Sunday, 30 November 2008
Alice Coltrane ‘Galaxy In Turiya’
Charlie Hayden+ Egberto Gisomonti / Gonjasufi ‘Testament’
Flying Lotus ‘Massage Situation (Stripped)’
Dimlite ‘Sun Sized Twinkles’
Flying Lotus ‘Robertaflack Ft. Dolly’
Flying Lotus ‘Robertaflack (Mike Slott Reflunk)’
Ahu ‘I Know All The Bitches (Bullion Remix)’
Heralds Of Change ‘Amuse’
Carlos Y Gaby ‘Happy Summer Solstice’
Pudge ‘Yung Infamous’
Dorothy Ashby ‘Myself When Young’
Nosaj Thing ‘Bach’
LL ‘Turf Day’
Flying Lotus ‘Infinitum (Dimlite Remix)’
Clark ‘Springtime Epigram’
Blank Blue ‘Blank Blue (Flying Lotus Remix)’
Daedelus ‘I’m String Struck’
Daedelus / Madvillain ‘Experience/Accordion (Flying Lotus Live
Hudson Mohawke ‘Zoo0000oom’
Rustie ‘Black Block Remix’
Teebs+Jackhigh ‘Idea 1 (Clutch)’
Matthewdavid ‘Tallahassee Tapes’
Martyn / Flying Lotus ‘Vancouver+Pet Monster Shotglass’
Fulgeance ‘Chico (Dorian Concept Remix)’
Joker ‘Solid State’
Daddy Kev ‘Invite8’
Ras G ‘Star Messenger’
Madlib ‘Unreleased Gem’
SAMIYAM ‘Cheesecake Backslap’
Flyamsam ‘Princess Toadstool’
Muhsinah / Flying Lotus ‘With Me/ Melt’
Flying Lotus ‘Dissecto’
Flying Lotus ‘Breathe’
Mike Slott ‘Home’
Flying Lotus ‘Sangria Spin Cycles (Ambient Mix)’
Danny Breaks ‘Cosmic Dust’
Flying Lotus ‘Beginners Falafel (Free The Robots Remix)’
SAMIYAM ‘Falafel Cannon’
Flying Lotus ‘Beginners Falafel’
Slum Village ‘Players (Instrumental)’
Flying Lotus ‘Cackle’
Flying Lotus ‘Raise It Up’
Osborne ‘Definition Of A Breakdown’
Baron Zen ‘Burn Rubber (Dam-Funk Remix)’
Chocolate Star / Nelly Furtado ‘Stay With Me/Promiscuous’
Gonjasufi ‘Suzie Q’
Kiing Midas ‘Lost (Flying Lotus Live Remix)’
Rusko / Flying Lotus ‘Terminal3’ / ‘Tea Leaf (Dancers Live Remix)’
Daedelus ‘Hours Minutes Seconds (Beat Invitational Version)’
Kode9+Flying Lotus ‘Kryon’
Zomby ‘Spliff Dub (Rustie Remix)’
Busta Rhymes ‘What Up’
SAMIYAM ‘Crystal Lake’
Weather Report ‘River People’
SAMIYAM ‘Flintstone Car’
Flying Lotus ‘Backpack Caviar’
Radiohead ‘Reckoner (Flying Lotus Remix)’
Bjork ‘All Is Full Of Love’
Broadcast ‘Winter Now’
Linda Perhacks ‘Hey Now Who Really Cares’
Flying Lotus ‘Infinitum (Exile Remix)’
Flying Lotus ‘Live Set Practice Run’
Saturday, 29 November 2008
Last night I headed down to a night featuring an insane line up put together by Loud Minority - Ahu, Bullion, Paul White, Alexander Nut, Alex Chase, Mr Beatnick, Floating Points and Sound Species (who I kicked myself for missing at Plastic People last month & were my main reason for heading down).
I haven't been to Gramaphone for anything but Deviation for a while so wasn't quite sure what to expect...it was refreshing to see a really different crowd and the raised platform at the back once again transformed in to the red light special stage (you might remember Eric Lau & the crew's legendary Deviation session earlier this year). It makes for a very intimate atmosphere (*NB if you are going out straight from work on a Friday please pack some deodorant in your back pack, that was intense).
I arrived late as per usual, with far too many hellos to say & full of far too much amazing food cooked by Stac & Abi - not just two of the most exciting soulstresses around but damn fine chefs as well - and I was unfocused on the first part of SS's set. Floating Points informed me I'd missed some amazing beats but I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of what I felt was a beautifully put together yet organic and diverse live session. If you walked past the guys from SoundSpecies in the street you really wouldn't guess at the serious talent they're working with. I've been listening to bits online but nothing's ever going to jump out of your computer and enchant your ears like live sax & flute (and what seemed to be a veritable arsenal of instruments lurking in the depths) - I was really torn between head down absorption and awed scrutiny...most excellent. Yah.
This was followed up later by a mesmerising performance from Ahu with Mr Beatnick on the decks. She has this ability to make me feel sad, curious & a need to shock out all at the same time. By the time she got to I Know All The Bitches I managed to refrain from killing the loud Irish bird at the back and realised just how long I'll want to sing along to that song - a modern classic. Just wish she'd done the spoken part at the end...and all the remix versions...but at least she kicked off rapping most of Lost Ones by Lauryn Hill!
All of this made it much easier when I bumped in to Will & Ray (*two of the most discerning party rockers I know) at the bus stop who claimed the Room 4 Movement 2000Black "A Next Set A Rockers" album launch party (Dego + Kaidi holding it down on the decks all night apparently) was the party they'd been searching for all year. Ouch. I need to mutate.
*If anyone has photos of last night let me know, I was too busy dancing.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Currently bumpin' this tune on my mp3 and i thought i'd share...
John 'Illa J' Yancey....I'm sure you all know who he's following from.....
R.I.P Dilla. *salute*
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
This is the story of 'The Four Aces Club', founded in the 60s and which for 33 years was home to the most influential black music and musicians to date. It showcased new musical genres like Reggae and Ska, also a home for Jazz and Soul. Artists like Desmond Decker, Jimmy Cliff, Count Shelly, Ann Peebles, Percy Sledge, Ben E King and Billy Ocean performed here. Includes an introduction by the filmmaker Winstan Whitter, a Q&A session with one of the original 'Aces' Newton Dunbar and a display of associated memorabilia.
Download it here
1. Heartbreak Intro
2. Buck Em Down
3. Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See
4. Ante Up
5. Breathe And Stop
7. Nothin’ But A G Thang
8. One More Chance
9. Electric Relaxation
10. Shook Ones
11. Simon Says
12. You Got Me
*Auto tune is aural marmite, I don't advocate hating on personal music preference for fear of turning in to a jazz beard stroking backpack toting music-nazi nerd. Not a good look.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
On another note....I've recently been listening to 1xtra in the office....i think i'm like a few years late on jumping on the 1xtra bandwagon...Anyhoo back to the whole point of the post...
I thought i'd share a few tracks that are keeping me....floating in amidst these cold temperatures....
Hill St Soul- Wash Away
Raphael Saadiq- 'Skyy, Can you feel me?'
-Had the pleasure of seeing him live on the 12th, Once i steal the live rendition from Chocolate Bear who captured it...i shall upload! Absolutely mesmerised me seeing him live singing this song *floats away*
Can- Vitamin C
Courtesy of Gilles Peterson dropping the track on his show and reminding me how much i LOVE this song.....I hope you guys do too!
Last but not least....this always makes me start smiling....really bad sound on the video.....sowwy!
Raymun-Do you feel like i feel
I'm afraid i'm not as technologically advanced as most on this blog so now idea how to upload downloads n stuff....so all i could give you was the videos i'm afraid!
Hope those tracks have warmed up you up as much as it has done to me in these temperatures!
Saturday, 22 November 2008
More pics here
I read a painstakingly thorough and in depth review of 808s by Shan Phearon on Pinboard Blog - and spent more time on that than I did skipping through the album. I just can't get down with this auto-tune thing. This is my personal taste speaking, it's not a review, I just feel completely disconnected when I hear what to me sounds like a sad robot who can't sing but is doing his best. Another friend had a go at me for about an hour (& is still sending me messages about it) because I don't like Chopped and Screwed by T Pain & Luda. I don't like cough syrup either, sorry. I heard a very interesting take on 808s by another friend which in summary was - he's about to drop a hip hop record really soon which will send everyone crazy, but if you keep doing the same thing people won't be so eager for it, so he made this album on purpose - like Common's Electric Circus. Who knows what he's about to do next. I have so much respect for Kanye despite never having been a big fan of his music (see the vid below). I think he has a brilliant mind, an amazing attitude and rare passion...but if this album is real it's a very personal 'I don't give a fuck what you think' statement.
Beyonce, on the other hand, is just worrying. Some things you keep to yourself - and surely your diva alter ego should be one of them (or you're entering Mariah/Mimi territory)?! I wasn't really feeling B'Day (apart from Ring the Alarm), but this new album is just waste. I really don't understand her If I Were a Boy single - didn't Ciara do this last year - much better?
That Put a Ring On It song for someone else would be acceptable, but for the woman who made Crazy In Love it's undeniably below par.
In summary - sometimes you need people around to tell you when something is 'fun to do, not to watch'. (See how many times you can apply this phrase to things you see today!). I imagine you may start with this article...
Friday, 21 November 2008
Anyway, head to THINKCOMMON.COM - it's really rather nice.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Had the pleasure of catching Robert Glasper ft Chris 'Daddy' Dave last night at Cargo last night. Words can't really describe how sick they were which leads me on to Mr Dave. There is a lot of info on Robert Glasper already with his album 'In my Element' (which is an essential for any music lover) so I thought I would highlight Chris Dave and his music. Chris is known for his incredible drum work, playing for the likes of Mint Condition, Meshell Ndegeocello, Robert Glasper, Mos Def, Bilal, Erykah Badu and many more. However the man is as you expect a dope hip hop producer too. He is part of the a group called 'The Foundation' and also produces for fellow texan mc's Kay and D.Rose. Here's a link to one of many video's of Chris tearing it up! For more info check the links at the bottom. Hope you enjoy his music as much as I do!
Chris Dave & Friends Live in NYC
I don’t do church and I hate to make the churchy references but theres no other way to describe the reverence the crowd had for them and the supernatural finesse, eleMENTAL power and prowess of their playing. We gasped at switches that could only have been realised through ESP, we swayed to the lush lyrical soul-full melodies of Glasper’s Fender Rhodes, screwface at heartfelt clustered chords, we were eyes full of incredulous bliss as drummer Chris Dave defied all laws of physics busting time, space and sound. From the pensive and mesmerising to the humourous (banter and diversion into a Bette Midler homage ‘The Rose’ – leaving the drummer just shaking his head) to downright funky and glitchy beats that’d make most hip hop producers weep.
His music is challenging enough to get your teeth into yet accessible enough to resonate long after listening. Its music that’s unafraid and to me that’s where the magic happens. A gorgeous example came in his Herbie Hancock/Radiohead mash-up of “Maiden Voyage/Everything in Its Right Place”. The whole set was so instinctive and fluid that thinking in terms of genres like jazz, soul, hip hop(to name a few) seemed obsolete - they play like its music from nowhere but the heart.
With an all-star roster of collaborations that includes the likes of Dilla, Meshell Ndegeocello, Common, Q-Tip, Jay-Z, Erykah Badu and Carmen Lundy under the belt before he even hit 30 (does the man sleep?!) and his 4th album due out in Spring 08 – he’s on fire. It doesn’t matter what kind of ‘head’ you are: In My Element on Blue Note – get it, got it, good!
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
I know it's not entirely in the character of this blog to discuss such artists, and I'm fully aware that the London Paper is cheap trite but I just can't resist the urge to share with you one of the most scathing /slash/ entertaining reviews I have come across.
I very rarely read music reviews because I find them impersonal, confusing and sometimes not specific to the record in question. Malcolm Mackenzie's article is so harsh it's funny (and dare I say NOT a lie). I'm assuming that the only remedy he could find to combat the deep sleep he felt he was being lulled into by having to endure 'Safe Trip Home' was to create a piece of writing with more life than the record in question.
I have highlighted my favourite bits in italics. The man is on fire.
Safe Trip Home
Slagging off Dido is about as boring as Dido herself. I used to wish Dido would make like the dodo and do one, but after a spate of decent releases from usual snore bores Coldplay and Keane, I was optimistic the London girl could pull it out of the bag for her third album.
Don’t let the fact Brian Eno had a hand in this record confuse you, like it did me. Very possibly, he can’t say “no” to anyone, even Jason Donovan.
The cool Bowie collaborator and Roxy Music musician has not done for her what he did for Coldplay. He weaves his magic on one track, Grafton Street – unsurprisingly a bit of a highlight – but if you didn’t know, you would never have guessed.
At 36, Dido is still as bland as edam, and you may be stunned to discover she’s even worse than before. You’ll need an ear trumpet and divining rods to locate any radio-friendly tunes equal to Thank You, Here With Me or White Flag.
To her credit, Dido was shining a dim torch on the beauty of the mundane long before Lily Allen, with lines about tea going cold and getting out of bed. She has an undeniable gift for words – not that you’ll be able to suffer the instrument of torture used to deliver them, namely her flat, featureless voice.
The music isn’t much better: inoffensive orchestral washes, sleepy beats and subtle electronica, all safe and sickly serene. Apart from a triumphant swell of recorders on aforementioned Grafton Street it’s predictable, forgettable terrain.
At its best, Safe Trip Home has distant echoes of Everything But The Girl singer Tracey Thorn, who also does the glitchy ballad thing, making the humdrum seem faintly tragic. Don’t Believe In Love and Never Want To Say It’s Love are best, but to borrow an old Dorothy Parker put-down: “She runs the gamut of emotions from A-B.” Unrequited love, fading love, loving too much – pretty soon you’re longing for a tune about her tax returns, anything but the malnourished musings on failed relationships.
We love an underdog in this country, and it would have been a lovely surprise if Dido had proven us wrong and made an essential album of 2008. She hasn’t. I think it would be best for all concerned if we say no more about it.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
One thing I notice the more of these events I go to....For some reason a lot of UK artists feel doors are closed to them before they've actually thought about what they need to do before they even get to the door, let alone how to make it open. Having a good look and finding the right doors would be a start. All of the most successful UK artists I know have one thing in common - and it's not the kind of music they're making. It's their mentality. It's the - doing for self, work hard, hustle hard, if you don't know find out, if you can't do it find someone who can, invest in yourself if no one else is, build and open your own doors, never stop mentality. Business acumen and artistry don't often go hand in hand - but if you only do the things you like doing and are really good at and ignore the boring admin or hard stuff in any line of work you're not going to get far. The fact you've decided to make an album does not then mean it's automatically someone else's responsibility to come and find you, then market, promote & distribute it for you. If you can find someone who will great, but you still might be better off doing it yourself.
With the advent of the internet I've lost patience for anyone who hasn't at least tried to work out how other people are becoming successful and then tried to make it happen for themselves. Online you can find contact details for top radio & club DJs, promoters of great nights, magazine editors, blogs that promote new music, web and graphic designers, music distributors, sites that give you legal advice, photographers - I could go on. Failing that you can get a booking agent & music PR company. Sadly, gone are the days where MCs could rely on talent, not marketing and promotion. Now - if you want to make some money you need both, it's a competitive market, and you need to speculate to accumulate.
If you look at the biggest earners in US hip hop they are all business men. Kanye West is a fairly middle class guy, English professor mother, Black Panther/ Christian counselor father, he went to art school & Uni (but dropped out). He is not a traditional hip hop story. He had to fund his own early videos because he was seen as a producer not a rapper, everyone said When Jesus Walks would fail, he came out and said "George Bush doesn't care about black people", he wrote about diamonds in Sierra Leone, and now he's singing even though he can't sing. This is a man who does whatever the hell he wants to do - he doesn't take no for an answer, he believes in himself, and he invests in himself. He never sat at home complaining Jay Z just used him as a producer, no one thought his ideas would work and no doors were opening - he made them open. I really hope the UK artists who have that mentality don't become discouraged and continue to push, and for everyone else - you better raise your game.
Friday, 14 November 2008
If you weren't at Elova's sold out album launch party at The Luminaire last Friday OH DEAR. Sweetbox is a refreshing and heady mix of music it's too hard to put a real finger on. All I can say is it works live - all of them have insane amounts of talent and every song was a pleasure. The band clearly put a huge amount of effort in turning the show in to much more than just an album launch - it was an experience of epic proportions. Check out the photos (taken by the amazing photographer Stephanie Sian Smith)... I'll expand on this later but for those of you who missed it, they're playing the last Wah Wah 45s at Cargo tonight - I'm going back for more.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
I knew about Miriam Makeba before I even heard her music.
She was one of those people whose names found their way into my early vocabulary (like 'Marley'). Her image occupied the same place in my young mind as Nkrumah proclaiming Ghana's independence, Martin telling his dream to a sea of Washington spectators or Malcolm looking out of a window, gun in hand.
She was, and will remain, genuinely iconic.
I once thought I was unfamiliar with her music until someone pointed out to me that the 'Malaika' I was familiar with was not Boney M's version, and that 'Pata Pata' - a song as familiar to me as a nursery rhyme - was hers too. I explored her and found out that there were other songs too. It was like rediscovering a childhood friend.
Unlike so many artists today, there was a depth to Makeba. Some deeply inherent cool. She was an interesting person in interesting times. The first African woman to win a Grammy, she warmed up the crowds before Ali's Rumble in the Zairean Jungle, starred in Sarafina! and appeared on the Cosby Show. She was a Harry Belafonte's protege; exiled from Apartheid South Africa; linked at a point to Kwame Nkrumah, then married, first to Hugh Masekela and then to the Black Panther, Stokely Carmichael. The latter association cost her her American music contract and concerts and the couple moved to Sekou Toure's Guinea.
She survived discrimination, divorces, bankruptcy and the death of her daughter, and somehow remained such an image of hope and positivity that she came to embody the image and idea of 'Mama Africa'; a title that became (and remains) hers to keep. It is not for just anybody that Madiba himself comes out to mourn.
Monday, 10 November 2008
America is waiting for a message of some sort or another.
Takin it again. again! again! takin it again.
Well now... no, no... now, we ought to be mad at the government not mad at the people.
Takin it again. again! again! takin it again.
I mean, yeah, well... wha-whatre ya gonna do?
America is waiting for a message of some sort or another.
No will whatsoever. no will whatsoever! absolutely no honor.No will whatsoever. no will whatsoever! absolutely no integrity.
No will whatsoever. no will whatsoever!
I havent seen any any any citizen over there stand up and say hey, just a second.No will whatsoever. no will whatsoever! I mean, yeah, so... wha-whatre ya gonna do?America is waiting for a message of some sort or another.
It sems like thats all changed now. Last night I was hanging out with my good freind the BCC IPLAYER. I noticed that Brian Eno was on the show (coincidence, i know) alongside Jack Straw and Bonnie Greer. Wicked show. The points that Greer makes are great. Will she ever age?
The highlight was Jack Straw lost for words after Eno killed him. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00fd16s
Goodbye Mama Africa, you will be sorely missed.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
I'm a part-time fan of Dizzee's music - the guy's half-Ghanaian: how could I not be? - and I like the fact that he experiments with his sound and shows some growth from album to album: something rare in the British charts. I even think that he made a valid point or two, although I reckon Ty, Roots Manuva or Soweto Kinch, for example, might have made those points better.
The whole thing reminded me of this Dave Chappelle sketch though:
That said, it's a little unfair to disparage Dizzee over this. He's a musician who (looking at his some of his recent videos) has recently taken on the additional mantle of 'entertainer' and he did exactly that: entertained.
Or tried to.
It's not his fault the BBC chose him over, say, Henry Bonsu... who is also Ghanaian.
I'm just saying.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
That's not even a particularly mind boggling line up for them. What is up with the lack of hip hop gigs in LDN? I just bought my tickets for for The Roots at the Forum in December, partly to get over the whole Rock the Bells fiasco (I don't care if Mos Def is hiding from the police for doing a Kanye on some dude's camera, now he'd best be hiding from me too). Where is Q-Tip? Don't these people want to make some British Pounds?! I figure if people aren't coming here we'd best do something about it. Next year people, I'm planning, so get ready.
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
To me, this is not about politics or money. This is bigger than that. Hope is what improves your quality of life. You can be as cynical as you like, but from today, a whole generation of young Americans - and I believe people all over the world - will grow up with the motto 'YES WE CAN'. The little time I've spent in America showed me how necessary that shift in mind state is for so many people - as ?uest says - he needed it personally. At the end of the video he talks about how he was sad for the people who weren't here to witness it - it was a really hard one for me last night not being able to share this with my father. But I can share it with you. Here are some of the songs I'll be listening to today...I'm not dumbing the list down - if today isn't the day (for everybody!) to listen to these songs I don't know when is. I'd love to hear what you're listening to today. Download them here.
Abraham, Martin & John - Marvin Gaye
An American Poem - Those Guys
Emmett Till - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Evolution - Cinematic Orchestra (ft Fontella Bass)
La Ritournelle - Sebasten Tellier
My Peoples - DJ Jazzy Jeff
Peace - Dwight Trible
Reconstruct - Muhsinah
Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud - James Brown
Solider - Erykah Badu
Supersition - Stevie Wonder
To Be Young, Gifted and Black - Donnie Hathaway
Trouble in My Way - The Voices of Como
Umi Says - Mos Def
What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
I'm listening to these songs today because to me they're full of memories, pain, power, truth, joy and hope.
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's exhibition Frequency and Volume is on at the Barbican until Jan 18th. Here's the blurb:
Frequency and Volume is composed of 48 radios, which can potentially all be tuned to different channels simultaneously. The 90-metre long arc of the gallery wall becomes a visual and sonic representation of London’s radio spectrum, constantly changing according to the physical position of its visitors. On entering the space, participants’ shadows are cast on the wall. Monitored by a video tracking system, each shadow tunes in to a radio frequency, changing channels as it moves around the gallery. The outline of a projected shadow affects the tuning, while its size controls the volume, thus the human body becomes an antenna able to tune into different frequencies. The resulting sound environment is a continuously evolving composition created by multiple contributors. ...For more info click hurrr but all you really need to know is it's free - so go...
Rafael clearly felt this wasn't enough, so his installation Underscan, part of his Relational Architecture series (a cross roads between architecture, sculpture and performance) is on IN Trafalgar Square from the 15th - 23rd November...
Monday, 3 November 2008
Sendspace link or if you have trouble with that get it from here, it's the folder called Lately...
Amede & The Soundsmith – Black Enough For You!
Amel Larrieux – Weary
Black Milk & Slum Village - What is This
Black Milk – Overdose 1
Camille - La Jeune Fille Aux Cheveux Blancs
Common Sense – A= For Effort
Declaime – Show Me
DJ Design ft Oh No & Dudley Perkins – Better Days
Elova – Walk
Eric (Showboy) Akaeze and His Royal Ericos - Wetin De Watch Goat, Goat Dey Watcham
Fidel - Nona Gouxmii's Intro
Floating Points – 2000 Black Tribute
Foreign Exchange ft Muhsinah – Daykeeper
Frank n Dank (prod. by Madlib) – Drinks Up!
Georgia Anne Muldrow & Dudley Perkins – All 4 U
Grace Jones – My Jamaican Guy
Hieroglyphics (feat Goapele) – Soweto
Lykke Li - Little Bit (Aether Remix)
Mike Slott – Deux Three
Mos Def - Life in Marvelous Times
Mr. Scruff, Andreya Triana – Hold On
Oddisee & Nikki Jean – Tell the Truth
Oscar Peterson – Piano Blues
Pete Rock vs Jay Dee – Microphone Master (Das EFX)
Q-Tip ft Norah Jones – Life Is Better
Roots Manuva (Sa-Ra Remix ft Ft. Wood Harris & Daedelus) – Too Cold
Sa-Ra (Ft Erykah Badu & Herbie Hancock) - Fantastic Vampere
Shape of Broad Minds ft Stacy Epps – They Don’t Know
Stacy Epps – Miuzik
Waajeed and the Bling47 Group – Clean Slate
Thank you to everyone who sends me things!