Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Left Right Project

Adidas recently did a project where they invited two artistic institutions from both the East and West coasts out here to paint two SUV-sized versions of the iconic Superstar complete with fat laces for a showdown on Venice Beach. The left shoe was reserved for the West Coast and it was put in the more than capable hands of Sam Flores who was representing San Francisco's Upper Playground and the right shoe was entrusted to New York's Surface2Air featuring Gordon Hull, Daniel Jackson and Alexia Stamatiou - eventually the shoes were trucked to Venice for the showdown. Props to whoever came up with the concept but how pleased would you be to get a phone call asking you to paint and customize a pair of kicks of this size? Some people get all the luck.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ofo The Black Company - Allah Wakbarr

This track is baaaaaaaaad. Apparently Ofo took the band to the United Kingdom in the 1970s and they fused their afrobeat leanings with a heavy dose of funk and psych for a sound that is as raw as it is uncompromising. This came out as a tidy 7" on a label called Decca and costs a pretty penny to get your mitts on it but thankfully it has been re-issued on various compilations such as World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love Is A Real Thing and Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of Funky Lagos both of which would make fine additions to your collections if you haven't already got them. The b-side Beautiful Daddy is just as out there and equally as good and it's just a pity that my copy has a ton of surface noise or I'd have it up here before you could whip out a hand-drum.

I don't know anything else about them and if anyone can point me in the right direction I'd be truly grateful as the dealers that I use only know of this gem - a feast for your ears and your feet. Play it louder than a bomb.

Ofo The Black Company - Allah Wakbarr

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Websites You Should Visit

I did a post a few months ago on 10 of my favourite websites, which you can read here, and I thought I'd add four more to the mix.


This is a great blog on African music, sourced and compiled by John Beadle who from January 1985 to June 2001 produced and hosted a one-hour program called African Beat on WYMS 88.9 FM in Milwaukee. The name Likembe refers to the Congolese version of the thumb-piano, an instrument that can be found across Africa. It's a pure labor of love and is to me the definitive source for music from the continent. Brilliant blog. You can read it here.


San Francisco-based Rebel8 is the main source for the work of celebrated artist Mike Giant. They have it all on here - witty posts, incredibly technical artwork, an openness and enthusiasm for the scene of which they are apart and a store where you can buy everything from t-shirts to socks to posters to Sharpies! What more could you ask for? You can read the blog and do a wee spot of shopping here.

Fecal Face

Fecal Face is a great resource for up and coming and established artists. The work is brave and uncensored plus the site includes blogs by some of my favourite artists such as Jeff Soto as well as interviews with artists, a gallery guide and loads more. Dive into the site here.

The Love Unlimited Soundsystem

This is a great blog. Based loosely in house and disco, they cover a lot of bases and dig up a lot of gems. They also host mixes by some great DJs and the site is well-designed and very easy to navigate. You can read the blog here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My literary hero on celluloid? IN!

Bullion - Get Familiar

Bullion is another member of the burgeoning beats scene that is taking over the world at the moment but what makes him stand out over the Hudson Mohawkes and Flying Lotuses of this world is his ingenious use of melody and his startlingly brilliant arrangements that have made him a new favourite of mine. This record is huge and if you splurge on the 7" (but do hurry) you'll get the equally accomplished Rude Effort on the flip. I'm really enjoying this new, well new to me, scene that has emerged as before I only knew of people like Tom Trago and Mwëslee, whose single that came out on Nod Navigators at the beginning of 2006 is a record that went a bit under the radar but is one that you should get on immediately as it does have a bit of a nod to late 90s Detroit house - think Moodymann on heroine in a good way - check the cut Sta Fixe, Pa! for instant gratification.

Bullion - Get Familiar (LINK REMOVED BY REQUEST) Buy the download from here or the 7" from here.

I found this version of The Beach Boys' I Just Wasn't Made For These Times and it has end-of-the-nighter written all over it. The wife really likes this one.

The Beach Boys - I Just Wasn't Made For These Times - Bullion remix

Monday, June 9, 2008

Check The Sample

The legendary Gang Starr are one of hip hop's super groups - consisting of the legendary producer DJ Premier and MC Guru their style is equal parts jazz, funk and hip hop. One of my favourite cuts of theirs is Jazz Thing, which is one of those records that you can play in both a disco and a jazz set, I think that Defected even included it on a disco compilation a while back. Check The Technique is a record that I seemed to hear played out every once in a while while I was in England and it generally gets me on the dancefloor, although to be fair it doesn't take much. Premier has sampled the Marlena Shaw version of California Soul, which most people consider to be the definitive version and it's being used on an advert out here in the States at the moment but I can't remember for which product, sorry.

Marlena Shaw is of course probably best known for her work on Cadet and Blue Note and she was famously sampled on Blueboy's Remember Me that was absolutely massive in the mid 90s. Remember Me is probably one of the best b-sides ever from a financial point of view next to Sister Sledge We Are Family, which was broken by Kenny Carpenter at Studio 54 before other DJs cottoned on and it became the wedding dancefloor behemoth that it is today. Marlena still belts it out and I think she's touring the states at the moment.

Gang Starr - Check The Technique

Marlena Shaw - California Soul

My favourite version of California Soul is still the sublime Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye version, which is easily in my top 10 records of all time. I need to get another copy as my 7" is practically worn out from all the times I've played it.