Before the blog enters a period of silence – while I pop my Glastonbury cherry – a few tracks that really should’ve been shouted from the roof tops months ago.
First up a concept album from The Indelicates, the band responsible for “Savages” a tune somewhat ridiculously awarded 2nd best track of 2010 by this here blogger – I say ridiculous because it clearly should’ve been No.1!
Back in 2004 the Indelicates were busy rehearsing their hit fringe musical based on the book of Job, when someone joked “What are you gonna do next? Waco: the Musical? Fast forward seven years and having pawned the family silverwear to fund the project Simon & Julia Indelicate finally unleashed “David Koresh Superstar“.
They even visited the site of the compound in Texas and in their words “looked nervously at it for a bit”. For those too young to remember they’ve compiled a handy guide here (although Bill Hicks also provided a summary).
Despite eagerly snapping up tickets to the Asian Dub Foundations Opera “Gaddafi – A Living Myth” I have to declare a well nurtured dislike of musicals. My brother excitingly declared that listening to the album you can almost see the West End production before your very eyes. I agree, but its a mark of how good David Koresh Superstar is that I managed to overcome the constant thought of a good play being ruined by overblown song.
Read: Excellent interview with Julia & Simon Indelicate about the Koresh album
Buy: Pay-what-you-like Digital download
Physical copy of David Koresh Superstar album or special edition signed by Simon and Julia with a 92 page book containing all the lyrics, (very) extensive footnotes, a Q&A and suggestions for further reading.
The free mixtape from Avant-guard hip-hoppers Death Grips has been going down a storm online for months now. Any mix that manages to sample Pink Floyd and Jane’s Addiction whilst also including the insanely addictive “Guillotine” deserves every bit of that attention. Its fairly dark stuff, not exactly easy listening, and it doesn’t fit the hip-hop mainstream, but try listening to the song below and not being mesmerised.
“It goes, its goes, it goes, it goes, it goes… Guilotinnnnnnne”
SAVE MJMJ RECORDS
Albuquerque, New Mexico, famed for Hot Air balloons, nuclear research, aerial tram ways and erm Prefab Sprout? Unfortunately its also got its fair share of robbers as MJMJ Records found to their cost.
“We had the worst Earth Day ever. We were on our way to LA and some jerks broke into our van. They stole our clothes, money, computers and all of Vacation Dad’s music stuff.”
In all the nefarious tealeaves made off with 7,000 dollars worth of music-making and label producing equipment – pretty devastating for a small independent label.
Their plan to save the label? Call up all their mates and get them to donate two LP’s worth of cutting edge music. You can donate to the Save twomichaeljordans label Kickstarter as well as buying the compilation or sample the MJMJ compilations (one rock, one electronic) here.
“Games” (above) by Witch Gardens featuring Manch Malevolent is just one of the superb tracks featured. Its also a rare example of that mini sub-genre, hip-hop meets indie, history is not kind to such collaborations but Witch & Manch stretch and almost reach the heights of De La Soul’s joyous 90’s collaboration with Teenage Fanclub “Fallin‘”. “So Mase beat the fucking beat while the teenage fan the heat”
Also on the compilation is Austin based produced/beat maker Galapagos. His latest “Big Cat” EP was very well received apart from a few grumbles about the Beyonce cutup “Actin’ Up” and its still available as a free download here. For the MJMJ album Galapagos contributed “Do Ittt” which Im going to say isnt available anywhere else (although I have no evidence to suggest this!) Grab it anyway its for a good cause!
I could witter on forever listing the top quality acts featured, like Oakland’s beat folk phenomenon Yalls. You can pre-order their new hour long cassette over on MJMJ but I couldn’t decide between Weave and Germs as my favourite of the so far leaked tracks so treat your ears to both. Yalls – Weave It by twomichaeljordans
Yalls – Germs by Yallsmusic
Its been a while since I mentioned hip hop legend and all round gent, Steve “Steinski” Stein but the mix he put together for Coldcut’s Solid Steel show is something special.
Steinski hits us with an almighty mix of Golden Era hip hop created to accompany a book all about hip hop sampling called Creative License. The mix dips and dives through hip hop legends Public Enemy, De La Soul, Run DMC and Marley Marl, all interwoven with the music they sampled from Steely Dan, Kraftwerk, Candido and Parliament, and of course peppered with his trademark spoken word. Genius.
Solid Steel Radio Show 29/4/2011 Part 3 + 4 – Steinski by Ninja Tune
If you’re a Steinski completist (or to be honest just a music lover) you should head over to the Unheard Music Blog which has an interview with Steve and a compilation of over a dozen rare mixes and Steinski originals – a few of which I wasn’t even aware of (so thanks to Unheard Music for that and visit them anyway if you love rarities).
Grab the compilation here and listen to one of Steinski’s 3 Simpsons mixes below:
The Simpsons – “Steinski’s Rap Remix”
30 GREATEST HIPHOP DEMOS
Back in March Chairman Mao compiled an incredible feature on the 30 greatest hip-hop demo’s of all time for Complex.com. Its a fascinating insight into the early days of some of the greatest rappers of all time.
Artifacts – “Wrong Side Of The Tracks”
NORTH SEA ORCHESTRA
A live recording of the Bagpuss Medley (with added Ivor the Engine) arranged by Craig Fortnam.
Performed by the North Sea Radio Orchestra at the Union Chapel in October 2009.
North Sea Radio Orchestra – Bagpuss Medley (live) by Arctic Circle Radio
“You cont just walk away without a trace, tell me to my face”
Icona Pop’s “Manners” is a raucous sing-along break up pop tune, that defiantly informs the “Ex” they better reconsider because frankly they’ll never do any better.
The Swede’s certainly know how to set romantic misfortune to a killer chorus, although discovering it was produced by Patrik Berger the knob twiddler behind Robyn’s equally crest fallen ‘Dancing On My Own’ makes perfect sense.
Manners by IconaPop
MASHUP’S OWN THE SUMMER
There’s nothing like a bit of sunshine to make people forget that Mash-ups aren’t cool anymore and just enjoy them for what they are… bloody good fun.
The kings of the reggae bootleg Heatwave may well have created their biggest anthem to date with the inspired fusing of darlings of the moment Adele and Jamie XX with Ce’cile, Mr. Lexx, Timberlee and a sprinkling of Dixie Cups “Iko Iko” (or more likely Lumidee).
If this bashment monster isn’t spinning at the next party you’re at, then you’re at the wrong party (I say this as someone who last went to a party back when Snap were No.1 so feel free to ignore).
Also getting in on the summer reggae nice-up are Nappy Riddim with their fusion of Bob Marley’s “Nice Time” with Damian Marley & Bounty Killer “Khaki Suit”. I love it when Bounty Killer comes in.
Brian Wilson meets Animal Collective while visiting Oxford for a day out on this already heavily spun by Radio 1 psychedelic stomp. Lovely anthemic stuff.
MELODICA, MELODY & ME
Well done to The Guardian for making “Melodica, Melody & Me” band of the day recently. “Come Outside” is understated but all the better for it, with intricate charango melodies, swooping violin, subtle harmonies, and yes melodica – it’s pretty much the perfect summer song.
BASTILLE – FLAWS
Flaws is available as a limited to 300 7″ on the 4th of July through Young & Lost Club. Order it here.
I’ll forgive DBX productions for many things, for example having autoplay set on their website forcing me to hunt through 50 tabs to try and find the blaring music. I’ll also gloss over what appears to be an attempt to turn The Cutting Crews “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight” into a bass crunching floor filler (listen here). Actually perhaps I won’t forgive that as I now have the chorus stuck in my head.
All is fine if they continue to produce tunes like “Bullet Strapped (Memphis Mix)” which they dedicate to everyone who is feeling that Underground M-Town Style.
The first 7″ on Dream Beach Records is here through Moshi Moshi and its a killer double A-Side of super infectious, heart-racingly fast Kamba guitar pop – Nguuni Lovers Lovers with Cheza Ngoma/Beth Kathini.
LETS TALK ABOUT SAZ BABY!
Also coming from Dream Beach, this mental slice of absolutely full on guitar axe-meister guitar frenzy.
Only apparently it’s not a guitar but a Saz – a Kurdish sort of long necked version of a Lute (please forgive me any experts in musical instruments). Saz player Grani Tufan loves effects pedal so much he’s wired up about three for this tune “Agir Delio”. Grani Tufan – Agir Delilo by Dream Beach Records
Sisters Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor are three sisters who produce beautiful harmonies and Crosby, Stills & Nash/Joni Mitchell influenced folk. They spring from an unlikely source of such beguilingly melodic folk, Watford! Sessions for their debut album were completed just last week, although the band have been around since 2006, playing Glastonbury back in 2009.
Wayne “Lotek” Bennett left home to become a sound engineer at 15, produced acclaimed albums for Roots Manuva & Speech DeBelle and had his own Lo-Tek Hifi project on Big Dada.
Like Mr Manuva MC’s “Run Come Save Me”, Lo-Tek’s forthcoming (July 25th) “International Rudeboy” album will also come in a lovingly crafted dub version! Although his music crosses many genres, Reggae and dub in particular were always his foundation.
Fresh from recording a three track Music Like Dirt Live Session, James Mathe has a new EP “Memory Laps” out in Limited Edition from Rough Trade records.
It contains a lovely cover of Bon Iver’s “Re Stacks” along with “Turbine” which is a highlight of his live shows, as you can see below from James performance at the PureEvil Gallery for MLD. (Thanks once again for doing that Mr Mathe – stay tuned for future sessions)