Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble x Matty G x Edwin Starr

After going through an intense period of Bloggrrhea I've been a bit stuck for ideas for posts this past week but today I've decided to go with three tracks with War as the title gleamed from my over-flowing record collection. I've officially run out of shelving and a trip to IKEA beckons.

First up is the magnificent Hypnotic Brass Ensemble who are made up of eight brothers and have supported the likes of Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Maxwell and their father, Phil Cohran who was once a member of the fabled Sun Ra Arkestra and who, lets face it, win all the cosmic points. Do yourself a favour and read books like Space Is The Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra and read a decent account of what is practically the impossible, trying to explain the idiosyncrasies of the great man. War came out on a very limited 10" and had taste-makers around the world salivating at its charms. This along with, Jupiter and Brass In Africa, which is their version of Johnny Pate's Shaft In Africa has just enough swing to get even the most linear of floors grooving and are absolutely essential in my book, and with both of their albums available on iTunes you should invest the cash.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - War

Here they are in their dressing room sketching something out with Mos Def.

What I know about Matty G I could write on the back of a stamp with a fuck-off thick black marker. Apparently he's American and is from Santa Cruz north of here. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a dabbler in dubstep and no more, I tend to go for the records that have a reggae-skank to them and this ticks all the right boxes. It kind of reminds me a bit of a Peter Tosh record and I used to play the great man's record Legalize It to death after my older sister introduced it to me when I was 14 or so. I was pretty, ahem, green back in those days, so it proved to be the ultimate soundtrack to my friends and my naive brand of militancy back in the day - basically we walked around wearing t-shirts that said "Adihash". I'm not even sure if we can categorize War as dubstep but regardless of whatever pigeon-hole it falls into, all I know is that I am well and truly enamoured with both its message and whoomping bass! Great record.

Matty G - War

This is a little documentary that I found that sort of explains what dubstep is.

The sadly-departed Edwin Starr is well and truly a legend. Originally a member of The Future Tones he ended up living in Detroit in the 60s and 70s and recorded, pretty much like everyone else, for Tamla Motown. War, which originated as a Temptations album track was allegedly recorded in one take and remains till this day the anti-war anthem and when the US invaded Iraq for a second time Laurent Garnier used this to devastating effect at the Electric Chair after having played the a cappella of Saul Williams' Not In My Name and as you can imagine the entire place went absolutely mental. You all know the record but with this being a time of economic downturn and recession brought upon by a government's capitalist and morally reprehensible ideals it makes War as relevant as it ever was. The one thing that irks me most is that of the people who voted to go to war not one of them has or has had a son or daughter on the front-line. Chickenhawks each and every single last one of them.

Edwin Starr - War

This is a great performance of his other hit song, 25 Miles.


Ashley said...

Probably a moot point, but both those Matty G tracks are fairly faithful re-renderings of Bob Marley numbers in a dub step stylee.


Love that Hypnotic Brass.

Marc Kets said...

So then I win points for the Peter Tosh link then. Excellent digging young, Skywalker.