Saturday, August 2, 2008

That's A Wrap

South Africa has just wrapped up our first test series win in England since readmission. To say I'm pleased is a massive understatement.

Joakim - Lonely Hearts

Joakim Bouaziz is a Parisian techno producer who isn't afraid to dip his toes in other genres and does so impeccably with everything from balearica to disco covered. Under his Jimi Bazzouka monker he released that Wings edit last year that everyone played and when I say everyone I mean EVERYONE! Recently he's been working with his band The Ectoplasmics and delivering his unique and compelling take on indie-dance music that he hinted at on his brilliant album Monsters & Silly Songs which if you haven't bought already you really should. This track Lonely Hearts was one of my favourite records of 2007 and I must have played it every week for six months both in haunts in the UK and on the radioshow. It has one of those catchy hooks that you catch yourself singing constantly for days. I love this record and I hope that you do as well.

Joakim - Lonely Hearts

Friday, August 1, 2008

Colonel Red interview

Colonel Red is a singer, song-writer and performer with a clear understanding of his roots and the heritage of his ancestors on both sides of the Atlantic that result in a spiritual and learned take on modern soul music. His debut album “Blue Eye Blak” was released on People back in 2005 and since then while a lot of contemporaries have fallen away due to the close of Goya he has continued to rise above the presipice and release music that has found favour with tastemakers as renowned as Gilles Peterson who included a track of his on a Brownswood Bubblers compilation. His work fuses an original interplay between soul, acoustic and percussion all in a way that leads me to believe that Colonel Red is the real deal and someone who we will be hearing a lot more of in the years to come.

Read the interview here.

Sly Mongoose - 模範囚/Monster Smoke

Both of these tracks are taken from the album Tip of The Tongue State of which Mule Musiq has already culled tracks like Bad Pulse and Delusion Habitfrom to rapturous responses on dancefloors last year but nothing else seems to have come from an album that is all killer and no filler, so I decided to share a few with you.

The album was a Japan-only release, which is incredibly criminal in my book as it definitely deserved to be heard by more ears. These two tracks are very different but share those qualities that made those other tracks so wonderful.

First up is 模範囚 which is veering towards the cod-reggae side of things but they reign it in just in time to make it a perfect slice of sunshine balearica that sounds incredible in the sunshine. Monster Smoke is a track that sounds very 'live' which isn't a surprise given that Sly Mongoose are indeed a live band who use very little post-production on their work - what you hear on record is very close to what you get when you hear them live and they're ripe for the festival circuit and it is a shame that bands like them, Cro-Magnon and Double Famous haven't followed in the frankly barmy footsteps of Soil & "Pimp" Sessions but anyway Monster Smoke is a psychedelic take on the disco/balearic sound that so many acts seem to be trying to do at the moment and failing miserably. It is one of those records that once you get into it, you're hooked. Superb stuff I'm sure all of you will agree.

Sly Mongoose - 模範囚
Sly Mongoose - Monster Smoke

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cobra Krames - Players Choose You

This track is a little hidden gem on an 6 tracker that isn't really that much cop beyond this Willie Hutch cut-up. Cobra Krames uses I Choose You by our man and loops it to within an inch of its life and granted it does get a bit silly towards the end but bear with me. Picture the scenario, it is 4am the house lights have come on and you've been told by the Johnny Roid Rage that you have one more and you better make it a short one, so you reach into your bag and pull out this corker and it'll have the hands in the air with smiles aplenty guaranteed. Probably would go down like a lead balloon at any other time but in the right place at the right time it'll have the punters eating out of your hands. Might be a bit of a marmite tune but it is a bit of fun in a sea of seriousness. Give it a bash.

Cobra Krames - Players Choose You

Bjørn Torske - God Kveld

This is a real gem from the one of the original members of the Norwegian dancefloor alliance that shook up the deep house scene in the mid-90s. God Kveld is off his criminally overlooked album Feil Knapp that originally was going to be CD-only but eventually a few copies were pressed up on black crack and I've almost worn the grooves off my copy. There are some many contrived nu-disco records floating about and unfortunately the smash and grab edits and sound-the-same tunes mean that truly great tracks like this one go criminally unnoticed and tragically unplayed. This is a track that I could see a great warm-up DJ using in house clubs to devastating effect. Superb stuff.

Bjørn Torske - God Kveld

p.s. Am I the only one to find the cover of the album a bit unsettling? It's like the Mona Lisa, the eyes follow you across the room.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Soft Rocks - Black Magic

Brighton's Soft Rocks have created easily the most psychedelic record of 2008 with this offering. I think it samples Stevie Knicks but I'm not entirely sure and it is especially appropriate after I have just spent 2 and a half days negotiating San Francisco to celebrate Jeni's and my one year wedding anniversary, and lets face it San Francisco is the home of all things psychedelia. The wife and I especially enjoyed going into City Lights bookstore, home of the whole beatnik thing and seeing their wonderfully humorous posters on the walls one of which read - The redlight district will be closed on June 26th because the ladies will be attending the Policeman's ball. They also had great sections with entertaining names like Muckraking etc. We easily walked 10 miles each day and our weary legs were rewarded with great food, awesome sights and some really great music being played in all the stores we went into. Soul, jazz and funk were the order of the day and I caught myself asking various kids in stores what the names of the songs were to mostly befuddled looks.

Their record stores however come well-stocked but at a price, every album was greatly inflated and you could easily get them for far cheaper on Discogs or GEMM but there is something to be said about getting dusty in a record emporium manned by someone who has given up their souls to the groove of which there are plenty in San Francisco. Anyway I'm diverging a bit here, basically this is a great addition to the Soft Rocks cannon and one that if it came on in a club I would go absolutely radio

Soft Rocks - Black Magic