Part Two of the Father AbrahamListen To This” and a chance to redeem myself with two musical selections following his underwhelming response to the magnificence of Afrobear. I would protest that PolarBear wasnt really moaning about the hardships of making music, but more the humour of getting recognised while still struggling.
Elsewhere Abraham’s selections had me imagining I could cut it on the dancefloor in tight white pants, while his second choice reminded me of my utter failure with girls in my teens (a sentence with three more words than necessary if ever there was one).
Alan Wilkis’s brand of 70’s/80’s funk was a delight and thank heavens as he knows how to use Google Alerts and emailed me less than 2 hours after I put it on the blog.  Thumbs up to Google for making it impossible to be really rude about people without them finding out! In fact he’ll probably be reading this now so everyone wave or better still say hello on Twitter.

Very Best – “Warm Heart Of Africa (Alan Wilkis mix)” (MP3)

Finally a doff of the cap to Father Abraham for taking part.  Visit 52pickup.us for a brand new track every Thursday until the end of the year or subscribe as a podcast (click here for itunes).

So enjoy Part two of “Listen To This” aka “My name is Father Abraham and I’m here to tell you my grandma has better musical taste than you do“! (Part One here)

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MUSIC LIKE DIRT CHOICE 2

Cracks In The Concrete – “Ballad Of Ashley Marie” (MP3 Removed by request) Buy

MLD:

you cant afford me, you sad sorry fuck… im dearer than rubies, youre shit out of luck

If my first pick Polar Bear’s lyrics read like screen plays, then Glasgow based “Crack In The Concrete” deliver the whole damn film. The tense score and narration generate a brooding building menace that sparks images up flickering before your eyes, like an unknown Burroughs or Hunter S screen adaptation.

Writer Megan Green collaborated with Graeme Miller (aka Cracks in the Concrete) after meeting in a disused underground tunnel. The resulting work sounds like they didnt return above-ground until the track was completed.  A “mutual fascination for distortion, perversion and the murder ballad” gave birth to this torrid tale of putrid water, smeared lipstick and seeping blood.

I stumbled across this on Ten Tracks, a highly recommended website that offers up bundles of tunes hand picked by wise musical boffins at the astounding price of a quid for 10 songs!!

Cracks In The Concrete have also teamed up with vocalist Louise McVey for an EP due in October.   McVey brings the same world weary torch singer sound to CITC that Beth Gibbons does to Geoff Barrow’s Portishead. Myspace

Father Abraham:

Man, you like long songs.

I far prefer the passages where Miller’s vocals don’t rhyme or at least stray from recognizable rhythmic patterns. Something about the Seussian cadence of the section starting at around 3:35 really undoes the song for me. It seems like a step back from the opening section. Also, “Ashley Marie” and “eternity” seem to me an awkward rhyme and a stilted way to end a song.

I will say that I’m probably completely missing some of the stylistic nuance, or noir, or whatever, that drives this song as a murder ballad.

Perrey++Kingsley+PerreyKingsley_photoFATHER ABRAHAM CHOICE 3

Perrey & Kingsley – ‘One Note Samba (Spanish Flea)” (MP3)

Father Abraham:

It’s the waiting room song!

The liner notes for The Essential Perrey and Kingsley describe these guys as “The first music for easy listening ever recorded on the Moog.” I cannot argue with that.

I was first introduced to Perrey and Kingsley in college. A friend of mine named Bob Cobb put on The Essential Perrey and Kingsley while we played a promotional DVD for Acacia National Park on mute. Wizard of Oz + Dark Side of the Moon it was not, but I purchased the CD the next day and had 4 seizures, which was a record for me at that time.

Perrey and Kingsley are the disaffected lovechildren of Walter and Wendy Carlos.

P&K are endlessly sampled, although not by me, so I cannot link you to any related songs, although I did once make a song about Jacques Cousteau called (wait for it) Jacques Cousteau.

I will now leave you with this quote from their Wikipedia page, because if I’m going to write like a ninth grader, I might as well research like one, too:

Moog Indigo, a Jean-Jacques Perrey solo album from 1970, featured a cut called “E.V.A.” This slow, funky track is one of the most sampled in hip hop and rap music history. In the U.S., it is currently being used in a TV ad for Zelnorm, a prescription medication for female irritable bowel syndrome.”

MLD:

As a bloke sat typing on a laptop that with the right software could emulate practically every instrument known to man its hard to grasp the ground breaking nature of the work of people like Jean Jacques Perrey.  Pioneers like Perrey (and of course the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) created their soundscapes using complex tape loops, effects and early precursors to the synth (like the Ondioline).

For me whats special about Perrey is his playfulness. He may be using the principles of musique concrete, channelling Salvador Dali or stretching out the envelope of recorded sound but his music never seems far from a giggle.  Witness this YouTube clip of a 80 something Perrey’s delighted face as he recreates a nursery rhyme on theramin and Moog. Its a joy.

As with much of my musical taste I was first introduced to Perrey’s work through Coldcut’s seminal Solid Steel radio show. Back in 1997 they even got the man himself into the studio for a chat:

Coldcut meet Jean Jacques Perrey – Solid Steel 1997” (MP3)

I wish I could remember where I know “One Note Samba” from… which TV series used it as its theme. No amount of googling will reveal the answer).  How he made the weird bleeps, scrapes and beats that make up the tune remain a mystery, but this is a man who once spent a week cutting and painstakingly glueing excerpts from a recording of bees he’d made over the top of his take on “Flight of the Bumble Bee“.

While browsing YouTube I came across a tribute to Harpo Marx set to the music of Perrey… so for that Father (Abraham) I am very thankful.  Hopefully one day i’ll have children I can indoctrinate in the brothers Marx (and for that matter Perrey too) as my father(s) did me.

9MUSIC LIKE DIRT CHOICE 3

Nine HighCook Out (M-Phazes Mix)” (MP3)

Give me bacon chops, give me steak on top… make sure its blazin’ hot or i’ll get the raging trots

Music Like Dirt:
Named after their local underage alcohol vendor, Nine High claim to represent UK “to the fullest” Hip-Hop even though two of the three members emigrated to Oz in 2007.

There are some that would present “Cookout” as Exhibit A in the case for UK HipHop being a terminally backward, innovation starved poor relative of the US. I can’t deny that the insanely bouncy looped piano riff and singalong chorus sounds like something dating back to the 80’s or early 90’s but does it matter when it puts a grin on my face this wide!?

From ATCQ’s high cholesterol “Ham ‘n’ Eggs” to those Bitties in the BK lounge it seems HipHop is at its fattest and finest when worshipping at the greasy feet of fast food (actually Chicken Boi’s On The Way to KFC” (YouTube) amusingly proves an exception to that rule).
Nine High hold the chicken wing factory to ransom and gatecrash the BBQ’s all with tongue firmly placed in cheek. “Cookout” might not be clever but it is big, unadulterated fun.

Incidentally if you have even a passing interest in UK HipHop then bookmark the Certified Banger blog. For some reason I forgot about the site for an age but everytime I visit now some undiscovered gem appears. Jee4ce & Riddlah’s celebration of under appreciated celtic hiphop (download here) was almost my pick for this feature before a later visit served up “Cookout“.

Father Abraham:

Homophobia in hip-hop is a scourge. The rise and reign of “no homo” embarrasses me. It is inexcusable. Hip-hop’s social conservatism is outdated and wrong. Further, it seems financially detrimental for a genre struggling for sales to not only turn its back on an entire demographic but to actively work to exclude it as well. That said,

“all the meat we can eat”

Really?

(MLD: Reading this set me off frantically re-listening to the track to check what Buju Banton-esque lines I’d not noticed. I now realise Father Abraham has a dry sense of humour).

Also,

There is no second layer to this song. The theme is: we like to eat. I think I did a halfway decent job at flipping the script on underwater exploration in my song Jacques Cousteau. I was hoping for some more of that. At least some “We like to eat, whereas other crews are terrible at eating and possibly have eating disorders.” Or maybe some, “We like to eat… humans… because otherwise the sun will turn into a piece of coal and come crashing to Earth as was predicted by The Lord Our God Raymond Kurzweil.”
So yeah. There it is.