Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Respect The Shuffle

This morning my iTunes provided me with an inspired selection and played the eight tracks below on the bounce which made for a very entertaining way to start the day. Respect the shuffle.

Most of these .mp3s have been culled from the always excellent Best Foot Forward, which saved me from having to record them from vinyl for all of you. Respect to Kev, Scholesy and Ryan for what is always an outstanding and educated read. You can catch Kev and the rest of the crew at Common every Saturday playing leftfield gems aplenty to an enthusiastic crowd in my favourite bar in the NQ by a mile. Check the artwork on the walls as well if you get a chance to get down there.

If any of these records belong to you and you'd like me to take them down then just holler.


Milton Nascimento is a Brazilian musician who has played alongside jazz luminaries such as Wayne Shorter, Jack deJohnette and Ron Carter as well as featuring on albums by Quincy Jones, Paul Simon, Duran Duran and Cat Stevens amongst many others. His records have been played at the funerals of Ayrton Senna and Tancredo Neves, which should give you an indication of the esteem that he is held in amongst the Brazilian people. I have no idea what Para Lennon é McCartney is about but I'm going to take a stab at it and say that it has something to do with John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Milton has also written songs about other figures of popular culture most notably River Phoenix which made a Brazilian woman I was teaching English to last year cry, so it must have been some heavy shit. This is a record that you can play at any time and it will go off. It's short, sweet and to the point and if any of you re-edit kings are out there are reading this, for the love of God please leave this one alone, it is perfect as it is.

Milton Nascimento - Para Lennon é McCartney


Metalchicks are an all-girl Japanese noise/metal/synth/whatever duo who are apparently determined to make metal for the dancefloor. Now as frightening as that may sound to those of us who use a bit of hair product on our shorn locks, what they have achieved with this track is nothing short of sensational. Conspiracy is a slow, lethargic electronic groove punctuated by the gentlest of female vocals, it is another record that I can't find fault with. On the back of this however I did buy their album and what I was confronted with was something more akin to The Boredoms and OOIOO and not much to do with sand between your toes in the Balearics, which is where Conspiracy is firmly rooted in my mind. That's not to say it isn't good, its just that I could've done with an album of beautiful languid Conspiracy clones.

Metalchicks - Conspiracy


I've already waxed lyrical in the past about Sebastian Tellier on here before, which you can read here if you haven't done so already. I have no idea who Principles of Geometry are but all I can tell you is that this record is something that could be played anywhere from cosmic ho-downs to minimal mind massacres and at all points in between. It utilizes a refreshing use of off-beat drum programming and almost melancholic synths that prove that over the past year or so some of the most refreshing advances in electronic music have most certainly been made by the French. They all seem to be looking to the past to produce music that is the steamrolling the blueprint of the future. Superb stuff.

Principles of Geometry- A Mountain for President featuring Sebastian Tellier


There is nothing that I can tell you about 'Mad' Mike Banks and the rest of the Underground Resistance that hasn't been said countless times by the media rehashing the same scraps of information thrown to us by the notoriously media-shy UR collective. What I can tell you is that the first time I heard this record in a club when it was played by Laurent Garnier in Taipei on a rainy Wednesday night that it nearly took my head off. It's all about the wonky bit that comes in at about 1:30 in and on the night Laurent mixed this in perfectly with Radiohead's 2+2=5 which was a magic moment if ever there was one. I've tried the same mix on countless occasions and failed miserably but that goes without saying as my mixing skills can be at best agricultural. As an added bonus the lyrics aren't your usual 'reach for the stars, I love you' rubbish but are well thought-out and meaningful which endears the record to me even further.

Underground Resistance - Transition


The Bar-Kays were initially an instrumental band on Stax/Volt and were most noted initially for being the former backing band for Otis Redding in the late 60s and and who unfortunately lost a number of their members in the same plane crash that claimed the life of Otis when he was traveling on route to Madison, WI. The two surviving members regrouped and experienced mixed success over the years most notably with their Hendrix cover Copy Cat and an appearance on the hugely successful Shaft soundtrack. Over the years members have come and gone but they're still performing their brand of psychedelic soul the world over to appreciative audiences. Personally, I think that Holy Ghost is far away and their best track, it's as heavy as it is raw. This record shakes the foundations in a night club and will do so for as long as people want records that bring out that primal quality in themselves.

The Bar-Kays - Holy Ghost


Released after King Britt's The Philadelphia Project on Rope-a-dope, this hugely ambitious project under the guidance of Carl Craig and featuring such acclaimed musicians as Marcus Belgrave, Bennie Maupin, Francisco Mora Catlett and a host of others has birthed a host of boogie bursters including the Electric Chair favourite Think Twice, but for me the standout track on an album of standouts is Space Odyssey. It's all about the horn on this one, which is played to within an inch of its life and wrapped up in a spellbinding blanket of electric piano goodness ably delivered by Amp Fiddler and superlative stick work from Karriem Riggins. As far as I am concerned this is in the top echelon of jazz records and is best listened to with your amps set to 11.

The Detroit Experiment - Space Odyssey


To be honest, I don't know shit about Arto Mwambé beyond that he is from the 4am pissed out of your mind tongue-twister, Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and that he has released records on Output and Brontasaurus, which is the home to this little beauty. Noh Ngamebo is brilliant a piece of house music. Kicking off with a few hand-claps and some percussion this track really gathers steam once the immaculate piano-line comes in that sets the tone perfectly for the driving groove which is accentuated with the smallest of vocal samples. This is a lesson in how to make great, timeless house music and I'll definitely be buying anything that bears his name in the years to come.

Arto Mwambé - Noh Ngamebo


Philly-born chanteuse, Marsha Hunt has starred in Hair (for which she was recommended by David Hockney no less), had a child with Mick Jagger and worked with people such as Marc Bolan, John Mayall and Elton John as well as being a breast cancer survivor and author. Basically as far as potential biography subjects go she is top of the list. (Oh No! Not) The Beast Day is a record that isn't particularly hard to find but does come with a price. It's a bare-knuckled no-holds barred rampage through psychedelic soul music complete with a non-sensical chorus backed by those all important hand-claps and gun-slinging guitar work, this is a bomb and then some. If only more records were as raw as this one then we'd be all the better for it. I did hear an edit of this by Lee Douglas that was meant to come out on Editions Disco that is the most superfluous edit in a sea of superfluous edits that litter the stores at the moment. All he did was simply loop the intro a bit and extend the track by a whole 45 seconds which is as pointless as it gets really and is a shame as Lee is normally so spot on with the records that he releases - check New York Story and Our Song for two supreme examples of his usually impeccable work.

Marsha Hunt - (Oh No! Not) The Beast Day

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