Friday, February 8, 2008
Bits 'n Pieces part 2
This is a cover of Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music fame's 1985 hit record and is a great piece of understated acoustic pop music from this Berlin-based chanteuse, and to my ears is one of the best balearic records released in years. I must have played this at least 4 or 5 times on my radio show last year and not many records got more than one airing from Paul Hughes and I, so that is as good an endorsement as I can give in all truth. Masha's album Unsolved Remained from a few years back is also worth tracking down. She also releases her work on the always good Morr Music and if you haven't checked out the label yet then I implore you to seek out its back catlogue and the artwork and general aesthetic is superb as well. Quality over quantity.
Masha Qrella - Don't Stop The Dance
My love of Afrobeat is well documented, some of you may have read my short piece on the late, great Fela Kuti from a while back but if you haven't then you can read it here.
Michigan's NOMO have been making waves with prominent taste-makers and record collectors the world over with their take on the afrobeat sound in the tradition of the foundations lay down by the likes of the great Fela Kuti and Francis Bebey. NOMO is based around a core of eight multi-instrumentalists lead by Elliot Bergman and comprising Erik Hall, Jamie Register, Dan Piccolo, Olman Piedra, Dan Bennett, Ingrid Racine and Justin Walter. After previous releases on Kindred Spirits and Ypsilanti Records they have now found a home on Ubiquity Records on which they released the superb ‘New Tones' - easily my album of 2006 - and on which they are set to drop their next album in the spring of 2008. They've already garnered plaudits from the likes of Urb who chose them as one of their coveted ‘Next 100' in 2005 as well as from the sadly defunct jazz bible Straight No Chaser who said, ‘If you're a fan of Antibalas, Daktaris, Tortoise, YNQ and post-Fela funkiness, then this should fit very nicely in your get-up-and-dance collection.' You can read an interview that I did with Elliot Bergman here.
This tune is from their 2006 opus, New Tones and for me it is all about the horns and the handclaps in the intro that make this an absolute party rocker. Great tune from a superb band.
NOMO - Nu Tones
Sly Mongoose are a Japanese jazz/disco/whatever band much in the mold of contemporaries such as Quasimode, Cro-Magnon, Double Famous and a heap of others borne from the forward thinking Tokyo jazz scene. They are probably best know for Snakes & Ladder which was rubbed 'n tugged to devastating effect by Rub 'n Tug a couple of years back as well as for Delusion Habit and Bad Pulse, which both made waves on dancefloors last year. For me though the pick of the tracks off their superb Tip of The Tongue State album that came out on Locarno in 2006 is Track 5 which has that feel-good jazz factor that I so love. This is one of those records that sounds amazing on really big systems and sounded great at Sankeys early doors last year before I cleared the floor with Dennis Parker Like An Eagle, guess you can't win 'em all, eh? You really should hunt down the album as, to my ears, the two weakest tracks on it are Bad Pulse and Snakes & Ladder, which should give you an idea of the quality on offer. All killer, no filler.
Sly Mongoose - Track 5
This is off the seminal Kruder & Dorfmeister Sessions album that came out in 1998 and which I bought from my friend Pierre-Estienne Bruwer's Phat Beats record store on Long Street. It goes for serious coin now and I've been tempted to cash my chips in on many an occasion but this superb reworking of the Aphrodelics has always made me opt against it. This was a massive post-club anthem for my friends and I around that time and it got a few run-outs at DRY201 in Manchester during my time over there. I love the rolling bass and the drum and vocal fills and the progression of the track through its various elements. If I ever get the chance to play at 'Nado I'd definitely play this one although the bollocking that I'd get off Moon might not be worth it, that and how do you wear a gatefold on your head?
Aphrodelics - Rollin' On Chrome - Wild Motherfucker dub
I went through a brief, horrific prog plod faze in the late 90s and this was one of the records that pulled me out of the rut and let me see the light, which is quite strange when you think that this was released back in 1989. It was on a classics mix CD that came free with Muzik, I think and we used to play this one at 11 at after-parties and it was one of those eureka moments where I realised that all that shit that I was listening to just wasn't cutting the mustard and probably wouldn't have any longevity and that records like this, which has become a bit of a guilty pleasure, would probably hold me in better stead. I do love an old rave classic and this one has had me reaching for the lazers a few times. The best bit about this record was that I found it in a bargain bin in Cape Town for the equivalent of about $3 back in the day and it was the first edition colour vinyl (which generally sound shit), so it's worth a few bob nowadays not that I'm going to sell it. You've all heard it before but crank it up, it works every time.
Coldcut feat. Lisa Stansfield - People Hold On - Full length disco mix