Friday, October 31, 2008

Mirroribis - Let's K

Here's another local who is making quality electronic music. You would think we would have some sort of venue to cater to all this local talent, but you'd be surprised how many people have made our particular local scene their enemy. If there WAS a way to promote the scene here, people would learn that not only is this a very diverse artistic environment, but that some of those among us are at least as good as anything you'll hear anywhere else (I'd have to say, sometimes better). Mirroribis makes very minimal electronic music that seems to tie the atmosphere and glitchiness of Oval together with driving Aphex Twin influenced rhythms that sound like they are made out of rough samples reminiscent of early Mum. Also, at times there is a playful toying with the very foundations of electronic music, not unlike Pan Sonic. I know I'm throwing a lot of names out there, and unfortunately minimal electronic music is one of those genres that seem endlessly wrought with reference points and "influenced by" sounds. For fans of this kind of music, it will be a welcome addition to their listening. For those who think they could scratch an Enya CD and it would sound just like Oval, this will probably be lost on you.

Download "Let's K"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Long Time Gal/Boy

Here are two vastly different versions of the same calypso tune:

"This Long Time Gal A Never See You" - Monty Reynolds & the Shaw Park Calypso Band

(available on Mento Madness: Motta's Jamaican Mento, 1951-1956)

"Long Time Boy" - Nadia Cattouse

(available on Cult Cargo: Belize City Boil Up)

The first version is by Monty Reynolds & the Shaw Park Calypso Band. Technically, Monty Reynolds is a mento artist - mento being a distinctly Jamaican form of Caribbean folk music. His version of the song is upbeat - manic, even - especially in comparison to contemporary mento artists like the Jolly Boys.

In constrast, Nadia Cattouse's take on the song is slow, romantic, and folky. I love the flautist's emulation of birdsong throughout the recording. Go buy the entire Numero Group catalog - seriously.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Os Megatons (self titled)

Os Megatons were an instrumental rock and roll band from Brazil. This record was released in 1964. Much like The Ventures, they tend to lean toward surf on most of their tracks here. the quality of musicianship and production is pretty high, and their distance from the american scene seems to allow them a unique approach, free of the cliches that are commonly found in american surf rock. This is a tight, highly enjoyable record!

Download "Os Megatons"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the steel and brass band.

i went to an estate sale a while back and found a really strange album called "steel & brass" in a stack of (mostly) worthless records. it was in decent shape and i was somewhat intrigued, so i bought it. turns out that "the steel and brass band" was directed by this guy, an influential steel drum player from trinidad. the record contains steel drum versions of popular songs from the late sixties and early seventies. the tracks are both bizarre and really, really awesome. enjoy:

"everybody's talkin'" - the steel and brass band (yes, the fred neil/harry nilsson song)

"aquarius" - the steel and brass band (from the musical "hair")

Saturday, October 18, 2008

'nard - bernard wright

bernard wright's 1981 album 'nard is an important document of an obscure and little studied era. in the early eighties, disco was over, funk was going electro and jazz fusion was starting to become really lame. the saving grace of dance music during this period was the rise of hip hop. bernard wright was not a rapper or a d.j. - he was, in fact, a sixteen year old jazz keyboardist - but this (his debut record) combined all of the innovations of seventies' funk and fusion with the latest sounds pouring out of ghetto blasters in new york city.

wright was an integral part of the jamaica, queens funk scene, which consisted of quite a few jazz players who weren't afraid to dabble in r&b. (one of the significant hits from this period - "funkin' for jamaica" - was by moonlighting jazz musician and queens resident tom browne.) 'nard is, in my opinion anyway, probably the best record to come out of that scene. it's been sampled to death, which ought to tell you about its popularity among collectors and d.j.s. check it out:

"haboglabotribin'" - bernard wright (sampled in snoop dogg's "gz and hustlas")

"master rocker" - bernard wright (slightly dubby jazz-funk number)

"just chillin' out" - bernard wright (apparently this was the single from the record.)

"spinnin'" - bernard wright (sampled in skee-lo's "i wish")

Monday, October 6, 2008

it's time for: REVIEW A REVIEWER!

Scott Jensen - "Nothing Gold Can (or should) Stay"

the first thing I have to point out is that this outright unwarranted attack on Santogold comes to us from the same publication that gave the new kings of leon record 4 out of 5 stars (sorry scott harrell, but you admitted it was sort of biased, no?). to go on a rampage against mediocrity and celebrate it elsewhere is just inconsistent.

also, the piece in question assumes that to tear something down and spit on is to enlighten. santogold sounds nothing like either cyndi lauper OR lil wayne, but mr. jensen seems to think Santogold could be their lovechild. she has her similarities to a lot of folks, and no one is claiming her to be some sort of creative messiah. m.i.a. did the electronic stuff better, but I still think she's kicking gwen stefanie's butt in the rock arena. to site her dub influenced work as "sublime on acid (paraphrased)" not only misses the point completely, but also thinks that lee scratch perry and bob marley are the same thing. look, I don't even particularly enjoy any kind of reggae, but I still know there's a huge difference between the two. john (crayon) made sure I at least knew that.

I have another bone to pick with this article. it says that people only like Santogold's music because they're stuck up "pitchfork's ass". first of all, p4k didn't give her record the best review either. secondly, why try to set yourself apart from someone else who basically does the same thing you do? it's all radical statements to upset people into wanting to read your rag. get real. stop being such an attention whore.

-edited: correct link

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pride - Pride

It may sound like some sort of pretentious music snob joke, but there actually HAVE been records by bands that never existed. This is one of them. It was actually a project put together by David Axelrod in 1970. The vocalist is rumored to have been a former member of Love. It's a spanish style influenced psyche record with really great production (this is a surprisingly good transfer for such an extremely rare record). Enjoy!

Download "Pride"