30 June 2009

Takin' it down a couple (hundred) notches

This may be the mellow-est song I have ever posted...



Brazil's Tamba Trio, one of the all-time top Bossa/Jazz acts, experimented with synths on this record from 1974, and although the purists have issues with it, that's because purists are usually a bunch of tight-assed curmudgeons. For me, it's one of the best albums of it's kind, and as I am a world-reknowned expert on everything, you can take that to the bank. Like a breeze, this one...

Tamba Trio - Morada (ysi)







Man, I wish Brazilian people knew how to chill out...

29 June 2009

Who's on Nacho Patrol?

Okay, so I believe we can all agree that Michael Jackson is dead and move on with our lives, right? Good.



Danny Wolfers is one prolific Dutch dude. His most common alias is Legowelt, but his most excellent is Nacho Patrol. That name rules. Wish I'd thought of it. Anyhoo, this record is a weird combination of House and Mulatu-like Ethio-Jazz vibes and it fucking rules, even though I'm not sure you could dance to it. I like to listen to it and imagine an group of cartoon African tribesmen traveling the galaxy in a rickety homemade spacecraft having amusing adventures. If only I knew animation so I could make that video...

Nacho Patrol - Africaspaceprogram (ysi)







This one's out on the also Dutch label Kindred Spirits, which I highly recommend for the Soul Jazz headz, so get on it. Lates.

26 June 2009

You'll never believe it, but...

House Music Friday will be pre-empted this week...



... because no matter how much I'm into the new, the hip, the latest sounds, there is only one Best Dance Record of All Time, and that is Off The Wall. And if you disagree with that, I will fight you...

Michael Jackson - Workin' Day And Night (ysi)







RIP Jacko.

25 June 2009

A short treatise on the art of the remix

Remixes are so ubiquitous these days it's hard to imagine a time when they didn't exist. One would have to guess that back in the days when they banged Mozart and Beethoven in the Clubbe that there was probably a Ludwig Von Diplo around turning out Baile Funk reworks of the latest symphony or chorale. But no! Well, not that I know of anyway. I remember when I first caught wind of the remix thing, back in my Cassingle (Google it!) buying days in college. Why do I bring this up? Well, the shuffle landed on a track today that made me think of just how far the remix has come...



First, the original, the legendary Gang Starr's legendary "DWYCK", featuring the Not-Exactly-Legendary-But-Hey-"Hip-Hop-Junkies"-Was-Pretty-Dope-Ya-Gotta-Admit Nice & Smooth. Don't need to say much about this old-school hizz-neat, so let's just bump it...

Gang Starr - DWYCK (ft. Nice & Smooth) (ysi)







Right there, that song needs to remind Hip-Hop of two words it seems to have forgotten, "boom" and "bap". Anyhoo, next we have the mix that the shuffle landed on that prompted my line of thinking. This one is so very perfect to illustrate what a remix used to be... i.e. it's 100% exactly the same as the original EXCEPT... wait for it... now there's a horn loop!

Gang Starr - DWYCK (Horny Mix) (ysi)







... but that's the kind of shit that they'd pull. One new sound, if you're lucky, they'd extend the instrumental breaks by 8, and maybe... just maybe... instead of saying "I need..." they'd get all crazy and scratch it to "I-I-I-I need...". And there's your remix.

"Yo man, you hear that new Gang Starr joint?"
"Hear it? Shit man, I even got the remix!"
"The remix?"
"Fuck yeah... it's got a horn loop!"
"Fo REALS?!?!?"


And don't even get me started about "Bonus Beats". But hey, it was a simpler time. Nowadays, of course, remixes have gotten to the point that there's sometimes not a single (recognizable) element of the original in the remix, which you know... it's a new song, okay? Just give it a new title, 'cuz it's a new song. So the early mixes weren't enough, and some of these new ones are too much. What makes a perfect remix? I think there are three criteria... it should contain enough of the original to be recognizable as a version of such... it should take the original in a totally new direction - the more unexpected, the better... and it should be fuckin' dope. Like this rather new-ish version of "DWYCK" by some people called Little Kids about whom there is very little information extant. This is a perfect remix...

Gang Starr - DWYCK (Little Kids Remix) (ysi)







How about there's your summer jam right there, bitchez! Genius. So keep that in mind next time you crack open Ableton Live and throw an a capella in there. Your bar has been set. Show us somethin' new. I demand to be wowed!

(P.S. Always wondered what "DWYCK" stood for... turns out it's not that interesting. Feh.)

24 June 2009

Which dog? Oh.

Here's something you might not expect, but you should... because you know I'm all well-rounded and shit...



I'm not sure if that dog. ever made a splash outside of the listening radius of KCRW, and I'm more than willing to blame that on the stupid way they wrote their band's name. It wasn't the music's fault, because these girls had serious music industry pedigrees... two of them were daughters of Jazz bassist Charlie Haden and the other was the daughter of a big Warner Bros. executive. The dude? Well, he just slanged some cock, I guess (and played drums). They made quirky (I know, I hate that word too, but it applies) pop with killer girl-harmonies and Chris Douridas was all over that shit back in the day...

that dog. - You Are Here (ysi)







... and so was I. I love me some killer girl-harmonies. And I'm not even going to twist that into a lesbian reference... although you know I thought about it. I'm not that well-rounded...

23 June 2009

In which I give some props to Acid Jazz

I know what you're thinking when you read that post title, but just hang on and hear me out, okay?



I'll admit that I'm generally in the front of the line when it comes to bashing Acid Jazz for being the tepid Neo-Fusion pap that it is/was. It was just hard for us to see it at the time, since there wasn't a hell of a lot of any kind of Jazz going around and it was kinda funky and relatively fun. But most importantly I think it acted as a "gateway drug" for the real Jazz & Funk that we'd become obsessed with. We had to get into it somehow, right? It wasn't The Prodigy or Nirvana that made us say "what the heck" and pick up a Coltrane record. And yes, I'm using the royal "we" today because it makes me feel classy. Try it out sometime. Anyhoo... the real Jazz showed us how wussy the Acid Jazz was, but we must appreciate the Acid Jazz for what it was and go ahead and blog it when it pops up in the shuffle. So here's Jazzinho, a Brazilian-flavoured outfit from Portugal, produced by Brazilian legend Ed Motta, and it's kinda nice enough to snuggle up to at home but just wussy enough that you don't want be seen out with it in public...

Jazzinho - Da Tempo Ao Tempo (ysi)







So to conclude, Acid Jazz = kinda weak but kinda not. Got it? Did any of that make any sense? Does this blog ever? You don't have to answer that last one...

22 June 2009

Back to the Compost heap

Sometimes if you know enough, you don't have to know anything at all. Let me explain...



Another day, another Compost Records joint. Don't know much about Muallem, except that he's a German dude and I know fuck-all about The Droids... except that these are not the ones you are looking for. But that's the beauty of a label like Compost... you see they got a new comp out, and you just go ahead and pick it up whether or not you know the names. Because the dudes are pre-screened for being good at music. That's the key. Anyhoo, here's some retro, Italo-style sounds...

Muallem - Shanti Dance (ft. The Droids) (ysi)







See what I mean? Quality. There's only so many "buy on sight" labels these days... it's an honor not to be bestowed lightly. These days, I would say they are Compost, Sonar Kollektiv, Tru Thoughts... that's the big three just off the top of my head. I know I'm leaving some people out but I just ate a big lunch and don't feel like thinking... so what are yours?

19 June 2009

Minimal doesn't have to mean boring

After stepping into the wayback machine the last couple of weeks, House Music Friday returns to music recorded in this century...



As a matter of fact, pasty British duo (Really? Get outta here!) Audiojack's first long player is so fresh, it's still got that new vinyl smell on it. This is crispy, funky Tech House on the 20:20 Vision label, a UK imprint that I don't mention as much as some others but still gets the Good HOUSEkeeping Seal of Approval. See what I did there? Eh? Eh? Anyhoo, peep the shiny production and know that this is one that sounds better the louder you bump it...

Audiojack - Schizophrenic (ysi)







A bit Minimal perhaps, but with a quality that defies that tag. Seriously, Minimal is okay. "Not A Damn Thing Going On" is not. Some people need to realize that, 'cuz there's a lot of boooo-ring shit out there right now... so you steer clear of that and have a great weekend!

18 June 2009

Brazilian Funk - two words that cannot possibly suck

Yes, our never-ending trip around all things funky today takes us back to Brazil... which is a good thing, because I left my hair dryer there last time. That's even funnier because I'm bald...



Black Rio. Sounds like a great name for a Bond villian, or perhaps an African-American Duran Duran tribute band, no? Well, it was also a musical movement in Brazil, of all places. To put it as simply as I can... "You got your Funk in my Samba! No, you got your Samba in my Funk!" Either way, the results were pretty awesome, and one of the biggest acts of the era was the very appropriately named Banda Black Rio, because Brazilian people don't have time to waste fucking around trying to think of clever band names... there are Caipirinhas to drink and festive headdresses to dance about in! Then you put on tunes like this and get freak-ay...

Banda Black Rio - Vidigal (ysi)







And you gotta love the YouTubes when you find classic footage like this...



I particularly enjoyed the way they just rolled with the graphics scroll right over the top of the band like that. So-and-so is on trumpet, if you could see him behind these words! Genius...

16 June 2009

You can raise welts, like nobody else!

Hey all. So, I had to give you an extra day to recover from that intense Monday post, but I'm back... with yet another special dedication. It's turning into Casey Kasem's Top 40 'round here...



This one goes out to my great friend Michael Moore (no, not the famous one... despite the fact that I like his movies, I imagine the famous Michael Moore is kind of a douche in person). My friends and I used to party at Michael's house and without fail he'd be the last one standing, i.e. the last one with enough remaining motor function to operate the stereo. And my man would take full advantage of this by playing the weirdest records he had... we're talkin' Yma Sumac, Diamanda Galas and The Ethel Merman Disco Album, people. We were to wasted to stop him! But also on this most whacked playlist was Tom Lehrer, a fancypants college math professor who recorded novelty piano songs on the side. Really fucking hilarious ones actually...

Tom Lehrer - The Masochism Tango (ysi)







Imagine how racy that song was in the time it was recorded (1959). I mean, these days you can make rim job jokes on the morning news, but back then not so much. Lehrer eventually quit music because he got bored of it, which is so fucking RAWK, and taught math at UC-Santa Cruz until a few years ago. He still lives there, where he can often be found poisoning pigeons in the park...

15 June 2009

Toe, jammed.

Get ready people... it may be Monday, but I'm not easing you into it this week. Today's post if very deep, thought-provoking, conversation-starting... you get the idea. Ready?



So... last night I stubbed my toe on my desk so hard that I expected it to be pointing sideways when I looked down at it. Luckily it's not broken, but it hurts like heck. I'm limping around the office like a gimp. Lovely. So this funky little Hugh Masekela jammy is dedicated to my bashed up little toe, for obvious reasons...

Hugh Masekela - Toejam (ysi)







Sorry to make it so deep on you all today, but it can't all be fun and games....

12 June 2009

In which I talk some smack...

Before we get to House Music Friday (50% Housier than the other leading brand!), I have to make sure that you don't forget to download the "Too Much Devil" Mix extravaganza that pre-empted our usual Friday fare last week. Go ahead, I'll wait... it's so good, you'd sell your soul for it...

...

...

That sound you just heard = crickets. Anyhoo...



If it seems that HMF (we're familiar enough to use acronyms, no?) often turns to Chicago's Large Music for material, well... it does. This is the 3rd time in the past year! But I'm cool with that considering how ridiculously redundant other, more "established" blogs are. Take, for instance, oh... Gorilla Vs. Bear. Very big blog. Approximately a zillion times more popular than this one. They got fancy American Apparel ads and everything. Now, they like (the borderline unlistenable) Animal Collective, just like I like Large Music. They've been around almost exactly twice as long as me and post about twice a day... so, that would mean, my 3 Large posts would be the equivalent of 12 Gorilla vs. Bear posts, percentage wise. So how many times has Gorilla vs. Bear posted on Animal Collective in the last 4 years? Would you believe 581 FUCKING TIMES? Is that pathetic or what? They should rename that blog Our Lips vs. Animal Collective's Cocks. Just sayin', if you wonder why the music scene in this country sucks... well, it ain't Large Music's fault. Because all they do is put out quality gear, like this deep jazzy business from Solar House, who are a bit of bitch to Google in these Eco-conscious times...

Solar House - Universal (Part One) (ysi)







Don't try to figure out that last segue, because it makes zero sense. Anyhoo, the point of all this ranting? Other blogs suck... like, hard. Like "chrome off the trailer hitch" hard... so...

Thank you for choosing Tonegents, and have a fantastic weekend!

11 June 2009

Keeper or Coaster?

Allow me to wax nostalgic for a wee moment, if you will...



Back in the days before Amoeba put every other record store in town out of business, L.A. was the place for cheapo parking lot sales. Aron's Records, Rhino, Rockaway, Record Surplus... hell, you could go at least once a month and feast on $1 CDs like Kirstie Alley at a Vegas buffet. It was beautiful, I tells ya... in part because you could just buy shit because it had a cool name/cover art, and if it sucked, big deal... it made a handsome drink coaster. Of course, sometimes you'd get lucky and pick up something like this Moon Orchestra record. Cool name? Check... I'm a sucker for any "orchestra". Cool cover art? Check. (Actually I found you could tell a lot about an unknown CD from the font used. I'm not even making that up.) The music? Nu-Jazz chillz from a solo Norwegian dude that wouldn't sound out of place on Sonar Kollektiv...

Moon Orchestra - Midnight Movies (ysi)







... but! That's it in the Moon Orchestra oeuvre... except for like, a production credit on a Princess Superstar song. Therefore I can only conclude that, since Mr. Moon was from Norway, that he was most likely trampled by an Elk. Pity, that... the boy had potential...

10 June 2009

Davis Represent!

I don't generally do dedications here, but since this song popped up on the shuffle, and it's her theme song, this one is for Miss EJ... I mean, you gotta give a shout-out when there's a theme song involved...



Solesides, I think I can safely say, was the greatest Hip-Hop record label ever to be founded in the thriving metropolis of Davis, California. It earned that label by A) being the only Hip-Hop record label ever to be founded in the thriving metropolis of Davis, California, and B) being the launching pad for people like, oh, DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born and Lateef, the last two of which formed with their Wonder Twin powers into Latyrx and recorded my friend Miss EJ's theme song...

Latyrx - Lady Don't Tek No (ysi)







The label more-or-less morphed into what is now called Quannum Projects, and continued to put out what is now called Dope Shit. Explore...

09 June 2009

Soul Brother #1

I like to be hip and up-to-the minute sometimes, and I like to be the nerdy crate-digger sometimes, too... but sometimes I don't need to turn ya on to music you don't know, but remind you of who's responsible for it all in the first place...



I would have to imagine that between whoever invented Jazz (I believe it was Al Gore, right?), whoever invented the Blues, Kraftwerk and James Brown, that's pretty much the group people responsible for the whole of modern music. Okay, those folks and whoever invented sea shanties. You don't want to leave sea shanties off the list... first thing you know there's a knock on the door and some pirate's standing there like, "The fuck?!?! Arrrrr!"... Anyhoo, today I have for you some classic James Brown...

James Brown - Licking Stick, Licking Stick (ysi)







You know the part that kills me in this song... in the middle of the first verse where James just goes "horns" and then they come in. Amazing. But then again it's James Brown (who eats grits and craps amazing) so duh...

08 June 2009

Yo, aliens! Check this out...

Hey all, back to normal around here, not that anyone seemed to notice anything had changed over the weekend, but hey, whaddaya gonna do? I merely try, people...



So... kinda cool that the new Boxcutter record would pop up in the shuffle so soon after I just mentioned it, but lookie here! Synergy, bitches! Or is it Serendipity? I have no idea what either of those words means, so your guess is as good as mine! :P Anyhoo, in case you can't be arsed to click, the point is that this is one of the better Dubstep records, period...

Boxcutter - Old School Astronomy (ysi)







One thing I did not know is that the Arecibo Message is that transmission they shot out into space in the '70s that contains the basics of the human race for aliens to check out... and then decide how best to destroy us. (Psst! When in doubt, go with really big lasers). Interesting read if you click that link... if, of course, you can be arsed...

05 June 2009

666 666 666 666 666 666

Welcome to Post #666 of the Tonegents Interweb (DEVIL!) Blog. In honor of this (SATAN!) occasion, I've concocted a special (HELLFIRE!) mix experience. And I believe you've probably figured out the (DAMNATION!) theme by now, because DEVILDEVILDEVILDEVILDEVILDEVILDEVILDEVIL! (Okay... I'm done.) BEELZEBUB! ADAM SANDLER! (Okay, really done.)




Tonegent presents "Too Much Devil"



(Continuous Mix - 70:08 - 96.32Mb @ 192kps)

1) The Grateful Dead - Friend Of The Devil
2) Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Diablo Rojo
3) Cesar Ascarrunz - The Devil & Montezuma
4) The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil (Neptunes Remix)
5) CunninLynguists - Hellfire
6) Talib Kweli - Hell
7) The Pharcyde - Devil Music
8) Tony D - The Jersey Devil
9) Tricky - Hell Is Around The Corner
10) 20th Century Steel Band - Heaven & Hell Is On Earth
11) Curtis Mayfield - (Dont' Worry) If There's A Hell Down Below, We're All Gonna Go
12) Nina Simone - Go To Hell (Mowo Remix)
13) Max Sedgley - Devil Inside (Kraak & Smaak Remix)
14) Meat Beat Manifesto - Hellfire
15) Orbital - Satan (Industry Standard Edit)



I suppose I could have waited until tomorrow, 6/6, to post this, but I didn't want to go all overboard... Enjoy.

04 June 2009

Droppin' Names... and Funk

I do love to name drop, I gotta admit it. Hey, I live in Hollywood... it's a fuckin' sport out here...



The first time I heard of L.A.-area funk band Orgone was when they played one of my best friends' weddings. Little tiny room in a restaurant/bar in Newport Beach. They absolutely killed it for what seemed like hours, mixing their originals in with covers like "Funky Nassau" (which I found out that day was already being caned by people like Gilles) and Syrup's "Sweatshop" (which really scored them bonus points from me). That and the fact that they were some really cool peeps. The Lady and I bought 'em a bottle of wine to quench their thirst and chilled with 'em between sets. Did I mention they're really cool peeps? So I'm gonna give you one for free as usual, but you better run out and buy this record like pronto, people...

Orgone - Already Doin' It (ysi)







Tomorrow, a post months in the making...

Be afraid. Evil lurks...

03 June 2009

Arcane references and samples

It's Humpday, time for the Shakey's Bunch of Lunch Buffet! Somewhere out there, someone will get that... for the rest of you, some sample source fun awaits...



Tummy Touch Records, headed up by the inimitable Mr. Tim "Love" Lee, has been turning out slightly off-kilter tunes for quite a while now. The label's releases tend to be funky but a little bit disturbed... in a good way... much like Mr. Lee himself. Groove Armada actually got their start there as well, and this compy from 2000 contains what might be GA's funkiest song ever... but the shuffle didn't land on that one. It landed on this number by Los Chicharrons, who are somewhat less famous... but no less funky... check it out...

Los Chicharrons - Silence Before The Storm (ysi)







I like the "met him at the party" sample, so I dug it up for you. Turns out it's sloooooooowed down snip from a Gloria Gaynor song (or more likely the a cappella thereof). A song that seems like a very unremarkable slice of whatever Disco until about three minutes in when the borderline amazing conga & spoken word break drops...

Gloria Gaynor - Casanova Brown (ysi)





Somebody needs to sample that shit! Ah, I'm sure someone has. But I can't be arsed to figure that out right now, so I will bid you good day...

02 June 2009

Afrobeat is rather neat...

And that is easily the laaaaamest title for a post in the two-year-plus history of the Tonegents Interweb Blog. You're welcome...



Now, I've been known to bitch about how America is the worst at just about every current form of music around here, and well... it's mostly true. Quite ironically, one style that has no shortage of good, new-ish American bands right now is Afrobeat. Because of course, right? You got yer Antibalas, Kokolo, Akoya, Chicago Afrobeat Project... and maybe my favorite, Nomo, who rep the Serengeti-adjacent oasis of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Nomo just logged album number three, Invisible Cities, but the shuffle landed on a track from their first. Authentic biznezz...

Nomo - Hand And Mouth (ysi)







I'll never get tired of Afrobeat horns, no sir. Okay, busy day here at the salt mine... both Chris Isaak and Soulja Boy Tellem are in the house. Can anyone say "dream duet"?

01 June 2009

In which I make a painful admission...

So apparently Eminem got some Sacha Baron Cohen balls in the face at the MTV Awards last night. The disturbing thing about this news item... the MTV Awards were last night? I had no idea. None. I mean, as a fan of good music I have no reason to care about the MTV Awards, but damn, I am officially out of touch... there, I said it.



... so I guess I'll just do what I do and post a record from 1969. This Ralfi Pagan cat apparently made a name for himself as a "sensitive Latin lover"-type... and with a voice as weird and high as his, I'm guessing "sensitive" was a good way to go. I'm just sayin', dude was no Barry White. Unsurprisingly, most of the stuff on this record is a little on the slow, sappy side, but there are a couple of burners on here that make it worth your attention. Like this...

Ralfi Pagan - Latin Soul (ysi)







Ralfi also earns bonus points for being murdered under mysterious circumstances. What?