Saturday, May 24, 2008

Aretha Franklin - Drinking Again/Trouble In Mind

Aretha Sings The Blues is quite easily one of my favourite records of all-time, it is immaculate from first cut to last and the album is one of the few that I can listen to from start to finish without thinking about some other record to play. Aretha Franklin of course needs no introduction and her voice honed through many years of singing gospel in her father's church is shown off incredibly as she works her way through the 14 tracks on the album. This is her mastering the blues but there is a heavy swing jazz feel to some of the backing tracks on here to go with the slow deep down south gut bucket blues that endear this record so much to me. My wife introduced this album to me at the beginning of our relationship and I knew then and there that she was the woman for me and we've spent many a Sunday reading the papers with this as the perfect accompaniment. This record is bursting with emotion and soul and for my money it is easily one of the ten best records of all-time, and one that every record collection should have. I've chosen two pieces of magic for you to dive in and enjoy. What an album from one of the greatest voices ever.

Aretha Franklin - Drinking Again

Aretha Franklin - Trouble In Mind

Friday, May 23, 2008

Baggy - Space Race vol. 9

Simon Ashton aka Baggy is one third of Cosmic Disco, who did an installment of the One Hundred Project which you can read here, and I've been listening to his Space Race series since its inception and he's just dropped volume 9 for all of us to enjoy. Baggy is the sort of DJ who puts a lot of care and effort into his mixes that push the outer limits of all things cosmic. I'm not really one for putting links to mixes on other sites on here but for my fellow City fan I'll make an exception because of the sheer quality of his efforts, he's definitely one of the best out there.


Jerry Goldsmith - Flameout [MGM]
Harald Grosskopf - Emphasis [SKY]
Codek - Closer [Island]
Love International - Airport Of Love [Polydor]
Laurie Anderson - Excellent Birds [Warner]
Bill Wyman - Nuclear Reactions [A&M]
Yellow Magic Orchestra - Seoul Music [Alfa]
Danielle Baldelli - Kumba [Baldelli]
Quattro - Mexican Bandito [Bar De Luna]
Yellow Power - Hai Samurai (Pilooski Edit) [Tigersushi]
DJ Enne - Lazize (Main Mix) [Compost]
Tullio De Piscopo - E Fatto E Sorde E (Money Money) [Max Essa Edit] [Strut]
Traesko - Cubacumba [Madison]
Valarenga Blues & Disko Combo - Ballerina
Cristal - La Nuit Pour Nous [Crocos]
Metro Area - Pina [Environ]
K.I.D - Don’t Stop [SAM]

Download the mix here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Padded Cell - Faces of The Forest

The men behind Padded Cell are Richard Sen of Bronx Dogs fame and Neil Higgins who was a member of the Dirty Beatniks and together they have come up with a sound that straddles that line between electro, jazz, funk, disco and techno for a sound that is uniquely theirs. They have just released their new album Night Must Fall that has more than a slight No Wave feel to it but this track, Faces of The Forest, which was the b-side to Moon Menace a year or so ago, that is to me their strongest work by a mile. It is incredibly energetic and one that could decimate dancefloors given half the chance and a record that could work as well in a Prins Thomas set as a Steve Bug set. I defy you to try to not dance to this.

Padded Cell - Faces of The Forest

Innerzone Orchestra - At Les

Innerzone Orchestra was a side project under the immaculate vision of one of my heroes, Carl Craig, who in my opinion has done as much for music as the likes of Davis, Coltrane and whomever the jazz nerds care to mention to counter the argument. The project has its roots in one of the benchmarks on the drum 'n bass scene Bug In The Bassbin, a record that still sounds incredibly cutting edge and futuristic and from here James Lavelle picked up the record and re-released it on his incredibly influential Mo' Wax label and from here Carl Craig set up a live band to go with the project and who at the core he recruited no less than Francisco Mora who was a member of the great Sun Ra's Arkestra and Craig Taborn who played with the Art Ensemble of Chicago plus in addition to those two incredible musicians the group also included Paul Randolph and Matthew Chicoine who is of course better known as Recloose. An incredible line-up and one that surely should've produced more than one album but the work that was produced, 1999's Programmed, is one of the best and most complete albums of all time, irrespective of genre.

At Les is a bonafide techno classic, a record that frequently comes up in many of the world's best DJs top 10 all-time tunes lists, and one of those records that is as perfect as it is simple. It is all about the piano-line for me and one that perfectly compliments the rest of the sounds and the percussion that pushes the record forward. I've easily listened to this at least a thousand times and I've never grown bored of it. You've probably all heard it before but once more isn't going to hurt.

Innerzone Orchestra - At Les

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Undisputed Truth - I Saw You When You Met Her

Undisputed Truth were a 70s Motown band used by the legendary Norman Whitfield as an opportunity to experiment with different recording techniques in order to make his own brand of psychedelic soul. You may know other cuts of theirs such as Ball of Confusion, Smiling Faces Sometimes and Law of The Land all of which are essential but for my money I Saw You When You Met Her is by far away their best work. It is a record that was far ahead of its time and one that will still work in clubs today, an unbelievably good piece of music and one that has been on constant rotation since I stumbled upon it a few months back.

Undisputed Truth - I Saw You When You Met Her

Santogold - Starstruck

Santogold was a member of Philadelphia-based punk band Stiffed and has recently set sail on a solo career that has resulted in her self-titled debut album that is easily one of the freshest things that I have heard in a long time. Unsurprisingly she has been compared to M.I.A. and her goal is quite simply to bring back pop records that have a bit of depth to them instead of the cardboard cut-out product endorsement twaddle that litters the airwaves. I've chosen Starstruck off her album because it reminds me a bit of a Ben Mono record in that it is hard to categorize it as it skirts the lines between hip hop and techno with a bit of cosmic sensibilities thrown in for good measure. It is a record that is fresh as fuck and one that you really shouldn't overlook. The fact that she was brought up on a diet of Fela Kuti records endeared her that much more to me as I'm sure you can imagine given my borderline obsession with the Kalakuta Emperor.

Santogold - Starstruck

Monday, May 19, 2008

Isn't Youtube Great?

This is a campaign video by two students up here at the Idyllwild Arts Academy for possible election for Student Body President and Senior Class President. I think it is hilarious.

I'm a huge fan of stop-animation and this is from the Bolex Brothers' supreme The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb, which is easily in my top 3 films of all-time.

This a documentary by Doug Pray called Surf Wise and I really want to see it.

The older I get the more I get into Fela Kuti, and this documentary isn't helping me decide whether or not to drop $80 on a slightly dubious piece of Fela magic one little bit. No more expensive records, he says...