Another week, another dozen or so musical highlights from a blog so bleedin’ edge that one selection was on Pitchfork two months ago, while another was tracked down via the musical behemoth that is the Andrew Marr show.
If that hasn’t put you off you can stream the songs in handy playlist form via Whyd.com or with about 30% of the tracks missing on Spotify:
LISTEN: WHYD.COM playlist / SPOTIFY playlist
First up, the Brooklyn all girl, all sister (bar one) psych-pop rock quartet of Teeny, Katherine and Lizzie Lieberson plus Jane Herships, better know as TEEN. Lead single “Electric” mixes dreamy female harmonies, air drum inducing rhythm, classically rumbling indie bass, and all that before an absolute killer guitar line comes in at the minute mark.
Played at the proper volume you can appreciate the production nous and textured sound of chief knob twiddler, Peter Kembler aka Sonic Boom of Spaceman 3. Listening back to the chemically enhanced glorious wail of Spaceman 3’s 1988 “Revolution” it’s clear what a perfect foil Mr Boom is to the TEEN sound.
An old student housemate first introduced me to the “taking drugs to make music” sound, broadening my musical horizons until an argument with his girlfriend over whether the purchase of a Toilet Duck equated to the wholesale slaughter of dolphins soured our friendship.
Billy Palmier – “Tell Me Why”
Billy’s got a brand new bass, and according to his Soundcloud page “Tell Me Why” is the sound of him having “some fun learning to play”. If you’ve ever had a neighbour learning an instrument or tried yourself then you know the results are best kept within the confines of a soundproof room, heaven forbid you’d record your noodling for the wider world.
However Palmier’s “practising” sounds like an unreleased DāM-FunK cut or an unheard offering from Paisley Park.
Previous Palmier tunes have received airplay from Benji B at 1Xtra and i’ll certainly be keeping an ear out for future releases from the Citywurl studio’s in Schaerbeek, Brussels.
Twitter / Soundcloud
London, 1948 and Lord Kitchener, fresh from Trinidad on the SS Windrush, declares in Calypso style that “London Is The Place For Me“.
“My life in London is really magnificent
I have every comfort and every sport
And my residence is that Hampton Court”
60 plus years later Jamaican born but London bred Mr. Williamz picks up the theme but not content with Hampton Court Williamz heads straight for Buckingham Palace to take over as head of state.
I would’ve featured this last week but the only version I could find online had Heatwave DJ’s excitedly bellowing Rewwwinnnnddd and generally babbling over the top about its brilliance. And brilliant it is, playful, genuinely funny and most important of all musically dynamite too.
“The next ting is who rush me now Prince Charles
Ah talk about how say him want me sign autograph
Me look pon him and just say, “Bredrin ease off”
Like you no see me and your mudda deh ya a so we talk
After dis she going to gi’ me a foot massage
You shoulda know, is we run England”
It’s the first track to use the new “More Spiritual” riddim brewed up by US producers Green Lion with inspiration from the melody of Henry “Junjo” Lawes Ganja Smuggling. Green Lion travelled to Jamaica to add a horn section led by veteran horn players Nambo Robinson (trombone) and Everton Gayle (saxophone). Million Stylez, Kabaka Pyramid and YT have also recorded the riddim but I don’t envy them having to match the majesty of Mr Williamz tune.
You’ll have it stuck in your head so enough… “We run England… Buda bye bye bye… We run England“!
The Dubwood Allstars – ‘Under Dubwood‘
Take Richard Burton’s powerful reading of Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milk Wood” layer it with echo and reverb and float it over the top of some prime King Tubby Dub. The resulting oddball but endearing 7″ is available on the Caught By The River website’s record label.
Cat Power – ‘Manhattan’
Chan Marshall aka Cat Power took her first tentative steps to stardom in the bars of Manhattan, both living and playing in the borough. There’s a dreamlike but wistful quality to her ode to the place where she began, with simple piano chords looping throughout and Chan’s voice at its most ethereal.
I could only find a snippet of the track online as a preview but hopefully thats a flavour.
The Trash Company – ‘I Don’t Mind’
The Trash Company released its first single in 1979, the follow up arrived in 2012. The Funky Virginia blog has a fascinating look back at what happened to singer and songwriter Max Monroe in between. Peoples Potential Unlimited and Steady Sounds will be releasing an album of unreleased material spanning the late 70’s through the early 90’s soon.
“I Don’t Mind” has a lo-fi looped-up almost hip hop beatbox rhythm as the distorted fractured vocal intones that “its party time and we’re out to have some fun“. In the mid 80’s Monroe sent some songwriting demo’s into Capitol Records and received the stark reply, “Some music was never meant to be heard.” They were wrong.
2011’s “The Dragon Of an Ordinary Family” by Jehst arrived to glowing reviews and cemented his place as one of the key figures in Uk Hip-Hop.
While not a full blown follow up October 15th sees the release of a Jehst produced concept album saluting the life, work and vices of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson‘.
“Kingdom Of Fear” takes its title from Thompson’s 2003 acerbic sort of autobiography, although whether the album will tramp on Nixon’s grave or threaten to “piss down the throats of the Nazi’s” who vote for Republicans like George Bush is unclear.
More likely is a spirit of rebellion against authority or as Jehst and Kashmere’s YNR label puts it the two took a “typically Gonzo approach to the album, churning out beats and bars with a vulgar disregard for refinement“.
So far two tracks have appeared in advance of the release and the Jean Terrell’s “How Can You Live Without Love” sampling “Live Without Love” should increase anticipation for the album even more.
Mystro – ‘So Long (feat. Lloyd Brown)’
Mystro has been producing UK Rap-ups of the year for eons as well as frequent slickly produced Youtube tunes like his comical trainer fixated take on “I Know You Got Soul”, so it’s something of a surprise that “Mystrogen“ is his first full length release.
He’s clearly pulled out all the stops and all the names in his address book to mark the occasion as reggae legend Junior Reid, Mr Thing, Homeboy Sandman, and Xavier Barnett to name but a few appear. “So Long” features the unmistakably sound of UK Reggae veteran Lloyd Brown as he smoothly and sweetly bids “so long” to an ex who just has to go.
Alex Isley – “Into Orbit”
As Julian Lennon and many other sons or daughters of iconic stars discovered it’s a mixed blessing to try and follow in the footsteps of your famous parent. So no pressure then if you’re an aspiring Soul singer and your surname is Isley.
Alex, daughter of the Isley Brothers, Ernie shows her pedigree not only with a gorgeous soul voice but also in the fact that she’s written and produced her debut EP.
The Love/Art Memoirs is available for the irresistible price of nothing over at Audiomack.com along with Vol.1 of her covers collection (inc. Frank Ocean)
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Grapevine (The Reflex Stems ReVision)
The Reflex always use the original multitrack stems to create their remixes and this time its Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 70’s epic eleven-minute version of the Marvin Gaye classic getting a re-rub. Buy here: http://thereflex.bandcamp.com/
Daughter – ‘Love (Synkro Edit)’
Manchester producer Synkro drops a bootleg edit of Daughter’s “Love”.
Raymond Antrobus & A.P – ‘Interrogating Depression’
As a member of the Spoken Word collective ‘PiP’ (Poem In-between People) Raymond Antrobus along with founder members Inua Ellams, Joshua Idehen (Benin City) and Musa Okwonga have spent the last half decade promoting spoken word as far and wide as possible.
On Soundcloud Raymond describes “Interrogating Depression” as a poem he wrote “after thinking about how people have many different ways to describe depression and what it is… I caught myself sitting down and asking myself if I had it… This poem was my way of interrogating it“.
Producer Alex Patten provides a starkly effective keyboard refrain and vocals to back up Raymond’s thoughts.
Killer Mike – ‘Untitled’ / ‘Reagan’
The Gaslamp Killer – Seven Years of Bad Luck for Fun (with Dimlite)
Neil Halstead – Digging Shelters
Lianne La Havas – No Room For Doubt (feat. Willy Mason)