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I grew up in a childhood Xanadu. Now, living in the concrete jungle of London, the camp imaginings of Exotica play heavy on my heartstrings. I love this weird ‘totally tropical’ music with its’ imagined tribal utopia full of nubile Amazons (as opposed to Amazonians) clad in leather loin cloths. Tarzan and Jane dancing in a frenzy to ritualistic tribal beats.Filed under: Afro-Latin, Music Blog, Other Worldly
I thought it would be fun to check out some of the greats of funky hammond jazz. I’ve selected a bunch of my favourites and you are in for a treat here. From Jimmy Smith to Brother Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff to Lonnie Smith, Ronnie Foster (who played with Grant Green on Sookie Sookie) to Charles Earland (who played with Lou Donaldson), these are amongst the hottest organ players of the 60s. Boy could they stroke those keys!Filed under: Music Blog
Who is this strange figure that stands before me, nonsense words pouring from his mouth? The year is 1916, the photo captures a performance by Hugo Ball at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. The new century is just getting up a head of steam, WW1 underway, the worlds of art theatre and music are all finding new ways to express belief in the future promise or ways to protest at the injustices of the modern world.Filed under: Music Blog, Uncategorizeable
During the early 80′s, in the capital of the United States, just a stones throw from the presidential mansion, lived a dirt poor community of black folks. There were few jobs and this community was badly neglected. Against this backdrop, on the outskirts of the city in warehouses and secret parties a new sound was swinging across the neighbourhoods.Filed under: Electronic, Music Blog, Sample-Based
It’s funny what you can find right under your nose sometimes. I live around the corner from a little DIY venue called Stoke Newington International Airport, and some friends invited me to a gig there last night: L’Orchestre du Montplaisant.Filed under: Afro-Latin, Music Blog, Other Worldly
Popcorn is a form of music retrospectively applied to pop music with a rockabilly or rhythm and blues feel. It tells the story of love lost, and other dark tales. It is often linked with Belgium, where some of the tunes come from although many of the tunes were also no-hitters made in the United States. Many of the tunes reinterpret the rhythm and feel of the track ‘Fever’ by Little Willie John.Filed under: 6 of the Best..., Music Blog
As the 60’s drew to a close, the kids in Spanish Harlem were tripping on a new sound. With a growing self assurance a younger generation of Cuban, Puerto Rican and South American immigrants began to tell a new story in their Boogaloos. This is the altogether more gritty and dark tale of a life hustling on the streets of New York. Labels such as Speed and Cotique brought these yarns of blunts and broads to a small but appreciative audience as a new psychedelic latin sound was created.Filed under: 6 of the Best..., Music Blog
In the 20’s and 30’s itinerant musicians would travel around with their guitar developing a sound that came from gospel, african, and slave roots. These intermingled to form the blues. A storytelling mode, the blues often told tragic tales of woe in a simple twelve bar format. New guitar playing techniques were invented to describe musically these tales of the downtrodden.Filed under: 6 of the Best..., Blues, Music Blog
Check out this amazing book covering body adornment from all over the world. These decorations have meaning and cultural context. Tattoos from the modern primitive movement don’t compare with these for authenticity, complexity or truth.Filed under: Music Blog
Living in the 21st Century it’s easy to think that we have a monopoly on behaviour of a certain type, that we invented transgressive sexuality and that the frisson one gets when taboo subjects are raised is an entirely new emotion. These records are here to prove that this is not the case.Filed under: 6 of the Best..., Rock 'n' Roll
What’s the best instrument?
Some people will immediately disagree with me, perhaps they’ll say it’s the guitar, maybe drums, but I’ll always opt for brass. Always. When you hear a killer jazz track with a great horn line that’s the instrument that does the deed, kills it. Stone dead I might add.Filed under: Manifesto, Music Blog
As a bandleader during the 30’s and 40’s Raymond Scott was well respected as a great tunesmith and musician, his melodies later found their way into the Loony Tunes cartoons of the 1950’s, helping along many a Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny cartoon.Filed under: Electronic, Music Blog
From the starting point of COUM Transmissions, a performance art group centred around Genesis P Orridge and the stripper Cosey Fanni Tutti, a notorious history and reputation for confrontation, experimentation and invention was born…Filed under: Electronic, Music Blog, Other Worldly
The best early ragga came out of the dancehall scene in late 80’s and early 90’s Jamaica. It features MC’s ‘chatting’ lyrics in Jamaican patois over electronic beats and basslines. Often, the same rhythm track would be used over and again with different lyricists toasting or rhyming in a competition for the best match of rhythm and MC. The Jamaican DJ’s would play a number of these variations on the same currently popular ‘riddim’ and the people would decide… Here are a few of the winners.Filed under: 6 of the Best..., Music Blog
Yellow dog head with elongated pig snout. Is this Quasimoto, the Bad Character?
Quasimoto, The Lord Quas, he has a high pitched helium voice, a squeaky rapper, he’s the Loop Digga, his influence come from odd corners, Russ Meyer, the phat beats of David Axelrod and the intergalactic grooves of Jazz freak Sun Ra, the Astro Black numibian with a message for the world
Thinking back to when I first started buying records as a kid, one of the things that helped me decide what to buy that week was the graphics and sleeve designs. I thought I’d collect together a bunch of my favourite generic company sleeves for this post.Filed under: Eye Candy, Music Blog, Record Art
If you got love trouble, you got a bad woman you can’t control, I got just the thing for you, something called Controlling Hearts and get together drops.
If you work too hard and you need a little rest try my Easel eyes rub, and put some of my balls fix gel in your breakfast.
The ‘Chanson Marocaine’ was a Moorish-influenced mix of rumbas, tangos and tziganes. These were Spanish and North African sounds which must have spoken to the desire for the exotic amongst Parisians of the time.Filed under: Music Blog, Other Worldly
Before they gained their international reputation for outré electronica, Warp records were a killer proto-rave label with outstanding Sheffield bleep tunes by the likes of the (then unknown) Aphex Twin, Tricky Disco, Nightmares on Wax, Sweet Excorcist and Coco Steel and Lovebomb.Filed under: 6 of the Best..., Music Blog
For me, Guru & DJ Premier are essentially telling the same story as Robert Johnson or John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters or Howling Wolf. They are using intelligence and wit to rise above their adversity and to lead others away from the same predicament. The Blues at it’s finest.Filed under: Blues, Music Blog, Sample-Based
The gravelly voice of R.L. Burnside sweeps across you like a desolate wind. There’s great warmth in his voice though. It’s the voice of a sharecropper from the Mississippi hill country, who’s seen it all and wants to lay down his life story before death.Filed under: Blues, Electronic, Music Blog
For a Few Dollars More, I’ll take you down into darkest Mexico where the chica’s eyes flash like daggers, but you just might get your throat cut, Gringo. Mexico; the US’s bad little hermano, where the cactus pricks you like a sharp conscience and where the touch of a woman is a sweet “Aloe Vera”. The legendary land of ‘La Cucaracha’ and of Pancho Villa, of Santa Anna and the Alamo. Let’s go get drunk down in Baja, boys and let’s see if the little men in pantalones brancas don’t come back and bite you on the ass! Que Pasa Hombre?Filed under: Music Blog
For 50 years or more, music from the Indian subcontinent has taken Western influences on board and mirrored them back at us but with a unique twist which is quirkily Indian. Here you will find Bollywood and sitar takes on funk, surf guitar, swing and garage! I’ve tried to include some of the greats of Indian music from composers RD Burman and Kishore Kumar through musicians Ananda Shankar and Shankar Jaikishan to the fantastic vocal talents of Asha Bothle. I’ve finished off with Ravi Harris reversing the trend as a Westerner playing Eastern music. Tune in, Turn on, Wig out.Filed under: 6 of the Best..., Music Blog
Badly shaped and fresh faced, art school antics afoot, the Night Train Express with me in tow for a wild night, Loud by Half Japanese was coming out of cheap speakers, masking tape and wire strung, the turntable that played too fast.Filed under: Music Blog, Other Worldly, Rock 'n' Roll
As the ska sound developed some of the key artists began to search for true African roots within their musical journey. Artists such as Roland Alphonso and Prince Buster began to make a handful of tunes which took the ska form in new directions evoking the imagined sounds of ancient Egypt and Morocco, the spice caravans and Islamic North Africa.Filed under: Afro-Latin, Music Blog
With everything there’s always a starting point. Abrasive non-conformists and proto punks running wild in Hamburg, The Monks are that point. The beat group that would be the anti-Beatles, the first Krautrockers and they’re were all American GIs. It’s the 60’s, it’s Germany and it’s The Monks.Filed under: Rock 'n' Roll
Check out this great modern Cumbia band!
I’ve heard these guys play and they rock it out Colombian style y’get me?Filed under: Afro-Latin, Music Blog
Written in 1967 as a collaboration with fellow composer Michel Colombier for a Maurice Béjart ballet project, the Messe Pour le Temps Présent is no doubt Pierre Henry’s most widely known work. Pierre Henry started experimenting with sound when he was 15 and has devoted his life to avant garde composition and music concrete.Filed under: Electronic
Step forward my main man, Davie Allan, the axe toting Clint Eastwood of down and dirty fuzz guitar. Link Ray showed the way, here you go lads and lasses, the guitar sounds well cool when it fuzzes and distorts. Taking on board all that Uncle Link could teach him Davie set forth to bring his own ways to bare upon this much loved instrument.Filed under: Rock 'n' Roll
Hailing from Pittsburgh, Mad Mike was an ‘iconoclastic’ DJ who built his reputation on playing music from the underbelly of rock & roll. During the 60’s, he sought out the unknown in music and brought it to the mainstream through his Radio show Mad Mike developed a world-wide reputation amongst lovers of rock & roll by playing wild garage tunes from bands such as the Sonics on his show, often giving them exposure for the first time.Filed under: Music Blog, Rock 'n' Roll
The Blaxploitation Movies of the 1970’s were the first films to give black folks positive role models and to make Black people the star of the movie. They told the stories of the street, of pimp’s, hustlers and hookers and are the true origin of the phrase ‘ghetto fabulous’. They have some of the funkiest soundtracks ever created.Filed under: 6 of the Best..., Music Blog
If political correctness is your bag, read no further, but if you like the frisson of a spicy tale told in a hushed whisper, my darling, read on. Lord Kitchener made his name singing saucy and downright ribald calypsoes. His lyrics tell down-home stories of sexual derring-do, the stories of a naughty, but hugely loveable scallywag, and his wicked ‘Carry On’ exploits.Filed under: Afro-Latin, Music Blog
A very special long player hit the racks in 1980 called Miniatures, an album of tiny masterpieces created to last 1 minute. Miniatures enlisted the talents of a broad range of artists, ranging from the contemporary avant garde elite, improvisers, poets, punks and raconteurs, all rising to the challenge of the minute time slot in their own unique style.Filed under: Electronic, Jazz, Music Blog, Other Worldly, Uncategorizeable
Straw hat and bandana, bad boy chewing on a chicken bone, thumping on the bass drum with one booted foot and thrashing manic on his beat-up guitar, this is how Hasil Adkins performs and learnt to play the songs he heard on the radio as a kid.Filed under: Blues, Music Blog, Rock 'n' Roll
We surely need to reinvent a way of acknowledge the brilliance of great thinkers without trying to own their ideas in whatever form. If we don’t, we’ll end up in a world where everything, but everything, is owned.Filed under: Manifesto, Music Blog, Sample-Based
I dunno about you but I can’t think of much better to listen to on a lazy Sunday afternoon than some bad-ass Kentucky blue-grass with banjo and baritone voice à la redneck. Good ol’ boys singing about one night stands, and clear blue windswept skies. It leaves you feeling pretty bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, much like the octagenarian lady embossed on a plate on the album’s front cover.Filed under: Blues, Music Blog
Twisting styles in his vocal delivery, a true rockabilly originator and a country singer who would cover and own all the songs that he put his mark on. Like a lot of the rockabilly I first enjoyed, I came to know Charlie Feathers music through my passion for The Cramps warped take on rocking sleaze, garage boogie and b-movie meltdown.Filed under: Rock 'n' Roll