Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Audio treats
Get em while they hot!
1 Erykah Badu - Honey (Grant Phabao remix) here. Okay, so it's the gazillionth remix of this tune,but its some tasty reggae styles...
2. Sean Paul - Get busy Dapkings vs Ticklah mash (b.cause edit) over here. Fun lil mashup...
3. Myron and the soul investigators - Cold game here. Soulful Finnish cats... really...
4. DJ Hen Boogie feat Kissey Asplund - Adore here. Jazzy skippy beats with great new Swedish singer.
5. The Knux - Cappucino here, scroll down... melodies and rhymes from two New Orleans fellas now based in LA.
Death Row Records bankruptcy auction.
"It was perfect. The portrait of Nate Dogg in itself was tacky, but Suge Knight's alleged tweaks to the painting -- black eye and multiple bullet holes -- were priceless. The frameless artifact wasn't the most glamorous or even the most infamous item up for bid at Sunday's "Death Row Auction" in Fullerton, but it was the most poignant. Priceless and poignant, unfortunately, being way out of my price range. Officially dubbed "Case # 2:06-bk-11205-VZ," the day's festivities were ordered up by the US Bankruptcy Court on behalf of Suge Knight and Death Row Records."
More here, plus photos.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Florian Schneider leaves Kraftwerk after a 40-year partnership.
Only just saw this... "Last year the band were back on tour in Ireland, eastern Europe, America and Australia. Schneider dropped out of the touring line-up in April last year [didn't make it to NZ, then}. He was originally rumoured to have left the band in November. With characteristic tardiness, Kraftwerk have now made his departure official." From the Independent.

Deutsche Welle suggests that "There are plenty of reasons not to care about Florian Schneider leaving Kraftwerk. The group made its last proper record in 1986 -- and its last great one in 1981. Since then, it's been mostly remixes and one-off jingles, with Schneider declining to take part in tours....

People only passingly familiar with Kraftwerk think of them first and foremost as pioneers of electronic music, specifically synth-pop and techno. They overlook the fact that the group wrote more than their fair share of universally catchy, at times stunningly moving melodies.

Take, for example, "The Model." On first listen, the 1978 Kraftwerk original sounded like satirical ditty with a danceable beat about the cult of beauty. But it also contained a wistful nine-note central theme, whose profound sadness only became fully apparent when covered in 1992 by the classical Balanescu Quartet.

Or listen to "Computer Love" -- an homage to and melancholic reaction against electronic amor whose melody was so great not even Coldplay could ruin it when they appropriated the tune for their 2005 song "Talk."

Kraftwerk were unlikely to ever reach those heights again, and Schneider's departure is almost certainly the final nail in the creative coffin."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Music lists: best of 2008, very late addition.
One of the things I love about this time of year (Dec/Jan) apart from the warm weather, swimming in the sea and long weekends, is seeing all the music lists that folks put together of their faves from the past year.

I get to see how many albums I picked up that other folk rated - for example, I bought one off the NZ Herald's top 30, and two off Real Groove's top 20 - maybe if I gave a crap about indie guitar rock the number might be higher, but I don't. Guitars are so last century.

It's also a chance to see what albums slipped by me in 2008. I've been mulling this post over for a few weeks, so, I'm gonna write this really fast and just get it out, before January disappears. So, here's The Top Five Albums I Slept On in 2008.

Read on, but there's a catch - if you're gonna read it, then you have to come clean and tell me what albums slid by you last year - please add them in the comments. Don't be shy.

The Bug - London Zoo (Ninjatune)
The Bug dropped a killer album in 08, throwing down monster basslines and heavy dubbed out beats, and bringing in some fine reggae vocalists like Warrior Queen, Flow Dan, Ricky Ranking and Tippa Irie to name but a few. He's been lumped in with dubstep, but his style really stands outside that genre, if simply for the fact he doesn't fall into the sonic cliches that have rapidly gripped that scene by the throat. Heavyweight business. He's also playing live (with Warrior Queen) in Auckland Jan 31, plus dates in Welly and Chch, alongside the excellent Rhythm and Sound crew.
The Bug (Myspace)

Flying Lotus - Los Angeles (Warped)
This one turned up on a lot of end of year lists, especially on The Turnaround newsletter. There was a lot of hype around this fella from LA (trivia: Alice Coltrane was his aunt), among the cooler than cool post-Dilla hiphop heads, and the zany dubstep kids too.

I also seemed to hear a new exclusive track from him nearly every week on Benji B's BBC 1Xtra radio show, and when he played in Auckland a few weeks back, the cool kids lost their nut. He put on a great live show, and spent the entire set bouncing up and down going mental, dropping everything from crunchy, dubbed out electro to mad gabba techno. Shame the sound system was cranked up so painfully loud. Slack promoters - look after your punters, don't deafen them! You want them to come back, right? Bah! Anyways...

Los Angeles is an album that I already knew a number of the tunes from having heard them on the radio, but its still a delight to hear. His tunes are jammed full of sonic ideas, and never outstay their welcome - there's seventeen tracks on here. Gorgeous, bleepy, funky, audacious hiphop/electronica. Well worth checking.
Flying Lotus (Myspace)

Santogold - Santogold (Downtown)
First heard of Santogold when the music bloggers started raving about her early last year, the next MIA, that kinda nonsense. I listened to her tune Shove It which I thought was great, and finallly grabbed the album late last year, and discovered that particular song was the only one on the album I liked. I heard her live show at Rhythm and Vines was great, but this is a disappointing debut. A mish mash of electro, some good ideas not fully explored. Doesn't do it for me.
Santogold (Myspace)

Como Now - Various artists (Daptone)
When I saw Sharon Jones and the Dapkings last March at Womad, they did an interview session with NatRad's Nick Bollinger. Gabe Roth, Dapkings bass player/band leader/Studio wizard, and Daptone Records honcho talked about their next release, which was an acapella gospel album. He wasn't expecting it to sell in huge numbers like the Sharon Jones and Dapkings records, but he wanted to put it out anyway, because it's a great record. And it is. Here's the backstory...

""Deep in the heart of Panola County, Mississippi lies Como, a small rural town where children and grown folks alike have been living and breathing gospel for as long as they can remember. In the summer of 2006, Daptone Records placed a small ad in local papers and on the radio inviting singers to come down to Mt. Mariah Church to record their songs. The result is COMO NOW, a stirring collection of traditional and original acappella gospel from the voices of Panola County's own families." Read more about it here.

Pure, unadorned vocal performances captured live: it's deep soul.

Eli Paperboy Reed and the trueloves - Roll with you (Q Division)
Wonderful raw soul on this disc from a US outfit led by Massachusetts fella Mr Reed. There's something very joyful in it's simplicity. Heartfelt music that goes for the gut. Reed and band played in Australia last year and return down this way later this year - I'm hoping and praying someone brings them over to our shores, cos they would absolutely go off! Similar live vibe to Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, who they've opened for in the US.
Eli Paperboy Reed (Myspace)

Righto, what album's did you sleep on in 08? Let me know in the comments. Thanks.

And while we're on lists, here's Gille Peterson's Worldwide winners for 2008.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ring The Alarm playlist, BaseFM, Jan 24
Noiseshaper -Moving together
Mr Vegas - Must come a road
Cedric Im Brooks - Mun dun go
Bronx river parkway - Nora se va
Katalyst - Say what you feel
Magic circle express - Magic fever
Nina Simone - Taking care of business (Pilooski re-edit)
Dusty - Voodoo
Eru Dangerspiel- Sun again
Dub colossus - Azmari dub
Manasseh meets the equalizer - Pepper dub
Issa Bagayogo - Dunu kan
Chakachas - Jungle fever
Mophono - The edge remix
Prince Charles and city beat band - Cash (cash money)
Liquid crystal project - Tribute to TROY
Mark de Clive Lowe - Mesmerised feat Lyric L
Joe Bataan - The bottle
James Brown - Funky president
Dusty Springfield - Spooky
Miles Davis - Different blues (Applejuice kid remix)
The new sound crusaders steel band - Israelites
Courtney Melody - Black liberation
Freestylers - Ruffneck
Benga - B4 the dual
V V Brown - Crying blood (Andrew Weatherall remix)
Kormac - Harry's record machine