Thursday, January 1, 2009

RIP Helen Suzman

One of the greatest South Africans ever sadly passed away today. Read more about this courageous woman here. RIP.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A reader writes...

This is a first, and probably a last, but I got this email from Sledge today:

"Hey Marc !

I thought some of your readers might be interested in this purchase...

Please hit it up on your site, I want this great LP to go to a good home."

...and having heard of this band before I thought I'd share with you an article that appeared in the Guardian written by Duncan Brooker a few years ago.

This is an extract from the article.

One of the bands I was most interested in was Air Fiesta Matata. A Kenyan 10-piece, Matata produced east Africa's finest funk in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1969 they played with Miles Davis in Germany, and Davis was impressed enough to invite them to America. In 1971, the BBC World Service crowned them Best Band in Africa.

Read the full article here and let me know if any of you have it or indeed if you buy it.

Oh, and while you're at it check Sledge's blog here.

Have a great New Year everyone.

RIP Freddie Hubbard

Jazz legend Freddie Hubbard passed away on Monday aged 70. Freddie is known for having recorded literally hundreds of tracks with the likes of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Cannonball Adderley, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and many others. His worked earned him Grammy awards and his playing influenced generations of trumpet players who held him awe due to his blazing virtuosity and unmistakable tone. Those of you who remember as fondly Pepe Bradock's genius track Deep Burnt as I do will recognize the opening strings to Freddie's awesome Little Sunflower, a record that I am playing as loud as I can here in my hotel room in Mountain View in honour of the great man. RIP.

Freddie Hubbard - Little Sunflower

Pepe Bradock - Deep Burnt

Sunday, December 28, 2008

El Guincho - Palmitos Park

Pablo Díaz-Reixa is Spain's answer to Animal Collective and he's heavily influenced by the likes of Brasil's Os Mutantes, who if you're not into already you really should go out and buy everything by them immediately - but what sets him apart is his genius use of sampling that can take in everything from folk melodies to afrobeat and this track was one of the standouts on an album of highlights that, again, if you haven't bought then stop dicking about and run to/click on your most trusted record emporium and rectify the situation. I must have played it at least a hundred times since I've gotten it and it gets me each and every time. Great album!

El Guincho - Palmitos Park

Live at the HVW8 Gallery

Last Sunday, Dam-Funk, Computer Jay and J-1 got together at the HVW8 Gallery just off Melrose down in LA for a jam session that Tyler and Max recorded for our aural pleasure. Check the pictures here and download the podcast from here. Look out for HVW8's collaboration with Charlie Ahearn and the Dam-Funk t-shirts in store. It is the Festive Season, so why not spoil yourself?

Pacific! - A Tree - Poney Poney remix

For the all the underground stuff that I listen to I do appreciate the occasional bit of well made pop music and Gothenburg's Pacific! certainly make the sort of radio friendly fodder that makes me listen. This is the sort of record that I'd play very late on in an evening after I've flexed my chin-strokkery muscles and I can definitely see this track getting the girls on the dancefloor, and lets face it that is what it is all about, isn't it? A lot of journalists are comparing them to the Beach Boys which seems a bit lazy to me given that they sound nothing like the Beach Boys but they do have the ability to craft well made pop songs like the California boys and I can see a lot of attention coming their way. I'm really feeling the art direction on their website as well.

Pacific! - A Tree - Poney Poney remix

Nite Jewel - What Did He Say?

Italians Do It Better are surely one of the labels of 2008 releasing essential record after essential record and this track by Nite Jewel most certainly keeps the quality of the label up. Deep, mellow and not sounding a million miles away from the magical Presence stuff that the mighty Charles Webster released ten years ago and is something that could almost be called lo-fi shoegaze and is all the better for it. Ramona Gonzalez, for Nite Jewel is she, has recorded something that I can see being a slow-burner in the coming months as more and more people get to hear it. This one has legs.

Nite Jewel - What Did He Say?

Joubert Singers - Stand On The Word - Hot Coins remix

Danny of Red Rack'em and Smugglers Radio infamy has a lot of balls to take on what is a firm classic that just about everyone who has ever set foot on the floors of more discerning discos will know and love, but what he has done is made it well and truly his track by kind of making it sound like Bullion goes house with a bit of the Singers thrown in for good measure, and deeply effective it is as well. It is by no means going to be the definitive version but I can see this one being snuck in late in the night instead of as the ubiquitous last track of the night. Well done Danny, and be sure to check out some of his other stuff on the always brilliant Tirk. A producer to keep your ears on.

Joubert Singers - Stand On The Word - Hot Coins remix (Taken down at the request of the artist)

TV on The Radio - Love Dog

It is no great secret that I love this band. I went to go and see them a few weeks ago at some corporate event down in San Diego and they absolutely blew the roof off the place with one of the most energetic shows I have seen in a long, long time. This cut off Dear Science is another great track to listen to on a mellow day and Gilles Peterson recently kicked off one of his shows with it, which just goes to show what an impact this 'art-rock' band has had on the musical hemisphere in 2008. I personally can't wait to hear more from them but I can do without the wife, who has been into them for time, telling me how right she was when she told me that I'd love the band.

TV on The Radio - Love Dog

Cro-magnon - Beyond The Summer

Japan's Cro-magnon are easily one of my favourite bands out there with a musical style that while being jazzy takes in everything from deep house to cosmic jams and all the while endearing themselves to everyone from Gilles Peterson to Prins Thomas, which is no mean feat. This cut from their Mellow Out & Acoustic CD that they recently released on Jazzy Sport is one of those tracks that expertly locks into a groove and holds it with a few key changes here and there that keep you interested - something for early doors or the messy afters. I was listening to Charles Webster's superb Presence album in the car yesterday and this is something that perfectly compliments it - I'm definitely in a mellow mood today.

Cro-magnon - Beyond The Summer