Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sitaar Tah! – Tah!!! (2007)

Found this one on another blog a while ago. Wish I remembered which one. Anyway, it’s a bunch of Japanese people making droney psychedelic sounds using sitars, tablas and electronics. Really neat stuff.


Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)

This one's for the children.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

V/A – The First Days of Funk, Volume One (2005)

Here's something to lighten the mood a little after the last couple of posts.

Disc 1:
Disc 2:

Basic Channel – BCD-2 (2008)

Part 1:
Part 2:

Kevin Drumm – Sheer Hellish Miasma (2002)

Exactly what the title says. Wave upon wave of beautiful, nightmarish noise.


Harry Partch – Seventeen Lyrics of Li Po (1995)

Partch based this, one of his earliest extant works, on the texts of the 8th-century Chinese poet Li Po. Written between 1931 and 1933, The Seventeen Lyrics were composed for Intoning Voice and Partch's creation the Adapted Viola, a hybrid consisting of a cello neck grafted onto a viola's body, its open strings tuned one octave below a violin. Performing the work on this 1995 recording are tenor violinist Ted Mook and intoning voice Stephen Kalm. (allmusic)

“The Lyrics by Li Po are set to music in the manner of the most ancient of cultured musical forms. In this art, the vitality of spoken inflection is retained in the music, every syllable and inflection of the spoken expression being harmonized by the accompanying instrument. The music accompaniment, or, more properly, complement, in addition to being a harmonization, is an enhancement of the text-mood and frequently a musical elaboration of ideas expressed” (http://www.sequenza21.com/index.php/952)


Iannis Xenakis – La Légende d'Eer (1978)

The music of Iannis Xenakis can shuttle seamlessly between extremes: from ancient mythology to modern science, from the intensely visceral to the impossibly cerebral and from private insight to public spectacle. Few of his works spanned these poles as effectively as his landmark electro-acoustic tape piece, "La Légende d'Eer. Written for the opening of the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris in 1978, "La Légende d'Eer" is a sweeping 45-minute work that takes its title from the myth of Er as recounted in Plato's "Republic." The music is a dense futuristic assembly of materials including non-Western percussion and constructed noise, and a dizzying array of computer-generated sound derived from Xenakis's complex theories of probability. (http://www.moderecords.com/catalog/148xenakis.html)


Saturday, March 28, 2009

King Sunny Adé – Juju Music (1982)

King Sunny Adé is the undisputed master of Jùjú, a type of Nigerian pop music that combines electric guitars and synthesizers with dense polyrhythms and talking drums. This was the first record he put out on a major label, and the one that introduced him to the world.


Autechre – Confield (2001)

Dense, fractured, ominous electronic pulsations. Almost too much for the human brain to take in at once. This is the kind of thing our robot overlords will be grooving to a hundred years from now.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Can – Ege Bamyasi (1972)

Can is, quite simply, the greatest rock band ever.


Curt Kirkwood – Snow (2005)

This was my soundtrack to the summer of 2006. Curt Kirkwood is a member of the Meat Puppets, an Arizona band that put out a string of amazing psych-rock albums in the 80s and then had about seven and a half minutes of fame after making a guest appearance at Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance. This is his first and only solo outing so far, a fun little country/folk record. It’s a fairly stripped down and understated affair, dominated by acoustics guitars and Kirkwood’s trademark acid-fried poetry sung in his lazy drawl.


Roland Kirk – Volunteered Slavery (1968)

Roland Kirk was one of the most enigmatic performers of the 60s jazz scene. A blind saxophonist with bizarre dress sense, he very much played the goofball on stage, often handling several instruments at once (including a little flute stuck up his nose) and entertaining his audience with oddball banter. But he took himself and his work seriously, scoffing at being labeled a jazz musician and preferring the term black classical music.
The first half of this album is made up of upbeat R&B inflected tracks and a couple of cheesy (but fun) covers. The title track, with its deep grooves and soulful call-and-response chanting, is especially good. The second half, a live performance from the 1968 Newport Jazz Festival, is where things get serious. It spotlights Kirk’s unique habit of simultaneously playing 2 or 3 wind instruments, all while making bizarre mouth noises. The John Coltrane tribute medley is an 8-minute chronological encapsulation of Coltrane’s various styles, starting off melodic and bluesy and ending with wild free-form explorations. It’s heartfelt and intense, and a testament to Kirk’s amazing saxophone skills.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fairport Convention – Unhalfbricking (1969)

amazon.uk product description:
Unhalfbricking marked a turning point for Fairport Convention and is a definitive amalgam of their influences. The three Bob Dylan songs featured look to their past as a band predominantly influenced by American folk, rock & roll and singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Dylan himself.
Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson were quite possibly the best female vocalist and best guitarist the UK has ever produced, but at this stage they were also budding songwriters of extraordinary potency. They each contributed two songs, showcasing a lyrical and musical vision beyond their years.
The final part of the jigsaw is the 11-minute "A Sailor's Life", representing the future of the band. A folk song that Sandy knew, they transmuted it to stunning effect, showcasing Thompson's guitar playing alongside the searing violin of eclectic folkie Dave Swarbrick in a long electric workout to close the tune.

An authentically timeless album and quite possibly the place to start (though not to stop) if you have never before heard any Fairport Convention. --James Swift


John Coltrane - Olé Coltrane (1961)

I have a hard time talking about jazz without sounding like a douchebag, so I’ll just leave you with this little article for basic info.


Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Shahen-Shah (1988)

Wikipedia says:
Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia, particularly in areas with a historically strong Muslim presence in Pakistan and parts of North India. It's a vibrant musical tradition that stretches back more than 700 years. Often listeners, and even artists themselves, are transported to a state of wajad, a trance-like state where they feel at one with God, generally considered to be the height of spiritual ecstasy in Sufism, and the ultimate goal of the practice.

Part 1:
Part 2:

Scientist – Dub In The Roots Tradition (1976)


Cesária Évora – Miss Perfumado (1992)

Cesária Évora, born in 1941 in the port town of Mindelo on the Cape Verde island of Sao Vicente, is known as the barefoot diva because of her propensity to appear on stage in her bare feet in support of the disadvantaged women and children of her country.
Long known as the queen of the morna, a soulful genre sung in Creole-Portuguese, she mixes her sentimental folk tunes filled with longing and sadness with the acoustic sounds of guitar, cavaquinho, violin, accordian, and clarinet. Evora's Cape Verdean blues often speak of the country's long and bitter history of isolation and slave trade, as well as emigration: almost two-thirds of the million Cape Verdeans alive live abroad.
Evora's voice, a finely-tuned, melancholy instrument with a touch of hoarseness, highlights her emotional phrasing by accenting a word or phrase. Even audiences who do not understand her language are held spell-bound by the emotions evident in her performances.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Grizzly Bear – Horn of Plenty (2004)


Various Artists – Congotronics 2: Buzz 'n' Rumble from the Urb 'n' Jungle (2005)

This one's awesome. Electro-fried Congolese music. Traditional instruments and percussion are combined with fuzzy guitars and layers of chanted vocals to create deep, trancey grooves. Very hypnotic.


Róisín Murphy – Ruby Blue (2005)

Jazzy electro-pop tunes with lots of crazy found-sound percussion and some beautiful singing.


Friday, March 20, 2009

The Revolutionaries – Drum Sound: More Gems From The Channel One Dub Room 1974-1980

This king size dub album is a lion of a record roaring with dub plates, rarities and obscure gems. Dominated by the drums of Sly Dunbar it represents a golden period when Channel One held the key to much of what was to follow in reggae music. The sound of Channel One, which achieved worldwide prominence in the mid-seventies reggae boom, wielded an unparalleled influence throughout the world. Its origins were based on Ernest and Jo Jo Hookim’s lifelong love of music and their fascination with the way it was made. They were true visionaries and it is impossible to overstate the influence that the brothers’ custom built studio wielded on the development of Jamaican music. The Channel One drum sound was totally unique and Sly Dunbar, along with engineers Ernest Hookim and Barnabas, would spend days perfecting it. As its fame grew all kinds of people, including Sting and The Clash, came to the studio to try and capture some of the magic that was created down on Maxfield Avenue. (http://www.pressure.co.uk/item/PS55/)


Growing – All The Way (2008)

Growing are a guitar/bass duo from New York that create droney, hypnotic soundscapes using loop pedals and an assortment of other equipment and effects. Here’s their most recent album.


Sis – Trompeta (2008)

Celebrate the first day of spring with some groovy dance music.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Substantial – To This Union A Sun Was Born (2001)

This one’s really nice. Substantial is an MC from Maryland and this was his first album, a collaboration with Japanese producer Nujabes. Here’s something from his Bebo profile:

When Substantial was recording his debut album, ...To This Union a Sun Was Born, he was driven by adversity. The Maryland native was struggling to balance school with a budding music career, was homeless at times and still reeling from having buried more than ten friends and family members.
The resulting album—produced by Nujabes and Monorisick of Hyde Out Productions and released in October 2001—earned Substantial international critical acclaim and a particularly devoted following in Japan, where it was recorded and distributed.


Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band – Lick My Decals Off, Baby (1970)

This album came out right after Trout Mask Replica, and is similar in style, though considerably toned-down. The songs here are about as jagged and abstract as those on Trout Mask, but the band is smaller (guitar, bass and two drummers) and more focused. The Captain still belts out his baffling poetry like a rabid werewolf, but also seems to show some concern for traditional song structure, like repeating melodies and the occasional chorus.


Mr. Fingers – Amnesia (1988)

Classic album by Chicago house producer Larry Heard. It's a compilation of his earliest instrumental demos from the early 80s.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals (2007)

Boubacar Traore – Kongo Magni (2005)

Boubacar is the man, but his records can be ridiculously hard to find. If you like this one be sure to check out the awesome tape posted over at Awesome Tapes From Africa.


Ricardo Villalobos – Vasco (2008)

To celebrate the first Chilean flag on my flagcounter here’s the latest Ricardo Villalobos record.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Sisters Love – Give Me Your Love (2006)

“The Sisters Love released a superb set of soul/funk tracks between 1967-73 including the underground disco classic ‘Give Me Your Love’. ‘Ahead of their time’ is a much used phrase to describe some of the most creative groups and The Sisters Love were most definitely that.”


Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92

Because this site needs more Aphex Twin. Here’s allmusic:

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 is a desperately sparse album: thin percussion and several haunted-synth lines are the only components on most songs, and Richard D. James added only one vocal sample on the entire album ("We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams"). Also, the sound quality is relatively poor; it was recorded direct to cassette tape and reportedly suffered a mangling job by a cat. All this belies the status of Selected Ambient Works 85-92 as a watershed of ambient music. It reveals no influences and sounds unlike anything that preceded it, due in large part to the effects James managed to wrangle from his supply of home-manufactured contraptions.

Part 1: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?eztvqyd2toy
Part 2: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?zxwzokyxtwy

Abner Jay – True Story of Abner Jay (2009)

Snagged this one off of the Hipinion forums. There isn’t much info about this guy online, but here’s a cool article.


Method Man – Tical (1994)

King Tubby & Soul Syndicate – Freedom Sounds In Dub (1996)

This is about as good as it gets.

Part 1:
Part 2:

Skream – Essential Mix (06-17-2007)

Dubstep has been pretty big in the UK for a while now, and Skream is one of its major proponents. Here’s a 2-hour mix he put together for BBC Radio a while back. It covers pretty much all grounds within the genre – from murky and sinister to murky and sinister.

Part 1:
Part 2:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ponytail – Ice Cream Spiritual (2008)

Been hearing about these guys for a while and finally decided to check them out. This is a pretty neat little album. Listening to it is kind of like drinking a whole pot of coffee and being happy and dizzy at the same time. The singer (if you can really call her that) pretty much yelps and hollers all the way through. The few words you can make out are gibberish, but you can tell she’s really excited about something. I give it 4 thumbs up out of 5.


J Dilla – Donuts (2006)

Here’s the wikipedia page for some info.


Kamaal the Abstract (2002)

Here's Q-Tip’s 2002 solo record, a loose and laid-back set of tunes with some heavy jazz and soul overtones. A lot of this reminds me of Prince. It was apparently deemed too uncommercial and never released. This is what Q-Tip had to say about it:
“I am really disappointed that Kamaal wasn't released. LA Reid didn't know what to do with it; then, three years later, they release Outkast. What Outkast is doing now, those are the kinds of sounds that are on Kamaal the Abstract. Maybe even a little more out. Kamaal was just me, guerrilla.”


Aphex Twin – Analord 10 (2005)

This one’s short and sweet. Part of the vinyl Analord series, which saw Richard James’ return to analog equipment after messing around with computer music for a few years. There’s a lot going on in this 13-minute set. Old-school skronky bass stabs, ghostly synth pads and weird vocoder sounds are the order of the day.


George Coleman – Bongo Joe (1968)

This one's kind of nuts. George Coleman sings some pretty demented blues. He delivers rambling monologues, shrieks, whistles, laughs and barks like a dog all while banging on an empty oil drum.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Boredoms – Vision Creation Newsun (2001)

One more.


Boredoms – Super æ (1998)

I just can't get enough of these guys.



Waves of fuzzy ambient sound, sparse drum beats reminiscent of Boards of Canada, and two very stoned-sounding MCs trading nonsensical lines and telling stories that seem to go nowhere. Really good stuff.


DOOM – Born Like This (2009)


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Boredoms – Live in Vancouver (6-29-99)

The sound quality’s not great but it’s a wild performance.


Rembetika: Greek Music From The Underground (2006)

From the Wikipedia:
"Rembetiko is the name for a type of Greek urban folk music. A roots music form of sorts, the sound of the genre reflects the combined influences of European and Middle Eastern music. Rebetiko music has sometimes been called the Greek blues, since like the blues, it grew out of a specific urban subculture and reflected the harsh realities of an oppressed subculture's lifestyle: poverty, alienation, crime, drink, drugs, prostitution and violence. But rebetiko's subject matter also extends to other subjects: romance and passion, social matters, people such as the mother, death, the difficulties of living in a foreign country, army life, war, trivial matters of everyday life, exotic places, poverty, labor, illnesses, and the minor sorrows of people. Also like the blues, rebetiko progressed from being a music associated with the lower classes to becoming during the 1960s and later a revived musical form of wide popularity, especially among younger people."