgadget is an electronic music label that was founded in Ann Arbor, MI in 2004. They are currently based out of Brooklyn and LA and have an affiliation with Ghostly International. I have been on their mailing list for a while, and wrote about their first release a few years back. They offer a broad selection of styles on their roster, and I like that variety. Today's post highlights it with four diverse tracks - from ambient drone to glitch to techno to hip hop, there is something for everyone.

Worst Friends - AG (Shimeto Remix)
Worst Friends are John Paul Jones and Ryan Cavanagh. The duo were drawn together by their mutual disrespect for one another's tastes in music, and frequently throw folk, glitch, disco and techno at each other to entertaining results.

Mux Mool - Nausican
Brooklyn based Mux Mool is the label's most visible artist. Mux rose to popularity after inclusion on iTunes' best of 2006 list, as well as appearing on the collaboration between Ghostly International and Adult Swim, aptly titled "Ghostly Swim". This year will see him put out two releases, the "Just Saying is All" EP and an LP entitled "SKULLTASTE."

Charles Trees - It's The...
American values, once held in high regard with pride, respect and admiration, have found their way into the dirt, deceived by those who were sworn to uphold them in the first place. I love my country and its people and culture, but somehow, being critical of your government has become unpatriotic. Question everything, before your rights are all taken away from you!

Viul - Coma Kid
Viul began quite accidentally in 2004, in Michigan, when a friend suggested that Luke Entelis consider releasing the ambient/drone/found sound recordings he'd made by himself as an occasional side project and distraction from legendarily apocryphal Ypsi noisemakers Esmae (RIP). Though the nature of Viul's music has evolved considerably since relocating to Washington DC and incorporating a wider range of instruments and electronic toys, the most important thing to know about Viul remains that the word itself rhymes with "bell".

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fusion Is Your Friend

I was rooting around iTunes on the old iMac in the basement the other day and was delighted to come across an old bootleg recording I had forgotten about. It is a concert recording of Herbie Hancock & The Head Hunters,supposedly in Minneapolis on June 28, 1975. The band is smoking hot, jamming out on several classics from Herbie's past as well as a few of the songs from their seminal self titled album from 1973. Chameleon is eleven and a half minutes of jazz funk jamming with some nice soloing - especially from Herbie, pushing those synths into deep space.

Herbie Hancock & The Head Hunters - Chameleon
Herbie Hancock - piano, keyboards
Bennie Maupin - sax, bass clarinet, flute
Dewayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight - guitar
Paul Jackson - bass
Bill Summers - conga, percussion
Mike Clark - drums

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Song Of The Day

Bill Nelson - Flaming Desire
Flaming desire, flaming desire,
open your heart to my flaming desire,
love turns to lust, ice into fire,
open your heart to my flaming desire…

How quickly, how quickly desire returns,
I open your hand and the weapon still burns,
hold me and turn me in circles again,
dance in the space between pleasure and pain.

Flaming desire, flaming desire,
open your heart to my flaming desire,
love turns to lust, ice into fire,
open your heart to my flaming desire…

Sea creature/sex creature, woman in love,
a slip of the tongue or the hand in the glove,
kiss me and wound me again and again,
faster than beauty our beast is unchained…

Flaming desire, flaming desire,
open your heart to my flaming desire.
Love turns to lust, ice into fire,
open your heart to my flaming desire…

Saturday, February 14, 2009

L.O.V.E. Love

Happy Valentines Day!
10cc - I'm Not In Love
Change - Lover's Holiday
The Ramones - Baby I Love You
Sharon Brown - I Specialize In Love
Evelyn 'Champagne' King - I'm In Love
Human League - Love Action (I Believe In Love)
Yoko Ono - Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him

Friday, February 13, 2009

Funky Friday

Wack beats to move your feets? Not today, my friend. Today I offer an eclectic array of funktastic offerings...
- Dave Wrangler sent the cool mashup of the Pharcyde versus Ghostland Observatory.
- The Avalanches tune is old but sweet, a crisp slice of disco.
- Two Fingers is Amon Tobin and Doubleclick with rapper Sway, fresh from NinjaTune - st-st-st-stuttery hip hop goodness, very nice.
- Funkadelic is always good, right? That ain't no BS.
- Plaid are making a new career out of sound tracking movies. The latest is Heaven's Door, and musically it is pure Plaid, shimmery, whirring and clicking - gorgeous.
- Tobacco is the driving force behind Black Moth Super Rainbow, so his solo stuff on Anticon sounds much like his band - loopy, loony with tripped out beats and woozy atmospherics. Mmmmm, Truck Sweat.
- My parents had this Deodato album called Whirlwinds. I used to love listening to it's funky interpretations of classic tunes. Moonlight Serenade was one of the biggest cuts on it. You might recognize several parts of this tune because it has been sampled a hell of a lot over the years.
- Scritti Politti, cream of the mid '80s crop, where is your deluxe edition of Cupid & Psyche 85? Next year it will be 25 years old - hop to it record company! In the meantime enjoy the brilliance of the vinyl rip of the 12" b-side.
- I am a big fan of producer/musicican Joakim, and his remix of Lionel Hampton is a tasty slab of old skool electro.
- Sakamoto & Dolby, a meeting of electronic pioneers. From a 1985 12", this is an interesting melding of their two approaches to electro-pop. The backing track is very YMO, while the vocal melody is pure Dolby. Fairlights and Emulators in full effect, with a cool faux-Art of Noise break.

The Pharcyde vs Ghostland Observatory - Passin' Me By (Dave Wrangler Remix)
Avalanches - A Different Feeling (Ernest St.Laurent Remix)
Two Fingers - What You Know feat. Sway (Emalkay Mix)
Funkadelic - Whole Lot Of BS
Plaid - Tokyo Drive
Tobacco - Truck Sweat
Deodato - Moonlight Serenade
Scritti Politti - Wood Beez (Version)
Lionel Hampton - Vibramatic (Joakim Vibromatic Remix)
Ryuichi Sakamoto & Thomas Dolby - Fieldwork (Long London Mix)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

Dollar - Hand Held In Black And White
August 1981

Two airbrushed and windblown pop tarts, Thereza Bazar & David Van Day. Pure cheese perfection. I love cheese. A cracking good pop tune, written and produced by Trevor Horn, with assistance from Bruce Woolley. This was the song that got Trev noticed by ABC. He of course went on to conquer the charts of the '80s and into the '90s, both as producer (ABC/Frankie/Seal) and as artist (Buggles/Art of Noise). But this shiny plastic artifact lingers in my mind. I was enthralled by it's epic-ness. All of Trev's soon to be signature sounds are here, in service of Dollar. They were lucky to have him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Song Of The Day

Althea & Donna - Uptown Top Ranking
It is dreary and cold and gray here today. This is the sonic opposite of that. It was a UK #1 in February of 1978.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Music Tuesday

The Bad Plus have a new album out called For All I Care. It is a step in a new direction for the Minneapolis power jazz trio because they have added a vocalist into their unique mix. Wendy Lewis is a fellow Minneapolitan, and her vocals adorn 8 of the 12 tracks. The band loves to put their stamp on covers of popular music, and so it is no surprise that this album is entirely made up of covers. Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Wilco, The Bee Gees and Heart tunes are given the power jazz twist, as are 4 classical pieces. The takes are always interesting and adventurous, deconstructing and then some. The Bee Gees ballad How Deep Is Your Love is a killer. Heart's Barracuda riff is wisely kept in the mix. I also really like their version of the Flaming Lips' Feeling Yourself Disintegrate (from the 1999 album The Soft Bulletin). It captures the melancholic essence of the original nicely.

The Bad Plus with Wendy Lewis - Feeling Yourself Disintegrate

Out today - the 20th Anniversary Edition of the Beastie Boys classic album Paul's Boutique and Lily Allen's It's Not Me, It's You. Luverly.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Song Of The Day

Chin Chin are an NYC party band. They are signed to Def Jux. Their new single is a cover of one of my favorite '80s classics - The Power Station's Some Like It Hot. Where the original was all thundering gated snares and twitchy funk rock, Chin Chin smoooove it out and make it into a much more relaxed beast, a nice and spacy bit of g-funk.
Chin Chin - Some Like It Hot


MORE '80s 4U
Got a hankering for some bad '80s music video? Check out the HUGE library at 80's Music Videos, all nicely alphabetized for ease of use. Fantastic. Thanks to D'Ruffalo for the link.

The Australian music, marketing and social media blog Way Cool Jnr has compiled a list of the top 25 Australian music blogs. To my pleasant surprise SIART is listed at #6! I am honored to be listed, and now consider myself an honorary Aussie. Don't worry, I promise - no jokes about shrimps on the barbie...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Swank

A couple of delightful rips from 1965 with crackle and pops included...

Sergio Mendes - Maria Moita
Sergio Mendes - The Girl From Ipanema
The Swinger From Rio
Sergio Mendes - Piano
Antonio Carlos Jobim - Guitar
Tiao Netto - Bass
Chico DeSouza - Drums
Phil Woods - Alto Sax (Maria Moita)
Art Farmer - Flugelhorn (The G From I)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Funky Friday

The weekend is here and you need the funky stuff, so here is a nice mix of tunes. Sir Billy sent a couple more edits to my email this week - one from '80s Brit funkateers Fashion and the other from disco diva Sylvester. Shuttle has an EP coming out on NinjaTune called Tunnel and the label sent Rotten Guts as a taster. B.T. Express delivers the old school funk jam - whatever it is, do it 'til you're satisfied! I mentioned my love for Beyond The Wizards Sleeve the other day, and Light Years is their fab edit of a Rolling Stones classic. Hudson Mohawke is a bedroom beat head who creates glitchy hip hop - J Dilla beats and r'n'b flava matched with glitchy electronics. He is signed to Warp Records and his EP Polyfolk Dance is out now. Kinky are a crazy Mexican crew who have a new LP out called Barracuda. I have been a fan for a few years, digging their mix of disco, latin and rock styles. The new record sees them taking on more of a new wave flavor, and that is just fine with me. Play the two tracks back to back - they flow. Evil Nine are a DJ duo from Brighton, and they cross the break beats and electronics of Justice with old school horror movie themes. Lots of cowbell too. A Filial are Brazilian rappers, and they bring some much needed goofiness to your weekend with a little ditty about brown sweaters and fabric softener.

Fashion - Move On (Sir Billy May The Funk Be With You Edit)
Sylvester - Rock The Box (Sir Billy Old School Edit)
Shuttle - Rotten Guts (Featuring Cadence Weapon)
B.T. Express - Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)
Beyond The Wizards Sleeve - Light Years
Hudson Mohawke - Overnight
Kinky - Masacre Sonica
Kinky - The Day I Lost The Beat
Evil Nine - Feed On You
A Filial - Brown Sueter

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Song Of The Day

This is a repost. Blog-Google deleted this post without warning on 2/7/09. They gave no indication as to which track was the offender so the audio content has been removed.

Eagles of Death Metal are an absolute favorite of mine. Their latest album Heart On came out in October of last year and I am still playing it at least once a week. It's glamtastic - gritty, dirty and sexy, full of Stones-y riffs and stomping beats. Nothing new, but so much fun it is hard to resist. Today's song of the day is a great example...
Eagles of Death Metal - Prissy Prancin'


I have been a bit obsessed with Beyond The Wizards Sleeve lately. The duo of Erol Alkan and Richard Norris are active in music on their own - Erol as remixer (Klaxons/Goldfrapp/Hot Chip) and producer (Late Of The Pier) and Norris as member of Psychic TV and The Grid. The self released bootleg Ark 1 is a collection of their cut and paste jobs, where they rework old psychedelic rock tunes or Krautrock jams and add a bit of their own instrumentation. It is great - I have been playing it to death. I have also been rocking their reanimation of the track Ulysses from the new Franz Ferdinand album. Come on, let's get high.
Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses (Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Re-Animation)