Thursday, 26 February 2009

A Cheeky Little Disco Mix


01 Goody Goody - It looks Like Love
02 Salsoul Orchestra - Love Break
03 Montana Sextet - Heavy Vibes
04 First Choice - Love Thang
05 Salsoul Orchestra - Nice 'n' Nasty
06 The Winners - Get Ready (for the future)

If you like it, you can download it HERE.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

The Best of Pebbles Vol. 1 (1986)

Here's a fantastic compilation of '60s garage punk classics, lots of these tunes will be familiar to many, including the original version of Roky Erikson's 'You're Gonna Miss Me'. Here are the Thirteenth Floor Elevators looking a bit out of place on some teen pop music show...

Other great expressions of teenage disaffection and outsider cool include Green Fuzz, Born Loser and I'm a Living Sickness. This Pebbles album was my introduction to the fuzzed out garage sound and listening to these songs now is a strangely nostalgic affair, remniniscent of my years of teenage lightning, unbridled hedonism and nihilistic abandon (but that was just the good bits).


01 The Third Bardo - Five Years Ahead of my Time
02 Jimmy & the Offbeats - I Ain't No Miracle Worker
03 Nobodys Children - Good Times
04 The Sparkles - No Friend of Mine
05 The Avengers - Be a Caveman
06 The Barbarians - Hey Little Bird
07 The Squires - Going All the Way
08 The Spades - You're Gonna Miss Me
09 The Electras - Action Woman
10 The Calico Wall - I'm A Living Sickness
11 Randy Alvey & the Green Fuz - Green Fuzz
12 The Bees - Voices Green and Purple
13 The Haunted - 1-2-5
14 Gonn - Blackout at Gretely
15 Murphy & The Mob - Born Loser
16 The Groupies - Primitive

Join the fuzz army HERE. If you want to hear more of this stuff then get a look at Chocoreve...more '60s punk, psychedelia and freakbeat than I would know what to do with.

Guadeloupe: General Strike, Riots and Civil Unrest

Well, I was up late last night posting the Ti Zozios album. When I checked my dashboard today, I was surprised to find this post about Guadeloupe on Ian Bone's blog. These riots aren't really getting any coverage in the British media, but are being well reported in France where there are serious concerns that trouble will flare up in Paris (again). The mass resistance to low pay and high inflation that began in Guadeloupe a month ago is spreading across the region and to French Guyana and the Reunion Islands in the Indian Ocean. Here is a French news report:

Ti Zozios - Moin Ce On Malhere (1979) French Antilles

I think I've said it before but, one of the things I love about car boots/charity shops/jumble sales is that you never know what treasures you might find. Today I found this...zouk music from Guadeloupe. This album kind of drifts along in a very relaxed fashion, and provides a nice dose of sunshine on these winter days. It sounds like Ti Zozios have soaked up a whole load of influences from around the world...congolese rumba rhythms, funky rhodes piano, a bit of calypso all mixed up together and given a good shake with a measure of rum. Delicious!


01 Moin Ca On Malhere
02 Un Tour en Bateau
03 Vive Madras en Nous
04 C'et Nathalie Je Dis
05 Je Cherche
06 Depi L'Esprit Aou Piti
07 Elle Est Passee

Get it HERE.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Coati Mundi - The Former 12 Year old Genius (1983)

This is the 1983 solo album by Coati Mundi, vibraphone player and founder member (along with August Darnell) of Dr Buzzard's Original Savannah Band and Kid Creole and the Coconuts. The humour, creativity and potent latin-funk grooves associated with those bands are all on proud display on this great album. Listening to this immensely enjoyable and polished record, its easy to forget that these disco groups were part of the same New York Mudd Club scene that spawned artists like Lydia Lunch, Sonic Youth or Nan Goldin. The album features a great cover version of Captain Beefheart's Tropical Hot Dog Night and the (maybe) egalitarian proto-house classic Pharoah (can't take it to the grave) that was included on Strut Records' fantastic Kid Creole compilation last year.

Sey Hey!
Oh! That Love Decision
Beat Back The Bullies
Como Esta Usted?
Everybody's On An Ego Trip
Prisoner Of My Principles
Pharaoh (Can't Take It To The Grave)
I'm Corrupt
Hold On To That Lovely Lady
Tropical Hot Dog Night

Check it out HERE.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Sundar Popo and Caribbean Chutney

I picked up this strange 7" single at a jumble sale a couple of weeks ago and was immediately intrigued...the music seemed to be Indian in origin, but the record itself was from Trinidad & Tobago. The music itself is reminiscent of Bollywood film music, with driving rhythms and saucy lyrics. But I was still intrigued about the Trinidad connection. Now we have the world at our fingertips, it seems that mysteries like this can be resolved in moments. This is Chutney music, indigenous to the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad, Tobago and Guyana. It was created by Indo-Caribbeans, the ancestors of people from the Indian subcontinent who were transported to the West Indies during the height of the European Colonial period and served as indentured servants in the colonies. Once again, the music indirectly tells stories of the diaspora, of the movement of people around the world, the mutability of culture and the impossibilities of nationalism.

Here is the man himself, Sundar Popo:
And here are the two sides of the single so you can sample the flavours of Caribbean Chutney!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Peter Effiom & His Rabalac Messengers

Don't know much about this one I'm afraid, other than to say that its some fantastic Nigerian Igbo highlife, with great guitar playing and lots of percussion. Peter Effiom looks like a Major in some rock 'n' roll guitar army. I suspect that the album was released in the 1980s, but thats really just a guess. Any info would be much appreciated. In the meantime, enjoy....


01 Mbre Ewangsi
02 Anie Ata Inva Inwang
03 Enyen Kusonge Enyin Ye Ami
04 Ayama Mbana Idem
05 Ita Edi Ama Mi
06 Obob Eyen Owo

Taste the goodness HERE.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Big Break Rappers Party - Sounds of New York U.S.A. (1980)

A fantastic compilation of early hip hop and slippery disco from way back in 1980, all lovingly produced by Peter Brown of P&P Records. Includes Spoonie Gee's classic 'Spoonin' Rap' and Cloud One's 'Patty Duke'.


01 Scoopy - Scoopy Rap
02 Family - Family Rap
03 Cloud One - Patty Duke
04 Johnson Jumpin' - Johnson Product

05 Chain Reaction - Dance Freak
06 Spoonin Gee - Spoonin' Rap
07 Woody Wood & the Wood Crew - Woody Rap

Get the fresh sound of the Harlem block parties over HERE!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe - Osondi Owendi (1984)

This is what Nigeria's Guardian Newspaper had to say about Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe after his death in 2007:

"A remarkable man, Stephen Osita Osadebe, began life as an ordinary Nigerian lad under the gaze of austere parents in colonial Nigeria. He schooled at Onitsha where his parents wanted him to pursue academics. When the young lad began taking an interest in music, they did not approve; as musicians in those days were often associated with hooliganism and loose living. However, in his secondary school days, he was a member of the college brass band. He was also a good footballer. In later life, still bowing to family pressures, Osadebe went to the Soviet Union where he studied trade unionism. On his return however, he again promptly went back to his old love by forming the Nigerian Sound Makers International Band.

Osadebe's early life began in Lagos where he initially worked in SCOA as a clerk by day and minstrel-for-hire by night. His meeting with the great Zeal Onyia of the Vicky nyem afum (Vicky give me my half-penny) fame changed his life. It was under the fabled trumpeter that Osadebe learnt the essence of melodic progressions, poise, dynamics and big band arrangement techniques. His career took off when he was hired as a supporting vocalist by the Empire Rhythm Orchestra under E C Arinze. Empire Hotel, Idi-Oro, in Lagos, was owned by Chief Kanu who is remembered among other things for providing employment and accommodation for early struggling musicians. The great Fela Anikulapo Kuti used to perform there.
From Empire Hotel, the young Osadebe migrated to Central Hotel, Yaba where his unique ability to instantly compose and improvise beautiful lyrics was recognised. Buoyed by his success, he later established his own band in 1964. The rest, they say, is history as he went on to record song after song --- more than 500 in all. Some of his memorable songs include, one pound no balance, makojo, onye achononam (do not provoke me), nke onye diliya (let yours be yours), onye ije anatago (the wanderer has returned). But it was with his inimitable Osondi Owendi (some are happy; some are sad) that he struck gold. The album, which outsold the iconic Sweet Mother of Nico Mbanga, was snapped up in millions all over Africa and beyond. The boy who began life playing the maraca in seedy Lagos hotels had arrived.

Chief Osadebe had made a financial success of his calling and felt himself comfortable to follow his vision of highlife which was a mixture of meringue, rumba, samba, waltz, calypso, jazz, and twanging guitars. His sonorous voice decisively influenced all aspects of his music. He never lost his voice and was playing his music, like a true artiste, until the very end.
Although not the inventor of high life, he played a unique role in its development by remaining faithful to the genre at a time when other musicians were scrambling to imitate western pop music and hip-hop. Interestingly, Chief Osadebe accurately described himself as the "Constant King of Highlife". His melodious tunes have held sway from the sixties till now. Among his many admirers, he was to acquire yet another title when he was described as "Doctor of Hypertension": an allusion to the sweet, soothing nature of his songs. His songs often waxed philosophic as he commented on the ups and downs of Nigerian life. He was not "political" in the sense of a Fela Anikulapo Kuti but among ordinary folk he was supreme in capturing the essence of their joys and sorrows in pithy phrases and idioms. His music cut across the length and breadth of Nigeria and even those who did not understand the Igbo language in which he sang often, nevertheless, enjoyed his rhythms. Praise singing of notables who have made it, was a feature of Osadebe's music. He gave as much to his rich patrons as he got from them. He was himself a member of the People's Club of Nigeria where self-made millionaires were often eulogized. He perfected the African art form of call-and-response and since he intended his music to be enjoyed on the dance floor, he often played for a longer stretch."

This is one of the best albums I've heard in recent months. It's a rip of a bootleg cd picked up from a stall on London's East Street market, and it is sweet, sweet, sweet. The man had a beautiful voice with an amazing texture...he starts singing and I melt like butter. The album is also full of some amazingly subtle psychedelic wah wah guitar that just unravels itself in your brain and fabulous muted trumpet that puts a big idiot grin on my face. And if you like this one then get yourself over here, here and here for some more.


01 Osondi Owendi
02 Ndidi Kanma
03 Nigeria Kanyi Jikota

Download this beast of an album HERE.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

King Tubby, The Observer Allstars & The Aggrovators - King Tubby's Special 1973 - 1976

This collection of classic Tubby cuts was my introduction to heavy dub and hearing it now brings back strong memories of sitting in a friend's smokey bedroom in the golden days of my eighteenth summer. None of us had anything to do and life was all the better for it and we spent many funny afternoons basking in the sun and trancing out to King Tubby's lazy skank. What you get on this double album is a masterful collection of echo chamber reworks of classic mid-'70s roots, the melodies of many being familiar to even those who (like me) pay no special attention to reggae. The dub version of Horace Andy's 'Skylarking' is especially beautiful.

Record 1

1. Rebel Dance
2. Casanova Dub
3. Silver Bullet
4. Rasta Locks
5. Dubbing With The Observer
6. Sir Niney's Rock
7. Jam Down
8. Parade Dub
9. Youth Man
10. Turntable Dub
11. Corn Man
12. Mr D Brown Skank

13. Rema Dub

Get it HERE.

Record 2

14. King Tubby's Special - U-Roy
15. Another Version
16. Straight To Brad's Head From New York
17. Dancing Version
18. Straight To Trojan Head
19. Straight To The Boy Niney Head
20. Gorgon Speaks Version
21. I Trim The Barber
22. More Warning
23. Rougher Version
24. Straight To Babylon Boy's Head
25. Straight To The Capitalist Head
26. Cool Down Version
27. Better Version
28. Serious Version
29. Crisp Version
30. King Tubby's Special (2) - U-Roy

Get it HERE.

The King is Dead.... R.I.P. Lux Interior

I'm very sad to hear that Lux Interior died yesterday aged 62. What can I say, I grew up with The Cramps, first hearing them in 1984 when I was only 13. Although they first came to my attention through their (strange) association with the goth scene, their weirdly joyful and celebratory music was a real tonic after hearing all the self indulgent misery that was coming out of English bands, and I never lost my love for their sleazy punk rock. Lux Interior was always very articulate when outlining his vision, The Cramps were born to make rock 'n' roll dangerous again, to give the kids something nasty, something with the power to frighten parents; The Cramps were the answer to the sexless corporate rock of the '70s, the perfect sountrack for glue-sniffing and teenage lust...

"Somebody told me you people are crazy! But I'm not so sure about that; you seem to be all right to me."

Many thanks to whoever posted this great footage of The Cramps entertaining the staff and inmates of Califoria's Napa State Mental Institution in 1978. The band build a great rapport with the audience at this show and seem to really enjoy the crowd's interaction as inmates join them on stage to dance, improvise lyrics and generally blur the distinctions between crowd and performer. Pure punk rock magic!