A few of my favourite things 5
In the five and a half years this site has been meandering along the number of music blogs has mushroomed. Dozens pop up every day adding to the thousands already whacking up the latest MP3 to Rapidshare. What hasn’t increased any where near as rapidly are the blogs willing to do more than just shove up an MP3’s with a line of text.
Stumbling across a blogger who actually creates, who brings knowledge and passion to their musical signposts is a rare and wonderful thing. As such I have to draw overdue attention to the fabulous interview come musical soundscape featuring Mark – label boss of International Feel – published last month on Jez Procter’s Innersounds blog.
It must have taken hours or more likely days sweating over a hot laptop to boil down an epic phonecall to Uruguay into an hour of totally engrossing musical insight for anyone with the slightest interest in music, creativity, how to run a label, commission remixes or treat artists.
Even if you’ve never heard of International Feel, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll enjoy the music featured and the way the interview has been blended into the mix. Engrossing!
“Innersounds meets International Feel – “Interview/soundscape – An essential listen” (MP3)
Visit Innersounds to listen and read the interview in full
If you want someone with more musical heft than me to vouch for its quality, then I’ve just noticed Greg Wilson raving about it over on his site. He also posted a link to this record company related “gem of an animation” along with his recent remix work for International Feel.
Incidentally Greg’s blog is always a great read and he’s come up with the inspired concept of “Living To Music” get-together’s. The idea is to come together with a group of friends, turn off your mobile, silence your twitterings and actually listen to and appreciate an album. People around the world potentially join you in experiencing the same album at the same time.
While on the subject of record label’s, its remiss of me not to mention the 20th Anniversary of Coldcut’s NinjaTune record label. I owe 90% of the music I love to introductions made by Matt & Jon on their legendary Solid Steel radio show. Theyve taken to uploading it to Soundcloud now and to celebrate the anniversary theyve done a special on the labels history. They talk about the story behind the Ninja logo, the club night ‘Stealth’, their favourite releases and much much more (Listen below).
Aside from leaving fans queuing in torrential rain for over an hour, their London XX gig was a triumph. My disappointment at Coldcut only playing a DJ set was made up for by the ear splitting trickery of DJ Kentaro and best of all the always charming Kid Koala. I’m hoping for an official release of the “Yo Gabba Gabba” track that had the assembled masses “reaching up” as Eric – dressed in a Koala suit – teetered on top of his turntables. (YouTube of another performance / another)
Solid Steel Radio Show 17/9/2010 Part 3 + 4 – Interview with Coldcut & Peter Quicke by Ninja Tune & Big Dada
In order to gain the attention of the army of music bloggers out there (or “socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother’s basements” as Andrew Marr called them) there are armies of PR firms frantically cutting and pasting “We’re huge fans of your site” into emails to secure their band a bit of online love and attention from said social inadequates.
The upside of this is the happy ping of a tasty remix arriving in your inbox to promote a new tour. In this case, Chrome Hoof’s Decompression tour which winds its way though London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Coventry, Leeds, Norwich and Brighton at the end of the month (see their facebook for details). They are one of the finest live bands around but if you want visual proof check out the short video I cut together of their album launch show earlier in the year).
With a CV stretching back to the early 90’s, taking in Soma releases and collaborations with Black Dog, its safe to say Mark Broom is something of a house/techno veteran.
Broom takes the frenetic space rock-disco of Chrome Hoof and Cluster‘s “Deadly Pressure” and moves an originally barely audible violin (?) riff to the front of the mix, before strapping on a speaker shaking beat and filtered vocals.
While you’re enjoying a listen why not download a mix of his favourite acid house classics from the getthecurse website.
Fans of Chrome Hoof may also love “Blakula” the imaginary soundtrack to the tale of a black vampire born in Haiti, hibernated in Transylvania and defrosted in New York City in 1977. Its nothing to do with the 1972 Blacula (with a c) film which had its own collectable blaxsploitation soundtrack.
Theres an amusing backstory of Blakula’s adventures on the New York scene, writing poems with Burroughs, jamming with Miles and the Velvet Underground, shaking a canister for Basquiat and his tail feather with Warhol.
The album takes in rock, prog, disco, jazz but melds it all into one glorious voodoo funk soup that the Italian duo Simon Maccari and Andrea Bellentani aka The Diaphanoids should be justly proud.
Ideal for any discerning turntable this halloween.
Aloe Blacc has been one of the stars of 2010, with his authentic soul sounds ruling the airwaves and even cropping up on the BBC 10’oclock news as a soundtrack to the impending cuts (We’ll need more than a dollar!)
If you havent got it already his debut album “Good Things” is almost faultless, he’s due in the UK imminently, and even his guest appearances rule – Check out MED’s “Where I’m From” on Stones Throw.
Aloe Blacc – “Hey There Brother” (MP3)
MED – “Where I’m From” feat. Aloe Blacc (MP3)
LIGHT SOUNDS DARK presents RETURN OF THE SHERM
If you only purchase one compilation album this month (year) buy Return Of The Sherm. Its packed to the gills with Psych funk, Proto-house, Prog afro and a host of other seemingly made up genres, but theres not a duff track in sight.
Its the follow up to last years “Sherm Sticks” which passed me by but will be being purchased. There are classics like AR Machines “Come On, People”, but also a host of rarities and never heards rescued from crusty dusty boxes, cleaned up and presented for your salivation.
Gloriously fuzzed up, wigged out, epic guitar work abounds, from Bourbon People’s wah wah stomp “The Ghetto” to Big Boy Pete’s “My Love Is Like A Spaceship” with its “Tomorrow never knows” style reverses. The Rolling Stones “Sympathy for the devil” even crops up introduced by a deranged German cackling in a graveyard.
Big Boy Pete – “My Love Is Like A Spaceship” (MP3)
Tru-Thoughts taster compilations are renowned for two things, insane cheapness (99p for 15 tracks!!) and the stone cold guarantee of 100% killer, no filler brilliance of the music within! Dutch trio Milez Benjiman 2008 single “Chop That Wood” is just one highlight, they describe themselves as “a sonik sounding stomp of cyborg funk! Sent to hook you from root 2 roof-top…totally leaving you wanting more!”
Milez Benjiman – “Chop That Wood” (MP3)
Where exactly Caravan Crookz maddeningly catchy “Scooter Singh” will end up in the Music Like Dirt Top 100 of the year is uncertain, but I can promise one thing… it’ll be the highest placed tribute to crash helmet free, 2 wheel based Southall Singh’s on there.
Why this isnt in the Top 10 is a mystery… Caravan Crookz assure me that the man is a Southall legend arguably greater than Channi Singh or Shadow from Gladiators and is even more famous than the Singh postman in Eastenders.
Here’s what the Crookz have to say about the man, the myth and their tribute to him:
“Scooter Singh scours through the dark streets of Southall, West London in the search for a community crying for help. Whenever there is injustice, hardship and discrimination, he is there to silence the oppressors. If Southall was a loaf of bread, than Scooter Singh is the yeast, making it rise when placed under pressure… As a tribute, the Caravan Crookz have penned an ode to their messiah, detailing his rise to superstardom and his influence on a generation seeking a figure to lead them through these troubled times.
BUT! Don’t just take our word for it. Hear what other “celebrities” are saying.
“I love Scooter Singh and I don’t care who knows!”
“Scooter Singh has been my biggest inspiration.”
“Bigger than Nelson Mandela, Gandhi Ji and Martin Luther King put into one.”
Perhaps not yet as famous or as speedy on 2 wheels as Scooter Singh but The Psychedelic Singh Soundcloud page is one to watch for the latest from the UK’s 2nd most highly acclaimed Singh.
FELA! THE MUSICAL
Opens November 6th at The National Theatre!
Fela Kuti – “Zombie” (MP3)
White Denim – Download the new album for FREE
White Denim – “Light, Light, Light” (MP3)
Napoleon IIIrd – “The Unknown Unknown” (MP3)
And finally… Ghostpoet’s debut single is imminent. Here’s the video. Big things soon to come.