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Now this is the kind of music I’m into: electronic music that morphs into electronica which morphs into countless sub-genres. A part of it sounds like rhythmic radio dial turning and heavy tape editing, other parts sound like homemade digital sampling and triggering, where sound is battling with sound, that is having a kung fu battle with Janet Jackson, or is it Culture Club, or is it the intro to a children’s show? It’s unknown, and yet unknown. Those are some of the things that kept me listening to the twisted juggernaut of sound that is Dice (Laps), an album by Ormo.
It’s avant-garde to say the least, you could arguably dance to it but we’re talking in a very German experimental, free form fashion. Fans of IDM will love this, but this goes beyond the limits/boundaries of IDM. This will definitely irritate people who want their electronic music a bit more softer, more sane, more simple. This is about grabbing sounds, yanking it by its nunnies and just tying it around through the rectum. Go along the lines of what Jan Jelinek has done over the years, but then look in a mirror and say Biggie Smalls three times. Makes no sense? Find a way for this paragraph to make sense, and then you will find the tolerance to enjoy the insane digital sounds of Ormo. Thumbs up.
A revival of 80′s new wave and synth pop seems to be the rage in some circles, and that’s a good thing if the music is good. Golden Glow have recorded an album that sounds like it was dubbed from a 9th generation cassette, and sounds as distant as the era really is. Tender Is The Night (Mush) could be good and I like it for sounding almost like a rejected Ween parody, but I was waiting for something else to come into the mix. It never did.
I’ll be blunt, it’s the kind of music that may have been great as a demo tape for a local band to get club dates in down, but as a worldwide release? I think if that’s what people want from new wave and synth pop, it’s here in abundance, but with sounds that really don’t go too far, I found it hard to enjoy, even if it was a parody. It isn’t, and I was like “damn, this could’ve been good and sinister if it gave itself a chance and breathing room.” Maybe next time.
What Dynas did with this single is get a classic Dilla beat, have DJ Jazzy Jeff produce a track, and called it a day. Oh, but what a GOOD day this is.
“The Apartment” is the Dilla track and it makes one wish that Dilla’s influence was bigger than it is, but then a lot of songs and instrumentals would be watered down with people hearing sounds and samples one way, but not doing it quite right. “The Apartment” is a feel-right song.
“It’s My Turn” feels like the 90′s over again, with a horn-ridden sample and a drum machine layered over it, with heightened hi-hats and a deep bass that makes you want to dance, do a bit of jazz hands, and makes you feel and question why you feel so high. This is a high single, and I wish all hip-hop these days sounded like this. Fuck it, their loss.
Reynold D. Philipsek is a guitarist who plays jazz and has a healthy discography and sessionography if you know where to look. For his new CD, it’s simply Philipsek and his acoustic guitar, playing the kind of music you might expect to hear on albums by Neil Young, Donavon Frankenreiter, Jack Johnson, and maybe a bit of Steve Howe. There are occasional classical touches in his playing, and that may come from loving the fluidity of Django Reinhardt‘s playing, but one thing is certain: this guy knows how to play. It may be an acoustic CD, but I found myself returning to some of these songs more than once.
This CD is 10 songs running a little over 26 minutes, so statistically speaking this is actually an EP. Add on 5 or 10 more songs and you’d have a proper album, but no need, it holds up as is.
Musician Patrick Landeza has been playing Hawaiian music for years, so it was great to see a new album from him come in the mail. Upon opening the CD, I saw an older photo of him with my uncle, the late Raymond Kane, considered a major influence for a generation of slack key (ki ho’alu) guitarists. It’s the old house out in Nanakuki, the dining room I spent many hours in, with the stereo to my uncle’s right with loads of religious records I had no interest in, but one of my cousins (either Faith or Moana had the first Janet Jackson album on 8-track. Aaah, good times, and that’s exactly what I hear on Ku’u Honua Mele (My Music World) (Addison Street), an album full of music that brings back my childhood, my hanabata days, what I grew up knowing as “da good kine” Hawaiian music. Landeza’s playing here comes from not only a love for the music, but from the countless musicians he has learned from throughout the years, some of which are displayed in the photo collage inside. This is the music you’d play when you made the long journey around the island, this was the music your mom would play as she cleaned house on Sunday, or the music your dad might play when he was fixing his car or bicycle underneath the house, which was really an excuse to get away from your mom for an hour or two, and this was that “relief” music. Songs like “No Keaha”, “Hanalei Moon”, “Nani Ko’olau”, and “Maori Brown Eyes” are sure to bring back memories for those who feel fondly for the originals, or for those who still feel a closeness to the places described in the titles and songs.
If you are a lover of Hawaiian songs, this is “chicken skin music”, at least to me it is. The guitars, the ‘ukulele, the bass, and the vocal harmonies just sound perfect, and I go back to a time when life felt like this, without worry or care. As an older man, I long for a time to be able to feel like that. At least in music form, I’m brought back to a much simpler time, or perhaps it’s a type of music that needs to dominate a much rougher world than it was in our hanabata days. Mahalo nui, Patrick Landeza.
When the albums starts out with a funky jazz jam, I’m open for it. The Elements Of Jazz begin with a song called “All The Way”, sounding like a cross between The Beginning Of The End, The Crusaders, and Tower Of Power, not bad for a group that’s only four members strong, with an emphasis on strong. Their self-titled album (EMG) is the kind of jazz, soul, and funk I can never get enough of, where the drummer and bassist are locked in a groove, the guitarist smooths out the tones, while the saxophonist gets ridiculous and helps to organize things while everyone else in the group share those organization duties.
When they get a bit more laid back, they know how to move everything in the right places too. I’d love to see these guys open for Soulive if at all possible.
This is an album that I’d call “pure pump”, because it is an album that pumps. Melvin Jones is a trumpeter who will, for all intents and purposes, smack the fuck out of anyone who cares to claim they can play better than him. In other words, he’ll play and he’ll compliment and jam, but he’s in for the kill, he is not pulling any shit for the sake of making you feel good because you’re a special guest. Even if you’re not in a trumpet battle, you better enter his house inbattle mode for once it’s on, you know it’s on, as he presents on each of the 13 songs that are on Pivot (Turnaround), including the mindfunk “The Jug-Or-Knot”, one of the more intense opening tracks on a jazz album I’ve heard in years. Jones plays with finesse and elegance, he knows how to make his instrument dance. But when he’s throwing out swords, move away. When it’s time to light a candle and place some rose pedals on the bed, move away as well. I love his playing because of that elegance and cocky swagger, and it’s nice to hear in 2011. There are songs here that are perfect for the quiet storm, such as “Angels”,or something that carries you through a rough day, such as “Goodnight Moon”, but after hearing this album, I’m wondering why there wasn’t more. Don’t get me wrong, it’s 13 songs deep, most of them are over the four minute mark, but I wanted an encore. Maybe that’s what the live experience is for. What does Pivot refer to? I’m sure as he shows in his playing, it could mean either or. It’s in your mind to decide how to use it.
Nasar Abadey is a drummer who swims in his love of mystical jazz, and along with his group Supernova, they have recorded a brilliant album called Diamond In The Rough (self-released).
While the cover has him looking like someone who may have toured with Jimi Hendrix or The Isley Brothers circa 1976, the music on Diamond In The Rough is not hard rock or soul, but pure,sweet jazz. There are only seven songs here, but some of the best ones are those that clock over nine minutes: “There’s No Greater Love” (9:48), “Multi-D” (13:21), “Eternal Surrender” (13:21), “Sacred Space” (12:47) and the opening title track, clocking in at a few seconds short of the 10 minute mark. The album features help from James King (bass), Joe Ford (saxophones), Jamal Brown (flute), Thad Wilson (trumpet), Gary Thomas (tenor sax), Tom Teasley (percussion), Kush Abadey (djembe), Rashida Jolley, and Allyn Johnson), whose piano work throughout the album is nothing short of amazing. I’d like to hear a Johnson album.
There is no need for argument: Dennis Coffey is one of the most sampled musicians in hip-hop: period. If you know your beats, your samples, your guitar riffs, your basslines, you have heard Coffey at some point. Now he has a new album which was released today (April 26, 2011), and he will be hitting the road very soon to bring fans a taste of the old and a hint of what they know but don’t know they know, no? Dates: June 2nd – Los Angeles , CA : The Troubadour
June 4th – Brooklyn, NY: The Bell House (Dirtbombs co-headline)
June 5th – Allston, MA: Brighton Music Hall (Dirtbombs co-headline)
June 7th – Philadelphia, PA: World Café Live (Stepkids open show)
June 8th – Cleveland, OH: Beachland Ballroom (Stepkids open show)
June 9th – Chicago, IL: Lincoln Hall (Stepkids open show)
June 11th – Manchester , TN : Bonnaroo
Until then, take a listen to a mix of some of his best work called Constellations – The A to Z of Dennis Coffey: A Mix, put together by House Shoes.
The artwork for this 7″ looks like a Homer Simpson fantasy, but the music may lean more towards Lisa Simpson‘s liking. Groening references aside, this is Mixtapes and they’re about to release a 5-song 7″ EP called Hope Is For People on Animal Style Records. Non-vinyl fiends will be able to buy this on CD and in digital form, but the vinyl junkie in you is saying “screw that” because only 500 copies will be released (100 white / 200 sky blue / 200 translucent pink).
You can buy the single directly from their official Bandcamp page, and sample the entire EP by clicking the player below.
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Discovered this book review blog when someone had posted a review of a music book. Went through it and saw a number of books I immediately put on my want list. Created by Maria Popova and features a number of contributors.
Cool slew of goodies from books and diaries to T-shirts, bags and soaps. Now based in Portland.
The show is no more, but you may explore the archives of this great Portland-based podcast while you can. You may now listen to Cort & Bobby in Welcome To That Whole Thing, listed below.