Monday, February 2, 2009

Ghosts of the Barbary Coast

... After finishing up some school work and attending to the minuscule social life I have, I thought I would indulge a little. To my surprise I had stumbled upon a few tracks from a 2005 album called “Hit the Floor” by a group called Breakestra and whole heartedly fell in love. I went on the hunt for the full album in torrent form and with little effort had found it along with some other compilations I am excited about but sadly haven’t finished downloading yet and don’t seem to be moving very fast. Anyways, this album is just one big break, and maintains a level of funk unheard of in this day in age. Although the vocals on the track are not particularly special and do not hold par to Billy Preston, Womack or Gil Scot Heron, they definitely do not take away from the tonal experience. I am thoroughly impressed by this L.A. based band and a reaffirmation of my love for Funk of all kinds has been had. I love finding a new band which rekindles my interest and love for bands which have been put on the back burner as a result of new found music.

Miles Tackett, who leads the band, is a bassist and DJ from the L.A. area who had at one point in time put on a series of DJ sets just filled with funk, soul, and breaks to which the atmosphere of the club is said to be off the wall, so I hear. Apparently, he thought it was time to start this project, and thus the formation of Breakestra. Regardless of the origins, Breakestra is unreal and hold a certain presence to which I am thoroughly enjoying as we speak. The breaks, the soul, and the funk that spew out of this music are just unreal. You simply don’t hear this type of music made anymore, with real instruments anyways. The music sounds like it should be from the early 70s … but with a sort of contemporary feel to it. Being unsure if my point is getting across here or not but just have a listen maybe you’ll get where I am coming from. To be honest I am not sure if it is in the way it has been recorded or mastered I don’t know, but there seems to be less grit and a more leveled recording. The album maintains a more “clean” sounds rather than having the grit and grim (which many of us love) of an earlier record.

I would also like to introduce a group from the Ottawa area called the Souljazz Orchestra … just a bunch of guys playing some really funky stuff in a similar fashion to that of the Breakestra. It is nice to hear a modern take on a really fresh style of music where a different approach to the genre is so adaptable and embraced so freely. Taking on influence from Latin American and West Africa (more specifically Fela Kuti) The Souljazz Orchestra groove hard, and had put on an incredible show. I had seen them before the Christmas break at a club called Barrymores to which they opened for a group from Chicago called The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. I have uploaded a track from them as well in hopes to spread the love. The Brass Ensemble is an interesting band constructed of brothers aside from the drummer. No guitar, no bass, this band rides on brass alone and proves themselves track after track. Although the drumming acts as an adhesive to the tone, the movement of the brass coupled with a vibrant and eccentric live show is really all this music group needs.

You dont need a dance - Breakestra

Mista President - Souljazz Orchestra

Hidden 3 - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

I thought I would develop a new element to this blog (god I hate that term) that would profile and expose some of my favorite and newly discovered artists. While embracing a minimal job of exposure with relatively zero profile, I guess the first installment I would like to share is a man by the name of Jeremy Fish. I am not an art critic nor am i a music critic for that matter, rather my aim in both aspects is to simply share and exposure interesting and quality artists that I feel have something special to share. Anyways here is the video which introduces Fish’s philosophy and plugs his new show in San Francisco called Ghosts of the Barbary Coast. Just watch for yourselves and hopefully it will spark some interest in his work. I want to mention that the picture which opens this post is from a Japanese artist by the name of Adam Isaac Jackson aka GUST. Jackson rocks an interesting graffiti/tattoo style of art which I have found to add a simplistic new flavor to that genre. The search for his Photobucket account has been painfully slow but I must not digress and maintain some efforts into finding it before I lose too much interest. Please enjoy this video of Fish I have found and maybe suggest something you think I should take a look at.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My swagger's Mic Jagger!

I don’t want to start today’s post off with a negative vibe but I must express my utter distaste for Girl Talk. The unreserved disgrace of what may be called a “mash-up” remix to which Girl Talk produces lacks any serious substance. Girl Talk’s style of music is for the most part reserved for that silly elitist group of “scenester” or “hipster” to which the most the popular in American Apparel V-Neck colours and knowledge of trashy remixes are of prime monetary scene value to which fashion is the prime culprit rather than taste and essence. Girl Talk in my opinion, throws together a recognizable slashing of dance-able samples in combination with often but not exclusively obscure vocal samples. His beats lack thickness and body in the greatness sense of the phrase, to which thick rimmed sweater vest wearing hipster unreasonably cum over. This rant is inspired by a relatively new track I had come across branded with the Girl Talk seal of artificial stimulation titled “In Step”. The track blatantly disgraces Earth, Wind and Fire, which only fuels my dissatisfaction. I have posted the track so you can listen for yourselves and formulate your own opinion but I most express mine. In addition, I have also posted an Of Montreal remix produced by JB which without a shred of divergence or alteration is far superior. Girl Talks track resonates with the sound of filler from dancemix ’95 with a crooked renaissance of filtered material and jagged transitions. Mock scratching noises, choppy beat switches, and a Nirvana sample (… dear fuck … are you kidding me!) complicate an uncomplicated “mash-up”. There is only one reason for me reluctantly posting this particular track, and that is simply to express complete and utter loathing of this particular DJ and the “mash-up” genre in general. "Feed the Animals" is the perfect titled for this album. Please enjoy the Of Montreal remix and comment with your own remarks.

In Step - Girl Talk

Gallery Piece (JB Remix) - Of Montreal

On the lighter side of things, here is a track from Australia’s own Sam Sparro. A friend of mine had exposed this track to me along with Sparro in general. After a sweet night of the par taking of consumption this track had stuck with me. “Cottonmouth”, has some serious groove to it and some silly lyrics, which I have always been a little weary of but in this case it is quite alright. Quality and parody often do not follow each other, and while Sparro’s track is not first and foremost a parody it does seem to take on that appeal. As mentioned this track has some serious groove to it and will remain a favorite of mine until I find something new. What is more impressive to me anyways is that this track has exposed me to a music scene far from my northern hemisphere home. I love to hear new music that I would not normally hear living in the great white north as I do. As many of you do I am assuming, I often check out song mentioned to me on YouTube for a quick listen. Please do not do this with this particular track, the video is lame and will leave the distaste of parody swirling around. Just have a listen and enjoy the music for what it is, without any visual additives.

Cottonmouth - Sam Sparro

The drab of winter is beginning to affect me … constant snow, slippery sidewalks and the cold! If you are without balance like me, winter can be a tricky time when walking from class to class. Regardless of the lack of Vitamin E (or D which I can never remember) we all need a little brightness is our winter days and what better way to achieve that then with some fresh and funky tunes. This pair of songs here will hopefully brighten up your day and possibly put a like swagger in your step. These two tracks among others have made my personal swagger “Mic Jagger” to which the same degree I wish upon you. Enjoy.

Oh My God (Feat. Lily Allen) - Mark Ronson

Moving In Circles - Nomo

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Geeks Were Right ...

While I was organizing and re-organizing my digital music collect today I stumbled upon Eugene McDaniels’ album “Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse”, just a classic break album used by a number of hiphop nobility. If you haven’t heard this album you might just find yourself for a little treat, just as very interesting album that you can listen from front to back without disappointment. I am going to upload a couple from this particular this time around just so this album can grab your attention just a banger.
In searching around for a little more information on this album I had come across a ?uestlove video where he mentions this record and presents in his music library, kind of cool and might be of some interest to a few of you, here’s the link. I know this kind of takes off from yesterday but as I have mentioned I had been re-exposed to this album today and thought I would share it. Here are a couple of songs that have remained my favorite even after not listening to them for a little while. I am not going to say too much about these particular tracks but simply comment on the quality of the album.

Lovin Man - Eugene McDaniels

Supermarket Blues - Eugene McDaniels

On to new things … I came across an interesting new medium in the ways of making music. It may sound kind of silly but programers and musicians alike are now using gameboys, yes gameboys with altered and doctored cartridges to make music. I am not talking about the infamous Tetris theme song nor the Zelda loop we as 90’s children have grown so accustom to but rather the taking of 8-bit sounds and making new sounds and essentially music. Programs such as LSDJ have forced kids to run around Saturday morning to garage sale after garage sale to pick up old and unwanted gameboys as a means of making music. Kind of interesting that the back pedaling of technology and simple re programming of those dusty cartridges had lead to a new and unique wave of new music. I have posted a youtube video so you can check it out for yourselves but just note the increasing amount of creativity which is being brought to the music scene. DJs or whatever you want to call them can simply work out of their own bedrooms posting tracks and videos on the internet and gain some relative fame without leaving their own house. The sharing of ideas over the internet is often taken as a challenge and creates an interesting form of competition between DIY artist to produce some sort of media with increased creativity and accessibility. Websites such as Hypemachine, Myspace and Youtube allow the sharing of ideas and more importantly music to anyone and everyone who has access to the internet. I know this idea has been noted and noted again by several academics and information superhighway connoisseurs alike but it just amazes me that the DIY culture which can be created from such an everyday enjoyment. While the music does not indulge my particular pallet I thought it was quite interesting and simply stated pretty fucking cool.
These guys explain how this junk works pretty well and give you a bit of a tutorial on how to put it all together. Enjoy.

This is a remix of one of my favorite bands, the Rapture. Disco Villains do a great job in capturing the obnoxiousness of the tune but at the same time drift from the original beat in some sections adding an interesting and new flavor. At the same time, DV keep the essential elements of the track and explode its bottom shaking presence. This is the first track I have heard remix by the Disco Villains but I will be checking out more due to the quality of this particular track

House of Jealous Lovers (Disco Villains Remix) - The Rapture