Before my brother abandoned music and confined his musings to film alone (Take Me To Your Cinema blog) every week he would pick out 10 tracks for Music Like Dirt. He was a good musical foil, enlightening me to countless sounds I would otherwise never have noticed, but perhaps its time for another crack at more regular roundups again.
So here are 10-ish current-ish tunes rocking my world, all handily wrapped in a playlist from the new music sharing site whyd.com or a truncated (not all available) Spotify list. There may be another list along in a week or there may not…
B DOLAN – “Which Side Are you On?”
On Wednesday Dolan arrived in the UK for a Hip-Hop Tour like no other featuring a 20 piece marching band, drag acts, burlesque, bounce and vaudeville freak shows. If you’re not keen on hip-hop, or hate rap you should probably still book a ticket or two right now.
Due to a promoter screw up the first night of the tour in Glasgow was cancelled at the last-minute so Dolan did what few others would and opened the doors to the venue for free.
Which Side Are You On, confronts Hip-Hop’s all to common attitude to homosexuality full on, as highlighted by a Busta Rhymes interview featured in the video below.
“It feels like it’s time in my life for a song like this, and I believe it’s also that time in the world around us. Desmond Tutu said, “if you are neutral on situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” As a working class heterosexual white man, as a feminist, anti-racist, LGBT ally, as an emcee and an American citizen, I feel that it’s my duty to be clear about whose side I’m on“.
While I think of it if you love Hip-Hop you should definitely download the unbelievable Solid Steel “three years in the making” Beastie Boys mix. Grab it here.
Gemma Williams was an auxiliary maternity nurse and midwife before a severe illness ended that career but gave birth to another. Woodpecker Wooliams was born while recuperating in the calm of Devon, waitressing and – as you do – hiring a harp.
Learning to play the harp and sing, she originally operated in fairly folky waters but on “The Bird School Of Being Human” her new album (due September 10th) she’s moved towards a more electronic sound. “Sparrow” in particular is all kinds of wonderful.
Lamont/Bailey/Wall used a little known route to get me to listen to their music… a Pet Shop Boys cover. I can’t resist a new take on Tennant and Lowe, if only to recoil in horror. LBW’s version of the PSB & Dusty classic “What Have I Done To Deserve This?“ was part of the slightly questionably titled Irish Record Store day compilation “Record Store Gay“.
Despite enjoying that cover it still took some loud coughing from the band to remind me of their EP (via Soundcloud). Thankfully they avoid the pothole of great cover version shame about your own material with 4 minutes of perfectly judged pop soul. “A Going Concern” starts out sounding like John Peel playing Laurie Andersons “O Superman” (ie the wrong speed) but quickly turns into the kind of dream pop you’d imagine if Hall & Oates enlisted Hot Chip as their producers.
Lamont/Bailey/Wall – Facebook / Soundcloud /Twitter
Factory Floor – “Two Different Ways (Perc Remix)”
Factory Floor recently played the Tate Modern’s new Tank gallery and will begin a residency at The ICA later in the month. With a debut due on DFA Records in early 2013 the Perc remix of Two Different Ways certainly whets the appetite for what may follow. Its an absolute monster of a house tune!!!
There’s a free Perb dub to download too.
Behind the musical stew is a back story as entertaining as it is unlikely, but when the music’s this good I’ll swallow it all hook, line and sinker. Its well worth reading the GOAT interview in Quietus for more but essentially it goes like this:
Goat hail from a commune in the tiny village of Korpilombolo in northern Sweden. According to legend, Korpilombolo has a long history of voodoo worship, after a travelling witch doctor settled there several centuries ago. When Christian crusaders invaded and destroyed the village, the surviving townsfolk placed a curse on Korpilombolo as they fled.
It’s said that the effect of the curse is still felt today, and informs the highly rhythmic and trance-like music played by generations of villagers, which, in turn, has shaped Goat’s extraordinary debut, World Music. They embark on their first UK tour in October.
GOAT – Blog
Scrimshire – “Alignment (feat. Stac) (Anchorsong Remix)“
One of the strongest tracks from Scrimshire’s 2nd LP The Hollow, “Alignment is coming out as the final single before album number 3. The Anchorsong remix retains the sweet and sublime vocals of fellow WahWah45′er Stac but everything else is jettisoned with slow soul transformed into a funk stormer with crunching heavy beats and a dirty looped guitar riff.
Pre-order the track from Scrimshire’s Bandcamp page.
“Dirty Money” is three and a half minutes of banker bashing, horn driven, dancefloor filling Afro-funk. If Fela Kuti were still alive today inequality and the Wall Street/City fatcats would probably be on his very long list of song topics so it’s fitting that one of the bands most influenced by Afro-beat king carry that spirit of resistance in the OCCUPY age.
Its great to see Antibalas return with new music after their triumphant part in FELA! The Musical.
Copenhagen’s Karen Marie Ørsted is the force behind MØ, who seem so perfectly and effortlessly cool it’s hard to imagine she’s not already massive. It’s a mix of off-kilter pop, electronics, and quirky innovation almost purpose built to get music bloggers purring.
Debut single ‘Maiden’ has a guitar line that out Vampire’s the Weekend, but it’s “Pilgrim” with its sampled horns and almost Julianna Barwick like yelps that makes me look forward to hearing an album from Scandinavia’s latest hottest property.
MØ – Facebook / Soundcloud / Twitter
There’s something peculiarly English about dedicating an album to Lido’s loved and/or lost but even more classically English in a far less heartwarming way is the picture to the left. All that’s left of the Purley Way Lido – closed in 1980 – is a Deco diving board preserved for its uniqueness and heritage but protected only as bizarre apparition at the back of a garden centre!
Darren Hayman (ex from Hefner) resides in Walthamstow, an area with more than its fair share of architectural gems currently set for very similar “preservation”.
Lido is a fascinating album, not just for it’s lovely instrumental tunes, but also for its artwork and the stories behind every song. My own childhood memories of South London Lido’s with my dad are still clear as are more recent escapades at London Fields successfully reopened and thriving Lido (involving an improvised reversed pink swimming “trunk”…thankfully no pictures).
There’s an exhibition at Rough Trade East from the 3rd-16th September, so why not pop down, buy the album, put your feet up at home, press play and read the history behind each Lido inspired gem.
Deniz Kurtel – “Right On (Feat Michael Franti)“
There’s been disappointment in some quarters that Deniz Kurtel’s new album didn’t stick to the house sound that made her name. “The Way We Live” is packed with collaborations – mostly with acts from the Wolf + Lamb label and is so slow and laid-back to be almost stationary.
Disposable Hero of Hiphoprisy Michael Franti’s lends his stentorian tones to “Right On,” building broodily with a burbling electronic backing as the Spearhead frontman intones that “Music makes his life complete”. It’s actually a version of “There’s Enough For All Of Us” a far more political track with Hardage.
The Orb featuring Lee Scratch Perry – “Golden Clouds“
“Golden Clouds” is less of a rework and more a regermination, The Orb taking their famously fluffy cloud and growing something new from a seedling. It begins with a female voice asking The Upsetter what the sky’s were like when he was young but Perry replies in the style he’s made his own for the last quarter century, ie incoherent waffle. “I funk out the funk, I cast out the punk, I cast out the drunk … Funky funk and junky junk”
Perry may be a mere echo of the talent he once was but on this track at least the pairing with The Orb works very effectively. Theres enough new to keep the listener interested and enough hints of familiarity to inspire nostalgia in those old enough to remember what the Orb were like when they were young.
Gonzales – “Marvin’s Room“
Released as an appetiser for the second Chilly Gonzales Solo Piano album, it’s a gentle but effective take on Drake’s tale about the woe’s of having too much sex.
Jimmy Edgar:”MY EDIT FOR PORTISHEAD “MACHINEGUN”
DONE A FEW HOURS BEFORE ME AND SCUBA DID B2B DJ ON BOILER ROOM. AUGUST 2012. FREE DOWNLOAD BECAUSE YOU GUYS GAVE SUCH POSITIVE COMMENTS ABOUT OUR SET, AND WE HAD SO MUCH FUN, XXX.”