29 June 2007

Could blogging ever be like this?

And let's end the week with another straight-up summer anthem, shall we?

British singer Alice Russell is one funky white girl. She has an awesomely soulful voice, and works with some of the dopest people out there... Quantic, Bonobo, The Bamboos, Nostalgia 77... oh, and that's just on this here album, her second remix/collaboration album, hence the "II". I got no idea what the whole "munka" thing is about though... but if it's somehow monkey-related, which I suspect, I'm down. Monkeys are hilarious...

... and here is your genius track to end the week...

Alice Russell - Could Heaven Ever Be Like This (Bugz In The Attic Mix)

Have a fantastic weekend... and watch this space... we haven't finished saying "Hello" to summer yet...

28 June 2007

Okie dokie, it's my blog on the interwebs

And now for something completely different...

... because goin' from salsa to techno is how I roll, suckaz!!! Ya know, I might get more readers if I just decided with one direction for the ol' blog musically, but screw that... because all kinds of music rule... even country... sometimes... sorta...

... anyhoo, The Orb hold several special places in my memory... from seeing them live at the best electronic show that's ever taken place on American soil (hint: 1996, Snow Valley Ski Resort, an event called Organic... look it up and cry for three days because you weren't there)... to the fact that I got my first date with my awesome girlfriend when I sent her a text from an Orb show at the Disney Concert Hall in L.A. (at like 5 A.M. whilst rolling balls... hey, it worked... who knew?). So yeah, Dr. Alex and his rotating band of cronies are among my all-time favorites. And their most recent record here definitely gets the cliched "return to form" tag. Best thing they've put out in years. Apparently Thomas Fehlmann was able to stop Alex from crawling too far up his own arse and the sounds hark back to the first couple Orb albums when the beats were of the straight-forward, kinda bumpin' variety... you know, the best ones!

The Orb - Ripples
The Orb - Okie Dokie It's The Orb On Kompakt

And that is chock full of Orb-y Goodness right there. Groovy...

27 June 2007

That salsa's made in New York City?!?!?

Remember those commercials? You know, for the cheapest, lamest salsa ever? Pace was crap! At least that's how I remember it... and therefore it is truth. But today's blog is not about the food salsa, but the music salsa, which they make very well in New York...

... and with that I dare... DARE... any blogger to come up with a worse segue! Double dog dare! Cuz' it can't be done...

Now, I can't claim to be an expert on the Salsa, but I sure does like it. A lot. I even took a Salsa dancing lesson one time... it was pretty fun, but damn, if they didn't go fast. In like 20 minutes they were expecting us to have this whole ridiculously long string of moves put together... apparently they didn't realize that I was white... anyhoo, here's an excellent Salsa jammy by one of the masters, Mr. Eddie Palmieri, straight-up Nuyorican style! It starts off a bit low-key, and just kind of keeps picking up intensity in the vocal harmonies and horn charts and ya know, I just can't get enough of this shit...

Eddie Palmieri - Lindo Yambu

This particular compilation is out of print, but it can be found... somewhere... ;)

26 June 2007

So where's George and Brad?

Nowhere! And the Julia Roberts bit at the end of "Ocean's Twelve" was bloody horrible, guys, seriously... I'm almost holding out on seeing the new one because of it, that's how shit it was... what's this have to do with anything?

Here's what! I'm sure that most people, a.k.a. people who aren't hip enough to be down with the good music, a.k.a. folks who don't frequent the music blogs, a.k.a. boring people... may have heard of David Holmes only because of his work doing the scores for the "Ocean's 11/12/13" movies for his buddy Soderbergh (did I spell that right? ah, who gives a shit :P ). But we, the not-at-all-boring people, know that he's a much more accomplished dude than that, and we pat ourselves on the back for having such knowledge! Ha! But really, though, dude's been putting out fantastic music for the last decade, and here's a cut from "Bow Down To The Exit Sign", which is, um... one of his albums... featuring vocals from Martina Topley-Bird, who I'm sure if one more blogger refers to as "the girl who was on the Tricky albums" is going to cut someone with a big, sharp, serrated knife...

David Holmes - Outrun

Actually, I'm just informed that the Chinese acrobat guy played triangle on this song, so there's another connection...

25 June 2007

"Smooth Jazz" can be cool! No, really! It can!

A seriously bad album cover for the first Monday of Summer...

... but a seriously good tune. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard supposedly did a whole bunch of versions of the tune "Little Sunflower"... I've only heard a couple of 'em, but I'm sure there ain't a version out there that can top this one with Mr. Velvet-Voice-Sweet-Singin'-Brotha Al Jarreau on the vocals. Sure, I suppose you can call it "smooth jazz", but it's not nearly anywhere as wussy as that label implies. It's got an warm, soulful, latin vibe to it and it will sexy up any elevator just fine, you mark my word...

Freddie Hubbard w/ All Jarreau - Little Sunflower

Aww yeah... I don't care if they play it on the WAVE, it works for me! You might have noticed those strings at the beginning that have been sampled many times... see, it's been sampled! It can't be "smooth jazz" if it's been sampled, right?!?! This has got street cred, yo!


22 June 2007

2X Kwel-ity

A bit of a break in form today, but hey, variety blah blah, spice of life blah blah blah whatever...

So Talib Kweli has got a new one coming out, but that would be so cliche of me to post something from that, and trust me, the blog-o-sphere has got that one covered quite well... Nope, instead I'm going to give you my two favorite Kweli joints, two of my favorite hip-hop singles of the Oughts, if you must know...

Talib Kweli - I Try (ft. Mary J. Blige)
Talib Kweli & Mary J. Blige - The Beautiful Struggle

Talib Kweli - Get By
Talib Kweli - Quality

And thus ends another week. Seems I'm gonna have a little more free time in the near future, so I promise I'll make the posts a little more interesting starting next week. Peace, and have a great one!

21 June 2007

So sophisticated...

Time for a change of pace today...

So, this one is pretty obscure here. Can't even tell you much of anything about it, except that it is some nice mellow Bossa Jazz I scored from Loronix, a site I don't think I have to tell you about again for the 100th time! Piano, bass, drums... smooth as silk. Play it at your next dinner party instead of that damn Hotel Costes CD all of your friends are sick of already :P

Le Trio Camara - Nascente

Love that cover, too... looks like those dudes are having some kind of Super Vulcan Bossa Nova Mind Meld action goin' on, eh? Or something...

20 June 2007

"It's got some Labrador in it, too"

We just can't stay away from Ninja Tune for long around here, can we?

And today we have maybe my favorite of all the ninjas, Up, Bustle And Out, and their 3rd album, Light 'Em Up, Blow 'Em Out. These dudes kinda jump all around in style... Latin vibes, Asian vibes, Hip-Hop vibes... but it's all held together by funky beats. And that's really all ya really need, right? Well that and a million dollars. And some pizza. And Jessica Biel's phone number... anyhoo...

Up, Bustle & Out - Clandestine Operation

They definitely earn bonus points for using a Cheech & Chong sample. And if you don't think that let's me segue into some YouTube goodness, well... you must be new around here ;)

His name is "Raaaaaaaaaaaaaalph"... classic!

19 June 2007

The knights who say "Wheeee!"

Let's hear from some House music masters...

The two dudes who make up Inland Knights must not get alot of sleep. Because all they do is put out house records. Record after record after record and wouldn't you know every single dang one of them just bumps. Yeah, one could say that they are a bit formulaic, fat 4/4 beat + bouncy bass line + catchy synth hook + clever sample = an Inland Knights record... but every beat is fat, every bassline bounces, the hooks are catchy as hell and damn do they have an ear for samples. You could play a whole set of nothing but their records and people would go off... trust me, I've more or less done it! They are just plain good at house music, and that's all there is to that. So here's the A side of one of their 50,000 (give or take) 12" releases...

Inland Knights - Find Yourself
Inland Knights - Northen Soil - EP

Yup, these guys don't just know how to find the pocket, they live there... right next to the keys, the lint, and the crumpled up Del Taco receipt. Mmm... Del Scorcho sauce... droooool...

18 June 2007

Are you aurally excited? Well, you should be.

You've never heard of him, but you've certainly heard his music...

Does the name Itaal Shur ring a bell? Probably not, eh? But this guy is one of the dopest songwriters of the last, oh, ten years or so. He was a founding member of Groove Collective, he co-wrote Maxwell's classic jam "Ascension" and Santana's "Smooth" (you know, the one with Rob Thomas... I know you're sick of hearing it 12 million times, but it's a good song!) for which he won a Song of the Year Grammy (yeah, yeah, the Grammys are bullshit and all that, but put down the Haterade) and a bunch of other tunes you have heard on your radio box. But he doesn't just write songs for other folks. Back a few years ago, he released his first solo album, Music From The Aural Exciter, under the name Big Muff... an essential dance record of the 90s. Not just a collection of danceable grooves, but a perfect example of superior songwriting steez brought to the world of electronica. That album spawned a remix collection as well, which is our featured record today. Here, UK downtempo/D&B supa-stars Smith & Mighty take one of Music...'s best songs and strip down the original's jazzy, organic vibes into more of a down and dirty groover for the head-noddin' crowd. But even so, the great melodies still shine through...

Big Muff - Feel What You Know (Smith & Mighty Remix)

That's a nice way to start the week off... after a weekend spent cruisin' the beach in my pimpin' new ride... that's how we roll in the MDR, baby!

15 June 2007

Fly the funky skies

Let's end the week with a heavy hitter...

I really hate the term Acid Jazz, but this record falls squarely in the middle of said movement of the early 90s, although it's more in line soundwise with what the kids are calling Nu Jazz now... meaning it's not quite so dang cheesy. But whatever you call it, the Japanese crew United Future Organization are one of it's finest practitioners. And they're not even all kooky and weird like most Japanese artists. And I'll bet not one of their members has ever peed on anyone on a Japanese game show... Nope, all they do is make great dancefloor music, and this is one of their funkiest tracks ever, putting some Latin Piano riffing and scat singing over a tough little breakbeat... I love this track...

United Future Organization - United Future Airlines
United Future Organization - No Sound Is Too Taboo

If you can hunt down the CD maxi-single of this, it has some great remixes... but that shit is way out of print, super rare and commanding mucho dinero, so good luck with that ;)

And do you believe it's already time again to say "have a great weekend"? Well, it is. So do it, dammit!


14 June 2007

Dogs in space!

Remember that thing they used to call trip-hop?

Well, it was all the rage waaaaaaay back in the mid-90s... you'll just have to trust me on that one. What they'd do is they'd have a dude (or two) who lurked in the background surrounded by a whole bunch of boxes with knobs and lights on them that he would use to make funny noises, and then there would be a girl in the front that would sing. Novel concept, I know! Laika is sort of a lost remnant of this time, but unlike the Molokos and Morcheebas and Sneaker Pimpses, they are still active and together. But this one is from their debut album, Silver Apples of the Moon. It's all clattering drums and breathy vocals and assorted other atmospheric goodness...

Laika - Sugar Daddy
Laika - Silver Apples of the Moon

The band were named after the first dog in space, so... um... do, with that tidbit, what you will... and trip out to this!

Laika, come home!

13 June 2007

Funk from Sweden to North Hollywood

Wow, have I not yet posted anything from Ubiquity Records? 'Cuz that would be weird... I'd have to say off the top of my head that they are probably the best American record label in business, and almost in the category of the European big boys like Compost, Tru Thoughts, Brownswood and the like. So I guess that means it's about stinkin' time, eh?

Actually this is a Tru Thoughts record, but since Ubiquity distributes them in the States, I say close enough! At least they have the good sense, knowhutimean? Anyhoo, Freddie Cruger, whose real name is Fred Lager, which I think is much cooler, so what's with the alias, doood... is a Swedish (ah, that explains it) hip-hop producer who has put out a bangin' album featuring all sorts of talented folks on the vocals. Yes, luckily for us we don't have to hear a white Swedish guy try to rap. This track features Anthony David, who I don't know squat about, but he sounds pretty good...

Freddie Cruger - I Wanna Make You Move (ft. Anthony David)
Freddie Cruger featuring Anthony David - Soul Search

That's a summer jam if I ever heard one. Love the Latin touches, eh?

Mr. Lager or Cruger also uses the name Red Astaire on occasion to put out strictly instrumental tracks, which tend to be quite good, too. Here's one that doesn't even sound lame despite using lots of James Brown samples...

Red Astaire - The Wildstyle

And to finish up, another band who are soon to be released on Ubiquity, a local L.A. group who I happened to catch live this weekend... and let me tell ya, these guys are insanely good. They are called Orgone. They will fuck you up with the funk and make you shake it 'til you break it. No mp3, but hit up their Myspace and be their friend, 'cuz they're nice folks to boot. When they're huge in a few months, you can say you knew 'em when...


12 June 2007

I ain't hatin'

The kings of the remix get remixed themselves...

It's gotta suck a little bit to have Jazzanova remix one of your tunes, because they will almost always make something even better than your original. Thanks a lot... dicks. I mean, both of the volumes of remixes they put out are just straight fire, first track to last! But what about when the tables are turned? Well, as we found out on Jazzanova Remixed, there can be some good results the other way, too. Here we have Tony Nwachukwu, perhaps best known for his alias Attica Blues, taking on a number from Jazzanova's In Between album featuring vocals from Mr. Vikter Duplaix and turning out a nice, smooth broken-beat version...

Jazzanova - That Night (Wah-Chu-Ku Remix)
Jazzanova - Remixed

It's been a while since we've had some new tunes from the Jazzanova boys, hasn't it? Get to work... cocks :P

11 June 2007

Life after Madchester

I guess we should file this under post-Baggy?

I think most people might agree that The Stone Roses had one of the best debut albums ever for a band that proceeded to do exactly jack squat from that moment on... but ya know what, lead singer Ian Brown has actually done some pretty decent solo work since the Roses called it quits. It's just that no one has really seemed to notice or care (much like Richard Ashcroft of The Verve). So here's a track from Browns second solo record, Golden Greats... and it kinda picks up on the sound where one would think the Roses may have headed, adding more electronics while keeping the same general vibe (and of course, voice)...

Ian Brown - Love Like A Fountain
Ian Brown - Golden Greats

I dunno, I like it. The whole album's a good listen... give 'er a go...

08 June 2007

Is Paris fazed?

Wow, so with this circus of stupidity going on around Paris Hilton this morning, how about this bit of irony... the only person in this mess who isn't going to come out of it looking like a total douchebag... is Paris!!! Man, you gotta love L.A... on to the music!

We finish the week with a some nice deep house by British brothers Robin and Simon Lee, a.k.a. Faze Action. They were the cornerstone artist of the awesome but now unfortunately defunct Nuphonic Records, which was another one of those "buy with confidence, you don't even have to listen first" labels during their run. Faze Action brought the disco, but in a good way (no, really, there is a good way... I swear!), and this track is a smooth late-night groover...

Faze Action - Mas
Faze Action - Moving Cities

Go out and find all the Nuphonic stuff on the cheap in your local used bin. You'll thank me for it...

... off to sunny Newport Beach for one of my best friends' wedding this weekend, so you know I'll have a great one. Hope you do, too. Peace!

07 June 2007

My Booty Valentine

Finally, an excuse for some gratuitous sex around here!

Sometimes, when my shoes need a good gazin' at, I'll throw a little My Bloody Valentine on and make sure the footwear is sorted. Currently, I can tell you that I need a new pair of sneakers - the ones I have on are looking pretty beat up. I don't really feel the need to mope to the sound of squalling guitars that often, but it's nice to have this handy, just in case the need does happen to arise...

My Bloody Valentine - Off Your Face
My Bloody Valentine - Glider - EP

These guys are one of the most constantly fretted about bands on teh interwebs... are they getting back together, recording another album, blah blah blah... especially after leader Kevin Shields did some new tracks for the Lost In Translation soundtrack, something I only mention as a cheap excuse to post the greatest first shot in the history of cinema...

You had me at hello!

And I really can't top that, so see ya tomorrow.

06 June 2007

Three strikes

What do today's tunes have to do with baseball? Nothing!

Ah, the ubiquitous Verve Remixed series... the series that begs the question: Are they not as "cool" because everyone including your Aunt Mabel has them, or does everyone including your Aunt Mabel have them because they're so cool? Discuss...

I'll wait...

Okay. Me, I vote that even your Aunt Mabel knows dopeness when she hears it. She's a pretty hip chick, ya know. Today's selection has legendary Latin Jazz vibist Cal Tjader remixed by legendary remixers Fila Brazillia. With that many legends, it's gotta be good, right?

Cal Tjader - Soul Sauce (Fila Brazillia Remix)
Cal Tjader & Fila Brazillia - Verve Remixed 2

Yep, sure is. But just how much did the Fila boys mess with the original? Not much, really. As you can hear, they really just punched in a beat and some FX. And really, that's all they had to do, because the original is pretty darn funky in it's own right...

Cal Tjader - Soul Sauce (Original)
Cal Tjader - Talkin' Verve: Roots of Acid Jazz

That's a Dizzy Gillespie cover, for those of you scoring at home. BTW, Isn't that one of the lamest baseball announcer cliches going? Like people are sitting are sitting at home watching a ball game with a damn pencil and a scoresheet. Strangely enough, though, it's still kinda cool to do at a game, but maybe I just think so because I'm a huge baseball dork. Don't talk no smack about baseball 'round here, or I shall become very cross with you!

And finally, just for fun, here's a Fila original, from their recently released Retrospective. It's a good purchase, considering all of their albums are for some reason only available on very pricey import...

Fila Brazillia - Speewah
Fila Brazillia - Retrospective

And that completes the triple play. Baseball rules! As do baseball metaphors! As does this Minor League manager... and whatever you do, let this play until the 1:20 mark for one of the best moves ever...

Yer outta here!!!!

05 June 2007

The height of an era

Okay, so Paris has been in jail for over a day now and I've heard no reports of any salad tossing whatsoever. It appears our penal system is indeed broken :P

Breakbeat Era was a one-off album by Mr. Roni Size, DJ Die (of Reprazent) and vocalist Leonie Laws. And it may just be the best vocal Drum & Bass album that ever came out. Hell, it's probably the second best thing size ever put out with the exception of the massive New Forms. You know people have game when they can put out a freakin' side project that becomes remembered as a classic of its genre, eh? Even my boy Thom Yorke couldn't pull that one off (don't get me wrong, The Eraser is very good, but sorry... not classic). So here's the title track/first single, and it was, as they say in England, a corker...

Breakbeat Era - Ultra Obscene

Hellz yeah. And I managed to find a live performance (of a different song) on the YouTubes. You may notice Roni Size is nowhere to be found... I guess he decided to sit this one out and let the white people do their thing?

I get the feeling that the singer could beat up all three of those dudes at once... and would have definitely made Paris her bitch by now!

04 June 2007

Do I always need a clever title? I think not.

It's my 100th post on Blogger... huzzah! For those of you who don't know, which is most of you, this blog started on Myspace and I've actually been doing it for a couple of years, but it didn't feel official 'til I made the move. Blogger kicks Myspace's ass!

Compay Segundo was, I believe, the second-oldest member of the Buena Vista Social Club, which put him at approximately 136 years old when that album was recorded. That's one of my favorite albums of all time, btw, a definite desert island selection. I can't remember if Compay was the one they found shining shoes on the street corner or the one they found living in a '53 Studebaker with his pet monkey... I'll have to watch the movie again, I guess. Anyhoo, this here record came out after it all blew up and they all started doing solo records, putting him at, I believe, 147 years old for this one. And you know what, he sounds good for his age...

Compay Segundo - Maria En La Playa
Compay Segundo & Charles Aznavour - Calle Salud

... what, you were expecting some kind of expert commentary or something? Silly you.

03 June 2007

Hello Summer! (Part 2)

Since the first Hello Summer! mix was such a big hit (over 200 downloads), I went and made a second...

Tonegent Presents "Funk D'Afrique"

(Continuous DJ Mix - 74:53 - 87.9 mb @ 160 kps )

100% Pure African Funk Power

1) Oneness of Juju - African Rhythms
2) Matata - Wanna Do My Thing
3) Peter King - Afro Funk
4) The Ogyatanaa Show Band - Ageisheka
5) Manu Dibango - Soul Makossa
6) Blo - Get That Groove In
7) Brigth Engelberts & the B.E. Movement - Get Together
8) Osibisa - Music For Gong Gong
9) Dick Khoza - African Jive
10) Black Soul - Africa Africa
11) Buari - Karam Bani
12) Jo Tongo - Piani
13) Fela Kuti & Roy Ayers - 2000 Blacks Got To Be Free