Sunday, 26 July 2009

Carl Craig - The Detroit Wizard (1991 -1996)

Its hard to believe that two of these records are 18 years old. I was working in a record shop back in 1991 when Carl Craig's 4 Jazz Funk Classics was released, and it pretty much blew my mind, opening me up to a whole host of musical possibities. These records pretty much defy categorization. They rode in on the back of the Detroit techno invasion, but the sonic palette employed is coloured with a range of sounds and rhythms and textures that were unique in the dance music of the time. Carl Craig draws on a disparate range of influences that includes funk and soul and disco, cosmic italo, industrial, rock, jazz, modern experimental composition; the whole of musical history is probably in there somewhere, distilled down into a dizzying gritty mess of euphoric confusion. Perfect for Interplanetary Disco Dancing:

The tracks:

69 - 4 Jazz Funk Classics (Planet E 1991)

01 69 - Ladies & Gentlemen
02 69 - If Mojo was A.M.
03 69 - My Machines (pt 1)-Extraterrestrial Raggabeats (pt 2)-My Machines (reprise)
04 69 - Frequency Finale

69 - Lite Music (R&S 1994)

05 69 - My Machines
06 69 - Microlovr
07 69 - Jam the Box
08 69 - Desire

Innerzone Orchestra/Shop - Untitled EP (Planet E 1992)

09 Innerzone Orchestra - Bug in the Bassbin
10 Shop - Nitwit
11 Shop - Surreal

FRS - Harder (Global Cuts 1994)

12 FRS - Harder
13 FRS - Love is the Message
14 FRS - Theme from FRS

Carl Craig presents Paperclip People - The Floor (Open 1996)

15 Paperclip People - The Floor
16 Paperclip People - Reach
17 Paperclip People - Steam

Get it HERE.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Production Disco Presente - OUDADEN (2004?)

More tranquil Berber sounds from Southern Morocco. Oudaden are one of the most popular groups in the region, their music can be heard in many of the shops and stalls in teir hometown of Agadir, and throughout the lush Souss Valley and up into the Anti-Atlas mountains. I love their reverb heavy, meditative music.

This great video was filmed in the breathtaking surroundings of the Anti-Atlas mountains, the perfect setting for their thoughtful songs:


01 Tafokt Ortbadlt
02 Guighn Sik Afouss
03 Artahnout Ayseyad
04 Ibi Omalo Talatine
05 Sidi Rbi Laafou

Get it HERE.

And if you like this album you can pick up another one over at Awesome Tapes from Africa.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Langa Langa Stars - Verckys presente Stars Langa Langa Vol. 1 (1981?)

Delightful, lilting rumba from 'the seven bosses'. Knockabout vocal harmonies and flamboyant guitar work make this a winner. Weirdly, the first track just stops when the band are in mid flow, as if the producer cut the tape. This is not dodgy recording, but as the music appears (or disappears) on the vinyl. Oh well.

Here's a clip from Congolese TV, those boys are looking sharp:

Track list:

01 Avenir Mbeya Mbeya
02 Tantine Betena
03 Autopsie Beloti
04 Mase Femme Africaine

Get it HERE.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Lou Reed - Street Hassle (1978)

A friend of mine had a battered old cassette version of this album and we used to sit around and listen to it a lot when I was in my mid to late teens, it's the only Lou Reed solo record that ever really meant anything to me. The album kicks off with a live version of Gimmie Some Good Times, sarcastic and bored he sounds like he's lost the ability to distinguish between the good times and bad, it sets the tone perfectly. The raw, minimal punk sound of much of the album suits Lou's dark heart and cynical sensibilities, but on the beautiful, moving title song the album really transcends...this is a sordid New York story, brutal and tragic, shot through with passion and honesty and understanding of human weakness. Listening to the album is like eavesdropping on a conversation between partners in an abusive relationship, the partners being Lou and New York City...he knows the place is bad for him, but he just can't bring himself to leave.

Track list:

01. Gimmie Some Good Times
02. Dirt
03. Street Hassle
--a. Waltzing Matilda
--b. Street Hassle
--c. Slipaway
04. I Wanna Be Black
05. Real Good Time Together
06. Shooting Star
07. Leave Me Alone
08. Wait

Get it HERE.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Daouda - Le Sentimental (1985)

Beautiful Afro-pop from Cameroon/Ivory Coast. Gorgeous, heartfelt songs that shimmy around, blending rumba, soukous and makossa sounds.

Track list:

01 Mon Coeur Balance
02 Bouquet De Fleurs
03 Maimouna
04 Je Suis Fatigue
05 Yafa Nema
06 Le Sentimental

Get it HERE.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

ElectroShock Voltage 1 - Various Artists (1984)

This dodgy looking compilation from 1984 contains a couple of real boogie funk gems and some great early rap, like this:

Even Dead or Alive's ultra-camp electro-funk version of 'That's the Way I Like It' sounds pretty fresh. The tracks were all lovingly mixed together by Peter Rohmer who was a dj at the famous Hamburg discotheque, Trinity.

Track List:

The Jazzie Ladies - Blowin' Your Mind
Andre Cymone - Survivin' in the 80's
CD III - Get Tough
Was (Not Was) - Out Come The Freaks (ElectroMix)

Dead Or Alive - That's The Way I Like It
Herbie Hancock - Rockit
The Tribe - Jungle Rock
Herbie Hancock - Autodrive

Get it HERE.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico - Disfrútelo Hasta El Cabo (1974)

Fantastic album of salsa and merengue from one of Latin America's most popular orchestras. The songs are great and the band are tight, as you can see:

Check that incredible keyboard player!

Track list:

01 El Son de Santurce
02 La Salsa de Hoy
03 El Cantante del Amor
04 La Melena
05 No Quiero Llanto
06 Mi Merengue con Salsa
07 A Veces Me Preguntan
08 Tremendo Cumban
09 Dugu-Dugu con Saus
10 El Gordito de Oro

Get it HERE.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Bohannon - Bohannon's Best (Brunswick 1975)

Hamilton Bohannon was a drummer, a band leader and producer who started out with Motown in 1965 working as a drummer for Stevie Wonder and as an arranger for many of the label's top acts. Bn 1972 Detroit was no longer a booming centre of industry, but a symbol of urban blight and post-industrial decline; poverty, deprivation, rioting and crime all played a part in creating a new image for the city as one of the most dangerous in America. In 1972, Motown Records left Detroit to Los Angeles. Hamilton Bohannon stayed behind to form his own band with other Motown refugees. The resulting music is some of the uncompromising dance music of the era. This stuff was popular in the inner city discos and dancehalls, but there is nothing fluffy about these rhythms. This is hard-edged, stripped down, lean and aggressive dancefloor funk, rough and dirty, the real sound of '70s Motortown.

Here's a little taste:

Track list:

01 The Stop & Go
02 Keep on Dancing
03 South Africa Man
04 Disco Stomp
05 Truck Stop
06 Getting to the Other Side
07 Footstompin' Music
08 Happy Feeling
09 The Pimp Walk
10 Have a Good Day

Get it HERE.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Ghulam Ali

Here's what wikipedia has to say about the ghazal:
The ghazal (Arabic/Persian/Urdu: غزل; Hindi: ग़ज़ल; Punjabi: ਗ਼ਜ਼ਲ, غزل; Turkish: gazel) is a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain. Each line must share the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The form is ancient, originating in 6th century pre-Islamic Arabic verse. It is derived from the Arabian panegyric qasida. The structural requirements of the ghazal are similar in stringency to those of the Petrarcan sonnet. In its style and content it is a genre which has proved capable of an extraordinary variety of expression around its central themes of love and separation. It is one of the principal poetic forms the Indo-Perso-Arabic civilization offered to the eastern Islamic world.
The ghazal spread into South Asia in the 12th century under the influence of the new Islamic Sultanate courts and Sufi mystics. Although the ghazal is most prominently a form of Persian poetry and Urdu poetry, today, it is found in the poetry of many languages.
Ghazals were written by the Persian mystics and poets Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (13th century) and Hafez (14th century), the Azeri poet Fuzuli (16th century), as well as Mirza Ghalib (1797–1869) and Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938), who both wrote ghazals in Persian and Urdu. is not possible to get a full understanding of ghazal poetry without at least being familiar with some concepts of Sufism. All the major historical post-Islamic ghazal poets were either avowed Sufis themselves (like Rumi or Hafiz), or were sympathizers with Sufi ideas. Most ghazals can be viewed in a spiritual context, with the Beloved being a metaphor for God, or the poet's spiritual master. It is the intense Divine Love of sufism that serves as a model for all the forms of love found in ghazal poetry.
Most ghazal scholars today recognize that some ghazal couplets are exclusively about Divine Love (ishq-e-haqiqi), others are about "earthly love" (ishq-e-majazi), but many of them can be interpreted in either context.
Traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Afghan, Pakistani, and Indian musicians. The form has roots in seventh-century Arabia, and gained prominence in the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century thanks to such Persian poets as Rumi and Hafiz. In the eighteenth-century, the ghazal was used by poets writing in Urdu, a mix of the medieval languages of Northern India, including Persian. Among these poets, Ghalib is the recognized master.
Ghulam Ali is a ghazal singer from Pakistan, famous across the Indian sub-continent and comfortable singing in Urdu, Punjabi and Nepali. The music on this album is completely mesmerizing, and Ali's voice soars across these songs, beautiful and melancholy.

Check this:

Track list:

01 Dil Mein ik Leher
02 Koi Sumihai Ye Kiya
03 Ghaam Nahin
04 Raseeley Toray Nain
05 Maine Lakhoon
06 Dost Bankar

Get it HERE.

Friday, 3 July 2009

B.T. Express - Non-Stop (1975)

The Discotizer is here to Funktify ya! This is some killer ghetto funk from the Brooklyn Trucking Express. Dirty disco from the wrong side of the tracks. Guaranteed to get the party started, this album is fun, fun, fun from start to finish.

Track list:

01 Peace Pipe
02 Give It What You Got
03 Discotizer
04 Still Good, Still Like It
05 (They Long To Be) Close To You
06 You Got It I Want It
07 Devils Workshop
08 Happiness
09 Watcha Think About That

Get it HERE.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Chief Ebenezer Obey - Miliki Plus (1983)

Excellent compilation of songs from 4 of Obey's early '80s albums. I'm loving the juju sound...Obey's voice is sweet and strong like honey and his band are just incredible. Miliki means enjoyment in the Yoruban language and that just about sums up these perfect summer sounds.


01 Ere Oloyin Momo
02 Singing for the People
03 What God Has Joined Together
04 Happy Birthday (Celebration)
05 Eiye To Ma Ba Kowe Ke
06 Eyi Yato
07 Oro Mi Ti Dayo
08 Ore Oluwa a Kari

Get It Over HERE.