Man, my fingers are cold and I am finding it hard to engage with music sans my system, so the best of the year will be a massive list, posted tomorrow.
Sorry for the bad times the past month or so-- it's been a weird time, but a good time, and 2009 will most certainly not continue the trend of non-posting-- lots of posts, all the time, especially since I am moving to a place more amenable to my set-up.
I've been watching a lot of The Wire, and always want this track to come on in an episode. One of my favorites that I find difficult to play at parties-- bitches hate this shit. Man.
Johnny Dangerous- Beat that Bitch with a Bat
Tomorrow, the first three pieces of my run-down of the year's best releases!
Last night, I came upon a CD that I made in 2006 of what I was listening to at the time-- a kind of fun trip to take, so I decided to go through some other stuff that I had forgotten about or moved on from, and came upon today's track. "Boing Boom Jack!" is an acid throwback to the extreme, with some of the most spine-riding melodic squelch this side of the new millenium. Coupled with hollow kicks, reverbed-out hand-claps, and freqent vocal sample hits that recall Armando, the track is a real burner that should get some serious love. Not even sure how I stumbled upon it, but I'm glad I did-- almost two years ago!
Diskokaine presents Trans Mania- Boing Boom Jack!
Sorry about yesterday's non-post-- I got up at 5 in the morning and only got into my final destination (PHILLY!) around 10 pm, so I was a bit wiped out. Nonetheless, I spent two flights listening to Stars of the Lid and SF's Bvdub, whose Return to Tonglu CDR is among my favorite releases of the year. As the plane was passing over the Colorado Rockies, "Always on the Outside" came on my iPod, and its soothing synth tones that stretch for immaculate distances made the mountains below that much more beautiful. Against this ambient backdrop, punchy kicks and crisp hi-hats come in, along with wild vocal samples recalling organic, ethnic throatings and whispered dialects. It was a truly wonderful moment-- almost as good as listening to Rhythm & Sound's The Versions at the same point in an earlier trip-- that made the whole breathing-recirculated-air thing worth it.
Bvdub- Always on the Outside
Tomorrow, some new old.
So, as promised, I'm giving you a track from Carl Craig, albeit a remix of the world-famous Cape Verdean chantreuse, Cesaria Evora. "Angola" is a fabulous track that shows off Craig's remixing capabilities in a more subtle realm than those you'll usually hear in a club-- the vocal loops are intense and hypnotic, Evora's rides nice and high over the rest, and the percussive elements (particularly the downright soggy handclaps) are so astoundingly well-syncopated that it is difficult not to become drunk in them. Hi-frequency pings run through the track, but mid-way, the insane synthesizers come in with an off-kilter arpeggiation, and the track becomes an African pop track in space, a veritable example of the sort of music that Sun Ra championed. One of those that's stayed with me a long time, rarely heard by a lot of Carl Craig heads.
Cesaria Evora- Angola (Carl Craig Remix)
Tomorrow, something plane-worthy, since I am flying to the East Coast for a few weeks tomorrow!
So, I promised DJ Bus Station John that I wouldn't post a certain track that he dropped last night at Aunt Charlie's, though I am way too tempted to do so-- it is a track that I've been searching for since 2006, when I heard it on an old disco/proto-house mix. But alas, you'll just have to ask me what it might be!
Instead, I give you Bobby O's biggest hit, 1982's "She Has A Way." The track uses a Moroder-style rollicking bass-line, dense synth harmonies, insane laser syncopations, and some seriously wet hand-claps. There's also the cowbell-- more than almost any other disco track, "She Has A Way" has an iconic cowbell break that is inescapable. Bobby Orlando's vocals are weirdly plaintive and somewhat threatening, and the backing singers provide a smoothness that is more Motown than Italo. What it comes down to, really, is that Bobby O's sound was re-done by countless Italians, mostly to lesser effect-- Orlando is truly one of the kings of this sound.
Bobby O- She Has A Way
Tomorrow, who the hell know? Carl Craig was here last night, so perhaps I'll give you a taste of some 2nd-Wave Detroit.
Today, a new piece from Connecticut's DJ Jus Ed, whose recent Resident Advisor podcast has definitely brought him into the current spotlight on deeper sounds from both the US and Europe. Though I had always been a bit non-plussed by Jus Ed's earlier works, his newer stuff is definitely much more striking, and today's track is no exception: "Don't Answer the Phone" utilizes a minimal sonic palette to create some fancy grooves that are definitely in-line with second-wave Chicago sounds: hollow-yet-lithe kicks, sweaty hand-claps, crisp hi-hats and marimba synth melodic bits punctuate the track. Perhaps most notable, though, is the smooth-as-silk bass-line that rides throughout, with acidy squawks and blips working a lovely syncopation. From his most recent piece with Levon Vincent.
DJ Jus Ed- Don't Answer the Phone
Coming soon, something new from a house diva of yore.
Today, a bit of coincidence strikes, as I'm giving you a taste of another TK Disco classic. Gregg Diamond's "Star Cruiser" (and the flip-side of its 12" version, "This Side of Midnight") was my formal introduction to the TK Disco sound, thanks to my compatriot in house, Leo. It's a long-running track with an excellent Philly-style orchestral arrangement, but with a bit more of a dirty soul-funk vibe than a lot of the Gamble & Huff productions. The piece also includes some really fantastic vocal pans, and of course, Diamond's sexy main vocal must be mentioned. A real 'lost' gem of the late '70s, "Star Cruiser" is sure to please.
Gregg Diamond- Star Cruiser
Tomorrow, something new!